Tag Archives: event insurance

How The Lawsuit Filed By Victims of Deadly SXSW Crash Will Impact Events

On March 13, 2014, Rashad Owens sped away from an officer after being stopped for suspicion of DWI and drove the wrong way on a one way street, plowing into a crowd of SXSW attendees, wounding 22 and killing 4.

On December 19, 2014, the victims and their families filed lawsuits against the two private companies that own the festival, SXSW Holdings INC, and SXSW LLC, the traffic design consultant SXSW hired to oversee the road closures, as well as Rashad Owens.

The victims and their families are claiming the tragedy was avoidable and as it was reported from local NBC affiliate KXAN, “[The lawsuits] claim SXSW
planners did not adhere to ‘industry standards’ for traffic control and took ‘inadequate’ steps that allowed ‘a dangerous opportunity’ for an errant vehicle to enter the festival zone and given Federal Transportation and Texas guidelines, that rigid barriers should have been deployed.”

With this deadly accident and recent lawsuit, one can only imagine how not only SXSW 2015 will be affected, but also how festivals and other special events nationwide will be changed to prevent future tragedies.

How Will SXSW Events Be Impacted?

In the case of SXSW, according to a report by the City of Austin released in September, crowd management issues, including traffic congestion, are the biggest problems. The
report also highlighted that two major issues that must be addressed are alcohol
consumption and over-programming for a venue’s capacity, whether that be indoor or
outdoor.

SXSW planners have long argued the problem is non-sanctioned “splinter” events that draw over-sized crowds with free alcohol into downtown venues that aren’t equipped to handle that many people. More than 75 temporary permits for events were issued during the 2014 festival in Austin’s central business district — an area that already has nearly 200 permanent establishments with liquor licenses — and in 2015, the city is looking for ways to rein in this number.

Members of the Austin Center for Events, the city’s regulatory authority for permitting
outdoor special events, have declined naming any specific course of action the city is
considering to further regulate the 2015 SXSW festival, but they have emphasized that public safety and the well-being of Austin’s residents and visitors are at the forefront of the decision-making process.

A Change.Org petition started just this month calls for at least the rigid barriers be added by SXSW organizers. The petition currently has 579 signatures.

As of January 6, 2015, the city of Austin’s music and entertainment division released an
interactive graphic
showing the various do’s and don’ts for the festival to dispel any myths about acquiring a permit for the 2015 South By Southwest festival.

2015 SXSW Events Permit Graphic

With the typical permit crunch running from now until mid-February, SXSW festival
organizers are hoping the graphic helps event planners and companies outside of Austin learn about the city’s regulations for the festival.

What Steps Can Be Taken To Prevent Similar Tragedies At Other Events?

As mentioned above, event organizers who are holding events near public roads should strongly consider the following:

– Use rigid barriers that can absorb and deflect vehicles away from massive crowds.

– Prepare an emergency plan that addresses potential dangers facing workers, including overcrowding, crowd crushing, being struck by attendees, violent acts and fire.

– Train all employees regarding emergency plans and also share them with local public safety agencies.

– Most importantly, it cannot be stressed enough how important it is to have the proper event insurance coverage for whatever your event may be.

Coachella Music and Arts Festival 2015 Lineup Announced

Celebrating its sixteenth year, Goldenvoice has announced the 2015 Coachella Music and Arts Festival lineup of artists and music fans of all ages will not be disappointed.

AC/DC, Jack White and Drake are each headliners for the three-day festival that takes place in Indio, California in April each year.

In addition to the headliners, highlights include Ride, Steely Dan, Tame Impala, Azealia Banks, Flying Lotus, Raekwon and Ghostface, Lykke Li, Caribou, Todd Terje, Action Bronson, Cloud Nothings, the Weeknd, Belle & Sebastian, Ratatat, FKA Twigs, SBTRKT, Tyler the Creator, Father John Misty, the War on Drugs, Run the Jewels, Swans, Parquet Courts, Perfume Genius, Florence and the Machine, St. Vincent, Jenny lewis, Jamie xx, Lil B, Mac DeMarco, Built to Spill, Panda Bear, Angel Olsen, and many more.

General Festival Passes go on sale Wednesday, Jan. 7th at Noon PT, starting at $435.

Coachella Music and Arts Festival 2015 Lineup

Say Goodbye To Event Seating Issues

You’ve chosen the venue, you have your list of attendees, and now comes the part that can get tricky: The event seating arrangement!

event seating

The participation, networking and dynamics of your event are all heavily influenced by the seating arrangement you choose so what is the right seating arrangement and table setup for your event?

Allow us to introduce you to SocialTables.

SocialTables helps event organizers plan, organize, and execute the diagramming and seating for their events. The software is in the cloud and can be accessed from any mobile device.

