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COVID-19 Updates

14th September 2020 (Crack Mag). A new petition is asking the UK Government to help the live music and theatre industries. Hosted on the UK Government and Parliament site, the petition is calling for the furlough scheme to be extended. You can sign the petition here. Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, which allowed workers to be paid 80% of their wages up to £2500, is due to end on 31 October.
Reporting by Vivian Yeung. 

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Andy Robertson - Monday 14 September 2020

9th September 2020. The rescheduled Larmer Tree Festival for 2021 has been cancelled with an announcement from the directors that states "Whilst we’re working on bringing Larmer Tree back in 2022, the financial ramifications of this prolonged period of inactivity sadly means unavoidable redundancies for the wonderful staff who make Larmer Tree happen for you all. Thank you for all your incredibly hard work over the years. Our hearts go out to all industry professionals affected by the Covid-19 crisis. We wish all those events happening in 2021 the best of luck and hope that we all have a better Summer next year. Sorry that we cannot make Larmer Tree part of that." 

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Andy Robertson - Thursday 10 September 2020

8th September 2020 (The Resident). The Jazz Cafe in Camden is set to reopen in September with gigs by Hackney Afrobeat veteran Dele Sosimi and an album launch from Light of The World. The Jazz Cafe, which has been closed for six months, will return with fully seated, small-scale socially distanced gigs that mirror the original layout of the club when it opened in Camden Town 30 years ago. Capacity will be down to 151 when the doors reopen on 18 September 2020 – the day before Soho’s legendary Ronnie Scott’s is due to reopen for live music gigs – with An Evening of Soul with The Sierra Band.
Reporting by Victoria Purcell. 

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Andy Robertson - Wednesday 9 September 2020

8th September 2020 (Broadway World). Insurance Journal has reported that British theaters and live music venues will only be able to keep their doors open if the government provides financial support, as the global pandemic means they can no longer get commercial insurance. Theatres and concert venues in the UK have been staging socially-distanced events since August, however only a few have officially opened, with many citing insurance as one of the barriers; underwriters have been excluding COVID-19 from the cover they provide.

Photo by Adrianna Calvo from Pexels

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Andy Robertson - Tuesday 8 September 2020

7th September 2020 (Far Out Mag). Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden has stated his plans for Operation Sleeping Beauty, an effort which is his plan to revive indoor live performances in time for Christmas. Theatres across the UK have been allowed to reopen—albeit with social distancing measures in place—which have made it almost impossible to make financially viable openings because of the reduced audience numbers. Writing in the Mail on Sunday, Dowden said that he is now planning on getting things back up and running for Christmas, which will be a relief to everybody working in the world of live entertainment.
Reporting by Joe Taysom.

Photo by ELEVATE from Pexels

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Andy Robertson - Monday 7 September 2020

4th September 2020 (IQ Mag) The funding is part of a €2bn culture recovery package and is followed by €100bn economy restart plan. In a bid to encourage event organisers to resume live entertainment, the French government has announced €220 million dedicated to the live sector. The funding is part of a wider €2bn culture recovery package, which was announced yesterday (3 September), and is followed by a €100bn campaign to restart the economy – France Relance (France Relaunch). As part of the €220m siphoned off for live shows, the music sector will receive €200m.

Photo by Sebastian Ervi from Pexels

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Andy Robertson - Sunday 6 September 2020

New Event

3rd September 2020 (Chronicle). The Parking Lot Social promises 'big, bold and brash' entertainment in Newcastle this September. There have been blockbuster movies, comedy and karaoke and now the latest drive-in experience heading to Newcastle is The Parking Lot Social. Following a summer series of drive-in cinema screenings in the city and in Durham, the latest event to offer some socially-distanced entertainment will be hosted over five days at the Kingston Park Stadium
Reporting by Barbara Hodgson 

Photo by Anthony Holmes from Pexels

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Andy Robertson - Thursday 3 September 2020

