Budget Reaction - The theatre sector’s challenges, including the impact of increased energy bills, have not been addressed by the government’s ‘mini-budget’, industry bodies have warned. The mini-budget was the first delivered with Liz Truss as prime minister and Kwasi Kwarteng as chancellor of the exchequer. Points outlined in brief included an energy package costing £60bn for the six months from October this year, VAT-free shopping for tourists, and duty rates for beer, cider, wine, and spirits axed.
The theatre sector had been hoping that the current rates of Theatre Tax Relief - 50% for touring productions and 45% for non-touring shows - would be maintained for at least another year. However, an official statement from the Society of London Theatre and UK Theatre said it was concerned that "specific challenges" had been overlooked.
It said: "The UK’s world-leading creative and cultural sector, of which theatre is a significant part, grew four times the rate of the UK economy before Covid-19. SOLT and UK Theatre are concerned that the specific challenges faced by the sector were not addressed during the chancellor’s statement, and the opportunity to commit to supply-side incentives, such as maintaining the higher rate of Theatre Tax Relief, was missed.
"Independent economic modelling undertaken in 2021 revealed that, with the right fiscal incentives, by 2025, the UK’s creative and cultural industries could contribute £132.1 billion in gross value added – more than the financial services, insurance and pension industries combined
UK/USA - This month, Theatre Projects celebrates 65 years in business. All month long, Theatre Projects will be sharing memories on social channels and inviting followers to contribute their own stories and photos via an online memory book.
Now an international mainstay in performance design, Theatre Projects came from much humbler origins. The firm began as a lighting rental company in late-‘50s London. Richard Pilbrow and Bryan Kendall started the company by buying up a small bundle of lighting stock for £150, a loan from Richard’s father. Over time, seating and space design, stage and rigging design, AV system design, strategic planning, and other services became part of the Theatre Projects scope, and today the six global offices are all composed of multiple, dynamic teams that love to engage with almost any venue-related issue.
“In the last 65 years, we have made quite an impact on the ‘built environment,’ from the simplest of rooms to the most complex facilities in the performing arts,” notes Michael Nishball, Theatre Projects principal and one of the industry’s top equipment designers. “Our impact on the contemporary history of the live entertainment audience-to-performer relationship has been our hallmark and one of our guiding principles.”
Theatre Projects has been attached to over 1,500 projects in 80+ countries since 1957, each different and challenging in its own right. Each consultant at Theatre Projects has their own favourites, but landmark venues include the Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts (setting a new pr
UK - On Saturday 3 September, a team of entertainment technology industry professionals cycled from SFL in Reading to the Royal Albert Hall in time for PLASA Show in London. The annual BikeFest event raises money for industry charities, while nurturing cross-industry camaraderie in a fun and challenging way.
PLASA’s managing director Peter Heath, comments, “BikeFest is all about the people in our industry, many of which have suffered terribly over the last couple of years – but who are still absolutely committed to the entertainment technology industry. Through BikeFest, we not only raise funds for an increasingly important cause, we build bridges across the industry, which in turn strengthen the entire live sector.”
A team of approximately 20 cyclists braved the journey this time, representing some of the biggest names in the entertainment technology industry. The team of ‘racing snakes’ covered 80+ miles over the strenuous Surrey Hills. While the affectionately named ‘slugs’ team cycled 40 miles to London, traversing roads, gravel paths and the occasional field. Unexpected torrential rain added an extra challenge for both teams. Several others joined in for the last leg from Richmond Park. Together they raised nearly £2,000 for the #WeMakeEvents-supported charities, including Backup Tech, with donations still rolling in.
BikeFest London 2022 follows several industry bike rides in recent years coinciding with PLASA Show, which have all raised funds while promoting mental health awareness. Furthermore, the first Bikefest undertaken
Solidarity - One of Russia's most popular singers, Alla Pugacheva, has called on the Russian authorities to declare her a "foreign agent", in solidarity with her strongly anti-war husband Maxim Galkin. A showbiz star too, he was labelled a "foreign agent" on Friday after condemning Russia's attack on Ukraine.
