Covid-19 music industry update: Mad Cool 2021 announcement, Classic gig posters campaign, and Tencent global concert

Covid-19 music industry update: Mad Cool 2021 announcement, Classic gig posters campaign, and Tencent global concert

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.

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Mad Cool announces 2021 line-up

After postponing its 5th anniversary festival, Mad Cool has announced the line-up set for 2021, kicking off July 7.

94 of the performers out of 132 have been already been announced with some being part of the original 2020 line-up, and now Red Hot Chili Peppers, Carly Rae Jepsen, and Puscifer have been added as new additions.

The headliners are now as follows: Twenty One Pilots and Placebo (July 7), The Killers and Deftones (July 8), Mumford & Sons and Faith No More (July 9), Red Hot Chili Peppers, Pixies and Royal Blood (July 10).

The remaining artists are set to be revealed in the next announcement, and will include 34 new names.

In response to questions, the festival explained Taylor Swift is no longer able to take part after talks with her agent and management.

TCB Merchandise gig poster initiative opens gallery

‘The Writing Is On The Wall’ is a new initiative featuring classic gig posters, aimed at raising money for music venues during the crisis.

The campaign led by TCB Merchandise will open with a gallery in Camden Market, and enables venues to reproduce some of their most historic gig posters for collectors.

100% of the profits for each poster will be donated to the corresponding venue, and will open from 12-6pm, seven days a week throughout July.

The campaign launched in June, and was endorsed by Music Venue Trust founder and CEO, Mark Davyd.

It has seen 50 venues contribute posters from the likes of Ed Sheeran, Radiohead, Amy Winehouse, Oasis, Coldplay and The Killers. Some of these will feature at the gallery along with postcard collections and rare original posters.

Live agent, Neil O’Brien, who created the campaign said: “The response to our online collection has been amazing, and when Maggie Milosavljevic at Camden Market was made aware of what we were doing she immediately suggested a gallery space that could be a central place for people to come and look at some of our collection and to buy prints and postcards.

“We are also encouraging venues and promoters to sell any originals they have and to make them available at one of London’s iconic music and fashion related markets.”

Tencent Music presents Global Goal

Tencent Music Entertainment Group has partnered with China’s Global Goal: Unite For Our Future – The Concert; a globally televised and streamed special to highlight the disproportionate impact of Covid-19 on marginalised communities and to support equal access to care.

The concert aired last night and included performances from Chloe x Halle, Christine and the Queens, Coldplay, J Balvin, Jennifer Hudson, Justin Bieber & Quavo, J’Nai Bridges with Gustavo Dudamel, Los Angeles Philarmonic and Youth Orchestra Los Angeles (YOLA), Miley Cyrus, Shakira, Usher and Yemi Alade.

Mixmag updates on the future of its print

Due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, Mixmag has released a statement that the print edition of its magazine will remain on hiatus until 2021 when “clubs and festivals return properly.”

The announcement was made via its website and confirms that its online content will continue.

Mixmag deputy editor, Sean Griffiths, initially took to Twitter to share the news, and was followed by the website’s statement the following day.

Griffiths Tweeted: “Due to the difficulties of operating during the Covid-crisis, the print edition is on an indefinite hiatus with myself, along with the rest of the magazine team, no longer at the company…”

Following the statement Griffiths later Tweeted: “There was some confusion when I spoke about my time at @Mixmag coming to an end on here. The long-term plan is for the magazine to eventually return but like lots of things, it became untenable in the current situation.”

Kerrang! releases statement about regarding print edition

Towards the beginning of lockdown Kerrang! announced it would be suspending the publication of its print magazine with the hope that it would run in again in July.

However yesterday saw the publication release an update on its website, detailing the print magazine will remain paused.

It’s statement read: “We paused the publication of our magazine in April as lockdown took hold, and we were hoping for its return this month. This is not possible due to the on-going suspension of live shows and the disruption of the UK newsstand. Both these factors affect our circulation and advertising revenues. The prospect of a second spike in the virus also makes the idea of publishing a weekly magazine seem irresponsible at this stage.

“Our aim is to bring the magazine back as the live scene returns. However, our immediate plan is to bring you more of what you love on”

Since April, the Kerrang! team has continued its online output and has announced this month will see the addition of an exclusive digital cover story, new video programming and more.

Elton John: Classic Concert Series

Elton John will launch a weekly series featuring live concert footage from his archives exclusively on YouTube for Elton John: Classic Concert Series.

The series begins this Friday at 5pm BST and will premiere with his live performance at the Playhouse Theatre, Edinburgh from 1976.

Further performances will then be aired every Saturday at 5pm BST for six weeks featuring shows from Sydney (1986), New York City (2000) and more.

The series aims to raise funds to help the Elton John AIDS Foundation during the coronavirus crisis.

Elton John said: “My Foundation’s COVID-19 Emergency Fund helps frontline partners prepare for and respond to the pandemic and its effects on HIV prevention and care for the most marginalized communities.

“We cannot jeopardise HIV testing and care during this time or else the results could be disastrous for the 37.5 million people living with HIV. So, I’m really happy to connect this YouTube Concert series to benefit our Foundation’s urgent COVID response.”

NTIA releases results of Hospitality Opening Weekend survey

The NTIA has released the results of its survey that asked 938 respondents in the hospitality sector for their thoughts on opening weekend.

The survey found that 51.6% said they would not be opening on July 4. 65% of nightclubs and late night venues said they would not attempt to open, however 65% of bars/pubs and restaurants said they would open.

