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Stagehand #ILoveLive draw raises more than £300k

#ILoveLive, the Stagehand prize draw which aims to raise £1 million for UK crew before Christmas, has raised over £300,000 with just under week to go, organisers have revealed.

The #ILoveLive draw gives fans the chance to win unique memorabilia from artists and live music organisations, such as signed guitars from Nile Rodgers, Liam Gallagher, Nick Cave and Warren Ellis, Mark Knopfler, Eric Clapton and more; hand-written lyrics by Florence Welch, Robbie Williams and Years & Years; and a rare mask worn by FKA Twigs during her live show.

Fans can choose which artists they want to buy tickets for and can increase their chances of winning by purchasing multiple tickets, which are priced at £5 each. The draw is live on Crowdfunder until 17 December and winners will be chosen on 23 December.

“Money raised from these prize draws will actually save lives and help to safeguard their future”

Newly announced products include memorabilia by Pink Floyd, who are auctioning a new Delicate Sound of Thunder triple vinyl signed by David Gilmour and Nick Mason, and the Cure and Depeche Mode.

Mark Knopfler’s guitar is currently the most wished-for item, with more than £57,000 of a £60,000 target raised with six days to go.

Artist manager and promoter David Stopps, #ILoveLive’s project manager, comments: “When I heard about the tenth suicide among stage crew in late August, I knew I had to do something. Stage crew are not only suffering great financial hardship but most are also experiencing ill mental health.

“Money raised from these prize draws will actually save lives and help to safeguard their future.”

To support the #ILiveLive campaign, which is raising funds for UK crew affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, go to www.crowdfunder.co.uk/i-love-live.

 


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CAA’s Ben Kouijzer fundraising for cancer care

CAA London agent Ben Kouijzer has thanked the international live music industry for its “incredible love, support and generosity”, following a groundswell of support for his fundraising campaign to pay for cancer treatment.

Kouijzer, 36, turned to crowdfunding site GoFundMe after being diagnosed with malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumour (MPNST) – a rare and aggressive form of cancer of the connective tissue surrounding nerves, which in Kouijzer’s case later metastasised to his lungs.

After being told by doctors that the lung cancer would eventually kill him, Kouijzer “immediately began an ongoing process of researching every possible thing that I could do (conventional and integrative) to change the course of history I found myself on,” he explains, “discussing different treatments, arranging tests, ordering supplements, radically changing diet, speaking to therapists, embracing meditation and breathwork, taking in as much information as we could and trying to make sense of it all.”

MPNST is non-chemosensitive, meaning it doesn’t respond to chemotherapy. Doctors in the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) suggested operating on one lung at a time to remove as much of the cancer as they can, and then follow up with chemotherapy to “manage the disease”, Kouijzer continues.

“We are embracing surgery with open arms, and feel fortunate to have an amazing surgeon within the NHS, but bog-standard chemo that isn’t likely to work just doesn’t feel good enough for a long term outcome.”

“We are more hopeful than that,” he adds, explaining that “there are other forms of treatment, targeted therapies and immunotherapies that can in some cases have better outcomes that we want to explore after surgery. Eligibility for these depends on certain genetic mutations which need to be tested for using expensive molecular testing and DNA sequencing – something that is not available as standard through the NHS. If I have certain genetic mutations, I might be eligible for some of these more promising treatments, and maybe even beat this thing!

“If I have certain genetic mutations, I might be eligible for some of these more promising treatments, and maybe even beat this thing”

“While I’m not turning my back on the NHS, who have been in so many ways amazing up until this point, we need to form the right team of people, do the necessary testing and create an individualised treatment plan for me, no matter what or where in the world this takes place.

“I just don’t have the financial resources to do all of this alone.”

Kouijzer, who is currently in hospital recovering from the first of the lung surgeries, says he has been “blown away” by the support for the fundraiser – which includes donations from friends, wellwishers and colleagues in the concert business – which smashed through its £50,000 target within a matter of hours on Friday 8 April.

At press time, the GoFundMe stood at over £117,000 – every penny of which will be put towards “treatments further down the road”, says Kouijzer, whose CAA roster includes electronic music acts 808 State, Meduza, Tough Love and Bearcubs.

“Thank you so much, everybody – I can’t tell you how this makes me feel,” he adds. “It’s been a lonely week in hospital but the support I’m feeling today is just unreal.”

