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
Thomas Truax is an American songwriter, performer, and inventor of experimental musical instruments currently residing in London. In this blog post, he writes about his experience with British TV talent show Must Be The Music, and his subsequent decision to decline an invitation to appear on America’s Got Talent.
One To Watch
Noise control is a current and much debated issue within the live music industry, and the subject addressed in the second white paper from audio manufacturer Flare Audio Ltd.
Flare Audio propose a technical solution based on ‘waveform integrity’ , the testing and maintenance of which allows for a more successful approach to sound propagation and control than current models. It introduces their findings and the technologies they have developed in response to them.
Live Music News:
Revelations of abuse at top music schools continue as further arrests and allegations are made. Chris Ling, now a talent manager in Hollywood, has been accused by former pupils, although not arrested. Malcolom Layfield has stepped down from the board of the Royal Northern College of Music after being implicated and violin teacher Wen Zhou Li, also of Chethams and the RCNM, has been arrested and bailed. As new claims emerge around Chethams and suggestions that the culture of abuse was widespread across more institutions calls for a public inquiry are growing.
Ticketmaster to offer re-selling platform: Ticketmaster is to start offering the ability to resell tickets on its site, allowing content owners, venues and other participants to benefit when tickets get resold for higher prices. The function will go live later this year and suggests a move on the part of owner Live Nation to unify Ticketmaster and its secondary ticketing businesses.
Social network Facebook is also becoming involved ticketing and has added a ‘buy tickets’ button to events pages which would link to producer-approved sites selling tickets to the featured event. Ticketing website Eventbrite has already announced that it has integrated with the mechanism in the UK.
PRS for Music launches new electronic music initiative: PRS for Music has introduced a new initiative which aims to bring together electronic music writers, producers, publishers and labels to ensure that writers and producers are benefiting fully from their tracks.
Amongst its research findings are that DJs are less likely to submit set lists than their guitar-playing counterparts (35% at Creamfield, 15% at Glade, compared to 90% at Reading). When an average set list for a major electronic music festival such as Glade or Creamfields (approx 171 sets) can be worth £250 per set this means a potential £85,500 is not being paid to the correct writers from these two events alone.
BBC Cymru Wales and rights agency Eos reach interim agreement in music row: An interim agreement has been reached in the row over Welsh language musicians’ royalty payments, BBC Cymru Wales has announced.
HMV administrators Deloitte have signed an agreement with suppliers, film studios and music labels, to ensure that it will receive new stock, but all its stores in Ireland have shut, making three hundred staff redundant.
Lady Gaga cancels the rest of her tour to undergo surgery, at a reported cost of £16million.
Morrissey has also cancelled more US shows due to hospitalisation.
Isle of Wight Festival to spend £250k on ‘roadworks’ for 2013: Isle of Wight Festival organisers are set to spend £250,000 on roadworks for the 2013 event in an attempt to avoid a repeat of last year when attendees were stranded in their cars after torrential rain turned the area into a mud bath.
T in the Park named top international festival: The festival which celebrates its 20th anniversary this summer, was crowned “international festival of the year” at the Pollstar Awards. Kraftwerk have been announced as a headliner for this year’s festival.
Other festival headline acts include: Richard Hawley, Labrinth and the Levellers for Camp Bestival, Bastille and Tom Odell for Brighton’s Great Escape festival, Plan B for Parklife in Manchester and Prince for the Montreux Jazz Festival. Rolling Stone Ronnie Wood has indicated his enthusiasm for playing Glastonbury and said that we will ‘twist bandmates’ arms’ over the matter at their next meeting.
Glastonbury organisers have flagged up the issue of dumped tents: The Festival is offering ticket holders a range of pre-erected off-site camping facilities in custom-made and pre-erected accommodation. Michael Eavis has said that the amount of cheap tents dumped in 2011 has meant that he is considering making the offer of pre-erected tents compulsory to everyone who plans to attend in the future.
Keynote speakers for the Great Escape convention have also been announced, including Alan Davey , CEO of Arts Council England, and Stephen Godfroy, co-owner of Rough Trade Retail.
Fatboy Slim to play Commons for House The House competition final: Fatboy Slim will play the House of Commons the final of the House The House competition – it will be first time that a DJ has ever performed within the House of Commons.
BRIT Awards 2013 to be first live Shazam-enabled UK TV show: ITV Commercial and Shazam have partnered to make the The BRIT Awards 2013, on February 20, the first live Shazam-enabled programme in the UK.
Fallout from the Grammy Awards in the US as Justin Bieber’s live Grammy stream overloaded by fans. The singer, who was not nominated, instead set up the internet feed so he could answer questions from fans. Meanwhile broadcaster CBS has denied that Jack White swore during his performance at the ceremony. The TV network says its thirteen experts and “state-of-the-art equipment” have confirmed the singer said “fight”, not “fuck” during his performance.
Whitney Houston’s mother has called an invitation to a pre-Grammy celebration of the singer, at the hotel where she died, ‘obscene’.
