Festival secures its future

Introduction

LONDON–All devoted parents have problems letting go of their offspring. Ask pioneering British music-festival organizer Michael Eavis.

His baby is the world-famous, U.K.-based hedonistic Glastonbury Festival, which turns 32 years old in June. The festival’s headliners have included such big names as David Bowie, Lenny Kravitz, and Tom Jones. But recently, it has faced potential closure as a result of crowd-control problems.

On Feb. 13, Eavis agreed to reduce his 100% interest in the festival and hand over a 20% stake to the Mean Fiddler Group (MPG), the U.K. music festival! promoter owned by British entrepreneur Vince Power.

In exchange, according to a joint statement, MPG will “take on the operational management role,” including security, to protect Glastonbury Festival’s future.

But a few days later, Eavis was having second thoughts. He admits to Billboard that the deal, which gave MPG management and operational control, as well as the option to increase its stake to 40% after three years, meant he would lose artistic control.

His reaction was “an emotional sort of thing,” he says. “Glastonbury [Festival] is a very English affair. It’s not just a music festival–it’s part of the youth culture in this country and in the U.S. I wanted to hang on as tightly as possible after more than 30 years. It’s all been resolved now.”

Effectively, MPG has taken a 16% stake in the festival, while the Workers Beer Co., a fundraising organization that operates beer tents at festivals, has taken a 4% share. Profits will be divvied up in those proportions after the festival has made its traditional donations to various charities, such as Oxfam and Greenpeace.

MPG managing director and former Glastonbury Festival employee Melvin Benn will take on the additional role of the festival’s new operations director.

MFG will now handle security and licensing compliance, Eavis explains. “We will still do all the entertainment bits. [Benn’s] involvement is essential and will add value. We can trust him, and that’s why it’s going to work very well.”

Industry observers consider the move an astute one. MPG, an established publicly quoted company that promotes such. major brands as the Reading and Leeds Festivals and the Fleadh in the U.S., will bring much-needed experience.

In 2000, Glastonbury Festival was fined [pounds sterling]6,000 ($8,700) and asked to pay [pounds sterling]9,000 ($13,000) in costs after an estimated 100,000 non-ticket-h gate-crashed an event that already had 140,000 legitimate spectators.

The resulting havoc became a serious crowd-safety issue, as fans without tickets entered by breaking down the seven-mile fence surrounding the venue on Eavis’ 1,000-acre Worthy Farm in Somerset, Southwest England.

It was also the same year that nine people were tragically crushed to death at the Roskilde Festival in Denmark (Billboard Bullatin, July 6,2000).

The local Avon & Somerset police force and Mendip District. Council–the local authority that granted the required public-entertainment license–threatened to put a stop to the festival unless security facilities were vastly improved.

Last year’s event was canceled amid ongoing concern from the police and local authorities about audience safety. Eavis instead held a virtual version that was Webcast on the Internet in a joint venture with Play-louder, a U.K. online technology company and a former Glastonbury sponsor.

Eavis has since Spent more than $2 million on a 20-foot-high impenetrable steel barrier designed to keep out non-ticket-holders. By Feb. 26, he says, more than 30,000 tickets had already been sold of the 100,000 available at [pounds sterling]100 ($145) each for this year’s three-day event, to be held June 28-30.

Festival adds promo punch

Introduction

TORONTO Teenagers cling to the wire fence encircling the Citytv-MuchMusic-Bravo compound, peering across the parking lot at the revelers schmoozing under a large white tent on the second night of the Toronto Intl. Film Festival. “I don’t see anybody famous,” pouts one trendy young woman.

Had she staked out a less conspicuous entry, she would have seen Kevin Spacey being whisked away to the second-floor balcony-cum-VIP lounge that overlooks the throngs below.

William Hurt and Matthew Modine have also bypassed the parking lot party to mingle inside the marbled halls, while Kim Basinger and Alec Baldwin are caught by the cameras as soon as they cross the threshold, and broadcast live during the 90-minute, on-air “Festival Schmooze” that marks Citytv’s most significant marketing opportunity.

