The Week in Light & Sound
Tuesday, 6 April 2021
Cultural Recovery - Music festivals, West End theatres, comedy clubs and Canterbury Cathedral will get a share of £400m emergency government culture funding. A total of 2,700 English culture and heritage venues will share the latest round of the Culture Recovery Fund.
Canterbury Cathedral has the biggest grant with £2m, while the Serpentine Galleries in London has been awarded £1.9m and Camden Roundhouse has £1.5m. West End chain Nimax Theatres and Glastonbury will receive £900,000 each.
Glastonbury Festival organisers Emily and Michael Eavis said the money would "make a huge difference in helping to secure our future". Emily told told BBC Radio 4's Today programme that the event had "suffered huge losses" in the past year. This is the last major tranche of money to be awarded from the £1.57bn Culture Recovery Fund that was announced last July. In his Budget in March, Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced a further £300m for the fund, which is yet to be allocated.
Fairport’s Cropredy Convention has received a grant of £100k. “We are extremely grateful for this award,” says festival organiser Gareth Williams. “The money from the CRF Round 1 has already filtered out in the form of deposits to our terrific support companies, without whom there would be no festival and the Round 2 grant will continue to ensure that we are all in place to open the gates once again this August.”
Back On Song - The Eurovision Song Contest has been given permission to let 3,500 fans watch in person as part of a trial by the Dutch government. The annual musical extravaganza will be staged at Rotterdam's Ahoy Arena in May, after being cancelled last year. Under the plan, the venue would be half full and fans would need a negative COVID test before being allowed in.
Eurovision organisers welcomed the decision and said they would "consider the options now available". They said they would "announce more details in the coming weeks on how we can safely admit audiences to the Ahoy venue in Rotterdam should the situation allow". They added that the health and safety of attendees "remains our top priority" and that all artists and their delegations will follow a "strict protocol". The announcement follows a similar trial involving 1,500 fans at a music festival near Amsterdam in March, while 5,000 spectators were allowed to cheer on the Netherlands in a World Cup football qualifier on Saturday.
Disqualification - Belarus has been disqualified from the Eurovision Song Contest for twice fielding songs deemed to have broken the rules of the competition. The country was told to submit a new song two weeks ago over concerns their entry had a political subtext. But the re-submission, by the same group, has now also been deemed inappropriate by contest organisers. The band, Galasy ZMesta, is known for mocking anti-government protests. Large-scale demonstrations took place across Belarus last year after Alexander Lukashenko claimed victory in a disputed presidential election.
Song Sale - Paul Simon has sold his entire song catalogue to Sony Music Publishing for an undisclosed sum. The deal covers more than six decades of music, from Simon & Garfunkel songs like Bridge Over Troubled Water and Mrs Robinson to solo hits like You Can Call Me Al and 50 Ways To Leave Your Lover. Simon said he was "pleased" to have Sony as the "custodian of my songs for the coming decades".
He is the latest top selling musician to hand over their publishing rights. Bob Dylan sold his songs to Sony's rival Universal Music for nearly $400m (£290m) last year, and Neil Young sold half his catalogue to Hipgnosis Songs Fund for around $150m (£109m) in January. Debbie Harry, Barry Manilow, Shakira and Stevie Nicks have made similar deals - trading their future royalties for upfront payments reaching nine figures. Other artists, including Dolly Parton, have said they are considering trading in their songs for "for business reasons [and] estate planning" as they approach the end of their careers.
(Jim Evans)
6 April 2021

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