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
Last summer Howard Thorpe of ABLE2UK staged his first ever concert for disabled awareness. This week’s blog post is an extract of Howard’s speech from the Festival Awards 2012 Conference in which he spells out five ways to improve disabled access at festivals.
One to Watch
Information on awards to artists offered by different governments has been released by the International Federation of Arts Councils and Culture Agencies (IFACCA). Looking at 14 countries including Australia, Canada, Spain and the USA, the report examines 38 separate awards (seen as distinct from grants) and details how they are judged, what prizes are given and how frequently they are awarded.
Live Music News:
Brazil mourns Santa Maria nightclub fire victims: Brazil has declared three days of national mourning for 231 people killed in a nightclub fire in the southern city of Santa Maria.
It is thought this weekend’s tragedy most likely occurred after a band set off pyrotechnics of some description, echoing the fire that occurred at a Great White gig in Rhode Island in 2003, in which 100 fans and the band’s guitarist died. According to the CMU, The fire and large death toll is likely to throw a new spotlight on the use of pyrotechnics in smaller venues not really equipped to accommodate such effects, and the responsibilities of venue owners, tour managers and artists themselves to be aware of such risks. Since the high profile club fire in Rhode Island in 2003, similar tragedies have occurred in Buenos Aires, Bangkok and the Russian city of Perm.
Live Nation secures exclusive rights to host Olympic Park and Stadium concerts: Live Nation Entertainment has secured exclusive rights to host major music concerts during 2013 in London’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and Stadium, the flagship locations of the 2012 London Summer Olympics. Live Nation will move its central London festivals Wireless and Hard Rock Calling to the Olympic Park in East London, after ending its relationship with the Royal Parks (blaming noise restrictions – which last summer led to a Bruce Springsteen concert being cut off during an encore – cost factors and logistics.)
Meanwhile, AEG reveals details of Barclaycard British Summer Time in Hyde Park, a 10-day event due to take place between June 28 – July 7. Hyde Park will be transformed into downtown Havana and the volume ‘turned up to 11’ when Jon Bon Jovi becomes the first star to test a £5m revamp of the Summer concert site.
AEG sale talks ongoing, says CEO Tim Leiweke : The sale of Anschutz Entertainment Group is ‘taking longer’ than expected, but not due to lack of interest. A diverse group of bidders have been reported as potential suitors for AEG (among them Billboard parent company Guggenheim Partners) with Blackstone Group directing the sale process for AEG that could top out as high as $8 billion, according to some estimates.
MAMA takes full control of Lovebox: MAMA & Company (as it’s now known) has taken full ownership of the Lovebox festival, ahead of its tenth anniversary as an outdoor event this summer.
Jeremy Joseph buys HMV out of G-A-Y: HMV was a major shareholder in the G-A-Y company – the original clubbing brand, the G-A-Y labelled bars and London venue Heaven – as a result of its 2010 acquisition of the MAMA Group.
Bloc to return? Bloc is to return this year in some form, despite the fiasco that led to the festival being shut down due to overcrowding on its first night in 2012, sending the company behind the event into administration.
MusicTank live course kicks off next week: Led by Andy Inglis, the programme will include guest speakers Dave Newton of WeGotTickets, Ruth Barlow of Beggars Group, Carina Jirsch of Schoneberg Concerts, and more.
In UK ticketing news, See Tickets faces threat of strike action amid dispute: See has given notice that it wishes to terminate its voluntary recognition agreement with the union, following the ticketing company’s decision not to renew its membership with the Society of Ticket Agents and Retailers (STAR), whose members comply with a code of practice aimed at protecting consumers..
eBay ditching UK ticket-reselling in bid to boost StubHub business: In a bid to boost business via its dedicated second-hand ticketing company Stubhub, eBay will cease to host ticket-reselling in the UK.
The tabloids appear to be getting in on the anti-secondary ticketing action, with the Daily Mirror reporting that Touts and conmen set to cash in as Olympic ticket crackdown ends: A damning police report on ticket touting has slammed politicians and fellow officers for leaving music and sports fans at the mercy of crooks. Meanwhile, the Daily Mail asks: Are Rihanna, Rolling Stones and Justin Bieber fans being ripped off by so-called secondary ticket websites?
