LOS ANGELES — Most of Kevin Lyman’s time these days is spent at this computer, teaching music industry ins and outs to college students.
Lyman teaches at USC's Thornton School of Music, but it was just three years ago that his life was full of festivals.
What You Need To Know
- Coachella is reportedly postponed until spring of 2022
- Goldenvoice, the festival's promoter, has not commented on the postponement
- This would be the fourth time Coachella has been postponed due to the pandemic
Lyman is the founder and producer of the Vans Warped Tour, a traveling rock tour that spanned 24 years and ended in 2018. As a 37-year industry veteran, he was not surprised to hear Coachella was postponed again. First off, making money on a festival is tough as it is, he explained, without all the new hurdles to keep the huge crowds safe.
"With limited capacities, increased expenses for COVID protocol, the margins on music festivals are thin," said Lyman. "At 100% capacity, the last 10 to 20% is when you might start to see a profit."
The second issue is social distancing. As Lyman shared stories about Warped Tour, there was always one thing they had in common: the excitement about live music with people dancing. That kind of energy is hard to contain.
"Music is a communal thing," he said. "Emotions get caught up."
One solution is more flexible contracts.
“There's some safeguards against the expenses, in case for health reasons they can't do the festival," he said.
And the other solution is to just wait to do it right.
“The expectations of the fans have gone up so much," Lyman added.
Sure, he misses running the massive Warped Tour — there is nothing like music festival vibes. But right now, his focus is on the younger generation.
"So many people from my demo have gone home for the first time," he said. "They're off the road. They found jobs as logistics managers for Amazon, or they're doing something. There’s going to be a huge opportunity for young people."
Lyman just might be teaching the very people who will be bringing these festivals back to us.