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
In this addition to the ‘Live Music 101’ series of blog posts detailing the themes and ideas that developed over the course of our initial live music research project, Emma Webster offers a model of economic risk that includes the promoter, and also defines three broad ticketing (revenue) models the promoter can use in order to recoup their initial investment.
One to Watch
Tinnitus Awareness Week 2013 runs from 4th-10 February and the theme is ‘The Importance of Tinnitus Support Groups’.
A range of events are taking place across the country – for a timetable, and locations, click here.
Ambassador for the British Tinnitus Association gave a speech to the charity’s annual conference at the Wellcome Institute, an amended version of it is available here.
Live Music News:
Live music industry sets off alarm bells over ticket and artist monopolies: American firms AEG and Live Nation dominate London’s live events and the Office of Fair Trading has launched an investigation into competition across the capital’s venues following AEG’s bid for Wembley Arena.
AEG, one of the companies at the centre of these concerns, is up for sale by its parent group, the Anshutz Corporation, with a possible price of up to $8billion and three potential bidders remaining and a deal possibly by the end of March.
AEG competitor Live Nation is expanding into the Middle East with the opening of Ticketmaster in the United Arab Emirates. It then expects to its roll out services to other countries in the Middle East and North Africa.
Live Nation was one of several music related companies showing growth on the stock market in early 2013, its stocks up over 10% year-on-year.
Developments also in ticketing, following the revelation last week that See Tickets, owned by Vivendi, has quit the trade body STAR and faces a union dispute.
Eventim and SMG launch UK ticketing deal: Eventim UK, part of German-based CTS Eventim Group, and SMG Europe (the UK’s biggest arena operator), have launched a long-term ticketing co-operation with the Eventim ticketing system being implemented in five of SMG’s major venues in England.
Ticketmaster dumps ‘captcha’ verification system: In a bid to allay consumer frustrations with the security system, Ticketmaster is now using software created by New York start-up Solve Media, a similar service that asks for well-known phrases, or simple multiple choice questions.
Also in business: Global dance music trade body formed: The Association for Electronic Music (AFEM) has been formed as a global advocacy and lobbying group for the dance music community. The news of the creation of the trade body was announced today at the Midem music convention.
The Agency Group’s UK unit has announced that three of its agents have been promoted to the role of Vice President whilst in the US, Live Nation Entertainment has appointed Brian Smith, from LA Troubador, to collaborate with the company’s Southern California booking team in programming venues in L.A. and the Southland.
Fallout from the nightclub fire in Brazil continues:
As services are held for the victims, Brazilian police have arrested four people in connection with a fire at a nightclub that killed 231 people in the southern city of Santa Maria on Sunday. There is also speculation that a band may have used the wrong type of flares for their onstage pyrotechnics as more stories emerge, including that of a man who went back in to help, unwittingly saving his own brother from the blaze.
In Mexico, a farewell ceremony is held for members of the band Kombo Kolombia who were murdered by drug gangs. Surviving members led police to the bodies in a well in the northern state of Nuevo Leon.
Meanwhile, in Florida rapper Rick Ross was the target of a barrage of bullets him to crash his Rolls-Royce into an apartment building while trying to flee. Ross and his passenger were unhurt.
Arts make an impact on London’s banking district: London’s Square Mile gains almost £300m from supplementary spending by arts attenders.
Arts council announces £11.6m of in-year cuts: Arts Council England has confirmed that in-year cuts of 1% and and 2% will be made to all its national portfolio organisations in 2013/14 and 2014/15.
In Wales, a Welsh Assembly report has said that cuts hit participation in the arts, whilst Cardiff Council is proposing 100% cuts to funding for the ‘Cardiff & The Vale of Glamorgan Music Service’, ending public subsidy for instrumental lessons.
Public funding for the arts should not be justified solely because of its economic benefit, according to National Theatre artistic director Nicholas Hytner. Hytner said that the ‘economic argument’ should not be the ‘primary justification’ for spending money on the arts in the first place as more than 500 people have signed a petition rejecting Westminster City Council’s proposal to cut its entire £350,000 annual arts and culture funding.
Scottish creative places rewarded: Three Scottish communities have been recognised for offering creative opportunities for community involvement.
Controversy continues in arts education as Russell Group universities are accused of killing key subjects such as economics and the arts at secondary school level and MPs on the Commons education select committee tell Mr Gove that the Government “has not proved its case that GCSEs in the key academic subjects should be abolished”.
Ministry Of Sound remains at risk from flat development: The future of Ministry Of Sound’s flagship nightclub is still uncertain as Boris Johnson considers a planning application to build an apartment block right next to the South London super club. Stars from the music industry have joined a campaign to save the famous central London venue.
