UK - This year’s Gottelier Award nominations have been announced, with voting now in process. Named in memory of renowned industry innovator and commentator Tony Gottelier, this special award recognises the invaluable contributions of the people behind the products.
LSi readers, registered PLASA Show visitors and PLASA members are eligible to vote for the Gottelier Award. The recipient of which will be announced during the PLASA Awards for Innovation ceremony at PLASA Show on Monday 5 September. The nominees for the 2022 Gottelier Award are:
David Edelstein – Managing Director of Triple E
David Edelstein, founder of Triple E, invented the Loose Pin Hinge in 1984 after spotting a huge gap in the market. The product went on to receive an ABTT Product of the Year award and has since inspired many imitations. David went on to design and launch UniTrack in 1988 which is now found in theatres, opera houses, cruise ships, and film studios around the world. Since then, Triple E has won five Product of the Year awards in the UK, as well as the Rigging Award for ChainTrack at LDI 2021. And since 1998, David has designed variable acoustic systems which are now staples of Triple E's product range.
JB Toby – Technical Director of Avolites
JB Toby joined Avolites in the late nineties and focused on developing the dimming range which put Avolites in a powerful position in the live touring market. In 1999, JB spearheaded a team and launched the Art 2000 dimming range which is now a well-known product in the live entertainment, film a
Tribute to Olivia - Producers of the West End production of Grease have dedicated the rest of its run to the memory of Olivia Newton-John, who has died aged 73. Newton-John, best known for playing Sandy in the 1978 film Grease, died on 8 August, with a statement from her family saying she passed away “peacefully” at her Ranch in Southern California, surrounded by family and friends. “Olivia has been a symbol of triumphs and hope for over 30 years sharing her journey with breast cancer,” it said.
A stage production of Grease is currently running at the Dominion Theatre in London, which is produced by Colin Ingram for InTheatre Productions, Donovan Mannato, Playing Field, Gavin Kalin and Curve.
Paying tribute, the producers said: “Olivia Newton-John is an icon who has inspired countless young performers across the world, not least our company of Grease in the West End. It is a huge honour to perform songs that she made world famous for thousands of fans, who continue to celebrate the legacy of this musical and her incredible talent.”
They added: “Our thoughts are with Olivia’s family and loved ones at this difficult time. We’d like to dedicate this evening’s performance and the rest of our run to Olivia’s memory and everything she represented.”
Music Education - A government-led national service for music education has been proposed as part of a report calling for all children to have access to high-quality music lessons. The service would consist of a national coordinating body – whic
UK - Martin Audio recently introduced a dedicated environment page to its website, detailing its approach to the climate emergency. Now they have taken that a step further, announcing the funding completion for planting 50,000 trees, plus an ongoing commitment to plant another new tree for every line array cabinet sold.
Managing director, Dom Harter, takes up the story: “As a global leader in the pro audio industry, and as part of the wider Focusrite Group, environmental sustainability is a major opportunity for us to demonstrate climate leadership and values, define good environmental practice, and benefit from an opportunity to meaningfully engage with our staff, customers, and the wider audio community. Working alongside Andy Land, head of sustainability for Focusrite Group, we have been outlining our approach and commencing the work.”
Land added, “Our approach to environmental sustainability extends to our complete operation, aiming to embed us within the circular economy. We believe the only way to make sure we’re doing the right thing is to look at our products in detail across the whole lifecycle, starting with production, then logistics, energy consumption and end of life treatment.
“It’s going to take time, but we’re aiming to map the life cycle of every product and through this detailed work, we’re starting to uncover the environmental hot spots in our products, and what we can do about it. The work involved will not only involve holistic sustainable design, but also packaging, energy efficiency and the headquarters buildin
UK - Exhibiting at this year’s PLASA Show (4-6 September, Olympia London) on stand D3, Data Strategy will demonstrate their cable and electrical safety workhorse, the QC-Check workstation, as well as some of the QC-Check’s most popular add-on modules, including VeriCal, PowerCheck LOLER inspection and SimplyPATS integration software.
