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Paul Weller named Forest Live’s best-selling artist

Annual UK concert series Forest Live has named Paul Weller as it best-selling artist ever, with ticket sales surpassing 145,000 over the years.

Forest Live, a concert series taking place at seven forest locations across the UK, is organised by land manager Forestry England. Other artists to play the 2019 series include Foals, Jess Glynne and Stereophonics.

Weller most recently completed a run of seven Forest Live dates, including four sold-out shows at Cheshire’s Delamere Forest and Staffordshire’s Cannock Chase Forest, among others.

The capacity of venues included in the series ranges from 5,500 to 9,750.

Forestry England presented Weller with a commemorative inscription to mark the achievement.

“I’ve loved playing the forest shows: the settings and crowds are always fantastic”

“It’s an honour to receive this plaque. I’ve loved playing the forest shows: the settings and crowds are always fantastic,” comments Weller.

Forestry England event manager Simon Hough says he is “extremely grateful” for Weller’s “massive contribution” and “commitment to be a part of Forest Live.”

Weller made his Forest Live debut in 2004 and has since played three more times at each of the seven venues. Money raised from ticket sales goes towards forest conservation.

Launched in 2001, past artists to perform at Forest Live include Pulp, Van Morrison, the Pet Shop Boys, Ed Sheeran, Blondie, Little Mix, George Ezra and Paloma Faith.

Pictured (l to r): DB Event Services’ David Barrow, Paul Weller, Forestry England’s Rob Lamb.

 


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Lewis Capaldi, Foals: the best of TGE 2019

Over 580 artists played 780 shows in Brighton as part of the Great Escape (TGE) from Wednesday 8 to Saturday 11 May, as 20,000 festival fans and music industry representatives attended venues across the seaside city.

The festival was also used as a platform for announcements from organisations including the Music Venue Trust (MVT), Music Managers Forum (MMF) and Attitude is Everything (AIE).

Foals made a return to TGE after 12 years away, playing a sold out spotlight show on Friday at the 500-capacity Concorde 2. The performance celebrated the 15th anniversary of independent, London-based record label Transgressive Records.

Lewis Capaldi, who recently sold out a UK arena tour in minutes prior to his debut album release, was another spotlight show artist, performing at the Brighton Dome (1,860).

South London post-punk band Shame came as a last minute announcement for the headline slot at the Fender Next Stage on Thursday night. Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes headed up the stage the following evening and Friendly Fires played a show on Brighton beach.

Over 580 artists played 780 shows in Brighton as part of the Great Escape

Other surprise performances across the festival came from singer-songwriter James Bay and Brighton-based artist Yonaka.

The festival closed with performances from Brisbane’s Emerson Snowe, European Talent Exchange Programme (ETEP) forerunner Black Midi and Brit-nominated singer-songwriter Anna Calvi.

Elsewhere, there was good news for grassroots music venues, as music charity MVT announced funding breakthroughs including a £1.5 million grassroots live music fund from the Arts Council England and several industry-led initiatives.

At the TGE conference, fellow music charity AIE revealed survey findings highlighting problems with accessibility for deaf or disabled artists and MMF debuted its new song royalties guide.

This year’s conference programme focused on music education, streaming and marketing.

Early bird delegate passes for next year’s TGE are now on sale.

 


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Rob da Bank, Foals join campaign to save the Cellar

Local bands Foals, Ride and Glass Animals, along with DJ and Bestival founder Rob da Bank, are among those to have signed a new petition opposing the impending closure of the Cellar, one of Oxford’s best-loved independent music venues.

The 150-capacity basement club – established 40 years ago by local promoter Adrian Hopkins and now managed by his son, Tim – is to be turned into a retail space, landlord St Michael’s and All Saints’ Charities announced earlier this week.

In addition to Foals, Glass Animals et al., the Cellar has hosted early-career shows by Mumford & Sons, The xx, Young Knives, Stornoway, Diplo and Friendly Fires, and is recognised as a “pivotal venue in the development of Oxford’s musical history”, according to the petition, which is already close to its 10,000-signature target.

Tim Hopkins comments: “It is devastating news, not just for the Cellar team, but for the Oxford music scene as a whole. The loss of an important cultural asset such as the Cellar is a matter of concern for everyone – not just the music fans and musicians of Oxford. It should be of concern to anyone who cares about jobs, the night-time economy, local creativity and the social community of the city. We appreciate the pressures that may be felt by St Michael’s and All Saints’ Charities, but the aims of the charity are not furthered by losing such a vital local space.

“It’s quite clear that the people of Oxford want the Cellar to stay”

“We would welcome the opportunity to work with St Michael’s and All Saints’ to look at an alternative way to increase their income, if this is their aim, but we have yet to be consulted on this. Working together could led to economic benefits for the charity, and we urge the trustees to pause and consider the wider benefits that a cultural space such as the Cellar brings to the local community.”

Mark Davyd of Music Venue Trust says allowing the conversion of the venue to a shop would be contrary to Oxford City Council’s culture strategy. “We urge St Michaels and All Saints to withdraw their application and work with the Cellar to develop a proposal that protects this important venue,” he comments. “Oxford City Council have a very clear cultural strategy, and converting a fantastic cultural asset like the Cellar into a retail space quite obviously flies in the face of that, as well as the needs of local people.

“It’s quite clear that the people of Oxford want the Cellar to stay, and we hope the charity will recognise this and reconsider their plans.”

IQ revealed earlier this month that publicly funded arts body Arts Council England has allocated just 0.06% of its total funding to popular music venues in its 2018–22 grants.

 


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Glasto acts to record live LP dedicated to Jo Cox

A charity album in aid of Oxfam and dedicated to murdered MP Jo Cox will be recorded at this weekend’s Glastonbury Festival.

Oxfam Presents: Stand as One – Live at Glastonbury 2016 will be second LP recorded at Glasto (after 1972’s Glastonbury Fayre triple album) and include a song each from Coldplay, Muse, Foals, Sigur Rós, The Last Shadow Puppets, Chvrches, Wolf Alice, Laura Mvula, Jamie Lawson, John Grant, Jack Garratt, Two Door Cinema Club, The 1975, Editors, Years & Years and Fatboy Slim, “with more expected to join”.

“We are making this special live album from Glastonbury this summer because the scale of the refugee crisis is so huge we simply had to do something,” says Glastonbury co-promoter Emily Eavis. “We want people who are far from home and frightened to know we are doing whatever we can to help. To know the artists who play here are doing whatever they can. To know the people who love their music are doing whatever they can. Now it’s time for world leaders to do the same. All of us – Glastonbury, Oxfam, musicians and music-lovers everywhere – must stand as one to demand action for refugees.”

The album is dedicated to the memory of Oxfam campaigner Jo Cox MP, who was shot and stabbed while holding a constituency surgery in Birstall, Yorkshire, on 16 June.

Stand as One will be released on Parlophone on 11 July and is available to preorder now.

Oxfam presents Stand as One: Glastonbury Live

 


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