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COVID-19 Updates

22nd December 2020 (Basingstoke Gazette). Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council is looking for a new partner to help run the town's annual two-day music and arts festival from 2021 as 'rising costs' mean its at risk of cuts. B LOVE Festival is an annual two-day summer event which brings over 100 live music acts, family entertainment and art in unusual places to War Memorial Park, and is the finale event of Basingstoke Festival.
Reporting by Catriona Aitken 

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Andy Robertson - Wednesday 23 December 2020

New Event

21st December 2020 (Folk Radio). The long-awaited and hugely-anticipated 14th Gate To Southwell Festival is now set to take place in September 2021 at a beautiful new location in the nearby village of Kirklington (just outside Southwell). Having had to cancel the 2020 festival because of the Covid pandemic, the GTSF organisers are extremely confident that four days of folk, root and acoustic music from the UK and all over the world, will go ahead from Thursday September 2nd to Sunday September 5th. The first wave of acts have already been confirmed. 

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Andy Robertson - Tuesday 22 December 2020

COVID-19 Updates

18th December 2020 (DJ Mag). London’s 100 Club will trial the Pathogen Reduction System next month. A London nightclub will pilot a new ventilation system in January that could lead the way in making clubs and music venues more COVID-secure. According to an announcement on their Instagram, London’s 100 Club on Oxford Street will be the first to trial the system designed to eliminate as much as 99.9% of airborne pathogens, including coronavirus.
Reporting by Chiara Wilkinson

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Andy Robertson - Monday 21 December 2020

Ticketing

17th December 2020 (Music Business Worldwide). Ticketing technology platform Lyte has raised $33 million in a Series B round, a combination of equity and debt. The latest round brings Lyte’s fundraising total to $48m. Lyte states that the funding will allow it to continue its growth beyond the nearly 300 artist tours, festivals, venues and live events that use the firm’s technology. Joining as first-time Lyte investors are Chamath Palihapitiya’s Social Capital, music industry legend Quincy Jones and Rocketship VC.
Reporting by Murray Stassen 

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Andy Robertson - Friday 18 December 2020

COVID-19 Updates

16th December 2020 (DJ Mag). 1,000 Barcelona residents participated in a live concert medical study on Saturday, 12th December to evaluate the effectiveness of same-day COVID-19 screenings for physical events. According to a report by The Associated Press, 500 of the volunteers were randomly selected to enjoy a free five-hour concert inside Barcelona's Apollo Theater after passing an antigen screening - a test which produces results in 15 minutes but with less accuracy than those with longer waiting times. Although selected volunteers had to wear FFP2 face masks and use hand disinfectant, social distancing wasn’t enforced in order to emulate a real concert atmosphere on the dancefloor.
Reporting by Chiara Wilkinson 

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Andy Robertson - Thursday 17 December 2020

14th December 2020 (We Rave You). The UK’s night time economy is perhaps one of the hardest-hit industries as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and there have long been calls for the government to do more to protect what is a £66bn per year industry that has pretty much ground to a halt since the pandemic started. Now however, the industry is finally able to throw more weight behind their campaign, as an All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for the Night Time Economy has been formed with support from the Night Time Industries Association (NTIA), which represents over 1,200 venues across the UK.
Reporting by By Mike Davies 

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Andy Robertson - Wednesday 16 December 2020

14th December 2020 (NME). Two associations have written a letter to PRS for Music signed by more than 50 artist managers. The Music Managers Forum (MMF) and Featured Artists Coalition (FAC) are protesting a proposed new tariff for live-streamed concerts. The two associations have written a letter to PRS for Music, the UK performance rights organisation, criticising the tariff as “unworkable” and punitive to artists.The letter is countersigned by more than 50 artist managers, including representatives for Liam Gallagher, Dua Lipa, Biffy Clyro, Fontaines DC, Gorillaz and Yungblud, as well as a group of FAC member artists and songwriters.
Reporting by Will Lavin 

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Andy Robertson - Tuesday 15 December 2020

12th December 2020 (We Rave You). Julian Knight, the Conservative chairman of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport committee has warned that UK festivals such as Glastonbury may still face cancellation in 2021, due to COVID-19. Despite the recent roll-out of the Pfizer vaccine in the United Kingdom, hopes that British-based festivals may still be able to operate in 2021 have now been quashed, with Knight, speaking in the House of Commons, adding: “The UK is the leader in the world in terms of music and arts festivals. The sector is worth £12 billion and supports many thousands of highly-skilled jobs as well as the financial lifeblood of the nation’s musicians.
Reporting by Jake Gable 

