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Whether fans are attending a sports competition or spectators are enjoying the sights and sounds of their favorite artists, audience members feel like they are contributing to the overall live experience.
That’s why, in light of many businesses across the country beginning the process of reopening in their respective states and communities, event planners and promoters are working urgently to strategize and find ways innovative and revolutionary ways to hold events safely – without opening organizers up to liability – once the live events industry is given the green light to move forward with hosting focused events about people amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“The thing is, in the world of live events, we’re going to have to take the basics very seriously for the foreseeable future, but probably forever,” Walter Kinzie, Founder and CEO of Encore Live, told Fox. News. Digital. “So toilet sanitation, food and beverage sanitation, general admission areas in general – I think that’s going to be a unique challenge that we’re going to have to deal with.”
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One of the many idea darts thrown at the wall is the prospect of an in-stadium live event experience aimed at small groups of people, according to Kinzie.
He says the advantage of arenas and venues that have multiple built-in suites available is that intimate groups of people could come together in order to watch a show or performance, while “collectively bringing together large groups of people, but they are all spread out in smaller spaces.”
“It’s a possibility that I think is real,” Kinzie said as she laid out her plan to pull off such a marvel.
“We’ve been in events at AT&T Stadium where the Dallas Cowboys are playing as an example where we’ll take advantage of rigging opportunities from the ceiling and we’ll do a raised floor where the ground on which the performance is at eye level at the level of the stadium suite – and the kind of general admission seating would be downstairs where no one would be,” Kinzie explained. “So there are some really unique opportunities, I think, for let the fans come together. But it would be irresponsible for even a hundred people to get together, or 200 people to get together right now.”
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Still, Kinzie said he understands people have great desires to get out into the world after being cooped up inside for so long.
In addition to focusing on smaller groups of people, Kinzie believes national parks are also the driving secret for providing fans with unique experiences while allowing people to distance themselves, which is a big part of why he thinks the music festival model is almost dead. and can be improved.
In fact, the regular Texas State Fair attendee has quite the proposition to deliver the sights and sounds of everyone’s favorite festival straight to his home.
“The concept of the festival isn’t completely dead,” Kinzie said. “He’ll come back one day and he’ll be thriving. I think it’s irresponsible for him to come back at this time, but I think there are some inspiring things that can happen here.”
“We will gather again in stadiums to shout every lyric of a Garth Brooks song. Those days are still ahead of us and they will happen. When they do happen – who knows? So for now, I think this would be very responsible for festivals to be incredibly innovative.”
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Kinzie said the future is about bringing unique backdrop experiences to viewers at home and is the type of unique concept that every experiential industry should thrive on, as it relates specifically to the element of the festival – place artists in unique and highly desirable locations.
“What I think America needs right now [is] this increase in highly creative content,” he said, referring to a May 15 Kascade live concert where the electronic dance DJ performed. from the Grand Canyon Skywalk. “With this event, they said I’m not just going to do this from my m–n living room. I want to take people to the most beautiful place I have access to by car. And I’m going to create the most beautiful landscape possible.”
“I was watching a show with the backdrop of the Teton Mountains all day and I was watching a show with the backdrop of Niagara Falls all day,” he said. “Right now I don’t want to see acts with the same technical background they’ve always had. Let’s put these artists in safe places to deliver their content and help me dream a bit of traveling to a destination that I’ve never been there before.”
Additionally, Kinzie believes there are inherent aspects of carnivals and fairs that people crave and that draw us in while keeping us coming back year after year – like our favorite funnel cake, turkey leg or in the case of Kinzie, a corn dog from Fletcher.
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“So I’m thinking State Fair of Texas and I’m thinking Coachella, Lollapalooza, Stagecoach, Austin City Limits Music Festival [ACL] — I think it’s a bit the same thing. I don’t care about programming as much because I know they’re going to get it right. I know it’s going to be awesome,” Kinzie explained.
“And that’s where I think festival producers are going to have to thrive right now,” he continued. “What senses would I miss if I didn’t go to Indio, California to stand on the festival grounds or if I didn’t go to the State Fair of Texas? What sounds do I have What sights am I missing?What tastes am I missing?What aromas am I missing?And then try their best to emulate them.
He added: “You give me a great range of artists – you have reached the sights and you have reached the sounds but you have other senses – touch, taste, smell. So I think about every year I go to the State Fair of Texas and I will always have a Fletcher’s corn dog So send me a Fletcher’s corn dog, you know.
“Give me the option of buying a package where I can access your streaming service, but I can also access my favorite food that is iconic to the State Fair and the State Fair sells dozens and dozens of kinds of food. food – it’s their signature piece and the thing that makes the Fair who they are is a corn dog from Fletcher. What’s that for Coachella? What’s that for ACL? What’s that for Lollapalooza? Harness that and make it available to fans through their living room.”
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Kinzie believes the revised model would help kick-start local suppliers, creating jobs and income for many parties involved. Festival-goers have many expenses to consider in addition to spending their money on ticket prices, such as gas or transportation, and Kinzie said festival producers have ample opportunity with the current state of mixed crowd gatherings to capitalize on those at home who will miss their beloved trips to Indio, Calif.; Austin, Texas and others.
“They need to look at the overall spending of their attendees and come up with a home package or a small group of people — maybe we get five or six people together in a small neighborhood in Erie, Penn., who would like to go to Coachella. , but they can’t this year. So let’s send them a package that allows them to spend as they would have done before. And then let’s give them the senses.”
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Kinzie said that between a streaming service and delivering “every sense” via “really cool and safe packaging,” one could feel like they were immersed in the festival experience.
“And now all of a sudden they’ve captured my revenue, they’ve employed their employees, they’ve kept their suppliers in business and they’ve potentially opened up to not have 100,000 daily fans – they can have a million daily fans,” Kinzie said. “They can have two million daily fans because you’ve removed the barrier of travel and accommodation and everything that’s stopping people from enjoying those experiences.”
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“And so I think it’s a fantastic time for festivals to use this opportunity in a very healthy way to expand their fan base, provide the senses to their current fans and allow new people to attend this thing. that I’ve never been able to attend before. They just might wake up and have doubled or tripled the annual fan base that Coachella thrives on,” he added.