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First gigs announced for Brits Week 2023

Brits Week for War Child is set to return in 2023, giving fans the opportunity to see leading UK artists in intimate music venues across the country.

Produced by AEG Presents, BPI and War Child, the series will take place around next year’s Brit Awards (11 February 2023) to raise money for children whose lives have been torn apart by war.

Kicking things off on 29 January at Lafayette will be UK rock outfit The Hunna. On 1 February, Metronomy will be playing songs from their renowned catalogue at new London venue HERE at Outernet, followed by the chart-topping Years & Years on 2 February.

Following her acclaimed debut album this year, Beabadoobee will be playing at Lafayette on 3 February, the same night that 2022 Mercury Prize shortlisted Kojey Radical will take to the stage at east London’s XOYO.

Cambridge’s critically acclaimed bedroom pop artist Cavetown will play at Omeara on 4 February, with Scottish four-piece The Snuts then taking BRITs Week to Glasgow, performing at Stereo on 5 February.

“We’re going even further afield across the UK to bring very special underplay shows to people”

Indie-pop’s Easy Life will be heading down to Bristol for a show at Trinity Centre on 7 February, while back in London Sea Girls will bring their renowned live energy to the iconic 100 Club.

Chart-topping singer-songwriter Frank Turner + The Sleeping Souls will play at London’s O2 Shepherds Bush Empire on 9 February. Rounding things off on 10 February, 2021 BRIT Rising Star nominee Rina Sawayama will turn her electrifying live performance into an intimate acoustic show at London’s Lafayette and genre-blending duo Bob Vylan will be playing tracks from their new Kerrang! Award & MOBO winning album at Omeara. More acts on the 2023 line-up will be announced in January.

Simon Jones, senior vice president, live music international, at AEG says “Bringing back BRITs Week each year is always exciting, and for 2023, we’re going even further afield across the UK to bring very special underplay shows to people. Our AEG team and partners at BPI, War Child and Mastercard have all clubbed together to help create another incredible series, for what is a fantastic industry fixture year in year out, raising much-needed funds for a very important charity, War Child. The line-up keeps growing, and there’s even more to come, so keep your eyes peeled.”

Maggie Crowe OBE, BPI’s director of events & charities says: “Announcing this brilliant lineup with more names joining the class of BRITs Week 2023 early in the New Year is just joyous. Music is therapy for the soul and listening to amazing artists of all styles and backgrounds in intimate venues is exactly how this special annual event works to raise much-needed funds for War Child – in what will be their 30th anniversary year. Our thanks to all the artists and their teams and to our valued friends and partners for making BRITs Week possible.”

Fans can enter the prize draw and win tickets to see the artist of their choice. A £5 donation buys one entry, a £10 donation buys three, and a £15 donation buys five. Fans can enter as many times as they like, to maximise the chance of winning. There will also be a limited number of tickets for each show on sale.


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The Associates: BPI, CLMA, Dansk Live

Covid-19 has impacted every business sector around the world, but with live entertainment likely to be one of the last industries to return, given social distancing regulations, the associations that represent its millions of employees have never been more important.

As restrictions in many countries enter yet another month, for issue 91 IQ found out more about some of our association partners and discovered just what they are doing to help their members navigate and survive.

Following the last instalment with the AFO, AIF and BDKV, this time we check in with the UK’s BPI, the Canadian Live Music Association and Denmark’s Dansk Live.

British Phonographic Association (UK)
The British Phonographic Industry (BPI) champions the UK’s recorded music business, safeguarding the rights of its members and of the artists, performers and label members of collecting body PPL. Membership consists of more than 400 independent labels and the UK’s three majors, which together account for 85% of legitimate domestic music consumption and one in nine albums sold around the world. Membership costs £120 (€135) per year plus 3.5% of UK domestic PPL revenues.

During lockdown, BPI has been working with other music industry partners to pressure government into introducing measures to support the music industry, including the artist community and retail sector. As part of this initiative, the BPI has written to the chancellor to ask that VAT on physical music goods be zero-rated for an initial 12-month period.

The BPI has co-ordinated a donation of £1.5m (€1.69m) by UK record companies, the Brit Awards, Amazon Music and PPL that will go towards Help Musicians’ Coronavirus Financial Hardship Fund and to other initiatives that are supporting artists. The majority of the donation (£1.25m) has gone directly to Help Musicians, enabling the organisation to reach a further 2,500 musicians in need of immediate financial help. In addition to this, £250,000 has also been set aside to support musicians through other channels, including other musicians’ wellbeing charities and support to the grassroots live sector. BPI hopes that further donations will be announced.