COVID-19 Updates

2nd September 2020 (Dazed) While this year’s Glastonbury has been cancelled in the UK (though it’s still apparently on track for 2021) and festivals such as Coachella and SXSW have suffered a similar fate in the US, the island of Guernsey has kicked coronavirus in time to hold its 44th annual Vale Earth Fair. Taking place last weekend, the 12-hour event was one of the only European festivals not to be shut down or postponed this year due to the pandemic.
Reporting by Thom Waite 

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Andy Robertson - Wednesday 2 September 2020

27th August 2020 (Celebrity Access) Live Nation’s “Return To Live” concert, which was intended to herald the return of live music to major venues in Germany, has been canceled due to a rise in coronavirus cases the European nation. The concert, headlined by Bryan Adams along with The BossHoss, Sarah Connor, Rea Garvey and Joris was planned for Merkur Spiel-Arena in Düsseldorf on Sept 4th, but has been pushed back to “late autumn.” In a statement, a spokesperson for the arena said that “despite a comprehensive health, hygiene and safety program, organizers felt compelled to cancel the event in view of the increasing number of infections and subsequent capacity restrictions that were imposed on the event.”
Reporting by Ian Courtney 

Nicooo from Pexels

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Andy Robertson - Thursday 27 August 2020

26th August 2020 (IQ Mag). There is no longer a requirement to distance patrons at events with under 5,000 people in France, although mask wearing must be "continuous" Indoor concerts may now go ahead without social distancing providing there are fewer than 5,000 people in attendance, the French prime minister said today (26 August). Two days after announcing that large events (ie those with over 5,000 attendees) would continue to be banned until November, Jean Castex announced that masks are now mandatory in all indoor entertainment venues, such as theatres and cinemas – but that in most of France, the requirement for social distancing has been removed.

Photo by Monica Silvestre from Pexels

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Andy Robertson - Wednesday 26 August 2020

25th August 2020 (IQ Mag). The UK's Night Time Industries Association has presented a science-backed reopening plan in a bid to save the sector. Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) and operators from the UK’s night-time industry have presented the government with a science-backed reopening plan in an attempt to stop the sector from collapsing. Festival Republic and Music Venue Trust are among the organisations that have commissioned the report, supported by the Institute of Occupational Medicine, which examines the science behind Covid-19 and how to mitigate the spread of the virus. Key findings from the report include: the core market for clubs and venues are amongst the lowest at risk in the hospitality sector and that that overall capacity restrictions to 75% of legal building occupancy based on regulations will ensure distancing is possible throughout the venue. 

Photo by Maurício Mascaro from Pexels

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Andy Robertson - Tuesday 25 August 2020

24th August 2020 (NME) Gigs are back (kind of)! The Government has issued guidelines to make gigs 'viable' – but what do grassroots music folk make of it all? The Government recently issued a new set of guidelines to help venues of all kinds bring back life performance – with new advice out there for theatres, concert-halls, and other live music venues. After months of being unable to safely put on gigs, it’s a welcome shuffle forward. Slowly, a few gigs are returning with caution: in recent weeks, Sam Fender has played a socially distanced arena show at the custom-built Virgin Money Unity Arena, and Frank Turner serenaded a seated crowd in south London.
Reporting By El Hunt.

Photo by Isaac Taylor from Pexels

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Andy Robertson - Monday 24 August 2020

22nd August 2020 (Gov.uk) 135 at risk grassroots music venues have been saved by emergency funding as part of the £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund. £2.25m funding topped up by more than £1 million to help more venues in need of support to survive. Recipients of the fund include The Troubadour in London, where Adele and Ed Sheeran performed in the early days of their career, as well as The Jacaranda in Liverpool, where The Beatles played early rehearsals and one of their first gigs. Arts, film and culture organisations encouraged to get their bids in for a share of £880 million worth of grants through Arts Council England, the British Film Institute, Historic England and the National Lottery Heritage Fund. Grassroots music venues across England are the first recipients of the Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund, the Culture Secretary has announced today.

