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Sheeran agent Jon Ollier to launch own company

Jon Ollier has become the latest agent to use 2020 as a springboard to launch his own independent company, after CAA today confirmed he will be leaving the agency within weeks.

Ollier will be taking his biggest client, Ed Sheeran, with him, alongside fellow British stars Anne-Marie and Calum Scott, but at the moment it is unclear who else from his roster might also be part of the new venture.

Ollier was at Free Trade Agency until March 2015, when he joined CAA’s London office. His departure from the company is amicable, with CAA offering their full support for his yet-to-be named new venture.

“Starting my own company has been a dream of mine and I appreciate CAA’s support in this transition”

“CAA has been a wonderful experience and one I am incredibly grateful for,” says Ollier. “It has been an absolute privilege working alongside so many outstanding people who care deeply about their clients and each other.”

He adds, “Starting my own company has been a dream of mine and I appreciate CAA’s support in this transition.”

CAA co-head, Emma Banks tells IQ, “Jon has been a great colleague and friend. We wish him the very best as he pursues an entrepreneurial path, and look forward to working with him in his new role.”

Ollier will be handing over and wrapping up with the company until mid-November and more details about his new company will be released in due course.


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V Festival returns for 2020 as online event

The UK’s V Festival – which in its heyday drew crowds of 170,000 across two sites in Essex and Staffordshire – will return as a one-off digital event later this month.

V Festival 2020 will be broadcast as a three-part television special on 21, 22 and 23 August. Festival headliners are Olly Murs, Dizzee Rascal and Anne-Marie, who will perform live from the original V Festival site at Hylands Park in Chelmsford, Essex.

In addition to new performances livestreamed from Hylands Park, the ITV2 special will also feature archival footage of past V Festival performances, as well as interviews with artists about their favourite V sets and memories. More performers will be announced in the coming weeks.

Cilesta Van Doorn, executive director of brand and marketing at broadband company Virgin Media, which is behind V Festival 2020, says: “We are thrilled to announce that V Festival will be returning in 2020 with a virtual twist. Festivals are a catalyst for connecting to each other, and they’re often social events as much as they are musical.

“Although we can’t flock to the fields physically this year, we’re so excited to enable people to stay connected not only to incredible live music, but to their friends and families online too.”

The last edition of V Festival, which debuted in 1996, took place in 2017, after which it was replaced by a new event in Chelmsford, Rize Festival. Rize did not return in 2019 following a disappointing first year.

“To come and sing at Hylands Park again was an easy ‘yes’”

“V Festival holds a very special place in my heart […] as not only did I used to go every year with my mates and camp as a punter, but I later got the chance to actually perform there and be invited back four times,” says Olly Murs. “Headlining the MTV stage in 2015 was definitely a career highlight of mine, as was jumping on stage with Madness to sing one of my favourite tracks of all time, ‘It Must Be Love.’ I’ve had some pretty special memories at V, so to come and sing at Hylands Park [again] was an easy ‘yes’.

“It’s great that ITV2 and Virgin Media are bringing V Festival into people’s living rooms, and I’m very glad to be a small part of that.”

Paul Mortimer, head of ITV’s digital channels, adds: “V Festival is a huge part of the UK’s festival history and the ITV2 team are so pleased to be able to play a part in bringing it back to the masses for one year only.

“The star-studded line-up music fans have come to expect from V Festival will be bigger than ever. We’re dipping into the archives to showcase some throwback performances, too, so people can reminisce on some of their favourites memories from past years.”

V Festival 2020 will air on ITV2 from Friday 21 to Sunday 23 August.


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Anne-Marie, promoter at odds over Korea festival cancellation

British singer Anne-Marie put on a free concert for fans in South Korea, after the festival stage she was scheduled to perform on was dismissed as “structurally unsafe”.

The singer was due to perform on Sunday 28 July at Holiday Land festival in the Korean city of Incheon. James Blake, HER and Vince Staples also featured on the two-day festival line-up.

In a social media post, Anne-Marie apologised to fans, stating she was “not allowed” to perform due to safety issues. The singer stressed that the decision to cancel was not hers.

However, a spokesperson for Holiday Land organiser Fake Virgin tells IQ that the decision to cancel was made by the artists.

“The reason that Anne-Marie and Daniel Caesar [the artist billed to perform immediately before] cancelled their performance was [due to] ‘safety issues with the stage'”, says the spokesperson. “The issue did not affect any other artists during the whole event.”


Anne-Marie later announced she would be performing at a local hotel instead, telling fans to “be there, it’s free” and stating that “no-one will stop the show”.

The concert, which took place at the Rubik Lounge at the Paradise City hotel, was streamed live for those who were unable to attend.

The festival had been affected by adverse weather conditions. The Holiday Land event page was updated earlier on Sunday, stating that rainfall was ”below the cancellation standard”.

The statement announced the cancellation of a set by DJ Light, the first act scheduled on the festival’s Holiday Square stage. No mention was made to other sets, or to the Sunset stage, on which Anne-Marie was due to appear.