Embedded as part of the warehouse process – with integration realised for most equipment hire software - Data Strategy’s QC-Check provides practical safety inspection solutions that allow hire companies and venues to simply fulfil statutory requirements (including PAT testing). Simply put, QC-Check ensures electrical appliances and equipment are always safe to use.
As a networked, multi-user application that controls Out Board’s PAT-4 (single or 3-phase in 16A, 32A & 125A ratings) to deliver PAT, CABLE and RCD testing required by UK & international electrical regulations, QC-Check systems are installed in major film studios; rental companies both large and small (PRG, Creative Technology, Adlib, White Light and Entec); various theatres including the Royal Opera House and the National Theatre, and recently, via Aggreko, into the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, where four units were in place to test all cables and power distribution systems ahead of the Games.
QC-Check’s PowerCheck add-on module tests the individual outputs of a distribution box. The PowerCheck RCD-t distribution box allows a single connection to a distro’s Socapex outputs, so each output is tested individually and PowerCheck c
USA - The Audio Engineering Society has announced the incoming officers and governors following the 2022 board of directors and board of governors elections.
The Society’s membership has elected Leslie Gaston-Bird, as president-elect. Also on the board of directors, Valerie Tyler has been re-elected as secretary and Marina Bosi re-elected as treasurer.
In the AES Elections for the board of governors (BoG), Angela Piva has been elected vice president Eastern region, USA/Canada, David v.R. Bowles has been elected vice president Western region, USA/Canada and Jamie Angus-Whiteoak has been elected as vice president Northern Europe region. Additionally, newly elected governors-at-large are Lesley Fogle, Toru Kamekawa and Marcela Zorro.
Save for the president-elect, each newly-elected individual will serve a two-year term and Bosi and Tyler with have their current terms extended by two years. Gaston-Bird will serve a year on the AES board of directors as president-elect, in 2024 as president, in 2025 as past-president, followed by two years as a governor. All those newly elected will begin their terms on January 1, 2023.
Also on 1 January, 2023, current past-president Jonathan Wyner will transition to governor for the first year of a two-year term. Beginning one-year terms will be president Josh Reiss, who will transition to past-president, and president-elect Bruce Olson, who will become president.
Outgoing from the Board of Governors in 2023 as regional Vice Presidents are Gabriel Herman, Alex Kosiorek and Elena Prokofieva. Governors with
UK - The deadline for entries for this year’s PLASA Awards for Innovation is fast approaching. Those wishing to enter products for this year’s awards are encouraged to do so as soon as possible, with the deadline for entrants to enjoy maximum publicity being Friday 5 August. After that, entries will be accepted until Wednesday 17 August but will miss out on key marketing opportunities associated with the awards. PLASA Show 2022 exhibitors, PLASA members and non-exhibitors are invited to enter their products to be in with a chance of winning one of the coveted awards.
Organised in association with LSi, the awards celebrate innovative products from across the live entertainment technology industry that can demonstrate a new style of thinking, improve technical practice or safety, introduce new materials or techniques, or offer a new commercial advantage.
Each successfully entered product will be judged by an independent panel of industry experts who have the authority to present up to eight awards of equal standing, plus a potential Gold Award for an outstanding new product.
An Award for Sustainability is reserved for a product that can demonstrate a significant reduction of power, utilises renewable energy, or has a positive impact on the environment.
All nominated products will be showcased in the Innovation Gallery at PLASA Show 2022, and will also be featured year-round on the virtual Innovation Gallery. Products can also benefit from exposure in LSi, both in print, online and across social media if submitted by the deadline of Friday 5 Augu
In Decline - Britain has 20% fewer nightclubs than it had when the country first went into lockdown in March 2020. Nightclubs have been in decline for the last 15 years or so and figures released by the Night Time Industries Association highlight that the trend of closures is continuing. That's despite the government offering billions of pounds in grants and loans throughout the pandemic to support hospitality businesses which were forced to shut down.
