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COVID-19 Updates

5th March 2021 (Bishop Stortford Independent). With The Boomtown Rats, The Undertones and Happy Mondays as headliners. Stone Valley South, the weekender for ska, mod, indie, punk and northern soul fans, returns to East Herts this summer. Organisers originally hoped to host the three-day music festival for a third time in May, but with Covid-19 restrictions on events not expected to be lifted before June 21, they have rescheduled to August 13-15. The Stone Valley brand was established in Stanhope, County Durham, where it has grown into a sell-out annual celebration.
By Sinead Corr 

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Andy Robertson - Friday 5 March 2021

3rd March 2021 (Music Week). Ahead of Rishi Sunak’s Budget, there were key priorities for the music sector including the furlough scheme and government-backed insurance for festivals. There was some good news on the extension of the furlough scheme to September, a business rates holiday until June (and a 66% rate until April), an extension of the Self-employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS) to 600,000 new starters, and £300 million for the Culture Recovery Fund. But there are still concerns for the live sector and the self-employed who don't qualify for support.
By Andre Paine 

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Andy Robertson - Thursday 4 March 2021

2nd March 2021 (Music Week). In his Budget this week (March 3), Rishi Sunak will announce a £400 million boost for the creative industries. But while the funding has been welcome, music industry figures are calling for other key measures from the Chancellor to help the sector survive the pandemic. It follows the government’s announcement on the roadmap out of Covid restrictions by June 21, with socially distanced performances taking place no earlier than May 17. UK Music, the Association of Independent Festivals (AIF) and DCMS Committee chair Julian Knight MP have all stressed the importance of a government-backed insurance scheme covering Covid if festivals are to go ahead this year.
By Andre Paine 

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Andy Robertson - Wednesday 3 March 2021

2nd March 2021 (Insurance Business UK). A host of musical performers have lent their voices to the call for the UK government to underwrite cancellation costs of live events such as music festivals. The acts, which include Jools Holland, The Chemical Brothers, Depeche Mode, Johnny Marr, Sir Cliff Richard, Robert Plant, Roger Daltrey, Amy McDonald, Frank Turner and Judas Priest, say that the move will help restart the live entertainment industry this summer. This follows a recent YouGov survey that found that half of the UK population want to go see a live event this summer, while 75% believe such events are an important part of British culture.
By Gabriel Olano 

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Andy Robertson - Tuesday 2 March 2021

27th February 2021 (NME). Since the roadmap announcement both Reading & Leeds and Creamfields sold out almost instantly this week. Live Nation has sold nearly 200,000 tickets to UK festivals this week since the government set out the roadmap out of the country’s coronavirus lockdown. While this year’s Glastonbury, set for late June, has already been cancelled, and May’s The Great Escape is going online instead, a number of festivals taking place later in summer revealed this week that they would be going ahead as planned as the government outlined plans for England to gradually exit lockdown by the end of June.
By Will Richards 

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Andy Robertson - Monday 1 March 2021

25th February 2021 (iNews). The roadmap announcement has paved the way for events with large crowds to take place in the summer. Music festivals could be given the go-ahead this summer following the Government’s lockdown roadmap announcement earlier this week. Boris Johnson said all limits on social distancing could be removed by 21 June, paving the way for events featuring large crowds to take place. Although the June date was given as a “best case scenario” by ministers, several festival organisers have said this week they are planning on hosting their events in the summer. Here’s a list of all the festivals which are planning on going ahead. 
By George Martin 

Photo by Wendy Wei from Pexels
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Andy Robertson - Friday 26 February 2021

24th February 2021 (U Discover Music). The news comes after the release of England’s ‘roadmap’ out of lockdown, which predicts that the government will remove all legal limits on social contact by June. In a post celebrating the news, the Reading and Leeds festivals Twitter page posted, “Following the government’s recent announcement, we can’t wait to get back to the fields this summer. LET’S GO.” Bosses in charge of the festivals have yet to confirm detailed plans for the events, including whether social distancing measures and temperature checks will be incorporated into the organization of this year’s festivals.
By Eleanor Forrest 

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Andy Robertson - Thursday 25 February 2021

22nd February 2021 (Audio Media Int). UK nightclubs and festivals will return to the UK by the end of June, according to Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s schedule to remove all COVID-19 social distancing restrictions. The government’s roadmap to reopening the UK economy states that all social distancing measures could lift on June 21 at the earliest. The government will continue to monitor COVID infection rates and will change in accordance with the data.The easing of lockdown restrictions has been broken down into four phases.  
By Daniel Gumble 

Photo by Jerome Govender from Pexels
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Andy Robertson - Tuesday 23 February 2021

18th February 2021Due to the current COVID-19 restrictions, organisers of the Northern Pride Festival, sponsored by Barclays UK, have made the decision to postpone their physical event and UK Pride status until 22 – 24 July 2022. Once again organisers have made the difficult decision to postpone the UK Pride event. In their announcement it was stated that this is not a choice made lightly and, although they would love to deliver a fantastic, inclusive event to celebrate the diversity of the community, their first priority is keeping attendees, volunteers and emergency services safe. 

