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Neneh Cherry to be named ‘pioneer’ at A&MAs

The Music Managers Forum (MMF) and Featured Artists Coalition (FAC) have revealed that Swedish-born singer and rapper Neneh Cherry will receive the pioneer award at the 2019 Artist & Manager Awards (A&MAs) in November.

The award, sponsored by Facebook, will be presented at the A&MAs on Thursday 14 November at the Bloomsbury Big Top in London. BBC Radio 1’s Huw Stephens will host the evening, which is sponsored by travel, lifestyle and hospitality brand Selina.

New Order managers Rebecca Boulton and Andy Robinson will pick up the managers’ manager award at the ceremony, with Nile Rodgers receiving the artists’ artist award.

Cherry has released five solo albums over a career spanning more than three decades. The artist kicked off her musical journey performing in post-punk bands the Slits and Rip Rig + Panic, before working with Bristol band Massive Attack on the album Blue Lines.

“Neneh Cherry has had an incredible career and her unique sound and energised performances have an ongoing influence

Cherry has also collaborated with artists including Michael Stipe, Robyn, Lenny Kravitz, Kieren Hebden (also known as Four Tet) and her husband, Cameron McVey.

A busy 2019 saw Cherry perform at Flow Festival, Way Out West, Pitchfork Music Festival, Latitude, Nice Jazz Festival, Roskilde, Primavera Sound and Glastonbury Festival, among others.

“[Cherry] has had an incredible career and her unique sound and energised performances have an ongoing influence made even more powerful by the fact that, having already reshaped musical culture and norms in music, she is still pushing creative and cultural boundaries decades later,” comments FAC board member Lucy Pullin.

“In partnership with Facebook and the illustrious board of the FAC we are delighted to honour Neneh Cherry with our pioneer award.”

Previous recipients of the award include Kano, Giggs, Imogen Heap and Amanda Palmer.

A full list of winners and nominees will be revealed in coming weeks.


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New Order managers to receive top prize at A&MAs

Prime Management’s Rebecca Boulton and Andy Robinson, the longtime managers of New Order, will be presented with the coveted managers’ manager award at the 2019 Artist & Manager Awards (A&MAs) this November.

The award, sponsored by SJM Concerts, is given to an individual or company who has gained the respect of their peers over a sustained career. Previous recipients of the prize, formerly known as the Peter Grant award, are Modest! Management (2018), Jonathan Kessler (2017), Peter Rudge (2016), Jim Beach (2015), Paul Loasby (2014), Terry Blamey (2012) and John Glover (2011).

With Prime, Boulton and Robinson have represented the electronic music pioneers since 1999, following the premature death of original manager Rob Gretton. In 2015, following a decade-long absence, New Order released an album of new material, Music Complete on Mute Records, and the band continue to headline festivals and shows worldwide, notably releasing live album ∑(NO,12K,LG,17MIF), captured during the 2017 Manchester International Festival, last month.

“For protecting and nurturing a legacy, while enabling the creators of that legacy to thrive, Rebecca and Andy are deserving recipients of the MMF’s ultimate honour,” say awards organisers Music Managers Forum (MMF) and Featured Artists Coalition (FAC).

In a joint statement, the Prime pair say: “In 1999, after the untimely death of Joy Division and New Order’s mercurial manager, Rob Gretton, the opportunity arose to manage two of the greatest bands ever. Fortunately they let us do it, and 20 years later we’re still here.

“What Rebecca and Andy have achieved is almost without precedent”

“Despite some ups and downs, we’ve had great success working with their new material and two of the most influential and credible catalogues from any UK artists.”

Under the A&MAs’ previous incarnation, the British Music Roll of Honour, the award was received by Simon Fuller (2008), Bill Curbishley (2007), Paul McGuiness (2006), David Enthoven and Tim Clark (2004), Jazz Summers (2003), Ian McAndrew and Colin Lester (2002), Chris Morrison (2001), Tony Smith (2000), Rod Smallwood (1999), Ed Bicknell (1998), Gail Colson (1997) and Geoff Travis and Jeanette Lee (1996).

