Welcome to our weekly digest of live music news and events in industry, academia and more.
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This Week’s Blog Post
Sheffield-based singer-songwriter Neil McSweeney explores the idea that, for a healthy live music ecosystem within a locality, there might be an optimum number – or at the least, a minimum provision – of rehearsal spaces, recording facilities and performance spaces for a given population with a given demographic make-up. In doing do, he paves the way towards further research while highlighting its importance for policy makers and local governments.
Ones To Watch
UK Music uncovers ‘goldmine’ of Government finance schemes for music companies: After pressure from the music business and other industry sectors, the Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) has released a document that points small and medium-sized outfits towards a number of lending and investment schemes tailored for small, creative companies.
The report includes the already popular Enterprise Finance Guarentee scheme, but also details less well known finance options for music companies.
The first in a series of live debates hosted by the Royal Opera House. This session will be led by Sarah Crompton, broadcaster and Arts Editor in Chief at The Daily Telegraph.
- Composer Mark-Anthony Turnage, who has written scores for both opera and ballet.
- Director Katie Mitchell, who has just staged George Benjamin’s new opera Written on Skin.
- Royal Ballet principal Gary Avis.
- Thriller writer Dreda Say Mitchell, whose tales depict life in contemporary London.
Live Music News:
Lady Gaga management and promoters to sue insurer following $25million tour cancellation: Lady Gaga’s management company and tour promoters are suing Lloyd’s of London over a 2012 concert that was called off after threats from Muslim extremists. The insurers are accused of refusing to honour two “terrorism policies” that would have protected the promoters from cancellation fees.
Jackson family AEG lawsuit to go to trial next month: The judge has ruled that the claim can go to trial. It centres on AEG’s oversight of and responsibility for Dr Conrad Murray, Jackson’s physician, who was convicted of involuntary manslaughter. The Jackson family claims to have a ‘smoking gun’ email which proves that AEG Live should be held liable.
The family of Bruce Springsteen sideman Clarence Clemons are also allegedly making a legal claim, accusing doctors of malpractice, contributing to his death: The doctors are accused of malpractice in their treatment of Clemons’s carpal tunnel syndrome as they omitted medication that could have prevented his stroke, according to the lawsuit.
Vince Power’s Hop Farm festival will return this year, he says, despite going into administration last year. Power has also hit back at claims made by Kent News that his company owed £4.8 million, saying that they are inaccurate.
In other festivals news, a new festival – Alt Fest – is using is using Kickstarter to source crowd-funding for its debut 2014 event. It aims to raise a minimum of £30,000 to put towards the overall budget, and has already raised £10,000 and booked over 30 bands that fans voted for via polls on the festival’s website and Facebook profile.
London 2012: ‘Urban fete’ to mark Olympics anniversary: The anniversary of London 2012’s opening ceremony will be marked with an “urban fete” at the Olympic Park. The two-day event, called “East”, will be held in July to celebrate the re-opening of the park’s northern section. The venue will also be the new location for Live Nation’s ‘Hard Rock Calling’ with Kasabian and Bruce Springsteen as headliners. This comes alongside Live Nation’s expected announcement that there will be a 29% increase in the arenas that show its acts across Europe, to include 5000 venues, as well as upping its EU stadium count from 30 to 69.
Justin Bieber’s arena tour, meanwhile, has made headlines and caused controversy. A late appearance at the O2, blamed on a technical issue but the subject of speculation, caused disappointment and anger amongst young fans who had to miss the end of the show, although Bieber was not fined for the overrun. A subsequent show was interrupted as the singer fainted and left the stage for twenty minutes to receive oxygen, before being taken to hospital after the performance. The end of the week also found him in an angry clash with photographers and a gig in Portugal has also been cancelled due to ‘unforeseen circumstances’.
Promoters of boy band One Direction’s gig in Belfast have included glow sticks, umbrellas, cameras and glass on a list of banned items: Promoters Aiken PR have said that due to “security restrictions” such items will be removed and all bags will be searched. Fans are also not permitted to queue at the venue before 5pm.
