Coronation Concert - A ballot has opened for 10,000 free tickets for a star-studded concert at Windsor Castle to mark the King's coronation. The televised show will be on 7 May, the day after King Charles is crowned at Westminster Abbey. The BBC has promised the line-up will feature "musical icons and contemporary stars". There are 5,000 pairs of tickets in the ballot, which opened at 07:00 GMT on Friday and will close on 28 February. The tickets would be allocated based on the geographical spread of the UK population, the BBC said, with those successful notified by late April.
The castle's east lawn would see "a world-class orchestra play interpretations of musical favourites fronted by fantastic entertainers, alongside performers from the world of dance and the arts", the BBC said. It "will also feature a selection of spoken-word sequences delivered by stars of stage and screen", a statement added. The evening event will last for two to three hours, with the full line-up to be confirmed later.
BBC chief content officer Charlotte Moore said: "The coronation concert on the BBC will bring the nation together to mark this momentous occasion and we are thrilled to be able to offer the public the opportunity to be part of the event at Windsor Castle through a national ballot, as well as providing audiences with exclusive coverage across TV and radio."
Box Office Revenue - Box-office revenue in the West End has increased by 11.6% compared with 2019, according to the first full set of figures from the Society of London Theatre since disruption caused by the pandemic. The 2022 sales data for SOLT is compared to 2019, as it marks the last time there was a full data set to compare it to, after 2020 and 2021 saw venues going dark multiple times because of Covid lockdowns.
According to the 2022 data, box-office revenue increased by 11.6%, to £893m. However, when adjusted to take into account inflation, the 2022 figure would have been equivalent to £790m, compared with £799m in 2019.
SOLT reported attendance in 2022 was up 7.1% to 16.4m, from 15.3m in 2019. It described this as "a slight, yet encouraging" increase but warned that audience levels had not "fully recovered since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic". However, there were fewer dark weeks in 2022 compared with 2019, when the Theatre Royal Drury Lane was closed for much of the year for refurbishment and the Sondheim Theatre was also shut for refurbishment.
Brit Awards - Harry Styles won all four Brit Awards he was nominated for, including best album, artist and pop/R&B act. The show opened with his hit As It Was, which won song of the year. "I'm aware of my privilege up here tonight," he said, naming women who missed out on artist of the year, including Mabel, Florence Welch, Charli XCX, Rina Sawayama and Becky Hill. Beyonce won international awards for best artist and song of the year, while Wet Leg won best group and new artist.
Wet Leg's singer, Rhian Teasdale, said: "This is so scary because being on the telly can be such a boys' club thing" and thanked all the women who worked on their debut album, saying: "I want to shout them out." She also referenced Alex Turner's Arctic Monkeys Brits acceptance speech from 2014, saying: "That rock and roll - it just won't go away. It might hibernate from time to time and sink back into the swamp."
Accessibility Attitude - The Southbank Centre in London has been awarded platinum accessibility status, becoming the first UK venue to receive the coveted honour for its efforts to improve access and inclusion to live events. The award comes from disabled-led charity Attitude Is Everything, which has recognised the art centre’s commitment to understanding the potential access requirements of people who are deaf, disabled, neurodivergent or have health conditions.
Head of programmes at Attitude Is Everything Gideon Feldman said: “Attitude Is Everything is absolutely delighted to have signed off the Southbank Centre as the UK’s first platinum member of the Live Events Access Charter."
(Jim Evans)
14 February 2023

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