Annabella Coldrick, chief executive of the MMF, says: “What Rebecca and Andy have achieved is, I think, almost without precedent. Having assumed management of one of the UK’s greatest and most independent acts, they have successfully navigated New Order through tragedy and pitfalls – keeping a heavyweight legacy intact, while ensuring the band’s creative relevance endures for a new generation of fans.

“They are a complete inspiration, and I am delighted both have accepted this recognition from the music management community.”

Celebrating achievements in the UK’s artist and management community, 2019’s A&MAs takes place at the Bloomsbury Big Top in London on Thursday 14 November.

As previously announced, Nile Rodgers will receive the artists’ artist award. Other winners will be revealed in the coming weeks.

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Rain fails to dampen spirits at From the Fields fests

Extreme weather tested Manchester, UK-based promoter From the Fields at Kendal Calling and Bluedot festivals this year, but did little to detract from the events’ best ticket sales to date.

Bluedot and Kendal Calling, From the Field’s biggest events, took place on two consecutive weekends from 18 to 21 and 25 to 28 July.

Both festivals were an “absolute success”, From the Fields co-director and Bluedot festival director Ben Robinson tells IQ. Bluedot, now in its fourth year, sold out in advance with a 30% increase in capacity.

“I think we’ve reached our happy size there at 16,000,” says Robinson, stating “we have no ambition to increase further.”

The longer-running, larger Kendal Calling also saw record sales, shifting 30,000 tickets and maintaining a capacity crowd throughout the weekend, despite “a lot of extreme weather”.

“Every stage went ahead as planned and the festival opened on time every day,” explains Robinson, commending the site crew on their efforts “against the elements”.

Taking place each year at the Jodrell Bank Observatory, recently declared a UNESCO World Heritage site and home to the gigantic Lovell Telescope, the fourth outing was a special one for Bluedot, coinciding with the fiftieth anniversary of the moon landing.

“[The moon bounce] was the most unique thing I’ve ever seen at a festival and something you’d only find at Bluedot”

Audio clips recorded by headliners Kraftwerk, New Order and Hot Chip were used in a moon bounce, a radio communications technique that reflects waves from the moon back to an Earth-based receiver.

Robinson says the Bluedot moon bounce was “the most unique thing I’ve ever seen at a festival and something you’d only find at Bluedot”, which fuses music, science and technology.

The festival received a one-off license extension to 5 a.m. on the Saturday, allowing organisers to projection map onto the telescope and broadcast radio clips in real time with the original moon landing fifty years before.

According to Robinson, the “niche electronic programming” and music/ science combination – scientific speakers such as astronaut Helen Sharman and wildlife documentary presenter and biologist Liz Bonnin shared the main stage along with musical acts – attracts a “more specific audience” than Kendal Calling.

“Kendal Calling really feels like a broad cross section of the northwest of the UK,” says the From the Fields co-director. “There’s something for everyone.”

Orbital, Nile Rodgers and Chic, Manic Street Preachers, Doves, Courteeners and Tom Jones were among those playing the main stage over the weekend at Kendal Calling. Bristol punk rock band Idles were joined on stage by rapper Slowthai in a “truly unique” collaboration.

“There’s a real sense of community at both Bluedot and Kendal, and that makes people feel safe”

Despite their differences, both festivals provide a family-friendly environment, which Robinson puts down to “robust back of house services” and “good security and stewarding”.

“There’s a real sense of community at both Bluedot and Kendal, and that makes people feel safe,” says Robinson.

Both festivals have “landmark” years coming up in 2020, with Bluedot’s fifth anniversary and Kendal Calling’s 15th edition.

If this year’s Bluedot was about looking backwards at an iconic historical moment, says Robinson, next year’s festival will be a lot more future-facing. “The collaboration between music, science and tech gives ample opportunity to keep things fresh, as there are always new and exciting elements within those areas.”

Robinson describes the longevity of Kendal Calling as a “really bold achievement for us”, as the promoter confirms plans to continue the festival for the next ten years at least. Following “quite a muddy year”, the From the Fields co-director believes it is the right time to take a step back and look at “refreshing the site and design” in time for the festival’s anniversary.

Tickets for Bluedot 2020 are already available, with weekend camping priced at £168.75. Tickets for next year’s Kendal Calling go on sale on Friday at 10 am GMT.


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