The NTIA recorded the lowest number of nightclubs on record - 1,130 - in its latest set of data, based on the situation in England, Wales and Scotland. In March 2020, when the figures were last published, the number was 1,418. The body is now warning that the "culmination of pandemic debt, growing energy bills, workforce challenges, supply chain, increased insurance premiums, landlord pressures and product cost increases have created a perfect storm".
Some parts of the country fared worse than others, such as the Midlands in England, where nearly 30% of nightclubs have closed since the first lockdown just over two years ago.
Streaming Challenge - The UK's competition watchdog has found streaming has made the music industry challenging for many artists. The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said more than 80% of recorded music was now listened to via streaming, with more than 138 billion streams in the UK last year. MPs had demanded a "complete reset" of the industry, amid "pitiful returns" for artists. They had called for the CMA to look into the power of the major players.
Eurovision - The Eurovision Song Contest will take place in the UK next year after show organisers decided it could not be held in the winning country, Ukraine. The ongoing war following February's Russian invasion prompted the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) to look for an alternative host.
The UK's Sam Ryder came second this year, which prompted the EBU to open talks with the BBC last month. Several UK cities have already expressed interest in hosting. The UK has a number of places with suitable arenas, accommodation and international transport links, with London, Sheffield and Manchester already confirming that they will put in an official bid.
The bidding process to decide which city will host will begin this week. The BBC and the The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) will consider all official approaches and will publish the longlist later this summer.
"We are grateful to our BBC partners for showing solidarity with us," said Mykola Chernotytskyi, head of Ukraine's public broadcaster, UA:PBC.
Soho News - The West End's first new large-scale theatre in 50 years is set to open in the autumn. @sohoplace is located on the first newly-named street created in Soho for 72 years, also called Soho Place. The theatre is part of a £300m regeneration project in the area which will see offices, retail space and a new piazza built.
Owner Nica Burns called the 12-year project an "affirmation of faith" in the industry. The first production expected to be announced soon will be a play, she said. @sohoplace will feature a 602-seat auditoriu
UK - The UK Music workforce diversity survey tracks progress to boost diversity and inclusion in the UK’s music industry. This survey focuses on those who work behind the scenes in the industry, rather than those who are on stage. The final date for completed forms to be included is 8 August.
Led by UK Music’s Diversity Taskforce, the survey collates data from across the music business including studios, management agencies, music publishers, major and independent record labels, music licensing companies and the live music sector.
Launched in 2016, the findings of the survey give the music industry, Government and other stakeholders a critical insight into where improvements are needed regarding diversity and inclusion – and highlights where positive change is already under way.
The survey takes place every two years and UK Music will publish the results of the survey later this year as part of a report.
Forms can be found at https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/Diversity22-LIVE
Last year’s report found:
The proportion of women increased from 45.3% in 2016 to new high of 49.6% in 2020.
The number of people from Black, Asian and other ethnic minority communities at entry-level rises from 23.2% in 2018 to new high of 34.6% in 2020.
The number of women in the 45-64 age group drops from 38.7% in 2018 to 35% in 2020.
Representation of Black, Asian and other ethnic minorities at senior executive levels rises from 17.9% in 2018 to new high of 19.9% – but that means they fill just one in five senior
Red Tape - The government should appoint a touring ‘tsar’ to unravel the red tape facing British musicians in Europe, a cross-party group of MPs and peers has said. They would need to tackle the soaring costs of obtaining visas and transporting instruments that bands have encountered since Brexit. Some orchestras face bills of £5,000 every time they play abroad, said the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Music. It added the industry faced a "crisis" that required "urgent" action.
The call came in a major report into the state of touring post-Brexit, that warned musicians and their crew were "facing more costs, more complications and getting fewer opportunities" since the UK left the EU at the end of January 2020. "It's over two years since Brexit, yet there is still a mountain of red tape," said Labour MP Kevin Brennan, who chairs the all-party group. "Ultimately, it's a self-inflicted wound that doesn't have to be there."
In response, a spokesperson said the government was "supporting the UK's brilliant musicians to adapt to the new arrangements and make touring easier".
