The live events industry has been especially impacted by the coronavirus pandemic and facing ongoing concerns about moving forward. To bring all professionals on a united front, Backstage Productions CEO Patrick Whalen and Pollstar’s Ray Waddell are moderating a virtual town hall event addressing concerns.
Whalen and Waddell will lead discussions about the future of the live event industry during the town hall, dubbed “The Show Must Go On,” which streams April 20 at 3 p.m. on YouTube. The conversation is expected to cover a wide range of topics, including event production, touring, artist management, venues, safety and security and more. Other areas of conversation will be targeted towards post-pandemic measures, including scaled-back productions, seating changes, and enhanced security protocols.
“This was something I’ve been obsessing about for a couple of weeks,” Whalen said. “We’ve all been having Zoom meetings production, tour managers, venues and agents all talking in almost sidebar conversations and we are all kind of talking in circles. I want to get all these people with differing views and perspectives on one platform where we can have a discussion of each discipline and getting more definitive answers.”
“When Patrick approached me with the concept of a ‘town hall’ for the live entertainment industry, I immediately thought it was a great idea and jumped at the opportunity to support,” Waddell said. “With all the uncertainty so pervasive in our industry and elsewhere today, communication becomes critical, and is the hallmark of our endeavors at Pollstar and VenuesNow. As with Pollstar.com’s new ‘One-On-One’ series of virtual Q&As and similar initiatives we are launching on VenuesNow.com, for the time being, digital is our best opportunity to engage. I applaud Patrick’s efforts and look forward to participating in this session with our esteemed panel of experts.”
Ultimately, the discussion is meant to serve as an informational session but also provide an optimistic approach to those working in a drastically-changed industry.
“A lot of people feel like each week brings more bad news and we also want to encourage people to hang in there and also be able to see that there’s a light at the end of the tunnel,” Whalen said, adding that the scope of the industry will make a difference when united. “We are massive. We have a voice that will get louder. I am happy to champion anything or anyone who needs a voice to get us all back working again.”