Event Seating Arrangement Tips from SocialTables
What is the best way to organize my attendee list before I arrange tables?

Two seating lists should be prepared: one in alphabetical order and one by table number. A copy of the seating chart for each table should also be provided to the catering staff. Having the seating chart allows for the catering staff to recognize important guests and serve them first (where appropriate), locate special meal orders, and locate an event
coordinator if necessary.

What table setup is more recommended for events if you want to
encourage networking – larger or smaller?

If it’s a collaborative meeting, groups of 2-3 are usually best, so pods or chevron style is great. If it’s a larger networking event, lounge setups and scattered cocktail tables are more conversational.

What are the benefits of assigned seats or assigned tables?

Depending on the objectives of the meeting or event, assigned seats or tables can be
beneficial. It creates a better guest experience by taking away the often uncomfortable “where should I sit?” debacle.

What are some good strategies for minimizing attendee dissatisfaction
regarding seating arrangements?

Setup a room for collaboration instead of classroom style for meetings or ballroom style for social events, this helps people feel more comfortable socializing and ultimately
happier!

We wish you all the best success in organizing your event seating and if you have a great experience with this seating tool or another, let us know! Tweet us at @insuringevents and tell us your experience.

Streamline Your Special Event In 4 Easy Steps

So you have decided to organize a special event but have no idea where to
begin!

In addition to acquiring Special Event Insurance for your event, we have
compiled 4 tips that will help you not only plan the event, but also make sure it goes on without issue.

RVNA Event tips word cloud

1) Create A Budget For Your Special Event

The easiest place to start when creating a budget is to ask yourself, “how much can I afford to spend on the event?” Set the amount you’d like to spend, and set the amount of money you could spend if you stretched the budget a bit. Then, create categories for each item you may need for your event and be sure not to forget the small stuff! Keep in mind tax and in some cases, tip amounts that could potentially put you over budget.

2) Delegate Tasks

Individuals organizing a special event quickly realize that when they spread themselves too thin, details inevitably get forgotten. The art of delegation is a must-have skill because by splitting up tasks and having certain staff or volunteers responsible for specific aspects, special event organizers can be sure that the devil is not left in the details.

3) Use a Project Management Software

Have a million post-its with to-dos for your event? Searching for that paper with the big idea on it? Employees/volunteers not keeping you up to date on their progress? Consider using a project management system! Cloud-based project management systems are cost-effective online solutions for event organizers that helps to share tasks, keep documents, and store conversations for your event all in one central place.

Some examples available are Basecamp, Smartsheet, and Podio, but there are a plethora of other programs that can be customized to fit whatever your specific needs are as an event organizer.

4) Create A Plan For Your Behind-The-Scenes Staff/Volunteers

Dedicate time to creating and fine-tuning procedures for the staff and volunteers who are assisting you with your event. If you were unable to complete the event yourself, is there a plan in place for someone to run the event without you? Are backup plans in place in case of an emergency? by prioritizing and streamlining the procedures behind the scenes, you can ensure that your event runs as planned.

We hope these 4 steps help YOU to put on your best special event possible and if you have any tips to share with fellow event organizers, tweet them to us at @InsuringEvents!

Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Announces All-Star Lineup

The 88th Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is set to be a star-studded event with performers ranging from Kiss and Sting, to the cast of Sesame Street.

Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade Turkey and Friends

In an announcement from Macy’s, the lineup will include Idina Menzel, Pentatonix, Nick Jonas, Lucy Hale, Becky G, Hilary Duff, Quvenzhané Wallis, Renee Fleming, Meghan Trainor, Miss USA 2014 Nia Sanchez, and many more. The Philadelphia Taney Dragons, the star Little League team, is set to lead the parade’s procession as well.

6 New Balloons Make Their Debut

For the parade balloons, six new characters are set to make their debut including, the
Pillsbury Doughboy, Paddington Bear, Pikachu, the Red Power Ranger, Thomas the Tank Engine, as well as Erupter from Skylanders.

The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is set to take place Thursday, Nov. 27 at 9 a.m. EST in New York City.

Lasers, Robots, and Games, Oh My! High Tech Carnival Comes To LA

Lasers, robots, and games, oh my! Two Bit Circus is bringing STEAM Carnival to Los Angeles this weekend and attendees are sure to be amazed and entertained at this one of a kind high tech carnival.

As highlighted on the event website, STEAM Carnival is a unique, high-energy event featuring tech-infused game attractions and carnival-inspired
entertainment to thrill, amuse, and re-imagine the way we learn.

What is the STEAM Carnival? What does STEAM mean?

STEAM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math. The event itself infuses over 90,000 square feet of space and features attractions that will thrill attendees of all ages.