DCMS says ‘none of our business’ on ACE executive pay, following the revelations last week that former Executive Board director Andrea Stark, who has left ACE to become Chief Executive of High House Production Park in Thurrock, will continue to be paid by ACE until June, at which point she will become eligible for a six-figure redundancy payout.
Jarvis says Government is ‘Missing the C from DCMS’: Shadow Culture Minister Dan Jarvis spoke out against the damage the Government is doing to the cultural sector in his address to the Association of British Orchestras at its annual conference at the Theatre Royal, Leeds.
Capital grants to renew England’s arts infrastructure: Lottery cash will enable fifty-five English arts organisations to modernise, refurbish and improve their financial resilience. However, Camelot is to reduce the cut of Lotto sales going to Good Causes: The percentage from the sale of Lotto tickets going to good causes will reduce when Camelot doubles the price of tickets this autumn, but the company expects ticket sales to increase boosting the overall amount of money given to good causes.
ACE announces arts organisations closer to securing major capital funding: London’s Sadler’s Wells, Brighton Dome and Oldham Coliseum Theatre are among 20 organisations that have all been successful in the first part of their application to Arts Council England for large capital grants funding.
Creative Scotland to update corporate plan, and is working to clarify funding guidance and other communications, following a period of turbulence which led to the resignation of Chief Executive Andrew Dixon late last year. Additionally, Creative Scotland commits to open meetings with Scottish arts practitioners across the art forms in Scotland.
Arts Council of Wales gears up for artform debate: The ACW is determined that its artform strategies should be informed by all who love the arts, not just the ‘usual suspects’.
Westminster City Council proposes to remove all arts funding by 2014/15: Soho Theatre and English National Ballet will be among those groups set to lose funding from Westminster City Council following a proposal to phase out all of its arts budget by 2014/15.
Newcastle arts leaders condemn ‘redundant’ consultation on cuts: Theatre leaders in Newcastle have described a recent public consultation meeting about the proposed 100% cuts to arts funding from the local council as “frustrating” and “redundant”.
Competition launched to find second UK City of Culture: The submission process to find the UK’s second City of Culture in 2017 was launched last week by arts minister Ed Vaizey.
Mayor announces Bristol arena design competition next to Temple Meads station: The winner is expected to deliver the 12,000-seat £80m music venue by 2016.
Public nominations open for box office awards: Nominations for the Outstanding Customer Service Award 2013, taking place at the Society of Box Office Managers awards ceremony, have been opened to the public.
Cultural Festival to celebrate Tour: Yorkshire will host a cultural festival in the run up to Le Grand Depart of the Tour de France in the county in 2014.
Arts, heritage and leisure plans for new venue in Oldham: Council gives its backing to Oldham Coliseum Theatre’s dreams of a new facility to accommodate its growing outreach programme.
Sunderland church becomes heritage and arts centre, The Canny Space, a community venue for heritage, performance, education and learning.
Dylan Thomas tribute: Bob Dylan wanted for Swansea concert: A campaign is growing for Bob Dylan to perform a concert honouring poet Dylan Thomas in the centenary of his birth.
Brick Lane venue 93 Feet East to close for good: after the club had its licence removed when ten people were arrested in a police raid last year.
Lothians art funding slashed by councils: Draft proposals in East Lothian show plans to reduce museum opening times, withdraw theatre funding and scrap free music lessons in a bid to save £132,000.
Byre Theatre in St Andrews to go into liquidation: It has been in demand as a touring venue, and was due to host several concerts for the forthcoming Fife Jazz Festival, but recent funding cuts left the theatre unable to produce its own shows.
Bury St Edmunds’ Theatre Royal and Apex cancel merger talk: Last year a new trust was proposed to jointly manage The Apex, a music and entertainment venue, and the 19th Century Theatre Royal. However, the theatre said it did not want to share a management team but would look for ‘closer collaboration’.
Arts groups demand meeting with the Prime Minister over EBaccs: Nearly 100 groups including National Theatre and National Portrait Gallery say the Coalition is pushing through the reforms too fast.
