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The XLIVE Monthly Beat
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Event & Festival Industry News - August 2019 - The XLIVE Monthly Beat

In this video we discuss Woodstock 50's cancellation, Ultra Music Festival, Northern Nights Music Festival becomes one of the first music festivals to have compliant use and sales of cannabis onsite, Live Nation's sustainability plan, of making all Live Nation's event venues 'zero-waste' by 2030, and much more!


(00:00) - Welcome to the August Monthly Beat

Hey everyone, Ace Antonio here with another edition of The Monthly Beat by XLIVE, the community creating extraordinary live event experiences. I don't know about you all, but I can hardly believe that summer is almost done. It's already August. There's more summer behind us than there is ahead of us. Even though the summer and the festival season will be ending soon, there's still plenty of things to talk about.

(00:20) - Woodstock 50 is Finally Cancelled

So to get things started, after a long and valiant fight, Woodstock 50 has finally been canceled. Now I swore I was going to give this cancellation announcement in The Monthly Beat video maybe back in June, but June happened and it wasn't canceled, July happened and wasn't canceled. Finally, Woodstock 50 is canceled as of July 31st. Originally slated to take place August 16th through 18th in New York, organizers faced permit challenges and went through a very public financial and legal battle with their former investors. After more than one attempt to move venues, it seems that Woodstock 50 has simply run out of time and as of July 31st, Woodstock 50 is not happening.

(01:04) - Ultra Music Festival in Miami is returning to Bay Front Park in 2020

On a lighter note, just months after a difficult year in a new venue, Ultra Music Festival in Miami is returning to Bayfront Park in 2020. Following their 2018 event, the city of Miami voted against renewing the festival's agreement with Bayfront Park after years of complaints from residents. Ultra had been at Bayfront Park for nearly two decades at that point. Their 2019 event took place at Virginia Key Beach, and faced numerous logistical challenges including stranded attendees, concerns over the stress of surrounding marine life, and to top it off, a small fire. The culmination of which, reignited the conversation to return to Bay Front Park. On July 25th Miami city officials voted 3-2 to let the event return, although pretty substantial financial and logistical stipulations must be met. So talk about a homecoming because for now ultra music festival is right back where it should be.

(01:54) - Northern Nights Music Festival becomes one of the first music festivals to have compliant use and sales of cannabis

And on a higher note, pun very much intended, The Northern Nights Music Festival in northern California was one of the first three day music festivals to allow recreational sales and use of cannabis. Event organizers essentially created a fully compliant, temporary dispensary within the festival grounds called 'the tree lounge', which included its own curated stage and slate of additional programming like CBD yoga and cannabis themed workshops. The location of this festival makes this initiative even more unique. So first, Northern Nights takes place in the Emerald Triangle, which is the name of the highest cannabis producing region in the US. This encouraged collaboration with local cannabis growers as sponsors of the tree lounge, where attendees could meet the farmers and learn more about their craft.

And second, the event itself takes place on a county line. So while California law doesn't allow for the recreational consumption of cannabis and alcohol in the same place, event organizers physically placed the tree lounge in another county within the festival grounds, with alcohol consumption taking place in another county. The result was a fully compliant space which paid respect to cannabis growers, eliminated the need for attendees to sneak in weed, and made huge strides towards the normalization of cannabis at live events

(03:12) - Super Mega Ultra Giant Mad Decent Block Party is cancelled

And next, 2019 unfortunately continues to be the year of festival cancellations, as joining the festival graveyard is the Super Mega Ultra Giant Mad Decent Block Party. That is a mouthful, and with a name like that, it makes it just a little bit more disappointing that the event didn't pull through. It was canceled just 10 days before the event and set to headline were some pretty heavy hitters like Billie Eilish, G-Eazy, Major Lazer and Miguel. Organizers cited circumstances beyond their control, although no additional info was given.

(03:44) - Live Nation's sustainability plan, of making all Live Nation's event venues 'zero-waste' by 2030

And this month, instead of talking about event tech, I wanted to talk about a different category of event production and that is sustainability initiatives. Now, there are a few interesting stories that I thought were worth highlighting both on the international and the community level. And first, Live Nation has announced that single use plastic at five major UK festivals will be eliminated by 2021. The initiative is part of live nation's larger sustainability plan to make all Live Nation venues zero waste and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 50%, all by 2030. Now we've all seen photos after music festivals or after concerts of the amount of trash that's left by the attendees and it's just a snapshot of the amount of waste that these events can produce. So it's really encouraging that Live Nation, the largest promoter in the world with over 35,000 concerts or festivals a year, is taking these steps towards a more sustainable operation.

(04:43) - Glastonbury Festival implements ban on single use plastic, biodegradable confetti, and implemented multiple new successful sustainability initiatives

And over in the UK, organizers of the 2019 Glastonbury Festival, which hosted over 200,000 attendees this year, praise the cleanup operation as a massive success and an improvement over previous years. Thanks to good weather conditions, allowing for active cleanup and more environmentally conscious attendees, only 500 of the 55,000 tents that were brought in by festival goers were left behind. In addition, the festival instituted a ban on single use plastic saving more than a million water bottles worth of plastic waste. Lastly, as icing on the cake, biodegradable confetti was used in festival performances. This is an enormous improvement from 2016 where disposal costs total nearly 1 million US dollars. That is insane. As of now, there's no estimate on the disposal costs from this year, but from the sounds of things, it sounds like a huge step in the right direction.

(05:35) - Slow Food Nation's Festival hosts zero-waste community supper, highlighting festival food waste by re purposing leftover food which was going to waste, to create a massive community event, promoting sustainability, and even generating additional revenue.

And as always, I'm saving my favorite for last. In Denver, Colorado, the Slow Food Nations Festival hosted nearly 20,000 attendees this year, but what makes this event especially impactful is the zero waste community supper that they host at the end of the event every year. The zero waste community supper is hosted by executive chefs, Steven Satterfield and Eric Lee.

It's an initiative meant to highlight the enormous amount of food waste that events of this scale typically throw in the trash. Chefs were challenged with taking that weekend's leftovers from the food demos, the workshops and the block parties and re-purposing all of it into a family style feast. Now if you've worked in food service in any capacity, it's pretty disheartening to see the amount of food that ends up going to waste. By re-purposing the leftovers from the event, organizers not only created another revenue stream as the communities supper was a paid ticket event as part of the festival, but they also made sure a minimal amount of food went to waste and made huge strides towards a more sustainable operation on a community level.

(06:43) - Thanks for Watching!

And that's all I have for you this month. Let me know in the comments below which stories you found most interesting or if there's something that you'd like to learn a little bit more about in the festival and event space and as always, don't forget to follow XLIVE on all their social media channels. @XLIVECON on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and don't forget tickets for their annual event in Vegas in November are now on sale. You can register at www.xlivecon.com.

Once again, my name is ace Antonio. Thanks for watching The Monthly Beat by XLIVE and I'll see you next month.

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