Superstruct acquires UK’s Y Not festival
Live entertainment powerhouse Superstruct Entertainment has acquired a majority stake in Derbyshire’s Y Not festival.
The Pikehall-based event takes place across three days each summer and attracts more than 25,000 attendees.
Artists including Foals, Elbow, Two Door Cinema Club, Franz Ferdinand, You Me at Six and Wolf Alice have performed at the festival.
Providence Equity-backed Superstruct has acquired the stake from Count of Ten, which has had on-off ownership of Y Not since its inception.
The festival was founded in 2005 by Ralph Broadbent and his company Count of Ten, and remained independent until 2016.
Artists including Foals, Elbow, Two Door Cinema Club, Franz Ferdinand, You Me at Six and Wolf Alice have performed at Y Not
In 2016, Broadbent and Alex Dixon resigned as directors of Count of Ten before radio giant Global acquired Y Not and Oxford’s Truck Festival from the firm, along with South West Four, Field Day, Boardmasters and Rewind from Impresario.
When Global’s portfolio was divvied up in April 2019, Y Not was not acquired by Superstruct or Broadwick Live.
The festival was then bought back by its original owner Count of Ten, led by operations manager Jason Oakley, who has been involved with Y Not since its founding.
In 2022, after a two-year break due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the festival returned as an independent event, headlined by Stereophonics, Courteeners and Blossoms.
IQ has contacted Count of Ten and Superstruct for a comment.
Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.
CTS goes global with Cohl partnership
CTS Eventim and veteran US concert promoter Michael Cohl have joined forces in a new partnership, as the European live entertainment powerhouse takes on global touring.
Both parties will hold 50% of the shares of the new company, which will be based in New York and headed up by Cohl and Glenn Orsher, CEO of Cohl’s production company S2BN Entertainment.
The deal marks the next step for CTS Eventim’s promoter network Eventim Live, which launched at last year’s International Live Music Conference (ILMC), as the network expands outside of Europe for the first time.
Cohl, a global touring pioneer and former chairman of Live Nation, brings his concert business and connections across North American to the partnership, while CTS will provide full access to its ticketing platforms and Eventim Live network, which now comprises 32 promoters in 13 countries.
CTS Eventim and Michael Cohl have joined forces in a new partnership, as the European live entertainment powerhouse takes on global touring
Known for paving the way for global touring as we know it today, Cohl spent a reported US$60 million on the Rolling Stones’ Steel Wheels Tour in 1989 and went on to promote tours for the likes of Frank Sinatra, Michael Jackson, Pink Floyd, U2, Prince, Stevie Wonder and Barbra Streisand.
Cohl has also lent his hand to theatre, producing Broadway shows including Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, Lion King, Spamalot, Rock of Ages, Hairspray, The Producers and Bombay Dreams.
The veteran promoter and producer joined ‘cannabis culture’ brand Civilized Worldwide in 2018 as a board member and investor.
Eventim, which celebrated its 30th anniversary last year, has quietly evolved into a live entertainment powerhouse over the past three decades with CEO Klaus-Peter Schulenberg at its head. In the past year, the company has added numerous promoters to its Eventim Live network and acquired a stake in Fnac Darty’s France Billet.
Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.
Ground Control’s Jon Drape launches Engine No. 4
Event production veteran Jon Drape has launched Engine No.4, a new production company headquartered in Manchester, UK, as he retires the Ground Control brand.
Drape, former MD of Ground Control Productions, director at Broadwick Live and founder of Festival Safe, forms part of a core team of equal partners with Tommy Sheals-Barrett (Back On Your Heads Ltd), Jim Gee (N4 Productions) and Will McHugh (CC Events).
The decision to create Engine No.4 follows the withdrawal of Broadwick Live and Ground Control parent company, Global, from the festival space earlier this year.
“It was the ideal time for a rethink – it’s not just a rebadged version of Ground Control,” comments Drape. “We came to realise that a more streamlined business was the only sustainable option.
“With a desire to focus on quality events and festivals, I thought the best move forwards would be to form a new partnership of four equal shareholders and directors together, covering all elements of the industry and able to deliver more bespoke and considered solutions.”
“It was the ideal time for a rethink – it’s not just a rebadged version of Ground Control”
With over 30 years’ experience in the live industry, Drape managed production at legendary Manchester venue the Hacienda, later founding Ground Control in 2013. Drape is a patron for music charity Attitude is Everything and drug safety testing group the Loop.