Mandarin Musical - The Phantom of the Opera is to be performed in Mandarin for the first time when it opens in China in 2023. Since it premiered in 1986, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical has been performed in 183 cities around the world in 17 languages. Presented by SMG Live, the Mandarin language production will be co-created by the Really Useful Group, which is the producer of The Phantom world tour, and Troika Entertainment.
SMG Live and the Really
USA - In a 2019 survey of entertainment industry workers, over 40% of respondents said they had experienced alcohol or substance misuse. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the anxiety, fear, uncertainty, stress, and isolation experienced by so many in our industry significantly increased those numbers. Many of us saw ourselves or colleagues, friends, or family members turn to substances as a way to cope with the disruption in our lives. Many found recovery difficult to sustain.
Along with significantly increased usage comes increased overdoses. Deaths due to overdoses have spiked during the pandemic, primarily driven by opioids. Over 93,000 drug overdose deaths were reported in 2020 – the highest on record and nearly a 30% increase over 2019.
The Behind the Scenes Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Initiative has announced the launch of a website to provide resources for industry professionals to answer questions about alcohol and substance use. It offers information about how to spot the signs of misuse in yourself or others and the potential long-term effects. There is practical guidance on getting help for yourself as well as how you can respond if you are concerned about a co-worker or friend. It also addresses situations where you may be concerned about someone you report to or someone who reports to you. There are also links to a variety of resources.
If you are concerned about yourself or someone else, you don’t have to feel alone. Just as an industry we work collaboratively to create our magic, we are all in this fight together. There are m
UK - To mark the centenary year of Stephen Joseph’s birth and the 60th anniversary of the founding of ABTT, the Stephen Joseph Committee of the ABTT last year established a new Award to commemorate the life and work of this maverick theatrical genius.
Following the success of the competition in 2021, the Award will again be offered in 2022 as an ongoing tribute to Stephen’s contribution to theatre culture.
Stephen Joseph was one of the most influential theatre practitioners of the last century. He was a founding father of ABTT and the Society of Theatre Consultants. He promoted new writing, architectural standards and technical excellence. His pioneering work has given rise to the myriad forms of theatre and open staging that are commonly used today. At the heart of his practice was the close and fundamental relationship between performer and audience. Above all, he established theatre in the round as a legitimate form of theatre in the U.K.
This award was created to honour Stephen’s wide-ranging legacy, which still informs many aspects of theatre practice. The Stephen Joseph Award, in recognising inclusive theatre excellence in the present, was conceived to best reflect and promote that legacy.
The recipient of the Award will be a living individual or a twenty-first century company or a non-conventional performance environment whose work will have exemplified a creative and adventurous relationship between performance and audience.
The award is open to work produced or environments created in the UK. Submissions should include evi
USA - The 2022 Behind the Scenes Holiday Cards are now on sale at the BTS Boutique. This year’s collection features a mix of seven different designs created especially for the charity by Phil Foster, Jennifer Gillette, Robert Mendoza, Nancy Orr, Todd Potter and Lauren Press.
Cards are available in a variety of options: card packs of 10 with a standard greeting, personalized cards with a company logo and custom message, and electronic cards in multiple file formats and an array of price points starting at $20.
Sending a BTS holiday card helps spread the word about the charity and lets your recipients know you are supporting industry colleagues who are ill or injured as well as the BTS Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Initiative.
Orders for printed cards will be taken until 27 September, 2022 to arrive by late November. Electronic card orders will be taken until 16 December. View and order cards at www.behindthescenescharity.org/holidaycards.
UK - Following in the footsteps of other industries that have taken steps to raise awareness of the importance of mental health, Backup has created an industry specific mental health first aider logo to help signpost people in need of support on a production, raise awareness and promote discussion around the subject of mental health in our industry.
Backup’s goal is to ensure that in every crew there is at least one trained mental health first aider crew member for every 20 crew members. “We trust that venues, promoters and production companies will engage with this is and it becomes part of crew contracts,” says Backup vice chair, Piers Shepperd. “We hope this logo will become a recognised standard on shows, events and in our industry workplaces, helping to destigmatise mental health issues and make our industry a happier, healthier place to work.”