For many of those businesses not opening 52.6% said it is due to it not being financially viable and 30% said that they could not meet Covid-19 guidance requirements.

Mixmag pauses print publication

Mixmag has confirmed that its print edition remains on pause as a result of the coronavirus.

The dance music title, published by Wasted Talent, will continue online.

Wasted Talent MD Nick Stevenson said: "Due to the global pandemic, Mixmag's print magazine was paused in April and will remain paused until we bring it back next year. Although the print magazine makes up just a small part of our revenues we are all immensely proud of it and we look forward to its return. Until then, Mixmag continues to reach over 100 million dance music fans every month through daily digital, social and video content from our 16 international Mixmag offices." 

Rock title Kerrang! was also put on pause by Wasted Talent in April. It was scheduled to return on July 8.

BRITs date pushed back

The BRIT Awards has been pushed back to May 11 for 2021. Click here for the full story. 

Ivors pulls awards ceremony

The Ivor Novello Awards has pulled its rescheduled awards ceremony, which had been moved to September. Click here for the full story. 

Broadway to remain closed during 2020

Broadway will not reopen in 2020. The Broadway League announced that theatre owners will refund or exchange tickets purchased for plays and musicals up to January 3. 

“The Broadway experience can be deeply personal but it is also, crucially, communal,” said Broadway League board chairman Thomas Schumacher. “The alchemy of 1,000 strangers bonding into a single audience fueling each performer on stage and behind the scenes will be possible again when Broadway theatres can safely host full houses. Every single member of our community is eager to get back to work sharing stories that inspire our audience through the transformative power of a shared live experience. The safety of our cast, crew, orchestra and audience is our highest priority and we look forward to returning to our stages only when it’s safe to do so. One thing is for sure, when we return we will be stronger and more needed than ever.”

Festicket Live 

Festicket Live hosted a paid livestream series with Kensington, Duncan Laurence, Danny Vera, Krezip and Ilse DeLange at Amsterdam’s Het Scheepvaartmuseum.

The series – in partnership with Dutch promoters Friendly Fire– saw each artist perform a live set and Q&A inside the iconic Amsterdam museum.  

Over 50,000 fans bought tickets to the exclusive livestream series, with each ticket-buyer receiving a unique access code to watch the stream along with a form to submit a question to the Q&A. The HD video was accompanied by a live chat, which allowed fans to engage with others throughout the evening.

Festicket’s CPO and co-founder Jonathan Younes said: “This series was a lot of hard work but also a highly rewarding experience. Paid livestreams are a new phenomenon for many, including us, but we tried to give ticket-holders the best user experience possible while continually learning from their feedback, and we’re now working with that to improve our technology to create an even more seamless online event experience.  

“We hope that fans enjoyed the shows as much as we did, and seeing their enthusiastic responses in the live chat was an amazing feeling for us. I’m now also a massive Danny Vera fan.”

Long Division postponed 

Wakefield’s Long Division Festival has announced they will be postponing this year’s festival to June 2021.

The festival is crowdfunding to raise vital funds to tide the organisation through the next two years.

Having previously moved the festival from June to November 2020, Long Division hosted LD:TV, a weekend of livestreamed content raising money for charities.

Planet Earth II Live in Concert UK & Ireland dates rescheduled

BBC Studios and concert promoter FKP Scorpio UK have announced that Planet Earth II Live in Concert will be rescheduled to Spring 2021.

The dates were originally postponed to Autumn 2020, however due to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak and the uncertainties surrounding music venues, it will now take place next year.

FKP Scorpio UK promoter, Barry Campbell, said: “Due to the ongoing COVID-19 situation and uncertainty around concert mass gatherings, we felt it was important to move our Planet Earth II tour once again, to spring 2021.

“We want these shows to be a great experience and it is important to us that the public should feel safe and to be able to attend the shows without worry. We promise it will be a spectacular tour well worth waiting for and thank all ticket purchasers for their patience and understanding in these most difficult times.”

All tickets purchased will remain valid for the new dates starting March 19, 2021.

Sony Music launches virtual Iconic Music Backgrounds

Sony Music has revealed the launch of Iconic Music Backgrounds, a brand new series of virtual backdrops featuring the “most recognisable and celebrated album covers and music videos.”

Fans of the artists will be able to put themselves into the centre of album covers and music videos for virtual meetings, including artists such as *NSYNC’s No Strings Attached, Britney Spears’ Baby One More Time, Khalid’s Free Spirit, George Ezra’s Shotgun and more.

NTIA responds to lockdown lifting

The Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) has released a statement in response to the government’s lifting of lockdown starting July 4th.

NTIA chief executive, Michael Kill, said in the statement: “For our sector, the 4th July might end up being more ‘Doomsday’ rather than the ‘Independence day’ that the Prime Minister is envisioning. The detail on the guidance released yesterday on steps to lift the COVID ‘lockdown’ will plunge many businesses and venues involved in the sector into more chaos and confusion.

“We are disappointed that the Government doesn’t seem to have taken into account concerns shared from consulting Industry Associations and Trade Bodies, together with an opportunity to comment further, on the final draft before they were presented in the public domain.

“The numerous concerns that will undoubtedly arise around interpretation and terminology could have been prevented if the Government had taken the time to listen to, and understand our sector's unique circumstances and constraints and tried to incorporate what we believe are sensible requests.

“We are now grappling with operational guidance that places unworkable conditions on customer behaviour. This will make it highly challenging for the businesses to re-engage, meaning many venues will simply be unable to open and trade profitably.