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Andy Robertson - Monday 14 December 2020

10th December 2020 (Daily Business). Taxi drivers, wedding photographers and visitor attractions are among those receiving new support from the Scottish government, though one organisation described the help on offer as like a “Christmas cracker joke”. Small businesses, including the self-employed, will share £185 million of consequentials distributed from Westminster, Finance Secretary Kate Forbes announced. She said there will also be additional one-off payments to hospitality businesses in January to help them deal with the traditional post-Christmas dip in demand.
Reporting by Terry Murden 

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Andy Robertson - Friday 11 December 2020

9th December 2020 (DJ Mag). The Chic frontman spoke out in front of MPs yesterday, Nile Rodgers argued that major labels are to blame for low artist income from streaming platforms, appearing before MPs yesterday as part of an inquiry into the financial impact of services like Spotify and Apple Music. Rodgers called for the three major labels - Sony, Universal and Warner Music – to do more for their artists and give them a fair share of streaming revenue. "When you see the disparity, it's just absolutely ridiculous," he said. Rodgers said: “It’s not the streaming services that we have the problem with 
Reporting by Chiara Wilkinson

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Andy Robertson - Thursday 10 December 2020

6th December 2020 (Somerset Live). With so much uncertainty in the world right now, there has been plenty of discussion around whether or not Glastonbury will take place in 2021. The 2020 edition of the annual event, which would have marked its 50th anniversary, was cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic. Ever since the expected yet devastating cancellation festival-goers have been speculating if they will be able to return to Worthy Farm, the home of the festival, next year and keeping their fingers firmly crossed. Organisers of the world-renowned shindig, as well as others associated with it, have spoken out about the likelihood of staging Glastonbury 2021 on numerous occasions in recent months.
Reporting by Robin Murray 

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Andy Robertson - Monday 7 December 2020

3rd December 2020 (We Rave You).  When COVID-19 began taking away festivals, gigs and other live events, a lot of us admittedly thought that it would be over by the end of the year. With us now moving into December with no end in sight to this pandemic, the music and arts sectors all around the world are in dire need of financial aid from their local governments. The problem, though, is that local governments – especially in the United Kingdom – are refusing to take the cultural sector seriously, putting our music scene as we know it in extreme danger of irreversible collapse. 
Reporting by Ellie Mullins 

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Andy Robertson - Friday 4 December 2020

2nd December 2020 (RadioX). Health Secretary Matt Hancock has said in a recent interview that the coronavirus vaccine will allow us to have a "summer next year that everybody can enjoy". Every major music event from Glastonbury to Reading & Leeds has been postponed in the UK until 2021, with most organisers allowing fans to roll over their tickets until next year. Now, those who have gravely missed festivals and music events due to the COVID-19 pandemic have fresh hopes of attending them next summer.

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Andy Robertson - Thursday 3 December 2020

Events

1st December 2020 (Evening Standard). Olympia is set to return to the rock concert circuit after it was revealed that the £1.3 billion overhaul of the exhibition centre will include a 4,400 capacity live music venue. Many of the biggest names in music appeared at Olympia during its heyday including Jimi Hendrix, Rod Stewart, Pink Floyd, Status Quo, Procol Harum, The Cure and Primal Scream. It has hosted few major music events over the past decade although rap star Skepta performed a sellout show there last year.  
Reporting by Jon Prynn

Photo by riciardus from Pexels
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Andy Robertson - Wednesday 2 December 2020

COVID-19 Updates

30th November 2020 (Express and Star). The live music industry has welcomed new Government guidance confirming venues under Tier 2 restrictions in England can sell alcohol. The Music Venue Trust (MVT) had warned post-lockdown rules stating venues could not sell alcohol would prevent them being able to hold financially viable events. The guidelines said alcohol could only be served as part of a “substantial” meal. The MVT said 92% of grassroots venues do not have the facilities to provide substantial food. The organisation has welcomed new guidance to allow alcohol sales at ticketed live shows.

