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Glastonbury’s Robert Richards dies at 65

Glastonbury founder Michael Eavis has led tributes to the festival’s long-serving commercial director Robert Richards, who has died aged 65 following a short illness.

Richards, who was the producer of Julien Temple’s 2006 Glastonbury film, passed away at Guy’s Hospital in London yesterday (12 January).

His first job at the event saw him set up the information and CND campaigning stalls. In more recent years, Richards was responsible for partnerships, large commercial deals and sponsorship, and helped secure the licence for the festival to continue in 2014.

Paying tribute, Eavis praised Richards as a “remarkable man”.

“I am personally very sad and upset to lose this remarkable man who I will find difficult to replace”

“Robert helped me personally with projects in Pilton village, particularly the big social housing project and the village shop,” he said. “He was also chairman of the Glastonbury Town Fund Board, which raised £24 million for the town in 2021.

“I am personally very sad and upset to lose this remarkable man who I will find difficult to replace. Now that the fever of life and his days are over, may God give his soul the rest it deserves.”

PRS for Music chair Nigel Elderton tweeted: “Terribly sorry to hear the sad news of Robert Richards passing. Always happy to help even when working under pressure and a great music fan. My condolences to his family, Michael, Emily and all the Glastonbury team! We will miss you Robert!”

In 2015, Richards opened up about the nature of his role at the UK’s biggest festival in an interview with Glastonbury’s ticketing partner See Tickets.

“I work on all the sponsorship/partnership relationships, the BBC partnership and the land deals involving the festival site,” he said. “I have an overview on ticketing, markets, and bars. The best thing about the job is that every day is different.”

Richards also discussed the evolution of the festival during his tenure.

“I can still see whole areas that are still very similar to my early days at the festival,” he said. “The main changes are in the professionalisation of the production, and support teams.

“We have world class people working at the event, but what makes it so special is the commitment the area organisers and their teams bring to each of their parts of the festival. It’s the best party in the world.”


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French promoting great Gérard Drouot dies aged 69

Highly-respected French independent concert promoter Gérard Drouot has died at the age of 69.

Drouot, who had been battling with leukaemia, began his music career in the 1970s, organising shows including the Nico and Tangerine Dream concert at the Reims Cathedral in 1974, and was hired by producer Harry Lapp as artistic manager and production director.

A longstanding ILMC member, he launched Gérard Drouot Productions in Strasbourg in 1986 and went on to promote hundreds of concerts a year, working with legends such as U2, Bruce Springsteen, Elton John, AC/DC the Rolling Stones, Kylie Minogue, Luciano Pavarotti, Ray Charles and David Gilmour.

Drouot also promoted events such as the celebrations of the signing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights at Bercy, co-organised with Amnesty International, in 1988 and 1998 in Paris.

He had managed Gérard Drouot Productions (GDP) with his son, Matthieu Drouot, since 2013.

“He had dedicated his life to his profession,” Matthieu tells Le Parisien. “At the rate of 200 to 500 concerts per year, he has organised at least 10,000 concerts in mainland France, the West Indies and Belgium!”

“Gerard Druout has had an immeasurable impact on our profession”

Speaking on behalf of members of Prodiss, the live music association’s president Olivier Darbois hails “one of the last independent producers”.

“Gerard Drouot has had an immeasurable impact on our profession,” he says. “We will miss him very much, as he will be sadly missed by all the artists whom he was able to accompany brilliantly during his career.”

Drouot is also credited with helping to launch the cine-concert concept in France and had been a passionate spokesperson for the performing arts sector in the media since the onset of the Covid crisis last year.

UTA’s Neil Warnock also paid tribute to his friend of 30-plus years.

“He was one of the most consummate professionals I have ever worked with, not only in France but worldwide,” says Warnock. “What made him unique in the music business in France was that he wasn’t Parisian and indeed, because of that, he worked his artists right the way across France to help develop their careers. Among the many artists that Gerard and I worked on together include, Pink Floyd and David Gilmour, George Benson, Yusuf/Cat Stevens, King Crimson and Alice Cooper.