“Safety of customers and staff is of course, paramount but the costs of implementing some of these measures in such a short period of time is costly and also a huge challenge.

“The reality is, a large number of hospitality businesses are now having to re-evaluate their position with a prospect of redundancies and further financial pressure on the horizon.

“This could cripple the sector. We are already on our knees. Left unaltered, and without further Government financial support, this may well be the final straw for large numbers of the sector.”

Skiddle releases live music post lockdown survey results

Over 200,000 customers took part in a survey produced by UK ticketing site Skiddle that queried how people might feel when live music returns.

The survey found that 75% of fans are “ready to attend ‘socially distanced’ shows this year.”

Over 65% are planning to watch live music within one month of lockdown, with 42% of these ready to attend “straight away.”

70% agreed they will attend an outdoor and indoor event post-lockdown and 50% said they would attend a seating-only event.

Skiddle co-founder, Richard Dyer said: “What is clear from these results is that music fans are busting to get back out there, with around two-thirds of our customers planning to watch live music within one month of lockdown lifting.
“That’s obviously great news for the industry, but there’s a major problem. The people who organise and promote live music events do not have what they need to make it happen. 
“What the live sector needs is clear and constructive guidelines from the government on capacities, sanitation, testing and more. Only then can the industry begin to get back on its feet.”

Global’s Make Some Noise emergency appeal reaches £1.7 Million

Global’s Make Some Noise emergency appeal has announced it has raised £1,711,241 for those hit hardest by coronavirus in our communities.

The Emergency Appeal Week took place last week and featured a range of special fundraising activities, with Stormzy, Ed Sheeran and Robbie Williams giving listeners the chance to attend and meet them at their next UK tour dates. Other acts taking part and donating prizes included Little Mix, Katy Perry, Sam Smith, Dua Lipa, Craig David, Noel Gallagher, Chris Martin, Olly Murs, Tom Walker and Gary Barlow. have created a limited edition charity T-shirt donating a proportion of the sales to Global’s Make Some Noise. The T-shirt slogan ‘Love and Hope – In this together’ reflects the sentiment of the Emergency Appeal and is now on sale via Kindred, have created a rainbow collection of items from face masks to caps, tote bags and baby items, donating all NET proceeds to Global’s Make Some Noise. Whilst, ToyAid, is running a campaign until the end of June asking people to “Buy Toys for Make Some Noise.”

Emma Bradley, director of Global Goodness, said: “We’re so grateful to everyone who has come together with Global’s radio brands in recognition of small, local charities doing vital work in our communities. The work of these organisations has never been of higher importance since the outbreak of Coronavirus. Together, we have raised a phenomenal amount so far but these charities will continue to need our support in the months ahead as demand for their services grows further. The pandemic has had a unprecendented effect on our communities, but we can support those in need by helping small charties continue their critical work.” 

Marshall Amplification x The Music Venue Trust   

Marshall Amplification, in partnership with the Music Venue Trust, have launched a special t-shirt – inspired from UK rockers Bad Touch’s latest single, a cover of Kiki Dee’s 1974 hit I’ve Got The Music In Me – as part of their support of the #saveourvenues campaign. 

All proceeds from the t-shirt will help fund grassroots music venues through the continued economic threats and challenges they face.

Commenting on the partnership, Jonathan Ellery, MD of Marshall Amplification, said: “Everything we do at Marshall Amplification and Marshall Records encompasses live music and we admire what Music Venue Trust are doing with their #saveourvenues campaign. We are excited to be partnering with them to raise funds and help grassroots venues to be able to continue to push the success of live music.” 

United We Stream Brighton 

Last week, Brighton joined the global streaming community with United We Stream to showcase the seaside town’s “music, culture and free-thinking rainbow infused spirit” to viewers at home, whilst raising money for the city’s night-time economy, cultural organisations and charities.

An official press release stated: “United We Stream Brighton is free, but with donations welcome, and all proceeds will go to support bars, clubs, pubs, venues, restaurants, performers, freelancers and cultural organisations across Brighton & Hove as well as contributing to the fight against homelessness and the vital work undertaken by the Grassroots charity and Audio Active.”

United We Stream Brighton delivered four days of music, showcasing some of the best local artists and venues – it secured over 70K views and performances from 12 artists in six different venues on its launch weekend,

Acts confirmed for the future include Anthony Pappa, Billy Nasty, Freemasons, Freestylers Just Her, Kinky Dangerous, Krafty Kuts, Luke Brancaccio, Midfield General, Prok & Fitch, Steve Mason and Wax Works.

Hospitality sector set for return

The Night Time Industries Association has called on the government to confirm that the hospitality sector will be able to return on July 4. 

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to announce the easing of restrictions on Tuesday (June 23). Cinemas, museums and galleries could also reopen under plans to reduce social distancing to one metre.

It remains to be seen how the measures will affect different venues and clubs. The Music Venue Trust has found that only 13% of venues could return under the current two-metre social distancing restrictions.

Michael Kill, CEO of NTIA, said: “Frustration and anger is growing within the sector to get some absolute clarity on when businesses will be able to reopen and what extended provision will be available to businesses unable to open under the measures presented by government. The consistent ambiguous messaging from the government is increasing the level of anxiety amongst business owners, with many businesses at the point of breaking, with mounting commercial rent debt and staff in limbo.

“At what point is the government going to realise that we are playing with people's livelihoods here, and businesses and jobs are being lost with every passing day. We urge the government to consider the human element of this crisis and end the uncertainty.”

