Electric Daisy Carnival (EDC) promoter Insomniac furloughs 50% of its workforce.
The move comes as live event producers are struggling to survive amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The furloughs affect around 90 people, which represents 50% of the company’s employee base. All furloughed employees will retain access to their medical benefits while furloughed, according to the company.
Insomniac founder and CEO Pasquale Rotella told Billboard the decision was rough. “Insomniac made the difficult but necessary decision to furlough certain employees while we are unable to produce our shows,” he says. “It is our full intention to bring those team members back on board once events are allowed to occur again.”
Of course, the COVID-19 shutdown has severely impacted the live events industry. Insomniac is no different, and neither is its partial owner, Live Nation. Over 30,000 events under the Live Nation-owned Ticketmaster umbrella alone are impacted. The ticketing giant is offering refunds on some shows promoted by Live Nation and AEG; Insomniac is also in the process of issuing refunds to numerous raves.
The concert industry as a whole has seen over 24,000 layoffs or furloughs since March. Ticketmaster furloughed 25% of its staff last week. Other ticketing and touring agencies affected include Paradigm, Stubhub, Eventbrite, and more.
Aside from the Insomniac furloughs, the producer has postponed several events because of the pandemic.
EDC in Las Vegas is now slated for October, though a digital festival will stream during the festival’s original time slot. EDC Korea and EDC Orlando in August and November are still slated to go on. The EDC Las Vegas Virtual Rave-A-Thon will start May 15th-17th.
The event will feature DJ performances streamed live from the Insomniac headquarters in Los Angeles. Featured festivals will include Escape Psycho Circus, Nocturnal Wonderland, Countdown NYE, HARD Summer, and Beyond Wonderland.
Previous Insomniac live streams have reached over 10 million viewers across 100 different countries. The producer is also airing its ‘Insomniac Rewind’ series on YouTube. The series gives fans a chance to watch archival footage of past EDC Las Vegas, EDC Orlando, EDC Mexico, and other events.