City Break - The city of Malmö is to host next year's 68th Eurovision Song Contest, it was announced on Friday, following Sweden's victory in Liverpool in May. The coastal town in the south of the country was selected ahead of the capital Stockholm after "dialogue with several cities", organisers said.
The Malmö Arena will stage the semi-finals on 7 and 9 May 2024, as well as the final on 11 May. Martin Österdahl, executive supervisor of the Eurovision Song Contest, said the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) was "thrilled" that Sweden's third-largest city will host it for a third time. "Malmö holds a special place in the history of the contest, having successfully hosted it firstly in 1992 and then in 2013 - following Loreen's last win," he said.
"We're excited to be returning to this vibrant and dynamic city which has demonstrated it has the venues and infrastructure that are perfect for staging the world's largest live music event." He added that the city's bid "demonstrated a huge passion" for the contest.
In The Courts - When Aretha Franklin died in August 2018, it was thought that she had left behind no will for an estate worth millions. But months later, handwritten wills were found in a cabinet and under a sofa cushion at her home in suburban Detroit, Michigan. A jury will now determine which of two documents should be ruled as the Queen of Soul's valid last testament. The trial began on Monday and is expected to last less than a week. A six-person jury at the Oakland County Probate Court will hear from witnesses, including the Franklin children, her niece Sabrina Owens and a handwriting expert.
In The Saleroom - Away from the stage, Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts was an avid collector of modern literature. His library contained dozens of rare first editions, including signed first editions of F Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby and Arthur Conan Doyle's The Hound Of The Baskervilles. Now, two years after his death, some of those gems will be put up for auction. The drummer's collection of jazz memorabilia is also being sold.
Christie's, which is hosting the auction, will display the highlights in New York, Los Angeles and London ahead of the sale on 28-29 September. George Gershwin's annotated score for Porgy and Bess will also be showcased, with an estimated price of £10,000-15,000. Further jazz lots include two scores by Irving Berlin - Songs from Top Hat and Songs from Follow the Fleet - inscribed to Ginger Rogers; and two inscribed piano scores by the influential cornetist Leon 'Bix' Beiderbecke.
Development Sessions - The Studio at Edinburgh’s Festival Theatre is celebrating its 10th anniversary by launching a new series of development opportunities for local theatre-makers aimed at addressing a talent drain in the sector. The Open@TheStudio programme includes practical workshops, informal talks, residencies and scratch nights, with the first sessions starting later this month. The Studio is one of three Edinburgh venues operated by charitable body Capital Theatres, along with the Festival Theatre and the King’s Theatre.
Last Farewell - Elton John told his millions of fans on Saturday night that they would remain in his "head, heart and soul", concluding his marathon farewell tour in Stockholm with one of his biggest hits - Goodbye Yellow Brick Road. The 76-year-old singer has won five Grammy awards in a spectacular career spanning 50 years and nearly 4,600 performances worldwide. "It's been my lifeblood to play for you guys, and you've been absolutely magnificent," he told the audience at Sweden's Tele2 Arena.
(Jim Evans)
11 July 2023

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