UK - Tour manager and The Back Lounge founder Suzi Green has commissioned a series of resilience workshops for the live music industry as the touring sector begins its transition back into the demands of event production.
The three free sessions will cover: Mindfulness for Touring with Craig Ali (Monday 21 June 6pm), Healthy Boundaries with Laura Ferguson (Wednesday 14July), and Sleep & Jet Lag with Matt Kansy (Wednesday 4 August).
The workshops will explore a range of topics from coping strategies for dealing with 'heated' moments in high pressure situations, how to naturally wind down at the end of an intense day, rate negotiation, managing workload and effective communication, maximising the quality of your sleep and techniques to combat jet lag and shift work.
The workshops were made possible through the Culture Recovery Fund and, although open to anyone in the music industry, will benefit the freelance touring community by equipping them with fundamental tools in resilience before returning to tough scheduling.
Brought to the community by The Back Lounge, an online support group for out of work touring professionals which Green created during the height of the pandemic, the wider live music industry is now invited to sign up to the workshops.
A seasoned tour manager herself, whose clients include Placebo, PJ Harvey, Katie Melua and Wolf Alice, Green is passionate about wellbeing on and off the road. Having experienced her own debilitating episode of burnout, she left touring for 10 years. “I thought my touring days were ove
Prohibitive Pricing - Theatre companies are warning that prohibitively high prices and uncertainty over COVID-19 are hindering their efforts to stage outdoor work this summer, with reports that some venues are hesitant to hire their spaces to theatre producers while others have withdrawn entirely. Mid-scale companies are being especially hard hit, producers are warning, with a lack of available digs also making producing shows particularly difficult to stage.
Companies including Oxford-based Creation Theatre and touring theatre group Handlebards, as well as the Association of Circus Proprietors of Great Britain, have said the knock-on effects of the pandemic are generating new challenges to booking outdoor venues. Creation Theatre is planning to stage a production of The Wind in the Willows this summer, but told The Stage it was struggling to find a suitable space at an affordable rate.
Chief executive and creative producer Lucy Askew said councils and other managers of green spaces that are usually open to shows were deciding against hosting large events, or were prioritising conference hires over theatre productions because they generate more income.
"We’ve found that the local council is being really supportive and helpful, but council money is decimated from the pandemic, so it’s looking to charge what for us is a prohibitively high hire fee for a space, when historically it was able to offer spaces more or less for free or to come up with some in-kind ways to make it achievable," Askew said.
In The Stream - UK art
UK - In partnership with the National Film and Theatre School (NFTS), this year’s coveted Christie prize for Most Promising NFTS Student was awarded to Charlie Jenkins, NFTS graduate in cinematography. Charlie received a monetary prize, a certificate, and a crystal trophy to celebrate the win at the socially distanced graduate ceremony. It is the 16th year of Christie’s partnership with NFTS, having supported the School with a variety of initiatives designed to nurture students and develop facilities, including its upgrade from film to digital projection equipment.
Oliver Stapleton and Stuart Harris, co-heads of the NFTS Cinematography MA, comments: “Charlie Jenkins is an exemplary student whose helpfulness to others knows no bounds. As soon as the School re-opened after lockdown, he immediately went to work and assisted the Animation, Model Making and Cinematography departments in the complicated wiring and computer dimming systems needed to produce the Animation films. His positive attitude and immense creativity make him a more than worthy winner of this special award.”
This year, the students were faced with additional logistical challenges to complete their films, and NFTS was among the first film schools to successfully return to production in June 2020 following strict Covid-19 filming guidelines.
Graduates’ films will be showcased for four consecutive days at London’s BFI Southbank in all four of its screens, including the recently re-opened NFT1, which has been fitted with a Christie RGB pure laser projector and Christie Vive Au
Another Lost Summer - UK music festivals face "another lost summer" due to the government's refusal to back insurance for events at risk, a committee of MPs has found. A report into the sector's future said the government should provide a safety net for live events set to take place after 21 June.
Several major festivals have been axed for the second year running, but the government claims it is "continuing to work flat-out to support festivals and live events". Glastonbury and BST Hyde Park will not take place this year, but others, like Latitude and Download, are currently scheduled to go ahead. The latter was called off in March but has since been resurrected as a government test event, albeit with a significantly reduced capacity.