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Andy Robertson - Sunday 23 August 2020

20th August 2020 (RouteNote) After the UK Government eased lockdown rules on live shows in England, Music Venue Trust warns that only a small percentage of venues will be financially able to re-open. Venues were originally scheduled to re-open on the 1st August in the UK, however this was pushed back moments before as COVID-19 infections increased. Last week, the UK Government announced that indoor performances could restart in England providing venues enforce social distancing measures, limited capacities and masks.
Reporting by Tom Newman 

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Andy Robertson - Thursday 20 August 2020

New Event

19th August 2020 (IQ Mag) It’s taken four times more toilets and a space 15 times the normal size. Meet the team who pulled off the UK’s only working arena. Selling over 72,000 tickets for a concert series that began when live shows in the UK were – strictly speaking – not allowed, is no small undertaking. But then neither is building a new outdoor arena for shows at a time when strict social distancing rules are in place. “All the things that could have gone wrong would’ve gone wrong on the opening weekend but they didn’t,” says Jim Gee, a director at Manchester-based production company, Engine No.4. Gee and his team have spent the last few months working tirelessly on the launch of the UK’s only major summer concert series of 2020 at the country’s first socially distanced arena in Newcastle.

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Andy Robertson - Wednesday 19 August 2020

COVID-19 Updates

18th August 2020 (Music Week). A new Covid-19 barrier face covering is being launched in a bid to enable live events to operate with higher capacities. In a potential breakthrough for the industry, the face coverings are treated with Swiss-based HeiQ Viroblock technology, a "tested and proven" barrier said to significantly counteract airborne transmission of the virus. Colin Graham, founder of HeiQ's UK parner AnyBrand, said the development could provide a "silver bullet" for the live business, minimising the need for social distancing requirements at concerts and other entertainment events.
Reporting by James Hanley.

Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

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Andy Robertson - Tuesday 18 August 2020

17th August 2020 (IQ Mag) The Netherlands is also taking note from Germany's initiative Night of Live to draw attention to the country's struggling sector. The Dutch live business has announced it will participate in Belgium’s Sound of Silence campaign, which went viral at the beginning of August. The initiative saw swathes of Belgians denounce the government for the lack of support in the culture and events sector by changing their profile pictures to an orange “Sound of Silence” cross and tweet with the hashtag #SoundOfSilence. The campaign was launched on 10 August as the country’s newly formed Live Sector Consultation warned in an open letter that tens of millions of euros are needed to prevent the collapse of the €1bn Belgian live music industry.

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Andy Robertson - Monday 17 August 2020

18th August 2020 There is news today that Marcato Festival, the music festival management software company will cease trading in October 2020. Marcato is one of the mostly widely used festival management software platforms so this news is sure to affect numerous festival organisers. Marcato, a Canadian company, was acquired by Patron Technology in October 2018. Patron have been focusing on the ‘virtual’ event space this year and it’s not clear yet why Marcato will be closed. It is likely that the company is yet another victim of the COVID-19 pandemic that has caused the cancellation of almost all music festivals until 2021. Fortunately for Marcato customers there is still plenty of time to explore other festival specific software platforms like erm.....Festival Pro.

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Andy Robertson - Monday 17 August 2020

New Event

16th August 2020 (Harrogate News) North Yorkshire will be one of the few, if not the only, part of the country enjoying live outdoor concerts this summer. A new event, Sounds in the Grounds, will be bringing four popular and internationally-renowned bands to the grounds of two of North Yorkshire’s most beautiful stately home. Ripley has featured live music on numerous occasions. The Wanted, supported by Lawson, played to thousands in 2012. Since then they have had such acts as Jools Holland, Charlotte Church and The Last Night of the Proms. Due to covid-19 restrictions, planning for these events has been more challenging. Both venues will mark out squares for groups to picnic in and watch the shows. Also greater attention has been put to the movement of people into and away from the events.

