The Week in Light & Sound
Tuesday, 6 November 2018
Record Breakers - Harry Styles, Ed Sheeran and Dua Lipa, are among the artists who helped propel British music to a record year in 2017, according to a new report. Export revenues grew by 7% to a new high of £2.6bn, UK Music's Measuring Music report said.
For the second year running the number of successful records by British artists bucked the trend for annually declining music sales - which had slumped to £610m in 2015.
Festivals and live events, including world tours by Coldplay, The Rolling Stones and Sir Paul McCartney, also accounted for £1bn of revenue - with the report confirming the O2 in London was the world's most popular arena.
Overall, the UK music industry contributed a record £4.5bn to the UK economy last year - up £100m on 2016. The report said more people were employed in the music industry than ever before, with almost 146,000 jobs. But UK Music's chief executive Michael Dugher issued a warning about the need to nurture the music industry's talent pipeline and to give people from a variety of backgrounds access to a career in the industry. "These figures show what can be achieved when we choose to back the British music industry," Dugher said.
Rising Costs - The cost of building a new arts venue in Manchester has risen by almost £20m, the city council has said. It means the budget for The Factory, to be built in the city's St John's neighbourhood, will now reach just over £130m. The increase, which is expected to be met by Manchester City Council, will be voted on later this month.
The 5,000-capacity venue on the site of the former Granada TV studios is scheduled to open in early 2020 with construction expected to begin early next year. As well as being the new home of the biennial Manchester International Festival, it will host a range of dance, theatre and music performances as well as art exhibitions.
The Government has committed £78m towards the project with a further £7m lottery funding from the Arts Council going for approval in January 2019. But a recent review of the project identified a number of additional costs, including increased rates of inflation as well as the technical complexity of achieving the required acoustic standards for the building itself. This last element, which had not been designed in detail when the original budget was produced, is expected to add £4.5m to the cost, the council said.
More Spice - The Spice Girls have announced their first tour for a decade, with six UK stadium dates in June next year. Melanie Brown, Emma Bunton, Geri Horner and Melanie Chisholm revealed details of the reunion tour in a video on social media on Monday. Victoria Beckham, however, will not be taking part.
The girl group will kick off the tour at Manchester's Etihad Stadium on 1 June 2019, with tickets for all dates going on sale on Saturday at 10.30 GMT. The foursome will also perform in Coventry, Sunderland, Edinburgh and Bristol, finishing at London's Wembley Stadium. They will be supported by Jess Glynne. The group last performed as a fivesome at the closing ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games.
(Jim Evans)
6 November 2018

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