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This Week’s Blog Post
Published last Thursday 28th April – the first volume of The History of Live Music in Britain since 1950, written by Simon Frith, Matt Brennan, Martin Cloonan, and Emma Webster, published by Ashgate. Volume 1 covers the period between 1950 and 1967, and is subtitled From Dance Hall to the 100 Club. It charts the history of live music from post-war austerity through to the growth of national promoters and festivals in the late 1960s.
One From the Archives
A guest post by Steve Waksman, Associate Professor of Music and American Studies at Smith College and author of ‘Instruments of Desire: The Electric Guitar and the Shaping of Musical Experience’ and ‘This Ain’t the Summer of Love: Conflict and Crossover in Heavy Metal and Punk’. He looks here at how archival material about Bill Graham’s Fillmore illustrates changes and tensions in audience behaviour at rock concerts in the 1960s.
Live Music News:
Kraftwerk denied festival appearance in China: Authorities veto band performance following aborted show at a Free Tibet concert 15 years ago. Meanwhile, John Lydon has revealed that although he was given permission to play in Beijing at the end of March with Public Image Ltd, he had to send every lyric he has ever written to the Chinese government for approval first.
One Direction ticket ‘fraud’ – Woman arrested: A woman has been arrested on suspicion of fraud after dozens of One Direction fans who paid to see them in Liverpool were turned away.
Viagogo, meanwhile, has warned of a rising number of ticketing scams: The resale website says that ticket buyers more likely to be duped by fake ticket websites and other online sources than by a ‘traditional’ venue tout but its findings were criticised by ticketing expert Reg Walker. “Ticket fraud over the past 12 months has declined,” said Walker, who is operations director of the Iridium Consultancy.
Also in ticketing, Eventbrite has processed its 100 millionth ticket: The San Francisco-based company processed its 100 millionth ticket Wednesday, just 13 months after reaching the 50 million mark. Over 35 million of the company’s tickets and registrations came in 2012 and it has amassed cumulative gross ticket sales of $1.5 billion since its launch in 2006. One-third of those sales have taken place in just the last nine months.
Trial date set for Michael Jackson wrongful death lawsuit: A court date has been set in the wrongful death lawsuit filed by the family of Michael Jackson against concert promoters AEG. The Jackson family are seeking £26 billion in compensation from concert promoters following his death in 2009. The lawsuit will now transfer to court on April 2nd.
Also in court, Live Nation are being sued over a cannon at a Kiss show: A Kiss fan has claimed that he was injured by debris discharged by a cannon during a show in St Louis, Missouri last year and is suing the promoter, whose British recent British activities include booking acts for the Magic Summer Festival, which will replace GuilFest, after Guildford Borough Council has agreed to let it host a music event on Stoke Park this summer.
As the line-up is announced for Glastonbury, with the Rolling Stones confirmed, organiser Michael Eavis has said that they will be receiving ‘the bog standard headline fee’. The festival is also launching new areas, including The Arctic Dome, Genosys and The Summerhouse.
In other UK and international festivals news:
Tokyo Rocks 2013 Festival cancelled: Japan’s Tokyo Rocks 2013 Festival, which was due to open its doors next month, has been cancelled due to “management problems”.
Hop Farm 2013 line-up announced after ‘tough year’ for Power: Vince Power has announced the line-up for the Hop Farm festival after what he admits was a difficult year for himself and ‘across the board for the festival market’
British performers lead Middle East’s first arts and disability festival: The British Council has partnered with the Ministry of Culture, Arts and Heritage in Qatar to present the Middle East’s first ever arts and disability festival.
Somali rapper leads rebirth of music in Mogadishu after years of oppression: Shiine Akhyaar Ali and his hip-hop collective Waayaha Cusub will headline at open-air festival.
Lou Reed cancels Coachella: Lou Reed has cancelled his appearance at Coachella citing ‘unavoidable complications’, along with another three shows. Also pulling out of shows are US band Foxygen, who have cancelled a UK and European tour claiming that the “creative health” of the band depends on them not playing the gigs whilst Michelle Shocked has protested outside one of the venues that cancelled her own gigs following what were regarded as homophobic statements.
The Box Nightclub to make UK festival debut at Wilderness 2013: The ‘A-list’ nightclub, noted for its closed door policy, has announced it will make its UK festival will take over Wilderness’s Secret Valley area.