For director of communications Mary Powers, Citytv’s de facto minister of propaganda, it’s a fabulous chance to introduce another few hundred potential clients and countless TV viewers to hip, alternative Planet Znaimer. Sponsoring the Toronto Film Festival and its Perspective Canada series is Citytv’s most high-profile marketing venture. Powers also uses posters, tours, brochures and any merchandise that can bear a logo. Every morning, when the studio goes dark to make way for syndicated programming, racks of T-shirts, oven mitts, mugs, videos, baseball caps and jackets are wheeled into the foyer, and the Citytv store opens for business.

But the most marketable commodity in the realm of Moses Znaimer is his own ability to offer a paradoxical sense of inclusion and belonging to the very radicals and outcasts who rail at the homogeneity of conventional broadcasting.

Thus the punk-Goth kids who clogged the pavement outside Citytv’s film festival bash can feel part of the scene just by peering through the floor-to-ceiling windows that open onto the street. Others gain entrance through the live television broadcast as camera crews roam the building in search of stars who beam ecstatically and radiate approachability.

Citytv uses interaction as a marketing tool. Squeegee kids, soccer morns and CBS executives have traipsed into the Speaker’s Corner video booth where they can sing the praises of the latest novel or excoriate the provincial Premier. The most provocative rants end up on air.

More than three tours a day bring a total of 50,000 people trooping through the building every year.

“If you can get people in here,” Powers says, “they have an ownership. That’s just as important to us as any advertising we do.”

The 17 members of the marketing department think with one mind: Znaimer’s. “He sees everything,” Powers says. It’s Znaimer’s dictum that all print ads will convey Citytv’s news, phone-in and current event programs with the same image – “up close, local, in your face.” Bus shelter posters show one reporter in dreadlocks and a videographer in leather jackets and tattered jeans.

Every communique is calculated to juxtapose City, MuchMusic and Bravo! style with the staid and authoritative networks.

“We don’t use creative agencies for anything,” Powers says. “If you don’t have control over your image, you’ve lost a big part of what you’re about.”

Even a four-story wall of Citytv’s building is a canvas: The front end of one of the station’s vividly-painted trucks looks to have crashed through the wall on its way to a breaking story. It remains suspended above the street, wheels still spinning.

Citytv’s reporters and videographers are dispatched into the community with instructions to make as much noise as possible. City Hall, the provincial legislature and hospitals are all wired for live broadcasts so that the stations’ newsgatherers can appear ubiquitous.

“To be heard out there, you’ve got to do everything you possibly can,” Powers says. “It’s too easy to lose a momentum or an opportunity.”

TV MILESTONES

Nov. 25, 1971: Canadian Radio-television & Telecommunications Commission approves the creation of Channel 79, the first commercial ultra-high frequency outlet in Canada.

Sept. 23, 1972: Channel 79, dubbed Citytv, goes to air, operating out of former disco the Electric Circus.

June 21, 1972: Citytv lands the coveted channel 7 slot on the cable band, displacing a Buffalo station.

October 1972: Citytv airs soft-porn “Baby Blue Movies” late Friday nights, drawing an average audience of 250,000, bigger than anything in the same timeslot.

Sept. 13, 1975: “Boogie,” the forerunner to the dance show “Electric Circus,” is launched.

Dec. 19, 1976: Citytv founders Moses Znaimer, Phyllis Switzer, Edgar Cowan and Jerry Grafstein sell 45% of Channel Seventynine Ltd. to Multiple Access Ltd., a Montreal company controlled by the Bronfman family.

Feb. 9, 1978: Chum agrees to buy the 45% stake from Multiple Access, and gradually acquires 100% over the next two years.

March 10, 1978: The “Baby Blue Movies” are discontinued even though obscenity charges against Citytv are thrown out of court for lack of evidence.

1979: Citytv’s JoJo Chintoh becomes the first black reporter in Toronto.

1983: Citytv’s Debbie Van Kiekebelt becomes Toronto’s first female sportscaster.

Sept. 2, 1984: Canada’s first 24-hour video channel, MuchMusic, hits the airwaves.

April 15, 1988: Sheila Cameron becomes Canada’s first female videographer.

Sept. 5, 1989: Citytv launches its first early morning news and information show, “Breakfast Television.”

July 13, 1994: Bill Gates visits MuchMusic for the first time.

Jan. 1, 1997: Bravo! NewStyleArts Channel is launched.

Abstract:

The Toronto International Film Festival provides an excellent opportunity for Canadian television broadcaster Citytv to promote itself to potential customers and televiewers. The company sponsors the festival.