To donate to Kouijzer’s campaign, visit Ben Kouijzer’s fight to survive MPNST on GoFundMe.

 


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Grass Roots Music Fund launches in the UK

A fund to support UK artists, venues and production companies hit by coronavirus cancellations has launched, inviting fans and industry supporters to donate to the grassroots music community.

The Grass Roots Music Fund is appealing for donations from fans and larger companies to support people whose income has been devastated by the rapid shutdown of all public gatherings. According to Gigseekr, the company behind the fundraiser, the fund will be available to artists, venues and related production crews “whose income would have been derived from ticket sales for gigs up to 500 capacity that have been cancelled from March to May” due to Covid-19.

David Hamilton, founder of Gigseekr, explains: “We’re acutely aware of how many shows have been cancelled and that the smaller elements of the industry are really suffering, so our concept is simply to support them through these difficult times, so that when things pick up they are able to continue.

“Analysing our event data, we can see that already over 2,600 shows have been cancelled across the UK. We estimate that this will rise to over 5,000 cancelled shows by the end of June, resulting in over £40m of lost revenues. The grassroots sector is vital to the music industry and we want to use our reach via Gigseekr to let fans show their support for their favourite artists and venues.

“I hope fans will support the artists, venues and many others who have given them so much pleasure over the years gone by”

“I hope fans will support the artists, venues and many others who have given them so much pleasure over the years gone by, which will mean they can survive and re-open to give those fans (and us all) the joy of live music for many years to come.”

Without setting a specific target, the founders’ ambitions are to raise £500,000 to distribute back to the sector.

Venues, bands and production companies are invited to apply for help from the fund for up to 80% of their losses, up to a maximum of £2,000, via www.gigseekr.com/grassrootsmusicfund/apply. Applications open Monday 13 April.

While British music freelancers are eligible for financial relief under the self-employed income support scheme, lawyer Ceri Stoner explained earlier this week why many are still excluded:

Support for UK freelancers: Close, but no cigar

 


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UK festival venue the Wyldes crowdfunds equity sale

The Wyldes, a 10,000-capacity events and festival site in Cornwall, UK, has announced the launch of a crowdfunding campaign that aims to raise £250,000 in exchange for a 5% equity stake.

The Wyldes group – which comprises Leopallooza, Live in the Wyldes and Weddings in the Wyldes – says the projected new investment would be put towards increasing capacity, improving infrastructure and bringing in a more diverse range of shows and artists. The company’s events have over the past decade welcomed artists including Thom Yorke, Bastille, Kelis, Rag’n’Bone Man, Chase and Status, Paloma Faith, Loyle Carner and Idles, while Paul Weller and Fatboy Slim will play Live in the Wyldes shows in 2019.

Sam Dunnett, co-director of the Wyldes, comments: “We started over ten years ago as a small festival for friends and family, but have grown exponentially year on year and are now at a tipping point to start moving into phase two of our lifecycle.

“We’re excited to welcome new partners onboard to be a part of the ever-growing Wyldes family”

“We’re perfectly positioned to offer a new, exciting and unique alternative style of show that can take the customer experience to a whole new level.”

The Wyldes’ Crowdcube campaign has, at press time, raised more than £87,000, and is projected to reach its £250,000 target by the closing date of 2 January 2019.

“With the UK events industry worth £42.3 billion annually, we know that investors will be interested in getting a piece of the action,” adds Matt Daniel, co-founder and director of the Wyldes.

“We’ve already had a great response and we’re excited to welcome new partners onboard to be a part of the ever-growing Wyldes family.”

 


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Oxford’s the Cellar launches Cellar Forever crowdfunder

The Cellar, the last family run grassroots music venue in Oxford, UK, has launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise £80,000, in a “last-ditch” bid to stay open.

The formerly 150-capacity venue, which opened in 1998, is renowned as an incubator of emerging talent, with Foals, Young Knives, Stornoway and Glass Animals all having cut their teeth at the Cellar. It has also hosted shows by artists including Mumford & Sons, Friendly Fires, Noah and the Whale, Youth Movies, Deerhoof, Fuck Buttons, Jeffrey Lewis, Afrika Bambaataa and Dawn Penn, as well as numerous club nights and comedy shows by Reginald D. Hunter, Richard Herring and more.

The Cellar escaped closure in late 2017 after 14,000 people signed a petition to stop redevelopment plans by the venue’s landlord. However, stringent new fire regulations, which cut capacity from 150 to 60 people, once again threatens its future.