Sheals-Barrett takes on the role of head of technical production, with 25 years’ experience managing production for Festival No. 6, Bluedot and Parklife.
Kendal Calling and Parklife operations director McHugh will handle the sponsorship side of the business, building on existing relationships with clients such as EE, Lynx, Nintendo and Carling.
Gee, whose recent projects include reopening Manchester’s 10,000-capacity Depot at Mayfield, will serve as the director and head of site management.
“We’re immensely proud of what we have achieved so far at the Depot,” says Gee. “Our remit was to transition the Warehouse Project from Store Street without losing the spirit and the vibe in a much larger venue. Somewhat of a challenge but something we have delivered.”
Operating from September 2019, Engine No.4 has new projects lined up to add to its existing client base.
International event production professionals will be gathering at the ILMC Production Meeting (IPM) on Tuesday 3 March at the Royal Garden Hotel in London.
Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.
Boardmasters axed amid weather worries
Vision Nine’s Boardmasters festival (50,000-cap.) has been cancelled twelve hours before gates were due to open, as severe weather warnings hit the UK.
The organisers of the live music and surfing festival announced the “potential risk” to attendees’, performers’ and crew safety was “too severe” for the event to go ahead.
Campers were supposed to arrive at the festival site in Newquay, Cornwall today (7 August), with music beginning on Friday.
Wu-Tang Clan, Florence and the Machine, Foals, Jorja Smith and Dizzee Rascal were all billed to play the festival.
“Due to forecasted severe weather conditions, specifically high winds, Boardmasters 2019 has been cancelled,” organisers posted on social media at 11 p.m. last night.
Organisers say they “sincerely regret the disappointment to fans” and apologise for disruption to local businesses.
Information regarding refunds will appear on the event’s social media pages in due course. Tickets were priced from £69 for one day to £205 for a five-day camping pass. VIP camping options cost £280.
“Due to forecasted severe weather conditions, specifically high winds, Boardmasters 2019 has been cancelled”
James Barton’s Superstruct Entertainment acquired Boardmasters from Global Festivals in April, along with the UK’s South West Four, Kendal Calling and Tramlines, as well as Croatian dance festival Hideout.
Prior to forming part of the Global portfolio, Boardmasters was owned by Impresario Festivals.
Severe weather conditions caused the cancellation of Rewind North in Cheshire, UK, earlier this month and was cited as the reason for the axing of Roxodus festival in Canada. Flood risks also forced the last-minute venue move which resulted in the cancellation of Neo Sala’s Doctor Music Festival in Spain.
The consequences of extreme weather has been a subject of discussion at the ILMC Production Meeting for many years, with production experts urging more long-term monitoring of weather conditions.
UK’s Y Not back under original management
Derbyshire’s Y Not Festival, the ex-Global event notably not acquired by either Superstruct or Broadwick when they divvied up that company’s festivals in April, is back in the control of previous owner Count of Ten.
“There’s been a bit of chat lately about the future of Y Not and we wanted to share some exciting news with you,” reads a statement from the festival, released yesterday (25 June). “As of last month, Y Not Festival is once again, independent and under the ownership of Count of Ten following a previous purchase by Global Festivals in 2016.”
Radio giant Global acquired Y Not and Oxford’s Truck Festival from Count of Ten in 2016, along with South West Four, Field Day, Boardmasters and Rewind from Impresario. Following its sale by Global, former stablemate Truck is now part Superstruct Entertainment.
Heading up the newly independent Count of Ten is operations manager Jason Oakley, who has been involved with Y Not since its inception, helping to grow the festival from a small grassroots event to one with over 25,000 attendees.
“We’re looking forward to what we believe will be an amazing future”
“We are incredibly excited for this new era for Y Not and we’re looking forward to what we believe will be an amazing future, working on the festival that’s meant so much to us all,” he says. “All our energy and focus is now on giving the Y Notters the best possible festivals that we can. We’re already excited to open the gates for 2019, which we are certain will be the best yet.”
Companies House records show Oakley became a director of Y Not Festivals UK Ltd and Count of Ten Ltd on 11 June. Oakley is also listed as a director of Brownstock UK Ltd, the holding company behind Chelmsford’s Brownstock festival, and his own firm, JO Worldwide Ltd.
