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
Emma Webster looks at the growing role of the vuvuzela in demonstrations and how it fits, or doesn’t, with other musical activities in protest.
One From the Archives
In an introduction to new joint research taking place at the Universities of Brighton and Stockholm, Karolina Doughty looks beneath the surface of busking and street music to provide an account of the different cultural and policy debates surround the practice and how they fit into the ‘affective management’ of modern cities.
Live Music News:
Mumford & Sons sell Olympic Park tickets direct to fans: Mumford & Sons are selling tickets for their July Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park gig direct to fans from their official website. Before the tickets go on sale through third party outlets, the tickets are available at mumfordandsons.com with prices including booking fee, with no additional service charge.
Kid Rock says lots of artists tout their own tickets: After announcing cut-price tickets for his summer tour, the American artists has said that his own representatives, and those of other artists, have touted their own tickets. Speaking on US TV, he said, “I’m going to tell people, a lot of artists already do it. I think I’ve been guilty of it in the past, too. We take some of our tickets, we put them on StubHub, overcharge with what the market determines they’re worth”.
Jersey festival ticket change to tackle underage drinking: Organisers of a Jersey music festival are changing the way tickets are issued to try and eradicate underage drinking. Concerns about underage drinking prompted a change in ticket policy for 2012 which required people under 16 to be accompanied by an adult. Festival director Warren Le Sueur said this year they would be introducing more changes including using a new ticketing company and “named tickets”.
Radio 1 Big Weekend tickets sell out in under an hour: The release of tickets for the festival in Londonderry was delayed by a day, due to what Radio 1 said were “technical issues”. The final batch of tickets, resales of returns, for Glastonbury has also sold out.
Two major Australian hip-hop festivals have been cancelled at the last minute: Live Nation and Niche Productions pulled the plug on the inaugural Movement Festival, a multi-date Australasian hip hop event spearheaded by veteran rapper Nas, a week before it was due to start whilst the fourth edition of Supafest, which was meant to star T.I., Ne-Yo and 50 Cent, has been cancelled just days from its scheduled start.
Blur switch slots with The Stone Roses to headline second weekend of Coachella festival: The festival’s founder has denied that this is due to an apparently tepid response for the band’s first set, saying that the swap was always planned. Biffy Clyro, meanwhile, have cancelled their appearance at the festival, along with other US dates, due to illness. The end of the first weekend was also marred by a sandstorm which blew up as the Red Hot Chilli Peppers, also due to play for the Dalai Lama when he visits Oregon, were on stage.
Back in the UK, tickets for the premiere of the Shane Meadow’s documentary sold out in one minute and the soon to be completed Leeds Arena has been used to highlight a local music festival, Live at Leeds.
Vodafone UK has been confirmed as headline partner for Global Radio’s Capital FM Summertime Ball 2013: The deal will see Vodafone promote initiatives including Vodafone VIP, Vodafone freebies and customer priority ticket access to the Ball 48 hours before they go on general sale.
Artists including Paul Weller, Glasvegas and Frank Turner played in shops across the UK, and internationally, for Record Store Day, as vinyl sales are up by 78% in 2013, a surge largely driven by under 25s. HMV, however, still looks set to cut 400 staff although its market share has dropped only 1.5% for the quarter, year-on-year, despite being in administration.
The UK’s song publishing collection societies have restructured their partnership: MCPS will sell its stake in the PRS For Music operating company to PRS, and then, at the same time, engage the services of that company to manage its members’ mechanical rights, so that MCPS becomes a customer of the PRS business, rather than a co-owner.
PRS has also confirmed that it has reached a new a new licensing deal with the commercial radio sector, which will cover the royalties paid by 300 commercial stations for the rights that exist in the songs they play.
CISAC wins appeal in Europe: A long-running legal squabble in Europe over the music publishing sector’s collecting society system has reached a conclusion, with the General Court Of The European Union upholding an appeal against an EU Commission ruling in 2008 that accused the societies of operating “a concerted practice to restrict competition”.
BBC Proms appoints first female director for Last Night: BBC’s The Last Night of The Proms is to be led by a female conductor for the first time in its 118 year history. American Marin Alsop said she was “thrilled” to conduct the BBC Symphony Orchestra and violinist Nigel Kennedy. The Proms will also feature Daniel Barenboim conducting Wagner’s Ring Cycle and the John Wilson Orchestra playing an evening of music dedicated to “unsung Hollywood composers”. The concerts will be broadcast in New York, by classical radio station WQXR. for the first time.