StubHub have entered into a deal over naming rights for AEG’s Home Depot Centre in California. The agreement is being touted as the first time a ticketing company has added its name to a major sports facility.
Also in ticketing, Songkick and Ticketscript launch integration function: The new function means fans will receive personalised Songkick email and push messages for upcoming events in their region and find a direct link to the Ticketscript ticket shop to buy tickets.
HMV owed £20m in unpaid tax at time of collapse: HMV owed more than £20million in unpaid tax when it was called into administration in January, new figures have revealed. The subsidiary of the company operating its store on Guernsey has also now gone into administration.
Newly appointed Arts Council England chair Peter Bazelgette has called on local authorities to prioritise culture as an “essential” service. This is against a backdrop of cuts, as Newcastle Council’s 50% arts cuts are confirmed, along with the announcement that Westminster City Council will cut all arts funding in the London borough by 2014/15. Belfast is bucking the trend, with an increase in arts funding of 27%.
Creative Scotland publishes “action plan for change”: A new programme of bursaries and awards for individual arts practitioners is part of a new “action plan for change”, published by Scotland’s under-fire arts quango, Creative Scotland.
Arts Council of Wales opens art form conversation: Dialogue with artists, the arts sector, participants, Assembly members, representative bodies and audience members is underpinning forthcoming arts strategy decisions.
British Council invests in British arts via global programme: The British Council is to increase its investment in its global arts programme in response to increased demand for UK arts, expertise and specialist skills abroad. It will put an additional £7m into the budget for the programme over the next two years, on top of the £21.5m already earmarked.
Details of new paid opportunities for young people to gain training, skills and experience in the cultural sector have been released by Creative & Cultural Skills at the launch of the Creative Employment Programme (CEP). The £15m Lottery-funded programme aims to help young unemployed people aged 16-24 enter the arts and cultural workforce in both technical and administrative roles.
Review into Chetham’s music school after abuse claims: Child protection safeguards are being reviewed at a Manchester music school at the centre of a police probe into historical sexual abuse allegations.
Free Jersey music lessons to end in 2014: Education minister Deputy Patrick Ryan wants politicians to approve a plan to introduce charges for the Jersey Music Service. The scheme would bring Jersey in line with similar music services in England, where charges were introduced more than a decade ago.
Southbank centre unveils ambitious £100m redevelopment: ‘Floating pavilion’ is centrepiece of proposals to transform Hayward Gallery, Queen Elizabeth Hall and Purcell Room.
Also launched was a £13m training and rehearsal facility for the performing arts. The Backstage Centre was officially opened by Jools Holland in Purfleet, Essex.
The Brewhouse in Taunton remains under threat: A proposal to cut councillors’ allowances and use the money to support the theatre in Taunton has been rejected. The theatre announced last month it was to close, blaming cuts in arts funding for the decision.
Bradford Council has also bid for a former cinema, proposals for which include a music venue, but are dependent on £4.1m maintenance money from the government.
Also suffering from cuts is the Reading Carnival, which has been cancelled due to a lack of funding.
Better news for Liverpool, which is to host its first annual St George’s Day Festival in April, the city council has announced. The free day-long event will take place on 21st April – the closest Sunday to St George’s Day, which is on 23rd April.
Glasgow Commonwealth cultural extravaganza planned: Organisers of the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow say a “world-class” cultural programme they are planning will create the equivalent of the Edinburgh Festival to complement the sporting extravaganza next year.
Eleven places from across the UK are bidding to be named City of Culture in 2017: The longlist features Aberdeen, Chester, Dundee, East Kent (covering Ashford, Canterbury, Dover, Folkestone and Thanet), Hastings and Bexhill on Sea, Hull, Leicester, Plymouth, Portsmouth and Southampton, Southend on Sea, and Swansea Bay (covering Swansea, Carmarthenshire, Neath, and Port Talbot).
Research institute to probe stress among entertainment industry: The National Institute for Clinical Research into Stress in England has set up a support programme for those working in the entertainment industry suffering from stress.