The venue’s plight was raised earlier this week at a meeting of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee, with British rapper ShoaDow telling MPs of the importance of the venue when building his career.

To once again increase capacity, and attract promoters and artists who have had to go elsewhere for larger shows, the Cellar needs to raise £80,000 to build a new fire exit. The emergency crowdfunding campaign, dubbed Cellar Forever, is asking local businesses, artists and supporters of independent music to make a donation in order to secure its long-term future.

Venue manager Tim Hopkins explains: “It was people power that saved the Cellar in 2017, and that showed me how much the community care about this place and how important it is to keep it alive.

“We hope that with the right support we can ride through this difficult moment”

“We’ve always been so proud of the opportunities we can provide to local and national musicians to hone their craft, as well as seeing budding promoters and technical crew come up through the ranks and providing a warm, friendly space for people to come together and let off some steam.

“Running a small venue these days is definitely challenging to make it work, and, sadly, with the extent of the renovations we’ve been asked to make, we simply don’t have the money to pay for them. Which is why we’re calling on people power again with this crowdfunding campaign.

“As well as our own passion to keep going, we owe it to all our amazing supporters to give this one last try. The best thing is, if we are a successful then it’ll make big improvements to what we already offer, widening the audience area, giving customers much better visibility and increasing our capacity to 200. We’re truly excited to get stuck in.

“We hope that with the right support we can ride through this difficult moment, and rebuild the Cellar for future generations to enjoy.”

To make a domination to the Cellar Forever campaign, which has so far raised nearly £20,000 of the £80,000 goal, visit crowdfunder.co.uk/cellar-forever.

Music Venue Trust last month urged the music business to unite behind its new pipeline investment fund – which would, by providing a reliable source of funding for venues in need, make the need for crowdfunding campaigns like the Cellar’s a thing of the past.

 


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Vibe founder to gift equity in new company to crowdfunders

Vibe Tickets founder Luke Massie is to give away shares in his new company to investors in TheVibe Ltd, which was forced into administration earlier this month.

Vibe raised more than £600,000 in late 2016 through crowdfunding site Crowdcube, and Massie says gifting equity in his new vehicle, Vibe Tickets Ltd, to backers of the crowd sale is “the right thing to do”.

“This is a gift from me, personally,” he says. “Those investors are who Vibe stands for. They put their faith in me over other start-ups raising cash. They helped make Vibe happen. I owe them for that.

“I’m just reciprocating the support they’ve given to me because they deserve better than the situation they were left in. They deserve to be looked after and to have their investment honoured.”

Under the new arrangement, the crowd investors have the opportunity to opt in to receive the newly offered shares, which will be offered proportionate to their original investment in TheVibe Ltd. The shares are being gifted from Massie’s personal equity.

The crowdfunders who opt in to accept the equity offer will sit alongside Scott Fletcher MBE, who has committed £500,000, and Vela Technologies, which has promised £200,000, with Massie saying he’s close to agreeing terms with a major new investor in the coming weeks.

He continues: “This is a hugely exciting time for Vibe – we’re free from the shackles that were stifling our progress and we’re working on some significant developments. I want the crowd to share in all that, because that’s what they bought into in the first place.

“we’re free from the shackles that were stifling our progress”

“Since the moment my second offer was accepted to buy back the business, it’s been my intention to do the right thing by the crowd. The sensitivity of the situation meant it took longer than I’d have liked to put things in place – seeking the best advice on how I could execute my plan to best benefit investors took time, and looking after the Vibe team had to be top of my agenda.

“The last seven days have been the most testing of my life so far. I’ve watched conversations, based on misinformation and total inaccuracies, play out in the media and observed while others peddle their own agendas at my expense. It’s taken every inch of me to remain tight-lipped because I’ve known that, had I gone against advice and spoken publicly about my experience, I’d have jeopardised my plans to turn this situation around for the crowd.

“My actions speak louder than their words. While others have used my age as a weapon to insult me and tarnish my name, ironically it’s their immaturity that’s stoked the fire in me to pull this off.

“I’ve had to go against the grain to make this happen – most people thought I was crazy to suggest it. But I’ve pushed hard, I’ve insisted, I’ve justified my thinking and, as I always have, I’ve done things my way.”

Massie declines to comment on the specifics of The Vibe’s demise, although IQ understands a restrictive agreement with an early investor left the company unable to look elsewhere for funding.