On 21 June, the government hopes to move to the final stage of its roadmap for lifting lockdown. Restrictions on large events such as music festivals will be lifted if lockdown relaxations go ahead as planned. But according to the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) committee, the government "has ruled out offering any support before all restrictions on the roadmap are lifted".
This, it said in a 42-page report published on Saturday, "would be simply be too late for festivals this summer" given the long lead-up times involved. Julian Knight MP, chair of the DCMS committee, claimed music festivals had been treated "as the poor relation" by the government. "Events need to know now whether the government will back them, or they simply won't take place this year," he continues.
Download Returns - This sum
UK - Founders of the global #WeMakeEvents movement feature in the fourth episode of The Meister Series, Jägermeister’s project celebrating “the mavericks and innovators in the music and events industry.”
In April 2020, #WeMakeEvents was launched by PLASA in response to the impact of the pandemic on the live events ecosystem. What started as a single UK campaign soon grew into a global movement now spanning 40 countries. Since then, through fundraising, mental health support and campaigning, the organisation has worked tirelessly to keep the music industry alive and support those impacted by the crisis.
In this fourth episode, founders and board members of #WeMakeEvents - Nicky Greet and Peter Heath from PLASA, Koy Neminathan from Avolites and James Gordon from Audiotonix - join Jägermeister in a passionate conversation about the origins and work behind the movement.
#WeMakeEvents said: “The latest Meister Series episode by Jägermeister is a beautiful piece of work and it’s an honour for #WeMakeEvents to be involved in such a great project. This episode plots our development from April 2020 when six of us decided to start a campaign to help the businesses and people in the live events supply chain, up to today, now with 40 countries aligned in a global movement.
“At #WeMakeEvent, we live for live events; the performances that delight, inspire and improve our wellbeing. Whilst we are seeing some positive small steps in audiences being able to return to enjoying live
Long-term Recovery - Arts Council England has announced details of a £42m fund to support the long-term recovery of the arts, heritage and creative sectors. The Cultural Investment Fund, which is a Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport programme administered by ACE, is made up of three strands. These are the Cultural Development Fund, Museum Estate and Development Fund and Libraries Improvement Fund.
The Cultural Investment Fund was originally announced in 2019, but was put on hold during the pandemic to prioritise the delivery of the Culture Recovery Fund. With a budget of £18.5m in this financial year, the Cultural Development Fund will support places outside of London to invest in "creative, cultural and heritage initiatives that are designed to make places more attractive to live and work in and to visit". This is the second round of the Cultural Development Fund, following a pilot round that was launched as part of the Creative Industries Sector deal in 2018.
Relocation - More than 40% of musicians polled about their work in the European Union said they would consider relocating to Europe to continue accessing jobs, with a fifth contemplating changing career entirely. Musicians warned that the red tape and additional costs of touring and working in Europe after Brexit would have substantial impacts on their careers, as membership bodies the Incorporated Society of Musicians and the Musicians’ Union – which conducted the survey – said the damage to the industry would be immeasurable if a solution to the crisis were not found.
USA - Behind the Scenes has announced that Cable Munkey has become a Pledge-a-Product partner by pledging a percentage of sales from its Cable Munkey cable management product.
Cable Munkey is a small business founded to bring innovative products and solutions to the theatre and live event market, like Cable Munkey. Founder Jonathan Allender-Zivic says he decided to support Behind the Scenes with his product because “I am a lifelong theatre artist and practitioner who wants to give back to those in need within our industry”.
BTS Foundation chair Rick Rudolph commented, “We’re delighted to welcome Jonathan and his unique product as Pledge-a-Product partners. He’s a wonderful example that you don’t have to be a large company to want to give back and support your industry. Every commitment makes a difference in what we are able to do to help our colleagues in need.”
Europe - Neutrik UK has announced the appointment of Karl Cowing as its new sales manager. Cowing comes to the position with an extensive 22-year career in engineering, and engineering sales, support and key account management roles within the electronics, automotive, transport, aerospace and defence sectors, including with Formula BMW, Varta, Aerco, Molex and Smiths Interconnect.