International Opera Awards launched: Details of a new awards initiative for opera have been announced, with the inaugural prize-giving ceremony to be held in London on April 22nd.
The Musicians’ Union stepped in over a dispute relating to an Arts Council advertisement for musicians at the Kings’ Theatre, London, at wages less than minimum wage. The dispute with the theatre has been resolved.
Tributes have been paid to Fisherman’s Friends’ singer Trevor Grills who, along with tour manager Paul McMullen, has become the second person to die following the collapse of a metal door metal door at G Live in Guildford.
Weston’s T4 on the Beach event may be replaced: Efforts are being made to set up another music event in Weston-super-Mare to replace T4 on the Beach after it was dropped by Channel Four.
RSNO unveils plans for new Glasgow home: A £500,000 campaign to have a new home ready for Scotland’s flagship orchestra ready in time for the Commonwealth Games was launched today – as it emerged the cost of the project had risen by 40 per cent in the space of two years.
Southbank Centre to unveil redevelopment plans: The Southbank Centre will unveil multi-million pound plans to transform its London HQ next month involve an overhaul of its Festival Wing, which includes the Queen Elizabeth Hall, Purcell Room and Hayward Gallery complex.
Cardigan Castle – Work starts on £11m restoration: The start of £11m restoration work at 12th Century Cardigan Castle has been marked with a turf-cutting ceremony after fourteen years’ campaigning to save the site. It will be developed into a centre for the community with a heritage centre and open air concert area.
Lloyd Webber Foundation funds £150,000 pop-up theatre: The Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation has donated £150,000 to a theatre company to build the first ever transportable pop-up in-the-round auditorium.
Underbelly expands into Edinburgh winter events: Underbelly Ltd, the company behind the Edinburgh fringe venue and London Southbank Udderbelly festival, is set to revamp Edinburgh’s winter festivals.
Also in Edinburgh, one of the top promoters on the Edinburgh Festival Fringe is on a collision course with city centre businesses, after claiming that his plans to use the middle of George Street for the second year in a row are under threat.
Newcastle confirms it will not axe arts budget: The local authority had proposed to remove all £1.15 million that it currently invests in the arts due to cuts to its own support from central government. However, following widespread opposition to the proposals, it has now confirmed that while it will reduce its support to around £600,000 per year, it will not completely axe all arts funding.
Unfortunately this news comes just as Moray council in Scotland approves 100% cut in arts funding. It has voted to cut all funding to the arts as part of an attempt to save £7 million from its 2013/14 budget.
Cardiff theatres to replace ushers with volunteers: The number of paid ushers at Cardiff’s St David’s Hall and New Theatre is at risk of being cut, under money-saving proposals being considered by the city’s council.
South Cambridgeshire prepares for “self-sufficient” community arts: South Cambridgeshire Council is to end the £70k annual funding which currently pays for seven Arts Development Managers to be based in secondary schools, serving both students and local communities.
Music education bodies join together: A new body to represent those working in music education is to be formed as the National Association of Music Educators (NAME) and the Federation of Music Services join forces to become the UK Association for Music Education – Music Mark.
Arts leaders warn ‘still work to be done’ despite EBacc U-turn: Leading figures from the cultural sector have described the government’s decision to drop its English Baccalaureate proposals as a “big win”, but have warned there is still work to be done to ensure the arts are placed at the heart of education.
Better cooperation benefits small scale arts sector: A marginal increase in cooperation between small creative businesses and their suppliers can have a positive effect on their turnover, says a report by the University of Bath.
Sky Arts’ Ignition to award €230,000 to an Irish arts organisation: Arts organisations in Ireland are able to pitch for €230,000 – around £200,000 – as part of Sky Arts’ Ignition initiative.
Plans to encourage small venues in South Australia are in danger due to resistance from the state’s Liberal Party. This among the issues raised at the upcoming Save Live Australia’s Music (SLAM) Day. It is the third anniversary of the SLAM rally in Melbourne, which was the largest cultural protest in Australian history.
Also in Australia, the Federal Court has ruled on internet simulcasting of radio shows, stating that Australian labels and artists should earn a fee from radio stations who streamed music via online simulcasts.
Haitian acts critical of President Michel Martelly have been excluded from the list of acts approved to play at the Carnival.
Bid to end cross-border double taxation of performers: A campaign to fight the double taxation of artists who work abroad has been launched by a European performing arts trade organisation.
Orchestra pay disputes grind on in the US as the Minnesota Orchestra lockout moves into its fifth month with state legislators accusing the orchestra president of ‘destroying the arts’. Meanwhile the St.Paul’s Chamber Orchestra musicians are considering a deal which would allow them to play while talks continued and the chair of the Minnesota House Legacy Committee says she is considering reallocating funds currently designated for both orchestras.
James Wright, general director of Vancouver Opera, has spoken about the financial troubles faced by his own and other companies, stating that in North America, 70 per cent of opera companies were reporting deficits.
