The Week in Light & Sound
Tuesday, 7 September 2021

Light Night Leeds - Digital lightning bolts and a light sculpture of a giant endangered marine mammal are among the spectacles set to light up Leeds as part of the city's annual Light Night festival. The two-day event starting on 14 October will see some of the city's well-known buildings and landmarks lit up with light projections - and this year's theme is nature and climate change.
More than 40 installations and artworks will be on show including a large-scale replica of the Earth by artist Luke Jerram and an illumination of lightning bolts on the front of Leeds Civic Hall by artist Seb Lee-Delisle, the city council said.
Last year a considerably slimmed-down festival saw lasers mounted on seven city centre buildings because of coronavirus and social distancing rules. Organisers say this year's event "will mark a return to a more familiar format" but the programme has been adjusted to allow for additional safety measures as it expects to attract thousands of visitors.
Carbon Footprint - Scientists at the University of Manchester have produced a ‘roadmap’ to help the music industry reduce its carbon emissions to stop climate change. The roadmap for live music was based on tour data supplied by the band Massive Attack. Since 2019, scientists at the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research have been poring over every detail of Massive Attack's last tour. They then used lessons learned to create a roadmap for the whole industry.
Their recommendations for "super low carbon practices" deal with how musicians, promoters, tour managers and agents should work in order to keep the rise in global warming restricted to 1.5C. The suggestions cover how artists move around, the venues they play at, and how fans get to events: Prof Carly McLachlan from the Tyndall Centre led the research and says "to really decarbonise live music, you need to start doing it right from the inception of a tour".
The report says the music industry should only pay to carbon offset its emissions when reducing them was no longer possible. It's also suggested that a central independent body be appointed to monitor the progress the sector is making against "clearly defined measurable targets".
On The Fringe - Edinburgh Festival Fringe and International Festival have reported solid ticket sales for in-person productions, albeit with the 2021 event operating with reduced capacities and fewer shows. Individual venues hailed the event as "a resounding success for everyone involved”.
The EIF reported that 65% of its 170 performances had sold out, albeit at 37% of the capacity in 2019, the last time either festival was held. Across the fringe, where audience capacities were similarly reduced, 381,192 tickets were sold for 528 in-person productions – equating to 722 tickets per production over the course of the fringe. This compares to 3,012,490 tickets sold in 2019 for 3,841 productions – an average of 784 per production.
Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society chief executive Shona McCarthy said: "I’d like to stop defining success by scale. For me, that’s never been what makes the Fringe special. Success should be defined by the quality of experience. What we’re hearing from performers and audiences alike is that this year’s Fringe has been hugely successful indeed."
London Calling - The UK’s creative sector grew faster in London than anywhere else in the country in the year prior to the pandemic, newly released government data has revealed. The statistics, which give an indication of the creative and cultural sectors’ economic contribution before the pandemic, show that London made both the largest contribution of any region and experienced the biggest year-on-year change of any UK region in 2019.
Newly released government statistics show that digital, culture, media and sport sectors contributed £212bn to the national economy in 2019, with London making up 40% of that. London’s contribution increased from 39.5% in 2018, the largest year-on-year shift of any region. Of the £212bn generated by DCMS sectors in the year before the pandemic, the cultural sector and creative industries combined contributed £150bn to the economy.
(Jim Evans)
7 September 2021

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