Welcome to our weekly digest of live music news and events in industry, academia and more.
Please not that in the future, the weekly email will contain our blog post for the week, and you can keep up to date on live music developments via our Twitter feed: @LMExchange
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This Week’s Blog Post
This guest post by Lucy Bennett discusses the effect of mobile phone technology on live events – connecting them to fans outside the gig whilst disrupting and altering the nature of audience engagement in the venue itself.
One From the Archives
In the third of our series on the theories that underpin our research into live music, Matt Brennan and Emma Webster attempt to define the promoter and how they operate, in an extract from ‘Why Concert Promoters Matter’, originally published in Scottish Music Review in 2011. The authors analyse existing accounts of live music promoters and offer their own analysis of what a promoter is and does, concluding that promoters may use one or more of three basic models of promotion within rock and pop: ‘independent’, ‘artist-affiliated’, and ‘venue’.
Live Music News:
Indie ticketing company Eventbrite raises a further $60 million of funding: The current cash injection comes from Tiger Global Management and T. Rowe Price amongst others and brings its total funds raised to $140 million. Since February 2012 it doubled its total number of tickets processed and has sold 100 million tickets sold across 179 countries, totaling $1.5 billion in gross sales – one third of that amount was sold in the last nine months.
Viagogo partners with Benicassim: Viagogo has signed a partnership with Spain’s Benicassim Festival. As Benicassim’s official international ticketing partner, Viagogo will provide a platform for fans to buy secondhand tickets to the event as well as resell any tickets they cannot use. It has also signed its first official music deal in Finland becoming the official secondary marketplace and international ticketing partner for the Weekend Festival.
Also in ticketing, the Society of of Ticket Agents and Retailers (STAR) has warned that theatres are unintentionally breaching new guidelines on ticket pricing: STAR is holding an open meeting in the West End to brief the entertainment sector about new official rules for advertising ticket prices, after expressing fears that many theatres are accidentally breaking them. Recently published guidelines from the Committee of Advertising Practice call for all charges, including booking fees, transaction charges and delivery costs, to be indicated as soon as a ticket price is mentioned in any marketing communications. The See Tickets agency has, meanwhile, rejoined STAR after a gap of a year.
In California, ticketing legislation favours Live Nation: The California Assembly upheld language in a bill that allows for paperless ticketing technology and creates a penalty for people who use software to circumvent security measures placed by issuers to prevent automated efforts to acquire event tickets. AB 329 would help Live Nation’s ticket division, Ticketmaster, by allowing for paperless tickets in the nation’s most populous state. Ticketmaster had been at odds with secondary ticketing business StubHub over the legislation in California as well as Tennessee, Florida, Minnesota and New Jersey.
All Tomorrow’s Parties ends holiday camp weekenders: All Tomorrow’s Parties has called time on its holiday camp weekenders after its 2013 installment. The last of the ATP Camber Sands-based events are dubbed ‘End of an Era parts 1 & 2’ and will take place in November with part 1 in partnership with Primavera Sound and part 2 co-curated by art rock collective Loop. Among the acts will be Television, performing Marquee Moon in full.
Sound City’s ambition to match SXSW within 10 years: Sound City CEO Dave Pichilingi has stated his intention to see the music conference festival brand match Texas’ SXSW within ten years, teasing “transformational changes” for the Liverpool event in years to come.
goNORTH reveals 2013 showcase list: The list of acts invited to showcase at goNORTH 2013 has been revealed. The 13th edition of the Scottish showcase festival for the creative industries returns to Inverness on June 5th-6th with over 70 acts set to perform across the city centre.
Gigwise partners with Kendal Calling: Gigwise has signed a partnership deal with Kendal Calling festival that will see it host a number of acts on its own stage.
Tokyo Rocks to be rescheduled later this year, says organiser: Recently cancelled Japanese festival Tokyo Rocks will be rescheduled for later this year, organisers have said. The festival, which featured a line-up of British and Japanese artists co-curated by Alan McGee, was due to take place next month. However, late last month it was announced that “management problems” meant that organisers were forced to cancel and had begun issuing refunds to ticketholders.
KISSbeach at Great Yarmouth cancelled due to ‘schedule changes’: “Summer festival schedule changes” have forced a large beach concert planned at a Norfolk resort to be cancelled, its promoter has announced. Live Nation said the changes meant KISSbeach, at Great Yarmouth on 29 and 30 June, would no longer go ahead and refunds would be available.
Fergus Linehan appointed as new Edinburgh International Festival director: The former director of the Sydney International Festival and head of music at the Sydney Opera House, will take over from Jonathan Mills.
New folk festival Tradfest launches in Edinburgh: A new festival has opened in Edinburgh showcasing traditional music, dance and storytelling. Locations as diverse as the Portobello promenade, Arthur’s Seat and Calton Hill will be used as performance spaces.
