Grouplove Certified Climate Positive by United Nations

The United Nations certified Grouplove as climate positive, making them the first U.S. band to achieve this honor.

Grouplove partnered with Chooose, which offers subscriptions to reduce CO2, for their upcoming tour, though the run has been postponed due to coronavirus concerns.

“Unlike our president, we trust in science and want to lower our carbon footprint,” frontwoman Hannah Hooper told Rolling Stone. “We found Chooose to help us do this. We hope you are doing your part in taking care of our beautiful planet.”

The news comes on the heels of their new album, fittingly titled Healer, which dropped on Friday (March 13).

Mexico’s ‘Vive Latino’ Music Festival Forges on Despite Coronavirus

The Mexican festival Vive Latino has no plans of shutting down this weekend, says Jordi Puig, Vive Latino founder and director.

The long-running festival in Mexico City begins return Saturday and Sunday, bringing together bands from around the world to six stages with attendance for each of the two days typically approaching 100,000. Headlining the festival this year is Guns N’ Roses, but not every band is showing up, as some are canceling their turn at the iconic festival and making those announcements on social media.

“Yes, there will be some cancellations, but festivals are all about the experience and for now we’re moving forward,” Puig says. “Authorities (Mexican government) are telling us that we are in Phase 1 and we can move forward and that’s what we’re doing.”

Puig says the festival is relaying key information through its social media platforms. Additionally, he says, the venue is equipped with hand sanitizers throughout the Foro Sol, but the festival is taking place Saturday and Sunday without interruption.

“This is changing hour to hour,” Puig said. “We will keep people in the loop through our social media platforms.”


Lightning In a Bottle 2020 Postponed Due to Coronavirus

On Friday (March 13), Lightning In a Bottle announced that its 2020 event is being postponed due to the coronavirus. The festival was set to take place in Buena Vista Lake, Calif., over Memorial Day weekend, May 20-25. Headliners included Kaytranada, James Blake, Four Tet, Sylvan Esso and more.

While not canceling outright, festival producers the Do Lab did not offer an alternative date for the event, stating, “We are unfortunately not able to provide further details on LIB’s future status at this time.” An email sent out by The Do Lab this evening stated that they are “a small, family run business and we humbly ask for your patience as we determine our next steps.” Read the complete statement below.

It is with a heavy heart that we must share the news that this year’s Lightning in a Bottle Festival is not able to take place on Memorial Day Weekend at Buena Vista Lake. As the Novel Coronavirus has spread, we have been consulting with officials in Kern County and paying attention to the guidelines put out by state authorities. As you may have heard the State of California is now urging the halting of all mass gatherings over 250 people and we are now in a National Emergency. In addition, we are aware that the significant county resources we depend on to produce a safe event cannot be guaranteed to be available in the coming months for non-essential services. The health and safety of our attendees, our amazing staff, crew, vendors, artists and supporters is priority number one. In light of all this, it has become clear that putting on the festival in May is not currently possible.  

These are unprecedented times and no one knows exactly what tomorrow will bring. We’re absolutely heartbroken to not be able to offer the light of LIB during these trying times and the decision to take this extraordinary step has been a very difficult one. We are acutely aware that the ripple effects of this action combined with the massive disruption to the entire events industry will be felt for some time. Our hearts go out to everyone that won’t be able to build stages, sell their handcrafted goods, make amazing art that touches souls, play the music that someone will fall in love to and especially to all the attendees that won’t have a chance to have that Memorial Day festival experience that could change the course of their lives forever. To all of you, we say hang in there. This too will pass.
Beyond losing the Memorial Day date for LIB 2020, we are unfortunately not able to provide further details on LIB’s future status at this time. The situation remains fluid and we are working through various scenarios to determine our options. The Do LaB is a small, family run business and we humbly ask for your patience as we determine our next steps. One thing we do know is that we’ll never stop creating art and magical experiences for the beautiful LIB community.
In the meantime please look after one and other, wash your hands, keep creating art and share some joy with the world. We’ll keep you posted with information as we have it.

Former Monsta X Member Wonho Cleared of All Charges

K-pop star Wonho has been cleared of all charges by Seoul police in an investigation into allegations of past drug usage.

On Friday (March 13), Starship Entertainment announced that the former Monsta X member had been cleared of all charges by the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency after an investigation was launched against him last year following a series of allegations made against him.

“During the investigation, Wonho actively cooperated with the police and all investigation procedures, including scientific examinations by the investigative agencies,” reads a statement from Starship. “The Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency’s drug investigation unit conducted extensive investigations for the past five months but was unable to find any charges. Finally, on March 10th, Wonho’s internal investigation was concluded.”

Though the singer, who is known as both Lee and Shin Ho-seok legally but has used the stage name “Wonho” for his entire career, left Monsta X and halted his career as an artist last year, Starship’s statement hints to a renewed future path for the beloved star, whose departure from Monsta X amid the investigation resulted in widespread protests from fans. “We will continue to fully support Wonho for developing his own career in the future,” said Starship. At this time, there is no clarification regarding what his “own career in the future” entails.

Wonho most recently participated in Monsta X’s English-language All About Luv LP, which debuted at No. 5 on the Billboard 200 in February.