Unions vote against unpaid internships: Entertainment unions BECTU and the Musicians’ Union have had their joint motion against unpaid internships passed at the Trade Union Congress Young Members’ Conference.
Society of Independent Theatres launched: A membership society for fringe venue operators has been launched in a bid to represent the interests of independent theatres and create a better trading platform for them.
Silent victory for ABacc campaign: Government proposals for introducing an ‘ABacc’ measure to monitor schools’ achievement at A level have been quietly changed, without announcement or a statement in Parliament, to enable an arts or creative subject to be included.
Violin-playing six-year-old wins music competition for under-18s: The year one pupil at Polam Hall School in Darlington, won first prize in the under 18s violin solo category at the Darlington Music and Drama Festival.
Budget brings further cuts for Arts Council England: A further 1% will be sliced off the National Portfolio Organisations budget from April, with more to follow as the Treasury has written to government departments warning most ministers they will have to cut up to 10% of their budgets for the year 2015/16.
Arts organisation mobile fundraising scheme launches: A new fundraising initiative that allows people to make donations to arts organisations by using their mobile phones has been launched.
Restored bells St Michael’s Church in Stone ring out: Four 18th Century bells have chimed for the first time at a Staffordshire Church after being restored. St Michael’s Church in Stone had the bells retuned and recast as part of a £130,000 project, after they became “more and more” out of tune.
Storm brews between University and Arts Centre in Aberystwyth: Aberystwyth Arts Centre’s Director and Operations Manager have been suspended but the University denies the Centre is at risk.
Felixstowe’s Spa Pavilion buyers ‘put off’ by cultural criteria: Potential buyers of an historic seaside theatre are being put off by restrictions on its use, Suffolk Coastal District Council has been told. Felixstowe’s Spa Pavilion was closed in January and the council has been trying to sell it off for more than a year. It has been told the majority of potential buyers had concerns about the condition that they must add “cultural or tourist” value to the town.
Ex-Beatles gig venue destroyed in Kings Heath fire: A building which hosted British music legends such as The Beatles and The Who in their 1960s heyday has partially collapsed after a fire.
Canada’s SOCAN announces 14% year-over-year concert revenue growth: The live music industry continues to grow in Canada on an annual basis, according to data collected and analysed by the Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada (SOCAN).
Australia’s New Arts Minister Meets With Music Industry: Australia’s new Federal Art Minister has moved quickly to assuage concerns that the “Creative Australia” scheme would disappear after his predecessor Simon Crean was fired after an attempt to oust party leader Julia Gillard.
European conservatories issue new guidelines on teacher-student relationships: The Council of the European Association of Conservatories in Brussels has issued a fresh set of guidelines on protecting both sides in music tuition as Chetham’s choirmaster Michael Brewer is jailed for sexual abuse. The judge’s remarks also criticised those who had turned a blind eye to the relationships whilst the school has now admitted that police are looking into ‘more recent cases’ of abuse.
Music tuition in New York has also come under scrutiny as a former student at the Horace Mann School has filed suit against the school, claiming it covered up the sexual abuse he suffered from the music director, Johannes Somary.
A New York piano teacher, meanwhile, has caused a storm online with tweets about gay marriage: The opera accompanist’s online dispute with a local coffee shop about a sign in favour of gay marriage has spread across the opera and piano playing communities.
San Francisco Symphony, Union Reach Tentative Deal: Nearly three weeks after a musician work stoppage shut down the San Francisco Symphony and cancelled an East Coast tour, bargainers for the musicians and symphony management have reached a tentative deal.
As the legislative auditor Jim Nobles says he will examine the use of state funds by the Minnesota Orchestra, which is now in the throes of the longest lockout of musicians of any of America’s top orchestras, musicians in the other twin city of St.Paul are sceptical of the legality of an offer by the management of the St.Paul Chamber Orchestra. Supporters of the St.Paul Orchestra are also considering the establishment of a ‘new organisation’ to host an orchestra in the city in the event that players and existing management are unable to resolve their dispute.
The Gainesville Symphony Orchestra, near Atlanta, Georgia, has closed down, citing insufficient funds and a lack of public support in the economic climate. Also in financial trouble, the Nashville Symphony Orchestra is attempting to deal with its debt by restructuring its finances and programming, although there is better news for the Philadelphia Orchestra, which has left bankruptcy as a judge closes the case.