“I can’t go into any detail about the events that led to The Vibe Ltd facing administration, but I will say Vibe was backed into a corner and the administration was forced upon me,” he concludes. “It’s been a huge distraction which we’ve moved on from now. I refuse to dwell on it.

I’ve got work to do and the next stage of the journey starts now, with the continued support of the crowd.”

 


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Tramlines agrees to crowdfunded takeover bid

Tramlines Events Ltd, the promoter behind Tramlines Festival, has agreed provisionally to a £1.2 million buy-out of the popular UK event.

The bid comes courtesy of Music City Foundation, a Sheffield-based nonprofit, which says it hopes to “preserve the iconic festival for the benefit of the city” by “buy[ing] back the festival for the people”. The foundation already owns 15% of Tramlines, but now plans to buy Tramlines Events out of its shares in the festival, with half (£600,000) of the bid price raised through a crowdfunding campaign.

Share packages start at £200, and will be available to buy next Wednesday (12 April) from musiccityfoundation.org.

“Music City Foundation plans to buy back the festival for the people,” says foundation director Winston Hazel. ““Our aim is to support both economic and cultural growth.

“Sheffield is one of the most culturally diverse and stimulating cities in the UK. It is the birthplace of Arctic Monkeys, Pulp and Bring Me the Horizon, and 7.4% of our population is employed by the creative industries [compared to a] national average of just 4%. We want to ensure that Tramlines continues to support our vibrant culture while also contributing to the city’s economic success.”

Tramlines Festival 2017, headlined by Primal Scream and The Libertines, will not be affected by the £1.2m offer – which is below market value, “in order to encourage investment from the city’s people and businesses” – with a successful bid taking effect from 2018.

“Do you want our flagship event stuck in a portfolio of 15 festivals, its performance linked to strategies, bundled with random cities that have nothing to do with Sheffield?”

Tramlines was launched in 2009 as a free festival by Tramlines Events and Sheffield Council, with Tramline Events assuming full control in 2010. Count of Ten (Y Not, Truck Festival) acquired a 38% stake in 2013, introducing several ‘premium’ venues but still keeping a free tier. It first made a significant profit in 2015.

“Ask yourself, as someone with a direct trading interest in Sheffield: Do you want our flagship event stuck in a portfolio of 15 festivals, its performance linked to strategies, maybe bundled and themed with random cities that have nothing to do with Sheffield [and] jettisoned if we don’t hit bottom lines?” writes Hazel in Music Cities Foundation’s ‘blueprints’ for the acquisition. “We think that is not the way our flagship, or our city, thinks. […]

“Keeping Tramlines Sheffield-owned isn’t just about protecting an event. We believe Tramlines Festival is a crucial catalyst for our plans and for the city. It has already shown the importance of city-wide collaboration. It brings national companies and projects to our table and gives us a national profile in return.

“There are a huge number of incumbent traders who have helped shape Tramlines with us – and we are inviting them first to secure their long-term rights to buying the festival shares and its IPRs [intellectual property rights].”

 


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Jake Bugg to play Bianca Freitas benefit

On Stage Lab, the live entertainment educational institution co-founded by the late Bianca Freitas, has announced the Paralise o Guillain-Barré fund to raise awareness and money for research into Guillain-Barré syndrome.

Freitas (pictured), a popular Brazilian concert promoter and long-time ILMC member, passed away last October after losing her battle with the autoimmune disease.

Paralise o Guillain-Barré (‘Paralyse Guillain-Barré’) will officially launch on 8 March, the first day of ILMC 29, with a show by Jake Bugg at a secret location in Brazil.

The 200 people attending the event, who will receive invitations via On Stage Lab partners and social media, will “receive more information about Guillain-Barré syndrome from doctors, and will be able to post snippets of the singer’s appearance on their social media accounts with the hashtag #InformaçãoNãoParalisa (#InformationDoesntParalyze),” explains On Stage Lab’s other founder, Fabiana Lian.

Paralise o Guillain-Barré will officially launch on Wednesday 8 March, the first day of ILMC 29

“Everyone who wins places in this special presentation should bring food donations, which will be donated to the Bianca’s Day project, created by the family of Bianca. […] Food donations will be directed an NGO that takes care of poor people in Sao Paulo and Brasilia.”

According to Lian, Paralise o Guillain-Barré has two goals: to inform the Brazilian population about the disease, how it develops and whether it has any relation to the Zika virus; and to raise funds for scientific research into the disease.