Backup, in conjunction with industry leading MHFA course providers Music Support and the ABTT, will be providing the logo pack to all attendees of courses going forward. If you have previously attended the course via one of the afore mentioned providers, then please contact your relevant course provider for the logo pack.
If, as individual, you have attended an MHFA course from a provider outside of the industry, please contact Backup who will verify (MHFA England certified*) and send you the logo pack.
“Music Support is proud to be a preferred training provider working in partnership to support this much needed initiative for our industry,” says Eric Mtungwazi, chief executive, Music
Theatre Funding - York Theatre Royal and Northern Stage are among 10 venues to be awarded funding from the Theatres Trust’s small grants programme. Through a partnership with The Linbury Trust, the Theatres Trust is awarding £49,476 to support 10 UK not-for-profit theatres with funding that will allow them to make repairs and improvements, enhance accessibility, and improve sustainability measures and facilities.
Jon Morgan, director of Theatres Trust said: "The wide array of projects funded this round show the many challenges that theatres continue to face. We are pleased to be able to help these theatres with projects that protect future use, remove barriers to participation and attendance, and make them more welcoming spaces."
The funding will allow the York Theatre Royal to buy equipment to capture immersive recordings of live performances and will deliver them using virtual reality technology. South Hill Park Arts Centre in Bracknell, Malvern Cube Community and Arts Centre and the Space on the Isle of Dogs have all been awarded funding to improve front-of-house accessibility for audiences, with the Y Theatre in Leicester using the funding to address accessibility issues for performers and crew backstage.
Fringe Matters - Producers and venues have warned of the increasing barriers international artists are facing at Edinburgh Fringe, with some reporting a significant decline in overseas work at the 2022 festival. There has been a particular decline in work from countries where Covid restrictions are still in place, including China, wi
USA - Theatre Projects has announced the addition of two new full-time staff members to their team. Chris Smith joins the firm as the marketing and content manager and Ashley Keen joins their strategic planning team as a senior consultant. Both bring significant expertise in their respective fields, have backgrounds in the performing arts.
Chris joins the company’s New York office to lead marketing and PR efforts. Over the past decade and a half, Chris has worked with a wide array of non-profit organizations in Chicago, Texas, and Oregon. His experience includes content creation, digital communication, writing, brand and marketing strategy, and data analysis. Prior to Theatre Projects, Chris worked with Oregon State University, The Black Sheep Agency, 4th Wall Theatre in Houston, Echelon Design, Chicago Art Department, and the Chicago High School for the Arts.
Ashley specialises in helping performing arts organizations and venue managers plan for the future. She combines experience working in flexible spaces and multi-venue arts centres with a love of creative problem-solving to find solutions that support an organization’s strategic goals. Her new role will include working on feasibility studies, needs assessments, business planning, community engagement efforts, and more.
UK - RentalPoint Software has released a fully web browser-based version of their Small Business Edition rental management software package designed for event technology rental and production companies.
This new release, says RentalPoint, is a re-imagining and updating of their Windows based product first released in 1998. It incorporates many of the features expected in software these days including online signatures for equipment deliveries and proposal/contract acceptance, dashboard, electronic pick list for prepping gear as well as scaling down to fit on smart phone screen sizes or scaling up to fit on desktops.
Additionally, the software offers many of the powerful features that the company has developed over the last 30 years such as equipment, crew planning & scheduling tools and optional multi location.
You can find the software at https://rentalpoint3.com
UK - The Association of British Theatre Technicians’ Annual Awards took place on the evening of Wednesday 22 June, after the first day of the 2022 ABTT Theatre Show at Alexandra Palace, London.
Engineering Product of the Year: XM Automation’s XMove
Sound Product of the Year: Clearcom’s Arcadia Central Station
Lighting Product of the Year: Robe’s T11
Widget of the Year: CallQ’s Showcaller Training Software
Stand of the Year: Prompt Side
Technician of the Year: Daniel Ewing
Award for Emerging Excellence: Kat Ellis
Virtual Ideas Platform, Idea of the Year 2021: Matthew Dean
Additionally, commendations were made for d&b’s 5d amplifier, ETC’s Eos Apex, Whirly Reeler and trackingThis’ plug-in.
