Carnegie Hall Concert Goes On, After Strike Canceled Performance

Analysis: Jackson case will change the tune for concert, artist insurance

We had nine drug arrests from traffic stops of people going to the concert. There were two drug overdoses reported before 10 a.m., said Emery. A traffic stop by McLean County sheriffs officers netted 2 pounds of marijuana scheduled for delivery to concert patrons, said the sheriff. On Saturday, the jails population peaked at 270, a number that includes those held on new charges along with people serving sentences and awaiting trial. A decision on when the inmates will be returned to McLean County will be made after a review of the population, said Emery. Bloomington police reports indicate that Ecstasy, methamphetamine, cocaine and marijuana were found in vehicles of people stopped Friday afternoon. During the concert, a man was removed after he was found naked on the floor. He was charged with aggravated battery to a police officer for allegedly kicking an officer who tried to restrain him. More than two dozen Bloomington police officers were at the concert on hire-back status, meaning the Coliseum, which is owned by the city but privately managed, will reimburse the city for their salary, including overtime. Bloomington Fire Chief Mike Kimmerling said eight paramedics were stationed at the concert venue, also on hire-back status. Its not uncommon for the fire department to staff events there but the fire chief noted that guests at previous Bassnectar shows have needed medical attention for issues ranging from dehydration to substance abuse. The sold-out concert was attended by about 6,000 people, many of them willing to stand in line for several hours Friday to obtain wristbands that afforded them spots on the floor near the stage. John Butler, president of Central Illinois Arena Management, the firm that manages the Coliseum, did not return a call for comment on the problems generated by the event. Local hospitals also braced for an influx of drug- and alcohol-related cases based on what emergency rooms saw during a previous Bassnectar concert in Bloomington. We were very busy last year so we prepared this year by having additional staff available, said Eric Alvin, spokesman for Advocate BroMenn Medical Center in Normal.

A strike by stagehands forced the cancellation, but the union temporarily suspended its strike on Thursday, allowing the concert hall to open its doors for now. A union leader told Reuters he was optimistic the two sides could reach a permanent deal by Friday. The dispute hangs on whether the stagehands – mostly prop-makers, carpenters and electricians – should have a role in a new educational wing that the Carnegie Hall Corp plans to open above the hall next year. The corporation wants to hire cheaper labor at the education wing. Negotiations with the union took an unprecedented turn on Wednesday when Local 1 of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees decided to go on strike for the first time in the history of Carnegie Hall. However, when James Claffey, president of Local 1, emerged from negotiations on Thursday afternoon, he announced the union had agreed to pull down the picket line for the day, citing progress in the talks. “This is a goodwill gesture towards Carnegie Hall,” said Claffey, whose local has negotiated some of the most lucrative pay in the industry. He later said further progress had been made, and that even though picketing would continue, he hoped to reach a deal by Friday. Carnegie Hall’s five full-time stagehands make an average of $400,000 per year including benefits, The New York Times reported, citing the organization’s tax returns. Claffey said there were many more stagehands represented by the union who work only sporadically. “This dispute is not about those employees,” Claffey said. “This is about everyone else. These are middle class employees.” The strike forced Carnegie Hall to cancel a performance by the Philadelphia Orchestra with violinist Joshua Bell. The concert was part of Carnegie Hall’s opening-night gala, the organization’s biggest fundraising event of the year.

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This could affect ticket pricing at the end of the day.” In its wrongful death suit against AEG, Jackson’s family claimed AEG negligently hired Murray as Jackson’s personal physician and ignored signs Jackson, who died in 2009 at 50 from an overdose of propofol, was in poor health. AEG Live argued Jackson’s prescription drug and addiction problems predated their deal and that it did not hire Murray or see he was a danger to the star. Even though Lloyds didn’t pay off on Jackson’s death, legal and insurance experts say artists’ coverage will now carry many more exclusions — specific instances of prior injuries, drug use and now perhaps negligence by staff that won’t be covered – giving promoters and insurance firms an out from paying claims if stars do not fulfill obligations due to negligence by a person on the star’s staff. “There will be exclusions for personal assistants, doctors, anybody but the performer,” said Jon Pfeiffer, an entertainment attorney in Los Angeles. “If an assistant or professional does something wrong, the artist will go after the assistant and not AEG.” Insurers wound up settling with Spears after she sued a group for almost $10 million in 2005, after she was forced to cancel the European leg of a tour due to a knee injury. Spears and her promoter had bought “contingency insurance” from several companies including Liberty Syndicate Management Ltd, French company AXA’s AXA Corporate Solutions, one of the more common policies that cover abandonment, cancellation or postponement of a concert. The companies initially refused to pay Spears for losses arising from the canceled shows, claiming she failed to disclose surgery performed on her knee five years earlier. Spears had passed the insurance company’s required medical exam a year before the tour was to begin. John Callagy, attorney for Spears in the case, told Reuters it became apparent the insurance companies were aware of her prior knee injuries from earlier insurance applications. Mary Thompson, president of Las Vegas-based Capstone Brokerage, said she expects Spears probably bought “contingency insurance” for her Planet Hollywood residency but now it includes new stipulations following the pop star’s widely publicized breakdown a few years go. Tougher drug use monitoring and higher insurance pricing arose after 23-year-old actor River Phoenix died in 1993 of a drug overdose while under contract for two movies.

Concert to benefit music foundation The Project Matters to be held Wednesday at Mexicali Live

WHEN: 8 p.m. Wednesday. WHERE: Mexicali Live, 1409 Queen Anne Road, Teaneck; 201-833-0011 or mexicalilive.com . HOW MUCH: $15 and $18. MORE INFO: theprojectmatters.org . The initial goal of The Project Matters foundation was modest. “All I wanted to do was help a kid buy a pack of strings, something so small which I know would mean a lot, because you go through them so quickly,” said Karen High. “I know. I lived it. I witnessed it. We had the means for $10 here and $10 there, a lot of kids don’t.” The retired teacher from Freehold, her husband William and son Matt started The Project Matters in memory of her other son, Benjamin, a musician who died at 19. Since its inception, the foundation has bought those strings and done much more, including buying instruments and renting studio time for New Jersey bands with musicians 21 and under. After doing some research, they choose a band to help for a year. The fourth band to benefit from The Project Matters named after Benjamin’s posthumously pressed CD named “Matters” is GNGR (pronounced ginger), who will be playing Wednesday night at the organization’s benefit concert at Mexicali Live in Teaneck . “It’s provided gear and financial support that’s also going into recordings,” said GNGR guitarist Jake Lefkowitz, 17 and a senior at Wayne Hills High School.

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