Oregon Symphony musicians perform free concerts where you can tweet, text: In a move away from the conventions of orchestral music, the musicians will perform perform a series of free, informal concerts at several locations around the Portland area.
Conductor sues Madrid opera house for slander: Jesus Lopez-Cobos, who says he was slandered by Gerard Mortier in an Austrian newspaper, has issued a “denuncia” for 50,000 euros against Madrid’s Teatro Real, its director Mortier and the newspaper “Kurier” for publishing false information.
Low pay discourages classical musicians in Vietnam: Classical musicians are struggling to earn a living in Vietnam and the situation is discouraging parents from letting their children study music.
Vienna opera director collapses during performance: The musical director of the Vienna State Opera was treated in hospital after collapsing with back pain while conducting a Wagner opera on Sunday
Ex Vienna Opera chief – New Year’s Day concert is a Nazi invention: Ioan Holender, retired head of the Vienna State Opera interview criticising the Salzburg Festival and accusing the Vienna Philharmonic chairman of distorting the origins of its biggest show.
Protesters disrupt Paris music presentation: A group calling itself La Barbe (the beard) heckled the presentation of the new season at the Salle Pleyel, demanding more women conductors and soloists.
Pussy Riot Member: ‘What Happened to Us Is Unacceptable’: Punk rockers tell 60 Minutes they will continue to protest.
Two Baroness members leave band in wake of bus accident: Frontman John Baizley explained that bassist Mat Maggioni and drummer Allen Blickle will no longer tour with group following the crash last year saying, “For some of us, the accident necessitated a change that would prevent them from performing music or touring… The details of their departure are not sensational; they do not come with hard feelings. Nor are the details going to be public; suffice it to say we’d like to keep to ourselves the finer points of this situation, to respect the privacy of all involved.”
Surrey coach crash victim Michael Molloy’s song released: The family of the Liverpool musician, who died in a crash while returning from Bestival is to release the song as single, with support from Rob da Bank.
Morrissey to release live DVD of Hollywood gig: The singer has recently cancelled a string of concerts due to health problems. The DVD of his show at Hollywood High School in LA will be released by Eagle-Vision.
Cyprus crisis – thousands at benefit concert for poor: Thousands of people have attended a charity concert in the Cypriot capital Nicosia, in aid of those hardest hit by the financial crisis. About 50 Greek and Cypriot artists performed in the Concert of Solidarity and Help.There was no admission fee, but concert goers were asked to bring dry food for struggling families.
Beyonce to headline Twickenham charity concert in June: The show, also featuring Florence and the Machine and Timbaland, will be arranged by fashion label Gucci as part of its Chime For Change initiative, which states its aim as raising funds and awareness to enable girls and women to feel empowered.
Ed Sheeran reveals why he snubbed the Noel Gallagher-curated Teenage Cancer Trust concerts: Singer says he pulled out of headline show because he was already booked to tour Australia.
N-Dubz’s Dappy punches fan at gig, claiming he was threatened by a plastic glass: ‘It could have been fatal,’ says the rapper.
Rock the House Scotland launches in Glasgow: Parliamentary pop competition Rock the House Scotland was launched in Glasgow by local MP John Robertson.
Homecoming 2014 events in Scotland, unveiled by First Minister Alec Salmond, include include Europe’s biggest brass band festival.
Boris Johnson has joined X Factor finalist Misha B at London Bridge Underground station to promote a competition, the winner of which will receive a year long busking license for the Underground.
Steinway to Sell Its Famed Showroom Building: Steinway Hall, the 88-year-old building down the block and across the street from Carnegie Hall is being sold for $46 million.
Recovery of ‘stolen £1.2m Stradivarius’ violin ends in disappointment: An international police operation to trace a stolen Stradivarius violin worth £1.2 million ended on a flat note when a recovered instrument was found to be a modern replica.
Three luthiers challenge the authenticity of ‘Titanic violin’: Maritime and military historian Daniel Allen Butler, an American expert on the Titanic, mistrusted the recent British ‘discovery’ of a violin played on the tragic ship and sought the views of three expert luthiers on the matter. Their view was that the instrument in question could not have survived the disaster.
