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30 Years Ago, SoundScan Completely Upended The Pop Music Business

"On May 25, 1991 — 30 years ago Tuesday — Billboard … started counting album sales with scanners and computers and whatnot, and not just calling up record stores one at a time and asking them for their individual counts, often a manual and semi-accurate and flagrantly corrupt process. … Virtually overnight, SoundScan changed the rules on who got...

‘Let The People Pee Without Missing A Note!’ — Maybe Doing Two-Hour Operas With No Intermission Isn’t Such A Good Idea

For its first post-pandemic performances this fall, Lyric Opera of Chicago — based, it seems, on feedback from potential audience members and official guidelines last year — decided to keep all performances under two-and-a-half hours and eliminate intermission. When he reported this, writes Chris Jones, "my mailbox immediately filled up with one burning question from Chicago's opera fans: When...

Smaller Museums Across U.S. Try To Reach Communities They’ve Missed Before

"This is an existential moment for museums across America, with many facing yawning budget deficits alongside calls for deep structural change — and visitors only trickling back through their doors as the pandemic's chill on cultural life slowly lifts. For some directors of small and midsize museums, the events of the last 12 months have given fresh urgency to...

France Takes Its €300 Culture Pass For Young People Nationwide

"After a regional trial run, French president Emmanuel Macron is launching his program to fund cultural activities for young people nationally. Culture Pass, as the initiative is called, is now open to all 18 year olds in France, and will be extended to high schools across the nation in 2022." - Artnet

Movie Theatres Are Begging Audiences To Return

Apparently, 70 percent of the moviegoing public - which is, let's note, far higher than the percentage of fully vaccinated people in the U.S. - feel comfortable going to reopened movie theatres now. This week, "before the studios showed off trailers for their upcoming slate of movies, Schwarzenegger led the audience in a chant: 'We are back. We...

Will Audiences Return To Movie Theatres?

Like so many businesses, the movie theater industry has been ravaged by the economic effects of the pandemic. Theaters were starved of audiences when lockdowns went into effect, and studios delayed new releases or, in some cases, put them out on streaming services. Some chains have shut down and others have declared bankruptcy. AMC Entertainment’s chief executive, Adam Aron,...

Radio City Music Hall Set To Reopen At 100% Capacity, No Masks Required

The first scheduled event is the finale of this year's Tribeca Film Festival on June 19. Only vaccinated people will be admitted. And how will management ensure that patrons are telling the truth about their shots? Said CEO James Dolan, "That's a really good question, I have no idea." - The New York Times

There’s A Brief Post-Lockdown Window For Britons To See Their Museums Devoid Of Tourist Throngs

And that seems like something to celebrate, and take advantage of, to a lot of museum directors. "We know that all museums’ audiences will be more local, which offers a great opportunity for arts and culture to sit at the heart of their communities, especially where those communities have experienced such hardship over the past year." - The Observer...

We Need Unconventional Art Now More Than Ever

After 15 months of COVID-19 restrictions, deaths, infections, fear, and all kinds of life challenges, we must have more public art. "It does a simple but essential thing: reminds everyday people that they are not alone in this bizzarro moment, and miraculously and fortunately, they are still alive and kicking." - Hyperallergic

NPR Is Starting To Put Its Most Popular Podcasts On Traditional Radio

The traffic started out the other way, of course, with over-the-air programs being released as or adapted into podcasts. "But podcasting has turned into an incubator of sorts for new radio shows, with several now making their way to local airwaves. … Starting out as a podcast offers show creators a chance to explore and experiment while also building...

Hollywood Is Now Producing Companion Podcasts To Movies And TV Series

Why? Money, of course: to put it in business-speak, the companion podcast "offers a new way for creators to diversify IP assets." What's the draw? "People want to spend more time thinking and talking about the shows that they're watching, whether they're binge-watching it or watching it once a week," says HBO's director of podcasts. "It's on their mind,...

As Broadway Prepares To Reopen, Here’s How It Will (And Won’t) Be Operating Differently

"Ticket-buyers are being told they will be required to wear face masks (although it's not clear how changing advice from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention might affect that expectation). Theaters will have upgraded HVAC systems with virus-trapping filters. Most ticketing will be digital. And theaters are reserving the right to impose a variety of safety protocols" —...

Performance Venues And Museums In UK May Reopen Next Monday (Though Many Will Not)

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced the lifting of a series of pandemic-related restrictions as of May 17; the new measures include the reopening of theatres, cinemas, concert halls, museums, and similar venues. However, social distancing requirements and capacity limits will still be in place, and many theatres say they can't afford to reopen to only half-full houses. -...

La Scala Is Opening Again

With a 500-person limit, a record high in private funding, new digital streaming infrastructure, and a mandate to be more ecologically conscious, the Milan opera house and its new artistic director, Dominique Meyer, are ready to put the horrible experience of 2020 behind them. - The New York Times

NFTs Are The Newest Tulipmania

"Art NFTs put me in mind of film auteur Werner Herzog’s distinction between the 'truth of accountants' and 'ecstatic truth.' NFT mavens wax lyrical about the 'authenticity' of these tokens as if they are trading a semi-divine quality, yet the authenticity encoded by an NFT is the same kind encoded by a transaction number on a credit card statement....

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