As the summer months reveal a very different reality from what we were expecting, theatres, concert halls, promoters, agents and artists are dealing with unprecedented uncertainty. Where force majeure seems to be the norm rather than the exception some questions need to be asked:
Should contracts now be changed in this post-pandemic world, with upfront part-payments instead of performance fees?
Should the agent-artist relationship change from commission model to monthly retainer – representing the Artist Manager’s work between contracts and before rehearsals start?
To what extent should free streaming and online activity continue, when social distancing reduces the economic viability of performing as we know it?
Is paid-for streaming, as a complement to reduced audience capacity, a useful model as we move from downloads and ownership, to streaming and access? If so, how much of this would get to the performing artist?
I look forward to exploring these questions and the inevitable curveballs that our changing landscape will uncover. Through all this, and continuing conversations with colleagues across IAMA and Opera Europa, there seems to be a willingness to understand pressures on all sides to navigate a way through the next few years and retain the very special nature of our industry and the joy it brings to so many people across the world.