Covid-19 music industry update: ASCAP Experience Home Edition, At Home With Apple Music, Covers For Carers

Covid-19 music industry update: ASCAP Experience Home Edition, At Home With Apple Music, Covers For Carers

Music Week is monitoring the impact of the Covid-19 spread around the globe on the biz.

The outbreak has already led to the cancellation of Glastonbury and hardship fund initiatives, as well as urgent calls to support grassroots venues.

To subscribe and never miss a music biz story, click here. Make sure you can access vital music biz information wherever you are by signing up for our digital edition here.

ASCAP Experience: Home Edition

ASCAP has transformed its ASCAP Experience conference into a free, ongoing weekly virtual event beginning May 28.

The series launches with a featured conversation between Shaggy and his manager and founder of Cherrytree Records Martin Kierszenbaum, and a discussion of Stuck with U with co-writers Whitney Phillips and Gian Stone.

The new long-term initiative from ASCAP, titled ASCAP Experience: Home Edition, will take place weekly on Thursdays between 8pm BST. It will initially extend through to the end of July, bringing ASCAP Experience original live programming directly into the homes of ASCAP members, aspiring songwriters and others for the first time.

At Home With Apple Music

Apple Music will feature 20 concert performances by some of music’s biggest artists from May 23-25.

As part of the At Home With Apple Music initiative, the line-up includes Lady Gaga, One Republic, Lil Wayne, J Balvin, Nirvana, Nine Inch Nails, U2, Metallica, Queen, the Rolling Stones and Bruce Springsteen.

For each concert performance, Apple Music will feature a playlist showcasing the studio versions of the songs featured from each event.

Covers For Carers

Billy Bragg is taking part in a new challenge to raise money for front-line healthcare workers.

Covers For Carers is a project where musicians cover a song to raise money for causes they care about. Frank Turner, Declan McKenna, Lapsley and Lauran Hibberd have taken part in the challenge in the past two weeks and raised £12,253 to date.

On May 25, fans can pay £1 to vote for the cover they want Billy Bragg to perform during a May 30 livestream via Facebook. All the money raised will be going to frontline healthcare workers via the Royal College of Nursing Foundation’s Covid-19 Support Fund, which helps staff who are experiencing economic or psychological difficulties.

Paul Weller announces new album release date

In light of the coronavirus pandemic, Paul Weller has pushed back the release of his upcoming album On Sunset to July 3 via Polydor Records.

On Sunset will be Weller's 15th studio album featuring ten tracks and was started after finishing his 2018 record True Meanings. Produced by Jan "Stan" Kybert and Weller, with Charles Rees, the record was both written and recorded at Black Barn Studios in Surrey.

Weller is also set to tour the UK and Ireland later this year, kicking off in Belfast (October 25) and finishing in London (November 21).

The Weeknd reschedules After Hours tour

The Weeknd has announced the postponement of his upcoming After Hours tour following the coronavirus outbreak. The tour was due to start June 11 but will now be moved into 2021 starting June 12.

The star will head to Vancouver, British Columbia first and finish his tour in Berlin, Germany November 11, for a huge 6-month tour across America, the UK and Europe.

BRIT Trust donation

The BRIT Trust has announced a donation of £30,000 to Music Support. The money will help the charity at a critical time when many in the artist and music industry community are in urgent need of its help. It will also go towards Music Support’s ambition of giving 10,000 people access to Thriv, the UK’s only NHS-approved mental health app.  

Matt Thomas, Chair of Trustees of Music Support, said: “We are hugely grateful to The BRIT Trust, the BPI and the recorded music sector for their valued support when we are seeing a sharp rise in the number of vulnerable industry peers coming to us for help. Technology has provided a lifeline to many during the of Covid-19 emergency, and this timely funding will enable us to give thousands of people access to the Thrive app so that we can support their wellbeing and mental health.”

John Craig, Chairman The BRIT Trust, said: “The music ‘family’ can always be relied on to come together to help those in times of great need. The BRIT Trust was primarily founded to promote education and wellbeing through music, but it also recognises the vital importance of supporting mental health - in particular during this exceptionally challenging time for the artist and music creator community. We've supported this great charity since its inception and  have a long relationship with Music Support’ and their innovative Thrive app helps to do just that.”   

Defected wraps Virtual Festival series

Defected has announced the end of its Virtual Festival series, with a closing party to be held on May 22 with DJ sets from Carl Cox, Idris Elba, MK, Boys Noize, Sam Divine and Nic Fanciulli.

This will be the ninth and final event in the livestream series, which has been viewed by a total of 14 million people from an average of 91 countries per week, since it began just before lockdown in the UK. The series featured performances by Calvin Harris, Purple Disco Machine and label CEO and founder Simon Dunmore, among many others.

Google has pledged to double the amount donated to the Covid-19 Solidarity Response Fund during the streams, bringing the total raised to $1.2 million.

Defected and Glitterbox are planning various upcoming digital projects. Future live streams and video content will reveal behind the scenes footage and exclusive new sets.

End Of The Road postpones 2020 edition

End Of The Road festival organisers have postponed this year's event due to the pandemic.

The 2021 edition will take place from September 2-5. Pixies, King Krule, Big Thief, Bright Eyes, Aldous Harding and Little Simz have already confirmed they will play the rescheduled event. 

