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Coachella Will Likely Be Postponed Until October Over Coronavirus Concerns

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  • Multiple sources say Coachella and Stagecoach organizers are in talks to move the April festivals to October amid coronavirus concerns. 
  • The move will be challenging to organize but could save the company behind the events and Riverside County from losing millions in revenue. 
  • While some are upset by the change and inconvenience, others think this is a good move for public health and safety. 

Calls for Cancellation 

Organizers of the Coachella Music and Arts Festival and its sister festival, Stagecoach, are reportedly planning to postpone the upcoming events amid the growing global coronavirus outbreak. 

The news has not been formally announced yet, but organizers are expected to make a statement about the future of the shows in the next day or so, according to Billboard. Officials with the promoter Goldenvoice are allegedly still in talks with several artist managers to discuss the festival postponement. 

The annual Coachella festival was originally scheduled to take place in Indio, California over two back-to-back weekends: April 10-12 and April 17-19. It typically brings in around 250,000 guests annually and this year, music acts like Rage Against the Machine, Travis Scott, and Frank Ocean were set to perform. Stagecoach was set to take place soon after, on April 24-26, with headliners Thomas Rhett, Carrie Underwood, and Eric Church. 

But in recent weeks, concerts, festivals, parades, and other large gatherings were shut down over coronavirus concerns, including Miami’s Ultra Festival and South by Southwest (SXSW) in Austin. 

Concerned residents of Riverside County have been calling for Coachella to follow suit, noting among other fears, the large retirement community that could be at risk if the virus picks up in the area. Thousands even signed a petition calling for Coachella to be canceled, which was met with a smaller petition calling for it to go on. 

Coachella Profits 

Still, organizers and Riverside County officials know that the festivals bring in a ton of profit and have been hoping to save them. Revenue numbers for 2019 and 2018 weren’t available, but Coachella reportedly grossed a record $114.6 million in 2017. 

In 2016, the two events combined brought in about $704 million in economic activity to the area, according to projections by the Coachella Valley Economic Partnership and Greater Palm Springs Convention and Visitors Bureau. Numbers from that year also showed that the city of Indio earned over $3 million in tax revenue from the festival’s ticket sales alone. Daily attendance numbers have jumped up since then, so those profit numbers are likely much higher.

But pressure to move the festivals has intensified over the past few days as COVID-19 cases in California increased. California, in particular, has been one of the U.S states hit hardest by the outbreak, reporting over 130 cases as of March 10.

On Sunday, Riverside County declared a public health emergency after it announced that a patient was being treated for coronavirus at a local hospital. Then on Monday night, Riverside announced three new cases of the virus, bringing the total number of cases of COVID-19 in the county to six.

Potentially Moved to October 

Later that night, Journalist Yashar Ali wrote on Twitter that the festival is being moved to October 9 and 16, per an industry source. Billboard reported that Stagecoach could possibly be moving to October 23. 

Moving the festivals will not be an easy task since it involves quickly coordinating new plans with hundreds of artists, their representatives, contractors, vendors, and tens of thousands of employees. There is also no guarantee that the entire lineups can commit to October performances. 

Reactions

Internet users and Coachella ticket holders, in particular, have expressed mixed reactions over the reports of a potential October festival. Many are frustrated about having to cancel their flight and hotel arraignments, but others think this is the right decision for public health reasons. 

Some, like YouTuber James Charles, seemed open and excited for the change. 

And of course, plenty of people took it as an opportunity to joke about Coachella outfits and performers.

Elon Musk even chimed in, saying Coachella should instead postpone itself until “it stops sucking,” in a Tweet that has since gone viral. He said that too much corporate sponsorship “killed the vibe” and that it was much better years ago when more unknown bands were set to perform. 

See what others are saying: (Rolling Stone) (Billboard) (Variety)

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Twitch Faces Backlash After Booking Megan Thee Stallion At TwitchCon Amid Creator Pay Cuts

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The cut in revenue share has ignited severe backlash on Twitch, where users argue pay for creators should be increased, not slashed. 