His experience includes responsibility for electronic interconnect solutions into strategic aerospace and defence customers, helping them adapt to rapidly changing technology requirements within the radar and electronic warfare sector, and positioning high reliability RF electronic connectivity solutions, including fibre optic technology, to help customers address future bandwidth issues.
Commenting on his appointment, Cowing says, “Over the years I have known of Neutrik connectors as best-in-class market leaders. I am excited to be joining the company and look forward to working closely with our customers to understand the true value of our products to them, in helping to drive innovation of future developments, in shaping growth in core markets and design into emerging growth markets.”
Neutrik UK managing director Mark Perrins states, “It is propitious to have Karl assume the role of UK sales manager at this strategically important time for the Neutrik Group. The acquisition of new brands and services, coupled with a fresh overall approach to our business, is presenting unprecedented opportunity for growth.”
Olympic Proportions - Plans have been announced for the construction of the biggest theatre in London for 45 years. The 1,575-seat Olympia will form part of a redevelopment of the same name in Kensington. It follows a £100m deal between theatre operator Trafalgar Entertainment and the site owners of Kensington Olympia in west London. The last theatre to open in the capital with over 1,000 seats was the National Theatre on South Bank in 1976.
If plans are approved, the Olympia theatre is scheduled to open in 2025 and Trafalgar Entertainment would have a lease for 35 years. Trafalgar co-founder Sir Howard Panter said it would be "something of international stature as the UK emerges into the new era". He added: "We hope that a bit like our neighbour just down the road, the Royal Albert Hall, it will become an iconic, marvellous cultural building in its own right. The announcement preceded Monday's scheduled reopening of many theatres with socially-distanced audiences for the first time this year, having been closed down because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Dance On - Blackpool Tower's famed ballroom is being prepared to reopen to the public after a £1.1m refurbishment. Dancers hope to be allowed to step on to the dancefloor on 21 June when the last Covid-19 restrictions are lifted. Meanwhile, the ballroom has undergone its most extensive work programme and deep-cleaning for more than 60 years. Craftsmen, who worked on projects including the Queen's Gallery at Buckingham Palace, have dedicated more than 21,000 hours over six months.
The work on
UK - Donated by international metal-music industry heavyweights such as Black Sabbath, Nuclear Blast, My Dying Bride, Laney, Epiphone, Earache, Kerrang, Century Media, Sony/BMG, Razamataz, Krusher Joule, Live Nation/Download, 5BAM, Bravado, Blaze Bailey, Very Metal Art, Good As Gold, and UK Metal Merger, #ILoveMetal is the world’s biggest ever metal-music charity prize draw.
In partnership with Julie Weir/Music For Nations – the #ILoveMetal collection was collated by the UK Metal Merger In Solitude single supergroup collaboration, with the motivation of raising funds for the Stagehand Charity which is dedicated to providing severe-hardship funding and mental health support for live events industry workers.
The #ILoveMetal campaign supports the UK’s live event workers who right now, are in financial crisis. Whilst providing the opportunity to win money-can’t-buy prizes, #ILoveMetal is a way for the metal community to come together to support live music, giving back to the concert touring professionals who make these life-affirming events happen.
With this prize draw, the whole of the international metal community can participate via £5 entries at the #ILoveMetal Crowdfunder page. Each person who enters will receive a free download of the |Metal-Merger album, featuring previously unreleased tracks and remixes.
The limited-edition items up for grabs include a Limited Edition Tony Iommi Epiphone Signature SG Custom, and rare/exclusive Black Sabbath book, both of which are signed by Tony Iommi, two VIP passes for Download
USA - On 5 May, ANSI's Board of Standards Review approved two ESTA documents as American National Standards. The following day, ANSI's BSR approved four more. All six are now published and available on the ESTA TSP website for download at no cost at http://tsp.esta.org/freestandards. You also may buy them from ANSI and IHS Markit for $40 each.
ANSI E1.2 – 2021, Entertainment Technology - Design, Manufacture and Use of Aluminum Trusses and Towers describes what the title says, and also the associated aluminium structural components, such as head blocks, sleeve blocks, bases, and corner blocks, used in the entertainment industry in portable structures. It's a revision of and supersedes the previous version.