"We owe a huge debt of thanks to our audience for sticking with us during this impossibly difficult time," said a statement to ticket-holders. "We also need your help, more than ever, to keep the independent spirit of End Of The Road alive so we're asking you to roll your tickets forward to 2021 if you can."

Free festival for NHS workers

Newcastle’s biggest outdoor music festival, This Is Tomorrow, has announced that a free festival for NHS workers will be coming to the city as a thank you to those who are risking their lives to curb the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Set to take place on bank holiday Monday, May 31, 2021 in Exhibition Park, This Is For The NHS festival, will offer all Newcastle and Northumberland NHS workers along with care workers free tickets to a full day of family entertainment across three stages.

The event will follow the weekend’s previously announced This Is Tomorrow festival, with headliners Sam Fender, Gerry Cinnamon and Royal Blood. The newly announced This is For the NHS is set to raise money for Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust, South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust, Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust, and The Newcastle Upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

First US gig since lockdown

Travis McCready has played one of the first US gigs since the Covid-19 lockdown.

The country artist’s gig in Arkansas featured compulsory temperature tests and social distancing for everyone in the venue.

Gig-goers had to buy seats in clusters and areas of the venue were roped off.

Jade Bird x Microsoft Surface

Microsoft Surface has launched the RE:Surface project, which gives artists the ability to revive cancelled performances online.

Jade Bird is the first artist to use the RE:Surface platform and collaborate with Microsoft Surface.

Her first performance will be livestreamed to viewers at 8.30pm BST on May 29. Every aspect of the virtual gig will be reimagined through RE: Surface, including giving audiences the ability to interact with the performance, visuals, the music and the artist in real-time.    

Bird said: “My entire tour was cancelled six weeks ago and from that point everything changed for me as an artist. I’ve had to completely update my approach to getting my music out there. I’m a singer-songwriter and my tech skills aren’t the best, which is why the RE:Surface project is so good for me. I’m really excited about the gig and I can’t wait to see what it looks like in rehearsals next week.” 

MVT campaign helps 140 venues so far

The Music Venue Trust (MVT) has announced that the #saveourvenues campaign launched three weeks ago has now resulted in 140 grassroots music venues being removed from its ‘critical’ list.

The campaign, which has so far raised over £1.5m in donations, was initiated by MVT in response to the continued economic threat to over 500 grassroots music venues throughout the UK. 

MVT are calling for more music industry donations and governmental intervention to help secure their long-term future, particularly around the issue of the rent relief for grassroots music venue tenants. 

Mark Davyd, founder and CEO of MVT, said: “The fact we have managed to remove 140 grassroots music venues off of our critical list in the last three weeks is, of course, a cause for celebration but we are not complacent as this is only a relatively short-term fix. Whilst the immediate threat of closure for these venues has been halted they are still under real threat in the coming months as are over 400 others.

“This is a good start and we can’t emphasise how grateful we are to those music fans, music industry companies and public organisations who have supported the #saveourvenues campaign so far, but we cannot relax as we still have a mountain to climb to secure the long-term future of this sector. We still desperately need more music industry companies to step up and help with donations alongside real action from government specifically around rent relief, more financial help and clearer guidance.”

Bauer Media titles under review

Bauer Media has announced plans to close, merge or sell 10 of its print magazines. Music titles Q and Planet Rock are among the affected magazines.

The media giant said the titles will not be sustainable once the Covid-19 pandemic is over. Bauer is also considering digital-only formats.

Bauer’s UK publishing chief executive Chris Duncan said: “The pandemic and lockdown has further accelerated the trends already affecting the publishing industry. Bauer publishes nearly 100 magazines in the UK, and some titles that were already challenged, unfortunately, are not expected to be sustainable after the crisis. We must protect the long term health of our business and ability to invest in future growth by re-shaping our portfolio.”

Affected employees have entered a 30-day consultation period.

IMPALA’s call for recovery strategy

As the EU’s Ministers of Culture prepare to meet (May 19) to discuss the impact of Covid-19 on cultural and creative sectors, IMPALA has reiterated its call for an ambitious five-year recovery strategy for this sector. 

At the end of April, IMPALA outlined a proposed 10-step recovery roadmap focusing on boosting investment, growth and jobs in Europe’s cultural and creative industries.
IMPALA’s executive chair Helen Smith said: “Ahead of tomorrow’s meeting, we are highlighting key steps which can be taken quickly by member states with a short-term impact on the livelihood of creators and sustainability of small and medium businesses.”

Frank Turner and Jess Guise raise £40,000 for Union Chapel

Married couple Frank Turner and Jess Guise have helped raise £40,000 in an online fundraising concert for London's Union Chapel.

The concert was part of Turner’s #IndependentVenueLove campaign, which sees him stream live shows from his home once a week to support independent venues hit by the coronavirus crisis. 

Union Chapel CEO Michael Chandler said: “We are incredibly grateful to Frank Turner and Jess Guise for their support at this challenging time. As an independent space, Union Chapel relies largely on box office which supports our extensive community work and maintaining our beautiful building. We need to fundraise to survive over the next few months. We are committed to continue being a cultural hub and be a place of refuge for all in our community, particularly the most vulnerable.”