Ticketmaster Names Chris Edmonds UK Chairman, Executive Vice President of International Strategic Partnerships: Ticketmaster has promoted UK MD Chris Edmonds to the position of chairman of Ticketmaster UK and a new role, Executive Vice President of international strategic partnerships. Edmonds will be responsible for developing Ticketmaster’s relationships with key strategic partners across its international territories, whilst remaining involved in the strategic business development of the Ticketmaster UK business, in his new role as chairman for Ticketmaster UK.
Derby’s £28m velodrome construction begins: The arena, which will double as a concert venue, will be built on wasteland to the south of Pride Park. It is expected to be completed by November 2014. Derby City Council has said it will not rule out selling the rights to name the new velodrome when it is completed next year.
Buyout plan for historic Strathpeffer Pavilion: A historic Highland pavilion could be brought into community ownership under plans by its board of directors. The Strathpeffer Pavilion has in the past hosted events as diverse as a rally by suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst and a performance by Kaiser Chiefs.
Taunton groups link up to save Brewhouse: Local groups in Taunton have joined forces to make a bid to run the Brewhouse Theatre as a performing arts venue. Administrators for the Brewhouse Theatre have confirmed there will be no refunds for amateur dramatic groups and ticket holders owed money. In a statement to creditors it emerged an estimate of over £80,000 is owed to advance ticket holders with total debts in the region of £500,000.
Swindon music venue The Furnace shuts after name change: One of Swindon’s oldest music venues, which recently underwent a name change and refurbishment, has closed. The alternative music nightclub has hosted bands including Therapy?, Del Amitri and Mastodon over the years. Promoter Ed Dyer blamed the economic climate and said the landlord no longer found the club “financially viable”.
Future of Aberystwyth Arts Centre uncertain after two key staff members are suspended: Fears have been raised about the future of Aberystwyth Arts Centre as a professional venue, following the suspension of its director and operations manager by Aberystwyth University, which owns the centre. A petition that has been launched to have the two senior members of staff reinstated claims the centre is threatened by “heavy-handed restructuring” and “destabilization” by the university.
Union Theatre fights back against eviction: The Union Theatre in south London has confirmed it will be evicted from its venue by the end of the year, if Network Rail, which owns the archway it is housed within, is successful in its planning application to the local council.
Lauderdale House receives £800,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund: Arts centre Lauderdale House has been awarded £800,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund towards restoration of the venue. The money will be used towards the Lauderdale House Transformed project, which includes redeveloping an upstairs space, currently used to host cabaret performances.
Ambassadors Theatre Group profits soar as expansion plans deliver results: The ATG is now among the top 10 of UK companies for profit growth.
A call for evidence of philanthropy: A new survey, ‘Philanthropy in the Arts’, is aiming to assess the current funding climate in the arts sector, including the impact of the first year of Arts Council England’s Catalyst Fundraising grants.
Ballet Theatre UK and Tring Park School set up joint touring company: Tring Park School for the Performing Arts in Hertfordshire and professional company Ballet Theatre UK have launched a touring dance company to showcase final year students at the college.
Showcase for UK musicals planned for 2014/15: Composers and writers of new musicals will be given a platform to showcase their work at a major new event run by the Musical Theatre Network and Mercury Musical Developments and aimed at raising the profile of up and coming UK talent.
Bongo Club drum up new arts festival celebrating venue relaunch: The new festival will showcase theatre, film, dance, workshops, visual artists, spoken word, live music and clubs at their new home at beneath the Central Library.
Boston Manhunt Shuts Down City’s Live-Music Scene: The manhunt for Dzhokar Tsarnaev, one of the suspects in the Boston Marathon bombing, shut down the city for much of Friday. As a result, many concert promoters and music venues in the Boston area canceled or postponed events. There were also numerous tributes to the victims of the bomb at the marathon finishing line, including Neil Diamond leading the crowd in a rendition of ‘Sweet Caroline’ at a Boston Red Sox game, a theme song for the team, and members of the Boston Symphony Orchestra playing in running gear.
Willie Nelson Turns 80th Birthday Concert Into Texas Blast Benefit: Willie Nelson said that he will turn an upcoming Texas concert into a benefit for victims of the explosion at a fertilizer plant not far from where he grew up.