The CLMA secured historic changes … regarding access to loans for live music venues and other organisations

Canadian Live Music Association (Canada)
The Canadian Live Music Association (CLMA) is the voice of the country’s live industry, advancing and promoting its many economic, social and cultural benefits.

CLMA’s more than 260 members include concert promoters, festivals, talent agencies, presenters, venues, ticketing companies, industry associations and suppliers. Membership fees range from C$250–500 (€165–330) for associate members (depending on annual budget) to $2,500 (€1,650) for full membership. Associations or presenters pay annual fees of $250–1,500 (€165–990), while suppliers are split into three categories, depending on annual revenues, accruing fees of $1,250 (€825), $2,500 (€1,650) or $5,000 (€3,300).

The CLMA was one of the first associations to quantify and share the impact of Covid-19 with government, recommending and helping to shape relief measures that would respond to the diversity of needs found within the live sector. The association advocated for, and secured, historic changes to the Business Development Bank of Canada practice regarding access to loans for live music venues and other arts organisations.

Among its other lockdown successes, CLMA encouraged (and is now seeing) funding agencies to flow emergency relief funding to members, with flexible terms; it has championed sector-specific relief efforts that will recognise the breadth, role and value of the live sector; and it has organised a quick and efficient convening and response system for members and the live music sector, providing ongoing resources and information and bringing the community together.

Dansk Live has stepped up its lobbying activities and has managed to secure help for the country’s venues and festivals

Dansk Live (Denmark)
Dansk Live is the business organisation for Danish venues and festivals. In Denmark, venues do the majority of domestic programming directly, so there aren’t a lot of independent promoters, and the typical venue member is a venue with a small staff that operates in the local area. Festival members include large festivals such as Northside, Roskilde, Copenhell and Smukfest, and also smaller festivals, often organised by people in their spare time.

Denmark’s live entertainment scene relies on volunteers, both at venues and at festivals. The association lobbies on behalf of its members; provides counselling; arranges industry conferences and meetings; and also compiles statistics about the live industry in Denmark.

The association currently has 120 members, including 37 festivals, while the majority are venues. Membership fees are based on the size of the venue or festival and are approximately 7,500–42,000 kr. (€1,000–5,630) per annum.

During the coronavirus pandemic, Dansk Live has stepped up its lobbying activities and has managed to secure help for the country’s venues and festivals; albeit some Danish venues are still not receiving sufficient assistance.

As elsewhere, Dansk Live staff members have been learning a lot about videoconferencing, as well as compiling pandemic-related information and helping members share knowledge on how to cope with the crisis.


View the full Associates list in the digital edition of IQ 91. To keep on top of the latest live music industry news, features and insights, subscribe to IQ now

This article forms part of IQ’s Covid-19 resource centre – a knowledge hub of essential guidance and updating resources for uncertain times.

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Touring to return to France in July

Live Nation is promoting a 23-date tour across France this summer, in conjunction with public investment bank BPIfrance, as live touring returns to the country for the first time since March.

The Big Tour, which will feature a range of domestic acts including already confirmed artists Patrice and Gaumar, kicks off on 29 July in Vieux-Bocau on the south-west coast of France, before travelling north up the country’s Atlantic coastline.

Five dates are scheduled in the south-east of the country at the end of August, before wrapping up with two shows in Paris on 18 and 19 September.

Each show will be livestreamed on Live Nation social channels and available to watch back at a later date.

The tour will see the first major live shows performed in France since early March, when the government implemented widespread bans on events.

“We can’t wait to meet you this summer and together make this tour a historical moment”

Although festivals and other major events of over 5,000 people remain banned in the country until September, entertainment venues were permitted to reopen earlier this month in the vast majority of the country, with the mandatory use of face coverings.

Live Nation and BPIfrance state they are committed to comply with governmental health guidelines and ensure the safety of all attendees and staff.

“Through the Big Tour, we will – with the BPI – give artists the opportunity to express themselves again,” comments Angelo Gopee, MD and head promoter at Live Nation France.