“It was a complete pleasure to work with him as a friend. He was an absolute delight, always, to have lunch or dinner with. His knowledge of wine and food was incredible and a joy to behold.

“I’m both shocked and saddened at the huge loss to the whole of the French music industry and I feel so sad at this time for his son, Matthieu and the whole family. One thing I do know is that Matthieu will continue the great legacy started by his father and will take GDP to even greater levels than before.”


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Woodstock promoter Michael Lang passes, aged 77

Michael Lang, the promoter behind the iconic 1969 Woodstock music festival, has passed away.

The 77-year-old had non-Hodgkin lymphoma cancer and died on Saturday (8 January) in New York City, according to a spokesperson for Lang’s family.

Brooklyn-born Lang launched his career as a promoter in the 1960s following a move to Miami. In 1968, Lang (along with Marshall Brevetz) produced the Miami Pop Festival which featured Jimi Hendrix, Frank Zappa, John Lee Hooker, Arthur Brown, and Blue Cheer.

The following year, 24-year-old Lang, alongside businessmen John Roberts and Joel Rosenman and music industry promoter Artie Kornfeld, created Woodstock Music and Art Fair.

The festival drew more than 400,000 attendees to Max Yasgur’s farm in Bethel, New York, for performances from Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jefferson Airplane, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Grateful Dead, The Who, Sly and the Family Stone, Joe Cocker and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young.

Billed as “three days of peace and music,” Woodstock arrived at a time of great social upheaval in the United States, which was still engulfed in an unpopular war in Vietnam. The festival is said to have been a ‘haven’ for the hippie movement.

“[Woodstock ’69] was probably the most peaceful event of its kind in history”

“Woodstock offered an environment for people to express their better selves, if you will,” Lang told Pollstar in 2019. “It was probably the most peaceful event of its kind in history. That was because of expectations and what people wanted to create there.”

Lang also produced Woodstock ’94 (which featured the likes of Nine Inch Nails, Green Day and Red Hot Chili Peppers) and Woodstock ’99 (with Limp Bizkit, Metallica and Rage Against The Machine). In contrast to the previous Woodstock festivals Lang organised, Woodstock ’99 proved to be chaotic and violent.

Lang was also involved in the planning of Woodstock 50, which was set to take place in August 2019 and feature performances from the likes of Jay-Z, Miley Cyrus, The Killers and Halsey.

However, after losing its primary financiertwo production partnerstwo venues and its entire line-up, the organisers pulled the plug on the troubled anniversary festival before a single ticket went on sale.

During his music industry career, Lang also managed artists like Rickie Lee Jones and Joe Cocker, created Just Sunshine Records and in 2015, opened a music school for college-aged students in the town of Woodstock.

Lang is survived by his wife Tamara, two sons, Harry, and Laszlo and three daughters, Shala, Molly and LariAnn.


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Lollapalooza co-founder Ted Gardner dies aged 74

Tributes have been paid to music manager and Lollapalooza co-founder Ted Gardner in the wake of his death aged 74.

Gardner, who managed acts such as Jane’s Addiction, Tool, The Verve, The Brian Jonestown Massacre and Queens of the Stone Age, passed away in Melbourne in his native Australia following a long illness.

Beginning his career in 1977, Gardner partnered with Mushroom Records co-founders Michael Gudinski and Ray Evans to run the Bottom Line club in Richmond, Victoria, and went on to work in tour and production management for artists including New Order, The The, Echo & The Bunnymen and Crowded House.

He started managing Jane’s Addiction in 1989 and created the famed Lollapalooza festival in 1991 with the band’s frontman Perry Farrell and agents Marc Geiger and Don Muller.

“RIP Ted Gardner – our good times will live forever – love to you on your journey,” wrote Jane’s Addiction drummer Stephen Perkins on Twitter.