Count of Ten founders Alex Dixon and Ralph Broadbent ceased to be directors of the firm in 2016, ahead of the Global acquisition.
Artists playing Y Not 2019 include Foals, Elbow, Two Door Cinema Club, Franz Ferdinand, You Me at Six and Wolf Alice. For 2020, the new owners are asking ‘Y Notters’ to fill in a survey about which artists and other content they want to see at next year’s event.
Drumsheds, Exhibition London for hire with Venue Lab
Broadwick Venues, the venue arm of festival promoter Broadwick Live, has appointed Venue Lab to manage all venue hire for new event spaces the Drumsheds and Exhibition London.
The venue operator has announced the partnership on the back of a successful collaboration with Venue Lab at popular London venue Printworks. The company will manage corporate, brand and filming bookings and will be solely responsible for all venue hire management for the new event spaces.
Venue Lab is a Vibration Group company and the creator of event spaces including Printworks London (6,000-cap.), Landing Forty Two and The Pumping House, Dock X London, Thirty Eight Grosvenor Square and the recently launched Magazine London (3,000-cap.).
“Following our very successful partnership at Printworks London, Venue Lab is the natural choice to help us develop the Drumsheds and Exhibition London as new cultural spaces for the city,” comments Broadwick Venues managing director Bradley Thompson.
Announced earlier this month, the Drumsheds is a ten-acre outdoor events space with four giant interlinking warehouses, offering a total indoor capacity of 10,000. The venue hosts its inaugural event on 7 June, with the first of Broadwick Live’s weekend-long Field Day festival.
“Venue Lab is the natural choice to help us develop the Drumsheds and Exhibition London as new cultural spaces for the city”
Field Day is one of several festivals suspected to remain under Broadwick Live’s control, following the takeover of the festival arm of its former owner, Global, by Providence-Equity backed Superstruct Entertainment. Broadwick is believed to be undertaking a management buyback of its shares from Global.
Scheduled to open at the end of 2019, Exhibition London will transform a Victorian Grade II Dimco East building in Shepherd’s Bush – originally used as an electricity generating station for the London Underground – into a multi-purpose music and events venues with a standing capacity of 1,400.
Spanning two floors, the 34,000sqft venue is currently taking bookings for events taking place from January 2020.
“We are very excited to be partnering with Broadwick Venues and further expanding our portfolio,” says Venue Lab’s director of venues, Claire Pastore.
“Venue Lab has a proven track record of finding, activating and delivering thought-provoking spaces both commercially and to create destinations,” adds Pastore.
Superstruct, Broadwick divvy up Global festival portfolio
Less than four years after it snapped up much of the UK festival market, IQ understands that Global’s portfolio of summer events have been split up between Providence Equity Partners’ Superstruct Entertainment and former partner Broadwick Live.
While the former has taken control of Global Festivals Ltd, Broadwick is reportedly planning a management buyback of its shares from Global, according to several industry insiders.
While never publicly revealing figures, Global took a “significant strategic stake” in Broadwick in June 2015 that was further increased in October 2016. At the time, Broadwick’s portfolio included Snowbombing and Festival No. 6, and it later acquired stakes in Standon Calling, Glass Butter Beach and Lost Village.
Documents recently filed at Companies House state that Superstruct Entertainment Ltd became “a person with significant control” of Global Festivals Ltd on 4 April, at the same time as Broadwick Holdings Ltd ceased to have a significant interest. Shortly after, Broadwick’s directors resigned from the company and Providence Equity’s Siniša Krnić, Roderik Schlösser and Daniel Zwicky were appointed as directors.
After launching into the festival market in 2015, Ashley Tabor’s radio and media conglomerate Global grew the portfolio to a total of 17 events in March 2017 by acquiring majority stakes in Hideout Festival in Croatia and Victorious Festival in the UK. South West Four, Field Day, Boardmasters and ’80s festival Rewind, in Henley, were previously part of the Impresario portfolio, while Y Not and Truck were owned by Tramlines promoter Count of Ten.
“This acquisition further demonstrates that Superstruct is committed to building a strong portfolio of live entertainment brands”
A spokesperson confirms the festivals acquired by Superstruct include Victorious and Hideout, as well as the UK’s South West Four, Kendal Calling, Truck, Tramlines and Boardmasters. Events not included in the agreement, including Field Day, Festival No. 6 and Snowbombing, as well as Broadwick Venues, are believed to remain under Broadwick’s control.
