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The PunkLawyer Blog festivals Archives - The PunkLawyer Blog

Archive for the ‘festivals’ Category

New Books, Stage Collapses and Milestones, Oh My!

Saturday, September 17th, 2011

Howdy folks, sorry to have fallen off the blogging wagon for a while there.  The last few months have been pretty hectic with a move to an in-house position with a technology company in Orlando and all the fun that comes with moving and getting settled.  But things are settling down, and I’m hoping to get back to posting on a more regular basis.

To start, I am proud to announce the publication of a book that I contributed a chapter to, The American Bar Association’s Legal Guide to Video Game Development.The American Bar Association's Legal Guide to Video Game Development

I contributed chapter 2, which is about business and finance issues to consider when starting a video game company.  I am really excited that it is out, and want to thank my colleague Ross Dannenberg, who edited the book, for the opportunity to take part in the project.  Ross also is one of the principal authors of the blog Patent Arcade, which covers video game IP law, I encourage you to check it out.

Also, in the midst of all that has been going on, I missed celebrating the two year birthaversary of my firm, can’t believe how fast the time has gone.  I’m looking forward to another year of working with creative and interesting clients.

Next, in light of all the scary stage collapse stories in the news in recent months, I wanted to take some time to talk about stage riders.  @catherinereach had inquired about them in response to a tweet I had posted about the unfortunate stage collapse and resulting deaths at the Pukkelpop festival earlier this month, and whether safety requirements are typically part of the contracts bands sign.  The answer is typically yes, though it depends on the level of festival or event involved, as well as the sophistication of the parties.  As you can see in Metallica’s rider for their 2004 tour, there is a provision on page 9 giving the band the right to cancel their performance in the event that they feel the band or fans would be subject to bodily injury.  It also calls for the party booking the band to provide general liability insurance, and abide by applicable health and safety regulations.   Now a bigger band like Metallica will have a crew traveling with them to handle matters like the rigging of lights and sound, which provides them with some means of protecting against disaster, but as Warped Tour creator Kevin Lyman noted in a recent interview with Alternative Press, there is nothing you can do to completely safeguard a festival.  It’s an interesting read, as is this article published by The Hollywood Reporter on the recent festival disasters.  It provides an interesting perspective on the infamous Van Halen rider request that no brown M&Ms be placed in their dressing room.  This request was included, as many rider requests are, to ensure that the promoter had read the contract and complied with its requirements, including following the safety requirements for setting up the stage.  The best bet for a band is to ensure that stage safety requirements are set out in its rider, and that the contract calls for the promoter to have adequate insurance in the event of an accident.  But even with a contract in place, don’t forget to trust your instincts as well.  It has been reported that a last minute decision by Sugarland’s tour manager to keep the band from going on stage may have made the difference in preventing the band from being harmed in the Indiana State Fair stage collapse.  So, to sum it up, get your requirements in writing and trust your instincts when it comes to stage safety.

And finally, speaking of festivals, do check out Fest 10 via the ad in the sidebar.  Looks like it will be another amazing 3 days of music invading Gainesville this year.  Check out the free comps and all the other Fest goodness over at their site.

Pigeongate Update

Tuesday, July 27th, 2010

So after the first post about what is now being called “Pigeongate” by some reporters, more has come out about the Kings of Leon show.  Among my favorite quotes associated from the flap about this show comes from the band’s publicist, who pointed out that “at least no fans were pooped on, as far as we know.”  Oh good, what a relief.  I must say that I would bet the band’s next gig in Saint Louis will be at an indoor venue like the Pageant or the Scottrade Center rather than the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater.  I’ve always liked the Pageant for shows, caught a lot of great ones in my time up there.  CNN ran a pretty amusing video with live footage of the show in question, check it out.

The Postelles, one of the opening acts, have released a statement about the fateful evening, where they allege that there was more than pigeon poop falling from the rafters:

“It was truly an honor to open up for the Kings of Leon on Friday night in St. Louis. Unfortunately, it was a (expletive)-storm for everyone involved. Amongst other things, a bird fell from the rafters and died while our drummer was setting up (services to be held next week), very fine clothing was ruined throughout the entire night (the laundry bill was rough!), and our equipment was completely covered with…well, you get the point. On a positive note, our bassist John developed some really excellent/awkward dance moves while trying to avoid the falling onslaught from the flock in the sky. We look forward to coming back to St. Louis — hopefully indoors this time.” — The Postelles

Eek, dead birds falling from the rafters, not sure what is grosser.  Certainly makes me think of the hilarious Monty Python dead parrot sketch, it could be one given all the strange factors in this story.

