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
Jeff Thompson explains the concept behind the Off Axis Network, a proposed UK-wide network of musicians, promoters, and venues based on the Brazilian model of the ‘Fora do Eixo’. The network aims to empower grassroots musicians by establishing a national ‘gig swap’ system by which musicians can build credit via an online system, which will then enable them to play all over the country.
One from the Archive
The Brudenell Social Club in Headingley was formed as a ‘gentleman’s social and recreational club’ in 1913. It is still a members’ club and has built a reputations as one of Yorkshire’s most respected venues, winning NME Best Small Venue in Yorkshire/North East in 2011.
Nathan Clark, general manager and promoter at the venue, talks here about its history, its unique status and the DIY ethic at its heart.
He also touches on the Leeds music scene more generally and the wider relationship between promoters, venues, acts, government and the academy.
Live Music News:
Live Music Act threshold set to increase to 500 capacity venues: DCMS has issued a new proposal to further deregulate entertainment by raising the Live Music Act audience threshold from 200 to 500 in on-licensed premises. Among the conclusions of the response is the decision to treat recorded music in the same way as live music in on-licensed premises between 08:00 to 23:00 (i.e. with an audience limit of 500 and the prospect of a Review if noise nuisance is caused). Community events will be made exempt from licensing restrictions under the new plans. The full DCMS response can be found here.
DCMS creative industries classifications flawed: DCMS classification of the creative industries is inconsistent and needs to be addressed, according to a new report by Nesta. The report, ‘A dynamic mapping of the UK’s Creative Industries’ says there is no explicit method underpinning the DCMS’s current classification system and suggests a re-classification which measures ‘creative intensity’ – the proportion of people working within an industry in a specifically creative role.
In festival news, The Big Chill will not be taking place in 2013: The 2012 festival was cancelled because it clashed with the Olympics but organisers Festival Republic have told the BBC there are ‘currently no plans for The Big Chill to return in 2013’.
Risk of more festival casualties in 2013, says Cake: There is a ‘real danger’ rising production costs and competition from Europe could force some festivals out of the market this year, according to Cake’s head of production Will McHugh.
Glastonbury announce official off-site camping for 2013 festival: Pre-erected off-site camping facilities will be available for 4,000 revellers.
Bonnaroo unveils permanent solar panels to generate 20% of its energy needs: Bonnaroo today announced that it has installed a massive, permanent array of nearly 200 solar panels which will generate about 20% of the festival’s energy needs — a first for any large-scale music festival.
US festival snap picks up best satellite image: An image of the Burning Man Festival in the US has won an online vote for one company’s best satellite image of 2012. The picture was taken on August 28, 2012, by the WorldView-2 satellite and shows tents, vehicles and people gathered in the desert. More (non-satellite) photos of the festival show its massive scale.
Pop most popular genre in UK in 2012: Pop remained the most popular type of music in the UK for the second year running in 2012, according to stats from the Official Charts Company and BPI released today.
Following David Bowie’s surprise release of a new single, his guitarist Earl Slick says: ‘We want him to tour’: Slick says ‘I could get a phone call tomorrow saying, “Hey, you know what? Here’s the setlist”’. However, Bowie’s long-term producer Tony Visconti has ruled out any live performances.
Arctic Monkeys to headline FIB Benicàssim 2013: Band join The Killers and Queens Of The Stone Age at Spanish festival.
Leonard Cohen books O2 Arena date; Cohen to play a solo concert at London’s O2 Arena on 21 Jun, a date he’s just announced as part of an international tour starting in March.
Led Zeppelin reunion ‘not likely’ says Jimmy Page: One of the biggest names in music, Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page, has confirmed a reunion ‘doesn’t look very likely’.
As the papers fill with news of the Oscars and Golden Globes, the music industries are still handing out awards like there’s no tomorrow.
Brit Awards 2013: The nominations: The nominees for this year’s Brit Awards have been announced in London, honouring the biggest and best music artists of the past 12 months.