We will miss a great manager, mentor and friend

“We will miss a great manager, mentor and friend,” tweeted Anton Newcombe of the Brian Jonestown Massacre. “The funniest story he told me was of a meeting when Lollapalooza went mega. He walks in and Perry Farrell goes, ‘Ted, we got Metallica to headline.’ He goes ‘Fuck, you just wrecked this festival.’ Perry goes, ‘Ted, they are on speakerphone now.’ Telephone: ‘Hi Ted.'”

Gardner returned to Australia in 2007 after 25 years in Los Angeles, and founded Cross Section Management & Records with Scott Mesiti.

“Ted was a tough man with a good heart,” wrote musician Martyn LeNoble. “We butted heads quite a bit, maybe because he was trying to manage the unmanageable, but we still liked each other.”

“When I visited LA for the very first time in 2001, Ted was one of a handful of artist managers that gave me the time of day and took a meeting [with] me, a nobody in the music biz,” added artist manager Tim Smith. “Such a nice guy and big fan of many of his artists.”


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Revered publicist Judy Totton dies aged 69

Tributes have been paid to revered music publicist and accomplished photographer Judy Totton, who has died at the age of 69.

Totton, who passed away last week, started out at Magnet Records before joining CBS (later Sony), where she worked with ABBA, Dire Straits and The Jacksons, among others.

In 1979, she set up her own company, Judy Totton Publicity, and went on to win Music Week’s PR Campaign Of The Year Award four times.

Totton represented a diverse list of clients including Status Quo, John Cooper Clark and The Kinks, EMI Publishing and the Monsters of Rock festival, as well as the Chinese State Circus and the Dalai Lama. She also handled press for the high-profile return to the UK of the Great Train Robber, Ronnie Biggs in 2001 and conducted tour publicity for David Bowie.

“She had a magical smile that really lit up a room,” says statement from leading entertainment PR firm The Outside Organisation. “Her good nature and calmness meant that she could navigate the most stressful, hyped up rock and roll scenarios imaginable. With her quiet professionalism and kindness she played a big part in her clients’ achievements. She felt for and empathised with others, a quality which helped her to read the room.

“Her unselfishness and lack of ego was absolutely the hallmark of a superb PR. Judy’s modest demeanour, when everyone was losing their heads around her, means she will be long remembered and much missed.”

A host of tributes have also been paid on social media. Writing on Facebook, her former press assistant Esther Ford, owner of Manchester-based Deco Records, describes Totton as a “mentor”.

If you wanted a job doing properly, you gave it to Judy Totton

“I enjoyed my time at Judy Totton Publicity immensely, learning a lot from her,” says Ford. “She was a beautiful person who exuded elegance, intelligence and morality and I not only respected and admired her professionally, I also genuinely liked her as a human being, was extremely fond of her and thoroughly enjoyed our chats.

“Judy has always been known in the industry as a ‘safe pair of hands’. She always just did everything properly. Every i dotted, every t crossed, and all double-checked in order to ensure perfection. Some people say, ‘if you want a job doing properly, do it yourself’. In publicity over the last 40 years, if you wanted a job doing properly you gave it to Judy Totton!” 

InterTalent Rights Group chairman and founder Jonathan Shalit tweets: “Judy Totton was a great and wonderful lady.”

Writer and former Smash Hits journalist David Hepworth writes: “Very sad to hear about the death of Judy Totton, who was our favourite PR back in the day.”

Journalist James McNair adds on Twitter: “So sad to hear Judy Totton has died. She was a lovely woman, a super-helpful PR and a great photographer. I have very found memories of us flying around The Falkland Islands with The Stranglers.”


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Art & Industry founder Mick Griffiths passes

Mick Griffiths, veteran agent and founder of live music booking agency Art & Industry, has passed away.

Griffiths formed the London-based agency in 2010 after working as an agent at Asgard for 30 years.