Brands, Sponsors Feel Coronavirus Effect: ‘The Event Industry Is Not a Safe Place Right Now’

We Are BMF, a New York-based music-marketing agency that focuses on corporate branding for events, spent much of this year planning South by Southwest showcases for Disney, Schweppes and Mastercard. When the coronavirus scare forced the Austin festival to abruptly cancel last week for the first time in its 34-year history, the agency had nothing left to do but count its losses.

“We’re calculating the dollars that were spent and what we have left,” says Brian Feit, founding partner of the company, which puts on 350 annual events in 16 countries. “The event industry is not a safe place right now.”

In the uncertain COVID-19 era, brands and agencies are anxiously waiting to find out if they can recoup sponsorship losses from large events like SXSW, Coachella and NBA games via makeup dates. Corporate contracts “cover us in termination cases,” Feit says, but not 100%. “It’s day-by-day,” he adds. “It is a little impactful for us if there’s a slowdown of events.”

Huge companies like Apple and Microsoft spend hundreds of millions of dollars annually on advertising, according to an agency source, so a SXSW cancellation is “certainly shocking, but it’s tiny in relation to their overall advertising market.” More vulnerable are small agencies reliant on concerts and festivals. Another agency source says middleman dealmakers may not sign contracts, even multimillion-dollar ones, until a few days before events like SXSW or Coachella, so cancellations can be devastating. “Everything is hard,” this source says. “Often agencies don’t get paid until three months after the services, so they’re left holding the bag.”

How will these agencies survive? “I don’t know,” says the source. “It’s very scary to think about.”

Rick Faigin, executive vp of Los Angeles marketing company Acceleration Advisory, who recently linked Ariana Grande and T-Mobile for a tour-sponsorship deal, says certain SXSW branding costs were “probably done and on a truck to Austin,” while others, like final payment to venues, could potentially be salvaged. “In most cases, you aren’t getting anything. The best you’re getting is an IOU for next year,” adds Rishad Tobaccowala, a former chief strategist for French marketing company Publicis Groupe who is now an author and motivational speaker. “So you just eat it.”

Like many brands and agencies, We Are BMF is trying to “pivot our thinking” from major events with large crowds to smaller, more intimate gatherings and digital happenings, Feit says. “This short-term time period, we’re thinking, ‘How do we reach the consumer, either at an event at their house, or through digital?’ But I do hope this isn’t a permanent shift.”

Brand Innovators, a Los Angeles agency that hosts 100 annual events, had planned five days of Mastercard-sponsored events at Austin restaurant Lambert’s during SXSW, including a performance by Swedish folk duo Good Harvest. Brandon Gutman, the company’s co-founder and co-CEO, is waiting for the festival to explain how it might “pay back those brands or provide credits.” The agency was able to recoup some of its festival losses via airfare credits and an accommodating local hotel and is planning smaller events in Austin throughout 2020. More importantly, he adds, the agency is helping brands switch from SXSW to local “intimate events.”

“What [brands] need to do is say, ‘OK, if we can go into 10 markets in 10 cities and host 100 or 200 people,’ you multiply those experiences and they can actually be a much larger than that one grand concert,” Gutman says. “Now they have full control. They’re the only brand in the room.”

Nathan Hanks, founder and CEO of Music Audience Exchange, a marketing company that puts artists and brands together for online events, doesn’t plan to “skip a beat.” He’s helping artists who are “hammered” from canceled festivals and shows to film performances for digital distribution. “It’s kind of crazy,” he says, “but we may be seeing the beginning of a new normal.”

Hanks predicts that “you’ll see a lot of experiential budgets go away and less money being deployed in the quarter.” Still, brands and agencies won’t say whether they’ve pulled back on 2020 sponsorship budgets for festivals and tours. “It’s too early to understand the impact,” Faigin says. “The hope is, in the next three weeks or month and a half, we have a lot more visibility.”

The uncertainty has confused brands, agencies and the entire live-event industry about whether coronavirus is an inflection point for overhauling the business or a blip that will disappear. “This is a shock that makes you change the way you think,” Tobaccowala says. “That is always risky.”


OneRepublic Questions Lost Love on ‘Didn’t I,’ Announces New Album

OneRepublic unveiled the music video for their latest single “Didn’t I” on Friday (March 13).

In the clip, a forlorn Ryan Tedder belts out the lovesick ode to a former flame as he wanders through a moody, sun-dappled estate. “Didn’t I, didn’t I, didn’t I love you?/ Didn’t we, didn’t we, didn’t we fly?/ Know that I, know that I still care for you/ But didn’t we, didn’t we say goodbye?” he asks on the track’s looping chorus.

“Didn’t I” is set to be featured on the pop band’s fifth studio album, Human, which will be released May 8 via Interscope Records. The forthcoming LP was preceded by lead single “Rescue Me” as well as previously released tracks “Somebody to Love” and “Wanted.”

The announcement comes just one week after Tedder confirmed he’ll also be returning for season 2 of NBC’s hit songwriting competition show Songland alongside Ester Dean and Shane McAnally.

Check out the video for “Didn’t I” below.