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Andy Robertson - Tuesday 1 December 2020

New Event

29th November 2020 (Stoke on Trent Live). One of Staffordshire's best-loved tourist attractions is to hold a three-day music festival with some of the 'world's biggest stars' set to perform. A total of 10,000 tickets will be up for grabs for Trentham Live. The event will be held within the Trentham Gardens parkland over the weekend of September 3 to September 5, 2021. Organisers are remaining tight-lipped about the line-up with an announcement due to be made tomorrow (November 30) from 9am. Bands including Wet Wet Wet, Atomic Kitten and 5Five performed across two stages at the revived festival in 2019.
Reporting by Hayley Parker 

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Andy Robertson - Monday 30 November 2020

26th November 2020 (Access All Areas). Following the Government’s announcement that venues in tier 2 can stage events with physically distanced audiences of up to 1,000 from 2 December, the operator of the Clapham Grand has announced a busy December schedule of shows, including concerts by acts such as The Hoosiers, The Feeling and Sophie Ellis-Bextor. In September, the venue’s socially-distanced event capacity was increased from 280 to 400 with the opening of its newly refurbished top tier balcony for the first time in 15 years. The following month, the venue received £300,000 from the Arts Council England
Reporting by Christopher Barrett 

Photo by Mantas Hesthaven from Pexels
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Andy Robertson - Friday 27 November 2020

COVID-19 Updates

25th November 2020 (The Quietus). Rules that alcohol can only be served with 'a substantial meal' spell trouble for music venues offering socially distanced events, the organisation says. The Music Venue Trust has responded to the UK government's latest tier-based outline of coronavirus restrictions which will come into effect next week following the end of a month-long nationwide lockdown. The organisation has described aspects of the new restrictions that will affect grassroots music venues as "inconsistent and illogical," particularly calling on the government to rethink limitations within tier two.
Reporting Christian Eede 

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Andy Robertson - Thursday 26 November 2020

24th November 2020 (Pollstar). A human tragedy is currently unfolding across the world in general, and the live entertainment industries in particular, where vast numbers of self-made entrepreneurs are currently being ignored by their governments. In the UK alone, some 3 million taxpayers are currently excluded from meaningful government support. Support they only require because they have been unable to work since March because of COVID-19 restrictions, when only select businesses were deemed essential and allowed to remain open – notwithstanding the fact that any self-employed professional would probably describe their business as essential to their survival.
Reporting by Gideon Gottfried 

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Andy Robertson - Wednesday 25 November 2020

23rd December 2020 (Access All Areas). The Government has issued its Winter Plan, which states that outdoor events such as concerts and sports will be able to accommodate audiences of up to 4,000 in Tier 1 and Tier 2 areas when the UK emerges from national lockdown on 2 December. It said in Tiers 1 and 2, live events can now resume inside and outside with capacity limits and social distancing in place. In Tier 1 the capacity limit will be 50% of a venue’s capacity or 4,000 outdoors and 1,000 indoors, whichever is lower. In Tier 2 these will be 50% capacity or 2,000 outdoors and 1,000 indoors, whichever is lower.
Reporting by Christopher Barrett.

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Andy Robertson - Tuesday 24 November 2020

New Event

19th November 2020 (Brighton & Hove Independent). The event will come to Brighton from May 12-15 2021 with tickets on sale now. Acts include Arlo Parks, BERWYN, Holly Humberstone, Bree Runway, Pa Salieu, 220 Kid, Mae Muller and many more. A spokesman said: “The Great Escape festival 2021 will include hotly tipped break-out artists such as Arlo Parks, Holly Humberstone, BERWYN, Pa Salieu and AMA, as well as 220 KID, who made his Top 10 chart debut earlier this year, and Bree Runway, hot off her debut mixtape release featuring the Missy Elliot collaboration ATM.“
Reporting by Phil Hewitt 

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Andy Robertson - Friday 20 November 2020

COVID-19 Updates

18th November 2020 (Nova). According to a new report by UK Music, many musicians will lose two-thirds of their income as a result of Covid-19. With concerts and festivals put on hold during this pandemic, live music revenues are set to fall by 85% in 2020. UK Music’s Jamie Njoku-Goodwin has said the current pandemic has caused a “catastrophic blow” to the music industry, with tens of thousands of jobs at risk. Although, he said music was “an international success story in normal times” so, it is possible to thrive once again.
Reporting by Gary Delaney.

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Andy Robertson - Thursday 19 November 2020

18th November 2020 (Access All Areas). The live music sector enjoyed a record year in 2019, contributing £1.3 billion to the UK economy ­– up 17% on its £1.1bn contribution the previous year, according to UK Music’s Music By Numbers 2020 report. The £1.3bn GVA used in the organisation’s annual report does not include associated spend around events, such as the purchase of food and drink. The UK music industry campaigning and lobbying group’s annual report found that the live sector employed 34,000 people last year, up 11% from 30,529 in 2018. Exports also grew 8% to £86 million from £80m in 2018.
Reporting by Christopher Barrett.

