Welcome to our weekly digest of live music news and events in industry, academia and more. This will be the final Live Music Exchange Digest of 2012 – we will be back with a new blog post on 3rd January and with the digest as usual from 7th January. In the meantime, have a wonderful festive season and we will see you in 2013!
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This Week’s Blog Post
The annual Festival Awards conference was held on Monday 3rd December 2012 at the Roundhouse in Camden, London. Live Music Exchange was there and brings this report of what was learned about the UK’s festival industry this year.
Ones to Watch:
Blogger Mark Reed gives a ticking off to the Tate over the Kraftwerk fiasco; in doing so, he puts forward the argument that ticket agencies can be the more efficient option.
Highlights included information about legislation in France that has created a new criminal offence (article 313-6-2, French penal code) for the ‘unauthorized ticket resale to sporting, cultural, trade events, and live performances’ – this was deliberately timed to be close to the general election, and required vocal support from 100 artists and a strong media and lobbying campaign. The general feeling from the panellists was that the push for legislation in the UK had to come from the industry. However, while Live Nation’s Paul Latham recently described secondary ticketing as ‘parasitic’ and in need of legislation, there was little discussion at the Live UK Summit 2012 around ticketing, particularly compared to 2008’s Summit when secondary ticketing was a major concern. Will the live music industry be as concerned to legislate secondary ticketing now that it has allegedly found a means of making money via the kickbacks discovered by Channel 4’s Dispatches programme?
Ticketing is still very much in the news this week, as ticket demand for Kraftwerk’s Turbine Hall shows crashed the Tate’s website when they went on sale at 7.30am last Wednesday. Director of the Tate, Nicholas Serota, was forced to defend the website following the ticket crash but Tate has now issued an apology to Kraftwerk fans. However, as The Guardian’s Philip Oltermann points out, ‘failing computers crashing the robot party’ is beautifully ironic.
Featured Artist Coalition Supports The Association of Independent Festivals’ Ticketing Charter: Signatories include Radiohead, Bestival, Orbital, and Secret Garden Party. Calls for secondary ticket sellers to ‘cease and desist selling tickets’ for supporter’s events.
Complaints about fraudulent online tickets increase: In 2010, Action Fraud received more than 600 complaints, that number jumped up to 7,000 last year. They say that rise was mainly down to one dodgy website. However, the police operation set up to deal with ticket fraudsters for the Olympics – Operation Podium – is set to close.
Ripped off by the One Direction cyber touts: Internet concert tickets scam costs fans a fortune: A Mirror investigation has found that one tout obtained more than 1,000 premium seats for this year’s One Direction tour that were bought using a “botnet” computer program.
Paperless gig ticket technology still not ‘practical’: Paperless tickets could help combat touts but many venues still do not have the capabilities to support them, say independent music promoters.
Newsbeat’s guide to… ticket booking fees: What goes into a booking fee to make it cost extra and is this fee ever likely to go away? Some of the big players in the music ticket world give their views.
Scottish sport and culture bring in £10m a week: Malcolm Roughead, Chief Executive of Visit Scotland said: ‘Culture is catching up with the landscape as one of the main reasons to come to Scotland on holiday’.
Search begins for new head of troubled Creative Scotland: Front and centre is Bridget McConnell, chief executive at Glasgow Life, and wife of former Labour first minister Jack McConnell – now Lord McConnell. Seona Reid, currently the director of Glasgow School of Art, is also hotly tipped.
Arts Council England to face £11.6m of further cuts: This will mean that ACE will receive a £3.9 million cut in 2013/14 and a £7.7 million cut in 2014/15. ACE has started to restructure and will be applying these cuts directly to National Portfolio Organisations (NPOs).
Newcastle arts cuts are disastrous, say stars of north-east: Artists including Sting, Neil Tennant, Bryan Ferry and Mark Knopfler have written to the Guardian expressing alarm.
