Ticket To Ride - Taylor Swift's concert tour brought in about $1.04bn (£829m) in gross sales across its first 60 shows, a new record, trade publication Pollstar said. Swift’s success came during a bumper year for a concert business. Overall, the top 100 global tours brought in more than $9bn (£7.17bn) this year in gross sales, up 46% from 2022, which had itself seen record-setting spending, Pollstar said.
Beyoncé and Bruce Springsteen rounded out the top three concerts of the year. However, Swift, whose tour started in Arizona in March, did not just bring in more money than anyone else. She also did it faster, Pollstar said, and her mass popularity meant she played exclusively to stadiums - which seat bigger crowds. By contrast, it took previous record-setter Elton John 328 shows to bring in $939m (£749m) during his five-year farewell tour, which spanned the pandemic.
"While the data is staggering, Swift's massive success this year shouldn't come as a surprise to any sentient being," Pollstar said. It is the latest record in a year filled with them for Swift, who earned the Person of the Year accolade from Time Magazine.
Small Convenience - A tiny theatre based in a former public toilet in Worcestershire has been put up for sale. The local council currently owns Edith Walk Theatre in Great Malvern, better known as the Theatre of Small Convenience due to its former use. The authority says it is in need of a new owner to help bring it back to its former glory. The theatre seats just 12 people and gained a place in the Guinness Book of World Records in 2002 as the world's smallest commercial theatre.
The Victorian building has been closed since 2017 when its founder Dennis Neale retired. The theatre also suffered fire damage in 2021, but has since been cleaned up and made safe.
Rising Star - Indie band The Last Dinner Party have been crowned the winners of the Brits Rising Star prize. The five-piece are one of the year's most talked-about new acts, thanks to dramatic singles and theatrical stage costumes. They now follow in the footsteps of Adele and Sam Fender, who are previous winners of the rising star prize. Singer Abigail Morris described the honour as "a bit like having an out-of-body experience".
Moving Strategy - Unions have called for greater clarity from English National Opera on how its planned move to Greater Manchester will impact members’ jobs, with demands for a "proper strategy" that protects workers. It comes after ENO announced that it would be relocating to Greater Manchester by 2029, with a transition period beginning over the next two years.
The statement of its planned move was welcomed by arts leaders, who said it would be a positive move for opera and audiences. However, unions have cautioned that there was little detail about how the move would impact workers at ENO.
In a statement, the Musicians’ Union said it was "concerned that no mention of the jobs of our members was made in the statement from ENO regarding its move to Greater Manchester”.
With Latitude - Kasabian, London Grammar and Sara Pascoe will be performing at next summer's Latitude Festival. They are among some of the headline acts on the Suffolk festival's bill in 2024, joining Duran Duran. Festival director Melvin Benn said it aimed to offer "an unforgettable experience for our audience".
(Jim Evans)
12 December 2023

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