The Week in Light & Sound
Tuesday, 1 September 2020
Island Music - While most music festivals over the bank holiday weekend switched to online streams one had a sell-out crowd. Guernsey has been Covid-19 free since 27 May and ended social distancing in June. It meant the Vale Earth Fair was able to continue to provide 12 hours of live music as it has done for 44 years.
The event proved so popular that some people who hadn't purchased a ticket were turned away later as the site was at capacity. About 3,500 islanders enjoyed bands, choirs, acoustic sets, DJs and spoken word across six stages in the grounds of the 600-year-old Vale Castle. Due to pandemic border restrictions all the performers were from the Bailiwick of Guernsey. Profits from the event will benefit Burma Campaign UK, Free Tibet, and Safer Guernsey.
Recovery Fund - Scottish theatres and comedy venues will be able to access a share of a £15m emergency recovery fund, under long-awaited plans about how the country’s government will allocate funding granted by Westminster in last month’s cultural rescue package.
The Culture Organisations and Venues Recovery Fund was announced by first minister Nicola Sturgeon as part of a £59m package for culture and heritage that also includes a £5m grant programme for freelancers. Scottish culture secretary Fiona Hyslop said, "We want to reach as many people as possible and I do believe these funds will make a marked difference in ensuring our culture and heritage sectors not only survive the pandemic but thrive in future.”
Dramatic Downturn - The arts and entertainment industry is continuing to be hit harder by Covid-19 than almost every other area of the economy, despite many sectors showing signs of recovery, new data has revealed. High numbers of businesses in the sector are reporting dramatic turnover decreases, potential insolvency and dwindling reserves, while the arts and entertainment industry remains the highest adopter of the nearly expired furlough scheme.
Industry bodies have said the findings – from the Office of National Statistics’ fortnightly business survey – only serve to strengthen the argument for tailored government support for the arts and its workforce, and a faster distribution of existing rescue funds. The ONS’ most recent survey, tracking the effects of coronavirus on 5,927 businesses between 27 July and 9 August, found that nearly a quarter (23%) of arts, entertainment and recreation companies reported they had a severe or moderate risk of insolvency, compared with 11% across all industries. Only the accommodation and food services industry reported as many companies (also 23%) at risk of insolvency.
Into The Future - Glastonbury organisers aim to have the festival back in June next year, Emily Eavis has said. The co-organiser of the event said on Twitter that despite rumours, next year's festival was not moving to September. Founder Michael Eavis had previously said the fate of the 2021 event was uncertain as this year's festival was cancelled because of coronavirus. The 2020 festival would have been a 50th anniversary celebration and 135,000 music fans who bought tickets will be able to use them next summer.
Double Top - Reading and Leeds Festival will be back next year with six headliners split across two main stages in each site. The event, which sees acts rotate between Reading and Leeds, had been due to happen last weekend but was called off due to the coronavirus pandemic. Now 2021's headliners will be Stormzy, Liam Gallagher, Post Malone, Catfish And The Bottlemen, Disclosure and Queens Of The Stone Age. Up to 200,000 fans are expected at next year's events - from 27 to 29 August.
The head of the event's promoters Festival Republic, Melvin Benn, said it was their "most epic plan yet, adding: “Two main stages, six headliners, the best line up of acts 2021 will see and 200,000 fans are going to celebrate the best music.” The event will also include AJ Tracey, Doja Cat, Lewis Capaldi, Mabel and Two Door Cinema Club, along with rappers Ashnikko, DaBaby and Fever 333.
(Jim Evans)
1 September 2020

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