Following on from last week’s news stories about the clashes between Culture Secretary Maria Miller and the arts lobby, Miller has been embroiled with an expenses scandal and is to investigated after reporters established that Mrs Miller’s parents lived in her taxpayer-funded second home. Her advisers allegedly warned The Telegraph to consider the minister’s role in implementing the Leveson Report before the newspaper published details of her expenses.
Internal report gives Arts Council England a clean bill of health in relation to Artists Taking the Lead in Yorkshire.
Nervous start for Catalyst fundraising scheme: Arts Quarter report shows a mixed picture for recipients of ACE’s Capacity Building and Match Funding awards.
Arts get a boost from major donors: Coutts reports shows donations over £1m increasing, but the amount donated is lower than last year.
Unclaimed Lottery prize means cash boost for the arts: Good causes hit the jackpot as ticket holder loses out on £68m.
A report by the Musicians’ Union reveals that 60% of musicians worked for free in past year. Many musicians suffering from low pay allegedly rely on royalties from copyright. The report shows that most musicians earn less than £20k per year.
At the opposite end of the scale, Britney Spears has been named highest-earning woman in music of 2012 in Forbes list, earning $58 million despite not releasing any new music or going on tour this year. A substantial part of Spears’ income came from her stint as a judge on US X Factor, which was reportedly worth $15m (£9.3m). Forbes magazine said the bulk of her earnings came from her 2011 album, Femme Fatale, which went Platinum in the US, and receipts from her world tour, which ran between June and December 2011.
Madonna’s ‘MDNA’ tour named highest-grossing tour of 2012: Singer’s world jaunt may have been controversial – but it raked in the cash…
Tributes pour in for Ravi Shankar, who has died, aged 92: The death of the musician, described as a ‘national treasure’ by the Indian PM, is seen as a huge loss to the music world. Guns N’ Roses dedicate Indian concert to Ravi Shankar in New Delhi on night of world musician’s passing.
Russian opera singer Galina Vishnevskaya dies, aged 86: Soprano performed some of opera’s finest roles and was hailed as an example of the cultural richness produced by Soviet Union.
Lady Gaga upsets Russian conservatives with gay support message: Pop star calls for respect for gay rights at a weekend concert in St Petersburg leading Russian conservative MP to ask prosecutors to investigate Lady Gaga for breaking the law.
US Department Of State responds to Lamb Of God manslaughter case: Blythe stands accused of causing the death of a fan at a show in Prague in 2010. He was arrested when the band returned to the country this summer and held in custody for five weeks. Upon being released on bail, he returned to the US but vowed to go back to the Czech Republic to face trial if and when he was called to do so. The case was formally submitted to court by prosecutors last week.
Justin Bieber murder plot revealed to police – by the man who planned it: Convicted killer hired fellow inmate to castrate singer, before turning in his accomplices.
Rituals, dances and carnivals win U.N. protection: The frenetic music and vibrant colours of the Frevo, a Brazilian carnival dance, have been immortalized by UNESCO as a world heritage treasure.
Rock stars turn out for superstorm Sandy benefit concert in New York. Acts include the Rolling Stones, and Paul McCartney with a ‘reunited’ Nirvana. Not everyone is pleased at the latter, however, as Kurt Cobain’s widow, Courtney Love, is said to be ‘not amused’ with Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic’s decision to perform with Beatle at 12.12.12 gig.
Rolling Stones’ final anniversary concert offered as an interactive Pay-Per-View: Fans opting for the online version of One More Shot will get HD video, DVR functionality, and even ‘instant replay’. The service will be available anywhere in the world, with support for local currencies, so consumers can watch on iPads or iPhones, PCs, tablets, and smartphones of all sorts, and can watch live or on demand for 30 days after the show.
Music industry leader signs long-term extension with Live Nation Entertainment: Arthur Fogel has signed a long-term extension to continue his role as the Chairman of Global Music and the CEO of Global Touring.
