Devastating Impact - One in three jobs in the British music industry were lost during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a report from trade body UK Music. The research said there were 69,000 fewer jobs in music in 2020 than in 2019 - a drop of 35% - due to the "devastating impact" of coronavirus. UK Music said the industry had been hit "especially hard" by the virus.
Musicians themselves as well as people working in venues and recording studios were particularly affected, it said. Live music revenues collapsed by around 90% in 2020, according to the UK Music report, titled This Is Music 2021, which is published today. "The music creators and live music sectors experienced the greatest decline - the majority of those working in the industry are self-employed, and they have been hit especially hard by COVID-19," it said.
In The Docks - Plans have been revealed for the Royal Docks in east London to become a new cultural quarter. London mayor Sadiq Khan and mayor of Newham Rokhsana Fiaz have outlined their vision for the Royal Docks to become a place where “creative work is made, new ideas are formed and cultural participation is open to all”. According to Khan, the new cultural quarter has the potential to deliver 35,000 jobs, 4,000 new homes and more than £5bn of local investment within the next 20 years.
Work has already begun on a range of creative spaces, including the Factory Project, which will transform former Tate and Lyle Sugar warehouses into an event space, community workspaces and music and film studios. Planning permission has also been granted for a rotating theatre, which will house Dutch musical Soldier of Orange.
The Royal Docks is also establishing a Creative Partners Network, a scheme to support local creatives by encouraging partnerships, and a Creative Connectors Scheme, to involve local people in its plans.
Dance Power - Coldplay's next tour will partly be powered by a dancefloor that generates electricity when fans jump up and down, and pedal power at the venues. It's part of a 12-point plan to cut their carbon footprint, two years after the band pledged not to tour until they could do so in a more sustainable way. Singer Chris Martin told the BBC in his first interview about the plans that fans will be on "kinetic flooring". "When they move, they power the concert. And we have bicycles too that do the same thing. The more people move, the more they're helping.”
Coldplay will also plant a tree for every ticket sold. On their last tour in 2016-17, they played to 5.4m people. That made it one of the biggest tours of all time, earning more than $500m (£380m).
Rich Tapestry - A new UK tour of Beautiful - The Carole King Musical has been announced to open at Leicester’s Curve in February 2022. The production, directed by Curve’s artistic director Nikolai Foster, will run from 28 February to 12 March.
It will then tour to Theatre Royal Bath and Mayflower Theatre Southampton with additional dates to be announced shortly. Set design is by Frankie Bradshaw, costumes are by Edd Lindley, lighting is by Ben Cracknell, sound is by Tom Marshall and casting is by Kay Magson.
Public Safety - A shortage of bouncers in the UK could become a "threat to public safety", the Night Time Industry Association (NTIA) has warned. It blames the lack of security staff at venues on people quitting during the pandemic and believes staffing levels are under 70% of what they should be. Brexit, and a lack of EU workers, has also been a contributing factor.
"Door security staff shortages in the night-time economy are becoming critical," says Michael Kill, CEO of NTIA. "We carried out a survey a few months ago which found that security resource in the sector was only at 70%, and I am afraid that the situation has only deteriorated further since then.”
Drum Roll - Ronnie Tutt, the drummer who backed Elvis Presley from 1969 until his death eight years later, has died aged 83. Elvis Presley Enterprises broke the news on its website on Saturday, saying it was "deeply saddened". Dallas-born Tutt also worked with Billy Joel, Neil Diamond and Jerry Garcia in a career that spanned six-decades. His work can be heard on Joel's Piano Man, Elvis Costello's King of America and the Gram Parsons albums GP and Grievous Angel.
(Jim Evans)
19 October 2021

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