Cross-party concerns over EBacc reforms: In the Lords, the campaign Bacc for the Future, co-ordinated by the Incorporated Society of Musicians, was praised by Lib Dem Lord Clement-Jones for bringing strong voices together in the arts sector in opposition to the plans as they currently stand.
Les Mis star attacks cuts to youth music service: West End performer Caroline Sheen has joined more than 3,000 people in calling for a service providing young people with music tuition to be protected from funding cuts.
Drama teachers warn EBacc will create tech shortage: Course professors at two of the UK’s leading drama schools have expressed concerns that the “restrictive” English Baccalaureate proposals from the government will reduce the number of students applying for technical training and limit their preparation for undergraduate study.
Tracey Emin warns of ‘rioting in the streets’ over marginalisation of art in education: The Turner Prize-winner said the cultural world is up in arms over the proposed GCSE overhaul.
School of rock: The Smiths, Happy Mondays and Elbow to tutor at Manchester music college: Applications are currently being accepted for a BA (Hons) in Professional Musicianship (Guitar, Drums, Vocals, Songwriting, Bass). A BA (Hons) in Music Business Management and Music Event Management is also offered for those who aspire to a backstage role.
Free music lessons on 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.
Violinist Nicola Benedetti to mentor youngsters at classical bootcamp: The weekend will launch with a rare opportunity for string players of grade 4 standard and above to play alongside Benedetti in a performance of the Intermezzo from Mascagni’s Cavalleria Rusticana.
Royal Marines School of Music memorial room for war musicians: A memorial room commemorating the Royal Marines musicians who died during World War I and II has opened in Portsmouth.
Orchestras must ‘ride wave of change’ or die: New boss of Universal Music issues clarion call urging musicians to engage with audiences. David Lister of The Independent agrees that conductors must do more to engage audiences, while the newspaper’s editor remains to be convinced, arguing that classical music deserves to be treated on its merits, ‘without the addition of discordant bells and whistles’. Ivan Hewett of The Telegraph has heard it all before, arguing that every few years a mover and shaker in the classical music world makes such a speech, but that social conventions take time to change.
Welsh National Opera loses employment tribunal appeal: A former Welsh National Opera principal oboist has been awarded £73,000 compensation by an industrial tribunal which found he had been unfairly dismissed by the company after a long-running dispute with its then principal conductor.
‘I’m clean!’ – A classical pianist quits drugs and ends his public career: Pianist Simon Tedeschi says he’s had enough of the skulduggery, the drugs and the conspiracy of silence that envelops every level of music administration. Doping, he declares, ‘is part of classical music’.
JLS voted ‘Hardest Working Group of 2012’ by PRS for Music, categorised by venue type with JLS ‘the most performed artists to headline at major venues for 2012’.
David Bowie, Rolling Stones and Pussy Riot nominated for NME Awards: Veteran rockers feature prominently on this year’s shortlist – meanwhile One Direction and Mumford & Sons battle it out in Worst Band category.
Billy Bragg to get BBC Folk Award: Bragg will receive the Roots Award in recognition of his 30-year career as a socially-conscious singer-songwriter.
Massive Attack plan live ‘dream’ at Manchester festival: Seminal trip-hop group Massive Attack have teamed up with film-maker Adam Curtis to create a live show for the Manchester International Festival.
British bands The Stone Roses and Blur amongst Coachella headliners: It will be the second year of splitting the event into two identical weekends to accommodate high demand for tickets.
Mexico band Kombo Kolombia reported missing after gig: Police in northern Mexico are searching for 20 members of a band who went missing after playing a gig in the city of Hidalgo on Thursday night.
Beyonce and Kelly Clarkson add soaring voices to President Obama’s Inauguration: Beyonce sang ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’ but there was confusion and controversy over whether the singer mimed the words or sang live. The Telegraph argues that miming will kill live music: Singers who lip-sync during concerts – or at President Barack Obama’s inauguration, as Beyonce is said to have done – insult their audience and undermine their peers.
Conrad Murray resisting efforts to make him testify at Jacksons v AEG Live court case: Jackson’s team wants Murray to testify, in a bid to prove that the company was very much involved in hiring his services, but then failed to properly supervise him.
Maestro of Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra is terminated ‘with immediate effect’: Having informed the conductor, Arild Remmereit, that his services would not be required beyond the end of the season, the Board has now terminated his contract altogether – apparently for refusing to reply to their communications.