Glasgow’s West End Festival to stage Mardi Gras parade again: The 2013 Glasgow West End Festival will stage a Mardi Gras-style parade again after a successful fundraising drive. The event was dropped last year after the rising costs of road closures, security and clearing-up could not be met from sponsorship income.
Plans for all-Ireland fleadh campsites in Londonderry: The organisers of the all-Ireland fleadh have applied for permission to open temporary campsites in Londonderry. The world’s largest Irish traditional music event will take place in the city in August, but there are concerns that there is not enough accommodation.
MAMA-acquired East Village Arts Club opens: The venue formerly known as The Masque and The Barfly has now re-opened as East Village Arts Club under its new owners MAMA Group.
Multi-arts venue to open in old Clapham library: Omnibus will open in September in what used to be the Clapham library. Since closing last year, it has been redeveloped into a four-space arts centre, which will host theatre, live music and visual arts. It features two 100-seat spaces and two smaller studios.
South Devon Arts Centre to open in Totnes: The South Devon Arts Centre (SDAC) on the site of a former bike showroom in Totnes is being run by a community not-for-profit group. The venue will hold 300 people when it opens on 31 May and will host live music, comedy and theatre.
Belfast’s music pub Auntie Annie’s to close: The well known venue, once part of the CDC Leisure chain, has been under the control of an administrator since June 2010.
Los Angeles’ iconic Gibson Amphitheatre to close in September: Live Nation has confirmed that the iconic Gibson Amphitheatre in Universal City, California will shut in September as a result of the building’s lease agreement coming to an end. The company says the last concerts at the 6,000-capacity venue will consist of “very special” lineups.
Wembley Stadium celebrates 90th anniversary: Wembley Stadium is marking its 90th anniversary with a series of events to celebrate its illustrious history. The new Wembley stadium, which opened in 2007, was built on the site of the original north-west London stadium which hosted many legendary gigs, including Live Aid.
Glasgow Central Station to become music venue: Glasgow Central Station is to become a music venue in a new scheme which will bring weekly jazz concerts, regular dance performances and other cultural events to its main concourse.
Arts executives must ‘hammer home economic value of culture,’ says Maria Miller: The culture secretary said that the case for funding must be made on economic grounds. The sector was quick to respond, with Sir Nicholas Hynter arguing that the economic case is already clear, and NESTA also making the point that the creative economy now accounts for 10% of the economy and that the implications from its own research were that “to retain this strength… when times are tough we should be investing more, not less.”
NESTA’s vision is laid out in its Manifesto for the Creative Economy, released this month.
Arts Council England streamlines its boards: Arts Council England is streamlining its National Council to reflect new regional structures and strategic priorities. It is to reduce the number of people serving on its National Council, in order to ‘streamline decision making.’ The funding body is responding to the recommendations of a report, commissioned by ex-Chair Dame Liz Forgan.
Creative Scotland emails reveal ‘political’ belief: Emails from former Creative Scotland chief executive Andrew Dixon reveal his belief that criticism of the body was “highly political”.
Investec survey – 40% of people want businesses to fund the arts: Four in ten people think UK businesses have a duty to support the arts sector through corporate sponsorshop and more than a third say wealthy individuals should offer more financial support to the arts, findings of a new survey from Investec Wealth & Investment reveals.
Tesco Clubcard founders set their sights on the arts with an investment in box office data specialists Purple Seven: New initiatives to drive customer loyalty and stimulate growth in the arts sector are set to emerge from a new venture involving Tesco Clubcard pioneers Clive Humby and Edwina Dunn. The couple have made a “significant investment” in box office data specialists Purple Seven with a view to boosting earned income in arts organisations.
Cultural Olympiad attracted audience of 43.4million: The four-year-long UK-wide Cultural Olympiad marking London’s hosting of the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2012 attracted an audience of 43.4 million – 25.8 million outside of the capital – to more than 177,000 events in over 1,000 venues nationwide, a new report by the festival’s board reveals.
BECTU seeks blanket ban on upfront fees: Entertainment union BECTU is calling for a blanket ban on agents and directories charging upfront fees. The union is arguing that current legislation allowing agencies that find work for actors and entertainers to charge such fees for putting information about them in a publication – including a website – should be scrapped.
London market buskers fined as licensing row remains ‘unresolved’: Buskers are staying away from a market in east London for fear of being fined by local council enforcement officers, who have warned them not to play there in future.
Plan for compulsory instrument lessons for pupils gains Andrew Lloyd Webber’s backing: Andrew Lloyd Webber is backing a multimillion pound scheme aimed at implementing compulsory musical instrument lessons in selected secondary schools. Lloyd Webber has complained that ministers have so far been unresponsive to the initiative.