Music Week Awards

The 2020 edition of the Music Week Awards has been cancelled. The hugely popular industry event had been rescheduled for September 21, but it is no longer possible to go ahead with the ceremony. 

However, the awards will return in 2021 – click here for the full story.

Evanescene/Within Temptation tour

Evanescence and Within Temptation have postponed their co-headline European tour.

The Worlds Collide tour, which was originally due to kick off in April, will now move to September 2021.  

Evanescence singer Amy Lee said:  “We are so disappointed that we won't be seeing you this fall, but we're accepting the challenge 2020 is giving us and pouring our time and hearts into making a great album instead.”

Youth Music Awards

The Youth Music Awards, in association with Hal Leonard Europe, have been postponed to May 19, 2021. The event will take place at Troxy London.

The Youth Music Awards celebrate the achievements of young people who are making music all over the country. The awards will also recognise the organisations and music leaders working to help the next generation of young musicians. 

Judges include rapper Eve, George the Poet, former Kiss FM Breakfast Show host Daisy Maskell and singer-songwriter Shura.

West End shows closed until 2021 

Producer Sir Cameron Mackintosh has announced that Hamilton, Les Miserables, Mary Poppins and The Phantom of the Opera will not return to London's West End until 2021.

Sir Cameron said the government had yet to offer "tangible practical support" or say when social distancing would be lifted. He added that redundancies would be required if the shows are to reopen as early as practical next year.

"The commercial theatre provides billions of pounds of revenue to the economy," said Sir Cameron. "It is time this is recognised and the government takes action to ensure this priceless resource... is helped to survive."

It is not yet clear when London's Theatreland can reopen. It previously said the shutdown would continue throughout June.

Oxbow RiverStage concert season postponed

Blue Note Entertainment Group and Another Plant Entertainment, co-producers of the 2020 Oxbow RiverStage, have announced that the concert season will be postponed due to coronavirus.

The concerts were due to take place in Downtown Napa, but have been postponed or rescheduled to 2021 with exact dates due to be confirmed.

Ken Tesler, owner of Blue Note Napa said: “There is no question that we are heart-broken to postpone the 2020 Oxbow RiverStage season. We are however thrilled to already be planning for an incredible 2021 run of 15 ticketed and 5 free shows.

“Working with the City of Napa in preparation for the 2021 season has been a fantastic experience and their support is very much appreciated. It is very exciting to already have bands committed to 2021. The line-up is shaping up to be insane!"

Gregg Perloff, co-founder and CEO of Another Planet Entertainment, added: “Our inaugural season was a fantastic start in 2019, with 2020 starting off with tremendous sales and interest.

“As the public learns more and more about this wonderful space, we believe that Oxbow will continue to become a bigger and bigger player in the music and culture of Napa. Here’s looking forward to 2021.”

NTIA #Savenightlife campaign

The Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) has been campaigning for support for those businesses in the night-time economy and events sector that have suffered the impact of the coronavirus.

Sending a letter to the chancellor, prime minister and the cabinet, the NTIA have urged them to support businesses in the NTE and events sector for the remainder of 2020.

In the request, the NTIA asked for a support grant to cover businesses with a Rateable Value of up to and over £150k, and a grant for those without Rateable Value to ensure they have access to financial support.

It also asks to extend the furlough and SEIS schemes until the end of the year due to the extended lockdown and the impacts of businesses being unable to reopen.

Thirdly, it asks for support in preventing landlords forcing out tenants in this sector and then applying for change of use for their premises, as it could lead to losing night-time venues.

Next it calls for a commitment to work with its representative body, the NTIA and wider industry to make public health compatible with the events industry such as reducing social distancing.

Finally the NTIA asks for help in encouraging the public to return to the events and venues making sure the public are aware it is safe.

Live Nation bids to renegotiate deals

Concert promoter Live Nation plans to renegotiate contracts with artists for shows and festivals postponed to 2021 due to the pandemic.

According to a memo sent to booking agencies and obtained by Rolling Stone, the company's proposals would spread the risk between artists and the promoter, with artist guarantees decreasing by 20%. If a show is cancelled due to poor ticket sales, the act would receive 25% of their guarantee, while if an artist cancels its performance in breach of the agreement the artist would pay the promoter two times the artist’s fee.

"The global pandemic has changed the world in recent months and with it the dynamics of the music industry," said the memo. "We are in unprecedented times and must adequately account for the shift in market demand, the exponential rise of certain costs and the overall increase of uncertainty that materially affects our mission. In order for us to move forward, we must make certain changes to our agreements with the artists. 

"We are fully aware of the significance of these changes, and we did not make these changes without serious consideration. We appreciate you – and all artists – understanding the need for us to make these changes in order to allow the festival business to continue not only for the artists and the producers, but also for the fans."

Live Nation has not commented on the memo. 

94 organisations across the EU sign a call to support creative and cultural industries

Over 90 organisations in Europe’s cultural and creative industries have signed a joint call for strong and systemic support measures in order to recover from the crisis at EU and national levels ahead of tomorrow’s meeting with EU leaders in Brussels.

Signed by organisations such as AEPO ARTIS, CEDC, IMMF, IMPALA and more, they call on the Member States and the European Parliament to support an increase of the Creative Europe budget to the European Parliament’s proposed budget of €2.8bn, and to guarantee the entire sector will benefit.

IMPALA’s executive chair, Helen Smith said: “A number of programmes and instruments which cultural and creative SMEs can in principle benefit from in the recovery plan are being introduced or seeing an increase. We need to see how exactly the sector is being prioritised as we have been hearing from the commission. Clarification and guarantees are needed.”