Voting opens for Parliamentary Jazz Awards 2013: The Parliamentary Jazz Awards is organised by the All Party Parliamentary Jazz Appreciation Group (APPJAG), and supported by PPL in conjunction with Jazz Services, Jazz UK, Jazzwise, and the Jazz Section of the Musicians’ Union. Entries are open to everyone, and forms can be completed on-line from the Jazz Services website at www.jazzservices.org.uk . The final deadline for entries is midday on Monday February 4, 2013.
Festival Awards Europe 2012 – All the winners : Belgium’s Tomorrowland was crowned the Best Major Festival at the Festival Awards Europe 2012 in The Netherlands’ Groningen – where Live Nation’s Herman Schueremans also picked up his Lifetime Achievement Award.
Lion King reveals West End show grossed £38m in 2012, marking the eighth consecutive year that it has broken its box office record, according to its producers.
Meanwhile, the Spice Girls show ‘fails to sell out’: After launching with great fanfare a month ago, more than 200 seats remain unsold on certain nights.
Cameron Mackintosh to revive two of his biggest flops: Is Cameron Mackintosh getting nostalgic in his old age? Having hinted that Miss Saigon might follow Les Miserables onto celluloid, the theatre producer has revealed that two of his biggest flops are in line for major revivals – Moby Dick and Martin Guerre.
Really Useful Group accounts reveal Lloyd Webber sold Palace for £20m in 2012: At the time of the sale, RUG declined to reveal how much it had sold the West End venue for. However, accounts just filed with Companies House reveal that the Palace was valued at just over £20 million prior to the sale, while net proceeds from the sale are recorded as £18.2 million.
Sheffield’s Tramlines festival considering charge following Council cuts: Sheffield City Council’s worst-ever cuts have left communities worrying about the future of their libraries and organisers of city centre events such as the Tramlines Festival considering charges for the first time. The authority has announced £30 million of cuts to services as part of £50m of overall cuts in 2013/14. The Crucible and Lyceum venues, run by Sheffield Theatres, will lose £106,000. The news comes a week after Sheffield Theatres was named regional theatre of the year by The Stage newspaper.
New Vic to lose 100% of funding from Stoke-on-Trent City Council: Stoke-on-Trent City Council has proposed to reduce the venue’s current annual grant of £67,500 by £23,000 in each of the next three financial years, meaning its funding for the theatre will have ceased completely by 2016/17.
Cultural quarter to lead regeneration in Northampton: Northampton has revealed plans to establish a Cultural Quarter that will recognise the contribution the arts make to the local economy, as well as acknowledging that creativity and innovation are central to Northampton’s regeneration.
Bangor university’s Pontio: Work starts on arts centre: The foundation stone is to be laid for a new £44m arts and innovation centre in Bangor, Gwynedd, during a ceremony to mark the start of building work.
Godiva Festival: Coventry residents to vote on venue: The annual free event was cancelled last summer because of conditions in the War Memorial Park at a cost of about £450,000 to the city council. The authority now wants the public to choose between the park or city centre as the venue for the three-day event.
Royal Opera House announces ambitious programme of new works: The Royal Opera House today unveiled a programme of radical new operas, including an adaptation of The Wasp Factory, Iain Banks’s cult novel about a psychopathic teenager. The move could transform the image of the venue, which has previously left rival English National Opera to court controversy over avant-garde work.
Roman theatre from 2,000 years ago discovered in Kent: The excavated site at Faversham has revealed an open-air ‘cockpit’ theatre built into the hillside, which is the first of its kind to be uncovered in Britain.
Thousands visit Three Choirs Festival in Hereford: The celebration of music dates from 1719 and rotates between the cathedral cities of Hereford, Worcester and Gloucester. Reports are that The Gathering Wave has been the ‘largest ever’ Three Choirs event.
North East bands join forces to raise money for hospice: Musicians including The Futureheads and Peter Brewis from Mercury-nominated Field Music will take part in St Os Fest on the 11 January. The night is to raise money for St Oswald’s Hospice in Gosforth, which provides specialist care for local adults, young people and children.
