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Latin music star Maluma’s Sept. 12 Pechanga Arena San Diego gig is dormant venue’s first new show of 2021

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The announcement that reggaeton-music star Maluma will perform Sept. 12 at Pechanga Arena San Diego is newsworthy for more than just musical reasons or his past collaborations with Jennifer Lopez, Shakira and Madonna.

Maluma’s concert, part of the U.S. leg of the Colombian singer’s Papi Juancho 2021 World Tour, is the first new 2021 concert to be announced at Pechanga Arena. It also appears to be the first major new concert by any pop artist, at any indoor or outdoor San Diego County venue, to be announced this year — as opposed to a concert that was postponed from 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic.

With the exception of drive-in performances, no ticketed concerts or live events are currently allowed under San Diego County and California state health regulations. Even so, Maluma’s Pechanga Arena show will be a full-capacity performance. All 13,500 tickets will go on sale Friday, apart from those allotted to a Maluma fan club pre-sale, which began today.

“The show’s promoter and Pechanga Arena San Diego understand that if local health guidelines do not allow for a full house on the event date, the show will be rescheduled,” said Kristi Reedy, the venue’s marketing director, in response to questions from the Union-Tribune.

“Pechanga Arena San Diego continues to work with event organizers and promoter partners in anticipation of a return of live events. This includes the advance sale of tickets for future events that are being scheduled.”

The concert and live events industry came shuddering to a halt last March because of the pandemic. As a result, lost 2020 income in the U.S. alone was estimated to exceed $9 billion, with losses of about $16 billion in the rest of the world.

On Jan. 29, the 2021 editions of both the Coachella and Stagecoach music festivals in Indio were canceled outright, after being postponed from last April to last October to this April. Also canceled were the 2020 editions of two San Diego festivals, KAABOO and Wonderfront.

In an October Union-Tribune article, the majority of concert and festival experts interviewed predicted that their industry would not be able to fully return to normal until 2022, although some held out hope a partial reopening of their industry could begin in late summer or early fall. It remains to be seen if the timing of Maluma’s 23-city U.S. arena tour, which is scheduled to open Sept. 2 in Sacramento and conclude Oct. 24 in Chicago, will be propitious or premature.

The tour is being produced by Cardenas Marketing Network, which in a statement said that it “will follow and comply with recommendations and guidelines imposed by governmental authorities and public health departments.”

As of this writing, the first scheduled concert this year at Pechanga Arena is a performance by James Taylor and Jackson Browne on May 29 — one year to the day from their postponed 2020 concert at the same venue. The original concert was part of Taylor’s joint tour with Browne, who was later diagnosed with COVID-19.

Regardless of the timing, Pechanga Arena — which for decades was known as the San Diego Sports Arena — is eager to resume operations with new health measures in place that could serve as a template for other concert and live events venues. The venue is operated by ASM Global, which is co-owned by AEG, the producer of the Coachella and Stagecoach festivals. ASM Global was selected last August by then-San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer to build a new arena and create an entertainment district on the 48-acre city site that houses Pechanga Arena.

“When Pechanga Arena receives approval from our local health officials to reopen, we will be deploying VenueShield, ASM Global’s comprehensive and industry-leading reopening program,” Reedy, the San Diego venue’s marketing director, said. “… Rest assured that all policies will be aligned with — and informed by — public health authorities, medical and industry experts.”

Tickets for Maluma are priced from $55.50 to $406.50 each. They go on sale to the general public Friday at 10 a.m. at axs.com.



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UK – Deliveroo riders strike over pay, gig work conditions (Associated Press)

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08 April 2021

Riders for the meal delivery work services platform Deliveroo held a strike in London yesterday over pay and working conditions, part of a broader backlash against one of the UK’s biggest gig economy companies, reports the Associated Press. Socially distanced protests were also planned in York, Reading, Sheffield and Wolverhampton to demand fair pay, safety protections and basic workers’ rights. The Independent Workers’ Union of Great Britain, which represents migrant and gig workers, expected hundreds of riders to take part. Deliveroo said that “this small self-appointed union does not represent the vast majority of riders who tell us they value the total flexibility they enjoy.” Rider surveys found most are happy with the company and flexibility was their priority, the company said in a statement.

The strike coincides with the first day of unconditional share trading for Deliveroo, which went public last week in a debut that saw the company lose nearly 30% of their value. However, a number of institutional investors skipped the IPO, citing concerns about employment conditions for riders and a dual-class shareholder structure that gives founder Will Shu outsize control.