San Francisco players hold benefit for locked-out Minnesotans: The Musicians of the San Francisco Symphony will present a Solidarity Concert in support of the Musicians of the Minnesota Orchestra and Musicians of the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra.
The musicians and management of the Minnesota Orchestra are, meanwhile, also fighting over the terms of the audit of the orchestra, with management launching its own financial analysis citing frustration over lack of progress in discussions with locked-out musicians over an independent review of the orchestra’s finances.
Musicians of the Teatro Colon in an industrial dispute in Buenos Aires have taken to the street in protest over breaks and other aspects of their working conditions.
Musicians in three Moscow state orchestras have not been paid since Christmas: A conductor in Moscow has spoken anonymously to Slipped Disc about the situation in three orchestras – the Moscow Philharmonic, the National Philharmonic Orchestra of Russia and the State Symphony orchestra “New Russia”.
Moscow cancels international orchestras festival: The festival which has run for six years under Vladimir Putin’s patronage has been called off as public funding has been withdrawn.
Beleaguered orchestra advertises for conductor on Facebook: The Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra has placed an advert on its Facebook page as a satirical protest by the orchestra’s director Ivan Tasovac against the new laws for public procurement.
Takings soar for Opera Australia: A successful tour of South Pacific- $16m- Hand Opera’s La Traviata at Sydney Harbour -$6m- and a successful production of the Ring Cycle in Melbourne contributed to the success. The national company finished the year with an operating profit of $665,000, contributing to consolidated income of $2.1m for the Opera Australia Group. The company has dramatically reduced the deficit of its Sydney-based Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra.
Composer withdraws Song for the King after storm of criticism: Composer John Ewbank, who wrote the Song for the King which was to be sung at the new Dutch King Willem-Alexander’s investiture, has cancelled the project because of the storm of criticism. The committee organising the celebrations issued a statement saying it ‘understands’ the decision. The song went public on Friday morning but was lambasted for its trite lyrics and style, which included a rap based on ‘the W from Willem’. The text was written by a group of Dutch celebrities ‘inspired by’ text sent in by the public.
Bolshoi acid attack victim Sergei Filin still ‘cannot see with either eye’ as the dancer charged in the attack, Pavel Dmitrichenko, has been denied bail and is to remain detained until June.
Jacksons request to see visitors logs of Murray jail: Katherine Jackson has reportedly requested that the visitor’s log from the jail where Conrad Murray is serving his time for causing the death of Michael Jackson be subpoenaed for the upcoming Jacksons v AEG Live court case.
Turkish composer and pianist convicted of blasphemy on Twitter: Fazil Say describes verdict as ‘sad for Turkey’ after being given suspended 10-month prison sentence for series of tweets.
Madonna Faces Ban From Russia After Supporting Pussy Riot: The singer performed two shows in Moscow and St Petersburg as part of her MDNA world tour, and while on stage took the chance to voice her opinions on gay rights and backed the Pussy Riot singers jailed for a protest against President Putin. Now the foreign ministry has ruled that Madonna’s visa did not allow her to make money during her visit to the country, Russian newspaper Izvestia reported.
Roger Waters On Israel Boycott – “I Am Considering My Position”: Roger Waters made headlines last month by calling for a boycott of Israel, saying he has urged other musicians to boycott the country in support for Palestine. But he told Josh Zepps that he is now rethinking that position. “I am considering my position,” Waters said of the boycott. “The letter asking my fellow musicians to boycott Israel has never appeared. I am thinking all of this through extremely carefully and I’m thinking it all through extremely carefully because I care more about the outcome, because I care about the people involved, than I do about the moment.”
Study finds those who attend choir rehearsal report less anxiety: Research published online this month in the scientific journal Psychology of Music has found those singing in a choir report a positive impact on their psychological health.
Musicians put on the right track: A project in Carmarthenshire is literally putting young musicians on the right track by getting them to play to passengers on trains on the Heart of Wales railway line.
University of East Anglia’s ‘gentle giant’ Nick Rayns dies: The man who organised concerts and entertainment at the University of East Anglia for over three decades has died. Nick Rayns, who was 61, had been running entertainment for the Union of UEA Students since June 1979.
Fight Breaks Out at IMS Engage Conference: A fistfight broke out at the IMS Engage conference between representatives of Hashtag Management and Diplo manager Kevin Kusatsu, after a panel pairing Instagram founder Kevin Systrom and Diplo.