ANSI E1.28 – 2011 (R2021), Guidance on planning followspot positions in places of public assembly, offers guidance on the planning of permanent followspot positions, including recommendations on the locations of the followspot positions within the venue, the power likely to be needed, the waste heat generated, the amount of space likely to be needed, and the fall protection and egress issues to be considered for the followspot operator's safety. This is a reaffirmation of the 2011 edition.
ANSI E1.39 – 2021, Entertainment Technology - Selection and Use of Personal Fall Arrest Systems on Portable Structures Used in the Entertainment Industry establishes minimum requirements for the selection and use of personal fall arrest systems (PFAS) on portable structures in the entertainment industry. In addition, the standard establ
Green Light - Theatres across England have been given the green light to reopen from next week under the next stage of the government’s roadmap. Venues will be able to open with social distancing, with capacities capped at 50% or 1,000 people for indoor shows, and 50% or 4,000 people outdoors.
For many theatres it will mark the first time they have been able to open their doors in more than a year, with theatre bosses now looking forward to the possibility of social distancing being removed completely by June 21, the next date in the roadmap.
Prime minister Boris Johnson said theatres would be able to reopen on 17 May and added that the country was “on track" to move to Step 4 of the roadmap on 21 June, under which social distancing would be removed. "Today we are announcing the single biggest step in our roadmap and it will allow us to do many of the things we have yearned to do for a long time," he said.
On Broadway - Tickets for Broadway go on sale this week, although shows will not restart until 14 September. Theatres will then be allowed to fill 100% of capacity, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced. Thousands lost work when Broadway theatres closed in March 2020 due to the pandemic. "Broadway is a major part of our state's identity and economy, and we are thrilled that the curtains will rise again," Cuomo said on Twitter.
New York plans to lift the majority of coronavirus restrictions later this month, but Broadway needs more time for rehearsals and producers need time to advertise the shows. "Restarting Broadway is a
UK - Eyes in the UK and across the World focused on Liverpool’s Bramley Moore Dock successful test events, at Circus, hailing the return of live music from lockdown, with two nights of dance music (30 April/1 May), with over 6,000 people in the audience and Symphotech managing the health & safety.
Symphotech worked from the conception of the test events, supporting the organisers, Circus Music and The Events Company UK, to create a Covid safe event. With the emphasis on the research and test event aspect of the shows, protocols had to meet the criteria required by the scientists and multiple stakeholders.
Symphotech director Eddy Grant was their project leader, producing a detailed, constantly evolving risk analysis for the staff and the audience. He explains: “When the roadmap out of lockdown was announced by the government, in February, I spoke with Sam Newson (The Events Company UK), Richard McGinnis (Circus Music) and Culture Liverpool, aware that DCMS were favouring Liverpool as a location. All were enthusiastic to ‘Make Events Happen’ and the ensuing months have been spent considering the additional challenges to working a normal gig.
“The almost daily shifting sands of the science meant we weren’t certain which elements the scientists were going to look at, with the additional protocols each brought into the frame adding to our planning.”
Speaking on site, Sam Newson states: “Eddy has worked very closely with me in the weeks leading in to these shows. The science has been changing daily to trigger us figuring out wh
UK - Only Helix, known for its work with artists like Years & Years, Bat For Lashes, Amy Macdonald and Bombay Bicycle Club, has launched a new travel service that’s designed to meet the specific needs of touring professionals. OH Visas is rooted in an understanding of how the entertainment industry works, and has been developed to take the travel stress out of touring.
Only Helix’s Steven Down and Tom Nicol are the masterminds behind the service, which will be headed up by travel industry specialist, Ben Young.
“OH Visas was borne from our combined experiences, frustrations and successes with travel over the years,” explains Down. “Brexit and Covid-19 has obviously also shifted things quite dramatically and we wanted to find an easier process for ourselves and our clients.”
Nicol elaborates: “We realised this solution was something that others would probably benefit from too, so we’ve decided to make it a bigger part of our agency offering. We’ve got some great expertise in Ben, and we’re excited about getting it out there.”
