Eurovision Countdown - The shortlist of UK cities that could host next year's Eurovision Song Contest has been revealed, with seven locations in the running. Birmingham, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle and Sheffield will vie to stage the event in May. Twenty cities expressed an interest, the BBC said, and those not making the shortlist include London and Belfast.
The BBC said the seven-strong shortlist was based on the cities' ability to show they have "the capacity, capability and experience to host an event of this scale and complexity".
A statement added that the process was "heavily weighted towards demonstrating past experience in hosting major international events, as well as being able to demonstrate their credentials in hosting a celebration of contemporary music".
London would have met those criteria but didn't make the cut, at a time when both the BBC and government are seeking to move events and opportunities outside the capital. Others to miss out include Aberdeen, Brighton, Bristol and Darlington. The successful city will be chosen by the BBC and Eurovision organisers, and will be announced in the autumn. Glasgow and Birmingham have been named as the bookmakers' favourites, while Glasgow and Manchester have proved the most popular in polls on Eurovision fan sites.
Festival News - One man died and at least 40 others were injured when high winds caused parts of a stage to collapse at a festival in Spain early on Saturday. Footage showed some festivalgoers running in panic, while others are seen continuing to party at the event in Cullera, south of Valencia. The popular Medusa Festival of electronic music was later suspended.
In a statement on Facebook, organisers said they were "devastated and saddened at what happened this morning". They said "violent strong winds" at about 04:00 local time had caused damage to infrastructure at the venue, and a decision was immediately taken to vacate the area.
Honours Plea - A group of Birmingham MPs are calling for Black Sabbath to be honoured for their services to music. They have written to the Queen asking for her "direct intervention". The band, formed in 1968 by guitarist Tony Iommi, drummer Bill Ward, bassist Geezer Butler and vocalist Ozzy Osbourne, "seem to have been overlooked by the usual process", said the MPs. Ozzy and Iommi made a surprise appearance together at the Commonwealth Games closing ceremony.
Lockdown Music - A musical showcasing the experiences of teenagers during the lockdown is to tour nationally following its premiere at the Castle Theatre in Wellingborough. Room 46 charts the changing social environment caused by the pandemic through the eyes of six young people. Writer and creative director, Justine Maynard, said: "It's a story that should be told - and not forgotten." The musical follows the timeline of the COVID pandemic, from the claustrophobia suffered by young students, to the wearing of masks, home schooling and exams, the clap for the NHS - including the exploits of Captain Sir Tom Moore, Ms Maynard said.
Cancellation - The UK premiere of The Unofficial Bridgerton Musical at the Royal Albert Hall in London has been cancelled, after Netflix filed a lawsuit against its creators. The performance of Abigail Barlow and Emily Bear’s musical, inspired by the Netflix series, was due to take place on 20 September, joined by the BBC Concert Orchestra.
A statement posted online by the Royal Albert Hall said: "Sadly Barlow and Bear have cancelled their performance of The Unofficial Bridgerton Musical, Live in Concert at the Royal Albert Hall". No further details have been released regarding refunds for ticket holders.
The cancellation follows news that Netflix filed a lawsuit against Barlow and Bear at a federal court in Washington, arguing that the musical was a "blatant infringement of intellectual property rights". Netflix said that after its first series of Bridgerton – based on the romance novels of Julia Quinn – was released in 2020, Barlow and Bear started posting songs based on the series to social media platform TikTok.
(Jim Evans)
16 August 2022

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