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Entertainment suffers $26-billion COVID hit – Minister Grange says reopening sector too early could prove detrimental – Jamaica Gleaner

The Jamaican Government has indicated that it will be taking a cautious approach in the reopening of the entertainment industry, which has taken a $26-billion hit since the sector was locked down in March to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Grange told The Sunday Gleaner that a survey, conducted by the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, revealed that 95.5 per cent of respondents had experienced a loss of income due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The average estimated total financial loss of income for the month of March was J$1.6 million for micro-entrepreneurs.

“When extrapolated to the relative size of the industry, this represents loss to the arts and entertainment sector as, conservatively, J$19.2 billion for micro and small creative businesses and individuals. Coupled with losses from medium and large events such as Calabash Literary Arts Festival, Carnival in Jamaica, Dream, and Reggae Sumfest, the lost revenue increases to in excess of $26.182 billion,” she said.

The minister also revealed an additional loss of $44 million from the National Independence Celebrations and the National Festival of Arts, which have also been affected.

While some entertainment industry professionals have come forward to urge the Government to take their time getting the coronavirus (COVID-19) under control before reopening the industry, others have been asking for the green light to stage their events. Earlier this week, organisers of the Beach Road Trip (BRT) Weekend outlined plans to implement protective measures as they sought permission from the powers that be to go ahead with their event, set for July 31 – August 2.

“I foresee an incremental opening rather than a full-scale one at this time. Remember, Jamaica has, on average, 20,000 events each year from micro-community round robins, street dances, nine nights, to large festivals. The protocols for each will have to be carefully examined. We have to remember that Patient Zero attended a funeral, and thereafter, a whole community was quarantined. As such, we have to review existing health and safety guidelines, review practices and solutions from other parts of the world, but also be aware of our own cultural moves that will impact compliance at these events,” Grange said.

The minister said that the decision to reopen the sector would be guided by protocols set out by the Ministry of Health, adding that “COVID-19 is like nothing we’ve seen before”. “Between 2017 and 2018, we saw almost 20 entertainers dead … . That was just because of ageing, co-morbidities, etc. COVID-19 has the potential to double and triple that number if we are not careful. Even young musicians, writers, dancers have underlying health issues that could be fatal if we open too quickly, without taking the necessary precautions.”

While the minister remains cautious about the reopening of the entertainment industry, she says that her team has been using the time to kick-start the industry in other ways. She revealed that some plans are already under way to ensure that the industry is no longer treated as an ‘orphan’.

“One important way of kick-starting the industry is already under way, with the increased registration of entertainment businesses and practitioners. The ministry has also conducted surveys to gather data on the needs and fallout within the sector. The important step of formalisation means that no longer will entertainment be treated as an orphan. We will be able to advocate, through data and research, for the overall contribution of the industry to the nation’s economy that will drive support to the industry,” she said.

“So there has been no ‘downtime’ for the Entertainment Division and the Entertainment Advisory Board as they have been working on structuring the creative industries. This period has been a good time to review existing policies, working with colleagues on formalising entertainment zones and districts with municipal authorities and looking to incentivise small venues and spaces so that post-COVID-19, we can see more live music being played as well as bands and artistes benefitting, with spaces to perform,” Grange shared.

shereita.grizzle@gleanerjm.com

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Entertainment industry set to lose $160 billion over next 5 years – We Rave You

In some of the first good news for the music industry in months, Serbia’s EXIT Festival, dubbed EXIT 2.0, is set to go ahead in late August. Usually taking place in July, the festival would see upwards of 200,000 people through its gates for the three day festival, but on request of Serbia’s prime minister, Ana Brnabic, the festival has been

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ITEC Entertainment Appoints Russell Bury as Vice President of Engineering for North America – Business Wire

ORLANDO, Fla.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–ITEC Entertainment Corporation, an industry leader in the creation of worldwide solutions for the leisure, hospitality and entertainment industries, today announced the appointment of Russell Bury as Vice President of Engineering – North America, further strengthening the company’s expanding technology division, ITEC Technologies.

In his new role, Russell is responsible for ITEC’s engineering, technical design and advanced and integrated technology solutions with a focus on the leisure, hospitality, and entertainment markets.

“Carefully orchestrated technologies and control systems have a significant impact on guest immersion and are becoming more applicable to many other applications,” said ITEC Technologies CTO and Founder, Marc Plogstedt. “We are confident in Russell’s ability to lead this burgeoning area and build upon ITEC’s more than 30-year heritage in designing engineering systems for some of the most complex and demanding projects in the world.”