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Andy Robertson - Wednesday 18 November 2020

16th November 2020 (The Article). Last week, Parliament debated the “Let Us Dance” petition, which has gained 145,526 signatures in the past couple of months.  It is a response to the complete closure of night clubs, events and festivals since the beginning of the first lockdown, and the fact that unlike theatres, cinemas and other cultural institutions, they have received very little governmental financial support. As a consequence, historical music venues across Britain are at risk of closure and thousands of people have lost work, without any reassurance they can go back one day.
Reporting by Agatha Johnson  

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Andy Robertson - Tuesday 17 November 2020

13th November 2020 (The Music Network). Pharmaceutical firm Pfizer’s announcement this week about its coronavirus vaccine breakthrough saw the Australian live entertainment sector breathe a sigh of relief. The possible vaccine would see a combination of technology and science play a major role in our live music experience. There are still questions as to how long each booster shot will last, however another possible vaccine, developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca, has reported a similar immune response in both older and younger adults. Additionally, the Federal Government has announced its intent to purchase 84 million doses of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine.
Reporting by Christie Eliezer 

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Andy Robertson - Monday 16 November 2020

11th November 2020 (Isle of Wight County Press). MPs are looking into how UK music festivals can survive in 2021 after the coronavirus pandemic wiped out the majority of this year's events, resulting in revenues falling by 90%. An inquiry organised by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) will appraise how best to support the future of festivals, with legal and social-distancing requirements continuing to affect large-scale events. Isle of Wight MP, Bob Seely, said: "The Isle of Wight is Britain’s festival island and the impact of Covid-19 on festivals and live events has been devastating.
Reporting by Dominic Kureen 

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Andy Robertson - Thursday 12 November 2020

10th November 2020 (Dancing Astronaut). Live Nation‘s CEO Michael Rapino has confirmed that the company is working on a series of measures that will allow for “full scale” shows by the summer of 2021. The goal is a “COVID secure” live music experience, which will include strict venue sanitation procedures in addition to fan-friendly policies on ticket purchases. Policies may also include presenting a negative COVID test to gain entry into festivals and shows—a potential solution that has long been discussed in regards to reviving large-scale events. The announcement comes after Live Nation posted a 95.1% drop in revenue, with the company’s net revenue totaling $184 million in the period from June to September.
Reporting by Farrell Sweeney 

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Andy Robertson - Wednesday 11 November 2020

9th November 2020 (DJ Mag). A #DearBoris virtual protest is also underway on social media, with 145,000 signatures and more than 5,000 letters now sent in support of the campaign. The UK's #LetUsDance petition is being heard in parliament today (Monday 9th November 2020) after the online campaign garnered more than 145,000 signatures. The initiative is designed to raise awareness about the need to provide more protection to Britain's nightlife industries as the coronavirus pandemic continues, and promote the importance of electronic music within the country's cultural landscape.
Reporting by Martin Guttridge-Hewitt 

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Andy Robertson - Tuesday 10 November 2020

6th November 2020 (Complete Music Update). UK-based livestreaming company Driift has announced that it is expanding into Australia and New Zealand. Formally launched in August by Ric Salmon and Brian Message of ATC Management, the company has already put on ticketed livestream shows from artists including Nick Cave, Laura Marling, Biffy Clyro, Dermot Kennedy, Lianne La Havas and Sleaford Mods. This weekend it is set to host performances from Kylie Minogue and Niall Horan. Announcing the international expansion, Salmon says: “In what’s been a tough year, the growth of paid-for livestreaming has provided our industry with one of its few shoots of optimism.
Reporting by Andy Malt  

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Andy Robertson - Monday 9 November 2020

Events

5th November 2020 (Pollstar). Live Nation Entertainment reported its third quarter and year-to-date 2020 earnings Nov 5 and while there’s not a lot of good news to share, given the entire industry has been virtually closed since mid-March, not all of it was grim. The company reports it has reduced operational cash burn projected at $110 million per month on average for the last nine months, prior to any benefits generated by revenue from operations. Live Nation has total cash and equivalents of $2.6 billion, including $951 million of free cash. According to the report, The cash along with $963 million of available debt capacity gives LNE more than $1.9 billion in available liquidity.
Reporting by Deborah Speer 

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Andy Robertson - Friday 6 November 2020
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