During his career, Griffiths worked with artists including Mogwai, Ocean Colour Scene, The Go! Team and Julian Cope.

Following his passing, a raft of executives and artists from the live music industry have paid tribute on social media.

Anton Lockwood, director of live at DHP Family, wrote on Facebook: “Terrible news that Mick Griffiths has died. A proper independent agent who saw things his own way, and always took the creative path.

“A proper independent agent who saw things his own way, and always took the creative path”

“I had the pleasure of working with him on many shows, taking (one of my favourite artists) The House Of Love to the Roundhouse [in London], some incredible nights with The Go! Team Tindersticks and so many more.

“And l loved that Mick was more than an agent – under the name Schneider he created great minimalist, geometric artworks – one of my favourite times was only 4 years ago when we agreed for him paint on the rear wall of The Garage in his beloved Islington. Very sad to lose one of our proper original, maverick characters, will miss him.”

Ocean Colour Scene paid tribute to Griffiths on Twitter this morning: “We are very sad to hear the news that our friend and tour agent Mick Griffiths has passed away.

“Mick has helped plan the tours for over 25 years since the days of our album Moseley Shoals. Our thoughts are with his friends and family.”

The Go! Team tweeted: “Gutted to hear our live booking agent Mick Griffiths has passed away. Mick was with us from the very beginning and such a genuine lover of music. RIP Mick.”

Memphis Industries, the British independent record label that is home to The Go! Team, added: “Devastated to hear that our friend Mick Griffiths, agent to The Go! Team amongst many others, has passed away. A genuine inspiration to us for his independent spirit and passion for music and so much more besides. He’s going to be sadly missed.”

“A genuine inspiration to us for his independent spirit and passion for music”

Sebastien Vuignier, who worked with Griffiths on a number of concerts, wrote: “Very sad to hear that Mick Griffiths passed away. Mick was a wonderful person and passionate booking agent.

“I worked with him since 1999. We did wonderful shows together such as Tindersticks, Mogwai, Yann Tiersen, Efterklang and many more. My thoughts are with his family and friends, and of course his colleague Dave Jennings.”

Ade Dovey, live music promoter at Luminescent Live and former event programming and content manager for ASM Global, tweeted: “Absolutely gutted to hear that Mick Griffiths has left us. Owe this man a lot of gratitude for all the amazing shows we’ve worked and supporting me with putting gigs on over the years. Especially with Mogwai, Julian Cope, The Go Team and Ocean Colour Scene.”

Rob Whitaker, manager of acts including Editors, Slowdive and Public Service Broadcasting at Zoot Management, said: “Back in the mists of time, before the management adventure, when myself and Jacko were young promoters, he was the very kindest and most encouraging of all the agents. We continue to have many mutual friends and he’s always just felt like one of the good guys. The world is a worse place without him in it!”

“He’s always just felt like one of the good guys. The world is a worse place without him in it!”

Promoter Dave Travis wrote on Facebook: “I’ve been booking bands off him for around 40 years, I always enjoyed the bartering over sometimes small amounts on bands fees.

“Mick was also the artist Schneider, he produced incredible works of art that I was fortunate enough to display at Havill and Travis gallery.

“I took the photo below at Mick’s pop up exhibition in London 3 years ago, when I helped him hang the exhibition, it took the 2 of us 9 hours as I knew Mick would insist that it was millimetre perfect, it was a happy day.

“I ended up being Barman at the preview. I treasure the print he gave me as a gift for helping him, even though it was quite large and I took it to a Henge gig at The Lexington then walked to Euston with it after. I’ll miss our lovely chats about music, art and football.”


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Former Duran Duran, Blur tour manager Craig Duffy passes

Tributes are pouring in for former Blur and Duran Duran manager Craig Duffy and his partner Sue Parmiter, who died in a car crash on Friday (21 May) in the UK.