James Barton, CEO of Superstruct, comments: “This acquisition further demonstrates that Superstruct is committed to building a strong portfolio of live entertainment brands. We look forward to supporting the different festivals in their growth in their respective markets.”
The move is believed to be the first UK buy for Superstruct, returning James Barton to his home nation, where he cut his teeth building EDM festival Creamfields in the late 90s. It follows a long string of European festival acquisitions for Superstruct over the past year including Finland’s Flow Festival, Øya Festival in Norway, Barcelona’s Sónar festival, Sziget festival in Hungary and Spanish electronic music promoter Elrow.
The change in ownership of Global’s festival business comes 18 months after its touring arm, Global Live, was wrapped up following the exit of principals Sam Bush and Joe Schiavon, who both left to join Live Nation.
Financial terms of the Superstruct-Global deal were not disclosed.
Mixed picture as UK biz reveals 2018/19 gender pay gap
For the second year running, the UK live music business has revealed its gender pay gap (GPG) statistics, showing a mixed picture in which strides are being made towards gender equality, but where female employees are still vastly outnumbered by their male colleagues at an executive level.
All companies in mainland Britain with more than 250 employees were given until 5 April 2019 to report their gender pay gap – defined as the “difference in the average hourly wage of all men and women across a workforce” – for the previous 12 months to the government equalities office. Companies also published data on bonuses and the breakdown of employees’ genders by pay quartile. (Read last year’s results here.)
While it should be noted that GPG measures the difference between men’s and women’s average earnings across a whole business – rather than the pay received by male and female employees for doing the same job – all companies surveyed by IQ reiterated their goal of narrowing the gap ahead of next year’s survey and beyond.
See below for how nine of the UK’s largest live music businesses stacked up in 2018/19.
“We are committed to narrowing the gap over time in our business”
Live Nation (Live Nation (Music) UK Ltd)
Pay gap (mean): 80% (+18%)
Pay gap (median): 23% (-8%)
Live Nation UK’s mean GPG is the widest of the nine companies featured, growing 18%, to 80% (though its median gap narrowed), in 2018 – a reflection, says president Denis Desmond, of the under-representation of women in the wider music industry, especially in the upper echelons.
Writing in LN’s 2018 gender pay gap report, Desmond says the company is “committed to increasing women and diversity in our workforce and being an inclusive environment where everyone can succeed”.
“Women are under-represented in the music business. The gender pay gap is reflective of this, particularly with more men in the revenue-generating roles at the higher end of the salary scale,” he comments.
“This is something we want to see change. Real change requires a dual and sustainable approach; increasing awareness of the career opportunities available and ensuring we do all we can to develop and retain the women already making the industry such an important contributor to the wider UK economy.
“We are committed to bringing more women into our workforce through promoting all types of career options, and particularly helping influence young people to consider our industry. Alongside this we are creating more apprenticeships and internships designed to give people real skills needed to enter this business for a long-term and fulfilling career.”
Desmond reveals Live Nation recently conducted a “job levelling review across the UK” as part of an overhaul of its approach to reward and compensation decisions, in a bid to boost fairness. “Our robust policies and training programmes ensure that we are continually working to ensure no bias exists in our recruitment processes and ensuring we provide full support to all employees in balancing their family lives with the unique demands of the music business,” he continues.
“We see gender pay gap reporting as an opportunity to increase awareness of these challenges and are committed to narrowing the gap over time in our business.”
“Progress is being made, with 75% of all appointments at head of department level and above awarded to female candidates”
AEG/The O2 (Anschutz Sports Holdings Ltd)
Pay gap (mean): 43.6% (+0.3%)
Pay gap (median): 36.8% (-4.4%)
AEG declined to comment on its 2018 gender pay gap, though it made its report available on Monday 8 April.
While its mean GPG widened slightly, its median gap fell by 4.4%, and there are a slightly more women in two pay quartiles – the top (28%, +2%) and lower quartiles (66%, +1%) – compared to 2017. The percentage of women who received bonus pay was flat at 22%, compared to 7% more men (39%).
“Despite having a fairly even split of male to female employees overall, our gender pay gap is significant and we have more work to do to remove this,” writes AEG Europe president Alex Hill. “This gap is created by a higher proportion of women than men in our lower-paid roles and more men than women in our higher-paid roles.