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Andy Robertson - Monday 22 February 2021

18th February 2021 (Pollstar). Some of the UK's most experienced live entertainment professionals have formed the UK's first dedicated live music body to face "unprecedented challenges from COVID-19, Brexit and beyond." LIVE, which stands for Live Music Industry, Venue And Entertainment, aims to be "the voice of the UK’s live music ecosystem including artists, managers, venues, festivals, promoters, agents, production and ticketing," according to the announcement. Membership is made up of the 13 principal industry associations across the sector, including the Association of Independent Festivals (AIF), Association for Electronic Music (AFEM) and more.
By Gideon Gottfried 

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Andy Robertson - Friday 19 February 2021

18th February 2021 (City AM). The UK’s nightlife scene is at risk of extinction without urgent financial support, the government has been warned. A group of 40 cross-party MPs today urged the prime minister and chancellor Rishi Sunak to bring forward a sector-specific grant package and lay out a detailed roadmap for reopening venues to avoid “irreversible losses” for businesses. They added that a collapse of nightclubs and bars would create “ghost towns” across the country that would hinder the wider economic recovery. Boris Johnson is expected to lay out a plan for easing lockdown on 22 February, including target dates for reopening different parts of the economy.
By James Warrington 

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Andy Robertson - Thursday 18 February 2021

12th February 2021 (Lonely Planet). The cancellation of Glastonbury and Coachella have cast doubt over the return of festivals to the northern hemisphere in 2021. However, some organizers are still optimistic. Bonnaroo and Lollapalooza are being announced for late August and early September. And Spain's Primavera Sound has not yet cancelled its festivals in Barcelona, Porto and LA. So what's happening? With most of Europe in lockdown and infection rates still high in the US, can festivals and large cultural events still go ahead? Glastonbury and Coachella, arguably two of the biggest music festivals on the planet, are cancelled for the second year in a row.
By Sasha Brady 

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Andy Robertson - Monday 15 February 2021

11th February 2021 (Access All Areas). The Arena Resilience Alliance (ARA), an initiative created by the European Arenas Association (EAA), will launch a manifesto next week, outlining the next steps required to build towards the safe return of live events across Europe. The industry body will unveil its action plan at the end of its second virtual conference, #AGameofTwoHalves: The Return Leg on 18 February. An array of music and sport event professionals will speak at the event, during which the results of a series of pilot concerts at the 6,000-capacity Rockhal arena in Luxembourg will be discussed.
By Christopher Barrett 

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Andy Robertson - Friday 12 February 2021

10th February 2021 (Far Out Mag). Good news! This summer festival season has been blighted the world over for one very obvious reason, but The Netherlands have just offered the latest glimmer of hope after stating that they aim to get shows back on the road after July 1st. Last month, the Dutch government announced a cancellation fund of more than €300million in order to allow event organisers to reschedule shows panned before July 1st to the second half of the year, with security that they will be covered if the pandemic stops events going ahead any time after that date. The safety net fund will cover all events that attract a minimum of 3,000 visitors.
By Tom Taylor 

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Andy Robertson - Thursday 11 February 2021

9th February 2021 (Access All Areas). UK live event production charity Stagehand has raised more than £1m to support live event workers. The Covid-19 Crew Relief Fund was set up in September and has since issued more than 900 grants to struggling stage and road crew. Applications for its third round of crew welfare grants of £500 remain open until February 12. The #ILoveLive prize draw campaign was set up to raise funds and the charity said it will launch a second prize draw on 17 February, with acts including The1975, Foo Fighters and Jack Garratt donating prizes. The charity said it received donations from artists, managers, anonymous donors, and other organisations
By Joe Gallop 

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Andy Robertson - Wednesday 10 February 2021

