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Neil Warnock appointed MBE in new year’s honours

Neil Warnock, global head of touring for United Talent Agency (UTA), has been appointed a member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE).

Warnock (pictured), who founded the Agency Group (TAG) in 1981 and sold to UTA in 2015, was recognised in the 2019 New Year honours for services to music and charity. The MBE presentation will take place in spring this year.

Over a five-decade career, Warnock has worked with legendary acts including Pink Floyd, the Rolling Stones, Johnny Cash, Simon and Garfunkel and Michael Jackson, and currently represents the likes of Mariah Carey, Deep Purple, David Gilmour and Dolly Parton.

He has also been involved with music charity Nordoff Robbins for 43 years, sitting on its board and currently serving as chairman of fundraising, where he plays a key role in organising the annual Silver Clef awards, which have raised more than £20 million for the charity.

Julie Whelan, CEO of Nordoff Robbins, comments: “Neil has worked tirelessly for Nordoff Robbins as he believes so passionately in the power of our music therapy to help the most vulnerable and disadvantaged people. This recognition is hugely deserved for him and we of course are just so grateful for his energy, determination and commitment to our work which has made a massive difference across the UK.”

“I’m absolutely honoured and humbled to receive this prestigious accolade”

“I’m absolutely honoured and humbled to receive this prestigious accolade,” adds Warnock. “The work that Nordoff Robbins does is so important and the changes that they have made to vulnerable and isolated people’s lives are immeasurable.

“I would like to recognise all the therapists and people working at the charity who work so hard to make a difference to those lives every single day.”

Other music industry figures recognised in the New Year honours include Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason, classical violinist Nicola Benedetti and Ivor Novello-winning composer Nitin Sawhney, who are each appointed commanders of the Order of the British Empire (CBE), while Victims of Viagogo founder Claire Turnham has been made an MBE for services to consumer rights.

According to the Sun, American singer Ariana Grande turned down an honorary damehood for her work on the One Love Manchester charity concert, organised by SJM Concerts and Live Nation/Festival Republic after the Manchester Arena bombing.


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Anti-Viagogo campaigner ‘helps reclaim £100k’

Anti-Viagogo campaigner Claire Turnham says she has helped disgruntled people claim back over £100,000 in refunds and bank chargebacks in six months.

The founder of the Victim of Viagogo Facebook group started her crusade in February after she says she was overcharged £1,150 trying to buy four Ed Sheeran tickets through the resale site. She finally got a refund after doggedly persisting with her claim and taking her story to the media.

Fanfair Alliance, a music industry campaign against ticket touts, has published her advice for fans on how to get refunds from resale sites such as Viagogo, Seatwave, Getmein and Stubhub.

“We continue to hear from ticket-buyers who are extremely frustrated when seeking redress from Viagogo.”

On Wednesday, BBC consumer advice programme Watchdog investigated the activities of secondary ticketing websites – in particular Viagogo and its sale of tickets to Ed Sheeran concerts in the UK. The singer vowed to cancel all tickets to his gigs on secondary sites, and promoters Kilimanjaro and DHP reportedly voided 10,000 passes.

However, while most resale sites refused to list the tickets, Viagogo continued to allow them to be sold. It claimed the promoters were not legally able to cancel tickets, maintained they remained valid, and refused refunds. UK Trading Standards disputes this interpretation of the law, the programme heard.

Fanfair Alliance campaign manager Adam Webb said: “We continue to hear from ticket-buyers who are extremely frustrated when seeking redress from Viagogo, which is why FanFair Alliance has teamed up with Claire Turnham to produce some comprehensive guidance to help them secure a refund.”

Turnham said: “If you are distressed and desperately seeking a refund, I urge you to persevere. It’s not an easy process but it is possible to reclaim your money back. Keep referring to our self-help guide and connect with others for support.”

Recent research by Which? found that approximately half of people who purchased tickets on these sites believed that they were buying from the official ticket seller.