Russell brings over 25 years of experience to the company as an innovator in engineering, operations, network technologies, safety, resource management, and team development. Prior to joining ITEC, he served as Strategic Director – Global Support and Management for Ericsson. Russell also held positions with Warner Brothers, AV Technology and ITEC Entertainment where he previously served as Asia Pacific Regional Manager.

About ITEC Entertainment Corporation

ITEC Entertainment Corporation is a global industry leader of leisure, hospitality and entertainment solutions that ignite the dreams of hundreds of millions of people all over the world. ITEC’s culture of performance and innovation pushes the frontiers of themed entertainment design, production and technology to new heights. Founded in 1985, ITEC has delivered over 300 of the most successful and comprehensive guest experiences spanning: theme parks, rides and shows; cultural attractions; resorts and mixed-use; themed dining; entertainment centers; and themed retail. ITEC is headquartered in Orlando, Florida with offices throughout the Americas, Europe and Asia. For more information, visit www.ITEC.com.

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How Live Entertainment And Sports Will Come Back After The Lockdown – Forbes

There is plenty of news about sports and live entertainment coming back as the lockdown is gradually lifted across the globe. The weekend before last Germany’s soccer Bundesliga re-started with no spectators. Many leagues are back in training, including the NFL, the MLB, and the English Premier Soccer league. Meanwhile, film and TV productions have started in Europe, and soon the U.S. will follow. What will be the new face of these live events? What will be the new normal of live entertainment and sports as the industry navigates the health risks around congregations of audiences in tight spaces?

We asked these questions to experts on the topic last Thursday at a session organized by Pepperdine’s Institute for Entertainment, Media, Sports, and Culture. As a digital economist, I summarized their thoughts and insights in terms of supply and demand.

Supply

As the entertainment economy wakes up, what will live events look like? Will they have empty seats like the Bundesliga, or will drive-in venues become common?

To supply live in-person sports and entertainment, there will be changes in the near future based on social distancing protocols. Leigh Steinberg, one of the most recognized sports agents who has represented more than 300 professional athletes across multiple sports including NFL quarterbacks Troy Aikman and Steve Young, reflected: “I think that you could have fans if people will be open minded and willing to adjust to a new experience. You can take the temperature of fans as they walk into the stadium. You can ask them to wear masks. Players wear masks already and fans tend to bundle up and wear gloves in cold weather cities. You could design a seating chart that socially distances fan groups. So maybe you can’t get 80,000 fans, but you could get 50,000 fans.” This will also ease social distancing inside the venues, with more space in entrances, corridors, and bathrooms.

The new safety protocols will define the new experience for the consumer, but they will also have financial implications. Valarie Benning-Thompson, a veteran producer of live events, with over 25 stadium, arena, theatrical tours, and comedy for entertainers like Dr. Dre, Shaquille O’Neal, Prince, and Nick Cannon, provided a detailed account of how increased safety measures like temperature checks, improved bathroom cleaning, careful catering, and others will increase operating costs. Also, as venues develop social distancing rules, their capacity will go down. She stated: “A comedy club is already very, very tight in terms of how many people can fit inside of them. So to get 350 people into one of them, to take it down to a capacity of 100 people, that’s going to affect the revenues.”

As a consequence, there will have to be more creative arrangements between venues, sports franchises, and show producers, to make live events economically viable for all, in an environment with increased operational costs and lower revenues.

Demand

Regarding demand, even if stadiums and other venues re-open, it is not clear the extent to which the spectators will come back. A mid-May study by Performance Research found that 60% of respondents fear attending a big public event. Therefore, one of the keys to reopen live events successfully lies on the ability of leagues, producers, and venues to provide a sense of safety for spectators, players, artists, staff, and crew.

Benning-Thompson translated what airlines are doing to make consumers feel like it’s safe to travel again, into what live events need to do: “I think that we have to make it safe. I think that if we can say that we’re doing these things then you feel safer about coming out.” She went on to say that strict safety rules will have to be enforced, like wearing a mask, to make sure everybody feels safe.

Steinberg agrees: “I just echo what Valerie said, all of the sports have great communication systems so they are able to spread information in a variety of ways, laying out what the safety precautions that have been medically validated. And this is going to happen in phases. So as time goes on restrictions will relax.”