The best car show ever

Here’s one of the Top 10 best clays in my career: the Saturday of the HOT ROD Homecoming show held last March to celebrate the 65th anniversary of this magazine. We collected 275-plus former feature cars dating back to 1948, and it was a fiasco organizing it–but when I was finally there with my wife and boy, it was among the most rewarding and emotional moments ever.

 

 

Happily, many others felt the same. Guys of all ages were nearly shaking while viewing all the historic cars that had influenced their lives. There were reunions of men who hadn’t seen each other since the ’40s. One Willys from a recent story was identified as being a known Gasser of the ’60s, and most of the car’s original crew just happened to be on site. There were many cars on display that had not been seen in decades. You can even watched by your eyes all “ancient” car parts at that time, i.e carburetors (or fuel injectors), 2-doors cars, charging system, switch, ignition system, etc. By the way, what surprised me was the way people that time clean and maintain car. Meanwhile we, nowadays, always use the best fuel system cleaner to wash and protech our cars, people at that time prefered using powerful detergent (that’s really weird I think). A shocking number of rods from the ’50s and ’60s were still owned by the original builders. And the variety of decades, styles, and builders was incredible. Imagine the Pierson Bros. coupe, a handful of AMBR winners, Shirley Muldowney’s ’77 Top Fuel car, Scott Sullivan’s Cheez Whiz, and nearly all Steve Stroppe’s projects in the same place at the same time. Many said it was the single best car show they’d ever seen.

We hope this special issue imparts as much of the feel of the show as possible. We’ve added pages and dropped some of our regular monthly departments to cram as many of the HOT ROD Homecoming cars in here as we could. We still did not have room for all of them. As a bummer of a solution, we elected to only cover cars through the ’90s, as the later cars seemed too recent to be historic. The good news: We have photos and contact information for all of them, so we can use them in years to come. One aftereffect of the Homecoming was the realization that many ’80s cars are now milestones that bring fond memories. Someday, the cars featured in the past 20 years will enjoy the same nostalgia.

Homecoming-cars-1

My sincere thanks go first to all the owners of former HOT ROD feature cars that made the significant effort to show up–one from as far away as Australia, and many from across the country. Next, to my Executive Editor Julia Cyr, who worked almost every day for two months on the Homecoming. Also, thanks go to Family Events, the same company that operates HOT ROD Power Tour[R], for even more logistics with cars, buildings, booths, and so on. And always thanks to Jenny Schmitz, our events goddess who oversaw the whole mess with zero drama and too little credit. There’s never been anything like this before and may never be again. Perhaps at 70 years? Or 75? There’s been discussion of a Midwest edition. But, personally, I don’t think this can be topped.

My favorite moment of the HOT ROD Homecoming was the autograph session Saturday evening. We had Don Prudhomme, Roland Leong, Tommy Ivo, Ed Pink, Ed Iskenderian, Bruce Meyers, George Barris, Linda Vaughn, Vic Edelbrock, Bob D’Olivio, Gale Banks, Steve St rope, and a dozen more, including a smattering of HOT ROD editors and publishers over the past two decades. The signed posters from that cool evening will be cherished forever.

Calendar of events

July 16-27

THIS WEEK

TUESDAY

Sixth annual Prism Awards. The Entertainment Industries Council Inc. presents the Capitol Hill premiere of the awards. Nationally syndicated television special honors outstanding accurate depiction of drug, alcohol and tobacco use and addiction. 6-8 p.m., Dirksen Senate Office Building, Washington. (323) 965-1990

VSDA Conference: Home Entertainment 2002. Through Thursday. Video Software Dealers Assn. Rio Suites Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas. (818) 385-1500. www.vsda.org

WEDNESDAY

Women in Film Networking Breakfast. Showtime Networks president of programming Jerry Offsay is guest speaker. 7:20 a.m., Wyndham Bel Age, West Hollywood. (310) 657-5144. www.wif.org

“Hot Lists”: Author James Ulmer Workshop. International film correspondent offers workshop on ‘bankability.” 7-9 p.m. Women in Film offices, Beverly Hills. (310) 657-5144. www.wif.org

