The Week in Light & Sound
Tuesday, 26 January 2021
Festival Blues - This year's Glastonbury music festival has been cancelled due to coronavirus, organisers have confirmed. Michael and Emily Eavis announced the news on the festival's official Twitter page writing: “With great regret, we must announce that this year's Glastonbury Festival will not take place.”
It's the second year running that Glastonbury will not go ahead, after last year's 50th anniversary celebration was cancelled due to COVID-19. In a full statement on their website, the father and daughter team explained that in spite of “efforts to move Heaven & Earth”, the event would not be happening in 2021, adding that “this will be another enforced fallow year for us”.
“It has become clear that we simply will not be able to make the Festival happen this year. We are so sorry to let you all down. As with last year, we would like to offer all those who secured a ticket in October 2019 the opportunity to roll their £50 deposit over to next year and guarantee the chance to buy a ticket for Glastonbury 2022.
“"We are very appreciative of the faith and trust placed in us by those of you with deposits, and we are very confident we can deliver something really special for us all in 2022! "We thank you for your incredible continued support and let's look forward to better times ahead.”
Training Challenge - Challenges facing the performing arts training sector and wider creative education issues are set to be examined in a dedicated parliamentary group, launched this month. The new all-party parliamentary group met for the first time last week, following a collaboration between MPs and industry body the Council for Dance, Drama and Musical Theatre.
The group will focus on specific areas and challenges facing the training and education sectors, and said that more broadly, young people needed assurances “that the creative industries will continue to offer valuable career options when rebuilding the UK economy after COVID-19”.
It will be chaired by Conservative MP Simon Baynes, with vice chairs including Sharon Hodgson and Ed Vaizey, both vocal advocates for arts education. It will explore topics included performing arts training and assessment, skills development within the cultural industries and the wider benefits of performing arts engagement for students, professionals and audiences.
In The Ring - Major circus companies are offering their big tops as vaccination centres, as the effort to vaccinate the UK’s population ramps up. Circus Extreme, Continental Circus Berlin and the Circus of Horrors have all offered their touring big tops and equipment as vaccination centres, should they be required. It comes as closed theatres across the UK are used as vaccination centres.
“Big tops would be ideal to erect in areas where it is difficult to find a suitable vaccination centre,” says John Haze, director of Circus Extreme. “If we can be any help then we would like to be.” The three circuses contacted their local MPs and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, but said their offer had been passed to the Department of Health and Social Care.
Park Life - Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre has cancelled its forthcoming production of 101 Dalmatians due to ongoing coronavirus restrictions making the project "practically and financially" impossible. The musical had been due to premiere in 2020 but was postponed by a year because of the pandemic, and had been planned to open the theatre’s 2021 season, in May. However, a statement from the London venue said that with “great regret” it had come to the decision that it could not go ahead with those plans.
“Indications appear to be such that restrictions will almost certainly still be in place when rehearsals were due to begin in March and that any easing of social distancing during our performance period is likely to be measured. In this context, it has become clear that, both practically and financially, it will be impossible for us to produce this ambitious new musical with complex puppetry and large ensemble cast,” it says.
Bubble Rock - The Flaming Lips staged two gigs in Oklahoma, with both the band and their audience inside individual inflatable balls. Each show accommodated 100 bubbles, holding up to three people each, with the band inside their own capsules. The concept came from frontman Wayne Coyne, who often rolls over the crowd in a Zorb ball during the band's gigs. Speaking ahead of the concerts, Coyne said they would be “safer than going to the grocery store”.
Inside each bubble was a high frequency supplemental speaker - which helped prevent the sound being muffled - as well as a water bottle, a battery-operated fan, a towel and a “I gotta go pee/hot in here” sign. If it got too hot, the bubble was refilled with cool air using a leaf blower, and fans who needed the bathroom were escorted by venue staff once they had put on a mask and stepped outside their cocoon.
(Jim Evans)
26 January 2021

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