Tuesday, 14 March 2017
Unlimited Fines - Online touts who bulk buy tickets and sell them for inflated prices will face unlimited fines under government plans. An amendment to the Digital Economy Bill means it will be illegal to use "bots" to bypass limits on the maximum number of tickets that can be bought. Tickets purchased by bots can appear on secondary websites at prices many times greater than their face value.
A Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) spokesman said the profiteering was "simply not fair". High profile artists such as Adele and Ed Sheeran have previously criticised the touts and asked their fans not to buy tickets from secondary sites. Last month, resale site Viagogo was accused of "moral repugnance" for selling tickets to an Ed Sheeran Teenage Cancer Trust gig for up to £5,000. And an £85 ticket to see Adele at the O2 in London last year was reportedly being sold for £24,840.
Political Anthems - Russia has announced it will now take part in Eurovision 2017 in Ukraine, appearing to end speculation of a boycott for political reasons. Julia Samoilova is set to represent her country in Kiev in May with the song Flame is Burning. However, her admission she performed in Crimea since it was annexed by Russia in 2014 may compromise her attendance.
Ukraine's SBU security service has blacklisted 140 Russian artists, although she is not on the list so far. Samoilova has confirmed that she sang in Crimea in 2015. Russia and Ukraine have been locked in political conflict since the annexation of the region three years ago.
An SBU (Security Service of Ukraine) spokeswoman, Olena Gitlyanska, wrote on Facebook it would now "study the question and take a balanced decision on her entry into Ukraine". Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, speaking to Russian news agency TASS, denied that Samoilova's selection was a provocation by Russia.
The Long Goodbye - Deep Purple bassist Roger Glover has promised fans "one or two more albums" before retirement. "We're not planning on ending any time soon," Glover said, as the group prepares for the release of its 20th studio album Infinite. The record, out next month, will be followed by a world tour titled The Long Goodbye Tour. But Glover says not to worry, the tour's name should not be taken at face value. "I personally think there's another album or two in there," he said. "Health, age, are the only concerns really as far as motivation is concerned none of us want it to end," he added.
Remembering Dusty - New musical Son of a Preacher Man, which features the music of Dusty Springfield, is to tour the UK. The production is directed and choreographed by Craig Revel Horwood, who is a judge on Strictly Come Dancing, and the book is by Warner Brown. Son of a Preacher Man opens at Bromley’s Churchill Theatre in September before touring. Set and costume are by Morgan Large, lighting is by Richard Jones, and sound is by Richard Brooker.
Oliviers Update - Comedian Jason Manford will host this year’s Olivier Awards ceremony. Manford made his stage debut in 2012 playing the role of Pirelli in the West End production of Sweeney Todd, alongside Imelda Staunton and Michael Ball. Manford said: "Hosting the Oliviers is the closest I'm going to get to getting one! It's such a huge honour to be hosting this prestigious and exciting event and I can't wait to do it.” The ceremony will take place at the Royal Albert Hall on 9 April, with red carpet arrivals streamed live on Facebook.
Farewell - Joni Sledge, who recorded the dance anthem We Are Family with her three sisters, has died aged 60. Sledge was discovered dead at her home in Phoenix, Arizona, by a friend on Friday. The band's publicist, Biff Warren, said a cause of death has not been established and that Sledge had not been ill.
14 March 2017