Their deaths were confirmed on Saturday (22 May) by Duran Duran’s former publicist Gerard Franklin, who told Devon Live: “Craig was without question one of the best tour managers in the music business.

“He was a gentleman, caring and considerate and the ultimate professional. He was great fun to be around with on tour a real joy. He was incredibly helpful to all the crew and people working on his tours and was liked by everyone. He was a music fan first and a tour manager second.”

Franklin continued: “He lived for his music and football being a Chelsea supporter. He was a giant of the music industry. It’s rare to find such characters who are genuine and Craig was the real deal, a real gem.”

The father of two, who was undergoing treatment for throat cancer, worked on numerous tours since the early 1990s for the likes of Blur, Duran Duran, Gorillaz, Fugees, Franz Ferdinand, Lily Allen, Radiohead, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Madness and U2.

Duran Duran bassist John Taylor paid tribute to Duffy on the band’s official website: “It is with great sadness we learnt today of the tragic passing of Craig Duffy: friend, music man and one of the great tour managers of all time.

“Craig Duffy: friend, music man and one of the great tour managers of all time”

“Craig and I spent many touring hours trawling used vinyl bins around the world. There was no better record shopping associate than Craig, and if you know me, you’ll know there is no better testament to a friendship than that.”

He added: “I will really miss you, you fucker. I hope for your sake they play The Clash in heaven.”

The band’s keyboardist Nick Rhodes said: “We are all heartbroken to hear the shocking news that Craig Duffy and his partner Sue Parmiter have died in a car accident.

“Craig was a larger than life character and a joy to be around. He once won the accolade of tour manager of the year at an industry event, so for us he was always ‘Craig Duffy, tour manager of the year’.

“Despite our jest, Craig lived up to his title, he was kind, calm and knew how to steer the ship. We spent a longtime together on tour and we will forever treasure those memories, he remained a punk rocker at heart with a massive sense of humour, he will be greatly missed. Our thoughts are with his family and friends.”

Blur’s Dave Rowntree wrote: “Have spent the day trying to come to terms with the fact that my friend Craig is no longer with us. My heart goes out to his family.”

“A huge chunk of history has disappeared with his passing”

Right Said Fred tweeted: “Extremely shocked and saddened to hear that Craig Duffy and his partner Sue died in a car crash yesterday.

“Craig was our tour manager in the 90s, we rarely agreed on anything but we had stayed in touch and remained friends. He was a good guy and an excellent TM. Rest in peace.”

The Damned took to Facebook to share a tribute. “I first met Craig around 1976 when he was just a kid working for John Curd,” they wrote. “He was and remained enthused with music, always had a smile and an anecdote to share.

“Over the years he became a very deserved top of the league tour manager who, on and off, we worked with as indeed he seemed to have worked with so many artists from all genres of music in a long and successful career. A huge chunk of history has disappeared with his passing and he will be missed by many.”

They added: “My deepest sympathies go out to his family at this most tragic time.”

The Pogues wrote on social media: “RIP Craig Duffy. We tried to get you for so many reunion tours, you were always, always busy! Condolences everybody. Love, The Pogues.”

British singer-songwriter Nadine Shah tweeted: “Sending condolences to all the friends and loved ones of Craig Duffy and his partner Sue Parmiter. He was a lovely man and tm extraordinaire.”


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Ken Watts, tour director and “fearless leader”, passes

Ken Watts, a much-loved tour director for the likes of George Michael, Duran Duran, Natalie Imbruglia, Bond, Blues Brothers, Jamiroquai and Duran Duran, passed away suddenly over the weekend.

Colleagues, friends and artists have paid tribute to the late tour director, who worked on the very first Wham! tour in 1983, as well as with artists such as Michael Flatley, Spandau Ballet and Susan Boyle.