No Direction Home festival cancelled: The first casualty of the 2013 festival calendar has come before the year has even started due to financial losses in 2012; the festival will return in 2014.
Womad policing concerns settled after licence hearing: Following a hearing, Wiltshire Police said it was content that conditions had been set which would ‘provide a safe event for people to enjoy’ in 2013.
Eminem to headline Reading and Leeds festivals in 2013: The rapper will grace the event 11 years since his last bill-topping performance at Reading & Leeds.
Keith Richards and Stevie Nicks would ‘love’ to play Glastonbury 2013: But not together – comments fuel hope that the Rolling Stones and Fleetwood Mac will headline next summer’s event.
The xx curating/catering mini-festivals: Already set to appear ‘in residence’ at Manchester International Festival next year, The xx have now also made themselves curators of their own trio of Night + Day festivals in Portugal, Germany, and the UK.
Friendly Fires prepare for suicide awareness gig: Band say they hope their charity gig will help raise awareness about young men who may be feeling suicidal.
Jessie J has postponed her UK arena tour, saying she wants to spend more time recording her second album.
Tate and Paul Hamlyn Foundation to launch new youth art project: 2011 riots spark £5m Tate national arts project to help young people develop their lives “in a more meaningful way”.
Scottish schools to get extra £1m for musical instruments: Ministers will also set up a working group to look at music tuition fees, which can vary across councils.
Generator awarded RBS funding: UK music development agency announce that they have been awarded Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) Inspiring Youth Enterprise funding for the ‘Ladders’ project.
£10 tickets snapped up by young theatre-goers: Twitter helped Michael Grandage’s new roving theatre production company target the discount at those who needed it most.
How puberty is hitting choirs: A change in the age at which boys reach puberty is having an effect on the tradition of cathedral choirs, new research suggests.
The Benefits of Bonding with a Musical Instrument: Scandinavian researchers report musicians who feel united with their instrument feel less performance anxiety.
Writers’ Guild of Great British and the Musicians’ Union join fight against Ebacc proposal: Industry bodies are the latest groups to oppose the government’s proposal to introduce an English Baccalaureate qualification that does not include arts subjects.
MusicTank announces 2013 live course: Get Plugged In: Live Music, Promotion and Venue Management will return in 2013 to deliver insider knowledge and advice on today’s touring scene.
Free tickets for opening City of Culture concert available: The opening concert for the UK City of Culture 2013 celebrations takes place on 20 January. Applications are invited for free tickets for Sons and Daughters, featuring legendary local performers of stage and screen. But what will the visitors bring to the city of culture? ‘The legacy must be that the city, as a whole, is an animated, vibrant place that has an animated retail, culture and night-time sector’.
Matlock Bath pavilion sold for £1 to community group: A charity has bought a Victorian building in Derbyshire from the local district council for £1.
Bradford’s Odeon cinema plans music venue: Plans for a disused cinema in West Yorkshire to become a 3,500-seat live music venue have been revealed.
Ayr Gaiety theatre reopens after four years of refurbishment: The venue received support from South Ayrshire Council as part of the local authority’s £750,000 investment in the arts in 2012 in addition to £221,000 from the Scottish Government.
Minehead’s Regal Theatre to reopen after refurbishment: The Regal Theatre in Minehead will reopen to the public later this month following a £300,000 refurbishment to help improve public access.
Cabaret venue must raise £1m or risk closure: Cabaret performances at arts centre Lauderdale House in Highgate, London, are at risk of being axed unless the venue can raise vital funds needed to redevelop its facilities.
Manchester Cathedral ‘could close for eight months’: In recent years the cathedral has increasingly been used as a venue for concerts by bands including Elbow, as well as formal dinners and awards, but may need to close to replace the old heating system.
