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Insomniac Furloughs 50% of Staff Amid COVID-19 Crisis

Insomniac furloughs 50 percent of staff amid COVID-19 crisis. 

Dance promoter Insomniac has furloughed 90 people, representing approximately 50% of its employee base, the company confirmed to Billboard in a statement. Employees will retain all their medical benefits while on furlough, a source confirmed.

“Like many other companies in our industry impacted by COVID-19, Insomniac made the difficult but necessary decision to furlough certain employees while we are unable to produce our shows,” founder and chief executive Pasquale Rotella tells Billboard in a statement. “It is our full intention to bring those team members back on board once events are allowed to occur again, and the business is in a position to support the additional staff.”


The live entertainment industry has been hard hit by the coronavirus pandemic, which has lead to a global shutdown of festival and concerts and the cancellation or postponement of more than 30,000  events on the Ticketmaster system (owned by Insomniac’s parent company Live Nation), with another 25,000 still on the books for the year that will likely be affected. On Friday (May 1) Ticketmaster began offering refunds for some of the postponed shows promoted by Live Nation and AEG.

Insomniac has rescheduled of a number of its marquee events, postponing Electric Daisy Carnival in Las Vegas from May to October 2-4. Some of Insomniac’s upcoming events including EDC Korea in Seoul (Aug. 15-16) and EDC Orlando (Nov. 13-15) have not been postponed. Insomniac still has about two dozen active club and venues shows listed on its site, including a May 28 SLANDER show at Las Vegas’ Area 51, that have not been cancelled or postponed.


A number of postponed festivals will be presented as live streams starting this Friday at 8 pm with Dream State, followed by the EDC Las Vegas Virtual Rave-A-Thon beginning May 15. Insomniac’s livestreams can be found at insomniac.com/livestream.

The concert industry has seen more than 24,000 full and part time employees laid off or furloughed since March 14, according to numbers compiled by Billboard. Last week Ticketmaster furloughed 25 percent of its staff and yesterday Pollstar reported that agencies UTA and Endeavor, parent company to WME, have started furloughing large numbers employees. Paradigm, APA, Cirque du Soleil, Stubhub, Eventbrite, Feld Entertainment, ShowClix, AudienceView, TKTS and Levy Restaurants have all laid off or furloughed employees.