Attractions include a midway full of lasers mazes, walls of buttons, fun games, a Fireball Dunk Tank, a robot bartender and many other interesting interactive experiences.

This inaugural event begins in Los Angeles at CRAFTED at the Port of Los Angeles starting Saturday 10/25 and ending Sunday 10/26.

In addition to the midway, there are also hands-on workshops, contests, and unique
carnival food.

STEAM Carnival 2014

Tickets start at $25 and attendees are given a time frame to attend to ensure they have the best STEAM experience.

Hayrides in Many States Face Few Regulations

Did you know? The regulation and inspection of hayrides are often left up to state or local municipalities, resulting in little to no regulation at all. Check out the article below from USA Today discussing recent hayride incidents.

USA Today
By Ryan Adair, WCSH-TV, Portland, Maine
October 13, 2014

MECHANIC FALLS, Maine — As authorities investigate the death of a teen this past weekend in a hayride accident that injured 22 others, some are taking a closer look at regulations that these seasonal businesses must follow.

No federal agency regulates hayrides. While the Maine State Fire Marshal’s Office inspects amusement park rides here, hayrides don’t require licensing, officials said.

“The injuries that occur with hayride accidents are usually quite significant because of the number of people involved and the size and weight of the equipment,” said Jeffrey Reiff, a Philadelphia personal-injury lawyer who has filed several suits against hayride operators.

Some states, including Tennessee, specifically exempt people participating in hayrides from wearing seat belts, according to a compilation of state vehicle occupant protection laws from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Others — including Connecticut, Texas and Wyoming — allow people to ride in an open-bed pickup or flatbed truck, an action normally prohibited, if they are on a hayride.

“The regulation, inspection of hayrides is often left up to state or local municipalities, and as a result, regulation varies from none to semi-good,” Reiff said.

Among other recent hayride accidents:

• Crystal Coffman, 35, of Park Hills, Mo., was seriously injured Oct. 4 when she fell off the fender of a tractor on which she was sitting during a hayride in Farmington, Mo. The tractor then ran over her.

• Robert Bentz, 59, of New London, Minn., died Sept. 6 when he fell between two hay racks tied together so a tractor could pull them for a hayride in Woods Township, Minn.

• Nine people went to the hospital in October of last year after a tractor-pulled hayride tipped over in Milford Township, Mich. The driver later was found to have a blood-alcohol level just below the legal limit and was charged with reckless driving.

• Eleven children were taken to the hospital in July 2013 after the arm that attached a trailer being used for a hayride to a tractor broke at a camp in Molino, Fla. The trailer then hit the rear of the tractor, causing the tractor to tip over and the trailer to crash into nearby trees.

• Eight people went to the hospital in June 2013 in Findlay Township, Pa., when a tractor pulling a hay wagon at an anniversary party overturned.

This past weekend, Cassidy Charette, 17, of Oakland, Maine, died of head injuries Saturday after the wagon in which she was riding careered down a hill in the woods, struck a tree and overturned.

Student Connor Garland, 16, of Belgrade, Maine, who had gone with Charette to Messalonskee High School’s homecoming the previous weekend, was the most seriously injured of the 22 and is now in fair condition. David Brown, 54 of South Paris, Maine, who was driving the 1979 Jeep that was towing the wagon, had surgery Saturday and was released from the hospital Sunday, authorities said.

About a half dozen other injured people remained hospitalized early Monday, but their injuries did not appear life threatening, said Sgt. Joel Davis of the state Fire Marshal’s Office. A mechanical problem caused the accident.

Brown is an experienced trucker who has a commercial driver’s license, according to a spokesman for Harvest Hills Farm, where the wreck occurred.

State fire marshal’s investigators are inspecting the Jeep to try to determine exactly what kept it from stopping on the hill, and state police have been calculating the passengers’ weight to determine if the hay wagon was overloaded, Davis said.

Read The Full Article

Concert Promoters Fight For Control Of The Greek Theatre

Things are getting heated between three of the largest venue promoters in Los Angeles over the beloved Greek Theatre in Griffith Park.

On one side is Live Nation/Ticketmaster, On the other, AEG and Nederlander Concerts.

What exactly is the issue between these moguls? For 39 years, Nederlander has held the 40-year contract to manage the city-owned Greek Theatre. The
family-owned company also manages the Pantages Theater, the Santa Barbara Bowl, City National Grove of Anaheim and more.

The Greek TheatreEnter Live Nation and AEG. The contract for the Greek is up for renewal in 2015. Live Nation is attempting to add the Greek Theatre to its holdings of L.A. venues like the Wiltern, the Palladium and House of Blues. The company also leases other venues including the
Hollywood Bowl, the Forum, and the Honda Center, among others.