“Our gender pay gap is not acceptable and we must make even greater effort to work towards gender pay neutrality across our business.”
However, he adds, “[p]rogress is being made, highlighted by our figures showing that 75% of all appointments at head of department level and above were awarded to female candidates, and since April 2018, seven of the top 20 roles are now occupied by female employees.”
“SMG Europe is confident that its gender pay gap does not stem from paying men and women differently for the same or equivalent work”
SMG Europe (SMG Europe Holdings Ltd)
Pay gap (mean): 16.6% (+4.6%)
Pay gap (median): 6% (+2%)
Arena operator SMG Europe’s pay gap slightly widened in 2018, although the proportion of female employees actually increased in every pay quartile. Its results, an SMG spokesperson tells IQ, are skewed by the nearly 20% more women in the lower quartile compared to 2017/18.
“We have undertaken significant resourcing activity in the past 12 months [6 April 2017–5 April 2018]. with 650 new colleagues joining our team,” they say. “The majority of new colleagues are casually engaged team members, of which 66.5% are female and 33.5% male. The recruitment gender ratios were consistent with gender ratio of applicants – ie no positive or other discrimination.
“As of April 2018, a total of 82% of our population comprised casual roles, compared to 77.7% the previous year. All our casually engaged colleagues, who make up the majority of our workforce, are paid at the same hourly rate for the same role, regardless of gender. The shift in our gender pay gap year-on-year is explained by the higher proportion of casually engaged individuals, of which there are proportionately more females this year, which is explained, as noted above, by the higher percentage of female applicants than our existing complement across our casually employed team.
“Our 2018 report also illustrates that women occupy 47% of the highest paid roles, compared to 43.3% the previous year, demonstrating that we have improved the proportion of women occupying the highest paid roles within the organisation.
“SMG Europe is confident that its gender pay gap does not stem from paying men and women differently for the same or equivalent work. Rather its gender pay gap is the result of the roles in which men and women work within the organisation and the salaries that these roles attract.”
“Whilst we are happy that this is going in the right direction, reducing the GPG remains a key priority for Global”
Global (Global Radio Services Ltd)
Pay gap (mean): 32.7% (-2.7%)
Pay gap (median): 19.4% (-1.1%)
Global, the UK’s second-largest festival operator, says it remains “committed” to closing its gender pay gap, which narrowed by 2.7% on a mean basis in 2018.
“Our workforce is balanced and fluctuates each month somewhere between 45%/55% female and male employees; however, we recognise that not having enough women in senior leadership roles is a significant factor in driving our GPG,” reads the company’s 2018 gender pay gap report. “In 2018, we are pleased that we have made some improvement across all measures, and reduced the GPG to 32.7%. Whilst we are happy that this is going in the right direction, it remains a key priority for Global, and creating a diverse and fair culture continues to be incredibly important.
“However, we recognise that this is a long-term strategy that takes time and focus, and that we won’t look different overnight. We have identified a number of initiatives existing and new, that will help us to continue to improve.”
These initiatives include its Global Apprenticeship scheme, launched in September 2018, which welcomed 17 apprentices and graduates into programming, digital, video, marketing, technology and commercial roles – of which 53% were female and from a BAME (black, Asian or minority ethnic) background – and a six-month leadership programme, whose alumni include 20 female middle managers who will be supported “in growing their careers at Global”.
“Our gender pay gap reflects the broader societal challenges of getting more women into the technology sector”
Ticketmaster (Ticketmaster UK Ltd)
Pay gap (mean): 44% (+8%)
Pay gap (median): 23% (+0%)
Ticketmaster’s mean GPG widened to 44%, while its median difference remains at 23%, the same gap as in 2017/18.
According to Mark Yovich, president of Ticketmaster International, its pay gap reflects the dearth of women working in the technology sector – and, if the figure was adjusted to remove employees working on the tech side, the GPG is 4% in favour of female staff.
“Ticketmaster is a vibrant, diverse place to work. We believe that diversity adds value to our workforce and delivers a better service to our fans,” he writes in TM’s 2018 pay gap report.
“As a technology-led business, our gender pay gap reflects the broader societal challenges of getting more women into the technology sector. There is an acute skills shortage in this area, with women accounting for just 25% of all UK STEM [science, technology, engineering and mathematics] graduates. Only 16% of leadership positions in the technology industry are held by women [source: NCWIT]. Illustrating this challenge, if you remove our technology employees, our mean gender pay gap is minus 4%.