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Andy Robertson - Sunday 16 August 2020

COVID-19 Updates

13th August 2020 (London Evening Standard). London’s music scene looks set to stay quiet this weekend, as uncertainty reigns over whether indoor gigs will be allowed to take place from August 15. Restrictions on indoor concerts were set to be lifted on August 1, as long as audiences adhered to social distancing and venues maintained Covid-secure protocols. However, on July 31, the plan was postponed by Prime Minister Boris Johnson, citing an increase in Covid-19 infections in England as a reason for the precaution.
Reporting by Jochan Embley. 

Photo by Nikita Khandelwal from Pexels

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Andy Robertson - Thursday 13 August 2020

12th August 2020 (WHTimes). A popular Hertfordshire music festival is among the county’s first tourism and hospitality businesses hit by COVID-19 to successfully secure emergency funding. Four county businesses have secured funding from Crowdfund Hertfordshire: Small Business Innovation Fund aimed at providing support to those in the retail, tourism, hospitality and other related sectors most impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. Save Our Standon (Standon Calling Festival) is one of the organisations to be awarded money from the countywide scheme. The others are Wheathampstead’s Auriel Holidays, The Brewery Tap in Furneux Pelham, and Rickmansworth’s Creative Juices Brewing Company.
Reporting by Alan Davies. 

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Andy Robertson - Wednesday 12 August 2020

10th August 2020 (Manchester Evening News). Thousands of music industry workers are expected to march through Manchester city centre tomorrow to throw support behind the #WeMakeEvents campaign. The campaign has been launched to raise awareness of the crisis facing the touring, festival and events sector, which is facing 114,000 job losses. The protest will pass some of the city's most iconic venues, many of which remain shuttered. Those taking part will include truck drivers, producers, engineers, tour managers, security staff and cleaners, as well as the raft of freelancers and self-employed people left penniless since March. They will push a fleet of flight cases - a common sight at festivals and concerts - through the streets from Manchester Academy.

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Andy Robertson - Monday 10 August 2020

New Event

7th August 2020 (IQ Magazine). Organisers of Strandkorb Open Air say they’ve sold more than 35,000 tickets for Germany’s open-air deck chair concert series. The 60-show series, which runs from July until October, has so far sold out 20 shows including VNV Nation, Philipp Poisel and Gentleman. In the first month of Strandkorb Open Air, Brings, Höhner, Markus Krebs, Kasalla, Pietro Lombardi, Martin Rütter and Michael Mittermeier all delivered sold-out events. “This summer, with more than 60 shows, we will ensure that this season is remembered,” SparkassenPark MD Michael Hilgers told MusikWoche. “We never expected that the concept would attract such a great response and demand, both from artists and from the audience, and we are proud that we can realistically target the sound limit of 50,000 concertgoers. We are very much expecting it that many more shows will be sold out at short notice.”

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Andy Robertson - Sunday 9 August 2020

6th August 2020 (DevonLive) The festival is a selection of drive in concerts, with live music, food, drink and a film. The UK's first-announced live music Drive-In is coming to the country this month, with nine live music concerts over nine nights. Nightflix, a national drive-in cinema company, has revealed the dates for its August 2020 festival. The festival makes for the perfect social distancing event while the UK continues to battle the coronavirus pandemic, and will be taking place at Newark Showground, Nottinghamshire. The line-up is comprised of the UK's number one tribute acts, straddling multiple music genres, offering a little something for everyone. As well as a support DJ, each event will now also include a movie following the main performance, and tickets are priced from £39 per car plus a booking fee.
Reporting by Sian Filcher

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Andy Robertson - Thursday 6 August 2020

COVID-19 Updates

5th August 2020 (IQ Mag) Eurosonic Noorderslag, Into the Great Open Wide, and Welcome to the Village receive grants from the Dutch government. The Performing Arts Fund (Fonds Podiumkunsten, FPK), a €62 million cultural fund provided by the Dutch government, has published decisions on multi-year grants between 2021 and 2024. Almost 60 festivals across the Netherlands will benefit from multi-year subsidies that include a contribution to programming costs and an organization contribution. The fund announced that the percentage of grants given to festivals is much higher than the other creative sectors that applied for subsidies, with almost all positively assessed festivals receiving a programming contribution. Eurosonic Noorderslaag has been granted €75,000 per edition between 2021 and 2024, while Into the Great Wide Open will receive €100,000 for each edition and Welcome to the Village, €50,000 per event. 