Petition to save Newcastle City Hall signed by 11,000: Members of the North East Music History are calling for the City Hall’s ‘rich musical history’ to be recognised.
Caernarfon traders bid to share Castle Square market space: Businesses in Caernarfon want to share the ancient rights of market traders to hold events on the main town square.
Part of the Grafton Rooms building in Liverpool collapses: Part of a well-known entertainment venue in Liverpool collapsed overnight.
Structural problems for an Edinburgh venue also as the ceiling collapsed at the Fiddler’s Elbow causing an evacuation of hotel guests and clubbers at the GHQ nightclub.
John Peel Centre in Stowmarket reopens: The John Peel Centre for Creative Arts is to reopen following the completion of the final stage of building work.
Open-air venue planned on site of Shakespearean theatre remains: An amphitheatre is being planned in north London on the site where a 16th century theatre that hosted the premiere of Henry V used to exist.
Brassed Off’s Grimethorpe Colliery Band receives cash rescue: A funding boost has secured the future of the South Yorkshire band that inspired the film Brassed Off.
Strathclyde Police Pipe Band reaches the end of an era: Scotland’s eight regional police forces are being merged into a nationwide one – and, on 1st April, Strathclyde Police will be no more. The oldest civilian pipe band in the world will play on, but its new name has not yet been revealed.
Ontario Government Forms Live Music Working Group: Ontario’s Liberal government has assembled key music industry figures to aid in a live music strategy designed to strengthen the Canadian province’s position as a global leader for live music. The strategy is intended to boost concert attendance, visitor spending and economic impact.
Group lobbies for end of double taxation for visiting performers: A group representing performers across Europe is campaigning for the removal of a provision that means performers can be taxed twice. Article 17 of the Convention on the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) says that a country can tax non-resident artistes. Pearle, the European trade federation of performing arts organisations, is calling for states that are signed up to the OECD to halt the tax.
Pussy Riot’s Nadezhda Tolokonnikova transferred to prison hospital: Tolokonnikova moved from remote penal colony where she is serving two-year sentence after experiencing severe headaches as a ban on the clip of the protest behind the case is banned by a Moscow City Court.
Cairo cancels Umm Kulthoum tribute concert due to ‘situation’: a commemorative concert in honour of singer Umm Kulthoum has been cancelled due to recent anti-government unrest.
Afghanistan National Institute of Music, Students to tour US but face possible backlash against music in Kabul.
The Bolshoi Ballet’s artistic director says he is “absolutely certain” he knows who is behind an acid attack that left him badly injured last month as ballerina Svetlana Lunkina says she’s been driven from Russia by ‘threats’ and the company pulls out of a performance scheduled to mark the 100th Anniversary of Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring citing safety concerns for artists in light of the attack.
Pain in Spain – two Basque orchestras face forced merger: The local government wants to fuse the Sinfónica de Euskadi (OSE), founded in 1982 with the Sinfónica de Bilbao (BOS), founded 1920.
Beijing launches international opera contest: The Beijing International Music Competition has added an opera round to its instrumental events. The first opera edition will be in November 2013.
Discussions continue to be fractious with the Minnesota Orchestra labour dispute, with conductor Osmo Vanska warning that it could have a long term impact on its quality.
The Florida Orchestra has run into a glitch in its cultural exchange with Cuba: It had to postpone plans to send concertmaster Jeffrey Multer to perform on Feb. 10th with the National Symphony Orchestra of Cuba in Havana. The Office of Foreign Asset Control, part of the U.S. Department of the Treasury, was unable to process the orchestra’s application for a license to spend money in Cuba in time for the trip. Under the U.S. embargo on trade with Cuba, the license from OFAC is necessary for travel to the island.
British conductor at centre of La Scala opera row: One of Britain’s most sought-after conductors has found himself at the centre of a bitter row between Milan’s La Scala opera house and the theatre’s fiercest critic after being accused of making Wagner sound ‘homosexual’.
Event greening forum launches in South Africa: The aim of the Event Greening Forum (EGF) is to promote and embrace sustainable and ethical business practices within the events industry in South Africa, with an initial focus on meetings, incentives, conferences, exhibitions and events (hereafter called events industry).
Arts Center at Trade Center Gets $1 Million in Seed Money: The organization overseeing the redevelopment of Lower Manhattan on Thursday authorized $1 million for the Performing Arts Center that is planned for the World Trade Center site.
Beyoncé admits lip-synching at Obama inauguration and sings anthem live at press conference before the Superbowl.