Composer withdraws all his works in anti-government protest: Cornelis de Bondt’s final work, Das Lebewohl, will be premiered tonight in Amsterdam at Muziekgebouw aan ‘t IJ by the Dutch Radio Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra, which will soon cease to exist due to government cuts. The composer is so angry about this that he has decided to withdraw all of his works from further performance in Holland.
Claudio Abbado takes mobile Lucerne Festival to quake-hit parts of Japan: From 27 September to 14 October 2013 the mobile concert hall will be visiting Matsushima with a programme featuring national and international artists.
Sydney Opera House celebrates airline sponsorship windfall: The New South Wales government is adamant that a three-year, multimillion-dollar agreement between the World Heritage-listed Sydney Opera House and Etihad Airways will not see the Opera House’s name changed.
As Duma debates anti-gay law, Billy Budd receives its Russian premiere: The Mikhailovsky Theatre in St Petersburg has staged the Russian premiere of Billy Budd, Benjamin Britten’s all-male shipboard opera.
SFX acquires Voodoo Experience and ID&T – the largest dance-event promoter in the world – according to its president Robert F.X. Sillerman. The moves automatically give SFX a significant foothold in the North American festival market – and not just in EDM.
In Canada, Patti-Anne Tarlton named Ticketmaster Canada SVP & COO as the company continues to rollout the first key components of its new venue ticketing platform.
Screaming Beliebers lawsuit dropped: Justin Bieber is no longer facing a lawsuit for making his fans scream too loudly.
Simon Cowell and Harry Hill working on X-Factor musical: Early reports from Cowell on Twitter are that ‘The X factor musical is sensational! It’s a yes from me.’
Vanessa-Mae puts music aside for a year in Olympic bid to ski for Thailand at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.
Live Music Features:
Music is vital to political struggle across Africa – not just in Mali: Banning music in Mali is outrageous, not least because it’s crucial to the country’s wellbeing.
Six music-related issues facing this Administration and Congress: From performance royalties to deciding how musicians travel with their instruments on airplanes, numerous issues central to the music industry are discussed in this Billboard feature.
Dave Grohl, Avicii and Afrojack: A promoter’s approach to booking music at Sundance: Park City Live CEO Kathryn Burns has overseen the transition and spoke about her first year as a promoter.
Why Kraftwerk are still the world’s most influential band: Kraftwerk’s fusion of art, beats and electronics has become a template copied by musicians everywhere. Now they plan to take London’s Tate Modern by storm.
What pop music owes to the classical masters: All styles of music feed into each other. Which is why Adele’s songs owe everything to Schubert and sampling wouldn’t exist without Dvorák, Howard Goodall tells The Guardian. Meanwhile, The Telegraph asks how the composer went about selecting the 10 most important classical works ever for the ‘The Story of Music’.
Lend us a tenor: What can be done about the ENO’s lack of cash? Despite a consistently rewarding programme, the ENO ran up a £2.2m deficit in the last financial year. But there is a way forward, its artistic director, John Berry, tells The Independent: international collaboration.
The Opera Novice: Until last year Sameer Rahim had little interest in classical music – but now he is hooked on opera. In a new column for The Telegraph he offers a novice-eye’s view of this seemingly forbidding but truly magical art form.
What is Silent Opera? A new English version of Monteverdi’s Italian opera L’Orfeo is set to open in London – but audience members going along should expect a very different experience. The organisers have taken the principle of silent discos – where a large group of people listen to music individually through headphones – and applied it to this opera.
Live Music-Related Events:
Morgensterns and MU Orchestral Audition Masterclasses: Morgensterns and the Musicians’ Union (MU) are launching three pilot Orchestral Audition Masterclasses in January and February 2013 to help musicians with professional orchestral experience hone their orchestral audition skills.
MIDEM: An international yearly event, dedicated to the opinion leaders and decision makers of the music industry. Palais Des Festivals, Cannes, France. 26th – 29th January 2013.
Association of Independent Festivals Seminars: Bad Weather Planning / Festival Marketing & Sponsorship, Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, SE1 8XX, 6th February 2013, £35-80.
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.
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 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.
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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