Jury in place for Jacksons v AEG Live: The jury is now in place for the big Jacksons v AEG Live court case. Agreement was reached by both sides on which six men and six woman should sit on the jury for the case sooner than initially expected. With the case due to begin, the doctor convicted for causing Michael Jackson’s death through negligence, Conrad Murray, has given another interview from jail declaring his innocence and announcing that he is determined to win his medical licence back.
Turkish pianist to be retried for insulting Islam: The initial conviction, and 10 month suspended sentence, has been set aside due to procedural errors.
Pussy Riot member denied early release from prison: Judge says Nadezhda Tolokonnikova has ‘not always followed the rules of behaviour’.
Madonna accused of violating Russian visa laws: Madonna has been accused by a Russian legislator of violating tax and migration laws after allegedly performing a commercial concert in St. Petersburg with the wrong visa, and then failing to pay proper taxes on the money she made.
Rapper Aggro Santos ‘raped woman after being mocked’: The rapper and former I’m a Celebrity contestant Aggro Santos raped a woman in a hotel room following a show after she mocked him, a court has heard.
Ex-Woodruff Arts Center employee pleads guilty to embezzlement: Ralph Clark took $1.1million from his budgets and faces a sentence of up to 10 years.
Orange Order parade in Belfast passes peacefully: An Orange Order parade past St Patrick’s Catholic Church on Donegall Street in Belfast city centre has passed off peacefully. The Parades Commission determination had stipulated that a single drum-beat should be played while passing the church, but the band did play some music.
Clubbers mix former legal high mephedrone with ecstasy, despite ban: Research shows that polydrug use is increasingly common
Royal NZ Ballet suffers lockout in China: The risk of serious injury from chilly theatre conditions has forced the Royal New Zealand Ballet to cancel two shows in its tour of China.
Philadelphia Orchestra fund-raising still has a way to go: Although now out of bankruptcy, the orchestra is still operating hand-to-mouth with long term security not yet ensured.
Lucerne orchestra axes concert with Depardieu: The city of Lucerne’s symphony orchestra has cancelled a concert featuring French movie actor Gérard Depardieu next month for fear of protests over his appearance.
King’s investiture song in Holland reinstated: The John Ewbank song that was dropped after it received heavy criticism is back in the programme of events after this shown to be the preference of 60% of the public.
Choristers say BBC Songs of Praise fee is ‘an insult to singers’: Choristers at Llandaff Cathedral in Cardiff have been angered by the payment offered by the BBC to appear on Songs of Praise. They were offered £110 to perform over two days, but the rate agreed with the union Equity should be £214 a day.
First ever International Opera Awards go to Frankfurt, Jonas Kaufmann and Nina Stemme: The awards were set up to promote opera to a wider audience as it comes under increasing financial pressure.
Royal Philharmonic Society honours ‘life-changing’ musicians: The Royal Philharmonic Society has announced that it will award its most prestigious honour to five musicians to mark its 200th birthday. The recipients, who include British viola player Rosemary Nalden and pianist Ricardo Castro, will be given an honorary membership. The society, which has only given out 131 memberships in the past 187 years, said the musicians had all made a “profound difference” with their work.
Manager of Swedish rockers Crashdïet dies at gig in Nottingham: The manager of Swedish glam rock band Crashdïet has died after suffering head injuries in an accident at the band’s gig in Nottingham.
Touring pioneer Shirley dies: Rock tour trucking pioneer Edwin Shirley, who provided concert logistics for the likes of Paul McCartney, The Rolling Stones and Michael Jackson as well as the London leg of Live Aid, has passed away.
Beyoncé bans press photographers from Mrs Carter world tour: Singer to issue official photographs only, following unflattering portrayals of Super Bowl performance.
Drugs and stun gun found on Bieber’s tour bus in Sweden: Drugs and a stun gun were found on Justin Bieber’s tour bus ahead of a show in Stockholm. The bus was parked outside a hotel in the city as Bieber waited to perform at the Globen Arena on Wednesday night. Police, alerted to the smell of marijuana coming from inside, searched the vehicle after the ten passengers on board (including Bieber) went into the arena for the show.
The Rolling Stones play tiny club show in Los Angeles: The gig took place at The Echoplex with most tickets distributed to fans via a ticket lottery which took place earlier in the day at the El Rey venue across town, after the news of the show went online that morning. The start of the main tour has been delayed due to NBA playoffs
Pink postpones Birmingham concert due to illness: The American singer was due to perform at the LG Arena but has had to postpone the performance because of an inner ear and breathing infection.
Composers announced for new music biennial: Twenty new works from the likes of composer Matthew Herbert and folk group Lau are to be created for a New Music Biennial in 2014. The inaugural event, developed by PRS for Music, is designed to “celebrate creativity” and “inspire audiences” across the UK.