So how bad does humanity really want live entertainment and sports? Steinberg stated: “There’s no substitute for a father getting his son to a baseball game and passing on that heritage. The visceral excitement that comes from being in a packed stadium arena watching a thrilling game – it’s woven into the way that we live. I believe that sports will come back stronger than ever because we’re so starved for that and you’ll have great attendance. The TV ratings are going to be off the roof.”

Benning-Thompson provides a nice final reflection on live entertainment: “People will be coming back to enjoy it because there’s nothing like being able to be in the arena when everybody’s laughing and enjoying, or watching a concert and feeling the actual vibration of the floor.”

Live entertainment and sports are coming back pretty soon on TV. Then, as spectators are allowed again, I predict venues will be about one third full to start, given demand constraints due to fan fears and provided social distancing protocols allow it. That seems reasonable, and hopefully it will get better as long as the pandemic eases.

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G.research’s 12th Annual Entertainment & Broadcasting Conference – Business Wire

RYE, N.Y.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–G.research, in conjunction with Gabelli Funds, will host its 12th Annual Entertainment & Broadcasting Conference on June 4. The conference will be held virtually. This research meeting will feature presentations by senior management of leading broadcasting and entertainment companies, with an emphasis on industry dynamics, new technologies and company fundamentals. It will also include a Sports Valuation Panel. Investors should contact their salesperson for more information or to register.

Participating Companies

 

Corus Entertainment (TSX: CJR-B)

Eros Entertainment (NYSE: EROS)

Gray Television (NYSE: GTN)

Lionsgate Entertainment (NYSE: LGF.A)

Meredith Corporation (NYSE: MDP)

Nexstar Media Group (NASDAQ: NXST)

Reading International Inc. (NASDAQ: RDI)

Ryman Hospitality Properties (NYSE: RHP)

The E.W. Scripps Company (NASDAQ: SSP)

The Marcus Corporation (NYSE: MCS)

Viacom (NASDAQ: VIAC)

© 2020 G.research, LLC – All rights reserved

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Rovio Entertainment Corporation: Repurchase of own shares on 25 May 2020 – GlobeNewswire

Rovio Entertainment Corporation – Repurchase of own shares on 25 May 2020Rovio Entertainment Corporation                 STOCK EXCHANGE RELEASE                   25 May 2020 AT 18:45 EETIn the Nasdaq HelsinkiDate                                                                                25 May 2020
Exchange transaction                                                       Buy
Share trading code                                                           ROVIO
Amount, shares                                                                24404
Average price/share, EUR                                                 5,474606
Total cost, EUR                                                                133602,28
ROVIO now holds a total of 6 030 498 own shares (ROVIO) including the shares repurchased on 25 May 2020.On behalf of Rovio Entertainment CorporationOP Corporate Bank PlcMarko Niemi                                Antti KerätärFurther information:
Rene Lindell, CFO
+358 207 888 300
RovioIR@rovio.com
Distribution:
Nasdaq Helsinki Ltd
Key media
www.rovio.com
About Rovio:Rovio Entertainment Corporation is a global, games-first entertainment company that creates, develops and publishes mobile games, which have been downloaded 4.5 billion times so far. Rovio is best known for the global Angry Birds brand, which started as a popular mobile game in 2009, and has since evolved from games to various entertainment and consumer products in brand licensing. Today, Rovio offers multiple mobile games, animations and has produced The Angry Birds Movie, which opened number one in theatres in 50 countries. Its sequel, The Angry Birds Movie 2, released worldwide in August 2019. Rovio is headquartered in Finland and the company’s shares are listed on the main list of NASDAQ Helsinki stock exchange with the trading code ROVIO. (www.rovio.com) AttachmentRovio trades 25052020

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BCW Shutters Entertainment PR Firm BWR – PRovoke Media

LOS ANGELES — Burson Cohn & Wolfe is shuttering longtime entertainment PR firm BWR, a former Burson-Marsteller subsidiary, rolling its operations into the BCW entertainment practice the agencies jointly launched last August.

“BCW (Burson Cohn & Wolfe) is committed to continually examining our business to ensure we are best structured to serve our clients and marketplace needs. Due to a variety of considerations, and the tremendous impact Covid-19 has had on the entertainment industry, we are combining our BWR brand into BCW Entertainment, effective immediately,” BCW said in a statement.

