On The Campaign Trail - Leading arts organisations including the Royal Shakespeare Company and Bristol Old Vic are joining together for a UK-wide campaign aimed at creating a “powerful sector voice” that will advocate for the industry and lobby for additional public funding to help struggling venues and companies.
Culture Makes...will run from May this year and throughout 2024, creating what its organisers have called "a bold new vision for the value and impact of culture and heritage in society and as a human right which urgently needs investment" in the run up to the next general election.
It has been developed by the Cultural Philanthropy Foundation, with others that have already committed to being part of the campaign including 20 Stories High, An Tobar and Mull Theatre, Cardboard Citizens, Edinburgh International Festival, Javaad Alipoor Company, Lyric Theatre Belfast, Midlands Arts Centre, Northern Ballet, Pleasance, the Roundhouse, Scottish Ballet, Shakespeare’s Globe, Talawa Theatre Company and Theatr Clwyd.
In The Courts - Organisers of rapper Travis Scott's Astroworld music festival foresaw the crowding issues in 2021 that led to 10 deaths, new court documents claim. Ten days before, the festival's safety head raised concern about the number of people who would be near the stage. "I feel like there is no way we are going to fit 50k in front of that stage," Seyth Boardman wrote to the Texas festival's operations director. The exchange was one of many included in recent court filings.
Lawyers for some of the families, and others affected by the Astroworld tragedy, submitted the documents that contained the alleged conversations and supporting information as evidence in the mass civil litigation they have filed against the festival's organisers. Expert evidence submitted by the plaintiffs claims that festival planners miscalculated the number of people that could be legally allowed on the premise to avoid overcrowding. The new court documents show that organisers mistakenly thought the fire safety code allowed for five square feet per person, but the actual number was seven.
Headliners - Coldplay will headline Radio 1's Big Weekend on the Sunday of this year's festival. The band will play the main stage, in Stockwood Park, Luton. They join record-breaking Brit Award winner Raye and Chase & Status as headliners across the three-day event. Sabrina Carpenter, Olly Alexander and Vampire Weekend will also hit the main stage.
Main Chance - A singer whose band beat more than 1,000 acts to get a slot at Glastonbury Festival says the opportunity is "unbelievable". Sam Evans, 28, from Somerset, performed with his self-titled band in The Pilton Stage finals on 16 March. The group was chosen alongside London-based band Stone Jets by a panel including festival founder Sir Michael Eavis and presenter Sarah Beeny. The bands will play on one of the main stages at the 2024 festival.
Nocturne Live - The full line-up for a concert series featuring Chaka Khan and Sheryl Crow at Blenheim Palace has been revealed. The palace in Oxfordshire will be hosting Nocturne Live over four days in the summer. Pop band Soft Cell have now been confirmed, alongside the likes of Sugababes, Heather Small and Shaznay Lewis. The event will run from 13-16 June at the UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Classic Moves - Primary school students were treated to a music performance in their school playground as part of an initiative to bring classical music to more children. Playground Proms visited Bure Valley Primary School in Aylsham, Norfolk for an interactive workshop accompanied with cellos and violins. The group is hoping to tour schools across the United Kingdom and meet "disadvantaged" children and change perceptions around classical music. Cathal Ó Dúill, founder of Playground Proms, said: "Some children we perform with may have never heard any live classical music before our visit." The initiative came to life as a way of performing during Covid-19 social distancing restrictions to give local children access to music.
(Jim Evans)
26 March 2024

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