Artists

8th February 2021 (NME). Over 280,000 fans signed a petition calling for visa-free travel for artists and crew, with MPs told that Brexit could "destroy British DIY music – arguably one of the UK's greatest exports" A Parliamentary debate on a petition calling for visa-free touring for UK artists and crew post-Brexit ended in the government essentially ignoring the idea and doubling down on the EU being at fault. Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Brexit trade deal failed to secure visa-free travel for UK artists and their crew wishing to tour Europe (adding huge costs to future live music tours of the continent and preventing rising and developing artists from being able to afford it), prompting a row to erupt over who was responsible. 
By Andrew Trendell 

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Andy Robertson - Tuesday 9 February 2021

COVID-19 Updates

7th February 2021 (City AM). Over the course of the past year, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused unprecedented disruption and harm to the live music industry. Lockdown affected physical sales. The shutting of public venues, such as restaurants and bars, caused lost revenue from background music services and performance income. Undoubtedly, significant restrictions to our everyday lives have forced the music industry to veer even more heavily towards the web. Music festivals, concert tours and award shows continue to be cancelled or postponed as restrictions in the UK show no signs of easing significantly any time soon.
By Gregor Pryor 

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Andy Robertson - Monday 8 February 2021

4th February 2021 (MixMag). Music venues in the UK are set to trial a ‘health passport’ system, as the live music sector plans towards safely reopening. The health passport has been designed by the You Check app, which originally launched in mid-2019 as a ticket/ID system as a means to circumvent touts, as well as help link promoters directly to their audiences. Since the pandemic halted music events, You Check has adapted its notification system to help with track and track by linking attendees and integrating test results. Now it can be used to alert event attendees to possible infections, direct them to testing facilities
By Patrick Hinton 

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Andy Robertson - Friday 5 February 2021

3rd February 2021 (Access All Areas). Live music industry umbrella group LIVE (Live music Industry Venues & Entertainment) has called on the events industry to support its #KeepVATat5 campaign in an effort to persuade Government to maintain the current 5% VAT rate on ticket sales for the next three years. The reduced rate period is scheduled to end on March 31. The organisation issued a statement that said action was needed ahead of the budget to convince the chancellor Rishi Sunak to maintained the 5% rate. It claimed that of all of the support measures the industry is requesting the Government take, keeping the VAT rate on tickets at 5% for the next three years will make the single biggest impact to the sector’s recovery. 
By Christopher Barrett  

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Andy Robertson - Thursday 4 February 2021

Artists

1st February 2021 (Music Business). It’s taken British Collection Society PRS for Music three whole working days to do a one-eighty over its new license fee for small-scale live stream concerts in the UK. On Wednesday (January 27), the org launched its new Online Live Concert licence, requiring artists to pay a fixed rate fee for live-streamed gigs that generate less than £500, even if they’re only performing their own songs. The move was slammed by artists, managers and UK industry bodies like The Music Manager’s Forum and the Featured Artists Coalition, who issued a joint statement last week claiming that the new tariff was launched with “no prior warning and without consultation with artists or their representatives”.
By Murray Stassen 

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Andy Robertson - Tuesday 2 February 2021

COVID-19 Updates

29th January 2021 (Press Enterprise). The twin editions of the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival and the Stagecoach Country Music Festival have been officially postponed for a third time due to the novel coronavirus and no new dates have been announced. Riverside County Public Health Officer Dr. Cameron Kaiser signed a public health order Friday, Jan. 29 forcing the cancellation for the April 2021 dates of the music festivals set for the Empire Polo Club in Indio. “The first thing to keep in mind is that under the state framework this event couldn’t happen anyway,” Kaiser said in a telephone interview Friday afternoon.  
By Vanessa Franko and Kelli Skye Fadroski 

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Andy Robertson - Monday 1 February 2021

28th January 2021 (Access All Areas). MPs will hear from Notting Hill Carnival chief executive Matthew Phillip about the economic and social importance of festivals to local communities during the second session of the DCMS Select Committee Future of UK Music Festivals inquiry on February 2. MPs will hear about the impact of cancellations on local residents, volunteers and audiences. The session will also consider the impact to festival supply chains and those who work at festivals, such as artists, technicians and security guards, hearing the experience of Tre Stead, tour manager for Frank Turner.
By Christopher Barrett 

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Andy Robertson - Friday 29 January 2021

27th January 2021 (Insurance Age). Tysers is leading a lobbying process to encourage the government to support festivals and live music by providing interim cover while commercial providers have stepped back. Director at Tysers, Tim Thornhill spoke with Insurance Age about the issues with event cover following the cancellation, for the second year in a row, of Glastonbury Festival. At this point government insurance support would enable organisers to get insurance so they can begin to plan for events to take place safely.
By Sian Barton 