Calendar-of-events-1

THURSDAY

Primetime Emmy Awards nominations announced. Eric McCormack and Allison Janney join Academy of Television Arts & Sciences chairman and CEO Bryce Zabel to announce nominations. ATAS, North Hollywood. (816) 754-2800. www.emmys.org

“Counsellor at Law.” Screening hosted by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the Academy Foundation to celebrate the centennial of William Wyler. Preceded by a panel discussion hosted by film critic Peter Rainer and featuring actors Terence Stamp and Carroll Baker and writer Fay Kanin. Reception 6:45 p.m., program 8 p.m., Samuel Goldwyn Theater, Beverly Hills. (310) 247-3000, Ext. 185

WIF Independent Film Series. The documentary “Ngone’s Story: A Tale of Africa’s Orphans” to screen. 7 p.m., Eastman Kodak Co., Hollywood. (310) 457-8664

Step-Up Women’s Network Birthday Bash. Celebrating four years of women’s empowerment. Hosted by Jeremy Sisto, Michele Hicks, Vinessa Sham and others. To benefit USC/Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center. 8 p.m.-2 am., Deep, Hollywood. (323) 653-5588. www.stepupwomensnetwork.org

The Recording Academy Heroes Awards. The Atlanta chapter honors Ray Charles and others. Proceeds to benefit MusiCares Foundation. 7 p.m., Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta. (404) 249-8881, www.grammy.com

Starstruck: Photographs From a Fan. Gary Lee Boas signs copies of his book. 8 p.m., RocketVideo, Hollywood. (323) 965-1100

FRIDAY

Sixth annual LA. Latino International Film Festival. Through July 28. Showcasing diverse Latino films. Opening- and closing-night ceremonies, workshops, symposiums and lectures. Egyptian Theatre, Hollywood. (323) 466-3456. www.latinofilm.org

25th Asian American International Film Festival. Through July 27. Latest blockbusters from Hong Kong, Korea and Japan; art house hits; directorial debuts; and rarely screened classics. Asia Society & Museum, New York. (212) 989-1422. www.asianchinevision.org

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2002 Great Women of Film Networking Event. Presented by Women’s Rim and Art Foundation and City of Hope. (213) 241-7118. www.cityofhope.org/gwof

SATURDAY

The 38th Chicago International Film Festival honors Clint Eastwood. Actor-director to receive to receive lifetime achievement award at festival’s summer gala. (Festival runs Oct. 4-18.) Presentation written by The Hollywood Reporter film critic Duane Byrge and emceed by THR columnist Robert Osborne. 6 p.m., Grand Ballroom, Navy Pier, Chicago. (312) 425-9400

Sixth annual Justice Ball. Bet Tzedek Legal Services fund-raiser. 8:30 p.m., Park Plaza Hotel, Los Angeles. (323) 656-9069. www.thejusticeball.org

NAB Executive Development Seminar for Radio Broadcasters. Through July 23. Georgetown University, Washington. (202) 775-3511. www.nab.org

L.A. Free Clinic’s fifth annual Extravaganza for the Senses. Honorary co-chairs are Ben Affleck, Vivica A. Fox and Charlize Theron. Featuring palm and tarot card readers, henna tattoo artists, interactive video games, music and silent auction. 7 p.m.-midnight, Santa Monica Museum of Flying. (323) 330-1670. www.lafreeclinic.org

The Writers’ Gallery. Celebrating new voices of American stage, film and TV. Featuring discussions with Kenneth Lonergan, Robert Nelson Jacobs, Wil Calhoun and others. 11:30 am.-1:45 p.m., the Pasadena Playhouse. (626) 356-7529, Ext. 243. www.pasadenaplayhouse.org

Scriptwriters Network. This month’s meeting presents screenwriter-author Mark DeWayne. 2 p.m., Beverly Garland’s Holiday Inn, North Hollywood. (323) 848-9477

17th annual Betty Boop Festival. Through Sunday. 9 a.m.-4 p.m., Heavenly Choice Plaza, Montebello, Calif. (323) 728-2728

NEXT WEEK

MONDAY, JULY 22

Get Shorty Film Showcase & Tour LA. 2002. A monthly forum to showcase the world’s best short films (less than five minutes). Moomba, West Hollywood. (646) 425-7475. http://rsvpnycity.com/GetShortyForm.html

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WEDNESDAY, JULY 24

Third annual Latin Grammy nominations announced. 10 a.m., Beverly Hilton. (310) 392-3777. www.grammy.com

THURSDAY, JULY 25

15th annual Vancouver International Comedy Festival. Through Aug. 5. Granville Island. (604) 683-0883. www.comedyfest.com

Hollywood Networking Breakfast Writer-producer Robert Kosberg is guest speaker. 8-10:30 a.m., Wyodham Bel Age, West Hollywood. (310) 477-0996, Ext. 3

FRIDAY, JULY 26

32nd annual Nosotros Golden Eagle Awards. Ricardo Montalban hosts. Beverly Hilton. (323) 466-8566.