AEG, which owns L.A. Live and through its subsidiary branch Goldenvoice owns and
operates Coachella and Stagecoach, has decided to partner with Nederlander in an
attempt to keep Live Nation from taking over the venue.

Live Nation has reportedly already secured the support of the Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks however, residents in the Los Feliz neighborhood that houses the
entrance to the Greek Theatre are siding with Nederlander.

Regardless of which company wins control of this venue, it is safe to say that the Greek Theatre will benefit. Nederlander has promised on their change.org petition many
upgrades including refurbishment of the Greek’s original 1930s columns, a new restaurant, upgraded concessions, a year-round cafe and “a comprehensive environmental impact plan to minimize the Greek’s impact on the environment.”

The fate of the Greek was to be announced this week but it’s been postponed until next week to allow for further public discussion.

NFL Draft Headed To Chicago With 3-Day Fan Festival In 2015

So long NYC! The NFL Draft is coming to the windy city in 2015.

“Chicago is pleased to welcome the 2015 NFL draft to America’s heartland,” Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said in a statement. “Next year, NFL fans from across the country will travel here or tune in as the future of their team is
decided in Chicago.”

Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University
flickr

The draft will be at the Auditorium Theatre of
Roosevelt University in Chicago from April 30 to May 2, a week earlier than last year and a week later than normal. New for 2015, There will be an outdoor fan festival for all three days of the draft in Grant Park and Congress Plaza.

“We are excited to have fans from throughout the Midwest
experience the NFL draft,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said in the statement. “We look forward to returning the event to the city of Chicago and working with the city, Choose Chicago, and the Chicago Sports Commission to create a weeklong celebration of football for our fans.”

This move of the draft came as a result of scheduling issues which forced the draft to be delayed this year and Radio City Music Hall to already booked in 2015 during the dates the NFL was considering for the event. Interestingly enough, Chicago is not a completely new location for this major NFL event. The NFL draft was originally held in Chicago in 1938, 1942-44, 1951, and 1962-64.

“There’s been so much interest in the draft,” said Chicago Bears chairman George H. McCaskey. “Just a couple years ago who would have thought that an event of this type would have the type of viewership that it has had? It has grown into a spectacle —
probably the biggest event of the offseason.”

What do you think about the NFL draft returning to Chicago? Tweet us @InsuringEvents

Stagecoach Music Festival Lineup Announced

Stagecoach Mane Stage
Celebrating its ninth year, Goldenvoice has announced the 2015 Stagecoach Music Festival lineup of artists and country fans will not be disappointed.

Tim McGraw, Miranda Lambert and Blake Shelton are each headliners for the three-day festival that takes place in Indio, California following Coachella earlier the same month.

In addition to McGraw, Lambert and Shelton, the 2015 Stagecoach lineup features a huge range of country music artists including, Jake Owen, The Band Perry, Dierks Bentley,
Jerrod Niemann, Eli Young Band, Kacey Musgraves, Kip Moore, ZZ Top, Merle Haggard, Sturgill Simpson, and many more!

Tickets go on sale next Tuesday, Oct. 14th at 10 am PT with three-day passes starting at $269.

StagecoachLineup2015

2015 Stagecoach Country Music Festival lineup:

Friday, April 24

Tim McGraw
Jake Owen
Kip Moore
Merle Haggard
Kacey Musgraves
The Devil Makes Three
Parmalee
The Time Jumpers, featuring Vince Gill, Dawn Sears, Kenny Sears & Ranger Doug Green
Sturgill Simpson
The Lone Bellow
Brothers Osbourne
Parker Millsap
The Handsome Family
Lydia Loveless
Pegi Young
Lindsay Lou & The Flatbellys
Cam Ochs

Saturday, April 25

Miranda Lambert
Dierks Bentley
Justin Moore
ZZ Top
Eli Young Band
Gregg Allman
Cassadee Pope
Cast of Nashville, featuring Charles Esten, Clare Bowen, and Chris Carmac
Steve Earle
The Cadillac Three
Mickey Gilley
Mac Davis
Nikki Lane
John Moreland
John & Jacob
The Quebe Sisters Band
Daniel Romano
Della Mae
Clare Dunn
Anais Mitchell
Old Salt Union

Sunday, April 26

Blake Shelton
The Band Perry
Sara Evans
George Thorogood and The Destroyers
Jerrod Neimann
Frankie Ballard
The Oak Ridge Boys
Hot Rize
Outlaws
Eric Burdon and the Animals
The Swon Brothers
Maddie & Tae
Chris Janson
Keith Anderson
Chatham County Line
Logan Brill
Luke Ameland
Ben Miller Band
Andrew Combs