Country Icon George Jones Hospitalized, His ‘Grand Tour’ Halted: A news release says Jones had a fever and irregular blood pressure during a routine checkup. Meatloaf has also cancelled another of his UK dates due to continued issues with his band’s health.
Veteran British rockers attract the cruise ship crowds: This year, musicians from the Moody Blues, Genesis, Yes and Emerson, Lake and Palmer have all played concerts on cruises from Fort Lauderdale in Florida to the Caribbean. The gigs have attracted prog rock fans from all over the world. They have each paid from about $800 to several thousand to be on board. For this they get five nights of concerts in an intimate setting, along with special events for those fans who buy a VIP package.
Savages join opposition to gig phone filming: London band Savages have joined Yeah Yeah Yeahs in requesting that fans don’t use their mobile phones to film their gigs.
Beyoncé raises eyebrows with risqué world tour outfits: Crystal-studded bodysuit with trompe l’oeil breasts and nipples is among costumes for Mrs Carter Show
Placido Domingo given Freedom of the City of London: Spanish tenor Placido Domingo has been awarded the Freedom of the City of London. The 72-year-old opera singer, who used to live in Chelsea, has made 200 appearances at the Royal Opera House during a career that began in 1959.
Souter Lighthouse to host ‘Foghorn Requiem’: A Tyneside lighthouse is to take part in a unique musical performance, which will also feature land-based brass bands and an armada of ships.
World Pipe Band Championships in Glasgow gets extra day: The World Pipe Band Championships in Glasgow this year have been extended to run over two days for the first time. Hundreds of bands from the UK and abroad are expected at the event, known as “The Worlds”, on 17th and 18th August.
Croome Court holds ‘silent disco’ for stately home’s visitors: Visitors to a stately home in Worcestershire will be able to experience a “silent disco” as they tour the house and grounds.
Dog is Dead perform silent concert from box in Birmingham: About 300 fans could only listen to their concert, from inside a Perspex box, through headphones, which were only available if they had a ticket.
Magnet used to clear field ahead of Womad festival: A 4m (13ft) long magnet is being used in a field in Wiltshire to pick up stray tent pegs ahead of a festival. Up to 20,000 people are expected at the four-day Womad Festival at Charlton Park near Malmesbury this summer.
Elvis impersonator arrested for sending poison laced letter to President Obama: Conspiracy theorist Paul Kevin Curtis also performed as Prince, Buddy Holly and Kid Rock.
Black Sabbath helps plants to grow but Sir Cliff Richard ‘kills them’: Chris Beardshaw, from Gardeners’ Question Time, claimed different genres of music would encourage plants to grow at different rates, with songs by Black Sabbath helping them to bloom. But, in an experiment conducted by his horticultural students, plants played the collected works of Sir Cliff “all died”.
Live Music Features:
The Business of Phish: Priceonomic.com looks at the business model of the band who have generated over a quarter billion dollars in ticket sales in their thirty year history, surpassing much better known acts.
Ivan Fischer – ‘Orchestras will have to change’: From his Budapest home, conductor Ivan Fischer tells Ivan Hewett about the future of ensemble playing.
A Teacher of Note Behind Opera’s Stars: A Wall Street Journal profile of Bill Schuman, and how he trains singers to protect and use their voices.
Coachella festival 2013 -10 things we learned: The Guardian‘s Tim Jonze reveals what he learned in the Californian desert.
Building the Crest of a Wave -A Decade in Festivals: Jim Whewell of Secret Productions on why he got into festivals.
Recess – The EDM Festival That Can Help You Find a Job: Billboard on the event that combines a festival with a graduate fair.
The Music of ‘Flow’: Richard Carrick on how Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s concept of flow shaped his compositions for for strings.
Grey brigade plays out classics to the tune of big bucks: Peter Vincent on the insurance company for over 50s sponsoring rock tours in Australia.
Record Store Day 2013 – But if the world has moved on, why should we care?: Hamish Brown in The List looks beyond the commodities at the centre of Record Store Day.
How flash mob flamenco took on the banks: Jason Webster for the BBC on how dance is being used in protest in Andalusia.
Getting Nowhere? Changing the Conversation: Professor George McKay on the conference- Changing the Conversation: Artists’ Practice in Participatory Settings, at Lancaster University.
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
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
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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