“We have worked hand in hand with all the teams to ensure the best conditions for the audience. We will find magic moments again. We can’t wait to meet you this summer and together make this tour a historical moment!”

More information on the Big Tour can be found here.


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“A setback but not the end”: Rights bodies lament Article 13 defeat

Collecting societies and performance rights organisations across Europe have reacted with disappointment to the rejection of the proposed EU Copyright Directive by MEPs earlier today.

In the run-up to today’s vote, music industry bodies and their counterparts in the tech sector were sharply divided on the merits of the new directive, especially its controversial Article 13: songwriters’ representatives say the legislation would ensure fair remuneration of creators when their works are used online, while internet freedom activists, including the web’s creator, Tim Berners Lee, have said it would transform the internet into a “tool for the automated surveillance and control of its users”.

Music biz, internet on collision course ahead of Article 13 vote

The directive’s critics are particularly concerned that Article 13 – which would compel “online content sharing service providers”, such as social networks or video-sharing sites like YouTube, to take “effective and proportionate” measures to combat the sharing of copyrighted works – would require the implementation of automated copyright checking systems, dubbed “censorship machines” or “upload filters”.

Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) voted this morning 318–278 in favour of rejecting the bill in its current form, with a further plenary session debating its content set for September. “I regret that a majority of MEPs did not support the position which I and the legal affairs committee have been advocating,” says German MEP Axel Voss. But this is part of the democratic process. We will now return to the matter in September for further consideration and attempt to address people’s concerns while bringing our copyright rules up to date with the modern digital environment.”

Robert Ashcroft, chief executive of the UK’s PRS for Music, says lobbying by big tech companies – if you believe UK Music, €31m from Google alone – influenced the outcome of the vote. “It is perhaps unsurprising, considering the unprecedented level of lobbying and the comprehensive campaign of misinformation which has accompanied this vote, that MEPs want more time to consider the proposals,” says Ashcroft.

“The vote showed that many MEPs across the various European political parties understand the importance of fixing the transfer of value and of a well-functioning market for copyright. We appreciate their support and hope that as we move forward to the plenary debate in September, more MEPs will recognise the unique opportunity to secure the EU’s creative industries.

“We will not be discouraged by today’s decision, and will continue to mobilise the support of musicians and music lovers across the world”

“From the outset, our primary focus of this legislation has been concerned with whether or not the internet functions as a fair and efficient marketplace – and currently, for artists and authors, it doesn’t. They want their creative works to be heard, they embrace technology, but they want to be paid fairly. We will continue to fight for what we believe is their freedom and a fair use of their creative works.”

David El Sayegh, the secretary-general of PRS’s French counterpart, Sacem, comments: “This vote is a setback but it is not the end. Sacem remains dedicated to ensuring that creators are recognised and remunerated for the value of their work. We will not be discouraged by today’s decision and will continue to mobilise the support of musicians and music lovers across the world, in the hopes of reaching a fair agreement with these platforms that will safeguard the future of the music industry.

“We are confident that the European Parliament will eventually support a framework that fully acknowledges the rights of creators in the digital landscape of the 21st century.”

BPI, the association of UK record labels and organiser of the Brit Awards, says in a statement: “We respect the decision by MEPs to have a plenary discussion on the draft Copyright Directive. We will work with MEPs over the next weeks to explain how the proposed directive will benefit not just European creativity, but also internet users and the technology sector.”

Gesac (the European Grouping of Societies of Authors and Composers), which represents 31 collection societies, says the defeat marks a “missed opportunity to fix the current unfairness in the digital market once and for all”.

“The EU parliament has recognised that machine censorship of copyrighted material is not an easy and simple fix”

“This vote was never about censorship or freedom of speech. It was only about updating the copyright rules for the 21st century and ensuring that creators get a fair remuneration when their works are used in the digital space,” says Gesac president Anders Lassen. “[U]nfortunately, manipulative campaigns orchestrated by tech giants, based on scaremongering, prevailed on this occasion. We are confident that the European Parliament will finally approve what is right for the future of the EU’s economy, competitiveness and fundamental values against these global forces”.

While PRS and their allies have sought to paint the ‘no’ vote as a temporary stay on the legislation while MEPs consider their options, the directive’s opponents are, unsurprisingly, claiming victory in what privacy campaigner Jim Killock, executive director of Open Rights Group, calls “round one of the robo-copyright wars”.