Donations can be made on crowdfunding platform Kickante. All money will be directed to the department of neurology at the University of Rio de Janeiro (UERJ), one of the few institutions in Brazil that undertakes research into diseases of the peripheral nervous system, including Guillain-Barré syndrome.

The World Health Organisation estimates incidences of the syndrome grew 19% year on year in Brazil between January and December 2015. The total number of cases was 1,708 – more than five a day.

 


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Twickets eyes global launch after £1.2m funding

Face-value ticket exchange website Twickets has ended its crowdfunding campaign with £1.2m of investment – over 70% the original £700k it asked for – and founder Richard Davies is gearing up for international expansion.

The crowdfunding campaign launched in November last year with the aim of raising cash to help the business grow by bolstering its technology team and undertake its first marketing campaign. That campaign will focus on providing incentives for users of the service to help spread the word, with outbound marketing activity aimed at capturing new users coming next, Davies tells IQ. He’s currently looking for a head of marketing to oversee the project.

Twickets is available in the UK and thanks to a tie-up with Neo Sala’s Spanish promoter, Doctor Music, will launch in Spain before the end of March. Sala invested in the recent round alongside a number of promoters in Spain and Switzerland. Davies wants to roll out Twickets in other European territories as well as Australia, where they’ve already appointed someone to head up operations, and New York State in the second half of this year.

A total of 12% equity in Twickets has been given to those who participated in the funding drive, with the start-up now valued at over £11m.  T-shirts, waived booking fees and tickets to parties and events were offered to funders as incentives.

“As a community-led business we felt crowdfunding was the most relevant way for us to raise funds. We have industry investors as well, but we felt it was important to allow our users to invest.”

“As a community-led business we felt crowdfunding was the most relevant way for us to raise funds. We have industry investors as well but we felt it was important to allow our users to invest,” Davies explained. Since launching in 2011, Twickets has achieved over £2.7m in ticket sales and 240k app downloads. Including the £1.2m, its total investment has topped £2m to date.

A premium service is in the works that will offer sellers “promoted tickets” at the top of the Twickets stream and a “waiting list” service that’s currently in trial will allow buyers to register for a ticket for automatic allocation once available. Twickets has been appointed as the exclusive resale platform for partners including Adele, Mumford & Sons, One Direction, QPR, Crystal Palace football club and promoter Kilimanjaro Live and parent company Deutsche Entertainment AG (DEAG).

Recent investors include Marcus Russell and Alec McKinlay of Ignition Management (Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, Catfish and the Bottlemen), Closer Artists (James Bay, George Ezra, James Morrison) and Twickets’ original founding board, which includes FanFair Alliance founders Ian McAndrew and Harry Magee, along with Richard Griffiths of Modest! Management (One Direction, Olly Murs), Chrysalis Records founder Chris Wright CBE, former EMI and BPI chairman Tony Wadsworth CBE and Crystal Palace FC’s owner and chairman, Steve Parish.
 


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Fabric #saveourculture fund tops £140k

Fabric has raised over £140,000 in donations since Friday as it prepares a legal challenge to its recent closure.

The campaign fund, dubbed #saveourculture, will go towards “help[ing] retain a small Fabric team, [keeping] the venue in hibernation and to prepare a legal battle to re-open and stop this police oppression”, says the 2,500-cap. London club, which earlier this month had its licence revoked by Islington Council for what the council called a “culture of drug use [Fabric] appears incapable of controlling”.

At the time of writing, the club had raised £143,823.

The top backers so far are Nick Gold, of The Box cabaret club in Soho, and The Warehouse Project director Rich McGinnis, both of whom have pledged £5000 each.

Says the campaign page:

It will be an expensive battle, and we need you to stand with us and contribute to the campaign fund…

Do you believe that youth culture and music are an essential part of life? If the answer’s ‘yes’, join the fight to save our culture.

Do you see the importance in having safe, well-run spaces to come together and express ourselves in? If the answer’s ‘yes’, join the fight to save our culture.

Do you realise how much London has suffered already, and just what’s at stake if we stand by and do nothing? If the answer’s ‘yes’, join the fight to save our culture.

Just think about that ticket you would have bought these last six weeks we’ve been shut, or those few beers at the bar – all donations are absolutely vital and we know that together we can do this.

Donate to our campaign to #saveourculture today. It could be your last chance.

 


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