It's the end of the year, a time to look back at the wins, losses, innovations, and lessons learned within the live events industry. For those of us that made it out to a few key industry conferences, including FestForums in Santa Barbara and XLIVE in Las Vegas, we all had a chance to share insights, discuss experiences, and look at what's ahead for 2018. Whether you made it to either, both, or neither of the conferences, here's a look at some of the key takeaways I gleaned that I'd like to share; the topics and areas of focus that will be on my radar going into next year.
In 1958, the New York Times ran a review of the film, The Defiant Ones, starring Tony Curtis and Sidney Poitier, “a remarkably apt and dramatic visualization of a social idea – the idea of men of different races brought together to face misfortune in a bond of brotherhood,” wrote Times film critic, Bosley Crowtherehoward Thompson. Curtis and Poitier played two escaped convicts that despised each other, but with a unified goal of fleeing for freedom and literal metaphor of being shackled together, “These two men, who think they are so profoundly different, are in basic respects the same.”
Almost 60 years later, the new HBO docu-series, set to air July 9, shares not only the title of The Defiant Ones, but this time it centers on the real-life story of how two men of different races, Andre “Dr. Dre” Young and Jimmy Iovine, each with their own musical skill sets and legacy, jointly built both a hugely successful record label and an entertainment tech company.
Big thanks goes out to all those that attended our SXSW Workshop providing a Deep Dive into Live Streaming and it's impact on Brands, Promoters, and Fans, and a ton of gratitude goes out to the SXSW folks for helping us make it happen. For those of you that want a refresh of the session or for all the folks that couldn't make it, here are the slides from the presentation along with the recording of the entire workshop.
The Denver Film Festival 39, which began last week, hosted an interesting panel session along with Comcast, “New Avenues of Distribution,” which focused on what the growing number of streaming TV services such as Hulu, Netflix, and Amazon, means for content creators, the film industry, and film-watchers alike.
On the panel was Comcast’s director of programming, Brett Hatch; the senior director of product management at Level 3, Jon Alexander; Stephan Shelanski, the former Starz executive vice president of programming acquisitions who is now on the other side as a film producer; and film critic and moderator of the panel (and long-time Denver Film Festival participant), Bob Denerstein.
At first listen, Gringo Star’s latest album The Sides and In Between is a cacophonous yet delightful mixture of sounds. The band themselves summed up this sound perfectly as “echo-slathered, doo-wop indebted indie gems; psychedelic garage bangers, gritty R&B shuffles and spaghetti-western weirdness.”
They are hard to put a finger on, but are without a doubt an eclectic yet captivating quartet who really shine in their fourth studio album.
Right now is a time of contemplation for the “we’ve always done it this way” business models. In every industry, the old ways are crumbling as new ideas mesh with technology, filling demand gaps in industries and redistributing market share. Aside from the commonly referenced transportation and hospitality markets, it is the making of entertainment content that will see a tidal wave of change in the coming years.
The company causing this butterfly effect: Netflix.
“Entertainment and technology are continuing to transform each other as they have been doing for over 100 years,” said Reed Hastings this past January during his CES keynote.
“I don’t particularly want to pick up an instrument,” said Alex Paterson, founder of the ambient house pioneering entity, the Orb, “I want to pick all these sounds and make musical notes of these sounds.”
"This is the worst complaints have been for 15 years, as a rate,” Dean Headley, a researcher at Wichita State University's business school, said to CNN earlier this week in regards to the 26th annual national Airline Quality Rating report he co-authored. For those of us that travel on a regular basis, we don’t need a report to tell us what we already know first hand: for the most part and most often, flying sucks.
Tapping films included in this year's Oscar nominations, Chris Rock, Whoopi Goldberg and Leslie Jones poked fun at the lack of diversity that brought back the #OscarSoWhite social storm in full force for the second year in a row.
For a Monday night, the Echoplex in Los Angeles was quite packed out. SWIMM, Florida-to-Los Angeles transplants as of 2015, followed Andy Clockwise, aptly thanking him for the blast-happy performance. It was SWIMM's last night of their residency at the Echoplex, and the two-piece, now expanded to five performers, wrapped it in pure rock and roll style. Even some of the family were in attendance, including the proud mom of lead singer and guitarist, Chris Hess.