Revenue Share Shake Up

Twitch users are criticizing the company for hiring artist Megan Thee Stallion to perform at TwitchCon just one week after announcing cutbacks to top creator pay.

Last week, the video and streaming platform said that starting in June of next year, some creators will receive less revenue from their subscriptions. While the standard split for subscription revenue is 50/50, some major streamers previously received a more favorable 70/30 share in premium agreement terms. 

Many creators have long argued that everyone should get that 70/30 share, but Twitch took a step in the opposite direction. In the future, streamers with premium terms will only get the 70/30 slice for their first $100,000 from subscription revenue. After that, they will get bumped down to the regular 50/50 cut. 

The company argued the move was necessary as the premium terms previously lacked transparency and consistency, insisting it tried to modify the policy in a way that impacted the least amount of creators. According to Twitch’s statement, 90% of streamers on standard agreements will not even be impacted by the change.

Still, this move outraged Twitch users who were furious the company was not investing more in the creators that bring so many viewers to its platform. Those frustrations were exacerbated on Wednesday when the company announced Megan Thee Stallion would make an appearance at TwitchCon, a weekend-long event set to take place in San Diego in early October. 

Backlash Continues to Mount

While no details of Megan Thee Stallion’s agreement to perform have been disclosed, one can assume she charges a pretty penny to book at an event of this nature. Critics argued that if Twitch is willing to spend money on her, it should be willing to spend it on its own streamers. 

“So Twitch can’t afford to pay their creators 70/30, can’t fix their media player that crashes after each ad, can’t enforce their policies so people aren’t doing inappropriate things on stream, but they can afford paying celebrities to promote their streaming site?” one person wrote. 

“It’s weird that a company that just announced a bunch of budget cuts due to infrastructure costs goes out and grabs an A-list musician instead of promoting their own musicians that run on their platform,” another person claimed.

“Instead of giving your creators a cut they deserve when they do so much work, this is what you do…?” one user asked. “Maybe give your creators a better deal instead of wasting their hard earned money on things we don’t even want.”

Twitch has not responded to the outrage, but Megan Thee Stallion was not the only music act the Amazon-owned service booked for the event. Kim Petras and Meet Me at the Altar will also take the stage at TwitchCon. 

The backlash comes as concerns have been mounting against Twitch for a plethora of reasons including creator pay, gambling streams, and more. 

In recent months, some of the platform’s biggest names have left Twitch in favor of rival services like YouTube Gaming. 

See what others are saying: (Dexerto) (The Verge) (Metro)

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“Dahmer” Series Breaks Netflix Records Amid Backlash For Exploiting Victims’ Stories

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Family members of some of the murderer’s victims say the program is “retraumatizing.”


“Dahmer” Lands Successful Week on Netflix

While criticisms mount against “Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story,” the true crime series broke Netflix’s record as the most-watched first week for a series debut.

According to data provided by the streaming giant, the Evan Peters-led show was watched for over 196 million hours between its release on Sept. 21 and Sept. 25.

“Dahmer” is the newest of several pieces of fiction and media based on the famous serial killer. Created by Ryan Murphy and Ian Brennan, the series quickly generated a lot of attention online, primarily from those concerned the show is exploiting a gruesome true story. 

Critics have echoed those fears, giving the show a mixed 50% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The “Critic’s Consensus” blurb on the site states that while the show is “seemingly self-aware of the peril in glorifying Jeffrey Dahmer” the story still “tilts this horror story into the realm of queasy exploitation.”

Victims’ Families Speak Out

The family of Errol Lindsey, one of Dahmer’s victims, has also spoken out against the series. In a viral tweet, Lindsey’s cousin Eric Perry said his family is “pissed about the show.”

“It’s retraumatizing over and over again, and for what?” he wrote. “How many movies/shows/documentaries do we need?”

In much of the promotion for the series, Netflix claimed it would be told from the perspective of the victims. Perry slammed that narrative, noting that his family was never even contacted by the streamer about the project.