Jamaica’s Rebel Salute and Jazz & Blues Festivals Thrive Despite Dwindling Corporate Sponsorship: Although fundamentally different in their concepts, two recently concluded music festivals, held in Jamaica just five days apart, drew sizable crowds despite waning corporate sponsorship.
The Joyce Theatre and the Brooklyn Academy of Music Announce Cuba Dance Partnership: A two-year project to promote an arts partnership between the United States and Cuba was by the Joyce Theatre Foundation and the Brooklyn Academy of Music. It is designed to offer Cubans arts administration training, internships and help creating a new dance work to be performed at the Joyce Theatre.
Russian opera and ballet boss has passport seized by bailiffs: Vladmir Kekhman, owner of the Mikhailosly Theatre in St Petersburg, was served with a travel ban by bailiffs seeking to collect 285 million rubles in alleged unpaid bank debts.
More problems for musicians at airports as a fourth Asian player has his violin seized at Frankfurt Airport, star conductor Gustavo Dudamel says he is considering whether he will visit Israel again after twice being subjected to prolonged and uncomfortable interrogations on entering and leaving the country at Ben Gurion Airport and top cellist Alban Gerhardt has his bow snapped by US security officials.
Violin and bows are stolen from BBC orchestra: The instruments were stolen From the City Halls, Glasgow on 12th February.
Tim Burton and Danny Elfman to collaborate on live concert: The work of composer Danny Elfman, who soundtracked Tim Burton’s films, will be performed in concert for the first time.
Kent County Youth Orchestra seeks class of 1963: A Kent orchestra celebrating its 50th anniversary this year is trying to track down the musicians who took part in its inaugural performance.
Music from King Richard III’s life: A recording of music from King Richard III’s lifetime has been released – including a dance possibly played at a notorious Christmas party he hosted.
Artists turn Mexico weapons haul into musical instruments: A haul of weapons in Mexico have been recycled into musical instruments by local artists.
Chubby Checker sues Hewlett-Packard over app to measure penis size: ‘Chubby Checker’ app has caused ‘irreparable damage’ to singer of same name, say lawyers
After Michael Brewer: the RNCM teacher’s story: Following the revelations of sexual abuse at top music schools, The Guardian carries the story of a teacher who attempted to blow the whistle on a colleague’s behaviour and Robert Fitzpatrick, dean of the Curtis Institute of Music, 1986-2009 reflects on the origins of student abuse and how these issues should be dealt with in the present day.
Uncivil war rages on behind the doors of the Bolshoi: The Stage looks at the background to the disputes, which have spilled over into violence, at the Russian company.
New classical: keep your composers close and your audiences closer: Audiences shouldn’t necessarily come first, or last, argues Meryl Hicks – make them central to your programming process.
Smaller arts festivals: what is the most sustainable business model?: Vulnerable to public and private funding cuts, festivals should be crunching data to strengthen their individual and collective case says The Guardian‘s culture professionals network.
Is there a north-south divide in England’s music industry?: With northern bands often asked to hide their provincial roots in order to fit in with the London-centric ‘scene’, Allan Glen looks at nearly 30 years of mistrust.
‘Moray Council’s decision is philistine’: Andrew Eaton-Lewis at The Scotsman comments on the decision to cut arts funding by 100%.
Now Onstage in Spain – Austerity: The New York Times looks at the effects of funding cuts on the arts in Spain.
Stage Fright – Are We Too Ashamed to Talk About It?: Specialist music coach Charlotte Tomlinson looks at the reasons for, and effects of, stage fright.
The heavy metal-loving church: Sam Judah at the BBC looks at churches that have embraced heavy metal music.
The All-Star Anthem: Following Beyonce’s performance, Pete Croatto argues that thirty years later, Marvin Gaye’s rendition of ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’ stands alone.
Live Music-Related Events:
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.
February 22nd in Manchester at 10.30am to 4.30pm
WFA Media & Cultural Centre
9 Lucy Street
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.
Music Futures Network – Crowdfunding: At this special networking event arranged by Generator, we will hear firsthand accounts of those who have successfully launched albums, films and games by embracing crowdfunding platforms. Guest speakers will discuss what went right and wrong in their campaign. What they’d do differently next time, if indeed if they would they do it all again.
Tom Williams, Tom Williams & The Boat
Sally Hodgson, Sound it Out
Thomas Bidaux, ICO Partners
Live Theatre, Broad Chare, Quayside, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, NE1, 3DQ
Thursday February 28th, 5pm-9pm
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
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.
Compact: Making Money In Dance Music: This event is aimed specifically at DJs and Producers looking to progress from a bedroom hobby or from the early stages of success into a long-term successful career. The sessions feature guest speaker Danny Ward and cover a wide range of topics including,
- The various income streams available to DJs and Producers/Artists
- How to approach record labels
- Working with record labels
- How to get more gigs
- Choosing the right opportunities
- Promoting yourself and building an audience
- How to set up your own record label
Centre for Enterprise, Teeside University, Middlesborough, TS1 3BA
Wednesday 13th March, 10am – 5pm
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.
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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