Following the success of Turner and Guise’s fundraiser, Union Chapel has extended its crowdfunding goal from £50,000 to £100,000 to support operations, the charitable work and the future of the venue.

Watch the gig here and donate here. Next month, the venue, which will soon launch the digital channel In Union, will host Laura Marling to perform an online-only show. Tickets can be booked here

Kew The Music rescheduled for 2021

Kew The Music has become the latest music event to be cancelled as a result of the pandemic. The concert series will return in 2021 with four of this year's scheduled headliners from July 7-11. All tickets remain valid. Further announcements will be made soon, but organisers have confirmed that Jack Savoretti, who was due to perform at the event this summer, is unable to join next year's line-up. 

Everton FC launch The Lockdown Sessions

A host of artists including Tommy O’Dell from DMA’S, The Wombats and Circa Waves' Kieran Shudall have recorded session tracks from isolation for Everton FC’s first virtual music event this Friday.

The club has worked alongside Shoot Music to curate the line-up for The Lockdown Sessions, which will also feature Keith Mullin from The Farm, Red Rum Club, Zuzu, She Drew The Gun, Howie Payne, Spinn, Rats and Sunship Balloon. They will also be joined in between sets by a number of Everton players.  

The Lockdown Sessions will be broadcast free of charge on Friday, March 22 at 8pm on the club's social media channels.

Live Nation furloughs 20% of workforce

Live Nation has furloughed more than 2,000 of its 10,500 employees across various divisions as part of an effort to cut costs by $600 million (£484m), reports Billboard.

The company previously announced that CEO Michael Rapino was giving up his $3m (£2.4m) salary as part of cost-cutting moves in response to the pandemic. Other senior executives at Live Nation have seen their salaries reduced by up to 50%. 

Earlier this month, Rapino outlined the company's battle plan to bounce back from the coronavirus crisis, with hopes for the "full scale" return of concerts in 2021. 

ELO cancel tour

Jeff Lynne's ELO have cancelled their 2020 UK and European tour due to the coronavirus pandemic. The tour had not been due to kick-off until October 5 at The O2 in London, meaning the crisis is now affecting shows beyond the summer festival season. Jeff Lynne said: "It’s with deep regret and sadness that I have to cancel my upcoming October UK tour, but due to the ongoing and unprecedented situation the live shows cannot go ahead as planned. The safety of everyone including my crew, the people who work in support of the shows and of course you, the fans, must come first. Keep well & stay safe." Refunds are available via ticket agents.

Globe Label Mates Live

Universal Music's brand partnerships and sync division Globe has launched a daily showcase for the major's artists and labels during lockdown.

The exclusive invite-only performances are targeted at the wider industry and take place at 1.30pm every weekday until May 21. Each event is also available to watch on-demand throughout the day until midnight BST.

Artists taking part in the series include Sam Smith, Bombay Bicycle Club, Nick Mulvey, Jack Garratt, Lola Young (pictured) and JP Cooper.

Lockdown With Spinnup

After attracting over 50,000 views for its first run of performances, Lockdown With Spinnup has announced a second run of online events .

Continuing from May 18 at a new time of 8pm, Spinnup has curated a line-up of new artists, including Bedroom/Boredom, Devon, Garden, Lili Caseley, Raene, Wild Front, Gracie Convert and Sweeney.

A combination of interviews and live shows are presented by BBC Radio 1Xtra’s Jamz Supernova and BBC Introducing London’s Jess Iszatt.

The Universal Music Group-owned distribution service has also launched a new initiative that enables artists to release a one or two track single via its platform throughout the month of May for free.

Melody Gardot to cast global musicians for charity single

American jazz and Grammy-nominated singer Melody Gardot invites musicians across the globe to join her in creating a song to help raise funds for healthcare professionals.

The singer will host a live casting and musicians can apply here to find out how they can be a part of it. Those who feature in the final single, From Paris With Love, will be paid, however Decca and Gardot will waive their individual profits from this single to donate to Protégé Ton Soignant.

Selecting the musicians alongside Melody will be a panel of iconic industry producers, composers and engineers including Larry Klein (Joni Mitchell), Vince Mendoza (Björk, Robbie Williams), Al Schmitt and Steve Genewick (Frank Sinatra, Bob Dylan, Paul McCartney).

Green Man moves festival to 2021

Green Man is the latest festival to suffer under the impact of the coronavirus, having made the decision to move its annual festival to August 19-22, 2021.

All tickets purchased for this year’s festival will still be valid for the rescheduled dates and will help Green Man in funding next year’s event, but refunds are available.

Green Man said in a statement: “We realise that the loss of the festival for our friends and communities in Wales will be enormous, not to mention for those who work and perform at the festival. We want to take this moment to say that you matter to us and we will help where we can. 

“We do intend to continue to deliver Green Man Trust Charity projects, but with an increased demand and without the 2020 festival's support, it's going to be challenging. If you are able, please consider making a donation to the Green Man Trust, so that we can carry on our year-round support of artists and disadvantaged Welsh Communities.

“We had so much magic to unveil this year, but it will wait until we meet in the Welsh mountains again. We’re speaking to artists about moving to 2021’s dates and will be announcing line-ups and further surprises in the coming months. The shared experience of live music brings people together, and we can’t wait to see you again next year.”