Research at the University of Paderborn in Germany, meanwhile, claims that 13% orchestra musicians suffer from severe stage fright and another 30% suffer moderately.
Bolshoi Ballet dancer Pavel Dmitrichenko has confessed in a video released to state TV to being behind the acid attack that nearly blinded company’s director Sergei Filin. He claims that his motive was to ‘avenge his girlfriend’ in the company’s internecine rivalries, but denies that he intended it to go that far. He faces up to twelve years in prison.
Lamb of God frontman Randy Blythe has been acquitted in the criminal case against him in the Czech Republic where he was accused of causing the death of a fan by pushing him off stage at a gig in Prague in 2010. Blythe maintained his innocence throughout, and expressed sympathy for the family of the dead fan, Daniel Noseck, in a statement after the ruling. The prosecution intends to appeal.
Police in Poland have arrested a man for the murder of two people found dead in the building of the Lower Silesia Philharmonic in Jelenia Gora. The victims were Victoria Anna Jankowska, a harp player and student at the Frederic Chopin University in Warsaw and a security guard.
A controversial bill in Russia would oblige concert organizers to obtain a special license and a 150-million-ruble ($4.9 million) bank guarantee has caused a commotion in the concert market prompting fears that small promoters will be unable to operate and ticket prices will rise.
Vienna Philharmonic’s Nazi past detailed: Almost half the musicians in the Vienna Philharmonic during World War II were members of the Nazi party, new research has revealed. The report follows claims of a cover-up by the world famous orchestra.
Industrial unrest in US orchestras continues:
Legislators in Minnesota have called for an audit of the books at the Minnesota Orchestra, where musicians are locked out. The nearby St.Paul’s Orchestra, also involved in fractious contract negotiations continue, has cancelled concerts through to April 21st.
Relations between management and musicians over contract terms have also run into difficulties at the Lexington Philharmonic and musicians at the San Francisco Symphony orchestra, whose principal oboist died recently, have voted to authorise strike action if an agreement cannot be reached on salary and benefit issues.
The Louisville Orchestra has reached a three-year contract agreement with its musicians that freezes their wages for the next two years.
Carly Rae Jepsen and Train have both pulled out of a concert being held as part of an upcoming jamboree staged by the Boy Scouts Of America movement because of the American organisation’s ban on gay members.
The Who’s Pete Townshend has apologised for swearing at a seven year old girl and her father, who were holding up a sign asking him to smash his guitar, at a concert in Canada.
People across the world have fallen foul of the Harlem Shake internet meme. Five people were arrested in Russia for filming themselves dancing on a tank that is a Word War II memorial, miners in Australia have been sacked for performing the dance on shift and a teacher in Caldicot has been suspended over a claim that the Harlem Shake was filmed at a school and posted online.
Bonnie Tyler is to represent the UK at the Eurovision Song Contest in Sweden. Also involved is Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi, who has co-written the entry for Armenia.
Changes for live TV music shows as London Live has moved from its previous home at T4 to be aired by Box TV on 4Music whilst the recording of BBC Two’s ‘Later… With Jools Holland’ is to move to ITV’s Maidstone Studios after the closing-down BBC Television Centre in West London.
Fatboy Slim DJs at House of Commons: The night was in aid of the Last Night A DJ Saved My Life Foundation which encourages young people to get involved in their communities.
Heritage award to mark Queen’s first gig: The PRS for Music Heritage Award was marked with a commemorative plaque unveiled at Imperial College, the place of their first performance in July 1970.
Used Alto Saxophone For Sale- $115,000: A saxophone played on stage by John Coltrane is on sale on e-bay for $115,000.
Azealia Banks accuses Stone Roses of sabotage in Twitter rant – ‘I wish them nothing but excrement and death’: Both were playing at Australia’s Future Music Festival. The rapper accused the Stone Roses of intentionally sabotaging her set at the request of her former manager.
Gig cancellations and late arrivals – your consumer rights: Following the furore around Justin Bieber’s late arrival at the O2, The Guardian looks at where refunds are and are not available.