“While several of our BWR colleagues remain with BCW in Los Angeles and New York to oversee key client business, sadly we have had to say goodbye to other members of the BWR team. We are incredibly grateful to them for all of their contributions to BWR and the BCW Group, and we will be providing support to them during their transition.”

The move comes nine months after BCW launched a new suite of entertainment offerings in conjunction with BWR, which was a Burson-Marsteller subsidiary before Burson and Cohn & Wolfe merged into BCW under CEO Donna Imperato (pictured).

Called a “legendary” firm by Variety, which first reported the story, BWR had talent, television and film practices, as well as corporate and lifestyle.

But the 33-year-old agency, whose talent roster includes the likes of Adam Sandler, Zoe Saldana, Anna Kendrick and Connie Britton and Jamie-Lynn Sigler, has lost business to a new crop of entertainment agencies, Variety said.

The closure is emblematic of how agencies across the industry are feeling the financial pain of Covid-19, particularly those serving sectors like entertainment and travel that are doing very little business.

IPG agencies DeVries Global, Current Global, Weber Shandwick and Golin have cut staff, with other holding groups including Omnicom also making significant job cuts across their PR agencies. Edelman and MSL have also recently made redundancies. 

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BTS: Jungkook Once Shared That He Joined Big Hit Entertainment Because of 1 Person – Showbiz Cheat Sheet

It’s no secret that BTS is a worldwide phenomenon. In the past few years alone, the group has garnered countless fans in every corner of the world and sold out concerts in numerous countries.

If given the chance, many up-and-coming talents would love to be a part of BTS now. However, when their company, Big Hit Entertainment, first tried to form BTS in the early 2010s, there was no way to know that the project would lead to something huge. Yet, member Jungkook took a chance on Big Hit and decided to sign with the relative-unknown company. In his case, there was someone there that actually made him choose to join Big Hit.

BTS Jungkook

BTS Jungkook

BTS’s Jungkook | Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for dcp

Jungkook started pursuing a music career in middle school

Jungkook was born on September 1, 1997. He grew up in the southern city of Busan, South Korea.

When Jungkook was younger, his first career aspiration was not to be a musician. Rather, he wanted to be a badminton player for a while. However, he was inspired to become a singer after seeing G-Dragon from Big Bang perform the song “Heartbreaker.”

Jungkook started to pursue a music career in middle school. He even auditioned for the popular Korean talent search show, Superstar K. Unfortunately, he did not have much luck with the show and did not make it past the audition stage.

Jungkook decided to join Big Hit Entertainment because of RM

RELATED: Has BTS Ever Thought About Breaking Up?

While Jungkook’s career in reality TV ultimately did not pan out, he ended up attracting the attention of several entertainment companies, including some well-known ones. He was offered the chance to join and train with them, but Jungkook ultimately decided to go with Big Hit Entertainment.

As Jungkook revealed in 2017, the reason why he wanted to join Big Hit was because RM was already a part of the company.

“After appearing on [Superstar K], I received calls from around seven different agencies,” Jungkook said. “I ended up [at Big Hit] because Rap Monster was so cool.”

Jungkook is now called the ‘Golden Maknae’ of BTS

RELATED: How BTS Became the Most Popular Band on Social Media Without Individual Accounts

Although every member of BTS has talents that they often bring to the table to help the group succeed, Jungkook has received praise for how extraordinarily gifted he is.

Jungkook is called the “Golden Maknae” of BTS for this reason. The word “maknae” refers to the youngest person of any group, and Jungkook plays this role in BTS. He is also a “Golden Maknae” because of the fact that he has a large number of skills.

As a performer, he is known as one of the top singers and dancers of BTS. Although rapping is not his specialty, Jungkook has shown that he does have some talent in this as well. Additionally, when he is not on stage, Jungkook also excels in sports, art, gaming, and filmmaking.

Because of his wide variety of skills, there is no doubt that Jungkook has played a role in helping BTS get to where they are today.

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Should wild animals still be used for entertainment at the circus? – Euronews

The Hungarian National Circus has transformed into a five-acre safari park in order to stay afloat during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The circus is home to 100 animals who usually perform on stage to an audience. But since the global health crisis began, it has suffered as social distancing measures mean shows have been cancelled altogether.

Instead of having to shut their doors completely, the circus has now become a safari park in Szada, on the eastern edge of Pest County in Hungary. The park is allowing people to come and see the animals from the comfort of their own cars.

