The Week in Light & Sound
Tuesday, 22 November 2022

Swift Reaction - Tickets to see Taylor Swift live in concert sold so swiftly the general public never even had a chance to buy. Ticketmaster, the company selling seats to the singer's US tour, cancelled the public sale, citing "extraordinarily high demands on ticketing systems and insufficient remaining ticket inventory". It has already sold over two million tickets in pre-sales for select groups.
The company has come under criticism after the demand crashed its website. "I got so close three or four times and the website broke. It was agonising," said Nancy Abulmagd, one of the fans who had won a lottery to join the pre-sale. She spent hours on Tuesday in a virtual queue, behind thousands of other people, trying to score seats for her 11-year-old daughter and friends, only to have the website crash repeatedly and eventually turn her away, empty-handed.
The firm has blamed the problems on a "staggering number of bot attacks" that overwhelmed its website as well as high demand for the singer, who first burst on the scene in 2006 and has supplied a steady stream of hits ever since. The company said more than 3.5m Swifties, as her followers are known, registered in advance as "verified fans" in the hope of getting tickets for her 52-city US tour in the pre-sale. Ticketmaster also hosted a pre-sale for people carrying a credit card from Capital One, the company sponsoring the 52-city tour.
Queen of Christmas - Mariah Carey's application to trademark the moniker "Queen of Christmas" has been denied by the US Patent and Trademark Office. The American star's application was rejected after her company did not respond to another singer's opposition. The trademark would have given her the legal right to stop others from using the title on music and merchandise. Carey also failed in attempts to trademark the abbreviation ‘QOC’ and ‘Princess Christmas’. The singer has become synonymous with the festive period since the release of her 1994 track, All I Want for Christmas Is You.
Pop Petition - Nearly 8,000 people have signed a petition to save St David’s Hall – the National Concert Hall of Wales – from becoming a pop music venue. Cardiff Council is investigating the privatisation of St David’s Hall, which is home to the BBC National Orchestra of Wales and arts educational training for disabled patrons and young people.
The council has received a proposal to take over the lease of the building from venue operator Academy Music Group, which operates the O2 Academies and is owned by entertainment company Live Nation. Nearby venue Cardiff International Arena is also owned by Live Nation. However, a petition argues that a takeover by AMG/Live Nation would see the classical output of the venue reduced and the acoustics of the space potentially damaged. It states: "AMG/Live Nation have made it clear that they will reduce the cultural and classical output of St David’s Hall – as their ‘bread and butter’ is large-scale pop events currently akin to the International Arena’.
The petition argued that losing the cultural output of the venue could impact on future events including BBC Cardiff Singer of the World, the Welsh Proms and annual Cardiff university graduations. Cardiff Council confirmed it is currently considering a proposal from AMG regarding St David’s Hall and that it is scheduled to be bought to cabinet in December.
Careers Platform - London’s Old Vic has launched a new online careers platform that aims to help people from across the world get into the creative industries. The free platform, called the Hub, features more than 60 pieces of content, including video workshops, career development podcasts, a theatre glossary, a virtual theatre careers tour and downloadable careers resources. It was created with support from Bloomberg Philanthropies to support cultural organisations in the wake of Covid-19. Other resources include well-being films, an interactive careers quiz and a series of step-by-step courses.
Old Vic artistic director Matthew Warchus said: "Theatre is something that the Old Vic believes makes the world better, and we work to enable anyone to experience, make and benefit from it.”
(Jim Evans)
22 November 2022

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