“Of course, we want to see more women in the technology industry and have been working with several organisations who provide opportunities for women to get into tech, including Women Who Code, codebar, Code First: Girls, and have an official partnership with Code Your Future. We host and support these groups with funding and regular meet-ups in our offices. We launched our own female employee resource group, WE Nation, in 2015 which continues to roll strong through our business in both the UK and across our international markets.
To ensure fairness, we have systemised our approach to reward and compensation decisions, including conducting a job levelling review across the UK. Our robust policies and training programmes ensure that we are continually working to ensure no bias exists in our recruitment processes.
“We see gender pay gap reporting as an opportunity to drive awareness about the challenges in our industry. We will continue to support women at all levels in our business. We are committed to increasing women and diversity in our workforce and being an inclusive environment where everyone can succeed.”
“Women are under-represented in the live music industry, and the GPG reflects this”
Academy Music Group (Academy Music Group Ltd)
Pay gap (mean): 21% (-3%)
Pay gap (median): 6% (+5%)
Live Nation-owned venue operator Academy Music Group (AMG) narrowed its mean pay gap to 21% in 2018, though its median GPG widened 5%.
Denis Desmond says AMG, whose venues include O2 Brixton Academy and Shepherds Bush Empire, is focusing on elevating more women into management positions.
“A key area of focus for us is achieving greater representation of women into venue management roles, which are our most senior positions and therefore attract higher rates of pay and bonuses,” he writes. “For venues, the median figure reflects our pay equity in the large volume of roles we regularly hire for where we have greater gender balance.”
“We are training managers to ensure no bias exists in our selection processes and ensuring we provide full support to all employees in balancing their family lives with the unique demands of the music business,” he continues, adding that, like Live Nation, AMG is “committed to narrowing the gap over time in our own business.”
“We are optimistic that plans to … attract, recognise and develop talent will have a real effect on improving gender pay equality at NEC Group”
NEC Group (National Exhibition Centre Ltd (The))
Pay gap (mean): 11.4% (+1.3%)
Pay gap (median): 9.7% (+2.6%)
NEC Group, which operates five arenas and convention centres in Birmingham, as of April 2018 had 1,861 employees and casual workers, of which 838 were men and 1,023 women. Its median pay gap, which widened 2.6% in 2018, nevertheless bests the UK average of 17.9%, says chief operating officer John Hornby.
Its most recent figures reflect the smaller proportion of men in lower pay quartiles compared to 2017.
“Overall the group’s profile is characterised by high numbers of employees working full and part time in the company’s catering, retail and hospitality operations, and smaller numbers of specialist technical, catering, supervisory and managerial roles,” reads the company’s 2018 GPG report. “The gender pay gap for the group presents a balanced picture, but there is still more to be done to ensure consistent improvement.
“In the past year, further investment has gone into developing our learning and development offer for all staff; for example, the New Leader programme and Experienced Leader programme, targeting those in leadership roles and those for whom a leadership role is the next career step. Since 2014 the team has trained over 260 new managers, with roughly an even male and female candidate profile.”
Hornby also highlights NEC Group’s talent programme, whose fifth cohort of 19 promotions is roughly gender equal, and its apprenticeship scheme.
“We are optimistic that some of these long-term plans to both attract, recognise and develop talent will have a real effect on improving gender pay equality within the NEC Group,” he concludes.
“Even though we’re ahead of most of our music industry peers … we’re not complacent about it – we know we’ve got more to do”
DHP Family (DHP Family Ltd)
Pay gap (mean): 11.6% (-2.1%)
Pay gap (median): 5% (+1.5%)
Nottingham-based promoter and venue operator DHP Family reported a 2% fall on its already low mean gap compared to last year’s figures, and the company says it does “not have an issue with equal pay. Our gender pay gap derives from fewer female employees within our venue management teams. This is a trend within our industry, whereby there are many more male venue managers across all levels, in particular the more senior the positions.”
While its mean pay gap is well below the national average, its bonus gap (the difference in bonus pay between men and women) remains high, at 48.5%, despite the percentage of women eligible doubling in 2018/19. “We are continuing to work on female representation for bonus eligible roles, and our initiatives to attract and retain females within our venue management and senior management teams are slowly reducing this difference,” according to its 2018 report.