Laura Marling scores RSC’s As You Like It: The Royal Shakespeare Company’s new staging of As You Like It will feature an original score by Laura Marling.
Book of Mormon reports £2 million post-opening sales: Producers of West End musical The Book of Mormon have claimed the show has set the record for the biggest single day of sales in West End and Broadway history.
Stoppard play marks forty years since Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon: The hour-long “fantastical and psychedelic story” on Radio 2 will feature music from the album.
The Voice 2013 premiere down 2m on last year’s ratings: The programme, featuring a coaching panel consisting of Tom Jones, Danny O’Donoghue, Jessie J and will.i.am brought in an average audience of 6.2 million on the night, compared to 8.2 million for its 2012 launch show.
The International Opera Awards, modelled on the Oscars, will be presented for the first time later this month: The goal of the awards, which come in twenty-one categories, is to bolster the fortunes of the art form that has historically, raising awareness about excellence in the field.
Dates have also been announced for the Mercury Prize 2013, with the annual awards show due to take place on Wednesday, October 30th.
Underground concert for Russian miners: One of the world’s largest mining companies in Russia hosted a mini concert for its workers, almost 3,600 feet (1,100 meters) underground.
World’s strangest orchestra – a foghorn, brass bands and 50 ships: A requiem has been written to mark the passing from use of the UK’s remaining land-based foghorns. An armada of boats will be taking part in the performance, with their ships’ horns joining three brass bands on shore, plus the star of the event – the foghorn at Souter Lighthouse.
Stockholm museum thanks Abba for the music:The first permanent exhibition to celebrate Sweden’s most successful band will open to the public in May whilst in Camden plans have been submitted for consideration by the council for a life-sized statue of Amy Winehouse on the first floor terrace of the Roundhouse, overlooking Chalk Farm Road.
Justin Bieber’s pet monkey seized at German airport: Bieber sneaked the primate into Europe on his private jet and reportedly faces prosecution in Munich as he did not have the correct papers for his monkey, named Mally, which is now in quarantine.
Jay-Z to hire ‘cigar-roller’ on Legends Of The Summer tour: Jay-Z will reportedly hire somebody to hand roll cigars backstage during his US tour with Justin Timberlake later this year.
Van Halen singer David Lee Roth claims he had his penis insured: The singer claimed he had his penis, nicknamed ‘Little Elvis, insured by Lloyd’s of London before heading out on tour.
Live Music Features:
The Rolling Stones will reign supreme until there is a new counterculture: Paul Morley uses the Rolling Stones’ booking at Glastonbury as the starting point for a discussion about the role of baby boomers in pop culture.
Rolling Stones at Glastonbury 2013: ‘The Stones need this festival and it needs them’: Neil McCormick, in The Telegraph, meanwhile asks why it took them so long to play there.
Solving the Symphony Crisis: Music ThinkTank blog discusses wages and the labour disputes dogging US orchestras, arguing that both musicians and management are overpaid.
Orchestra Musician – It’s Not a Cush Job: Arts journalist and concert host and producer Brian Lauritzen defends the striking San Francisco musicians.
My Kind of Town: Conductor Leonard Slatkin on how the Detroit Symphony Orchestra is attempting to negotiate its financial troubles.
London opera companies’ ‘crisis’ is others’ envy: LA Times music critic Mark Swed compares London companies with those in the US.
Will the Royal Opera House be next to benefit from the Tate touch?: Simon Tait in The Stage on the appointment of Alex Beard to head the Royal Opera House.
Creative Scotland’s ‘Open Sessions’: Kenneth Fowler, Director of Communications and External Relations at Creative Scotland, on the first two sessions designed to open debate about the funding body.
What effect would independence have on the arts in Scotland? Hannah MGill in the Herald asks whether independence would ‘give our artists wings?’
Diversity planning: Jenny Williams suggests some questions the arts sector should be asking in response to the 2011 Census findings relating to ethnicity/identity and migration.
Adventures in performance: Pianist Sally Whitwell on how classical musicians can reinvigorate their ideas about performing.
Dreams of a Harlem Jazz Rebirth: Kia Gregory on envisioning a resurgence of jazz in Harlem.
Gadget fest: The DJ Rob da Bank picks his favourite festival gizmos
Live Music Exchange Events:
Pathways to mediation for live music in the community: University of Glasgow, Monday April 15th, 2:00-5:00pm. Free.