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Andy Robertson - Thursday 28 January 2021

Events

26th January 2021 (Loadster). Rock-it Cargo and Sound Moves, forwarders specialising in live events and music tours, are to market their services together under one brand, Rock-it Global. Both are subsidiaries of Rock-it Cargo USA and will merge their offices and vendor networks. Happily, the companies confirmed there would be no job losses in the new group. “In fact, with the emergence of multiple vaccines and the planned return to supporting live events again in 2021, we believe it will create jobs as we grow,”  
By Alex Lennane  

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Andy Robertson - Wednesday 27 January 2021

COVID-19 Updates

25th January 2021 (Express and Star). Robert Fitzpatrick, chief executive of the Odyssey Trust and co-founder of the Arena Resilience Alliance, said they hope it will prove a game-changer. It is hoped a live music experiment will pave the way for the return of music gigs and sports events, an industry body said. Live events have been cancelled across the world amid strict public health measures introduced by governments trying to curb the spread of Covid-19. But a series of five intimate test concerts hosted by the Rockhal arena in Luxembourg next month planned with stringent health measures could help to create a model to bring live events back.

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Andy Robertson - Tuesday 26 January 2021

24th January 2021 (Bristol Post). Bristol simply wouldn't be the city it is without the wealth of fantastic events it plays host to. The likes of Harbour Festival, Bristol Balloon Fiesta, Upfest and Loves Saves The Day attract hundreds of thousands of visitors and provide a significant boost to the local economy. St Paul's Carnival alone contributed £5.1m in 2018, according to the event's UWE-commissioned impact report, and organisers of the recent #WeMakeEvents protest say there are 40,000 people working behind the scenes in live events in Bristol.
By Robin Murray 

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Andy Robertson - Monday 25 January 2021

Artists

20th January 2021 (Access All Areas). Many of the UK’s most successful artists, including Sir Elton John, Ed Sheeran, Radiohead, Queen and Brian Eno, have signed a letter to the Government accusing it of “shamefully failing” the country’s performers with its Brexit deal. They are joined by leading figures in the live entertainment industry including Glastonbury organisers Michael and Emily Eavis. The letter, published in The Times today, 20 January, says many artists are struggling due to the concerts ban and that the lack of a special arrangement with the EU enabling them to tour without visas on the continent “will tip many performers over the edge”. 
By Christopher Barrett 

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Andy Robertson - Thursday 21 January 2021

COVID-19 Updates

18th January 2021 (Far Out Mag). It’s been almost twelve months since the pandemic put a halt to live music as we know it, and the future of the industry still looks incredibly uncertain. However, festival bosses have now provided optimism about when these events could return. The optimism comes primarily from the speed that the UK is currently vaccinating its citizens, providing hope that there is a real chance that festivals may go ahead this summer. Events like Manchester’s Parklife and London’s The Mighty Hoopla have moved back their 2021 dates from June to September to allow an extra few months for the public to be vaccinated and build up immunity to the virus.
By Joe Taysom 

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Andy Robertson - Wednesday 20 January 2021

Events

18th January 2021 (NME). Thousands of music fans went to a concert in Waitangi, New Zealand on Saturday (January 16) for what was the biggest single gig since the coronavirus pandemic began. New Zealand has managed to tackle and contain the virus so effectively that its alert level sits at one, with only a few imported cases or isolated local cases occurring (it currently has fewer than 80 active cases). This has meant that mass gatherings without social distancing have been able to run since the end of last year. The concert in question was the first of Six60’s six-date nationwide summer tour. Up to 20,000 people attended the concert at the outdoor show in Waitangi.
By Charlotte Krol 

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Andy Robertson - Tuesday 19 January 2021

COVID-19 Updates

15th January 2021 (NME). With COVID still causing uncertainty but the vaccine roll-out bringing some hope, industry insiders talk when live music might return and what it might look like. Music industry insiders, festival bosses and medical experts have spoken to NME about when live music might be able to return in the UK. After the coronavirus pandemic cancelled last year’s festival season and made live gigs impossible – bar socially distanced shows outside of lockdown – many music fans are currently optimistically looking ahead to what summer 2021 may look like.
By Andrew Trendell
Photo by Harrison Haines from Pexels

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Andy Robertson - Monday 18 January 2021
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