Creative Industries facing ‘devastation’ 

The Creative Industries Federation has warned of a “cultural catastrophe” following newly commissioned research from Oxford Economics.

As a result of coronavirus, the wider music industry is projected to lose at least £3 billion in GVA (50%) and 60% of jobs (114,000), with the sector being hit hard by the collapse in live music and touring

The UK’s creative sector was previously growing at five times the rate of the wider economy, employing over two million people and contributing £111.7 billion to the economy. The new report projects that the creative sector will be hit twice as hard as the wider economy in 2020, with a projected GVA (gross value added) shortfall of £29 billion.

Despite the Job Retention Scheme, the report projects that 119,000 permanent creative workers will be made redundant by the end of the year. The impact on employment is set to be felt twice as hard by creative freelancers with 287,000 freelance roles expected to be terminated by the end of 2020. 

Regionally, London is projected to experience the highest drop in creative industries GVA, seeing a £14.6 billion (25%) shortfall. However, Scotland and the North East are expected to be hit hardest relatively, with projected GVA decreases of 39% (£1.7 billion) and 37% (£400 million) respectively.

CEO Caroline Norbury said: “Our creative industries have been one of the UK’s biggest success stories but what today’s report makes clear is that, without additional government support, we are heading for a cultural catastrophe. If nothing is done, thousands of world-leading creative businesses are set to close their doors, hundreds of thousands of jobs will be lost and billions will be lost to our economy. The repercussions would have a devastating and irreversible effect on our country.”

The Circle music Auction

Singer-Songwriter, activist and founder of The Circle, Annie Lennox, has invited fellow musicians to contribute to The Circle Music Auction to help raise funds for women and girls across the globe who have been disproportionately impacted by the Covid-19 crisis.

The Circle Music Auction, which is live on the platform Charity Stars, invites bids on auction items or the purchase of tickets for a sweepstake competition (starting price $10). The auction will close on July 10, and the sweepstake will end on July 31.

Annie Lennox, Sting, Emeli Sandé, Jessie J, Yola, Paloma Faith, Jessie Ware, Hozier, Anoushka Shankar, Jack Savoretti, Skin (Skunk Anansie), Simon Neil (Biffy Clyro) and Frank Turner have each donated two personalised performances for the auction. Winners will receive an exclusive, pre-recorded video featuring a live performance of one or two songs chosen from the winners list alongside a personalised message.

Oscars pushed back two months

The Oscars ceremony has been pushed back to April 25 as a result of Covid-19.

The Academy Awards were originally scheduled to take place on February 28.

Organisers have also extended the eligibility window from the end of the year to late February. Films scheduled for release in 2020 have been pushed back.

The BAFTAs have also been pushed back to April 11.

United We Stream raises £477,000 for good causes

Greater Manchester’s United We Stream broadcasting platform has finished production on regular fundraising shows, having raised £477,000 for local charities and good causes.

The regular production project has now ceased as the Greater Manchester Combined Authority focuses on the recovery and reopening of the region’s night-time economy and cultural venues. But one off special events are being planned for the summer.

United We Stream GM was launched on April 3 by night-time economy adviser Sacha Lord, who said: “When we went into lockdown, I was receiving so many calls, from people who work within the Night Time Economy, that the Government had simply left out to dry. At the same time, I was watching an initiative begin in Berlin that I thought could be replicated here.

“Within only a few days, Greater Manchester launched United We Stream GM. The idea was to entertain people during lockdown, to encourage them to stay at home, but also raise funds for many people who needed it.

“In all honesty, we didn’t know if anyone would watch it, never mind donate. 10 weeks later, it has to be one of the proudest moments of my career. I’d like to thank all the artists, everyone behind the camera, everyone who donated and of course Andy Burnham for letting it happen.”

United We Stream GM is free to view, but donations are encouraged. People can continue to donate and watch streams on demand on the website’s event page. 

Commercial radio gets temporary relief on transmission costs

The commercial radio sector has welcomed a support package from Arqiva designed to help its customers with the cost of transmission during the coronavirus pandemic.  

The support package follows a previous offer of a three-month fee waiver between April and June for small local, independent radio stations who are direct customers of Arqiva. Stations who had benefited from this will now also receive a further three-month waiver between July and September.  

Radiocentre CEO Siobhan Kenny said: “This is a welcome move from Arqiva and will help to mitigate the immediate concerns of a number of stations that are at risk in the next few months. During this challenging time, commercial radio has been doing an amazing job informing and entertaining the nation, but we know that times are hard. We will continue to do whatever we can to help support these businesses and secure their futures.”

Other stations who are direct customers of Arqiva will see their radio fees discounted by 50% for the next three-month period from June to August 2020.

Social distancing review

The Night Time Industries Association has welcomed the government’s review of the requirement for a two-metre social distancing rule.

The review was launched by prime minister Boris Johnson. Chancellor Rishi Sunak told the BBC that government would look again at the measure, given its “enormous impact” on the profitability of businesses.

The trade body said the night time economy and events sector is built on social engagement and suggested that current social distancing measures will lead to many businesses becoming financially unviable. The sector is facing challenges from the reduction in business capacity, enforced spacing, queue management and PPE requirements.

Michael Kills, NTIA CEO, said: "One of the key challenges around the reopening of the night time economy & events sector is the current guide for physical distancing. We welcome the government's announcement with regard to the review of the current measures, and await the outcome with much anticipation.