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Andy Robertson - Wednesday 5 August 2020

4th August 2020 (London Jazz News). Remember Match&Fuse? Those pan-European tours and festivals of bands with a bit of an edge combining to do fresh and new things? They’re back. While live events – hot, vital, sometimes sweaty – happening in small clubs was what Match&Fuse was all about, the current crisis means their improv roadshow needs to head down a different path. The upshot is two compilations of live music recorded at the Match&Fuse festival and tours, with a percentage of each Bandcamp download purchase going to live music champions and M&F’s London venue of choice, the Vortex club. Match&Fuse’s last major event in the UK was their festival in London in 2016, though they subsequently held events in Dublin and Zürich as well as Japan.
Reporting by Peter Bacon. 

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Andy Robertson - Tuesday 4 August 2020

3rd August 2020 (IQ Magazine) The #LetTheMusicPlay campaign returns tomorrow, sending a message to government that Britain's live music industry is still in crisis. A month after round one helped spur the British government into action, the UK music industry will tomorrow (4 August) again unite for #LetTheMusicPlay, spotlighting the plight of live music during the Covid-19 shutdown. The first #LetTheMusicPlay (LTMP) campaign, which took place on Thursday 2 July, saw thousands of social media profiles – as well as several major music venues – transformed with LTMP branding, with more than 1,500 artists, including the likes of Ed Sheeran, Dua Lipa and the Rolling Stones, also lending their support. Of the campaign’s three main demands – a financial support package, a VAT exemption/reduction on ticket sales, and a timeline for reopening venues without social distancing – only the third remains unfulfilled, with the UK government having announced its £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund, and then slashed VAT to 5%, in the following weeks. 

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Andy Robertson - Monday 3 August 2020

2nd August 2020 (Live for Live Music) British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced on Friday that indoor concerts will not return to England as early as anticipated. Indoor events, including movies and museum openings, were scheduled to return beginning on August 1st. This delay comes barely two weeks after Johnson announced that socially distanced, indoor events could resume on August 1st. That decision has now apparently been overturned by the U.K.’s Chief Medical Officer, Chris Witty, who warned that England has “reached the limits of opening up society.” In a press conference on Downing Street on Friday, Johnson stated that the return of indoor events will be pushed back at least two weeks. This comes in addition to the extension of face mask requirements past the previously-announced August 8th.
Reporting by Michael Broerman

Photo by Dawn Lio from Pexels

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Andy Robertson - Sunday 2 August 2020

30th July 2020. (IQ Magazine). The PSA Tour Production Group (PSA TPG) brings together some of the industry's best-known event production professionals to launch Covid-19 working guidance. Professionals from across the UK concert touring sector have joined forces to launch the PSA Tour Production Group (PSA TPG), a new association that aims to provide a unified industry response to the impact of Covid-19 on live music events. The group is a new arm of the Production Services Association (PSA), the trade body for the live event production industry, and includes tour managers, production managers, safety professionals, venue and festival managers, travel and logistics specialists, promoters and suppliers.

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Andy Robertson - Thursday 30 July 2020

New Event

29th July 2020 (DJ Mag) An outdoor music event will take place at Alexandra Palace in August. Scheduled to take place on bank holiday weekend on the 30th August, the new event, UNLOCKED, will provide a socially-distanced festival experience for music fans. The daytime event will run from 2PM until 8PM, with an  AV set from DJ Yoda, as well as a performance from Norman Jay MBE, and more to be announced. Socially-distanced queues and hygiene rules will be implemented, with the venue allowing a maximum capacity of 60%. "The team behind the successful 2018 Kaleidoscope Festival are working with the local authority, emergency and transport services and relevant health and statutory bodies to plan the event and ensure it provides a safe and enjoyable environment for visitors.

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Andy Robertson - Wednesday 29 July 2020
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