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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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Half of UK population say form 696 is discriminatory

Controversial risk-assessment document form 696 has been thrust into the spotlight once more after a survey revealed almost half the British general public thinks the form is discriminatory against those forced to complete it.

New data released today by Ticketmaster shows 48% of those polled – a “nationally representative” sample of the British population – think the form is discriminatory because it only applies to certain events. Culture minister Matt Hancock and the mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, are among those to have called for a review of form 696, which is used by London’s Metropolitan police to determine the potential level of risk involved in events where a DJ or MC is using a backing track.

Critics accuse the form – which asks for a description of the style of music and target audience, and is a requirement for promoters and licensees of events to complete 14 days before the event – of being anti-grime and urban music, as it as it disproportionally affects promoters of those shows.

The findings form part of Ticketmaster’s State of Play: Grime report, which follows similar investigations by the ticketing company into other sectors of the live industry, including theatre, comedy and dance music. The study, produced by Ticketmaster’s LiveAnalytics division in partnership with Disrupt and the University of Westminster’s black music research unit, is described as the “first comprehensive and academic study into public attitudes to grime and its political impact”.

Other findings of the report include:

Ticketmaster UK manager director Andrew Parsons comments: “This year’s State of Play report was especially exciting for us, as here at Ticketmaster we have witnessed firsthand the extraordinary rise of grime music from the increase in ticket sales for grime events. We partnered with Disrupt Creative and University of Westminster and set out to create the first set of granular data around grime and quantify its incredible popularity and influence in culture.”

“Grime is one of the great music genres to come out of London, and with international talent like Skepta as well as rising stars like Nadia Rose bringing grime to the world stage, it is little wonder this grassroots music movement is now becoming a huge part of mainstream culture,” adds London’s night czar, Amy Lamé. “At city hall, we are doing everything we can to safeguard grassroots music, showing the world that London is open to talent and creativity.

“As well as setting out measures to promote busking and protect grassroots music venues, we’ve made it clear that form 696 shouldn’t compromise the capital’s vibrant music industry or unfairly target one community or music genre. That is why we are working with the Met and London’s promoters, venues and artists to make sure London’s legendary music scene is the best and safest in the world.”


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We Are Fstvl 2017 increases cap after sell-out

London dance music event We Are Fstvl has agreed an increase in capacity to 29,000 after selling out of its original ticket allocation on Monday night.

The independently promoted festival, which has taken place at the Damyns Hall aerodrome in Upminster, east London, since 2013, this year adds a 5,000-cap. campsite, expanding its non-music offering to include glamping facilities, hot tubs, a “woodland spa”, giant pillow fights and a ‘We Are Houseparty’ on the campsite each night. Musical headliners are Craig David’s TS5, Carl Cox, Dizzee Rascal and a DJ set by Basement Jaxx.

“Due to unprecedented demand for our fifth anniversary, We Are Fstvl 2017 has seen record-breaking sales and a demand for tickets like never before,” comments festival director Reece Miller.

“We are delighted to announce an extension to our licensed capacity so that more fans from around the world can experience We Are Fstvl for the very first time”

“We’ve been working hard on very detailed plans and a large amount of improvements with all local authorities and the Met police for several months, and are delighted to announce an extension to our licensed capacity so that more fans from around the world can experience We Are Fstvl for the very first time.

“I would like to place on record our sincere thanks to all those behind the scenes for making this possible for the greatest dance music fans on the planet.”

We Are Fstvl 2017 takes place from Friday 26 to Sunday 28 May.


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