Morrissey Cancels US tour dates due to bleeding ulcer: According to a representative for the singer, the 53-year-old is expected to make a full recovery, but has rescheduled six upcoming tour dates due to the ailment.
Barry Manilow Broadway comeback hit by bronchitis: The singer has been forced to call off the opening three nights of his Broadway comeback show after coming down with bronchitis.
Music ‘Walk of Fame’ for London: Amy Winehouse will be one of the first names to be immortalised in a monument inspired by Hollywood.
London Underground strangers orchestra concert takes place: A concert performed by an orchestra made up entirely of strangers recruited on the London Underground has taken place.
Beatles tribute Let It Be recoups in West End: West End Beatles show Let It Be has announced that it has recouped its £1.6 million capitalisation costs.
Queen bestows Regius Professorship on Royal Holloway: The music department at a university in Surrey has been awarded a prestigious professorship by the Queen. The Royal Holloway, in Egham, which is part of the University of London, has been recognised as part of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations.
Vladimir Putin recruits Boyz II Men to help boost Russian birth rate: President hires band to perform live in Moscow ahead of Valentine’s Day
Snoop Dogg asks Celtic Football Club to be their mascot for Champions League game: Rapper wants to lead the team out for their upcoming match against Juventus
Live Music Features:
Following the tragedy at the Kiss nightclub in Andy Inglis asks, ’10 Years After The Station Nightclub Disaster, Have We Learned Nothing?’, the BBC examines whether the fire could have been avoided and Rolling Stone looks at the ‘blowback for the concert industry’.
Super Bowl Halftime Shows – Who Got the Biggest Sales Bumps?: Beyonce can expect to benefit from increased sales following her Superbowl half-time show. Billboard looks at the effect on previous Superbowl performers.
From Hot Chip to Conor Oberst, the gigs organised by online fan campaigns: The Independent examines the rise of Detour, a website using fan power to organise tours, and minimise risk.
Singer/songwriter Fish on the finances of small hall touring, with a breakdown of costs.
Byre Theatre: Saving Fife Jazz Festival and StAnza: How do you stage an international festival when the place where you were planning to put on 53 of the events suddenly closes? With the shock decision to shut the Byre Theatre in St Andrews, David Robinson talks to a woman now facing that question.
Should we ban pop festivals from ruining our public parks? : Festivals in urban green spaces are the awful, expensive triumph of lazy romance over reality, and should remain in stadiums argues Bernadette McNulty.
Powering the Philippine Economy With Elvis and Zeppelin: The New York Times on the economic impact of cover and tribute acts.
This Building Sounds the Right Note: What San Francisco Jazz’s new centre might mean for jazz.
Live Music-Related Events:
Association of Independent Festivals Seminars: Bad Weather Planning / Festival Marketing & Sponsorship, Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, SE1 8XX, 6th February 2013, £35-80.
Diversifying your Portfolio workshop: This workshop will help you explore how to use all the great skills and talents you have to diversify your career (often to support your core work), increase your choices, efficiency and your earning potential. The workshop is free of charge to MU members. 7th and 22nd February 2013
February 7th in London at 10.30am to 4.30pm
60-62 Clapham Road
February 22 in Manchester at 10.30am to 4.30pm
WFA Media & Cultural Centre
9 Lucy Street
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.
Roundhouse Rising brings an explosion of new music to The Sage Gateshead for the first time in association with Generator. Sunday 17th February, The Sage Gateshead (Hall Two).
Dr Louise Montello’s Performance Wellness Training – Level One
The two- day workshop will give you an introduction to Performance Wellness – for musicians who are new to the Performance Wellness Approach. The workshop will also teach you advanced relaxation and breathing practices for dealing with the stresses of playing in public and resultant technical and physical problems.
Cost: MU members – £85.00, Non members – £95.00, Students – £50.00
MU HQ 60-62 Clapham Road, London, SW9 OJ – Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th February.
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.
Music Industry Uncovered, Bristol : An in-depth day looking at the diverse career pathways into the Music Industry, Colston Hall, Bristol. 16th February 2013
Learn to Play Day: Music stores across the UK will be offering people taster sessions on instruments for Learn to Play Day on 16 March.
Writing for Musical Theatre – Panel discussion and reception: This MU event will focus on the crafts of composition, song-writing, orchestration and music preparation. The panel discussion and Q&A will be followed by a reception with a chance to meet some of the speakers, MU officials and fellow MU members. Old Red Lion Theatre, 418 St John Street, London EC1V 4NJ, Monday 25th February, 5.30 – 8.30pm (5pm doors).
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.
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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