Massive Losses - Commercial theatre companies including Ambassador Theatre Group and HQ Theatres have revealed losses they incurred to March 2021, with theatre closures leading to 90% falls in revenue in some instances. Cameron Mackintosh Limited suffered pre-tax losses of £16.2m to the end of March last year, with the company’s turnover tumbling to just £20.8m. This is down from £206.7m in 2020.
The organisation, which operates eight West End theatres blamed the “disappointing trading results” entirely on the pandemic and warned that conditions remained “challenging”. It said a “consistent return to pre-pandemic audience attendance levels will take time to rebuild”, as domestic visitors, workers and international tourists return to London.
According to the accounts for International Entertainment Holdings Ltd, the parent company of ATG, the group saw revenue fall to £41.6m in the year to March 2021, compared with £476.7m in 2020 - a drop of 91%.
The organisation said this was the result of COVID forcing “the closure of all the group’s venues for the full year”. It made a pre-tax loss of £147.1m in 2021, compared with a £33.9m loss in 2020. After tax, its loss was £138.9 million in 2021, compared with £25.9m the year before.
Vegas Calling - Adele has said the Las Vegas residency she recently postponed will "absolutely 100%" happen later this year". Last month, the singer posted a tearful video the day before her first show, saying it wasn't ready. She has now told TV host Graham Norton she and her team are working extremely hard to prepare and confirm new dates. "It has to happen this year because I've got plans for next year," she told him. "Imagine if I have to cancel because I am having a baby!"
Royalty Payments - Sting has sold his entire song-writing back catalogue, including solo work and material by The Police, to the Universal Music Group (UMG). The Tyneside-born singer's old band had hits with tracks including Every Breath You Take and Roxanne. He then went on to enjoy solo success with songs like Fields Of Gold, and has won 17 Grammys and three Brit Awards. The move marks the publishing group's latest big acquisition, after it struck a deal with Bob Dylan in 2020.
It also comes amidst a years-long record industry spending spree, with record labels and investment firms snapping up the rights to songs and recordings by the likes of David Bowie, Fleetwood Mac and Tina Turner, as well as Blondie, Taylor Swift, David Guetta and Shakira.
Farewell - Ian McDonald, a founding member of the bands King Crimson and Foreigner, has died at the age of 75. McDonald co-wrote and played the keyboards and saxophone that were at the heart of King Crimson's debut album In the Court of the Crimson King. As a session musician, McDonald also played on records including the T. Rex album Electric Warrior, including the hit Get It On.
(Jim Evans)
15 February 2022

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