SATURDAY, JULY 27

31st annual Malibu Arts Festival. Through July 28. Sally Kirkland is honorary chair and celebrity hostess. 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m., Malibu. (310) 456-9025. www.malibu.org/artfestival

The Hollywood Way: A Young Movie Mogul’s Savvy Business Tips for Success. Networking techniques and selling yourself. 2-4 p.m., Take One! Film & Theater Books, West Los Angeles. (310) 445-4050

Women in Film Networking Breakfast. Independent producer Jon Fitzgerald is guest speaker. 9-11 a.m., Cafe del Sol, Santa Barbara, Calif. (805) 967-8881

Documentary film festival seeks to inspire

The upcoming Detroit Docs International Film Festival is meant to do more than showcase more than 65 local and international films.

It may serve as an inspiration for the next great documentary filmmaker.

At least that’s one of the goals for Bob Anderson, executive director of Detroit Film Center, which hosts the Oct. 29-Nov. 2 event.

“It certainly showcases a form of filmmaking that is different from what we consider traditional Hollywood filmmaking,” he said.

The work of local filmmakers will be showcased at the Detroit Film Theatre Nov. 1, 1-3 p.m., at a “Made in Michigan” screening.

Over the past couple of years, Anderson has gotten a lot of help from Detroit Public Television and Wayne State University’s Department of Communications. He credits both for the festival’s recent success.

This year’s festival features Les Blank, a documentary filmmaker with two films in the National Film Registry.

The festival has lined up eight sponsors and counting for this year. In 2007, the festival had 11. It seeks 12 this time, and it expects to attract 2,000 attendees.

Sponsors include Metro Times, WDET-FM 101.9, the Michigan Film Office, Michigan Vue magazine, Detroit Make it Here (www.detroitmakeithere.com) the Detroit Film Theatre at the Detroit Institute of Arts, WSU’s Department of Communication and Detroit Public Television.

The festival runs with a budget just under $10,000.

DMC cardio chief: New procedures save lives

The director of the Detroit Medical Center’s new Cardio Team One last week rebutted the contention of some competitors in an Aug. 11 Crain’s article that there’s little value in a round-the-clock, onsite cardiac care team for emergency heart attack patients.

The DMC announced the program at its DMC-Harper University and DMC-Detroit Receiving hospitals with much fanfare earlier this month, although it actually was begun earlier this year.

Five months after DMC implemented Cardio Team One, Dr. Theodore Schreiber said potentially life-saving “door-to-balloon” procedure times have been reduced to a median of just above 45 minutes.

Door-to-balloon refers to the time between when a patient enters the hospital and a cardiologist begins an angioplasty. The national goal is under 90 minutes. Most top cardiovascular hospitals locally achieve 74 to 90 minutes.

Schreiber said DMC also was meeting that standard before beginning the program; when he joined DMC in 2004 from William Beaumont Hospitals, it was not.

Most importantly, Schreiber said not a single patient has died at DMC from an emergency angioplasty since March 17.

Over the next few months, Schreiber said, DMC’s cardiology team is collecting outcome data on patients who have had emergency angioplasties and intends to publish the results in a scientific journal sometime next year. For more from Schreiber, see www.crainsdetroit.com.

New spin on an old car

Just in time for the Model T’s centennial, the College for Creative Studies teamed up with Henry Ford Museum to make over the car.

Eleven CCS students created clay models of the vehicle for display at the Henry Ford Museum. They spent 16 weeks developing Model T concept cars that weigh less than the original vehicle and use environmentally friendly materials.

Ford Motor Co. initiated the partnership with the college. The winner of the competition will have his or her model on display at Ford world headquarters in Dearborn in the fall.