Exclusive “full strength” New Year’s Eve event for the vaccinated only | New Year, New Me: From Staples Center to Crypto.com Arena  | Let’s see what’s happening beyond the borders…

Exclusive “full strength” New Year’s Eve event for the vaccinated only

New Year’s Eve in Times Square will be making its return at “full strength” this year after having to scale back last year due to COVID. Mayor Bill de Blasio encourages people to join and celebrate to show the world we are “100 percent back”. Well, at least those who are vaccinated.

This New Year’s celebration might be a challenge for the police officers in the city, who’ve resisted the mayor’s vaccination requirements for public servants. The US has recently eased international travel restrictions which will draw people from all over the world to the Big Apple for the holidays. Police are not only going to have to control the crowd of thousands, but also make sure each and every person is vaccinated.

times square on new years eve - NYC, New York

Ok, maybe not everyone has to be vaccinated. There are some exceptions. Anyone that was unable to get vaccinated because of a disability will have the opportunity to attend, as long as they show proof of a negative COVID test. Those who are not old enough to receive the vaccine (children under the age of 5) can also go but must be accompanied by a vaccinated adult. As for those who are unvaccinated, masks are required.

Some people have clapbacked at the announcement and asked why vaccines would be required for the event when they aren’t required for other outdoor activities in the city. Mayor de Blasio responded, “When you’re outdoors with a few hundred thousand people packed close together for hours on end, it’s a different reality,” Mr. de Blasio said. “You’re talking about a lot of people who are really close for long periods of time. It makes sense to protect everyone.” Understandable.

We’re excited for those who are able to attend and are looking forward to seeing how New York City police departments control the large crowd at the event. With that said, we don’t want to jinx anything, even Dr. Jha cautioned Mr. de Blasio to have a backup plan in case things go south and cases blow up again before New Year’s Eve.

New Year, New Me: From Staples Center to Crypto.com Arena

As of December 25th, the STAPLES Center in Los Angeles will have to add a ‘Formerly known as” ahead of the existing name. What is believed to be the biggest deal of its kind in history, has AEG and the Singapore-based cryptocurrency exchange Crypto.com renaming the stadium to Crypto.com Arena.

The multi-purpose venue is located in downtown LA, and has been open since 1999. Big names like The Weeknd, Imagine Dragons and Kacey Musgraves will be performing there within the next few months. The 20,000 capacity arena is not only used for the music industry but is home to NBA franchises the Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles Kings (of the NHL) and Los Angeles Sparks (WNBA).

Staples center - Los Angeles, CA

Crypto.com will be bringing a 3,000 square foot “activation space” with focus on an interactive crypto-centric experience for the fans. Additionally, they‘ve signed with the LA Lakers and LA Kings as their official crypto partner. The rebranding will cost the company $700 million over a 20-year period, so let‘s hope it‘s worth it.  

“Crypto.com is looking for the most unique branding platform to make a statement and drive adoption, and we’re looking for an innovative, forward-thinking company to help us chart a course for the future of sports and entertainment events.” All we know is, cryptocurrency is all the rage right now and this not only gives the venue a competitive edge over other venues, but is paving the way for new venues and the future remodeling of others. Dan Neckerman, CEO of AEG, says it's a “match made in heaven.” We sure hope so. This could mean big changes for the events industry.

Let’s see what’s happening beyond the borders...

Once again, the number of COVID cases within the EU have spiked, despite high vaccination rates. Beginning last week, the Netherlands went into a three-week lockdown postponing many concerts and Austria has enforced a lockdown for those who are unvaccinated.

But, while some countries are locking down, others are throwing the doors wide open. Spain for one, has decided to scrap the restrictive visa process for touring artists post Brexit. What was once described as a “costly and bureaucratic barrier that threatened the industry’s talent pipeline” is now “the best early Christmas present we could have had” said Marta Pallares, from Primavera Sound. UK Music chief executive, Jamie Njoku-Goodwin, believes the visa waiver was definitely a step in the right direction, but there is still so much more to be done. He states, “It is important to remember that major issues still remain, particularly cabotage [the transport of goods or passengers between two places in the same country by a foreign operator], which makes many tours impossible...We will continue to press the case with the government here and with EU nations to remove all the costly and bureaucratic restrictions that remain when it comes to touring the EU.” Twenty-one member states down and six more to go. 🤞

EU flags

The exciting news doesn‘t stop there! France has eased their COVID restrictions and no longer require 75% capacity for nightclubs and indoor concerts. A huge part of this change is thanks to Prodiss, the French live music association, alongside Paris hospital AP-HP under the name Ambition Live Again, were able to show that concerts are not super spreader events through a test concert held earlier this year at Accor Arena with a capacity of approx. 20,000 fans.

This week has been quite the rollercoaster. We’ve had some bad news and some good, but what matters is event professionals are doing all they can to make sure that our industry can move forward.