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Turning point for Union Chapel

29 June 2020

LONDON’S 900-capacity Union Chapel in Islington has extended its crowdfunding goal from £50,000 to £100,000, after receiving £40,000 from an online fundraising concert by Frank Turner and his singer wife Jess Guise. The show was part of Turner’s #IndependentVenueLove campaign, which has seen him stream live performances of his albums…

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ASM claims OVG’s arena application is flawed

29 June 2020

THE OPERATOR of the 21,000-capacity Manchester Arena, ASM Global, has submitted objections to Manchester City Council in response to the Oak View Group (OVG) planning application for a new 23,500-capacity arena in the city. ASM said OVG’s application was “predicated on flawed economic analysis” and its assertion there is demand for…

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Global role for Dickins at WME

26 June 2020

LUCY DICKINS has been appointed co-head of WME’s worldwide music division following the departure in the US of WME partner and worldwide head of music Mark Geiger. Dickins joined WME has head of its UK music division in June last year, having worked at at International Talent Booking (ITB), co-founded…

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Colston name removed in wake of protests

17 June 2020

THE EXTERNAL signage of Bristol’s 1,932-capacity Colston Hall has been removed following two weeks of protest and counter-protest around the Black Lives Matter campaign, including the toppling of a statue of slave trader and philanthropist Edward Colston a few hundred yards from the venue’s front entrance. The hall, closed until…

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Benn plan to relaunch live music sector

17 June 2020

FESTIVAL REPUBLIC MD Melvin Benn (pictured) is promoting a plan to enable festivals and concerts to return without social distancing. The Full Capacity Plan eliminates the need for social distancing at events by ensuring attendees have been tested negative for Covid-19 before they are allowed entry. Under the proposed scheme,…

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Southport Theatre in liquidation

17 June 2020

SOUTHPORT THEATRE has become one of the first venue’s to closed as a result of the Covid-19 crisis. The venue’s operator Bliss Space (Southport) Ltd has gone into liquidation, blaming “devastating trading conditions” and an uncertain future. The company is in the hands or liquidator Stephen Katz of David Rubin…

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Top venues in call for help

4 June 2020

ECHOING THE stark challenges facing venues across the country, operators of two of London’s most prestigious concert halls have called for increased government support to prevent them from closure. Royal Albert Hall CEO Craig Hassall has warned that the 5,200-capacity venue will be unable to operate under the government’s proposed…

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AIF warns of ‘festival wasteland’

23 May 2020

THE ASSOCIATION of Independent Festivals (AIF) warns of a ‘festival wasteland’ next year without urgent Government action It says 92 per cent of the businesses behind member festivals could “collapse under refund requests”, unless the Government takes action to safeguard them.  AIF says the independent festival sector could be facing…

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Venues campaign raises £1.5 million

19 May 2020

THE MUSIC Venue Trust (MVT) campaign to raise money to support the grassroots venue sector during the Covid-19 lockdown and aftermath, has passed its original target of £1 million – since raised to £1.5m – through the Crowdfunder website, and that figure does not appear to include a £450,000 donation…

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Spherical distraction

19 May 2020

THE PLAN by New York’s Madison Square Garden Entertainment (MSGE)  to build a rival arena to London’s The O2 (cap. 21,000) has met with resistance from train line operator MTR Elizabeth Line. The 21,500-capacity MSG Sphere, just three miles from The O2 in East London, will be MSGE’s first venue…

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Industry launches funds to help those hit by lockdown

2 May 2020

AN ARRAY of relief funds have been set up to help artistes, crew, contractors and venues who are suffering financial hardship as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak. Arts Council England (ACE) has established a £160 million emergency fund aimed at helping organisations, musicians and freelancers who are struggling financially…

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New hammer-blow to Scottish live music

25 April 2020

THE SUMMER live music season in Scotland has been “wiped out”, say promoters, following the announcement by Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon that social distancing measures will remain in place “possibly for the rest of this year”. The announcement was accompanied by a Scottish government paper stating, “We are likely…

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CMA confirms Phase 1 Viagogo-StubHub probe

24 April 2020

BUYERS OF resold tickets on Viagogo and StubHub may lose out whatever decision the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) makes about their potential merger, according to anti-touting campaigner FanFair Alliance (FFA). The CMA confirmed this month it will enter Phase 1 of an investigation into the acquisition of eBay-owned StubHub…

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Former Labour deputy leader Tom Watson joins UK Music

18 April 2020

FORMER DEPUTY leader of the Labour party Tom Watson has been appointed chair of industry umbrella organisation UK Music, taking over from Andy Heath who will continue as chairman of Beggars Music. Sheffield-born Watson spent nearly two decades as a Labour MP and was shadow secretary of state for digital, culture…

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Bristol’s YTL Arena set for 2023 opening

18 April 2020

THE PROPOSED 17,000-capacity YTL Arena in Bristol has cleared its final planning hurdle, following the decision by Robert Jenrick, Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, not to review the project’s consent, approved by Bristol and South Gloucestershire councils in March. It will be built at historic Brabazon…

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BST, WOMAD and Rewind among latest cancellations

9 April 2020

AEG PRESENTS has cancelled its 65,000-capacity series of BST Hyde Park concerts in July, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It is its second major London cancellation following the withdrawal of All Points East (cap. 40,000), due to take place 22–31 May in Victoria Park. While ticket-holders can claim refunds for…

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OVG reveals partners for Manchester arena

9 April 2020

OAK VIEW Group (OVG), the US company behind the plan for a new 23,500-capacity arena in Manchester, has filed a planning application to the city council, appointed Populous as principal architect and designer, and Royal BAM Group (BAM) as its construction partner. The £350 million venue, located next to Manchester City…

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Major venues join fight against COVID-19

9 April 2020

LONDON’S THE O2 (cap. 21,000) has become the latest major UK venue to operate as an NHS facility during the COVID-19 crisis. The AEG-owned venue will be used as an NHS educational training facility from 12 April to 29 June. Health service staff trained at the venue will go on…

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Festivals fall like dominoes as the Coronavirus continues to take toll

2 April 2020

WITH THE festival season fast approaching and the population quarantined for the foreseeable future, organisers of some of the country’s biggest summer events have been forced to follow Glastonbury (cap. 147,000) in canceling their events. Among the latest are Download (85,000), Isle of Wight Festival (70,000) and London’s All Points…

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Touts given jail sentences in ground-breaking prosecution

10 March 2020

TICKET TOUTS who resold hundreds of fraudulently obtained concert tickets at inflated prices have been jailed for a total of six-and-a-half years, marking the first successful prosecution against a resale business. Peter Hunter was sentenced to four years in prison, and David Smith to 30 months, after jurors at Leeds…

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