Island Records announces charity auction

Island Records has announced the launch of a One Love Covid-19 Relief Auction in support of NHS Charities Together & Feeding America, hosted by award-winning actor, singer and playwright Billy Porter on May 21.

The auction will host a wide variety of rare items including Amy Winehouse stilettos, Annie Lennox handwritten lyrics, a Bob Marley print signed by Ziggy Marley, a Shawn Mendes signed guitar, a private tour of Abbey Road, VIP tickets to see Sam Smith live, Skip Marley handwritten lyrics and much more.

To be in with a chance of bidding on these items fans must register here, and to view full range of items on offer, click here.

Kaiser Chiefs announced for Royal Albert Home

To help the venue garner funds at this time, the Royal Albert Hall has been running a string of online livestreams for Royal Albert Home, with Scouting For Girls and Imogen Heap already on the line-up.

Now, Kaiser Chiefs are the latest act to join for a special performance on May 30, at 8pm on the Royal Albert Hall website here. Previously headlining the venue in 2007, the band have gone onto become platinum-selling and Mercury-nominated, and will perform exclusively for the venue which is heading for its 150th anniversary in 2021.

“Playing the Royal Albert Hall is always a big deal, it’s an amazing building and being part of the history makes it very special,” said the band in a statement.

“We were very pleased to be asked to take part in the series of gigs to help keep this historic venue alive while with one thing and another they can’t open to the public in the traditional way. We first played the Hall as a support band back in 2005 and hopefully we can return there when all this is over. In the meantime we’ve done a mini gig for you. Obviously we can’t be together at the moment, but we’ll be doing our best to turn our spare rooms into stages. And look forward to seeing you there.”

BTS to perfom in new livestreamed concert

K-pop stars BTS have revealed via their social media the news of Bang Bang Con The Live, a livestreamed concert available to fans across the world.

The set will be a paid-for event and will allow fans into their home for a 90-minute set following the cancellation of their global tour.

The announcement follows the success of their online event, Bang Bang Con, where the band aired archive footage and garnered 50.59m views.

Purchase tickets for the show, set to air June 14 at 10am, here.

Merlin CEO Jeremy Sirota joins AIM House virtual line-up

Adapted from its annual Great Escape programme, AIM has announced the full line-up for its virtual conference AIM House, taking place on May 15.

Jeremy Sirota, CEO of Merlin who took on the role in January, is the latest name to join the bill, and is set to give his first public appearance with a live company update.

AIM Independent Music Award winner Georgia also joins for the Tape Notes podcast hosted by John Kennedy to discuss her record Seeking Thrills, and the founders of Music Declares Emergency and AIM’s Climate Action Group will speak on how music can be released sustainably.

Throughout the day AIM will those attending an insight across the sector, as speakers from AWAL Recordings, British Council, Brownswood Recordings, Deviate Digital, Dice, Full Time Hobby, IE:Music, Julie’s Bicycle, Key Production, Merlin, Ninja Tune, Radio X, The Floor, Viva La Visa and more gear up for the day.

See the full programme for the day, and RSVP to the event here.

This is Tomorrow festival reschedules

This Is Tomorrow festival has announced it will be rescheduling due to the coronavirus, moving dates to May 28-30, 2021.

The majority of its line-up is set to remain the same with Royal Blood, Gerry Cinnamon, and Sam Fender headlining, while more are expected to be added and current tickets remain valid for the new date.

“Once again, we find ourselves in the firing line of the Covid-19 pandemic, and the best thing to do for all concerned is to move to a date that we are confident the event can go ahead as planned," said This Is Tomorrow festival organiser, Steve Davis.

“We will also work with local authorities to make sure whatever social distancing measures need to be in place are perfectly implemented to make the festival a safe space to come and enjoy this amazing line-up.

"This Is Tomorrow acknowledges the great help and assistance of The Freemen of Newcastle to make the new dates happen and the continued support of Urban Green, who operate the city's parks.”

NASS festival announces cancellation

NASS has announced today that it will no longer be going ahead and will instead return in the summer of 2021.

The statement read: “We’re heartbroken to announce that NASS will no longer take place this Summer. 

"We explored all options to run the show, but it is clear rescheduling to 2021 is our only option. The safety of our fans, the local community and everyone involved in NASS comes first."

NASS festival will now return July 8-11, 2021, with all tickets purchased remaining valid for next year's event. 

Set to headline are The Streets with performances from Andy C, Jaykae, Kings Of The Rollers, Shy FX and more also confirmed.

NTIA releases Economy & Events survey

The Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) has revealed a new survey of 200 businesses nationwide on the potential outcome as lockdown eases.

Key findings from the survey show that businesses believe they will be offering a 40-43% capacity after lockdown is lifted, with a huge 63.8% believing operating at this capacity will not be financially feasible, and further support may be needed.

It is also suggested an amount of £31,131 may be the average cost needed for businesses to restart post-lockdown, with only 55% of hospitality staff estimated to return.

Social distancing is also a worry for business owners as 93.8% state it could make their business unviable, while 70.8% believe that the public perception of the current crisis could have a prolonged effect on business.

Radiocentre reveals Tuning In guest speakers

Radiocentre's Tuning In livestream conference has announced that Magic Radio Breakfast hosts, Ronan Keating and Harriet Scott will be speaking, covering home radio broadcasting and presenting in a crisis.