Birmingham trust aims to discover new musical instruments: A Birmingham father has said it was his daughter’s frustrations at being unable to perform music that prompted the search for an orchestral instrument that can be played with one hand.
Sheet music for all in schools: A new agreement between the Copyright Licensing Agency (CLA) and the Department for Education will include a new license with the Music Publishers Association meaning sheet music can be copied in schools.
New music biennial seeks compositions: The first UK-wide music biennial, to take place in 2014, is seeking proposals from organisations to work with composers to create 20 new works to be performed across the country.
Seatwave founder Joe Cohen steps down as CEO: According to the FT, Cohen’s move follows other senior execs leaving Seatwave, even while revenues at Seatwave broke through £10m for the first time in its history in 2012.
The Musicians’ Union executive committee has elected Kathy Dyson as its first female Chair: Dyson, who has been a member of the MU Executive Committee for ten years, is a jazz guitarist and has broad experience within the music industry.
More than 5,000 music projects funded by Kickstarter in 2012: Music projects enjoyed more successful funding than any other category, with 5,067 out of 9,086 attempts. There were just under $35 million in pledges for music projects from 1.38 million people – up 84% from $19 million in 2011.
Claude Nobs, Montreux Jazz Festival founder, dead at 76: The Jazz Festival said Nobs, a native of Montreux, died Thursday after sustaining injuries from a fall while cross-country skiing nearby on Christmas Eve.
Vladimir Franz: tattooed composer polling strongly in the Czech elections: University professor’s pro-education, apolitical stance wins significant popularity in presidential campaign – although he has spent little and is also distracted by the premiere of his new opera.
Sir Simon Rattle to quit Berlin Philharmonic in 2018: The British conductor, who joined the orchestra in 2002, admitted it had not been an ‘easy decision’: ‘In 2018 I will be nearly 64 years old’, he said. ‘As a Liverpool boy, it is impossible not to think of the Beatles’ question, “Will you still need me.., when I’m 64?”’
British composer misses Carnegie Hall deadline: Oliver Knussen has failed to deliver a new work to the Philadelphia Orchestra in time for a Carnegie Hall premiere next month but the Orchestra luckily had another composer ready just in case . . .
Quake-hit concert hall is ready to reopen: The Muza Kawasaki Symphony Hall in Tokyo and is home to the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra. It has been restored for reopening on April 1, 2013, with a performance of Bruckner’s ninth symphony.
Macca’s anti-leather rider exposed: Amid specifications for Macca’s dressing room, aka ‘inner sanctum’, is a ‘crucial’ boycott on ‘furniture made of animal skin or print’ and/or ‘glass or lacquer’. Catering, meanwhile, is to be vegetarian-only, with a blanket ban on all and any meat and meat-based by-products.
Les Miserables fan Sally Frith sees musical 957 times: Sally Frith from Gloucestershire is a massive fan of Les Miserables. In 25 years she has notched up 957 visits to see the famous musical on stage.
South Korea’s ‘pop star’ servicemen take to the stage: A new stage musical starring pop singers and actors, who are serving compulsory military duty, has opened in the South Korean capital of Seoul.
Live Music Features:
Bowie’s golden years: why sixties are the new forties: David Bowie is just the latest pop star to suggest that getting older prompts a creative renaissance says The Telegraph’s Bernadette McNulty.
How to get music fans on Facebook (video): The BBC meets They’re Fury, who have 17,000 fans on Facebook.
More (show) business can be good for the arts: The second highest-grossing release at Britain’s cinemas on one evening in the middle of December wasn’t a film. It was a one-off, live broadcast of The Nutcracker from the Royal Opera House. Evening Standard’s Gideon Spanier argues that in times of austerity, arts organisations must help themselves, and new technology and marketing are key.
Les Miserables movie reaches out to the uninitiated: The film version of Les Miserables opens in the UK this week. Will Tom Hooper’s starry affair have the same success on British cinema screens as the musical has enjoyed in the West End, on Broadway and elsewhere?