“However, the decision needs to be made ahead of the scheduled July 4 opening, to allow businesses the ability to prepare for opening if they are able to. The industry maintains it commitment to ensuring that we open at the right time with the correct measures to keep our staff and patrons safe, we must also recognise the importance of our sector to our cultural and civic life."

The government has allowed ‘non-essential’ retail to reopen from June 15.

Global’s charity Make Some Noise launches emergency appeal week

Stormzy, Katy Perry, Sam Smith, Dua Lipa, Craig David, Chris Martin, Little Mix, Gary Barlow and Ed Sheeran are among the artists confirmed to be taking part in Global’s Make Some Noise campaign. Global’s official charity has launched the emergency appeal to help those hit hardest by coronavirus in our communities. 

Participating acts are donating a host of ‘money can’t buy’ prizes to raise funds for small charities that are helping those experiencing grief, poverty, domestic abuse, loneliness, illness and mental health problems, as well as carers and care workers. It will take place on air on Friday June 19.

Some of the experiences on offer are:

-  Katy Perry has offered an exclusive private video call

- Little Mix are giving fans the chance to join them on their very own exclusive video chats

- Handwritten lyrics from Take That’s Gary Barlow and Coldplay’s Chris Martin

- Anne-Marie is donating a video call plus the Henry Holland silver jacket she wore at Capital’s Summertime Ball in 2019

- Stormzy and Ed Sheeran are giving fans the chance to attend their respective next UK tour dates and an exclusive meet & greet

- Radio X listeners can win a Fender Jazzmaster guitar signed by Noel Gallagher.

- Fans can also bid to see Lewis Capaldi at the O2 from their own private box

- VIP tickets to see Dua Lipa

- Signed merch from Sam Smith, Young T and Bugsey, KSI and Aitch. 

- Sigala is donating a virtual masterclass in the art of production

- Jonas Blue is donating a virtual DJ coaching session

- Sam Fischer is giving fans the chance to duet with him via video call.

- There will be private virtual gigs on offer from Freya Ridings, Hrvy and Tom Walker. 

An official press release stated the prizes will be given away on air on Capital, Heart, Classic FM, Smooth, LBC, Radio X, Capital XTRA and Gold, and via a star-studded charity auction which features donations from artists, sports stars and presenters from Global’s radio stations.

“Speaking about the initiative, Emma Bradley, director of Global Goodness, said: “Coronavirus has impacted so many lives in so many different ways, but the most vulnerable are struggling to cope. Local charities are a lifeline for those in need and during these challenging and unprecedented times, these organisations are needed more than ever, both on the frontline now and in months to come, as demand for their services increases. The Emergency Appeal from Global’s Make Some Noise will raise money for these small charities doing vital work in our communities, helping people with health conditions, people without access to food or safety, elderly people without their support networks, families who have lost a loved one, carers who are feeling the pressure, and those feeling more alone than ever. We’re so grateful to all those who are supporting the appeal and look forward to coming together with all Global’s radio brands and our listeners for Global’s Make Some Noise Emergency Appeal Day this Friday June 19.” 

To donate to Global’s Make Some Noise, visit

Orbital’s Paul Hartnoll’s NHS charity single

Orbital’s Paul Hartnoll and poet and performance artist Murray Lachlan Young have today (June 15) announced the release of their lockdown-inspired collaboration. All proceeds will be donated to NHS Charities Together.

The track, I’m Going Shopping, is being released on their own label and its artwork was provided by British sculptor Abigail Fallis. Its video was put together by Giles Thacker, who has been a video maker and animator with Orbital for over twenty years.

Speaking about the single, Hartnoll said: “I’m Going Shopping is delivered in a techno style with a pitch shifted robotic vocal that leads us on a ‘new normal’ shopping trip from beginning to end. It began as a total rush of creativity and is as natural, uncomplicated, honest and funny as it gets.”
Lachlan Young added: “Paul and I both thought whilst lockdown seemed to be shifting its shape on an almost hourly basis – it might be useful to try to offer a little bit of light-hearted perspective on things.  Lyrically, I felt it was important to not lose sight of the surreal elements of the whole experience. I also felt that people could do with a bit of a laugh.”

BBC Radio 3

BBC Radio 3 has announced details of exclusive “Lockdown Playlists” created by world-renowned conductors from the BBC’s orchestras and choirs.

The project, designed by the European Broadcasting Union, asks conductors to nominate works they find inspiring. The playlists will also air in the EBU’s member countries.

In Tune will broadcast one full playlist per week from tonight (June 12) onwards as part of its Mixtape segment.

Speaking about the launch, Thomas Dausgaard, chief conductor at the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, said: “In my playlist I have gathered performers and compositions mainly from the past which have meant a lot to me. My own beginnings, playing and listening to a variety of musical styles are reflected in my choices, the most important requirement being that the performance comes from the heart.”

Anna-Maria Helsing, principal guest conductor at the BBC Concert Orchestra, added: “I am very pleased to be a part of the Lockdown Playlists project! During difficult times there is for me nothing quite like music - always there to comfort us, bringing us joy and reminding us of a time, when we again will play live concerts for our audiences.”

The initial schedule will run as follows: 

Thursday June 11 – Thomas Daugaard (BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra)

Wednesday June 17 – Anna-Maria Helsing (BBC Concert Orchestra)

Wednesday June 24 – Ryan Bancroft (BBC National Orchestra of Wales)

Tuesday June 30 – Ludovic Morlot (BBC Philharmonic)

Wednesday July 8 – Sakari Oramo (BBC Symphony Orchestra)


Best Kept Secret Festival

Best Kept Secret have confirmed that The Strokes, The National, Massive Attack, Jamie XX, BadBadNotGood, Octavian, Catfish And The Bottlemen, DJ Shadow, Fontaines DC, Belle And Sebastian, DIIV, Metronomy, Mura Masa and The Avalanches are all set to appear at its 2021 event.