New Rider Request- No Pigeon Droppings on the Band

Saturday, July 24th, 2010

As the touring musicians out there know, almost anything can happen at a show, from crowd surfing guys in dinosaur suits to pyrotechnical mishaps to crazy weather.  I learned of another while reading the Riverfront Times A to Z blog coverage of the Kings of Leon show in Saint Louis last night, which was apparently cancelled due to problems with pigeon droppings hitting the band during their performance.   The tweets by drummer Nathan Followill give you an idea of how bad things were for the band:

@doctorfollowill So sorry St. Louis. We had to bail, pigeons shitting in jareds mouth. Too unsanitary to continue.

@doctorfollowill Don’t take it out on Jared, it’s the fucking venues fault. You may enjoy being shit on but we don’t. Sorry for all              who traveled many miles.

What a gross situation for the band.  Apparently the fans were not too happy when the band cancelled their performance after only 3 songs.  Livenation is providing fans with refunds, and the band is promising to return and make up the show.  Kings of Leon released the following press release today through their publicist:



An infestation of pigeons living in the rafters of the Verizon Amphitheatre in St. Louis, MO, forced the Kings of Leon to walk           offstage after three songs last night. Even though opening bands The Postelles and The Stills came offstage complaining of getting riddled with large amounts of pigeon excrement, the Kings of Leon decided to carry on regardless. The band felt it would be unfair to the fans to cancel the show at that late moment.

“I’m surprised they stayed on for as many songs as they did,” said Andy Mendelsohn of Vector Management. “Jared was hit several times during the first two songs. On the third song, when he was hit in the cheek and some of it landed near his mouth, they couldn’t deal any longer. It’s not only disgusting — it’s a toxic health hazard. They really tried to hang in there. We want to apologize to our fans in St. Louis and will come back as soon as we can.”

When the band arrived earlier in the day, the venue warned management that there had been a significant pigeon infestation problem with summer shows over the years, but they were doing all they could to fix it.

“We couldn’t believe what The Postelles and The Stills looked like after their sets,” said Jared Followill. “We didn’t want to cancel the show, so we went for it. We tried to play. It was ridiculous.”

Kings of Leon are headed to Chicago tonight to perform at the First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre as scheduled.

Sounds like there might be a problem with pigeons at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater, but dealing with pigeons can be frustrating, as I learned when they would crap on my apartment balcony when I lived in Saint Louis.  When I asked at Home Depot how to best get rid of them, the guy honestly told me the only thing you could do was shoot them.  Just putting it out there, Livenation, you might have a tough time.

This begs the question, how can you try to avoid such problems if you’re touring?  One way you can try to ensure that things go smoothly is by specifying certain needs, from food to insurance, in the contract with the venue or promoter if you have one (which you ideally should).  This includes the rider, which I suspect Kings of Leon’s management is currently updating to include that the performers not be exposed to bird droppings while performing.  For those of you unfamiliar with a rider, it is the provision in the contract that the act has with the venue or promoter containing the act’s requests for particular food, drinks, furniture, power, phone lines, etc to be provided to the band or performer.  There are legendary stories of different artists’ rider requests, such as Van Halen’s request that no brown M&M’s be  placed in their dressing room, which I have on good authority to be true.  Riders are also said to be included in the contract to make sure that the promoter or venue has actually read the contract and abides by it.  For a good read, check out the rider and catering requests from Metallica’s 2004 tour over at the Smoking Gun.  I love that they have to have bacon at every meal, cracks me up.  I also enjoy the Little Red Riders Book, it’s a quick and funny read.  Of course, you can put all kinds of requests in your rider, and crazy things will still happen sometimes out there.  I think being prepared to deal with unexpected events, and having a good team around you to help you if they do occur are essential to surviving a tour.  I’d love to hear your favorite stories of crazy happenings at shows, out there rider requests, and tips on dealing with tour craziness.

