Not Everyone Is Cancelling

There’s nothing quite like a topic grenade to round out the week. Today’s entry comes from Fort Worth where the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra (FWSO) recently announced they intend to produce live, indoor concert events in the fall with heavily reduced audiences and strict social distancing rules.

Before anyone decides to jump on the pro/con bandwagon, think back to June when we looked at efforts underway at the Dallas Symphony to explore options for performance activity, whether it be for live audiences, live broadcast, or recording.

A Glimpse Into Life Back In The Hall

I hope that the FWSO, and any other orchestra considering live concert activity before the end of 2020, is keeping a very close eye on what’s unfolding with Project RESTART-19, a multi-disciplinary research effort in Germany to identify conditions necessary to safely restart live performance events.

The RESTART-19 project is intended to identify possible framework conditions under which artists and athletes can play and perform again after September 30, 2020, without these events endangering the population. In addition, it should be examined which optimization processes and technical changes may be necessary in the event halls in order to minimize the risk.

German Researches Plan Live Event To Study COVID-19 Transmission

About Drew McManus

"I hear that every time you show up to work with an orchestra, people get fired." Those were the first words out of an executive's mouth after her board chair introduced us. That executive is now a dear colleague and friend but the day that consulting contract began with her orchestra, she was convinced I was a hatchet-man brought in by the board to clean house.

I understand where the trepidation comes from as a great deal of my consulting and technology provider work for arts organizations involves due diligence, separating fact from fiction, interpreting spin, as well as performance review and oversight. So yes, sometimes that work results in one or two individuals "aggressively embracing career change" but far more often than not, it reinforces and clarifies exactly what works and why.

In short, it doesn't matter if you know where all the bodies are buried if you can't keep your own clients out of the ground, and I'm fortunate enough to say that for more than 15 years, I've done exactly that for groups of all budget size from Qatar to Kathmandu.

For fun, I write a daily blog about the orchestra business, provide a platform for arts insiders to speak their mind, keep track of what people in this business get paid, help write a satirical cartoon about orchestra life, hack the arts, and love a good coffee drink.

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