A one-day mediation session, open to live music practitioners, businesses and anyone affected who is interested in learning more about the surrounding issues and the process. Produced by Live Music Exchange and the University of Glasgow with the Scottish Mediation Network. The event is free but spaces are limited.
- The right to musical expression and enjoyment is a crucial part of our cultural lives. But what happens when it clashes with other rights- a good night’s sleep, clean communal spaces, access to your own street?
- Promoting live music can be at the sharp end of these clashes as well as complex issues of planning and regulation – and it’s not always clear whose side the law is on, still less where the rights and wrongs lie.
- This event will examine the concept of competing rights and introduce participants to a mediation approach- moving towards working out specific issues and problems.
- With members of the Scottish Mediation Network, we offer the chance for a range of stakeholders to air concerns and look at the options available to them that avoid entrenched and potentially costly positions.
Live Music Exchange, London: ‘Changing Times for Live Music: Sustaining a vibrant live music ecology’: City University London, 14th May 2013, 9.00am-5.00pm, £10/5 (conc).
A one-day conference organised by The University of Edinburgh’s Live Music Exchange and City University London’s Department of Creative Practice and Enterprise, featuring Paul Latham (Live Nation), Will Page (Spotify), Simon Frith, and Dave Laing.
Live Music-Related Events
Wide Days: Teviot Row House, Edinburgh, 10th and 11th April 2013.
A music industry convention in Edinburgh which is now in its third year. There are panel events throughout the day and gigs to attend in the evening.
Generator Music Clinic- Newcastle: Dance City, Temple Street, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, NE1 4BR, 10am-5pm, 11th April 2013.
The Music Clinic comprises of one-to-one sessions with music business advisors who have years of experience working in the music industry. They can advise on all aspects of the industry – records, publishing, legal, marketing, live, finance, digital, and general business development.
First Family Friendly Arts Conference: Town Hall Birmingham, 15th April.
Supported by Town Hall & Symphony Hall, Birmingham Museum Trust and Birmingham Conservatoire. The Campaign has commissioned new research into discovering both the driving factors for and barriers to family engagement in the arts in 2013. This will be the first time this research is publically presented and will give you the chance to question the researchers first hand.
Workshops for Instrumental Teachers – Hertfordshire Music Service: Mid Herts Music Centre, Birchwood Avenue, Hatfield, Herts, AL10 OXX – 17th or 18th April, 10:30am-3:00pm.
Motivational sessions delivered by specialist trainers and run by Hertfordshire Music Service, the Lead Partner for the Hertfordshire Music Education Hub.
South African Jazz Cultures: Study Day, University of York, Saturday 20th April 2013.
The South African Jazz Cultures indaba / discussion day is an interdisciplinary forum structured around five presentations and a round table. Contributions from academics (Eato, Pyper), filmmakers (Kaganof), heritage practitioners (Temple, Huntley), musicians (Abdul-Rahim, Brubeck, Moholo-Moholo), and Hazel Miller of Ogun Records will invite discussion on a range of issues broadly framed by the idea of South African jazz cultures
Cr8net: Village Underground (in ‘Tech City’) on 24th April 2013.
A one-day conference for the creative industries, bringing together industry practitioners, policy makers and businesses.
Focus Wales Cymru 2013: Multiple venues, Wrexham, 25th-27th April 2013.
Music Festival & Conference in Wrexham: Three days of live music, 100+ lives acts, multiple venues, and music industry discussions.
Musicians’ Union: What’s the Deal?: The MU brings professional advice and networking sessions to the coasts of Devon and Dorset this spring, visiting both Bridport and Torquay and looking at the latest MU campaigns and services to members, together with an overview, updates and advice on copyrights, agents, teaching, royalties and income streams, live issues, insurances, tax, promoting and monetising your music online, partnerships, contracts. For MU members.
Bridport: Bridport Arts Centre, South Street, DT6- 29th April 2013, 6-9pm /
Torquay: The Imperial Hotel Hill Park Road, TQ1 4LD- 30th April, 6-9pm
17th Biennial IASPM Conference: Laboral Ciudad de la Cultura, Gijón, Asturias, Spain, 24-28 June 2013.
Bridge Over Troubled Waters: Challenging Orthodoxies.
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