The day will begin with an opening presentation from Radiocentre CEO, Siobhan Kenny, looking at the commercial radio and Radiocentre's work that's taken place during the crisis.

The Times journalist and House of Lords member, Daniel Finkelstein, also joins to talk on the political climate and chief strategy officer at MediaCom, Geoff de Burca, will discuss where radio is situated when looking at what happens next for the economy, brands and media.

In addition, Global's director of client and agency strategy, Mark Hatwell will speak on the topic Advertising In A Crisis and singer-songwriter Amy Wadge will look at radio's role in making songs a hit with Kiss' Swarzy. Finally Greater London Authority's senior marketing manager, Puja Parmar will discuss homelessness and what needs to be done in the future.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak extends furlough scheme

The Government's furlough scheme will now be extended until the end of October this year, revealed the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak.

Originally due to finish at the end of next month, the scheme will now continue for all those employees currently using the furlough scheme who have been receiving 80% wages of up to £2,500 each month.

Companies who are using the scheme are also to be expect to share the payment of their staff with the government in order to prevent salaries being cut as the government support decreases.

Chief executive of the Incorporated Society of Musicians, Deborah Annetts said: "The ISM has been working tirelessly to ensure no musicians are left behind during the COVID-19 crisis. We are delighted that the Chancellor has listened to the ISM’s concerns set out in our latest letter and extended the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme beyond July to October. This will provide some level of security for the music profession during this uncertain time.

"However, the sector urgently needs an update on the future of the Self-employment Income Support Scheme. Many are still without financial support which is desperately needed. And the reality is that until concerts, gigs and festivals can return to normal, which is not likely to happen in the next few months, the majority of the music profession cannot return to work. Without the continuation of Self-employed Income Support Scheme, many musicians are facing ruin."

AWAL and Zoom join to support United Nations

Joining forces with Zoom, AWAL has announced its key artists will be aiming to support the United Nations messaging in its efforts to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Taking part from AWALs artists is Alaina Castillo, Gabrielle Aplin, Gus Dapperton, R3hab, YouMeAtSix, and more for a campaign which is set to take place in stages.

Its initial stage asks artists to add their signature and #StopTheSpread message to Zoom backgrounds which are free to download here, with VIP artist meet and greets and more to follow.

“When we heard from the UN that they needed support to spread critical public health messages around COVID-19, we felt we could make a meaningful contribution - as did many of our artists," said AWAL CEO, Lonny Olinick.

"These artists reach millions of fans - young and old - across every continent. Something as simple as sharing a message while they Zoom with their fans can add up to a meaningful impact amid this crisis."

Dawda Jobarteh, global head of UN SDG Strategy Hub added: “Musicians have a special connection with their fans and are in a unique position to spread these critical public health messages.

“We have been overwhelmed by the tremendous response from creators around the globe who have leaned in to help humanity in the face of this unprecedented crisis. AWAL’s commitment to engaging their roster and their own creative inspiration to this cause is exactly what we hoped for when we put out the call.” 

OMD raise £6,000 for charity from archive show

Last weekend saw over 30,000 OMD fans tune into YouTube to catch the airing of OMD: Live From Your Sofa, featuring an hour and a half of footage recorded from the band's headline show at Eventim Hammersmith Apollo, in November 2019.

The band also offered a pre-show meet and greet where 800 fans queued for a live chat with Andy McCluskey, a virtual merchandise desk that took in 2,000 orders, and a charity raffle which auctioned off rare signed items and test pressings, raising a total of £6,000.

OMD, together with their manager and label chose charities to donate to, with Marie Curie, Reach (Newark) and Hotels Joining Hands (Cambodia) all set to benefit from the funds raised.

The show has now been viewed over 115,000 times and you can check it out below.


Nick Mason's Saucerful Of Secrets reschedules European shows

It has been revealed that Nick Mason's Saucerful Of Secrets will be postponing the European leg of their upcoming tour, and moving the dates to kick off May 21, 2021 in Hamburg, Germany.

The tour will be the biggest the band have ever played to date across Europe, and will see them playing tracks from Pink Floyd's 1972 album Obscured By Clouds.

From May 21 to June 28, 2021, the band will play shows in Germany, France, Belgium Luxembourg, Russa, Italy  and Croatia and many more.

Tickets already purchased are still valid, and more tickets are still available.

Sentric Music Group extends fund

Due to the difficulties faced by artists in the music industry at this time, indie publisher Sentric Music Group has extended it's Sentric Academy Fund which offers to help emerging artists.

The fund aims to help 12 artists each year by offering a £1,000 grant to aid work in the artist's writing, recording, touring or marketing, and this will now be doubled so that 24 artists may now benefit from this initiative.

Marc Jones, Varley and Junk Drawer have already benefitted from the fund with 21 places now available to artists over the remainder of 2020.

Submissions will be open until the end of July, and is open to new and also exisiting Sentric acts, with three artists being announced each month. Submissions will re-open in September to select the remaining acts.

“Supporting emerging artists has always been at the forefront of what we do here at Sentric and in this time of uncertainty where many acts are at risk of having their career trajectory stunted prematurely, the availability for early-career funding has taken on a renewed importance," said Sentric artist services manager, James Cherry.