Police raid east London venue 93 Feet East: East London nightclub and live venue 93 Feet East was raided on Friday night as part of a 48 hour operation by the capital’s police to crackdown on crimes related to venue licensing. Operation Condor, which was launched in February, saw police officers visit premises across London between 8am on Friday and 8am on Sunday, with 297 arrests in total on a variety of charges.
Philip Hayes accused of racially abusing MP Luciana Berger: A Merseyside music promoter has been charged with racially abusing Liverpool Wavertree MP Luciana Berger.
Music equipment destruction by Norfolk Police criticised: A music charity has criticised Norfolk Police for destroying hundreds of pounds worth of seized music equipment and “boasting” about it online.
Guilfest: James Wallington jailed for Peter Hart attack: A 32-year-old man has been jailed for three-and-a-half years for attacking a father as he left a Surrey music festival with his wife and toddler son.
British man dies after dancing ‘Gangnam Style’: Death leads to warning against vigorous dancing for middle-aged men.
Spice Girls launch stage musical Viva Forever! All five attended the launch of the “jukebox musical” Viva Forever! which features hits such as Wannabe and Stop. However, the Spice Girls musical has left some critics cold: The Mail’s Quentin Letts dubbed it ‘a prize Christmas turkey’ in his one-star review, while The Telegraph’s Charles Spencer called it ‘a clunker’ in his. However, lyricist Sir Tim Rice told Radio 4’s Today programme that shows can get terrible reviews and yet still run and that Viva Forever! may, in fact, be ‘critic-proof’.
Premièred last week, the film adaptation of Les Miserables is up for four Golden Globe nominations: Lead stars Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway are up for acting awards, while the composers of the stage show, Claude-Michel Schonberg and Alain Boublil, are shortlisted for Suddenly, a new song written specifically for the film adaptation. The film itself is shortlisted for best motion picture in the comedy and musical category.
Miss Saigon will return to West End, says Cameron Mackintosh: Producer Cameron Mackintosh says that he intends to re-stage megahit Vietnam war musical ‘as soon as I can find a theatre’.
Buddy Holly musical to tour in 25th anniversary year: The Buddy Holly Story originally opened in the West End in 1989 at the Victoria Palace Theatre before transferring to the Strand Theatre in 1995 and has toured internationally since.
Ghost the Musical to embark on national tour: It will open at the Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff in April 2013 before touring to other venues yet to be announced.
Met Opera to sell $100 million in bonds as revenue drops: Losses from operations swelled 7 percent last season to $135 million, according to bond documents. It was the third consecutive operating-loss increase.
Barenboim’s state opera gets slammed for ‘wasteful, sordid’ mismanagement: The criticism comes from the powerful culture committee of the Bundestag and it is directed at the renovation costs of the Staatsoper Unter den Linden.
Dutch orchestra loses last stay of execution: Politicians confirmed last night that the Metropole Orchestra will lose its Euro 7 million government grant from next August, when it will have to disband.
Mayor slashes youth orchestra to pay for rock concert: Demonstration in Buenos Aires protest against a decision by the mayor, Mauricio Macri, to fatten up the budget of the Teatro Colon for rock legend Roger Waters while hacking chunks out of the Buenos Aires Youth Orchestras Program.
Melee at the Opera: Catcalls for Paris ‘Médée’: Audiences fed up with a radical director’s take on an opera usually save their rage till the final curtain calls. Monday night at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, in the first of four performances of Cherubini’s “Médée,” the audience couldn’t wait and interrupted the performance.
Orchestra Nova files for bankruptcy: San Diego’s longtime chamber orchestra, Orchestra Nova, has filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
The St. Paul Chamber Orchestra has cancelled concerts through to February 8th because of the labour dispute with its musicians.
Milwaukee Symphony, musicians extend contract agreement: In a pleasant counterpoint to a year of labour-management strife in the American classical music world, the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra and its musicians have ensured labour harmony through the 2014-15 season by extending and modifying their collective bargaining agreement.