As the shifting political landscape has made touring more complex than ever before, travel schedules that previously required no or minimal visas, may now need multiple visas and additional paperwork to ensure a smooth passage from one country to the next.
The new service handles the entire visa process from start to finish - covering applications, appointments and embassy visits. Learning from previous experiences (and challenges) of tour and production travel, OH Visas has streamlined the
USA - The Behind the Scenes Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Initiative has announced its participation in the Mental Health Action Day, to be held on 20 May in partnership with more than 600 leading brands, non-profit organisations, government agencies, and cultural leaders.
Over the past two decades, suicide rates have risen and the COVID pandemic has accelerated the already crisis, giving way to what many mental health professionals have called the “second pandemic”.
Though more people than ever are comfortable discussing mental health, finding effective resources and knowing how to get help remains a challenge. Mental Health Action Day is an open-source movement to drive culture from mental health awareness to mental health action.
Partners will encourage people to take mental health action - whether for themselves, for their loved ones, or to advocate for systemic changes. Resources and tools will be available for people to seek help in a myriad of ways from starting a meditation practice, learning how to support a friend, or advocating for change.
Lori Rubinstein, executive director of Behind the Scenes, says: “Our Mental Health steering committee views every day as Mental Health Action Day. We have spent the last year spreading the word to our industry about the free tools and resources available to everyone through our Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Initiative (btshelp.org/mentalhealth). We welcome this opportunity to amplify the
On Trial - A pilot concert in Liverpool on Sunday saw 5,000 people legally crammed into a small space for the first time since the start of the pandemic. The mini-festival, headlined by Blossoms, in Liverpool's Sefton Park was one of the government's official trial events to research how large gatherings can safely take place again.
All ticket holders had to take a supervised lateral flow test at one of four testing centres in the city the day before and were only allowed in if the test was negative. They were also strongly encouraged to take more sensitive PCR tests on the day of the show and to do so again five days later, on Friday. That will be crucial to working out whether there was any spread of the virus. It's all with the aim of working out how summer music festivals can go ahead after 21 June, when stage four of the government reopening roadmap will, in theory, see the end of restrictions on social contact.
Safety Net - Most of the music festivals still due to take place this year could be scrapped without the safety net of government-backed cancellation insurance, organisers have warned. A quarter of UK festivals have already been called off, but 76% of the rest are at risk, according to the Association of Independent Festivals (AIF) which has called for "urgent intervention" to save the season.
The government said it was exploring what further support it could provide. The AIF said events had been scrapped because of "government inaction on insurance". It has been calling on the government to back cancellation insurance. That woul
Silent Spaces - Venues and spaces that have remained largely unused due to the pandemic feature in a new series of films in which performers and musicians take over the spaces. The series of films, called Silent Spaces, is described as a “creative lockdown response driven by a pervading sense of Covid-induced personal and professional loneliness”. It has been created by musician and composer Soumik Datta and directed by his brother Souvid Datta.
Featuring a team of British Asian, black and ethnic minority musicians and dancers, the film-makers and performers create works in the British Museum, the Royal Albert Hall, Depot Mayfield in Manchester and Sage Gateshead, alongside Hawkwood College and London King’s Cross station. The six films explore “resonant themes in keeping with the choice of venue”, the producers said, and tackle issues around mental health, activism, the environment, colonisation and identity.
Three Raspberries - Sia has been named ‘worst director’ for her controversial debut film at the Razzies, the pre-Oscars prizes for the year's worst movies. Titled Music, her film won three Golden Raspberry Awards in total, including worst actress for Kate Hudson and worst supporting actress for Maddie Ziegler. The movie has been criticised for casting Ziegler in the autistic lead role and for its portrayal of autism. It was described as an "insensitive" and "ill-conceived" "autism musical".
The film follows Zu, a drug dealer, who is a recovering alcoholic, played by Hudson, who becomes the guardian of her you
The Netherlands - Highlite International has announced a new brand for all their accessory products. Showgear will be the brand for all accessories for event and installation solutions including flight cases, stands and stage essentials, and provide ‘every piece of supplemental gear you need for your show’.
“Showgear will offer basically every piece of accessory that is needed on or off stage, from flight cases to back drops to speaker stands to rigging equipment,” says Highlite. “Products from Showgear will be supporting your stage performances and events in every situation you can think of.”
