Can The Santa Monica Pier Become A Great Concert Venue?

Analysis: Jackson case will change the tune for concert, artist insurance

| Getty Get Entertainment Newsletters: Subscribe Follow: Ed Sheeran , Ed Sheeran You Oughta Know , Matt Nathanson , The Lumineers , VH1 You Oughta Know , Emeli Sande , Haim , Johnnyswim , Lorde , Lorde You Oughta Know , The Lumineers You Oughta Know , You Oughta Know , You Oughta Know Concert , You Oughta Know Show , Entertainment News NEW YORK — NEW YORK (AP) The Lumineers, Lorde and Ed Sheeran will perform at a concert Nov. 11 to celebrate VH1’s “You Oughta Know” campaign. “You Oughta Know” highlights emerging musicians and launched in 2005. VH1 announced Friday that Scottish R&B singer Emeli Sande and rock sister trio Haim also will perform at New York’s Roseland Ballroom for the event. The concert will stream live online and will premiere Nov. 21 on VH1. Singer-songwriter Matt Nathanson and married duo Johnnyswim also will hit the stage. Past “You Oughta Know” artists include Adele, Bruno Mars, Amy Winehouse and Mumford & Sons. New Zealand singer Lorde currently has the No. 1 song on the Billboard Hot 100 chart with “Royals,” and Sheeran and the Lumineers earned nominations in top Grammy categories earlier this year. ____

Dumb rule: Banning smartphone concert pictures

I understand the artists side of the argument. Theyre probably tired of having their pictures taken or dont want an on-stage goof or misstep to go viral across YouTube. But they are inviting the public to view them in concert and expect us to pay a princely sum for the privilege. Its pointless to care whether the lens is an eyeball or a camera. When Dylans rep took the stage to asked concertgoers to enjoy an analog experience (i.e., without smartphones), she got a healthy round of boos. And despite security efforts, plenty of people shot videos and pictures during the show. Bottom line: This is a rule that is simply impossible to police. So, maybe there could be some common-sense compromises. Concertgoers could be encouraged to take pictures and videos only during the first song (which is when professional photographers shoot). And encores are already a free-for-all: From my experience, there is no effort to stop fans from rushing the stage and holding up their smartphones when a show is about to end. That leaves most of the concert for old-fashioned, artist-to-audience communication.

In the future, the star or his promoter may be required to carry separate insurance on his entourage. “The biggest stars all have doctors and their own staff,” said Lorrie McNaught, senior vice president at Aon/Albert G. Ruben Insurance Services Inc, a large entertainment insurance firm, which has handled many of the world’s biggest tours over the last 12 months. “If you have a security guard who winds up punching someone in the face or kills someone, who is responsible? “Is it the artist, the bodyguard, the promoter? I think promoters will require stars to indemnify their own staff,” said McNaught. “Even if AEG was not held responsible, I still think this case will make attorneys find ways to tighten contracts.” An attorney for Lloyds of London involved in the Michael Jackson case declined comment for this story. The price of premiums also may go up, according to one concert producer who did not want his name used. Currently, promoters pay 3 percent to 5 percent of the value of the policy, meaning that AEG paid between $530,000 and $875,000 for the $17.5 million policy it took out with Lloyds of London for Jackson’s “This is It” tour. AEG, which had initially sought to collect on the $17.5 million policy after Jackson’s death canceled the tour, dropped a claim against Lloyds amid revelations in leaked emails that show AEG executives were concerned about his stability ahead of his planned London comeback tour. Insurers routinely send doctors to do medical exams — and occasionally hire investigators for background checks– before placing multi-million dollar policies for the stars. After the Jackson trial, the reams of information they need will skyrocket, said Adam Steck, CEO of SPI Entertainment, who recently brokered a deal for an 18-show run by rocker Meatloaf at Planet Hollywood in Vegas, starting September 26. “We’re in a high risk business, said Steck.

Concert photos by the L.A. Times

The gig drew 30,000 people, according to some estimates. But this year the promoters expanded the menu with a slate of ticketed festivals, including All Bands on Deck! (with indie acts such as Poolside and Yacht) and September’s Beach Ball (featuring Aloe Blacc and Sly & Robbie). This weekend the pier is to host Way Over Yonder, an inaugural two-day roots-music event connected to the venerable Newport Folk Festival with performances Saturday and Sunday by Neko Case, Conor Oberst and Calexico. And Oct. 19 will bring the comedy-based Festival Supreme, assembled by Jack Black and his mock-rock band Tenacious D. The shows are part of what pier official Jay Farrand called “a larger effort to get people to take a second look at the pier to think of it not just as somewhere you take Grandma from Kansas.” But for Frank and Fleischmann whose respective companies, Spaceland and Rum & Humble, put on concerts at the Echo and the Hollywood Bowl, among other spots the activity also reflects their desire to establish a new home for music on the Westside, where a dearth of large and mid-sized venues intensified with the closing this summer of the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium. PHOTOS: Unexpected musical collaborations “People here need a place where they can gather in large numbers for music,” said Fleischmann, who pointed to high rents and restrictive permitting as reasons the Westside generally lacks such spaces. The century-old Santa Monica Pier, an instantly identifiable but historically significant landmark, makes for a complex solution to that problem. Jay Sweet, who supervises the Newport Folk Festival, said the pier appealed to him for Way Over Yonder because it’s an “iconic place that’s not a traditional music venue” similar to Fort Adams State Park in Rhode Island, where Newport has taken place since 1959. “There’s an overall vibe there,” said Cliff’s manager, Ernie Gonzalez, who added that the pier attracts an audience more diverse than at other venues. “I went to a show recently at the Greek Theatre with an artist who’s been around for as long as Jimmy,” he said. “And it was kind of the obvious demographic. But at the pier it was all across the board.” Yet there are also structural limitations the stage for Way Over Yonder had to be designed according to load-bearing considerations and the long-established reluctance of arty Eastsiders to travel west.