FROM TC: I'm one of the lucky people in the New York area who still have electricity. My thoughts are with my many friends and colleagues up and down the eastern coast of the U.S. who are struggling to deal with the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. How much the storm damage will impact the arts is still being assessed, but here is a preliminary summation of where things stand:
Hurricane Sandy to cost live entertainment biz millions in lost profits, expenses
Ray Waddell, Billboard magazine, 10/29/12
With an ever-increasing number of live events being cancelled or postponed, stakeholders in the live entertainment industry are reviewing their insurance policies and contemplating big losses. Randy Phillips, president of AEG Live, the world's second-largest promoter, said: "It will have an impact on our budgets and earnings -- if even in the short term, since we average a couple of hundred shows a week in those markets that have had to hunker down while the storm passes through." Besides potential property damage, which is typically covered by insurance, promoters and venues are looking at the prospect of millions of dollars in lost marketing and promotion expenses in some of the most expensive media markets in the country. For them, and artists, profits could also slip away. Most venues don't carry insurance for loss of revenue due to a weather cancelation, though policies differ widely. "Depending on how it's worded, something like this would typically invoke the force majeure clause, and the [promoter] would not have to pay the guarantee to the artist," says [Paul Bassman, president of Dallas-based entertainment insurance firm Doodson Insurance Brokerage]. "But [the promoter] would still be out all kinds of money for marketing and promotion, not to mention lose out on the profit potential for that show." Big companies like Live Nation, AEG Live, and Bowery Presents -- the three most active in the New York metropolitan area -- are well-insulated from serious weather events, Bassman says. "It's the one-time promoter that's going to get crushed."
Hurricane forces Broadway theaters to go dark for a third day
Seth Abramovitch, The Hollywood Reporter, 10/29/2012
Sometimes, the show must not go on. As New York begins to feel the brute force of Hurricane Sandy, representatives for the Great White Way have announced that all Broadway performances will go dark for a third consecutive day. After announcing that Sunday and Monday evenings' performances had been canceled, a statement from the Broadway League says that Tuesday night's performances have been called off, as well. "As a result of the suspension of public transportation by government authorities and additional safety precautions implemented due to severe weather on behalf of Hurricane Sandy, all Broadway performances on Tuesday evening, October 30th will be canceled," the statement reads. The three-day closure is a significant one for a non-strike-related event. Hurricane Irene caused a 48-hour Broadway theater shutdown in 2011, and the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center in 2001 also resulted in a two-day closure of all Broadway theaters. The theater district was fully alight -- albeit with dimmed marquees -- and reporting 60-70% occupancies on the Thursday following the attacks.
Films & TV shows feel impact of Hurricane Sandy, too
Kara Warner, MTV News, 10/29/12
Hurricane Sandy's impact is already being felt in Hollywood via a slew of production closures in many northeastern cities. Warner Bros, CBS, NBC and Showtime halted filming on a multitude of their TV shows, including: "Gossip Girl," "Person of Interest," "The Good Wife," "Elementary," "30 Rock," "Smash" and Philadelphia-based "Infamous." In addition, WB has delayed the start of filming on the big screen adaptation of "A Winter's Tale," and the Long Island-based set of "Noah" has been shut down, which star Emma Watson remarked upon with a cheeky tweet: "I take it that the irony of a massive storm holding up the production of Noah is not lost," she wrote. So how will all these closures and production delays affect box-office numbers and release schedules? "This isn't good news for "Cloud Atlas," "Fun Size," "Chasing Mavericks" and "Silent Hill: Revelation," Phil Contrino of BoxOffice.com said. "They won't really have a chance to rebound after opening to disappointing numbers this past weekend." Contrino went on to say that the storm could impact ticket sales for next weekend's numbers. "That means that openings...could be softer than expected," he added. "But they are also strong movies that shouldn't have a problem rebounding." At this point, it is too early to project what the overall impact Sandy will be, coupled with the fact that movie-ticket sales generally don't break records on or around Halloween. And, according to a spokesperson from online ticket retailer Fandango.com, filmgoers generally seem more focused on future releases rather than current ones, as the top three ticket-sellers as of Monday morning on Fandango are "Breaking Dawn - Part 2," "Wreck-It Ralph" and "Skyfall."
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FROM TC: For those of you looking for a little distraction and perhaps a little levity, here are these additional items...
Artists' "wind map" project provides real-time Hurricane Sandy art
Benjamin Sutton, ArtInfo, 10/29/12
New media artists Fernanda Viégas and Martin Wattenberg's "Wind Map" has been a mesmerizing data visualization web art project since it launched earlier this year, but in light of the current historic weather patterns it's proving to also be a beautiful -- if ominous -- real-time visualizer of Hurricane Sandy. As Wattenberg writes on his site: "An invisible, ancient source of energy surrounds us -- energy that powered the first explorations of the world, and that may be a key to the future. The wind map shows the delicate tracery of wind flowing over the US. [We] created the wind map in the cold winter months when wind was much on our minds. It conveys the movement of the air in the most basic way: with visual motion. As an artwork that reflects the real-world, its emotional meaning changes from day to day. On calm days it can be a soothing meditation on the environment; during hurricanes it can become ominous and frightening."
Art installation of 'flooded' McDonald's is used for a fake photo online
Global News [Edmonton, Canada]. 10/29/12
If you're looking for real-time Twitter photos of Hurricane Sandy, you may not want to believe everything you see. Fake storm photos regularly crop up during major storms, and this year is no different. [One] photo says it's a McDonald's in Virginia that is flooded due to Hurricane Sandy. In reality, the photo is part of an art installation that the British paper The Telegraph wrote about.
From Time.com: Even though comedian Louis CK had initially told fans via email that, although refunds would be offered, his Sunday night New York City show would still go forward, that resolve was soon reconsidered. In a heartfelt and hilarious open letter on his blog, he explains:
Comedian keeps his sense of humor as he postpones 2 shows due to hurricane
Dear New York ticket holding folks....
Okay. I thought about this very carefully and I really started to worry about making 4300 people come into midtown manhattan on Sunday night, which is just when the stormatron 5000 is supposed to crush our empire. new york state has ordered the shutdown of all mass transit... as of 7pm Sunday night. I know that a lot of people are excited to come and they are fine with taking the chance but I really don't want a pole to smash your face in because you saw some comedy. So i asked the City Center (where the shows are supposed to happen) if we could find another date for Sunday's shows and they gave me March 2nd....Listen. I know that probably it's going to be a starry clear night and the trains are going to be just gliding up and down the traks and a baby zebra is going to whinny as he trots by the City Center on a night that is going to break records for being placid and perfect for a night of comedy. And I'm going to feel like an asshole. And I know that some people had their plans set and are going to be pissed off at me. I know. but I also know that some of you are struggling with whether to come in or miss the show and this is the closest I can get to a solution.... If it's any consolation, I'm eating a pretty staggering fee for cancelling the show. But I can take it. What I can't take is the thought that there's a CHANCE 4300 people will be in danger trying to get home from my stupid show....So that's that. Cancelled. Rescheduled. Please forgive me. Please be safe.
Your dumb friend, Louis CK