The next ABTT Awards will take place on the evening of 7 June 2023 at the 43rd ABTT Theatre Show at Alexandra Palace.
UK - The atmosphere was electric at Daytona Sandown Park as the industry gathered for the first Kartfest in three years. With Chauvet once again headline sponsor, Backup was anticipating the biggest and best Kartfest yet. With more teams and more spectators joining than ever before, and a grand total of £35K raised, it certainly did not disappoint.
In opening proceedings, Backup trustee Lee Dennison paid tribute to Backup chair, John Simpson, who was instrumental in starting the charity and worked tirelessly to ensure it fulfilled its remit and sadly passed in June, whilst welcoming the 33 teams who were about to take their places on the starting grid, with the hope of becoming Kartfest 2022 champions.
Adding to the fun, was the first Roadie Games, which started with the Flight Case Team Relay on the main track, which was almost as fast and furious as the racing itself, closely followed by field events to test the strength, endurance and industry skills of the teams taking part. Also new this year was ‘KraftFest’, which saw Backup partner, Big Drop Brewing, Signature Brew and Green Room Distillery’s gin on site with their delicious drinks.
As well as the familiar faces of the industry, including Music Supports chief executive, Eric Mtungwazi, and Backup’s Jess Allen, who highlighted the importance of Backup’s Mental Health First Aider courses, Kartfest welcomed its future stars, students from Ravensbourne College's Creative Capital and Solent University's Sonar TV societies who filmed the fun and live streamed the action during the day, s
Germany - Bizzy Studios in Cologne is a specialist recording and mixing studio geared towards rap and pop music, with five fully kitted-out studio rooms. European artists such SSIO, Jamule and Kollegah are regulars, attracted to the ambience that studio owner Bizzy Mo has created, and the skills of the talented production and sound engineering teams.
In the main studio, Van Damme XKE Starquad Series microphone cables and Van Damme Pro Grade XKE Pro-Patch Series balanced patch cables are used to connect outboard equipment.
Bizzy Mo has also recently used Van Damme Toslink cables to connect digital audio between Dangerous Music and Universal Audio AD/DA converters, replacing Toslink cables from another German manufacturer.
He commented: "I've relied on high-priced cables from well-known brands in the past and didn't think I could do much better at a fair price until I discovered Van Damme. Van Damme cables have elevated my recording and mastering chain, enabling us to create music that sounds incredible. And on top of this, the customer service provided is professional and flexible enough to allow specific requests, which is very important to us as a busy recording studio."
Herpreet Kaur Singh, commercial director at VDC Trading says: “We feel privileged that Bizzy Studios has put its faith in Van Damme cables. Christian and Andre at Audiosteps have fulfilled the requests that have come in from Bizzy Mo and provided a first-class service to the team. We look forward to hearing more about the artists that record their albums in Cologne.”
Festival Funding - A free music festival which has been running for 15 years may not go ahead this summer due to a shortage in funds, organisers say. The charity-run Local and Live event, based in Tunbridge Wells, Kent, said the cost of living crisis was hampering sponsorships. A petition has been started calling for Tunbridge Wells Borough Council (TWBC) to help fund the festival.
The council said it was working to find a solution. The volunteer-run event began in 2006 and hosts local musicians playing and works to promote grassroots music and musical education in the area through the Local and Live Charity. Festival organiser and charity chairman Paul Dunton said: "Everyone is feeling the pinch. We've just found things considerably more expensive this year. So it's just added to the burden I suppose. Getting the funding is proving a little bit more difficult this year and we've got more costs than ever, but we're determined to make it happen." Local and Live 2022 is due to take place from 26 to 29 August.