All artists were originally booked for this year’s edition which was due to start today (June 12), but was postponed due to government measures regarding coronavirus.

All remaining tickets for next year will go on sale on June 13 at 10:00 a.m. Previously purchased tickets for Best Kept Secret 2020 remain valid for next year.

Best Kept Secret 2021 takes place on 11-13 June and will be the first alternative summer festival to be held in the Netherlands in 2021.

Festival director Maurits Westerik said: “The fact that this many artists, both upcoming and established, decided to join forces with us again to experience Best Kept Secret live together one year later, gives us the hope and courage to carry on. It is clear that music is the common denominator for many, that in these times we long for live music and that we prefer to share it together. We still have a year to go before that happens, but we look forward to a wonderful festival. It will do us all good.” 


Superfly has announced details of Small Business Live, a philanthropic music experience supporting minority-owned small businesses across the US.

The event will take place Saturday, June 20, 2020 from 4-10 p.m. EDT, and will include performances by 2 Chainz, Brandi Carlile, Brittany Howard, Leon Bridges, T-Pain and more.

The event will be livestreamed on TikTok, YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, Twitch, Twitter, LiveXLive and Bustle Digital Group’s publications.

All proceeds from Small Business Live will be donated to Accion Opportunity Fund. Viewers will be encouraged to donate to the cause via text per a special code that will be made readily available closer to the June 20 event date. Charitable funds will be accepted during the livestreamed event, and fans will be able to donate on Superfly’s website before and after the li vestream through June 26.

Heavy Metal Truants virtual charity cycle

The Heavy Metal truants announced last month that their eighth annual fundraising ride from London to Castle Donington for Download Festival will be continuing on a virtual format.

The charity cycle began June 1 and will continue until June 12, and so far has seen 500 people sign up to The Eighth Of Spades virtual ride from 34 countries.

Aiming at first for a fundraising target of £66,666, the amount raised has now been surpassed after the first day of riding prompting them to raise the next target to £100,000, which has now also been achieved.

It has been revealed that members from Thunder, Pendulum, Architects and Paradise Lost are also taking part in the cycle ride which was founded in 2013 by ex-Metal Hammer editor in chief, Alexander Milas and Iron Maiden manager Rod Smallwood.

The charity cycling group aims to raise money for children’s charities via events, memorabilia auctions and the annual cycle ride, and has raised £681,500 for Teenager Cancer Trust, Nordoff Robbins and Childline with the addition of Save The Children this year.

To donate to the fundraiser, click here.

Coachella cancels 2020 festival

Coachella was set to take place this October after postponing its initial April date, but has now been forced to cancel due to orders from public health officials.

The Riverside County public health officer, Dr. Cameron Kaiser signed the order yesterday over growing concern that Coachella could cause an outbreak in coronavirus cases.

It’s sister festival Stagecoach has also been forced to cancel; there is no news yet on a rescheduled 2021 date for either events.

FOCUS Wales postpones festival

FOCUS Wales has announced it will be postponing the 10th anniversary of its festival until 2021.

The winner of the Best Festival for Emerging Talent at the UK Festival Awards will now move its original date of May 2020 to October 2021.

Its statement read: “FOCUS Wales strives to be an event which is inclusive, accessible, and a safe space, for our entire community of local, national, and international performers, speakers, visitors, and staff. With this in mind, due to the on-going COVID-19 pandemic, we have taken the very difficult decision to postpone our 10th edition of FOCUS Wales until 7th - 9th October 2021.

“This is the very last thing we want to be doing, but sadly we feel it’s the only responsible option open to us at this point in time, as everyone’s health has to be the priority. This will be the first time in 10 years that we’ll have gone without the festival, and it’s difficult to put into words how the team is feeling right now. At the same time, we’re more determined than ever to deliver a very special 10th edition of FOCUS Wales in 2021 that can truly be the celebration we all want it to be.

“We are asking ticket holders to roll-over your tickets to 2021, if you can do so. All ticket holders will be emailed in due course. If you do need to, refunds are available at face-value up until 1st August this year, via our ticket partners at Gigantic tickets.”

The acts originally billed to perform have all been confirmed for the new dates and more will be revealed soon.

Three quarters of the Arts and Entertainment businesses impacted by Covid-19

The Office for National Statistics has revealed this month that Covid-19 has had a huge effect on Arts and Entertainment businesses.

Its statistics state that 75% of businesses in the Arts, Entertainment And Recreation industry report they have ‘temporarily closed or temporarily paused trading’.

63% have seen a turnover decrease of over 50%, and of those business that have paused trading, only 3% of businesses expect to start trading in the next 2-4 weeks.

For businesses that have not permanently stopped trading, it is reported a huge 73% of its workforce is on furlough, marking it as the second highest figure of any industry.

Deborah Annetts, chief executive for the Incorporated Society of Musicians’ said:
“These figures prove what the ISM has been saying for months: that the creative industries have been battered by COVID-19 and have borne the brunt of the economic damage caused by this pandemic. 

“The majority of the music sector is reliant on some form of government support to get through these challenging times, and the Government must not pull the rug from under the music sector by scaling back its furlough contributions. 