Agents behaving reasonably?: 2012 was a tricky year for the UK’s many music festivals but Steve Heap reports for Arts Professional on how they are determined to ride out the storm, with the understanding of the artists and their agents.
Taking green steps: Ben Challis, co-founder of A Greener Festival, gives advice on how festivals can reduce their environmental impact.
Shameless plugs needed at festivals: Sarah Whyte, consumer affairs reporter for The Sydney Morning Herald, makes the case for earplugs at music festivals.
Springsteen in Leeds – The home-town heroes should call the tune in the new arena: A Leeds band, not the Boss, should open the city’s new Arena, argues Elisa Bray in The Independent.
Community opera – what’s it like directing an opera at Glyndebourne with 75 amateurs?: Susannah Waters on the challenges of working with a 75-strong amateur chorus on Imago, Glyndebourne’s community opera.
Doing More About Diversity in America’s Orchestras: Jesse Rosen, President and CEO of the League of American Orchestras, describes what is being done to make orchestras more inclusive.
Why Do Russians Love Ballet So Much?: Against the backdrop of bitter rivalries played out in the news, Brian Palmer in Slate looks at how Russia came to dominate the ballet world.
Live Music-Related Events:
Compact: Making Money In Dance Music: This event is aimed specifically at DJs and Producers looking to progress from a bedroom hobby or from the early stages of success into a long-term successful career. The sessions feature guest speaker Danny Ward and cover a wide range of topics including,
- The various income streams available to DJs and Producers/Artists
- How to approach record labels
- Working with record labels
- How to get more gigs
- Choosing the right opportunities
- Promoting yourself and building an audience
- How to set up your own record label
Centre for Enterprise, Teeside University, Middlesborough, TS1 3BA, Wednesday 13th March, 10am – 5pm.
What’s holding you back? Federation of Entertainment Unions Training event: 14 March, 2pm – 4.30pm, Musicians’ Union, 60-62 Clapham Road, London, SW9 0JJ
– Analysing your needs
– Knowing yourself – looking at how you did your best work in the past and what motivates you now
– Re-focusing and get started again
– Prioritising without becoming overwhelmed by tasks
– Unblocking creativity
– Learning to enjoy what you do again
– Working discipline: what is working; what is not and changing it to fit.
National Learn to Play Day: Music stores all over the UK will once again be offering everyone free taster music lessons, across a huge range of instruments from guitars, pianos and drums to ukuleles, saxophones and bassoons. Saturday March 16th, Details at: http://www.learntoplayday.com/
The Clore Leadership Programme – Emerging Leaders Course : Sunday 17th – Friday 22nd March 2013 at Craxton Wood Hotel, Chester.
Music Education Expo: Seminars and workshops will include:-
- Manageable, whole-class instrumental teaching
- How to be ‘outstanding’ at Ofsted
- Pyschology for music teachers: coping with tricky parents and pupils
- Teaching with tablet computers
- Boosting business for private teachers
- Inclusion and special needs workshop
- Behaviour management
- Keeping pupils motivated
Barbican Centre, London 20th – 21st March 2013
The Small Economies of the ‘New’ Music Industry : Severn Pop Network inaugural conference, University of Bristol, UK, 25th March 2013.
Introduction to working in the Community Music Sector : A morning workshop using John Stevens’ ‘Search and Reflect’ approach with afternoon seminar exploring the employment potential and training needs within community music, followed by a panel discussion offering the chance to ask industry professionals questions you get the inside track on working in the community music sector. Brady Arts & Community Centre, 192-196 Hanbury Street, London, E1 5HU, 28th March 2013, 10am to 4pm.
Cr8net: A one-day conference for the creative industries, bringing together industry practitioners, policy makers and businesses. Village Underground (in ‘Tech City’) on 24th April 2013.
17th Biennial IASPM Conference: Bridge Over Troubled Waters: Challenging Orthodoxies, 24-28 June 2013, Oviedo, Spain.
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