Showgear carries clamps, LED bulbs, tapes, heavy duty power strips, gear bags, butterfly locks, 19-inch racks and accessories, stands, cable straps, fog fluids, confetti and other expendables, and every other indispensable event accessory you may need. “Take the Showgear PSA-32A12S for example. This power distributor will provide safe power to your stage while showing the power usage per phase via its built-in digital volt and current displays. Or the MT-230 lifting tower, which ensures safe lifting of your truss or heavy loudspeakers.
“With this, Showgear is replacing several products from DAP, Showtec, Artecta and DMT, which are all brands of Highlite International B.V. Based on the established premium value of their predecessors, Showgear assures that their products will inherit the same quality with matching great price to performance ratio.”
Showgear emphasises that they are ready for the expected surge in demand when covid measure
UK - Penguin Media Hire, the Brighton based event production and rental company, has appointed Sonny Evans as its new managing director. This coincides with the announcement of their expansion with a London warehouse and further facilities to come in the near future.
Co-founder Dylan Thompson explains: “We have worked with Sonny on a number of projects over the years, and we’ve always had a great working relationship. With an exit in sight from the Covid nightmare we have all found ourselves in, now is the time to continue securing the best team for our current and future clients. Our sales and installation sector of the group, Penguin Media Solutions, is taking much more of my focus, and I can’t think of anyone better to push the rental and event production side onwards.”
Penguin Media Hire has also secured a new premises less than a mile from ExCeL London, placing them in a good position to service their London clients as well as those further afield, to supplement the facilities already available at their Brighton & Hove base.
Sonny comments, “It’s been a horrendous and unpredictable time for the whole industry over the last 14 plus months, but thankfully, due to the variety of industries I work with, I’ve managed to keep busy both working and developing plans for the future.
“Since we first started talking about my appointment as managing director of Penguin Media Hire, I’ve been really excited about the future and can’t wait to get started.”
One of the first projects Evans is undertaking is the development
UK - The live events and music industry will work with the Government on COVID-status certification to support full reopening and sector recovery.
Industry organisations including PLASA, Music Venues Trust, Live and Association of Festival Organisers, alongside major venues including the 02 and NEC Group, have issued a statement that outlines this support.
“The live events and music industry which includes exhibitions; conferences; music arenas; festivals; theatres and indoor sporting events, welcomes the establishment of the Events Research Programme and the safe return of live events as part of the Government’s roadmap out of lockdown,” says the statement.
“The industry is committed to working with the Government to ensure a swift delivery of the Event Research Programme’s pilot events and stands ready to establish protocols based upon the information and guidance they provide.
Under the current roadmap, the live events and music industry can plan for the return of some indoor business and music events from 17 May. These will follow social distancing guidelines and have attendance capped to the lower of 1,000 people or 50% of capacity indoors, 4,000 or 50% capacity outdoors and 10,000 or 25% capacity if seated outdoors.
“However, given the economic threshold for most business and music events is around 80% of maximum capacity, activities under these limits will be far from sufficient to end the sector’s financial crisis. This will also continue to have grave economic impacts on sectors that every live event supports, inc
UK - Version 2, which specialises in lighting hire specifically for the television industry, has expanded its stock of MDG products with the addition of two ATMe haze generators. “Our clients trust us to specify the right products and we know that MDG produces the best haze for the television market,” says Nick Edwards, managing director of Version 2.
Edwards has 25 years of dedicated television lighting experience, having held technical, commercial and management positions at PRG, Panalux and Aurora, after his training at the flagship training facility in BBC Wood Norton, prior to founding Version 2 in 2016. This experience puts him in a strong position when it comes to choosing the best products for his clients, many of whom have worked with him for years and trust his technical know-how.
“All our equipment investments have been rigorously researched and tested, plus we have had years of experience with many manufacturers’ products, so we have a good idea of what works and what doesn’t,” he says. “This allows us to make better decisions on our capital expenditure and only invest in the best products for our market. In effect we are testing and processing on behalf of the client so they can be confident in our recommendations.”