On social media, Pugacheva called her husband "a true incorruptible Russian patriot, who wants... an end to our lads dying for illusory aims". She said the Kremlin's "illusory aims" in Ukraine "make our country a pariah and the lives of our citizens extremely difficult". Galkin, a comedian, TV presenter and singer, wanted "prosperity for his motherland, peace, free speech", she added.
In The Courts - Evolution Productions is suing St Albans council for £600,000 after its pantomime at the Alban Arena was cancelled when asbestos was found in the venue. The theatre company, which was producing Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs as Alban Arena’s 2021/22 pantomime, also claims the show’s set was destroyed. The production was halted 12 performances into its run on 16 December, 2021, when the council, which owns the venue, took back control of the building from operators 1Life. It had been due to play until 2 January.
According to Evolution Productions, the pantomime had to be cancelled, ticket money refunded and the actors were sent home without further pay. The company added: "We were left with huge losses from the cancelled production. In addition, we were informed that most of our set had been destroyed and the same had happened to
UK - Barney Jameson has joined the leadership team of online platform Second Warehouse. Jameson takes on the role of chief marketing officer as the redesigned Second Warehouse rolls out across Europe and the United States.
Jameson is the founder and managing director of marketing agency The Inside Story. He will continue in that role alongside his duties as Second Warehouse CMO.
Second Warehouse has secured fresh funding, a new headquarters in the United States and strengthened leadership team including CEO Phil Van Peborgh, head of sales Will Lewis and founder Stuart Kerrison.
“Second Warehouse is very dear to my heart and I’ve been delighted to watch it make such a strong return from the challenges of the pandemic,” says Jameson. “There are big plans underpinning the platform and a strong team of industry leaders steering the way forward. I consider it a compliment to be on the squad.”
USA - There is less than two weeks left to order 2022 Behind the Scenes Holiday Cards at btshelp.org/holidaycards. Orders for card packs and personalised cards are due by 27 September. 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
Cards are available in a variety of options: card packs of 10 with a standard greeting, personalised 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 and the BTS Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Initiative.
It’s important to let family, friends and colleagues know you are thinking of them and these unique holiday cards say it perfectly. They are also a personal and inexpensive way for a company to keep in touch with its customers and let them know “We are here and you are important to us.”
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 1. View and order cards at www.behindthescenescharity.org/holidaycards.
For more information about Behind the Scenes, to donate, apply for a grant, or see the mental health tools
Tribute - Theatre shows across the UK, including Hamilton and Mary Poppins in the West End, have begun taking performances on the day of the Queen’s funeral off sale. There has not yet been an official statement regarding the protocol for theatre performances on 19 September, when the funeral will take place, from the Society of London Theatre and UK Theatre.
Official guidance from the government previously stated that theatres would not be under any obligation to close on the day of the ceremony. However, a number of shows across London have taken themselves off sale for that date. The Twitter account for Mary Poppins said the show would be paying tribute to the Queen’s "extraordinary reign". Tickets for Mamma Mia! are also no longer available on 19 September and the Royal Albert Hall has announced that it will close on that day and has postponed a performance by violinist Maxim Vengerov.
Income Support - A weekly income of €325 (£280) has begun to be paid to 2,000 artists, musicians, writers and performers by the Irish government. Plans for the Basic Income for the Arts scheme were originally announced by the Irish government in January. The minister for culture and arts is spending about €25m (£22m) on the scheme. Over 9,000 people applied to the scheme and the 2,000 receiving the income were selected anonymously and at random.
Musicians and artists make up the majority of those who will receive the payment for three years. The Basic Income Scheme for those working in the arts was originally recommende
USA - The Behind the Scenes Mental Health Initiative will present a free webinar Bystander Intervention in the Entertainment Workplace once a quarter over the next year.
