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Kylie, Little Mix to play all-female T4F festival

LittleBrazil’s Time For Fun (T4F), the largest live entertainment company in South America, is launching GRLS!, a new two-day festival celebrating the role of women in music.

Kylie Minogue and Little Mix are heading up the event’s all-female line-up, which also features US rapper Tierra Whack and Brazilian acts Linn da Quebrada, Gaby Amarantos and Mulamba.

Curated by Brazilian music platform Popload, GRLS! is taking place on 7 and 8 March – International Women’s Day – at the Latin American Memorial in São Paulo.

Talks, lectures and workshops focusing on the role of women in culture will also form part of the event’s programming.

“Our main goal was to design a festival made by women and non-binaries, that would also lead to an all-gender debate about the role and representation of women in our culture”

“Our main goal was to design a festival made by women and non-binaries, that would also lead to an all-gender debate about the role and representation of women in our culture,” explains Paola Wescher, T4F artistic director and Popload partner.

“Women always have to try harder, impose themselves more and achieve more to be respected. We have many strong women in all sectors of the music industry, both on stage and behind the scenes, making everything happen. We want to amplify these voices and be a milestone in this regard.”

More information can be found here.

 


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Little Mix awarded for 12 headline shows at the O2

Little Mix returned to the 20,000-capacity O2 Arena this week, playing two consecutive nights to bring their total tally of headline shows at the London arena to 12.

Throughout their career, Little Mix have performed at the venue on four separate tours, selling a total of 184,000 tickets. The girl group have played five shows at the O2 this year alone, as part of their LM5 tour.

Emma Bownes, vice president of venue programming at the O2 comments: “It’s been an honour hosting Little Mix for what has now been 12 incredible shows at the O2. Just as expected the four tours have generated a lot of excitement across the ages selling in excess of 184,000 tickets. We’d like to thank Little Mix and SJM for letting us be part of their journey.”

LM5, the sixth concert tour by the British girl group, has visited arenas in Spain, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Ireland and the UK.

Pictured (L – R): Danielle Kennedy-Clark (deputy general manager, the O2), Jesy Nelson, Leigh-Anne Pinnock, Jade Thirlwall, Perrie Edwards and Emma Bownes.

 


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‘It’s rare to see a group work this hard’: Giddings on Little Mix’s road to the Brits

On Wednesday, UK pop superstars Little Mix picked up their second Brit Award, taking home the best video artist prize for ‘Woman Like Me’ featuring Nicki Minaj.

Coming on the back of five studio albums and five years of nearly constant touring, the band’s UK/RoW agent, Solo Agency’s John Giddings, says it’s a well-deserved reward for the hardest-working pop group out there…

 


IQ: It’s the second Brit award for the band, and the first since 2017, when they won British single of the year for ‘Shout Out to My Ex’. How important is it for you, and the team around the band, to be recognised for your hard work?
JG: I think it’s fantastic.

It’s so rare to see a group who work this hard – I’ve said this before, but pop groups work ten times harder than rock acts when it comes to things like promotion, working the room, meet-and-greets… Little Mix are rightly being rewarded for that.

The band hit the road again this autumn for the LM5 tour, their sixth in six years. That’s a pretty gruelling touring schedule…
It is. It’s amazing to see how hard these girls work.

And they still like each other! They get on, they enjoy each other’s company… and that’s so important. It’s the same with any group – you take away the fun element and nobody wants to be there; they just all want to go home.

You’ve worked with Boyzone, the Spice Girls, Westlife, the Corrs… Is the Little Mix phenomenon a similar vibe to those acts in their heydays?
Very much so. I remember when we opened the gates at Wembley Arena on the Spice Girls’ first tour [in 1998] and I suddenly realised there were mothers dragging their children in, as they enjoyed the music as much as their daughters!

That was the first time I remember selling tickets in sixes and eights, as opposed to twos and fours, because it was proper family entertainment. And that’s definitely the case with Little Mix too.

“It’s amazing to see how hard these girls work”

How has the fanbase evolved since you started working with Little Mix? Is it a case of the fans growing up with the band?
Yes, to an extent. But there are also women of 40, 50, who love their music, too, and not just through their children. So we’re seeing their audience growing in multiple ways; the girls are going from strength to strength.

The group were formed on the X Factor in 2011—
They were, but I think most people have forgotten they’re X Factor winners at this point. They’re not considered a reality TV band – they’ve gone way beyond that.

You’ve obviously played a key part in that growth. Who else has been instrumental in Little Mix’s ascent?
Richard Griffiths and Harry Magee at Modest Management, who have steered the ship incredible well. Their collective experience really came into play in looking after [Little Mix] – they’ve kept them together and took them to the next level.

How did the rate their performance of ‘Woman Like Me’ on Wednesday night?
I thought they were incredible. They’re such athletic performers and that really came across. You can see the stamina [they bring to their live shows].

Two Brits wins under the belt now, then… You must be hoping for a third next year?
Absolutely. It’s important for groups to see their results of their success. They work so hard, and they love getting close to their public.

I’d like to see them win best album – they’d be deserving winners.

 


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Symphotech rolls out live music signing solutions

UK event safety company Symphotech has introduced two new signing solutions to help concert promoters comply with equality legislation.

The launch of the two technologies, produced in collaboration with TV production company Blue Multimedia, follows a recent lawsuit filed against LHG Live after the promoter failed to provide an interpreter for support acts for a September Little Mix show. It is a requirement under the Equality Act 2010 for companies to ensure disabled people’s experiences are as close as possible to those without disabilities.