“The EU parliament has recognised that machine censorship of copyrighted material is not an easy and simple fix. They’ve heard the massive opposition, including internet blackouts and 750,000 people petitioning them against these proposals.

“Everyone across Europe who wants this fixed will have to work hard to make sure that parliament comes up with a sensible way forward by September.”

Meanwhile, Julia Reda, an MEP for Pirate Party Germany, tweeted that anti-Article 13 campaigners’ “protests have worked”:

The next vote will take place from 10 to 13 September 2018.

This article will be updated.


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‘May has “no clear mandate” for “hard Brexit”’

The shock result of yesterday’s general election means British prime minister Theresa May has “no clear mandate” for taking the UK out of the European single market, according to a leading creative-industry trade association.

The Creative Industries Federation, a membership organisation for the music, performing arts, and other creative industries, said in a statement this morning that the result of the election – which saw May’s Conservatives emerge as the largest party but fail to secure a majority of seats – could lead to rethink of Brexit.

“Today’s result raises concerns about the political stability of the UK in the short term,” says Federation chief executive John Kampfner. “One thing is beyond doubt, however: Theresa May has seen that there is no clear mandate for the government to negotiate a hard Brexit.

“Federation members were 96% in favour of remaining in the EU when surveyed before the referendum. They saw Brexit is a threat to the continued success of the creative industries, damaging growth and the UK’s global outlook. This general election vote now offers the opportunity to look at the issue again.

“The Federation will push for the UK to remain in the single market and the customs union and against undue restrictions on free movement, which we know will damage the capacity of the creative industries to deliver.”

“Theresa May has seen that there is no clear mandate for the government to negotiate a hard Brexit”

Geoff Taylor, chief executive of recorded-industry body BPI, says the result will force any future Conservative government to adopt a “more nuanced position” in the upcoming negotiations over Britain’s exit from the EU.

“The general election result creates a political landscape that is considerably more complex,” he comments. “Assuming that the Conservatives form an administration, they will be under some parliamentary pressure to adopt a more nuanced position in the Brexit negotiations, which many in business will welcome.

“However, greater uncertainty over an extended period, with the possibility of a further election before the full parliamentary term, is unlikely to be helpful.”

Taylor says whatever the make-up of the next parliament, lawmakers should make the “creative businesses a priority and ensure a Brexit deal that benefits creative businesses like music by making sure that UK artists can tour freely in EU markets and that UK businesses can access the best talent”.

UK Music, the music-industry umbrella organisation that incorporates the UK Live Music Group, issued a more Brexit-neutral statement restating the importance of putting the music industry at the forefront of negotiations.

“Brexit is clearly the biggest issue facing the country … and we will ensure the interests of our members across the music industry are protected”

“UK Music congratulates all those elected at the general election,” says new CEO – and former Labour MP – Michael Dugher. “Clearly, the dust is settling and the situation will continue to unfold in the coming days, so we await developments.

“But over the coming weeks there will be many discussions about the future direction the country will take. It is paramount that the interests of the music industry are fully considered in those conversations and we look forward to engaging positively and working closely with the new parliament and the next government.

“The political parties each made welcome commitments to build on the successes of creative industries, and music in particular, throughout the election campaign. We will be holding their feet to the fire to ensure that they deliver on those pledges. Brexit is clearly the biggest issue facing the country – and our industry – and we will ensure that the interests of our members across the music industry are protected.”

IQ examined the parties’ manifestoes – and any specific policies affecting the live music business – earlier this week.

“One thing we can take comfort from is that the Conservatives and Labour were very specific in their manifesto commitments to ensure content creators are appropriately rewarded”

Annabella Coldrick, chief executive of the Music Managers Forum (MMF), says the industry can “take comfort” from the fact that both the Conservatives and the opposition Labour party were “very specific in their manifesto commitments to ensure that content creators are appropriately rewarded for the content they make available online”.

In addition to lobbying the new government to “tackle the lack of transparency in the digital marketplace”, such as the perceived ‘value gap’ and lack of fair remuneration for artists from streaming, Coldrick says the organisation will continue its fight against secondary ticketing through the FanFair Alliance.

“Following the successful FanFair campaign, both parties have publicly committed to ensure the revised law on ticket touting is now properly enforced, and we look forward to working with the new government and the Consumer and Markets Authority [which is investigating four ticket resale sites] to make sure this happens. With the help of politicians it is imperative that we fix these fundamentals for both the live and recorded business, restoring the connection from audience to artist, to properly reward the creative talent on whose shoulders our entire business sits.”

