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Author Topic: Eighth Day Sound and Clair join  (Read 4082 times)

Tim McCulloch

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Re: Eighth Day Sound and Clair join
« Reply #20 on: September 11, 2020, 12:09:12 pm »

Looks like perhaps not.  Announced (quietly?) last week, VER is becoming "PRG Gear"

https://www.ver.com/ver-meets-evolving-client-needs-under-new-name-prg-gear/

I didn't realize VER was acquired by PRG 2 years ago already.  Time flies.

The bigger question is if PRG will survive.  They leveraged the buyout of VER, I heard somewhere around 80% of the purchase of VER was vulture capital.  That number is speculation but keeps coming up at Rumour Central.

The re-branding of VER has been in progress for months.
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Dave Stevens

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Re: Eighth Day Sound and Clair join
« Reply #21 on: September 13, 2020, 07:55:58 pm »

TL;dr There is currently a cautionary tale for private equity in the live event space.  PE is not your friend.

VER has always been a box house or subcontractor.  Rebranding is a continuation of what they did pre PRG.  Much of PRG's revenue doesn't come from concert touring these days.  It's corporate, convention, theater, themed entertainment, special events and broadcast.  Much of it is B2B.  We use them and LMG when we can.

PE is a move that primarily enhances the fund first and foremost.  Everything else is secondary.  Doesn't matter if it's cookies, tractors or high end circus acts set to pretentious music.  It's all about the fund.  Long term PRG will survive in some manner.  It's too asset heavy to totally disappear.  Who knows perhaps if it comes time to file Clair could jump in.  My guess would be Les Goldberg.  He's PRG's biggest competition(or at least one of the biggest) and he's already doing well in the space.  I haven't seen anything that indicates PRG is in a precarious position compared to the rest of the industry.  It's tough for everyone right now.

As much of a behemoth as Clair is they aren't into those other segments as much as PRG.  One place Clair has made big inroads in this space is with Tait.  They do a good bit of all the big dog theatrical automation in town.  The big money in those segments isn't in audio or event lighting.  It's in presentation, video and broadcast.  I've been able to mix the broadcast for media events of most of the combat sports events in town as well as some big corporates we host in the room.  In each of the cases the audio and lighting equipment budgets are minuscule compared the other departments.  Over the last couple of years what they're now calling immersive audio (we call them soundscapes) has upped the cost but that's more in concept and creation rather than equipment and show run techs. 

I've spent about six years in my near fifteen years in town on a show town where the production had been owned by private equity.  PE firms operate largely in the same way.  They leverage the acquisition with debt that saddles the company with tremendous payments.  They can also charge "fees" for various "services" and "consulting".  They can reduce headcount to the minimum and in some cases less than required causing them to reverse course.  The quality standards decrease due to loss of resources and lowered production values.  The goal can go from creative excellence above all to a threshold of providing just enough to avoid audience dissatisfaction.  PE can then walk away with little to no downside having profited from the transaction as a whole.  For everyone else no good comes of it.  It's going to be a really rough couple of years for a lot of our colleagues.   

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Doug Fowler

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Re: Eighth Day Sound and Clair join
« Reply #22 on: September 13, 2020, 10:56:15 pm »

TL;dr There is currently a cautionary tale for private equity in the live event space.  PE is not your friend.

VER has always been a box house or subcontractor.  Rebranding is a continuation of what they did pre PRG.  Much of PRG's revenue doesn't come from concert touring these days.  It's corporate, convention, theater, themed entertainment, special events and broadcast.  Much of it is B2B.  We use them and LMG when we can.

PE is a move that primarily enhances the fund first and foremost.  Everything else is secondary.  Doesn't matter if it's cookies, tractors or high end circus acts set to pretentious music.  It's all about the fund.  Long term PRG will survive in some manner.  It's too asset heavy to totally disappear.  Who knows perhaps if it comes time to file Clair could jump in.  My guess would be Les Goldberg.  He's PRG's biggest competition(or at least one of the biggest) and he's already doing well in the space.  I haven't seen anything that indicates PRG is in a precarious position compared to the rest of the industry.  It's tough for everyone right now.