Canterbury music fans can play in virtual orchestra: A virtual orchestra has been set up in Canterbury allowing members of the public to take on the roles of the conductor or musicians. The Universe of Sound opens at Canterbury Christ Church University and features the Philharmonia Orchestra and its conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen.
Gareth Malone begins search for young ‘contemporary choir’: TV choirmaster Gareth Malone has launched a national talent search to create an “inspiring” choir showcasing young talent.
Roddy Doyle’s The Commitments becomes West End musical: The musical, also written by Doyle, will preview at London’s Palace Theatre starting in September.
The National to perform their song ‘Sorrow’ for six hours straight at New York gallery: The band have joined forces with artist Ragnar Kjartansson for installation/performance art piece ‘A Lot Of Sorrow’.
Musician Mark Vis brings piano to streets of Brighton: A musician is taking his piano to the streets of Brighton in a bid to bring people together through music.
Music fans caught out by Jimmy Kimmel Coachella spoof: Festival-goers at Coachella 2013 in California try to show off their edgy musical knowledge, but come unstuck as they unwittingly praise non-existent bands.
Sarah Brightman wants to pioneer space rock. Literally: Singer hopes to write and record music on the International Space Station, when she will become the first professional musician to dock there.
Live Music Features:
Maria Miller- a mind already made up?: The economic case for the arts adds up, says Dan Rebellato, but doesn’t account for the risk that gives culture its true value.
The $20 Ticket: Bob Lefsetz on the background to Kid Rock’s cut-price tour.
What’s behind sky-high concert ticket prices?: CBC news on the high price of tickets for major concerts.
Why This Year’s Two Big Australian Hip-Hop Festivals Collapsed: A Billboard report on the last minute cancellation of two major festivals.
Why most dance acts don’t get paid royalties for radio, clubs or festivals: The Guardian on why the technology exists for artists’ radio or live plays to be tracked, but most get nothing when their work is used.
Leeds Arena giant mint helmet or technicolour dreamboat?: Bold, brazen and bling, Leeds’ £60m new venue looks like a giant bug – but is a strangely appropriate addition to the city asks Oliver Wainwright.
Even the Score- Female composers edge forward: Alex Ross in The New Yorker on the progress being made by female composers.
Hidden history: Greg Sandow on how gambling was used to fund Italian opera in the nineteenth-century.
Chinese Opera Performers See Fewer Faces in the Audience: The New York Times on the life of touring opera performers in Thailand.
Opera dressers – quick, my hot towels!: Hermione Hoby looks at the work backstage at New York’s Metropolitan Opera.
How late should you play when you’re pregnant?: Norman Lebrecht questions the effect on German orchestras of legislation regarding pregnancy and the workplace.
House concerts bring magical music into front rooms: A BBC report into the rise of the house concert.
The 10 Most Annoying Concert Behaviours: Rolling Stone on the most irritating things that audience members do at rock gigs.
Gig regrets? I’ve had a few … : Dave O’Neil takes a lighthearted look at missing gigs.
Live Music Exchange Events:
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.
Click here for the programme and to register.
Date: Wednesday May 15th
Time: 10:30am – 5:00pm
Cost: Free (but spaces are limited)
Venue: Musicians’ Union, HQ- 60-62 Clapham Road, London, SW9 0JJ
Live Music Exchange and the Musicians’ Union present a one-day workshop for publicans, barstaff, DIY musicians and anyone looking to find out more about how to get into putting on gigs.
Opportunities to present live music have expanded greatly since the Live Music Act came into effect in October 2012. This workshop will point you in the direction of how to take advantage of the new regulatory environment effectively and effectively- to benefit your business or act.
Experts on the regulation of live music and the practical aspects of running gigs will take you through the MU’s Live Music Kit in hands on discussion groups and Question and Answer Session.
Live Music-Related Events
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.
Promoters and Artists’ Fund: Deadline for applications – 1st May 2013
Café Oto are launching a Promoters and Artists Fund to support the creation and delivery of new live events with UK-based musicians. The fund is made possible through support from the Jerwood Charitable Foundation.
What is on offer:
- £1500 towards event costs
- 100% of ticket income from events
- free use of the venue and all Café Oto’s equipment for up to four evenings per proposal
- support with promotion, publicity and delivery
Finding the Music in Technology: The Station, Silver Street, Bristol, BS1 ATG, 9th May 2013 , 5pm- 6.45pm
The Bristol Music Education Partnership are offering their second training session this year: ‘Finding the Music in Technology‘ and will be led by musician Barry Farrimond.
It will be a hands-on workshop about how to use technology to create great music effectively and quickly in the classroom, so bring an instrument if you’d like to test some of the recommendations out.
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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