Symphotech’s first method involves using an autocue operator to overlay live text onto video screens for the song lyrics. The second uses a live signing presenter, situated off-stage in front of a green screen, whose signing is ‘floated’ over the live show and placed into the corner of the video screens. This option provides the presenter with a live feed of the performance and lyrics sheets to enable them to be reactive throughout the show.

“We’re proud to offer these services to help ensure everyone is able to enjoy the pleasure of live music under the guidance of the 2010 Equality Act”

After consulting with disability support organisations, Symphotech says the live signing method has been identified as the preferred option.

Symphotech’s Will Hodgson says: “At Symphotech, we’re committed to ensuring everyone can attend safe and inclusive events. It’s vital that organisers take measures to ensure all attendees are offered the best possible experience while making certain their events are compliant with the disability access legislation.

“We’re proud to offer these services to help ensure everyone is able to enjoy the pleasure of live music under the guidance of the 2010 Equality Act.”

 


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Deaf woman sues UK promoter in signing row

In a legal battle that will be watched closely by concert promoters across the UK, a deaf woman is suing Newark on Trent-based LHG Live because no sign-language interpreter was provided for the support acts at a Little Mix show last July.

Responding to a high court injunction, LHG Live provided Sally Reynolds and two friends, also deaf, with a British sign language (BSL) interpreter for the concert, held at the South of England Event Centre in Ardingly, Sussex, on 1 September. The show featured support from Ella Eyre and the Germein Sisters.

Reynolds tells the BBC that while she felt she and her daughter, who is able to hear, “were really part of the Little Mix experience”, because the show was “so good” she realised afterwards that “we had missed out on the first two acts”, who were not signed, “so it was very much a disparity of experience compared with everyone else.”

Using a not-very-good metaphor that rather ignores the fact Little Mix (pictured) were the show’s headliners, she adds: “We only got access to the last act. If you went to a film can you imagine only getting access to the last 20 minutes?”

LHG Live says it would have been impossible to provide an interpreter for the support acts, as they were only announced 10 days before the Little Mix show

Reynolds is now issuing legal proceedings “for the failure to make reasonable adjustments, in the form of supplying an interpreter, for the whole concert”, reports the BBC.

It is a requirement under the Equality Act 2010 for companies to ensure disabled people’s experiences are as close as possible to those without disabilities.

Reynolds’s solicitor, Chris Fry, comments: “It is important that venues and promoters recognise that the legal duties to make reasonable adjustments extend to them.”

However, responding to the BBC report, LHG Live says it would have been impossible to provide an interpreter for the support acts, being that they were only announced 10 days before the Little Mix show – far short of the minimum time it would take for an interpreter to learn the lyrics (four to six weeks).

“It is important that venues and promoters recognise that the legal duties to make reasonable adjustments extend to them”

In addition to the interpreter, the promoter supplied Reynolds’s party with a full schedule in advance, including running order; upgraded their tickets to golden circle; provided access to private toilet facilities; and ensured all public announcements were made solely on giant screens either side of the main stage, to “ensure 100% accessibility”.

A meeting between LHG Live and the British Deaf Association and music industry charity Attitude is Everything, “to look at potential solutions and ensure the correct accessibility longer term at music events”, was scheduled almost immediately after the show, on 4 September. It is due to take place in February 2018.

A spokesperson for Little Mix says the band “strongly believe their concerts should be completely inclusive for all. The band welcome all fans to their shows, including those with hearing impairment, and encourage the promoters they work with to make provisions to ensure their fans can enjoy the concert experience.”

Attitude is Everything, meanwhile, says it “welcomes” Little Mix’s statement but is unable to comment further on the case.

 


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LN’s Cuffe & Taylor renews Scarborough OAT deal

Cuffe & Taylor, the UK regional promoter acquired by Live Nation in January, has agreed a new ten-year deal to exclusively programme all live music events at the Scarborough Open Air Theatre (OAT) in Yorkshire.

Preston-based Cuffe & Taylor, which took on programming at Scarborough OAT in 2016, will now stage all concerts at the 5,454-capacity venue – Europe’s largest open-air theatre – through 2028.

The promoter is also in discussions with Scarborough Borough Council about installing a permanent standing area in front of the stage – which currently sits on the island in the middle of a lake – increasing capacity to 7,456 (seated) or 7,900 (standing).

“We are delighted with the new and exclusive ten-year deal between Live Nation and Scarborough Borough Council to stage events at the theatre,” says Cuffe & Taylor director Peter Taylor. “Our partnership with the council has worked very well in the last two years, and this new deal allows us to continue working together to secure a bright and exciting future for this marvellous venue.

“This new long-term deal enables all parties to plan even better for the future”

“We have enjoyed two record breaking years since we took over programming live music events here in 2016, with attendances rising year-on-year. In 2017 sales again have broken all box office records.

“This new long-term deal enables all parties to plan even better for the future. The theatre is now on the map, with not only British artists but major international stars too, and we are determined to continue to bring the biggest and best acts to the beautiful Yorkshire coast.

“We are now working not only on next year’s line-up, but on 2019 and beyond. We cannot wait to reveal another wonderful series of shows for next summer, which we feel sure will break records again.”

More than 75,000 people attended concerts by artists including Little Mix, Olly Murs, Jess Glynne, Cliff Richard and the Beach Boys at Scarborough OAT this summer.

 


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