Dennis Gardner, production manager for British singer-songwriter Cat Stevens, wrote in a Facebook post: “It is with much sadness, this weekend I received news of the passing of my mentor, my friend, my brother and fearless leader Ken Watts. He was (and will remain) an industry legend and a personal hero of mine. I have learnt and continue to learn from Ken and the way he approached everything he did with heart, a heavy dose of common sense and, as ever, a wonderful sense of humour. Simply put, Ken taught me nearly everything.

“Everything he did was with heart, a heavy dose of common sense and a wonderful sense of humour”

“I’m still expecting my phone to ring, to hear his voice and discuss everything under the sun from work to his love for his family and how proud he was of his children. I have been with Ken from the late ’80s as a lighting man, through the various GM tours, and being Ken’s Production Manager, for many years. Over the years, we have laughed and commiserated over many bottles of red wine, had sleepless nights, argued, disagreed, but also foremost, been friends and trusted comrades, if not family.

“Our work and my world will not feel the same without his attention to detail, high standards and wisdom. He always had time for his crew, not just the close ones, but everyone, and made sure they were always respected, cared for and felt like they belonged. We are also family and he has been so much more than a Tour Manager to his touring family.”

“One of the industries mega personalities who will be greatly missed”

Veteran production manager and Touring Production Group founder Wob Roberts commented: “One of the industries mega personalities who will be greatly missed.”

Violinist Haylie Ecker told Slipped Disc: “My heart goes out to this legend’s tour family and loved ones at home. He was a force of calm with a mischievous sense of humour, who always made us laugh when we needed to most, living selflessly behind the scenes, paving the roads for us to smoothly travel.

“No problem was ever too large to overcome. He made our sound, and in our ever-changing world, he also made us a bubble of safety, luxuriously so. Ever there to hold our hand as we sweatily stumbled off stage, ‘Don’t do a Laura Ashley’, he’d say…. May someone be there to hold your hand as you ascend the stairway to heaven, Ken Master.”

“He was a force of calm with a mischievous sense of humour”

Neg Earth Lights, a leading independent entertainment lighting hire company, wrote on Facebook: “The shock with which we learnt of the loss of Ken Watts, who passed away suddenly over the weekend, has given way to deep sadness and heartache; an industry giant, and friend of Neg Earth Lights for decades, we will miss him greatly and hold his family, friends and colleagues in our thoughts.”

“What a terrible loss. Ken Watts was a genuine talent and inspirational leader to many. A Wonderful Man,” one Facebook user wrote.

Another added: “What a fantastic man, he will be greatly missed by many.”

“A true friend and one with whom you could always pick up where you left off after a long absence. A truly huge loss to the entertainment industry,” read one tribute.

“Huge loss, such a lovely and respected man that taught so much to so many,” read another.

Watts’ family has requested that those who would like to pay tribute to Ken do so by making a small donation to Stagehand’s Covid-19 Crew Relief Fund here.


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ShowTime Budapest’s Márton Brády passes aged 54

Concert organiser Márton Brády, the founder and leader of ShowTime Budapest and Ticket Express, died of coronavirus complications on Saturday, March 20, at the age of 54.

Born in 1966, Brády began his career working for smaller companies as an organiser of international concerts. In 1994, he founded international concert agency ShowTime Budapest with Austrian partners, and debuted with the Rolling Stones’ first ever show in Hungary in 1995, held at Népstadion.

Márton also founded Ticket Express agency in the mid-1990s, becoming one of the leaders of the Hungarian cultural ticket sale market.

A long-time ILMC member, Brády’s company has promoted hundreds of international acts and more than 1,000 concerts with Hungarian performers since the mid-1990s.

ShowTime has brought to Hungary Bon Jovi, Eric Clapton, Mike Oldfield, Eros Ramazzotti, Leonard Cohen, Pink, REM, Elton John, Simply Red, Deep Purple, Lionel Richie, Jamiroquai, Rod Stewart, Santana and David Copperfield, among others.