To help get you in the festive spirit, the PRS for Music has revealed the top 50 Christmas songs with The Pogues’ Fairytale Of New York landing the No.1 spot.
Kim Wilde’s drunken rendition of Kids in America: Singer was filmed launching into the 1981 track on the way home from a, presumably lively, Magic FM Christmas party.
Does festive music make shoppers spend more money? A new study by Royal Holloway University suggests the answer may be ‘yes’.
McCartney blames “bloody great bell” for poor Olympics performance: Paul McCartney has given an interview to the NME reminding us all how rubbish he was at the Olympics Opening Ceremony. But wait, it wasn’t his fault. There was a bell.
With reports this week that TV’s X Factor has lost 6m viewers in two years comes an unrelated story that X Factor the Musical is in the pipeline: Comedian Harry Hill plans spoof show for the West End claims to be ‘workshopping’ stage show poking fun at long-running TV singing contest – starting with Simon Cowell’s trousers.
Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood in Brazil to ‘wait for the end of the world’: Radiohead guitarist Jonny Greenwood is hiding out in a rural Brazilian hotel to wait for the end of the world, according to local press.
Thousands of Brits list their religion as ‘heavy metal’ in new census report: 6,242 people affiliated with the genre of music in the 2011 UK census.
In defence of cuts: Nick Forbes of Newcastle City Council is furious that he’s being forced to slash funding to the arts, but argues that it’s about essential services and essential means saving lives.
In it together: re-inventing the theatre touring model: It’s not all about the money – a new steering group is helping develop new audiences.
Touring: the threat and the opportunity: Touring companies are feeling the sting of national and regional cuts, but could they be part of the solution?
Developmental Stages: New Model for opera: Heidi Waleson argues that a safe approach does not guarantee a musically invigorating experience and investigates how opera companies can try to stimulate their audiences with new work.
Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra’s new, unifying force: Founded just five years ago, the ensemble has now chosen a musical director who really stands out from the classical music crowd: she’s a woman, she’s Korean and she’s only 29 years old.
Classical music goes clubbing in London: the classical vibe is changing, at least among some U.K. concert promoters, recognizing the benefit of presenting classical music in a nightclub setting.
The Orchestra: a new iPad app that strikes all the right notes: The Philharmonia Orchestra’s impressive new app blends music, video and interactive instrument guide into an instant classic.
Landfill Harmonic: Watch a preview of an upcoming feature-length documentary about a Paraguayan children’s orchestra that plays instruments made out of rubbish.
Should I boycott gigs because of their massive carbon footprints? We all know the stories of vast road crews, fleets of HGVs and planes jetting rock stars round the globe. This can’t be green. Should I stop going to gigs?
Saturday night fever: Behind the scenes with the Strictly Come Dancing band: These people play live for up to 10 million people, week after week. Holly Williams meets the Strictly Come Dancing musicians.
Shanghai touring market heating up for international stars: The city of Shanghai, the largest in China, has seen a surge of top-level international acts touring the city, and the trend looks set to continue.
Musical ear syndrome: Managing musical hallucinations: Video feature of a 84-year-old Liverpool grandmother with a rare syndrome which means she hears music all day and all night.
UMT Academy Masterclass #005: Training for DJs, Producers and Singers with special guest, Raj Panni (Coldcut). Wednesday 19th December, 6 – 8pm, Loft Music Studios, 4th Floor, British India House, 15 Carliol Square (Above Metro Repro), NE1 6UF.
Royal Musical Association Research Students’ Conference: Call for papers and works. Thursday 3rd to Saturday 5th January 2013, University of Southampton.
Eurosonic Conference: European music industries conference. 9th to 13th January 2013, Groningen, The Netherlands.
Association of British Orchestras 2013 Annual Conference Leeds: 23rd – 25th January 2013, Grand Theatre / Howard Assembly Room, Leeds. The timetable is here.
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.
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.
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