At the time of writing, May (pictured) had reportedly struck a deal with the Northern Irish Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) – which opposes a ‘hard’ Brexit that see Britain exit the single market – to form a coalition government.


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£250k awarded to UK acts for international launch

A number of British acts have been awarded funding from the BPI’s Music Exports Growth Scheme to help with touring and marketing costs overseas.

The MEGS fund, originally launched in 2014 with £1.6 million, has been bolstered by £2.8m from the British Government after its relaunch last year. Just under £250,000 of that has now been given to independent labels and management companies to help break 21 acts internationally.

Recipients include punk duo Slaves (pictured), MOBO winning jazz saxophonist YolanDa Brown, Welsh singer-songwriter Cate Le Bon, folk performer Luke Sital-Singh, synthwave act GUNSHIP, and alt rock group Phoria. 

BRIT School graduate Jamie Isaac is also among the new talents being funded alongside r’n’b artist Moelogo, electro-dance pop four-piece Boxed In, London songwriter and performer Charlie Cunningham, indie rock act Clock Opera, and bands Deaf Havana and Don Broco.

Completing the list are Manchester band Everything Everything, multi-instrumental outfit Flamingods, hardcore four-piece Frank Carter & the Rattlesnakes, Kent band Moose Blood, trio Mt. Wolf, Brighton alt-rockers Phoria, rock trio Tigerclub, singer/songwriter Vanessa White and post-punk band White Lies.

The previous MEGS fund, which ran from January 2014 to March 2016, helped a number of now-household names, including Brits 2016 winners Catfish and the Bottlemen, the Mercury Prize-winning Young Fathers and London grime MCs Afrikan Boy and Ghetts.

Over the next three years, £2.8 million will be made available in grants to help British acts and independent labels export their music to overseas markets. Small and medium sized companies are eligible to apply for MEGS grants ranging from £5,000 to £50,000.

“The Music Exports Growth Scheme promotes an incredibly diverse range of music that isn’t typically part of the mainstream but deserves to reach a much wider international audience.”

BPI Director of International, Chris Tams, said: “The Music Exports Growth Scheme promotes an incredibly diverse range of music that isn’t typically part of the mainstream but deserves to reach a much wider international audience. Smaller labels don’t always have the means to market their talented artists overseas, which is where the Scheme can make a vital difference, helping to boost not only their profiles and fan-bases, but the UK’s music exports in the process.

“We had an excellent response to this latest round of funding – with nearly a 100 applications submitted.  Narrowing this down wasn’t easy, but we’re delighted to award nearly a quarter of a million pounds to 21 acts – close to matching the largest amount we’ve given to date.”      

International Trade Minister, Mark Garnier, added: “The UK music industry is hugely influential and continues to inspire millions across the world. Britain has an incredible pool of raw talent and, through our GREAT campaign, we will continue to help budding artists take the next step towards global success.”


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#BritsNotSoWhite: Awards revamp judging panel

The Brit Awards has announced a major overhaul of its voting system in response to this year’s controversy – dubbed #BritsSoWhite – over the lack of ethnic-minority nominees in any of the major categories.

In the biggest-ever shake-up of the 1,200 members who make up the awards’ voting academy, hundreds of former voters will find their names no longer on the list in a bid to increase the ethnic and gender diversity of the Brits’ judging panel.

The new voting academy, says the British Phonographic Industry (BPI), which pushed for the change, is 52% male and 48% female – compared to 70–30 for the 2016 awards – and 17% “BAME” (black, Asian and minority ethnic); up from 15% in 2016.

“I believe that as a result of these changes the Brits will be better equipped to reflect the diverse nature of Britain and British music”

Ged Doherty, BPI’s chairman, says: “I’m really proud that we’ve taken firm action to refresh the academy to ensure that it keeps up with trends in music and society at large. I believe that as a result of these changes the Brits will be better equipped to reflect the diverse nature of Britain and British music.

“There’s been a long-held myth that Brits winners and nominees are decided by industry executives in a smoke-filled room, but the simple truth is that the awards are voted for each year by a 1,000-plus-strong voting academy made up of experts drawn from all areas of music.”

Adele dominated the 2016 Brit Awards in January, with the most wins in 21 years.


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