Fake Virgin say an investigation into the situation “between the production company and artists” is ongoing.

Anne-Marie was nominated for four awards at the 2019 Brit Awards in London, including for best British female solo artist and British album of the year.


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Brits Week previews UK music’s biggest night

The 5th War Child Brits Week kicked off last Monday, giving fans the opportunity to see leading UK artists in intimate settings across London in the run up to this year’s Brit awards on Wednesday 20 February.

Brits Week, the series of intimate live performances by leading UK acts that precede the Brits are already underway, celebrating the best in British music whilst raising money for non-profit War Child.

British breakthrough act nominees, Idles, opened Brits Week on 11 February, playing at the 350-capacity 100 Club. You Me At Six performed on the same night at Scala (1,145-cap.), followed by performances by AJ Tracey at 100 Club, Nick Mulvey at Wilton’s Music Hall (400-cap.) and Enter Shikari at The Dome (5,039-cap.) throughout the week.

A DJ set from singer-songwriter Frank Turner in conjunction with Xtra Mile Recordings on Friday at 320-capacity Omeara, and a Sunday-night performance from Mabel at Bush Hall (425-cap.) closed out the first week.

Performances still to come include last year’s British group and British album winners, the 1975, who play at Islington’s 600-capacity the Garage this evening (18 February). Jake Bugg and Jade Bird join forces tonight at Omeara, Bring Me The Horizon play on Tuesday at the Dome and Anne-Marie performs the night before the awards ceremony at Omeara. A final performance by Tom Odell on Friday 22 February closes out Brits season.

The Brit awards take place this Wednesday at the O2 Arena in London. The awards ceremony will be hosted by comedian Jack Whitehall and broadcast live on ITV.

“These nominations illustrate what an incredible year it has been for British talent and remind us what a great time it is to be a music fan”

Hugh Jackman opens the ceremony, performing a song from his award-winning film, The Greatest Showman. Calvin Harris will perform alongside multiple Brit award nominee Dua Lipa, Rag’n’Bone Man and Sam Smith. Fans can also expect performances from Little Mix, the 1975, Ms Banks and this year’s outstanding contribution to music winner, Pink.

This year’s Brit awards see four nomination each for UK pop sensations Anne-Marie and Dua Lipa. Anne-Marie is up for British female, British single, British video and British album. Future Forum’s keynote guest, Dua Lipa, has two nominations a piece in the British single and British video categories.

George Ezra and Jorja Smith are up for three awards each, whereas a host of artists including the 1975, Calvin Harris, Jess Glynne and Florence and the Machine have received two nominations each.

Kamasi Washington, Travis Scott and Shawn Mendes are all up for international male against 2017 winner Drake and four-time Brit winner Eminem, whilst international female sees Ariana Grande, Camila Cabello, Cardi B, Christine and the Queens and 2014 nominee Janelle Monáe all shortlisted.

“These nominations illustrate what an incredible year it has been for British talent and remind us what a great time it is to be a music fan, both in the UK and beyond,” says Jason Iley, Brits chairman and chief executive of Sony Music UK and Ireland.

“I’m delighted to see the nominations representing talent across a wide variety of genres – from returning artists to some incredibly exciting new talent – who are set to become the stars of the future.”


The full list of nominees can be found below:

British album of the year
The 1975 – A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships
Anne-Marie – Speak Your Mind
Florence + The Machine – High As Hope
George Ezra – Staying At Tamara’s
Jorja Smith – Lost & Found

British female solo artist
Florence + The Machine
Jess Glynne
Jorja Smith
Lily Allen

British male solo artist
Aphex Twin
Craig David
George Ezra
Sam Smith

British group
The 1975
Arctic Monkeys
Little Mix
Years & Years

British breakthrough act
Ella Mai
Jorja Smith
Tom Walker

Critics’ choice
Winner: Sam Fender
Lewis Capaldi

British single
Anne-Marie – 2002
Calvin Harris and Dua Lipa – One Kiss
Clean Bandit ft Demi Lovato – Solo
Dua Lipa – IDGAF
George Ezra – Shotgun
Jess Glynne – I’ll Be There
RAMZ – Barking
Rudimental – These Days
Siagla and Paloma Faith – Lullaby
Tom Walker – Leave A Light On

British video
Anne-Marie – 2002
Calvin Harris and Dua Lipa – One Kiss
Clean Bandit ft Demi Lovato – Solo
Dua Lipa – IDGAF
Jax Jones ft Ina Wroldsen – Breathe
Jonas Blue ft Jack & Jack – Rise
Liam Payne and Rita Ora – For You
Little Mix ft Nicki Minaj – Woman Like Me
Rita Ora – Let Me Love You
Rudimental – These Days

International male solo artist
Kamasi Washington
Shawn Mendes
Travis Scott

International female solo artist
Ariana Grande
Camila Cabello
Cardi B
Christine & The Queens
Janelle Monae

International group
The Carters
First Aid Kit
Nile Rodgers & Chic
Twenty One Pilots


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