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Acts revealed for AEG’s Peaky Blinders festival

AEG Presents is promoting a music festival based on hit BBC drama Peaky Blinders this September, in collaboration with the show’s creator Steven Knight.

The promoter today (20 August) added new names to the event’s line-up, including Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes, John J Presley and Saint Agnes. The acts will play alongside already announced artists Slaves, Anna Calvi, Primal Scream and the Streets’ Mike Skinner.

The Legitimate Peaky Blinders Festival will take place from 14 to 15 September in Birmingham, UK, where the popular TV show is set.

The event will see actors recreate scenes from the 1920s-set drama, as well as immersive theatre performances, fashion shows and a Q&A between the Knight and the show’s cast.

An “immersive performance” of the show’s theme tune ‘Red Right Hand’ will close the event on the Sunday evening

Festivalgoers will hear music from the 1920s to 1940s at the event’s Carousel stage, with a BBC Introducing stage showcasing local emerging talent.

An “immersive performance” of the show’s theme tune ‘Red Right Hand’ by Nick Cave, featuring 200 actors and dancers from ballet company Rambert will close the event on the Sunday evening.

A “major cast announcement” and “special guest performance by global superstar” are yet to be revealed.

Tickets for the Peaky Blinders-themed event are priced at £67.35 for each day, with VIP packages starting at £149 per day.


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Tramlines agrees to crowdfunded takeover bid

Tramlines Events Ltd, the promoter behind Tramlines Festival, has agreed provisionally to a £1.2 million buy-out of the popular UK event.

The bid comes courtesy of Music City Foundation, a Sheffield-based nonprofit, which says it hopes to “preserve the iconic festival for the benefit of the city” by “buy[ing] back the festival for the people”. The foundation already owns 15% of Tramlines, but now plans to buy Tramlines Events out of its shares in the festival, with half (£600,000) of the bid price raised through a crowdfunding campaign.

Share packages start at £200, and will be available to buy next Wednesday (12 April) from musiccityfoundation.org.

“Music City Foundation plans to buy back the festival for the people,” says foundation director Winston Hazel. ““Our aim is to support both economic and cultural growth.

“Sheffield is one of the most culturally diverse and stimulating cities in the UK. It is the birthplace of Arctic Monkeys, Pulp and Bring Me the Horizon, and 7.4% of our population is employed by the creative industries [compared to a] national average of just 4%. We want to ensure that Tramlines continues to support our vibrant culture while also contributing to the city’s economic success.”

Tramlines Festival 2017, headlined by Primal Scream and The Libertines, will not be affected by the £1.2m offer – which is below market value, “in order to encourage investment from the city’s people and businesses” – with a successful bid taking effect from 2018.

“Do you want our flagship event stuck in a portfolio of 15 festivals, its performance linked to strategies, bundled with random cities that have nothing to do with Sheffield?”

Tramlines was launched in 2009 as a free festival by Tramlines Events and Sheffield Council, with Tramline Events assuming full control in 2010. Count of Ten (Y Not, Truck Festival) acquired a 38% stake in 2013, introducing several ‘premium’ venues but still keeping a free tier. It first made a significant profit in 2015.

“Ask yourself, as someone with a direct trading interest in Sheffield: Do you want our flagship event stuck in a portfolio of 15 festivals, its performance linked to strategies, maybe bundled and themed with random cities that have nothing to do with Sheffield [and] jettisoned if we don’t hit bottom lines?” writes Hazel in Music Cities Foundation’s ‘blueprints’ for the acquisition. “We think that is not the way our flagship, or our city, thinks. […]

“Keeping Tramlines Sheffield-owned isn’t just about protecting an event. We believe Tramlines Festival is a crucial catalyst for our plans and for the city. It has already shown the importance of city-wide collaboration. It brings national companies and projects to our table and gives us a national profile in return.

“There are a huge number of incumbent traders who have helped shape Tramlines with us – and we are inviting them first to secure their long-term rights to buying the festival shares and its IPRs [intellectual property rights].”


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Festival Focus: Positivus, LIMF, Isle of Wight

Positivus, the Baltics’ largest music festival, today finalised its 2016 line-up.

New additions include Joss Stone, Branko, Chloe Martini, Hana, The Very Best, Italian group JoyCut and Mike Skinner and Murkage‘s club night, Tonga, who will join Ellie Goulding, Iggy Pop, M83, Years & Years, Hot Chip, John Newman, Air, Grimes, Wolf Alice and more at the three day-event in the Latvian coastal town of Salacgriva.

Over 30,000 tickets have been sold for the festival, promoted by Ģirts Majors’ Positivus Music, which takes place from 15 to 17 July.

Bobby Gillespie, Primal Scream, Rodrigo Díaz

Primal Scream have cancelled their slots at eight festivals, including Azkena Rock Festival, Musiqes en Stock, the Beat-Herder, Rock in Roma and the Secret Garden Party, after frontman Bobby Gillespie fell off the stage at Caribana Festival in Vaud, Switzerland, last week.

The band revealed on Twitter that Gillespie has been ordered to rest for a “minimum of eight weeks”.

(Bobby Gillespie photo by Rodrigo Díaz.)

Headliner Elton John and main support act Madness are the first acts to be announced for the BBC’s Radio 2 in Hyde Park 2016.

Here’s hoping the event’s security are less heavy handed than the “pricks” on duty at Leicestershire County Cricket Ground earlier this week…

Leona Lewis, Rod Stewart, Bryan Adams, The Shires, The Corrs and Giorgio Moroder played last year’s event.

A host of new names have been announced for Butlin’s’ Great British Folk Festival this December.

Joining headliners Donovan, Levellers and Kate Rusby in Skegness will be Bob Geldof, Oysterband, Lindisfarne, a Ronnie Lane-less Slim Chance, Gryphon and more. Tickets start at £79 and include three nights’ accommodation at the Butlin’s Skegness resort.

IQ revealed in February that Butlin’s will welcome close to half a million visitors to 58 festivals at its three holiday parks throughout 2016. (Bob Geldof photo Matthias Muehlbradt.)

Bob Geldof, Matthias Muehlbradt

Liverpool International Music Festival (LIMF) has announced the launch of a ‘pop-up’ radio station, LIMF Radio, for its 2016 event.

The station, broadcasting on 87.7 FM and online at www.limfradio.co.uk, will “reflect the past and present Liverpool music scene, as well as featuring artists and bands who will be taking part in July’s highly anticipated event”. It will also provide training for 35 local young Liverpudlians who want to work in radio.

Artists playing the free festival, backed by the city of Liverpool, include Sigma, The Wombats, Wretch 32, The Lightning Seeds, Buzzcocks and Lianne La Havas.

Queen and Adam Lambert, DianaKat/SmugMug

Queen and singer Adam Lambert dedicated their headline slot at the Isle of Wight Festival last weekend to the victims of the Pulse nightclub shooting.

Lambert, who has sung with the band since 2011, said: “This song [‘Who Wants to Live Forever’] is dedicated to those who lost their lives in Orlando, Florida, and anyone who has been a victim of senseless violence or hatred.” (Queen/Adam Lambert photo by DianaKat on SmugMug.)

The festival also paid tribute to the late David Bowie, selling Aladdin Sane masks to raise money for charity Stand Up to Cancer and putting on a tribute featuring Andrea Corr and Gary Kemp of Spandau Ballet, who sung a medley including ‘Starman’, ‘Heroes’, ‘Rebel Rebel’ and ‘All the Young Dudes’.

Promoter John Giddings, who was Bowie’s agent for over 30 years, described him as a “true friend to the festival”.