“With social gathering restrictions set to stay in place there will be no return to business as usual for venues and live performers any time soon, and this is why the ISM is calling for the Government to maintain its current rate of furlough contribution and put in place a long-term financial support package for the creative industries, whether through tax reliefs or direct support”.

Roskilde Festival launches Do It Yourself event

Roskilde Festival is encouraging participants from around the world to create their own festival at home on Saturday July 4. 

An official press release stated: “Saturday July 4 – what should have been the culminating closing day of this year's festival – marks the opening day of Roskilde Festival – Do It Yourself. Here, the participants can pitch a tent in their living room, play beer bowling in the backyard, create the perfect playlist, be inspired or provoked by art – and share it all with the other participants online. Just like we all share experiences at the festival every year. In the weeks leading up to the event, participants can find inspiration from Roskilde Festival's many guides to music, food, art and activism so that all the self-made festivals will have a common orange glow. Roskilde Festival will be sharing the best fan-created content on their social channels.”

Just like the main festival, tickets and merchandise will be available for Roskilde Festival – Do It Yourself, with profits given in full to initiatives that give young people a voice and strengthen young people's communities. All profits from the festival are donated to humanitarian, non-profit and cultural work for the benefit of children and young people in particular.

Roskilde Festival's spokeswoman, Christina Bilde, commented: “Unfortunately, we cannot meet up at the festival site this year. Fortunately, the festival community thrives in so many other ways. In recent months, we have seen tremendous support, and many people have announced that they plan to celebrate the festival. It is absolutely fundamental to us that we can be a platform for such communities. So, we hope that many people will come together and enjoy music, food, art and the Roskilde community while supporting young people's voices and opportunities."

Tom Walker’s Zoom World Tour

Tom Walker has confirmed details of his Zoom World Tour for this Thursday. Walker will play six countries in twelve hours – the event will culminate end in the release of his recently announced new single Wait For You, which was recorded during lockdown.

Walker’s ‘Virtual 12 Hour World Zoom Tour’ will commence at 10.00am UK Time on Thursday, performing intimate online shows to thirty fans in six different time zones, including Australia, France, Italy, Germany & the US, finishing up in the UK at 7.00pm, when the single is officially released.

Wait For You was written by Tom Walker, Joel Pott (George Ezra, London Grammar, Mabel) and Cam Blackwood (George Ezra), produced by Cam Blackwood and mixed by Spike Stent.

Speaking of the song, Walker said:  “This song is about a mate of mine who went through a life changing event as a teenager. It took a long time for him to heal and aspects of what happened have taken a toll on his life. Fast forward to now and he’s one of the most outgoing, positive people you could ever meet. It got me thinking that we can all go through these tough times; it’s what you chose to make of it. People say you shouldn’t let these things define you but if you can do it in a positive way, that’s a really special thing.”

Lollapalooza 2020 cancelled

Chicago’s Lollapalooza Festival has been cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic. Organisers have confirmed they will instead host a live-stream event between July 30 – August 2 using both live music and unseen archival festival footage. You can read the full statement below:


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A post shared by lollapalooza (@lollapalooza) on Jun 9, 2020 at 9:59am PDT


Download Festival/Biffy Clyro

Biffy Clyro have been added to Download Festival’s Download TV line-up. The event – which will feature hours of music, special interviews, unseen performances, exclusive footage and more – will be broadcast via Download Festival’s official social channels, and YouTube across June 12-14. Biffy Clyro join previously announced acts such as KISS, Iron Maiden, System Of A Down, Korn, Deftones, Babymetal, Alter Bridge, The Darkness, Volbeat, Creeper and more. Downlad TV will also host a world premiere from Chester Bennington’s previous band Grey Daze.

Emeli Sandé

Emeli Sandé will be among a number of celebrities auctioning once-in-a-lifetime experiences to support people living with multiple sclerosis (MS) during the coronavirus pandemic.

Sandé is offering the opportunity to have a private song-writing or jam session with her as part of the MS Society’s Never Alone auction.

Speaking about the auction, Sandé said: “People should bid on this prize most importantly to raise funds for such a valuable cause, but I also think it’s going to be a lot of fun. To me the most exciting part in the whole music process is that initial jam, that initial spark of an idea, when something comes completely from nowhere. I’m excited to see how we will work together, and just to share my process with someone will be real joy for me. You never know, we could end up writing the next big hit...”

LoveFest – Serbia

Serbia’s Lovefest will be held from August 6 –8 in Vrnjacka Banja. It will host artists such as Michael Bibi, Patrick Topping, Loco Dice and more. An official press release stated that “more famous artists and headliners are yet to come in the days ahead, so stay tuned.”

Tomorrowland Around The World digital festival

Dance music event Tomorrowland has revealed details of its two-day digital music festival experience. Christened Tomorrowland Around The World, it will take place on Saturday July 25 and Sunday July 26. It will be a full day/weekend experience between 15h00–01h00 CEST. There will be a ‘time-zone-friendly’ option for visitors from Asia and North or South America.

The festival will feature eight different stages in total – including Atmosphere, Core, Freedom Stage and Elixir, joined by three new stages, which have been specially created and designed by the creative team and 3D artists behind Tomorrowland.

An official press release stated: “Each stage will feature music from the world’s best artists in dance and electronic music – from all genres – and a large portion of the fireworks and laser shows characteristic of Tomorrowland.”

A host of interactive experiences will also be offered, including inspirational webinars, games and workshops related to lifestyle, food, fashion and more,

SACEM livestream programme

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