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Rocking fillers: Live music Christmas gift guide

Classic concert posters

The Rolling Stones, Cardiff Castle, 1973

Is there anything in the history of rock music art as magnificent as Kate Burness’s poster for the Stones’ 1973 show at Cardiff Castle, depicting a dragon with an unfortunate case of Mick Jagger-mouth?

This particular print is sadly sold out, but there are plenty more to choose from at Classic Posters, including the Doors, the Grateful Dead, Pink Floyd, Bob Dylan, the Beatles and the Who.


No Pasta No Show

Claudio Trotta, No Pasta No Show

No Pasta No Show: My 40 Years of Live Music in Italy, Barley Arts founder Claudio Trotta’s new autobiography, is part memoir by a promoter responsible for more than 15,000 live events over five decades, and part history of the Italian concert business.

Or, in the words of Rock Rebel Magazine, “the story of 40 years of live music in Italy: a gallery of unforgettable characters and their stories”. Get it for €16.92 from Amazon.


Sleep Safe tape

Fake Awake sleeping tape

At your tenth show this week? In a dingy basement surrounded by drunk students when you’d much rather be at home in bed with your wife/husband/cuddle pillow? Treat yourself to 40 winks mid-gig with these extremely convincing stick-on fake eyes.

Just £5 from Wish.com… for the agent who has everything.


Ticket Masters

Ticket Masters

Dean Budnick and Josh Baron’s Ticket Masters – subtitled The Rise of the Concert Industry and How the Public Got Scalped – chronicles the history and growth of the modern live music industry, with a particular focus on the changing, often controversial, ticketing market.

A 2011 Maclean’s review calls the book a “fascinating insider’s portrait of the music business once all of the pulsing lights, fog machines and sound equipment have been turned off”.


Musical Ruler

Dan Wieden's Musical Ruler

Wanted to be a rock star but lacked the musical talent? Never fear: Dan Wieden’s Musical Ruler offers you the chance to “become a musician in just a few hours!”

For just £5.99, the stationery maestro will guide you through “the highs, the lows and a variety of twanging thrills” of “modern ruler playing” – perfect for the failed musician in your life.


Isolate ear plugs

Flare Isolate

Starting at just £24.99, Flare Audio’s aluminium Isolate ear protectors promise to shield your ear drums from permanent hearing damage by blocking loud noise – such as live music – while still allowing you to ‘hear’ in detail through bone conduction.

Muse’s tour director, Glen Rowe, describes them as “bloody brilliant”, while legendary producer Tony Visconti (Bowie/T. Rex/Morrissey) says they’re “the best plugs I’ve ever used”. High praise indeed.


Desk Tape Series

ARCA Desk Tape Series

If you want to raise money for a worthy music-related cause this Christmas, you could do worse than ARCA’s Desk Tape Series.

ARCA advocates for road crew, which it describes as the “backbone of Australian music”, especially those in crisis. All proceeds from the sale of the recordings will be used to assist road crew: The roadie who worked on the show will receive 80% of the profit, with 20% being retained by ARCA for its charitable Roadies Fund.


Emperor Palpatine mask

Emperor Palpatine mask

What better way to celebrate ILMC’s close encounters-themed 30th anniversary than with this truly horrifying silicone mask of the most evil man in the galaxy, Star Wars’s Darth Sidious/Sheev Palpatine?

It’s yours for just £517.90 from Ireland’s Madhouse FX Studio. Just make sure you let your colleagues know if you’ve ordered one – one Sith lord in the Royal Garden Hotel is probably more than enough…


Shameless plug: IQ Magazine

IQ Magazine

Not yet a subscriber to the only essential magazine for the international live music business? There’s still time to get your order in before Christmas, making sure you keep on top of the all latest live music industry news, features and insights throughout 2018.


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Pyrotechnic ban comes into force in UK

Possessing fireworks, flares or other pyrotechnics at music festivals and concerts is now illegal in Britain.

The Policing and Crime Bill 2017, which comes into force today, includes a section prohibiting the “possession of pyrotechnic articles at musical events”, a measure long campaigned for by the UK live music industry.

A “pyrotechnic article” is defined as “an article that contains explosive substances, or an explosive mixture of substances, designed to produce heat, light, sound, gas or smoke, or a combination of such effects, through self-sustained exothermic chemical reactions”, with the notable exception of matches.

The maximum sentence for violation of the new law, which brings live music in line with a similar ban at sporting events, is 51 weeks in prison. Artists and event promoters are excepted.


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Flare smashes Kickstarter goal by nearly £200,000

Audio manufacturer Flare Audio is celebrating its second major Kickstarter success after smashing its £25,000 funding goal for its new Isolate ear protectors.

At the time of writing, and with nine days to go, the West Sussex-based company has raised – wait for it – £222,757 from 4,494 backers for the memory-foam earbuds, which it says provide a “long overdue solution for any music and events professional who works in loud sound environments” by blocking low frequencies more effectively than traditional hearing protection.

“I designed Flare Isolate with your listening pleasure in mind,” explains Flare founder Davies Roberts. “By using our own patent-pending technology I discovered that I could create ear protectors that don’t absorb sound – they block it, giving the user the sensation that they have simply lowered the volume.

“Using Flare Isolate at a concert is really something else. You can hear every instrument, every detail at a safe low level like never before.”

Last year, Flare – previously known only as a pro loudspeaker manufacturer – successfully funding its first consumer headphone product using Kickstarter, raising £177,277 from 1,260 backers.


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