These webinars follow on the success of last spring’s trainings, with previous attendees commenting, “This is the type of training that will help us transform both our working and personal lives for the better,” “This workshop was so helpful in concisely identifying issues and strategies to deal with them. I feel empowered to address awkward situations in my future,” “This training is engaging, good for participation and interaction, and is full of great examples and a variety of methods to use to help others who may need help,” and “The best part of the Bystander Intervention training for me was the many different ways of approaching a situation which I'd never thought of. We all have our own set of mechanisms, but this helped me think outside of my box.”
Behind the Scenes is partnering with Right To Be, a social justice organisation that specialises in education around bullying and harassment, to present this free quarterly webinar on 18 October 2022 and 30 January, 30 April and 17 July 2023. Principal Right To Be trainer, Dax Valdes, an experienced entertainment industry professional, will lead these interactive sessions that ensure attendee anonymity.
The webinars are free but advance registration is required in order to receive the zoom login. Please visit btshelp.org/bystander to select a registration link for the date of your choice.
UK - Backup Tech has launched the Backup Photographic Competition, aiming to capture live entertainment, the people that make it possible and the backstage atmosphere. The competition is held in association with headline partner and sponsor the Lightpower Collection, and was launched at this year’s PLASA Show at Olympia London.
The Lightpower Collection is a long-time supporter of Backup and was looking for an idea that would shine a light on Backup and the work it does within the industry, that directly related to its impressive photographic collection.
“We’re delighted to collaborate with Lightpower Collection on this new and exciting way to raise awareness of our industry and in particular the people that make live entertainment possible,” says Backup’s vice-chair Piers Shepperd. “The overall theme of the competition is ‘Entertainment Production’, but this is open to individual interpretation, so entrants can let their imaginations and creativity run wild!”
“The Lightpower Collection was born out of the passion for Rock ‘n Roll photography and has become a valuable tool to support charities through the sale of original fine art prints,” says the Lightpower Collection’s Ralph-Jörg Wezorke. “This love for photography and the people in our industry makes us enthusiastic to support this competition, as it promotes appreciation for both. Photography is such an important tool to bring the spirit of our industry - in front of and behind the scenes - to the outside world. We want to promote this and at the same time raise
Energy Efficient - London mayor Sadiq Khan has pledged £1.2m to help creative spaces, including theatres, become more energy efficient, as heating costs spiral. Local authorities within Creative Enterprise Zones – which were established across London in 2018 with the aim of giving artists more affordable workspaces – will have access to the fund. Grants of up to £200,000 will be made available to invest in practical solutions that will lead to greater energy efficiency, aiming to help organisations counteract the pressure of rising heating bills.
Last month, theatres across the UK, including Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds and the Lowry in Salford, warned of extortionate increases to their heating bills. Theatres and other cultural spaces within the nine Creative Enterprise Zones – Croydon, Ealing, Hammersmith and Fulham, Hackney and Tower Hamlets, Haringey, Hounslow, Lambeth, Lewisham, and Waltham Forest – will be able to apply for support. They can use the grants towards replacing a building’s older heating system with heat pumps, installing new windows, or conducting an eco-audit – which investigates ways an organisation can become more energy efficient.
Khan said: “The capital’s world-leading arts, cultural and creative industries help to drive our economy and inspire young people, but the energy crisis is hitting the sector hard and it is vital that it is supported to become more energy efficient, especially as these businesses are not protected by the energy price cap.
"This latest investment reaffirms my commitment to placi
Europe - Blumano, engineering consultancy and advisers for safety and stage machinery design, has announced its expansion with Blumano Deutschland. This base, located in the heart of Western Europe, will work closely with Blumano’s network of offices in Ireland, the UK, Italy, South Korea and the Netherlands.
Laura van Haperen joins this organisation and brings impressive experience and her qualifications as a DGUV V 17/18 (formerly BGV C1) expert in Germany. Her career as a safety expert in machinery and equipment for stages and other production facilities includes collaborating with leading companies in the entertainment industry. She has also improved quality management issues regarding business and technical processes throughout her work with automated stage machinery manufacturers.
Laura and Blumano's other directors met during standardisation meetings within CEN TC433, collaborating in drafting the backbone of stage machinery technical documents and safety guidelines.