“We’re fully committed to reducing our gender pay gap and I’m pleased to see we’ve made further progress this year,” DHP Family owner George Akins tells IQ.
“Even though we’re ahead of most of our music industry peers and the UK national average, we’re not complacent about it; we know we’ve got more to do and we’ve introduced a number of initiatives that will help in the years ahead.”
“We are making positive steps, but we know there is more we can do”
PRS for Music (PRS for Music Ltd)
Pay gap (mean): 16.8% (-0.4%)
Pay gap (median): 9.7% (-1.8%)
Pamela Harding, human resources director at performance rights organisation PRS, welcomes its narrowing pay gap but says there is still more to be done.
She comments: “Although we have seen a slight improvement, we have a continuing gender pay gap as there are fewer women in senior positions than men at PRS for Music. We believe that real progress is achieved through influencing business culture, and in 2018 we commenced our programme to recognise drivers of unconscious bias to better support our efforts to promote diversity and act inclusively. We also continued to take positive action with our new ‘Dignity at Work’ policy and by working with industry experts in diversity and inclusion.
“We are making positive steps, but we know there is more we can do. As we look further ahead, we remain committed to engaging all levels of our business to encourage, support and exemplify our core values and celebrate our differences.”
Truck Festival 2019 announces first wave of acts
From 25–28 July, Truck Festival will return to Hill Farm in Steventon, Oxfordshire, for the 22nd edition of the UK’s longest-running small festival.
This year Truck will welcome local legends Foals back to Hill Farm, 12 years on from their last appearance at the festival where they played a show in the Barn that has “gone down in Truck folklore”, according to organiser Matt Harrap.
Harrap comments: “We’re extremely excited to announce our first wave of artists for this year’s show. Returning hometown heroes Foals is the icing on the cake – we’re over the moon to have them for their first Oxfordshire show in five years and their first at Truck since pre-[2008 album] Antidotes. Having artists of the calibre of Two Door Cinema Club and Wolf Alice also coming to headline the event after many years of asking is truly humbling and their sets will no doubt live long in the memory.”
Last year Truck opened its doors for the first ever time on the Thursday, with Peace treating early punters to an electric performance on the Market Stage. This time round, firm festival favourites Slaves will be headlining the opening night, with Wolf Alice headlining on Friday and Foals Saturday.
“With ticket sales well ahead of this time last year, we really recommend not hanging around”
Closing Truck Festival are indie giants Two Door Cinema Club – who, like Foals and Slaves, have previously played the festival – and now return for a headline performance.
Also performing are pop-punk royalty You Me At Six, recent Brit nominees Idles, indie-pop singer Kate Nash, south London five-piece Shame and indie veterans the Futureheads.
As ever, the festival also welcomes a host of local bands. “We have brilliant up and coming local talent such as Lacuna Common and Self Help,” explains Harrap. “Mix in the likes of You Me at Six, Nothing But Thieves and Shame and […] we’ve got a real party. With ticket sales well ahead of this time last year, we really recommend not hanging around!”
The first wave of acts for Truck Festival 2019, which takes place from 26 to 28 July 2019, can be viewed in full on the Truck Festival website.
Record numbers for Standon Calling 2018
The UK’s Standon Calling last weekend served up its biggest festival to date, with a crowd of more than 15,000 people turning out for four days of music at Standon Lordship in Hertfordshire.
Standon Calling – established in 2001 as a birthday barbecue for founder Alex Trenchard – has been partnered with Broadwick Live/Global, the UK’s second-largest festival operator, since early 2016. Its 2018 line-up featured Shame, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Django Django, Gaz Coombes, Goldfrapp and the Horrors, along with headliners Bryan Ferry, George Ezra and Paloma Faith.
“Every year, when we plan and work on Standon Calling,we always look to go one better than the year before,” says Trenchard. “I can honestly say that this year was one of my favourite Standon Callings to date, feeling like a real coming together of so many people of all ages enjoying some incredible performances across the weekend. It was amazing to witness everyone having a great time, no matter the weather, and I can’t thank everyone enough for making this such a memorable year.
“From George Ezra’s amazing homecoming moment on Saturday night to the incomparable Bryan Ferry and the sensational Paloma Faith, so many performances will stay with me from this year. It was brilliant to have you all at Standon Calling this year, and I promise you that 2019 will be even better.”