As much of a behemoth as Clair is they aren't into those other segments as much as PRG.  One place Clair has made big inroads in this space is with Tait.  They do a good bit of all the big dog theatrical automation in town.  The big money in those segments isn't in audio or event lighting.  It's in presentation, video and broadcast.  I've been able to mix the broadcast for media events of most of the combat sports events in town as well as some big corporates we host in the room.  In each of the cases the audio and lighting equipment budgets are minuscule compared the other departments.  Over the last couple of years what they're now calling immersive audio (we call them soundscapes) has upped the cost but that's more in concept and creation rather than equipment and show run techs. 

I've spent about six years in my near fifteen years in town on a show town where the production had been owned by private equity.  PE firms operate largely in the same way.  They leverage the acquisition with debt that saddles the company with tremendous payments.  They can also charge "fees" for various "services" and "consulting".  They can reduce headcount to the minimum and in some cases less than required causing them to reverse course.  The quality standards decrease due to loss of resources and lowered production values.  The goal can go from creative excellence above all to a threshold of providing just enough to avoid audience dissatisfaction.  PE can then walk away with little to no downside having profited from the transaction as a whole.  For everyone else no good comes of it.  It's going to be a really rough couple of years for a lot of our colleagues.   

Good to hear from you buddy.
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Jim McKeveny

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Re: Eighth Day Sound and Clair join
« Reply #23 on: September 14, 2020, 09:14:50 am »

TL;dr There is currently a cautionary tale for private equity in the live event space.  PE is not your friend.

PE is nobody's friend. They exist to rapidly extract hard-won value and deposit the gutted corpse on someone else, while smiling and boasting about "efficiencies" and "core values". They stay scrupulously legal, yet are without commonly regarded scruples.

The endgame is market-making monopolistic power, which would render information and ideas exchange like this very board moot.
« Last Edit: September 14, 2020, 09:26:08 am by Jim McKeveny »
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Jim McKeveny

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Re: Eighth Day Sound and Clair join
« Reply #24 on: September 14, 2020, 09:34:54 am »

from creative excellence above all to a threshold of providing just enough to avoid audience dissatisfaction.

Nutshell: Anti-people, anti-art. Not my opinion but demonstrated fact.
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Dan Mortensen

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Re: Eighth Day Sound and Clair join
« Reply #25 on: September 14, 2020, 04:43:57 pm »

Good to hear from you buddy.

Indeed it is! Good to confirm Dave is still kickin'.

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Steve Payne

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Re: Eighth Day Sound and Clair join
« Reply #26 on: September 14, 2020, 04:53:53 pm »

Good to hear from you buddy.

Fearless Leader!  What a joy to hear you pipe in, Dave.  :-)
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Al Rettich

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Re: Eighth Day Sound and Clair join
« Reply #27 on: September 22, 2020, 12:31:01 am »

If no or little touring continues into 2021, the question will become can Clair hang on as well? I know they just went yet another round of layoffs. 
TL;dr There is currently a cautionary tale for private equity in the live event space.  PE is not your friend.

VER has always been a box house or subcontractor.  Rebranding is a continuation of what they did pre PRG.  Much of PRG's revenue doesn't come from concert touring these days.  It's corporate, convention, theater, themed entertainment, special events and broadcast.  Much of it is B2B.  We use them and LMG when we can.

PE is a move that primarily enhances the fund first and foremost.  Everything else is secondary.  Doesn't matter if it's cookies, tractors or high end circus acts set to pretentious music.  It's all about the fund.  Long term PRG will survive in some manner.  It's too asset heavy to totally disappear.  Who knows perhaps if it comes time to file Clair could jump in.  My guess would be Les Goldberg.  He's PRG's biggest competition(or at least one of the biggest) and he's already doing well in the space.  I haven't seen anything that indicates PRG is in a precarious position compared to the rest of the industry.  It's tough for everyone right now.

As much of a behemoth as Clair is they aren't into those other segments as much as PRG.  One place Clair has made big inroads in this space is with Tait.  They do a good bit of all the big dog theatrical automation in town.  The big money in those segments isn't in audio or event lighting.  It's in presentation, video and broadcast.  I've been able to mix the broadcast for media events of most of the combat sports events in town as well as some big corporates we host in the room.  In each of the cases the audio and lighting equipment budgets are minuscule compared the other departments.  Over the last couple of years what they're now calling immersive audio (we call them soundscapes) has upped the cost but that's more in concept and creation rather than equipment and show run techs. 

