World Music - Ed Sheeran, Lizzo and Billie Eilish were among stars to take part in a 24-hour gig to raise awareness of climate change, vaccine inequality and famine. Over 60 artists performed in The Global Citizen festival in cities including New York, London and Seoul. The event kicked off on Saturday in Paris, where Elton John performed in front of the Eiffel Tower. He took to the stage following a pre-recorded performance by the K-pop band BTS.
The show, believed to be one of the biggest-ever international charity events, was organised by Global Citizen - a charity working to end extreme poverty by 2030. Unlike most events of this nature, organisers were not aiming to raise cash, but to use participation as evidence for world leaders that people support bold action on the issues.
"Across six continents, artists will help rally citizens in demanding that governments, major corporations and philanthropists work together to defend the planet and defeat poverty," Global Citizen said in a statement.
Ticket Tax - The theatre and live events industries are warning that the impending increase to VAT on tickets threatens their successful return by removing crucial support when it is needed most. Society of London Theatre and UK Theatre chief executive Julian Bird said the sector was "not out of the woods yet" and full recovery was still a long way off, meaning producers and theatres needed the financial benefits of reduced VAT as they move into the important autumn/winter season.
Newly appointed culture secretary Nadine Dorries confirmed last week that the lower rate of VAT on live event tickets would end on 30 September. It is currently at 5%, and will increase to 12.5% before returning to the full 20% next March.
Moulin Rouge! - A new stage adaptation of Moulin Rouge! was the big winner at Sunday's Tony Awards, taking home 10 prizes in total. The ceremony, which celebrates the US theatre industry, took place more than a year late due to the Covid pandemic. Moulin Rouge! The Musical won best musical, best actor and best actor in a featured role, as well as a host of technical prizes. The show is an adaptation of the 2001 Baz Luhrmann film of the same name about the famed Paris nightclub. The stage musical is due to open in London's West End for the first time in December.
Forward Planning - Lionel Richie, Muse and Lewis Capaldi are amongst the headline acts who will play next year's Isle of Wight Festival, organisers have announced. This year's event was held in Seaclose Park earlier this month, after it was rescheduled from its normal June slot. Kasabian and Pete Tong will also due headline between 16 and 19 June 2022. Festival promoter John Giddings said: "We're already looking ahead to next year and the artists announced can't wait to come and entertain us."
Other artists expected to perform next year include Nile Rodgers & Chic, Blossoms, Rudimental, Tom Grennan, Sigrid, Craig David Presents TS5, The Vaccines, Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbott, Shaggy, Happy Mondays and Mavis Staples.
Farewell - Status Quo founding member and bassist Alan Lancaster has died aged 72, the band's manager has confirmed. Lead singer Francis Rossi said: "Alan was an integral part of the sound and the enormous success of Status Quo during the 60s and 70s." He added, "Although it is well documented that we were estranged in recent years, I will always have very fond memories of our early days together and my condolences go to Dayle and Alan's family."
(Jim Evans)
28 September 2021

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