More Mohawks and Bowling Shoes- Days 2 and 3 of Punk Rock Bowling

Thursday, May 20th, 2010

Day 2 of PRB

Punk Rock Bowling was a crazy weekend, there was so much going on from one end of the resort to the other.  Walking into the bowling on Saturday was overwhelming yet fun, bowlers and spectators in every type of uniform and getup you could imagine, including some really great mohawks. Here’s a small sampling of the scene:

I hung out with the teams from No Idea Records and The Fest for the tournament, great group of guys.  I ran a bit of interference to keep an eye on the scores between the different lanes.   The No Idea team started out against an all female team of damned good bowlers, MFM.  They had one bowler who got several consecutive strikes, it was impressive. The Fest team started off against No Coast Death Squad, and ultimately made it to the Sunday playoff tourney.

With bowling wrapped up for the day, some of the guys and I went to check out the outdoor music festival.  The first band we caught was the Swingin’ Utters, who put on an active set that the crowd responded to with a fast moving circle pit.  Following them up was Gainesville’s own Against Me!, who played a solid set with favorites like “Sink Florida Sink” and others.  The outdoor slate concluded with Flogging Molly, who were entertaining and lively as ever, and provided the stoked crowd with some drunken lullabies.  I caught part of the Revival Tour later in the Madrid Lounge, it was a relaxing interlude among the madness, which was set to start early the next day for the final round of bowling.  Ok by early I mean 11 AM, but as you have probably learned at other multi-day punk events, your perception of early starts to change.

Day 3 of Punk Rock Bowling

If Saturday was crazy at PRB, Sunday was sheer madness as the playoff teams squared off against each other to determine the winner of the 2010 tournament.  There were more than a few bleary eyes among the lanes, but there was definitely an air of excitement as everyone waited to get going.  The excitement built as The Fest team kept winning games, eventually making it to the top 16, where they ended up bowling one of Fat Wreck Chords’ teams, Las Bowlachas, featuring Fat Mike himself. 

It was a lot of fun to watch, I think the guys bowling definitely had a great time bowling with the Fat team, to whom they unfortunately ultimately lost.  Another Fat Wreck Chords team, the Pin Ladens, went on to win the tournament over Northeast Records.

My evening moved on to hanging with friends new and old, which is half the fun.  It was great to meet Lisa from AMP Magazine, as well as to enjoy the Tia and J.P. comedy show.  I got brave and ventured out to try and catch D.R.I.’s set, though the weather was hardly cooperating Sunday night.  The wind was blowing so hard outside it felt like it would pick you up off of the ground.

The lounge show Sunday night was probably my favorite of the weekend.  Starting off the show was Burlington, Ontario’s own St. Alvia.  Despite singer Ben fighting a cold, he enlisted the crowd for some help on a couple choruses to buoy the set along.  Their set was strong that demonstrated the wide range of influences that make this band tick.  Check out some video I took, the sound isn’t great, used my digital camera for some reason instead of my Flip cam, which rules.

Following up was another band I was stoked to see, The Cute Lepers, whose bouncy music and retro background singers made for a really entertaining set.  Check out the video below.

Punk Rock Bowling ended on a seriously high note with the ultimate punk lounge act, Me First and the Gimme Gimmes.  The small venue was pretty packed for this show, and everyone was jazzed for the show.  The band did not disappoint, applying their unique stylings to songs like “Jolene,” “I Believe I Can Fly,” and “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.”  My favorite was their rendition of Boyz II Men’s “End of the Road,” it was a blast to sing along and enjoy the music.  I live for live music, just makes me feel alive, especially to be among other fans enjoying the show.  A young couple ended up getting engaged onstage during the set, like I said it was craziness.   And so my time at Punk Rock Bowling has come to an end for this year, check out the pics and enjoy this video of Me First and the Gimme Gimmes playing “Jolene.”

I can’t wait for next year, maybe to bowl but definitely to hang and meet more online friends, who I keep finding were there and I missed meeting.  Oh, and the Festival Roundup continues, stay tuned!

Fun Content Ahead

Wednesday, March 24th, 2010

So I have lots of fun content coming from the recent  Harvest of Hope festival.  Technical issues and overall craziness have put me a bit behind, but I am planning on getting it up pronto.  I took some great pictures and did some interviews on what goes into putting on a festival like Harvest of Hope.  For now, enjoy this of Mucca Pazza from Sunday.  This band is a hoot live!  Look for highlights from an interview with members of Mucca Pazza too!