Fundraiser - A ballet company formed of Ukrainian dancers who have fled their homeland will make its West End debut this year. United Ukrainian Ballet will perform at the London Coliseum on 17 September to raise funds to support the people and culture of Ukraine. The company was formed by dancers who fled Ukraine and now live and train at The Hague in the Netherlands. The city has given them the former Royal Conservatoire to live and work in.
Choreographer Alexei Ratmansky, a Ukrainian citizen, is creating a new interpretation of Gisell
UK - Music Support, the charity that helps those who work in music and live events affected by mental ill-health and/or addiction has announced its latest fundraising auction: Music Support’s Music Icons featuring exclusive prizes from four music artists.
With music festivals well and truly back in Summer 2022, artists and crew alike are under pressure to perform at levels that have not been seen for years. The funds raised through this auction will contribute towards Music Support’s core services, including its peer-led confidential Helpline that saw a 60% increase in volume of calls during the global pandemic.
Music Support’s Music Icons auction prizes are as follows:
Coldplay, has donated a Fender Squier guitar, signed by all four members of the band. Of their donation, the band said:
“The music industry can present a very specific set of mental health and addiction challenges which, like many artists, we know all too well. Music Supports provides life-changing help and expert guidance for anyone struggling with these issues. We are proud to support this crucial charity by donating this guitar, signed by all of us, to their Music Icons auction.”
Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend of The Who, signed a striking Fender Stratocaster guitar especially for this auction in March 2022.
Topper Headon of The Clash was happy to sign and donate one of his favourite snare drums, used at the last gig he ever played in Canterbury.
Finally, the ink is barely dry on the Fender Stratocaster signed and donated by all six memb
Top Ticket prices - Prices for top tickets to see West End shows have risen by 21% since before the pandemic, according to research by The Stage. The average top ticket price is currently £140.85, up from £116.09 in June 2019, the publication says. The most expensive show in the survey is Cabaret at the Playhouse, for which some tickets will set you back £303.80. But the research found that the lowest-priced tickets have risen by an average of just 3.3% since 2019, up to £22.56.
The most expensive seats for West End musicals now cost an average of £154.36, although that was a relatively modest increase of 3.5% since 2019, The Stage said. Plays had an average top ticket price of £114.69 - a jump of 38% compared with three years ago.
One factor in the high ticket prices for Cabaret was the redesign of the theatre to accommodate the production. Several hundred seats were stripped out, reducing the Playhouse's capacity.
The Stage editor Alistair Smith said that on the surface, the average face value of top-price tickets has "skyrocketed", but that overall it "is more of a mixed picture than previous years", partly because London's lucrative international tourist market has not fully recovered.
Reasonable - Andrew Lloyd Webber has said ticket prices for West End shows are "incredibly reasonable" given the cost of bringing a production to the stage. The composer, whose hits include Cats and Evita, is charging from £15 to more than £99.50 - for premium seats - for his London musical S
Eurovision - Ukraine should be given the chance to host the Eurovision Song Contest in 2023, the UK prime minister has said. Speaking to journalists after returning from its capital, Kyiv, Boris Johnson said the streets there were lively and Ukrainians were "confident". As winners of the contest in May, Ukraine should normally host the show, but organisers said on they thought it would be too unsafe. Its planners are discussing holding it in the UK instead, which came second.
Cities across the UK, including Cardiff and Birmingham, have expressed interest in staging the 2023 contest if it ends up in the UK.
“We would relish the opportunity to host the Eurovision Song Contest 2023 here at Principality Stadium, Cardiff,” said a spokesman. “We have a 20-year history of successfully hosting the biggest music artists and sporting events in the world, and to add Eurovision, the world's biggest and much-loved music competition to the list, would be the cherry on top of the last two decades.”
Most-Played - Ed Sheeran was the most-played artist in the UK last year, according to new data from music licensing body PPL. The singer also had the most-played song of the year with Bad Habits. It's the fourth time in five years that Sheeran has been named the UK's most-played artist, calculated by plays on radio, TV, pubs, clubs and shops.
Tom Grennan had the second and third most-played songs of 2021. His Calvin Harris collaboration, By Your Side, took the runner-up spot, with his solo single Little Bit of Love in third plac