The company saw its business boom over the past year because of Covid-19 restrictions that powered demand for meal deliveries. Riders say they haven’t been sharing in the success because the company has been paying them less. Deliveroo and other gig companies in the UK that rely on flexible workforces are also facing looming regulatory challenges, after the Supreme Court recently ruled Uber drivers should be classed as “workers” and not self-employed, entitling them to benefits such as minimum wage and pensions.

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Winter Games gig tough job for French ice master

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Remy Boehler is just one step away from realizing his Olympic dream in China, as the French ice master has been invited to lead the Capital Gymnasium’s ice-making team in preparations for the Beijing 2022 Winter Games.

“Everything is good,” Boehler said before his team set the first ice surface transition underway during the “Experience Beijing” Ice Sports Testing Program running through April 10.

“Everybody has a lot of jobs for making good ice, and I think it’s a good point for preparing the Games,” added the 44-year-old, who said three years ago in PyeongChang 2018, his third Winter Games, that he’s quite willing to serve the next Olympics.

Like every previous Olympic Winter Games, the Beijing 2022 figure skating and short track speed skating competitions will be staged on the same rink in the 53-year-old Capital Gymnasium, which has been newly renovated.

From Boehler’s point of view, however, it’s not the same at all, since figure skaters need “softer” ice to better support jumps while short track speed skaters favor harder ice for increased speed.

To meet the requirement of both sports, Boehler and his team have to adjust the ice temperature from minus 3-4 degrees Celsius for figure skating to minus 6-7 degrees for short track.

“This is the only venue that has to switch between two sports in the middle of a day, which gives us huge stress during these testing events,” said Ding Dong, head of the Capital Gymnasium venue operation team, explaining why they arranged seven transitions in six testing days.

With the most recently updated Beijing 2022 schedule seeing both figure skating and short track events on one competition day, while the rest of the days have the two sports every other day, the challenges to the field of play transition are mounting.

“The transition involves many aspects around the rink, including the conversions of some temporary facilities, like the starting station and the protective pads. The photo positions will differ as well.

“But, ice is above every other thing. It’s also the most difficult part,” echoed Shen Ling, transition manager of the CG venue operation team.

As short track and figure skating won China the most gold medals at the Winter Games, the two sports have a solid fan base in the host country, possibly leading to a more complicated situation for Boehler’s team, seeing that the Capital Gymnasium will be often fully packed at Olympic time.

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New Chart Positions In Gig App Provider Ranking

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Unemployment claims are up one week, down the next in the topsy-turvy world after COVID-19. Where does that leave gig workers? In the driver’s seat, as this update to PYMNTS’ Provider Ranking of Gig Economy Apps tells us loud and clear.

Not only are there gigs, but it’s never been easier to pull up those postings on your smartphone and peruse them like a restaurant menu. Makes getting a gig a whole lot simpler. We’ve got a job, so get out the Ranking Machine for the Provider Ranking of Gig Economy Apps.

The Top Five

Our four top-ranked apps seem to have entrenched to some degree (although you never know).

Still at No. 1 is DoorDash, donating a million bucks to driver’s charities in April, followed as usual by Uber Driver at No. 2.

Instacart Shopper needs no assistance from customer service at its No. 3 spot — and for that matter, neither does the Fiverr freelance marketplace app, keeping busy at No. 4.

Now for a changeup to close out this section: Amazon Flex moves up one spot to enter the top 5 at No. 5.

The Top 10

At No. 6, we find the Upwork app down one chart position from last month, with self-explanatory app Freelancer also dropping one position to land at No. 7.

Rideshare legend Lyft likes preferred parking at No. 8, just where we left it last time.

Hare beats tortoise, as it were, as the TaskRabbit app jumps up a spot to No. 9, pushing the mighty Grubhub for Drivers to No. 10 and completing this edition of the Provider Ranking of Gig Economy Apps.

That’s what we call part of a full day’s work.

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NEW PYMNTS STUDY: OPEN BANKING 2021 

About The Study: Open banking-powered payment offerings have been available in some markets since 2018, but the pandemic drove many consumers to try these solutions for the first time — and there’s no going back. In the Open Banking Report, PYMNTS examines open banking’s rise as merchants and payment services providers worldwide tap into such options to offer secure, seamless account-to-account payments.



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