"We launched the Academy fund to help bolster that availability and it felt only right for us to double the number of acts that we initially announced. In doing so, we hope to help some of our talented artists weather this storm and come out the other side stronger.”

Kiss radio announces bank holiday event

To celebrate the Spring bank holiday (May 25), Kiss radio has announced a line-up of acclaimed DJs for its Ibiza Sounds station, and arrives after the sucess of their 33-hour long event for #KISSFEST bringing listening figures up by 50%.

The new staion will be exclusively available on the Kiss Kube app, as part of its #KISSIBIZA event taking place from May 22-24. The acts set to take part include Craig David's TS5, deadmau5, Hannah Wants, James Hype, Martin Solveig, Roger Sanchez, Tiesto and more.

"Radio’s agility and resilience has come into its own during lockdown, and we want to continue to be there for our Kiss audience no matter what," said Kiss content director Rebecca Frank.

"With double the average streaming figures for Kiss Fest - our Easter ‘radio rave’ - we’re bringing our listeners more of what they love; massive anthems, the hottest DJs and a feeling of everyone coming together.

“This time we’re all about the 360 party experience, tapping into our audience’s love of mobile and social to deliver an even more galvanising moment. The fun soundscape station will transport listeners to warmer climes, while the live stream of the iconic Ibiza sunset will bring deliver shared experience for them and their friends.”

YouTube Eurovision celebration

As part of YouTube’s #StayHome #WithMe campaign, a number of YouTube creators and Eurovision super fans have joined forces on new original content series, Eurovision Song Celebration 2020.

The two-part online series is set to premiere exclusively on the Eurovision Song Contest's YouTube Channel on Tuesday (May 12) at 8pm BST, followed by the second show on Thursday, May 14 at 8pm BST.

In response to the cancellation of this year’s Eurovision Song Contest in Rotterdam due to Covid-19, the two specials will feature all 41 songs from Eurovision 2020 artists, as well as content from YouTube creators including reaction videos and interviews with artists. It is a YouTube production in partnership with the European Broadcasting Union. The BBC is staging a televised celebration on Saturday (May 16), when the contest had been scheduled to take place.

Heavy Music Awards

The Heavy Music Awards has announced details of a charity fundraiser in aid of the Music Venue Trust's #SaveOurVenues campaign, in partnership with Moshhh. To help raise funds for music venues facing closure due to the ongoing global pandemic, the HMAs and Moshhh will be donating 100% of the profits from the sale of exclusive In Music We Trust embroidered t-shirts and beanies to the #SaveOurVenues campaign. You can find details here. 


The ISM has written to the chancellor Rishi Sunak calling for the extension of the financial packages in place for workers, to prevent the music sector from collapse. This follows reports that the Government is considering bringing the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and the Self-employed Income Scheme to a close in July. In addition to an extension to the financial support schemes in place for workers, the ISM has also called for the Government to intervene and provide robust, sector-specific financial support for the music and wider creative industries – similar to the €50 billion programme in Germany. You can read ISM chief executive Deborah Annetts' statement below: 

"We are extremely grateful for the financial support packages introduced by the Government which have provided some level of security for the music sector during this difficult time. However, it is clear that the sector is at risk of collapse without significant action from the Government.
The reality is that until mass gatherings are reintroduced, which is likely to be the last stage of lockdown easing, the music sector cannot return to work. And when normal activities resume, it is uncertain that audiences will feel confident returning to live events and venues. We are therefore calling for the Government to extend the financial support schemes for music and other creative workers until social distancing measures are no longer enforced and mass gatherings are permitted. Without the continuation of these schemes, the music sector cannot survive.
However, if the Governments is committed to protecting the music and wider creative sector from financial ruin, an urgent sector-specific package of financial support - like the €50 billion programme introduced in Germany - is desperately needed.
Without an intervention of this sort, there is a huge risk that there may be no cultural sector left when this crisis is over."


Leading music and film organisations have sent a new letter to leaders of Congress highlighting the ways implementation of the CARES Act has fallen short in assisting workers in need in the entertainment community.  

In a joint statement, the organisations said: “While we appreciate the efforts of lawmakers to meet the challenges of this pandemic, we need to ensure that our community is getting the aid they need to survive. Musicians are struggling to access the basic financial resources available due to conflicting and burdensome requirements in relief programs. Simply, there is a hole in this safety net that Congress must fix in the next version of the CARES Act.”

The organizations who signed include the Artist Rights Alliance (ARA), American Association of Independent Music (A2IM), American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP), Broadcast Music Inc. (BMI), the Future of Music Coalition, Global Music Rights (GMR), the Music Artists Coalition (MAC), the Music Business Association, National Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA), Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI), the Recording Academy, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), the Screen Actors Guild-the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA), the Society of European Stage Authors and Composers (SESAC), the Songwriters Guild of America, the Songwriters of North America (SONA), SoundExchange and many more.

Live Nation revenues hit

Live Nation has revealed that its Q1 earnings were down 20% year-on-year due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. The figures covered the period to the end of March, which included only a couple of weeks of cancelled gigs in the US and UK. Nonetheless, the company said it continued to have "full confidence in the long-term supply and demand dynamics of the live concerts industry".