Good haze is one of the most critical ingredients to a show, particularly for television. “Primetime television programmes are broadcast to millions of viewers and demand a highly polished result. A fine balance is needed between deploying enough haze to achieve the desired beam read on camera, yet not so
Blossom Time - Music fans in Liverpool are to get the chance to enjoy a near-normal gig as part of a government pilot event. A crowd of 5,000 will see headline act Blossoms without having to social-distance or wear face coverings. But they will only get into the 2 May event by having a negative Covid test.
The outdoor concert at Sefton Park will operate below its capacity of 7,500. Ticket-holders will be required to take a lateral flow test, which can produce a result within 30 minutes, at a local testing centre before entry, the Department for Digital Culture Media and Sport said. Attendees will also be asked to take a test after the concert - and will have to provide contact details to NHS Test and Trace to ensure they can be reached if someone who attended tests positive.
Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said: "We're one step closer to a summer of live events now our science-led programme is under way. Testing different settings and looking at different mitigations is key to getting crowds back safely. I hope it won't be too much longer until gigs are back for good."
Claire McColgan, director of Culture Liverpool, told the BBC that scientists would assess how attendees move and respond during the gig, and voluntary tests taken afterwards will be used to identify any infections that might arise. The stuff you see on stage is just a tiny, tiny part of it," she said. "It's loads of people's jobs - it's 60,000 jobs across our city region."
Giant Step - Entertainment giant WarnerMedia has given £250,000 to the Theatre Artists Fund
UK - Colleagues, clients and friends have been paying tribute to Ken Watts, the popular tour director who died last week. Acts he worked with include George Michael, Duran Duran, Natalie Imbruglia, Bond, Blues Brothers, Jamiroquai and Duran Duran.
Dennis Gardner, production manager for singer-songwriter Cat Stevens, wrote in a Facebook post: “It is with much sadness, this weekend I received news of the passing of my mentor, my friend, my brother and fearless leader Ken Watts. He was (and will remain) an industry legend and a personal hero of mine. I have learnt and continue to learn from Ken and the way he approached everything he did with heart, a heavy dose of common sense and, as ever, a wonderful sense of humour. Simply put, Ken taught me nearly everything.”
Neg Earth Lights wrote on Facebook: “The shock with which we learnt of the loss of Ken Watts, who passed away suddenly over the weekend, has given way to deep sadness and heartache; an industry giant, and friend of Neg Earth Lights for decades, we will miss him greatly and hold his family, friends and colleagues in our thoughts.”
“Our wonderful, dependable friend & tour manager, Ken Watts died unexpectedly last weekend,” said Duran Duran’s Simon Le Bon. “In his calm, determined, good natured way, Ken directed some of our most successful and memorable tours. He took the strain & made the job feel easy for us. Our thoughts & sympathy are with his family. I will miss him very much. I know that we all will.”
Watts’ family has requested that those who would
Back Home - An arts venue in Manchester is to open a new 400-seat socially distanced outdoor theatre space. Home said the temporary venue would provide shows, music, cabaret and comedy for people "looking for a safe and fun night out as lockdown eases". Named Homeground, it will open on 28 May on a future development site in the city's First Street.
The project will create 450 new jobs for freelance artists and creatives, the venue said. Over the summer the venue plans to stage musical versions of A Midsummer Night's Dream and Alice in Wonderland. It will also host work by partners including Frog & Bucket, Contact and Trans Creative.
Park Life - Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre will reopen in the summer with an extended season and has announced a new co-production with London’s Unicorn Theatre. The previously announced production of Romeo and Juliet, directed by Kimberley Sykes, will run from 17 June to 24 July. This will be followed by Carousel, directed by Timothy Sheader, from 31 July to 25 September. Dragons and Mythical Beasts will open in August.
A series of MOREoutdoor events will include comedy performances from Aisling Bea, Jimmy Carr, and Luisa Omielan, and Canned Laughter will present a comedy fundraiser in support of the Trussell Trust featuring Lolly Adefope, Rosie Jones, Rose Matafeo and Suzi Ruffell. Covid safety procedures will remain in place in line with government restrictions, including an initial 50% reduction in seating capacity.
Fringe Matters - Brighton Fringe has unveiled