Song Tracking - The music industry has committed to improving metadata for tracking songs on music streaming platforms, following widespread criticism from artists. The writers, performers and producers of songs will now be consistently identified. These creators say they do not receive their fair share of royalties when tracks are played on streaming services such as Spotify and Apple Music. It comes as the government launches a group to look into these concerns.
Sir John Whittingdale, minister for the creative industries, said the move would help the UK to "offer viable career opportunities". "This landmark agreement on streaming metadata is a step towards ensuring UK musicians in the digital age are fairly credited and compensated for their contributions and creativity," he said. "I'm pleased to be bringing the industry together so we can explore wider issues around music creator remuneration more generally."
The government has been investigating music streaming since 2019, and in 2021 identified an "imbalance" in royalties. It has launched a working group to specifically look at how artists are compensated. Dame Caroline Dinenage, who chairs the Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) Select Committee investigating the industry, said it was a "welcome step towards addressing the frustrations of musicians and songwriters whose pay falls far short of a fair level". But it should result in concrete change and not be just a "talking shop", she added.
Windrush Choir - A reggae orchestra and Windrush choir are to open the Pyramid Stage on the final day of Glastonbury Festival. Bristol Reggae Orchestra and Windrush Choir will take to the stage ahead of Cat Stevens, Blondie and Elton John. The community group works with people of all ages and musical ability and includes a choir made up of Windrush generation descendants. It said the performance will be a "wonderful" way for the festival to honour the Windrush generation.
The orchestra and choir will play on the Pyramid Stage at 11:00 BST on Sunday 25 June. The performance will celebrate the 75th anniversary of Windrush and the Black British contribution to the UK.
Freedom - Cameron Mackintosh has received the Freedom of the City of London in recognition of his contribution to musical theatre. Mackintosh, who owns eight West End theatres and has produced shows including The Phantom of the Opera and Cats, said he would "treasure" the honour. He was nominated by William Russell, who served as Lord Mayor of the City of London from 2019 to 2021, and former City of London Corporation chief commoner, John Bennett. Mackintosh said: “I am delighted to receive the Freedom of the City, which I shall treasure, along with my much-used Freedom Pass.
“Grateful thanks to my nominators and to the millions of Londoners and visitors who have continued to come to see all my shows over the last 56 years. Appropriately, it was being taken on my eighth birthday to see the musical Salad Days, featuring a magic piano called Minnie that set everyone dancing in a London park, which set me on my career as a producer and, as the song says: ‘I’ve never looked back.’"
Bridge Command - An immersive theatre and gaming experience set on a spaceship is being proposed for railway arches in Vauxhall, close to the former home of Above the Stag. Subject to planning permission, Parabolic Theatre is aiming to open a new interactive experience called Bridge Command, which will fuse gaming technology with theatre.
The experience, which expects to have audiences of up to 50 people per hour, would take places in arches 63 and 64 in the viaduct beneath Vauxhall train station. A planning application has been submitted to Lambeth Council on behalf of landlord Arch Company Properties for change of use of the arches to immersive theatre. It comes after LGBT company Above the Stag closed its venue in nearby arches 72 and 73 in August last year, stating that the impact of Covid-19 had made it "too financially risky" to produce a new main house show.
A spokesperson for Parabolic Theatre said: "We first trialled Bridge Command in 2019 with a low-budget prototype version of the show to test the concept. It went really well - there was clearly an appetite for it, and that run helped us secure the funding to make a bigger and better version with much higher production values. We’re currently getting planning permission, so we can’t say too much until that’s confirmed, but fingers crossed we’ll have the experience ready for audiences soon.”
History Maker - Burna Boy made history over the weekend when he became the first African artist to headline a stadium show in the UK. A sold-out crowd of 60,000 fans screamed the Grammy award-winner's Afrobeats lyrics back to him at the London Stadium. Stormzy and Dave joined him, performing on a giant merry-go-round.
Time Out - Lewis Capaldi has cancelled a series of upcoming gigs to "rest and recover" over concerns about his health. The Scottish singer said he was struggling "mentally and physically" and wanted to be at his best and return to the stage at Glastonbury on 24 June. Capaldi had been scheduled to play concerts in Glasgow, Dublin, London and Norway over the coming weeks. In an Instagram post, he said he needed a break from touring in order to be "Lewis from Glasgow for a bit".
(Jim Evans)
6 June 2023

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