Lockdown exit plan revealed

Boris Johnson announced his plan for the UK to begin its exit from lockdown last night (May 10), but his address contained little of substance for the music industry. While the Prime Minister did announce some minor lifting of restrictions, it won't be until June 1 that music retail has a realistic chance of reopening, and then only if conditions are met. The prospect of live music returning is even more remote; while Johnson did say some hospitality businesses may be able to reopen from July 1, again subject to conditions, it seems unlikely that concert venues will be first on the list. More details of the plan are expected to emerge on Monday (May 11).


Acclaimed British rapper Ben Chijioke, known as Ty, has died aged just 47 after contracting coronavirus. The rapper was nominated for the Mercury Prize in 2004 for his album Upwards. Many from the UK scene paid tribute to the star, with DJ Charlie Sloth acclaiming him as "a role model and a true foundation to UK rap".

Carnival off

Notting Hill Carnival has been cancelled for the first time in its 50-plus year history. The West London celebration, which features live appearances alongside sound systems, has been held every year on the August Bank Holiday weekend since 1966. Organisers said calling the event off was "the only safe option" in light of the pandemic. Spain's Sónar Barcelona and Sónar+D congress have also been pushed back to June next year. 

Dame Evelyn Glennie CH, DBE apponted as Help Musicians' President

It has been announced today the Dame Evelyn Glennie CH, DBE has been appointed to a new role at Help Musicians as its president. 

Dame Evelyn arrives as the third president in the charity's history since it begun 99 years ago, and will be the first women to hold the role after Sir Edward Elgar and Sir Peter Maxwell Davies.

Dame Evelyn said: “It is a great pleasure for me to accept the position of Presidency of Help Musicians. The incredibly important all-encompassing role Help Musicians have within the music industry is immense, whether through their cutting-edge research or their immediate call to action in drastic times as we are presently experiencing.

"I’m looking forward to participating with the incredibly dedicated team in an exciting journey where the aims and ambitions are all about listening, making a difference, empowerment and allowing people to have a voice. Help Musicians has such an exciting landscape and it is wonderful that the immense history and what lies ahead can be celebrated during the all-important landmark of the Centenary celebrations in 2021.”

Tom Grennan releases lockdown music video

As original plans made for the music video for hs new single Oh Please came to a halt under lockdown, Tom Grennan took matters into his own hands filming it instead at his East London home.

The video features Grennan singing along to his new single against a London skyline, and edited in warped and hazy filters for his DIY video.

Speaking on the track, Grennan said: "When writing Oh Please I was listening to a lot of Curtis Mayfield, Nas, Kendrick, and of course Amy Winehouse, and I wanted to channel this through the song. The opening transports me back to visiting America, crossing the Brooklyn bridge for the first time and seeing Manhattan. It really hit me at that moment that anything was possible, and I saw things clearer than ever before.

"I felt euphoric and excited for the future, a chapter closed and a beautiful new beginning ahead. It changed my mindset towards relationships, to focus my energy on learning from them rather than going into a darker, angry place. ‘Oh Please’ is about learning from relationships. It’s about staying strong and making the right decisions with respect and grace.”

Check it out here.

The 1975 cancel Finsbury Park show, announce covers festival 

The 1975 have lined up a group of acts including Phoebe Bridgers, Beabadoobee and Rina Sawayama to cover their songs as part of a digital festival. The event kicks off tomorrow at 4pm with Heather Baron-Gracie performing a rendition of Sex, concluding with Sawayama at 10pm. Performances are available via The Face Magazine’s social channels. However, the band have had to cancel their July 11 Finsbury Park show, due to the coronavirus crisis. They are now hoping to do a similar show in 2021.

Help Musicians reveals latest Do It Differently donations

Help Musicians has announced details grants to 41 music creators as part of the Covid-19 round of its Do It Differently Fund. Launched in 2018, the project is designed to help meet a range of musicians’ needs and the latest edition focuses on those who have had to adapt their process due to the coronavirus.

Help Musicians programme director Claire Gevaux said: “We received a huge number of applications to this round of Do It Differently, demonstrating some real creative adaptability amongst the UK’s musical community. However, we do understand that the current lockdown situation may not offer the right environment for creative inspiration for everyone and we’d like to reassure musicians that we will have other opportunities to consider in the months ahead.”

Lovebox releases T-shirt to raise funds for the NHS

Lovebox festival has released a specially designed T-shirt to raise funds for the NHS. Chosen by fans and designed by Studio Moross, the shirts are available for purchase here for £25. “This is a way for us and our amazing fans to help do some good and spread the Lovebox message of love and unity for the NHS, helping raise money for those most important to us and fighting the virus on the front line,” said the event’s marketing director, James Pyrah.

Crack Magazine welcomes support during coronavirus

Independent Bristol-based music magazine Crack has welcomed the response to its Supporters package, as it continues to navigate lockdown. Available for free in various shops, bars and venues across the UK, Europe and New York, the title is currently unable to print owing to venue closures and event cancellations. Its Supporters scheme offers readers exclusive access to online content as well as various extras. 

Director and co-founder Tom Frost said: “The last six weeks have been among the most challenging for almost everyone in the publishing sector, and certainly the toughest since Crack Magazine started 10 years ago. The reaction to our Supporters membership left us truly humbled by the community around us. As a result of amazing artists generously donating prints, other publications supporting our cause, and, most importantly, readers who’ve spent money on our new digital issue, we are feeling optimistic about our future as a publisher and a business.” 