ShowTime debuted with the Rolling Stones’ first ever show in Hungary in 1995

The company has organised major concerts by such legendary Hungarian bands as the LGT Arena performances in 2013, and previously the performances of Piramis, the Hobo Blues Band, Zorán, Charlie and Tátrai Band.

Sony bought a stake in the company in 2010, before Brády bought it back in 2013, and since then he had been the sole owner of ShowTime Budapest.

Ticket Express operated as part of ShowTime until 2000, then became a member of CTS Eventim group. In addition to the domestic market, it is also present in the neighbouring countries. Ticket Express was also the first to launch an online ticket office in Hungary.

The team at ShowTime Budapest, which has been working together for 25 years, will continue the work that Brády started, although they say he is greatly missed.

Alex Nussbaumer, who had worked with Brády in the past, says: He was a good soul and big music lover. RIP, my friend.”


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Eat to the Beat founder Tony Laurenson passes

Tony Laurenson, founder and CEO of global catering group Global Infusion Group (GIG) and its well-known subsidiary Eat to the Beat, passed away last Tuesday (19 January).

Laurenson spent over four decades in the catering industry and cultural catering company Eat to the Beat (founded in 1983) became a forerunner in the business.

The company has provided catering for tours, festivals, TV and film – with clients including Alicia Keys, Iron Maiden, Coldplay, Download, V Festival – and later became the foundation of GIG (founded in 1981 by Laurenson), which also operates e2b and Bonnie May Food & Events.

“Tony was so passionate about the industry and was ‘everybody’s mate’… you’d often see him rolling his sleeves up to help”

The news of Laurenson’s death was announced on the GIG Facebook page: “It is with tremendous sadness that we announce that Tony Laurenson, our founder, and CEO passed away, at home, suddenly yesterday (19th January 2021). We are all in complete shock. Our thoughts are with Bonnie, Matt, Will, Tom and Harriet and all of Tony’s family.”

Andy Hudson, who worked with Laurenson in the early days of e2b, wrote: “This sparkling man was an asset to all of us who knew him. Professionally, he and his team were the ultimate caterers – to the stars and equally to the road and technical crew that kept the show on the road. His bonhomie and reliability and much of his homely wisdom will be engrained in me for the remainder of my life.”

“Tony was one of the true characters of the touring industry with his big smile and love of a good time”

Brian McCarthy, club president of Chesham United FC, where Laurenson once held the role of hospitality director, wrote: “I was fortunate enough to work with Tony when he was a director of the club. He brought so many new ideas to the table and gave myself and the board energy and belief that we can broaden the appeal of the club within our community.

“Tony understood the role that football can play in people’s lives and was inspirational in helping us to make new contacts and develop new ideas that are still key to the way the club operates today. Tony will be sorely missed, but his memory will live long with those that had the pleasure of knowing him.“

Musician Stuart Uren paid tribute: “So sad to hear about the passing of Tony Laurenson! A lovely, kind and ever-cheerful chap, I was fortunate to work and travel with on various tours in the 80s. . . Full breakfast please Tone.”

Thank you so much O2 Academy Brixton this is a wonderful tribute. We know that Tony loved the venue, it was definitely one of his favourites!

Posted by Eat To The Beat on Monday, January 25, 2021


Ex-business partner, Neil Armishaw, wrote: “Tony was a one of a kind who many will have seen at events, festivals etc catering backstage with his company, Eat to the Beat. Tony was so passionate about the industry and was ‘everybody’s mate’… you’d often see him rolling his sleeves up and jumping in to help.”

Australia-based roadie, Paul Streaky Hawkes, says: “Tony was one of the true characters of the touring industry with his big smile and love of a good time. He and his legion of caterers kept us well fed on many tours through Europe over the last 30 odd years… he will be sadly missed by many.”

Laurenson is survived by Bonnie, Matt, Will, Tom and Harriet.

They ask for donations (“not carnations”) to be made to Stagehand, the PSA’s benevolent fund, in his name: click here for the JustGiving page, which has raised over £10,000 at press time.


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