Brit School North - Plans to base a northern version of London's renowned Brit School in Bradford have been given the go-ahead by the government. The new Brit School North will be free to attend for 500 pupils aged 16 to 19. It will offer courses in dance, music and theatre.
The original Brit School in Croydon, south London, opened its doors in 1991 and has helped launch the careers of stars including Adele, Amy Winehouse, Tom Holland and Jessie J. The concept is backed by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI), and graduates at the London school have collectively sold more than 250m albums and won 15 Brit awards over the past three decades.
Announcing that the BPI's plans had been approved, the government said the school will be supported by large music industry firms like Sony Music Entertainment UK, Universal Music UK and Warner Music UK. No start date is being given at this stage, but when the BPI submitted the plans in February, it said it hoped the school could be opened in 2026. Bradford, which has a population of 546,000 according to the 2022 census, has one of the most diverse populations in the UK and the BPI said earlier this year that it had an equally vibrant cultural scene.
AI Threat - Musician Hozier has said he would consider striking over the threat artificial intelligence (AI) poses to his industry. Hollywood actors and writers are currently striking over a row about better contracts and protection from the use of AI. Hozier told the BBC he would be willing to join similar strike action in the music industry. The singer added he was not sure if AI "meets the definition of art".
In July, Hollywood writers and actors manned picket lines for the first time in decades. Among their concerns was a proposal by the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers to keep "digital replicas" of actors. But musicians are yet to follow suit regarding the threat AI poses to their own industry. The technology could be used to write songs or mimic well-known artists. In April, a song that used AI to clone the voices of Drake and The Weeknd was removed from streaming services following criticism that it violated copyright law.
Madonna’s Back - Madonna has announced rescheduled tour dates for her world tour, as she marks her recovery from a bacterial infection that left her in intensive care. The Celebration tour will now kick off in London on 14 October, three months after it was originally due to begin in Vancouver, Canada.
After four sold out dates at the O2 Arena, the show will travel to France, Italy, Denmark, Portugal and Germany before circling back to London for two more dates in December. The tour then hops the Atlantic for a handful of shows in New York and Washington before a Christmas break, after which the rescheduled dates begin in the US, Canada and Mexico.
Arts Funding - Creative Scotland has reiterated a warning that it will be forced to cut the number of arts organisations it supports unless it receives more funding from the Scottish government. In a statement, the public body said more than 500 arts organisations had registered their intention to apply for its new Multi-Year Funding programme, which will replace several of its current funding programmes, including its Regularly Funded Organisations programme, in 2025.
These organisations, which include all of Scotland’s major producing theatres, are set to apply for more than £113m of annual funding - more than double the £45m currently given out to around 350 organisations through schemes the new Multi-Year Funding programme will replace.
A spokesperson for Creative Scotland said that, based on its current budget, the public body would support “far fewer” organisations than it currently does and that “some organisations” would be forced to “change what they do, move to a different funding model” or “cease operating” as a result.
(Jim Evans)
22 August 2023

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