Primordial Radio to stage Lockdown All Dayer 

Skindred, Phil Demmel, Devilskin and Tesseract are among the artists due to play Primordial Radio’s All Dayer this Saturday (May 9). Live shows, takeovers, tutorials, interviews and more will air on the Primordial website and social channels. The full line-up is available here and donations are encouraged to raise funds for NHS Charities Together. The station’s music director Pete Bailey said: “We wanted to play our role to support the NHS as much as we possibly can and look forward to seeing you all virtually on Saturday 9th May.”

IIMF launches virtual classical music festival

Investec International Music Festival (IIMF) has revealed details of a new Virtual Festival, set to launch tomorrow (May 7). Over three days, broadcaster and musician, Sandy Burnett leads a programme of films, playlists and more. The IIMF’s 2020 concert series was due to take place from May 7-16, but has been cancelled due to the pandemic. Works by Elgar, Beethoven, Mozart and more are all set to feature, as well as a message from IIMF artistic director Wu Qian.

Wireless Festival cancelled

Organisers of Wireless Festival have confirmed this year's event is no longer taking place due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The Live Nation-promoted event had been set for London's Finsbury Park from July 3-5. 

"We’ve been closely monitoring this unprecedented situation, and it’s become clear that cancelling is unavoidable," said a statement. "Our heart goes out to the artists and fans who were looking forward to Wireless Festival. We’re in this together and we thank you all for your support."

The festival will return next year from July 2-4, subject to contract, while a virtual edition of the event is in the works.

West End extends shutdown

London’s West End has extended its period for cancellations to at least June 28.

The Society Of London Theatres confirmed the move, and pointed out that if further cancellations are necessary they will continue to be announced on a rolling basis.

Different theatres and productions are likely to reopen at different times.

“We are grateful to customers for the patience they are showing during this challenging time for our industry,” said a statement. “With 300,000 people visiting West End theatres in a normal week, it’s a major undertaking to process refunds, exchanges and credit notes, particularly when many staff are working remotely. Please rest assured that we are all working as quickly as we can and we appreciate the on-going support of our audiences.” 

Homeschool adds 70 acts

After announcing over 100 names as a part of its first announcement, Homeschool festival has now unveiled 70 new artists for the May bank holiday weekend (May 8-10) livestream.

New additions include The Amazons, Circa Waves, Semrs, Mxmtoom, L Devine, Boston Manor, Milk Teeth and Whenyoung. They join artists on the line-up including Tom Grennan, Grouplove, Bloxx, The Xcerts, Bad Sounds, Ider, The Sherlocks, Tim Burgess and Alfie Templeman.

Homeschool will also be encouraging donations to the NHS Charities Together Covid-19 Urgent Appeal throughout the weekend on

Katherine Jenkins to play empty Albert Hall

For the first time in its 150-year history, the Royal Albert Hall will play host to a concert behind closed doors. The performance by Katherine Jenkins will mark the VE Day 75th anniversary on this week’s bank holiday, May 8.

The 30-minute concert will be streamed to audiences around the world via YouTube at 6pm BST and is the first performance of the #RoyalAlbertHome series to come from the Hall itself. It follows on from Jenkins’ home lockdown concerts, which have amassed over 2 million streams to date.

The event is in support of the Royal Albert Hall’s fundraising appeal and SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity’s Emergency Response Fund. It can also be viewed via the Albert Hall website.

TikTok livestream 

TikTok is hosting Happy At Home: OneCommunity Live, a TikTok livestream series featuring creators and celebrities to raise awareness and donations for various organizations across healthcare, entertainment, and food who are helping those deeply impacted by Covid-19.  

During the livestreams, the #MusicMatters hashtag will have support from Camila Cabello, Howie Mandel and Kristin Chenoweth as they support the creative community through MusiCares and The Actors Fund.

TikTok will also match user donations raised through the app’s newly released Donation Stickers to May 27. 

Dave Greenfield

The Stranglers’ keyboard player Dave Greenfield has died aged 71, after contracting coronavirus. The full story is here

Cheltenham Jazz Festival

Cheltenham Jazz Festival will go ahead as a virtual one-day festival to be streamed for free on May 9 via Cheltenham Festivals You Tube Channel. 

Cheltenham Jazz Festival @ Home will feature some of the acts set to perform at this year’s festival, including Imelda May, Nitin Sawhney and Jamie Cullum.

Nozstock festival

The 22nd edition of Nozstock set for this summer is being postponed to July 2021.

Two acts for this year have already confirmed they will be performing next year: Sister Sledge and Andy C.

Festival organiser Noz said: “We are absolutely gutted that it’s come to this, but the safety of all our attendees, our crew, traders and performers is the most important thing by far. At the start of this outbreak we were confident we would be able to go ahead, but as the situation has developed each day it has come to the point where we feel postponing to 2021 is now the right decision. We hope to see everyone back at the farm next year for a right old party, and send our love out to all of our artists, crew, traders and everyone involved with the festival.”

For more stories like this, and to keep up to date with all our market leading news, features and analysis, sign up to receive our daily Morning Briefing newsletter

subscribe link free-trial link

follow us...