Laura commented: "During several after-work get-togethers throughout Europe, we found out that we share the same visions and mindsets. To give an example, standards and guidelines should always be written in a way that gives technical development departments, as well as designers, the maximum artistic freedom to design new spectacular effects. Of course - above all - within technical possibilities and the necessary safety framework.
“My personal passion is to find the easiest and most effective manner to handle things safely. If we, for example, have a look at equipment
Theatres at Risk - The Theatres Trust has launched a new programme, Resilient Theatres: Resilient Communities, to help reduce the threat to at-risk theatres and strengthen theatre communities. The national advisory body for theatres, has been awarded a grant of more than £294,000 from the National Lottery Heritage Fund as well as funding from the Pilgrim Trust and Swire Charitable Trust to establish the initiative. The three-year project will focus on supporting communities operating a theatre building and communities considering taking over a theatre building.
Resilient Theatres: Resilient Communities will feature a grants programme to fund strategic and organisational development work for three to six theatres a year, a new training and knowledge-sharing programme, and a series of free webinars open to all theatres to develop expertise across the sector.
Theatres Trust director Jon Morgan said: "As the only organisation that works with all the UK’s theatres, we understand the historic and cultural significance of theatre buildings and their importance to their local areas. Resilient Theatres: Resilient Communities will enable us to help theatres make stronger connections with their local communities and equip them with the skills to make a real and lasting impact."
Stuart McLeod, director of the England, London and South at the National Lottery Heritage Fund, said: "Our theatres are integral to our communities, but they have had to deal with unprecedented challenges in recent years. We are committed to supporting the UK’s herit
Pay Offer - West End backstage and front-of-house workers have voted to accept a revised pay offer from the Society of London Theatre – which includes a 10% increase to minimum pay rates. The accepted pay offer will see a number of other revisions implemented in the SOLT/BECTU Collective Bargaining Agreement, which covers pay and working conditions for front-of-house and backstage staff in roles including wardrobe, sound, box office and stage door.
These include the removal of a ‘force majeure’ clause - allowing for lay-offs in the event of further Covid restrictions - which was among a series of variations to the agreement that were negotiated to get the industry back on its feet after the pandemic lockdowns, from 31 March, 2023. The new rates of pay will apply from August 22, with other arrangements in the variation agreement to also end on this date. These include the ability to pay workers pro rata based on the number of performances if there is a reduced show schedule due to Covid-19.
Covid Effect - Covid is continuing to have an "enormous, but largely silent" impact on the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2022, artists have warned. The warning comes amid a number of cancellations of shows at venues across the fringe due to sickness among cast members and venue staff.
Among these is The Stones at Assembly Roxy, which is written and directed by Kit Brookman and performed by Luke Mullins. "We lost a tech session and our first three performances. While this might not seem like a lot, in terms of building momentum at the fri
Eurovision Countdown - The shortlist of UK cities that could host next year's Eurovision Song Contest has been revealed, with seven locations in the running. Birmingham, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle and Sheffield will vie to stage the event in May. Twenty cities expressed an interest, the BBC said, and those not making the shortlist include London and Belfast.
The BBC said the seven-strong shortlist was based on the cities' ability to show they have "the capacity, capability and experience to host an event of this scale and complexity".
A statement added that the process was "heavily weighted towards demonstrating past experience in hosting major international events, as well as being able to demonstrate their credentials in hosting a celebration of contemporary music".
London would have met those criteria but didn't make the cut, at a time when both the BBC and government are seeking to move events and opportunities outside the capital. Others to miss out include Aberdeen, Brighton, Bristol and Darlington. The successful city will be chosen by the BBC and Eurovision organisers, and will be announced in the autumn. Glasgow and Birmingham have been named as the bookmakers' favourites, while Glasgow and Manchester have proved the most popular in polls on Eurovision fan sites.
Festival News - One man died and at least 40 others were injured when high winds caused parts of a stage to collapse at a festival in Spain early on Saturday. Footage showed some festivalgoers running in panic, while others are seen continuing to
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