I've spent about six years in my near fifteen years in town on a show town where the production had been owned by private equity.  PE firms operate largely in the same way.  They leverage the acquisition with debt that saddles the company with tremendous payments.  They can also charge "fees" for various "services" and "consulting".  They can reduce headcount to the minimum and in some cases less than required causing them to reverse course.  The quality standards decrease due to loss of resources and lowered production values.  The goal can go from creative excellence above all to a threshold of providing just enough to avoid audience dissatisfaction.  PE can then walk away with little to no downside having profited from the transaction as a whole.  For everyone else no good comes of it.  It's going to be a really rough couple of years for a lot of our colleagues.   
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Eric Snodgrass

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Re: Eighth Day Sound and Clair join
« Reply #28 on: September 22, 2020, 06:51:37 pm »

If no or little touring continues into 2021, the question will become can Clair hang on as well? I know they just went yet another round of layoffs.
It wouldn't surprise me if Clair struggles throughout this industry shutdown.  As was mentioned previously in this thread they are primarily into the music touring business, which as we know isn't a growth market for well into 2021. 
Other companies that are a bit more diverse in their clientele and events (including big dogs like ATK and Firehouse) should be able to ride out this pandemic-induced industry slowdown, as broadcast events, one-off specials, television shows and even virtual corporate events are still happening. 

A few weeks ago I talked to a friend who is a senior employee at a local AV company here in the Los Angeles area.  The company saw a slowdown in business like everyone else in the industry from March through May.  They did some downsizing.  My friend said that once summer came their business shot up as demand skyrocketed for LED walls and video gear, mostly for television and one-off events.  He said that he hasn't been this busy in years. 
So there are certain segments of the industry that seem to be doing well during this.  I'm hoping that more of the audio industry vendors can adapt to this industry change so that they come out on the other side relatively healthy and ready to put people back to work. 
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John T. Cotton

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Re: Eighth Day Sound and Clair join
« Reply #29 on: September 25, 2020, 11:00:07 am »

Wow, I pop in for one of my rare lurking visits and behold, a post from THE Dave Stevens. ;-)  Cheers sir!
FWIW: my experience is similar.  No matter what the industry, outside money is often about commodity over quality, process over substance.

TL;dr There is currently a cautionary tale for private equity in the live event space.  PE is not your friend.

VER has always been a box house or subcontractor.  Rebranding is a continuation of what they did pre PRG.  Much of PRG's revenue doesn't come from concert touring these days.  It's corporate, convention, theater, themed entertainment, special events and broadcast.  Much of it is B2B.  We use them and LMG when we can.

PE is a move that primarily enhances the fund first and foremost.  Everything else is secondary.  Doesn't matter if it's cookies, tractors or high end circus acts set to pretentious music.  It's all about the fund.  Long term PRG will survive in some manner.  It's too asset heavy to totally disappear.  Who knows perhaps if it comes time to file Clair could jump in.  My guess would be Les Goldberg.  He's PRG's biggest competition(or at least one of the biggest) and he's already doing well in the space.  I haven't seen anything that indicates PRG is in a precarious position compared to the rest of the industry.  It's tough for everyone right now.

As much of a behemoth as Clair is they aren't into those other segments as much as PRG.  One place Clair has made big inroads in this space is with Tait.  They do a good bit of all the big dog theatrical automation in town.  The big money in those segments isn't in audio or event lighting.  It's in presentation, video and broadcast.  I've been able to mix the broadcast for media events of most of the combat sports events in town as well as some big corporates we host in the room.  In each of the cases the audio and lighting equipment budgets are minuscule compared the other departments.  Over the last couple of years what they're now calling immersive audio (we call them soundscapes) has upped the cost but that's more in concept and creation rather than equipment and show run techs. 

I've spent about six years in my near fifteen years in town on a show town where the production had been owned by private equity.  PE firms operate largely in the same way.  They leverage the acquisition with debt that saddles the company with tremendous payments.  They can also charge "fees" for various "services" and "consulting".  They can reduce headcount to the minimum and in some cases less than required causing them to reverse course.  The quality standards decrease due to loss of resources and lowered production values.  The goal can go from creative excellence above all to a threshold of providing just enough to avoid audience dissatisfaction.  PE can then walk away with little to no downside having profited from the transaction as a whole.  For everyone else no good comes of it.  It's going to be a really rough couple of years for a lot of our colleagues.   
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John T. Cotton

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Re: Eighth Day Sound and Clair join
« Reply #29 on: September 25, 2020, 11:00:07 am »


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