The Glastonbury Effect - Lionel Richie says he has Glastonbury to thank for bagging his first number one album in the charts in more than two decades. The veteran saw The Definitive Collection By Lionel Richie & The Commodores hit the top spot. The album only reached number 10 when it was released back in 2003, but jumped up 103 places following his widely praised performance at Worthy Farm. It is the 66-year-old's first UK number one album since Back To Front 23 years ago. "I was overwhelmed performing at Glastonbury in front of all those people and for the fans to make the album number one is unbelievable," he said.

Live and Licking - The Grateful Dead have given what they say will be their last group performance in front of 70,000 fans, some in tears, in Chicago.The four surviving members of the band ended their 50-year run this weekend with three concerts in the city. The Fare Thee Well shows came 20 years after the death of lead guitarist Jerry Garcia, who played his last show in Chicago in 1995. Phish guitarist Trey Anastasio filled in for Garcia at the Chicago shows, joined by original members Bob Weir, Phil Lesh, Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzman who have toured, along with other musicians and under various names, for years.

They started the show with one of the group's most psychedelic early songs - China Cat Sunflower, paired with the folk blues standard, I Know You Rider. The second half included extended jams on crowd favourites Truckin' and Cassidy, and ended with Buddy Holly's Not Fade Away, the Dead's biggest hit, Touch Of Grey and Attics Of My Life. Those who couldn't get tickets to the sold-out concerts followed simulcasts on cable television around the country.

Free Sheet Music - Music magazine NME is to be given away free from September in a bid to boost its circulation. The weekly publication, which currently sells about 15,000 copies, will be distributed at train stations, shops and student unions around the country. Its cover price of £2.50 will be waived and the print run increased to 300,000. Publisher Time Inc said music would stay "at the heart of the brand", but the magazine will also expand to cover film, fashion, TV, politics and gaming.

NME editor Mike Williams said, "NME is already a major player and massive influencer in the music space, but with this transformation we'll be bigger, stronger and more influential than ever before. Every media brand is on a journey into a digital future. That doesn't mean leaving print behind, but it does mean that print has to change. The future is an exciting place, and NME just kicked the door down."

Theatre Plans - Cameron Mackintosh has unveiled his vision for the West End's new Sondheim Theatre, which he intends turn into a home for shows from subsidised venues around the UK that would "otherwise vanish". It will host productions for runs of between eight and 16 weeks, and is being created to give shows from venues such as the Donmar, the National Theatre's Dorfman, and studio spaces at Sheffield Theatres and Leicester's Curve a future life.

The new West End venue will be created by redeveloping the Ambassadors Theatre, which Mackintosh announced he was buying last year, into a flexible performance space with around 450 to 475 seats. In addition, the building will have a new floor built above the auditorium that will house a rehearsal space in the heart of the West End for larger shows. It will also include a redeveloped foyer, new dressing rooms and a cabaret space, which will be created in the basement bar. This space will be called the Sprague Room after the theatre's architect, William Sprague. The theatre's current ceiling will be dismantled and repositioned in the Sprague Room as part of the redevelopment.

(Jim Evans)

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