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D2C platform Townsend captures live streams on record

Townsend Music, the leading direct-to-consumer (D2C) platform, has been providing its artist clients with a new revenue stream during the pandemic by capturing their livestreamed shows on record.

The platform, which hosts over 1,000 artist D2C stores, has been converting its clients’ livestream recordings into one-off, collectable vinyl to be sold exclusively through the stores.

In December, British rock band The Darkness delivered a livestreamed concert from Indigo at the O2, London, in conjunction with Townsend, Live Here Now, AEG and Dice.

The ticketed performance, which took place under the banner of ‘Streaming of A White Christmas’, was transformed into a brand new live album, presented as a deluxe triple ‘sparkle green’ heavy vinyl with booklets and a deluxe double CD for £40 and £20 respectively – generating not one, but two income streams for the band.

“These campaigns have been a huge success and they’ve provided the artists with decent revenue streams and strong data”

Similarly, Townsend packaged Embrace’s greatest hits concert, livestreamed from their own studio during the pandemic, into a triple-coloured vinyl dubbed ‘Best Of Live From The Cellar Of Dreams’ which was informed by a fan-powered setlist.

“These campaigns have been a huge success and really enjoyable to put together. They’ve provided the artists with decent revenue streams and strong data capture,” says Bruce McKenzie, sales director at Townsend Music.

“It’s also been great to pay over some of the money to the band’s crew who are such an important part of the team who have been hit the hardest during lockdown.”

The company has also organised other exclusive D2C live albums using archive material from artists including Supergrass, James, Shed Seven and Bryan Ferry.

 


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Hope & Glory festival company in liquidation

Hope & Glory Festivals Ltd, the company behind last month’s ill-fated Liverpool festival of the same name, has followed Fyre Festival LLC into liquidation, as 32 creditors seek to reclaim almost £900,000, among them Liverpool City Council.

The inaugural Hope & Glory, which took place in the first weekend of August, was called off on its second day amid reports of bottlenecking, queues and cancellations, blamed by promoter Lee O’Hanlon on production manager Richard Agar.

Ticket agencies Eventbrite and Skiddle ultimately had to refund festivalgoers themselves, with Skiddle director Ben Sebborn saying it “became clear that our customers would remain out of pocket unless we intervened”.

“Any lessons learned will be implemented for future events run by outside organisations”

Insolvency firm Butcher Woods tells the BBC 32 creditors are owed a total of £888,984, with Liverpool City Council seeking “recovery of costs associated with the clean-up operation”.

The council is holding its own inquiry into the organisation of the festival, the findings of which are expected imminently. According to a council spokesman, “any lessons learned will be implemented for future events run by outside organisations.”

Fyre Festival LLC, the promoter of 2017’s other big festival disaster (albeit on a much larger scale), was placed into liquidation by a New York bankruptcy judge last week.

 


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Hope & Glory blames prod. mgr as mayor promises inquiry

The mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson, has promised an “urgent inquiry” into last weekend’s inaugural Hope & Glory festival, which was axed on its second day amid widespread overcrowding, bottlenecking, late running and cancelled sets and a bizarre Twitter rant from organisers.

Responding to a tweet from performing arts tech Colin Farley, Anderson says Liverpool City Council, the governing body for the UK city, will look urgently at “what went disastrously wrong here”, as promoter Hope & Glory Festivals Ltd blamed production manager Richard Agar for what it calls the “multitudinous failures” that led to the festival’s cancellation – and even going so far as to circulate Agar’s personal email address to angry ticketholders.

Hope & Glory, new for 2017, was scheduled for Saturday 5 and Sunday 6 August in St George’s Quarter, Liverpool city centre. The festival was marked by disruption from the outset, with festival director Lee O’Hanlon calling police in response to overcrowding on the site (although he tells IQ the festival was never over capacity) and reports of hour-long queues for concessions and toilets, while several performances, including Charlotte Church’s, were cancelled after stage times ran over by up to two hours.

In a statement released this afternoon, the 12,500-cap. festival “profusely apologise[d] to the public and artists” for the queues, bottlenecking and late running but blamed Agar for the site not being ready.

“Oh, sit down, Tim. Go back to your yoga”

“Mr Agar and the team he appointed to carry out the production sadly did not deliver the site as ready in time for 11am,” it reads. “We view this solely as a management issue as his team appeared to work exceedingly hard to address what they needed to.

“At 12.45, William Brown St [in St George’s Quarter] was still having build materials cleared from it. As a direct result the festival opened one hour and 50 minutes later than agreed and 50 minutes later than advertised. These had a massive impact on the queues that never recovered from them until much later in the day. We will continue to liaise with Mr Agar and his company and seek a resolution over these issues.”

In addition to blaming Agar for the late opening, the statement alleges he failed to construct several requested overflow entrances to the festival site.

“Despite the delay opening, it became apparent that the bridges that the festival had requested be built from William Brown Street into St John’s Gardens to ease congestion had not been built,” it continues. “We believe that these were the sole reason for the bottlenecking that occurred. We requested that these be delivered by Mr Agar’s production management as agreed, and they clearly were not.”

“Mr Agar and the team he appointed to carry out the production sadly did not deliver the site as ready in time for 11am”

Hope & Glory has directed festivalgoers to ticket agencies for refunds.

O’Hanlon’s account of a breakdown in communication between promoters, production company and local authorities might have been easier to swallow had the festival’s Twitter account not spent much of yesterday attacking artists and ticketholders.

The festival’s now-deleted Twitter account, @HopeAndGloryFes, began Sunday by announcing simply “No festival today”, before sparring with angry fans and telling James frontman Tim Booth to “go back to [his] yoga” after calling the festival “fucked up”.

O’Hanlon, who also runs communications/events agency tinyCOW, made headlines last year for a dispute with the Manx government over loss-making concerts by Tom Jones and the Jacksons.

 

Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly identified Hope & Glory’s Twitter account, @HopeAndGloryFes, as being responsible for a tweet that told a fan “the refunds are all gone”, accompanied by a cartoon of a man swimming in money. The tweet in question was actually sent by a parody account, @HopeAnGloryFesIQ apologises to Lee O’Hanlon for the error.

 


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