How the ubiquitous-ization of classical music will save it: Against the instinct of purists to denounce the ubiquitous cheapening of classical music in ringtones, overheated movie trailers and hip-hop songs, Paul Elie contends: ‘The more various our encounters with Bach, the more objective his genius is’.
Free orchestral concerts for schools – are they worth it? Taking musicians into schools (or schools to the music) benefits all parties, says The Guardian’s Patrick Bailey – including big business.
More Evidence That Studying Music Boosts Brain Power Across one and one-half years, children in the music group showed a greater increase on every measure of verbal memory than the natural science and control groups.
Play it again: conquering Chopin’s Ballade No 1: Could an amateur pianist master Ballade No 1 in G minor, Op 23, described as ‘one of the hardest pieces in the repertoire’? Alan Rusbridger, the Guardian’s editor, gave himself a year.
Conductor with bipolar disorder on music and mental illness (video): Ronald Braunstein’s professional track was derailed by bipolar disorder. He says his colleagues in the music business seemed little to understand his condition and that he suffered discrimination as a result. Now he hopes to use his talent to help others. He conducts the ME2 orchestra in Vermont where amateur musicians coping with mental illness come together with those supporting their cause to create music without worrying about the stigma.
Q&A: Riku Salomaa, Music Finland: The first music industry conference and showcase festival of the year, Eurosonic Noorderslag, got underway in Groningen in The Netherlands last week. Showcasing bands from all over Europe, each year the event selects one featured country that is given extra attention, and this year that is Finland. CMU interviewed Riku Salomaa from Finnish export agency Music Finland to find out what this means for Finnish music.
Live Music-Related Events:
Morgensterns and MU Orchestral Audition Masterclasses: Morgensterns and the Musicians’ Union (MU) are launching three pilot Orchestral Audition Masterclasses in January and February 2013 to help musicians with professional orchestral experience hone their orchestral audition skills.
Association of British Orchestras 2013 Annual Conference Leeds: 23rd – 25th January 2013, Grand Theatre / Howard Assembly Room, Leeds. The timetable is here.
The Musicians’ Hearing Services: Lofi Studios, 20 Anchor Lane, Glasgow, G1 2HW Glasgow on Thursday 24th and Friday 25th January. MU members can receive a hearing test at the special discounted price of £20, along with a consultation and advice from Geraldine Daly of the Musicians’ Hearing Services. Members can also purchase made-to-measure ear protectors at discounted prices.
MIDEM: An international yearly event, dedicated to the opinion leaders and decision makers of the music industry. Palais Des Festivals, Cannes, France. 26th – 29th January 2013.
Association of Independent Festivals Seminars: Bad Weather Planning / Festival Marketing & Sponsorship, Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, SE1 8XX, 6th February 2013, £35-80.
Rhythm Changes Jazz Research Seminar will be held on Friday 8th February, 4-6pm at the University of Salford.
The Tipping Point Masterclass Day: High profile music industry guests and associations come together to discuss music industry trends, the issues facing emerging artists and future models DIY artists should embrace to get ahead in 2013.
Tickets: £6. The Roundhouse, Chalk Farm Road, London, NW1 . 11am – 5:30pm, Saturday 16th February 2013.
Green Events & Innovation Conference – 7th March 2013 at The Royal Garden Hotel in Kensington, London. Tickets for the Conference (which include lunch, and a day of panels, keynotes and workshops) are £75, with a discount rate of £50 available for AIF Members, Yourope Members, ILMC delegates and students. You can register here. Spaces will be limited and offered on a first come first serve basis!
International Live Music Conference (ILMC): 8th -10th March 2013 at Royal Garden Hotel in London, hosted by A Greener Festival, Bucks New University and the Association of Independent Festivals.
The Clore Leadership Programme – Emerging Leaders Course. Sunday 17th – Friday 22nd March 2013 at Craxton Wood Hotel, Chester.
The small economies of the ‘new’ music industry. Severn Pop Network inaugural conference, University of Bristol, UK, 25th March 2013.
17th Biennial IASPM Conference: Bridge Over Troubled Waters: Challenging Orthodoxies, 24-28 June 2013, Oviedo, Spain.
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