“So when they say they’re doing this ‘with respect to the victims’ or ‘honoring the dignity of the families’, no one contacts them,” he wrote. “My cousins wake up every few months at this point with a bunch of calls and messages and they know there’s another Dahmer show. It’s cruel.”

Lindsey’s sister, Rita Isbell, echoed that claim in an essay she wrote for Insider, noting that Netflix did not notify her of the show, or ask her any questions about her brother. 

She said that watching the show “felt like reliving it all over again.”

“It brought back all the emotions I was feeling back then,” she wrote. 

“It’s sad that they’re just making money off of this tragedy. That’s just greed,” she continued. 

Obsession With Dahmer

Controversy has also grown from some of the responses to the series, as many viewers have posted fan edits of the show that romanticize Dahmer. Some pair clips of Peters’ Dahmer with his victims to love songs or pop ballads, leaving a bad taste in the mouths of those who do not understand why someone would make content glorifying the killer. 

Others have responded to the show by calling Dahmer “hot” or posting thirst tweets about his mug shot. This has resulted in a backlash of its own. 

“Jeffrey Dahmer molested and murdered people, mostly black men and boys,” one person wrote. “So to see people making edits and thirst traps of him is a little off putting.”

“if I see anyone tweeting thirst tweets about Jeffrey Dahmer I’m immediately unfollowing,” another person said. “That’s so fuckin nasty.”

Concerns that this kind of media results in more people admiring Dahmer are also mounting in Milwaukee, where many of his crimes took place. According to TMZ, the city is considering creating something to honor the victims, but officials fear a physical memorial would turn into a “mecca” for Dahmer’s fans. 

See what others are saying: (Insider) (IndieWire) (Vox)

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YouTube Removes Age Restriction From Nicki Minaj Video After Singer Calls Company a “Bogus Platform”

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Even though her video can now be viewed by all YouTuber users, Minaj made it clear she was upset that the age-gate tanked its view count in the first 24 hours.


Nicki Minaj Vs. YouTube

Nicki Minaj called out YouTube on Monday after the platform age-restricted her new music video for “Likkle Miss Remix” featuring Skeng. 

By age-restricting a video, YouTube blocks users who are under 18 or not logged into a Google account from viewing the content. 

Minaj’s video features close-up shots of people in skimpy outfits twerking, but several videos on YouTube with similar imagery have not been gated. Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion’s “WAP” video is available for everyone, as is Minaj’s own “Anaconda” video. 

In a since-deleted Instagram post, Minaj accused YouTube of being inconsistent and playing favorites. 

“They restricted my fucking video but have things a million fucking times worse on their BOGUS FKNG PLATFORM,” she wrote in a post that included a screenshot of YouTube’s age-restriction notice. “This is what they do to keep you from winning while doing ads for another ppl and posting fake fkng stats. Because the same ppl who run YouTube are in bed with a certain record label and mngmnt company.”

Minaj further alleged that YouTube’s actions were done to prevent her from getting a significant number of views in the video’s first 24 hours, which is often the most crucial timeframe for a video’s success. She continued to assert that the Google-owned company has a bias toward certain music labels.

YouTube Walks Back Restriction

“How long have yall been playing the numbers game to lie & pretend ppl r doing ‘good’ when they r not?!?!!” Minaj continued in another post. “How much ad space did these duds purchase to be promoted on my channel in the last 5 years?!??!!!!”

Later on Monday, YouTube removed the restriction from Minaj’s video, per Variety. The company said the content in it did not violate its rules and guidelines. 

While Minaj ended up deleting her Instagram posts calling YouTube out, she made it clear she was still frustrated by the debacle. 

“FUCK THEM DUDS,” she tweeted. “THEY CANT GIVE US BACK OUR FIRST 24 HOURS CAN THEY?!?!!!”

As of Monday afternoon, her video had been viewed over one million times.

See what others are saying: (Variety) (The Independent) (Billboard)

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