Animals from two of the largest travelling circuses, the Hungarian National Circus and Richter Flórián Cirkusz are currently located at their winter accommodation. In a Facebook post about the park’s opening, the circus commented that “the beautiful environment and exotic animal park offers a unique opportunity for a safe outdoor experience”.

Animals at the safari park include elephants, giraffes, camels and two “zonkeys”, a cross between a zebra and a donkey. Videos from the circus’s account on TikTok, a popular video-based social media platform, show people feeding and interacting with the animals from their cars.

After closing down due to the coronavirus pandemic, the new safari experience is helping the circus to survive by continuing to entertain visitors from a distance.

Hungary has a long tradition of circus arts, with Budapest hosting an International Circus Festival every two years. The Hungarian National Circus was given an award last year which recognises those who follow best practice. A high level of animal welfare is included in the criteria used to judge the award alongside requirements for proper staff training.

The ethics of animal performance

Some animal rights groups, however, believe that even with assurances of high welfare, the use of animals in performances is damaging to their wellbeing. They say the pandemic could offer an opportunity for circuses to transition away from shows involving animals.

PETA is a group that has long campaigned for an end to using animals in circus shows. It states that the life of these creatures is well outside of the freedoms available to them in their natural environment and that using them for entertainment is exploitative.

“These long-suffering animals deserve to be retired to reputable sanctuaries,” PETA’s Senior Media Officer, Jennifer White told euronews Living, “but if they are now receiving proper care and have some semblance of freedom, that beats being chained, caged, and made to perform under threat of punishment.”

PETA urges the circus to “stop exploiting animals for the sake of entertainment and to use this time to train willing human entertainers – like jugglers, trapeze artists, fire-eaters, and clowns – who can dazzle crowds and don’t have to feel the sting of a whip to make them perform.”

Increasingly countries are moving towards circuses that see human performers take front and centre. After a rare white tiger allegedly escaped from its enclosure and was killed in Paris in 2017, the city voted to stop allowing acts involving wild animals. Coming into effect at the end of 2020, the legislation will be backed by a ‘financial support’ of €50,000 over three years, and will help circuses that agree to give up their animals to adapt to performances without them. While public opinion supports a nationwide ban, the rest of France is yet to make a decision on the issue.

The use of wild animals in circus performances is currently banned in 27 countries worldwide including The Netherlands, Greece, Scotland and England. The outlier in the UK is Wales, which is yet to bring in the legislation, but that is likely to change soon. Ahead of legislation that would win the country a place on this list, a report from the Welsh government concluded that any benefit to education was “at best likely to be marginal”.

The report found that interactive animal shows would be detrimental to public perceptions of wild animals, particularly for children, and prove a hindrance to conservation efforts.

Park Szafari was contacted for comment on the ethics of animal performance but is yet to respond.

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Rovio Entertainment Corporation: Repurchase of own shares on 22 May 2020 – GlobeNewswire

Rovio Entertainment Corporation – Repurchase of own shares on 22 May 2020Rovio Entertainment Corporation                 STOCK EXCHANGE RELEASE                   22 May 2020 AT 18:45 EETIn the Nasdaq HelsinkiDate                                                                                22 May 2020
Exchange transaction                                                       Buy
Share trading code                                                           ROVIO
Amount, shares                                                                49 483  
Average price/share, EUR                                                5,444125
Total cost, EUR                                                                269 391,62  
ROVIO now holds a total of 6 006 094 own shares (ROVIO) including the shares repurchased on 22 May 2020.On behalf of Rovio Entertainment CorporationOP Corporate Bank PlcMarko Niemi                                Ida KoskiFurther information:
Rene Lindell, CFO
+358 207 888 300
RovioIR@rovio.com
Distribution:
Nasdaq Helsinki Ltd
Key media
www.rovio.com
About Rovio:Rovio Entertainment Corporation is a global, games-first entertainment company that creates, develops and publishes mobile games, which have been downloaded 4.5 billion times so far. Rovio is best known for the global Angry Birds brand, which started as a popular mobile game in 2009, and has since evolved from games to various entertainment and consumer products in brand licensing. Today, Rovio offers multiple mobile games, animations and has produced The Angry Birds Movie, which opened number one in theatres in 50 countries. Its sequel, The Angry Birds Movie 2, released worldwide in August 2019. Rovio is headquartered in Finland and the company’s shares are listed on the main list of NASDAQ Helsinki stock exchange with the trading code ROVIO. (www.rovio.com)AttachmentRovio trades 22052020