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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Andy Robertson - Wednesday 10 February 2021
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.
Andy Robertson - Tuesday 9 February 2021
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.
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
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.
Andy Robertson - Thursday 4 February 2021
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”.
Andy Robertson - Tuesday 2 February 2021
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.
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.
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.
Andy Robertson - Thursday 28 January 2021
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,”
Andy Robertson - Wednesday 27 January 2021
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.Read More ->
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.
Andy Robertson - Monday 25 January 2021
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”.
Andy Robertson - Thursday 21 January 2021
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.
Andy Robertson - Wednesday 20 January 2021
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.
Andy Robertson - Tuesday 19 January 2021
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.
Andy Robertson - Monday 18 January 2021
13th January 2021 (Mobile Marketing). Jameson, Pernod Ricard’s popular Irish whiskey brand, has teamed up with music events startup Sofar Sounds to promote emerging musicians through a series of virtual gigs. Sofar’s Seen & Heard Listening Room, which launches today (13 January), will showcase 15 up-and-coming artists in a two-week series of 20-minute stripped back sets at 7pm each night. All of the performances were recorded ahead of the latest lockdown. Acts include alternative hip-hop artist and poet Otis Mensah, funk band I.M.O, and alt-pop poet Tiërny.
Andy Robertson - Thursday 14 January 2021
11th January 2021 (Island Echo). In a bid to help UK music festivals – such as the Isle of Wight Festival – restart when the time is right, Island MP Bob Seely has asked the Government to support festival organisers with a Government-backed insurance scheme similar to that in place for film and television. Last month Mr Seely hosted a virtual meeting between Culture Minister, Caroline Dinenage, and some of the Island’s leading event’s organisers to discuss what could be done to support the industry this year. This month the Island’s MP has written to the DCMS Select Committee Chairman, Julian Knight
Andy Robertson - Tuesday 12 January 2021
8th January 2021 (Music Week). UK Music CEO Jamie Njoku-Goodwin has welcomed the call from MPs on the DCMS Committee for Chancellor Rishi Sunak to provide a government-backed insurance scheme for festivals in 2021. The move followed his appearance alongside festival organisers to give evidence to the Department for Digital, Media, Culture and Sport Select Committee as part of their inquiry into festivals. The Association of Independent Festivals CEO Paul Reed also gave evidence.
Andy Robertson - Monday 11 January 2021
7th January 2021 (iNews). Roadies have skills to deliver jab and turn venues into mass vaccination centres, says music promoter John Giddings. The skills of the dormant live music industry should be used to step up the Covid vaccination programme, the promoter of the Isle of Wight festival and stadium tours by the Rolling Stones has suggested. In a message to Boris Johnson, John Giddings said: “We are the music business – we have thousands of skilled people capable of running events & empty theatres/clubs/arenas. Give us the vaccines and we will work 24 hours a day to sort it.”
Andy Robertson - Friday 8 January 2021
6th January 2021 (EDM Tunes). With envy, the rest of the world watched how thousands of festival-goers attended live music events in New Zealand for the new year. We can all agree that we miss that celebration! Although this may sound irresponsible at first glance, we must keep in mind that the country currently counts less than 80 coronavirus cases. As the world keeps fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, some countries are en route to end the crisis within their borders.
Andy Robertson - Thursday 7 January 2021
1st January 2021 (Oxford Mail). Music fans are hoping the arrival of coronavirus vaccines will mean festivals get to go ahead in 2021. Popular festivals like Cropedy, which takes place every August near Banbury, are still being planned. August 12-14 are the proposed dates, with Fairport Convention, former Genesis musician Steve Hackett and guitar legend Richard Thompson already listed. In October, the festival, one of Oxfordshire's biggest, received £200,000 in emergency aid to help it survive.
Andy Robertson - Monday 4 January 2021
30th December 2020 (Wales Online). Organisers of an illegal rave in Wales are advertising tickets on social media saying "we go again" and boasting about the fact their last event made headlines. Posting under South Wales Party on Snapchat, the rave - billed as a "New Year's Eve Special" - will take place in a south Wales farmhouse on December 31. In a series of 'stories' on the social media channel, details refer to a previous illegal rave at a Welsh mansion which was organised in November while coronavirus restrictions were still in place.
Andy Robertson - Thursday 31 December 2020
29th December 2020 (The Argus). A DJ has admitted his personal fears about how long the coronavirus pandemic will continue to affect gigs and the live music industry. Fatboy Slim, who lives in Hove, said it feels “scary” not knowing how long it will be before he can return to playing to crowds live. The DJ, whose real name is Norman Cook, was speaking on a podcast called Celeb And The Average. He told the show’s host Phil Reynolds: “The idea of how long it is going to go on gets really scary. “And so, especially for people in our end of the entertainment business, it’s really scary because we’re under no illusions that will be the last thing to be put back in place.
Andy Robertson - Wednesday 30 December 2020
28th December 2020 (Live for Live Music). After years of back-and-forth drama and debate, United Kingdom and European Union officials finally reached an agreement on a Brexit trade deal on Christmas Eve. With the U.K. officially set to leave the European Union on January 1st, professionals across several industries will be permitted to enter the E.U. for work purposes without a visa. Unfortunately for the arts industry, that won’t apply to touring musicians, as British artists hoping to tour Europe will now have to apply and secure work visas for each European country they want to perform in, making international touring that much more difficult.
Andy Robertson - Tuesday 29 December 2020
23rd December 2020 (Music Festival News). At a time when mental health has never been more important, these live stream events aim to bring the world that little bit closer. The countdown to New Year’s Eve is on and Tomorrowland have got it covered with a celebration for their fans around the world. This is not just DJ’s performing sets from their homes, this is a fascinating and immersive digital world that has been specially created with four stage designs in the brand-new digital entertainment venue NAOZ.
Andy Robertson - Thursday 24 December 2020