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Live music to set the stage for COP26 Glasgow

Live music will play a supporting role in the United Nations Climate Change Conference (aka COP26), in Glasgow, this month.

The summit will take place between 31 October and 12 November at the Scottish Event Campus, the site of the nation’s flagship live music venue, the newly renamed OVO Hydro (cap. 13,000).

Running alongside the conference is a three-day fringe festival, Beyond The Green, celebrating music, the arts and sustainability.

The fringe festival will include a not-for-profit event combining live performances and conference sessions, led by sustainable events specialist UMA Entertainment (UMAE).

The 6 November event will involve a day of panels from climate experts and thought leaders across NGOs, youth activism, music and the entertainment industry, including several LIVE Green working group members.

UMA Entertainment’s event will feature performances from acclaimed artists Aurora, Sam Fischer and BEMZ

Speakers include A Greener Festival director Teresa Moore, Beggars Group head of sustainability Will Hutton, Tyndall Centre deputy director Professor Carly McLachlan and Groove Armada’s Andy Cato.

Performances from acclaimed artists Aurora, Sam Fischer and BEMZ will be followed by an after-show event with sets from Cato, Sarra Wild and Darwin.

UMAE, which is chaired by Live Aid promoter Harvey Goldsmith, is working on the event with partners including Future for Humanity, Ivy Farm, Stabal, PRS, PPL, Ecosia, Count Us In, Bluedot Festival, Julie’s Bicycle, LIVE Green, and Featured Artists Coalition.

“We are thrilled to be leading on the conversation of culture and entertainment and the role it plays in driving change at scale at COP26, a pivotal event in the climate crisis,” says Harvey Goldmsith. “This event is the cornerstone of what’s to come from UMA in our mission to produce events that push the global climate agenda forward.”

LIVE Green chair John Langford added: “In the wake of Live Green unveiling a suitability charter for the live music industry, it’s encouraging to see so many artists, their representatives and other influential personalities taking a clear stand against climate change at COP 26.”

Earth Aid, Music Managers Forum, Positive Impact, Exit [Live], EarthPercent, Music Declares Emergency and Beggars Group are also associated.

All profits from the ticketed event will be donated to official charity partner EarthPercent founded by Brian Eno, and social impact charities in Glasgow.

Also running alongside COP26 is a new concert series to help “turn the tide on the climate crisis”, organised by leading Scottish promoter DF concerts and Project Zero.

Concerts for Climate will feature some of the biggest names in Scottish music including Twin Atlantic and Admiral Fallow

The series, Concerts for Climate, will feature some of the biggest names in Scottish music including Twin Atlantic, Admiral Fallow, the Ninth Wave, Rachel Sermanni, Rura, Blue Rose Code, Tamzene and The National Youth Pipe Band.

The event will take place at Scottish venue King Tuts Wah Wah Hut on 11 November, and is set to become the first in a series of global music events produced by Project Zero.

All proceeds from the Concerts for Climate series will fund a global network of projects that protect and restore the ocean and blue carbon ecosystems (mangroves, seagrass meadows and tidal marshes).

“We are honoured to host the very first Project Zero Concert at King Tut’s, in the host city of COP26, Glasgow,” says Susan Kerr, King Tut’s.

“It is so important that we tackle climate change now and, this concert series will help draw attention to the fact our oceans are our biggest weapon in fighting the climate emergency.”

Tickets for Concerts for Climate go on sale tomorrow (22 October) at 10.00 BST.

COP26 comes a month after LIVE Green launched the ‘Beyond Zero Declaration’ to reduce net emissions across the UK’s live music business to zero by 2030. The declaration and charter has been signed by the 13 key associations representing the various sectors of the business.

 


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Ticketmaster launches accessible tickets online

Ticketmaster has launched online tickets sales for disabled fans in the UK, allowing customers to buy accessible tickets online for the first time.

Ticketmaster’s online booking validation process allows fans with accessibility requirements to purchase the correct tickets easily. Customers who make an online accessible order are asked to submit their requirements, such as a seat for a personal assistant, a wheelchair-accessible space or access to the best location to view sign language interpretation, via their Ticketmaster account. All information will be saved for future purchases.

The system will be rolled out for upcoming events as Glasgow’s Scottish Event Campus (SEC) venues, which include the 13,000-capacity SSE Hydro, Glasgow and Motorpoint Arena Cardiff.

“At Ticketmaster we believe equal access to live entertainment is paramount,” comments Ticketmaster UK managing director Andrew Parsons.

“We knew we had to do more for disabled fans and our team has worked hard on this ground-breaking technology that endeavours to make ticket buying simple for all. Every fan should have the same access to the events they love, it’s an ongoing process and one we continue to prioritise.”

“This is real progress for millions of disabled fans who are entitled to a variety of ways in which they can book their tickets”

A recent survey compiled by music accessibility charity Attitude is Everything (AIE) found that 83% of disabled gig-goers have been deterred from buying tickets due to inaccessible booking systems. Many reported paying extra to be able to buy a ticket online, or having no option to purchase online at all.

Suzanne Bull MBE, CEO of the charity, says she is “delighted” that accessible tickets are now available online.

“This is real progress for millions of disabled fans who are entitled to a variety of ways in which they can book their tickets,” says Bull. “In designing their new service, Ticketmaster has worked closely with us and our Ticketing Without Barriers Coalition to achieve the five steps to inclusive ticketing that we set out in our February 2018 State of Access report. We wish them every success.”

The new system will roll out across more events, venues and countries in the near future.

Motorpoint Arena Cardiff and Ticketmaster UK were among nominees for AIE’s Outstanding Attitude Awards this year.

 


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SEC makes new live entertainment appointments

The Scottish Event Campus (SEC) Glasgow has announced today two new live entertainment appointments in the areas of ticketing and programming.

Julie Carson has been promoted to head of ticketing, taking responsibility for maximising ticketing delivery across the SEC, which comprises the SSE Hydro (13,000-cap.), SEC Armadillo (3,000-cap.) and SEC Centre (13,000-cap.).

In another internal move, James Graham becomes the new head of live entertainment programming and will be responsible for driving content to optimise sales profitability across live aspects of the business.

“The success of live entertainment presents an opportunity to acknowledge team members who have contributed significantly to the growth and delivery in this sector”

The announcement follows the appointments of Debbie McWilliams as director as live entertainment at SEC on 1 March, and of John Watson to the SEC board on March 18.

“The success of live entertainment presents an opportunity to acknowledge team members who have contributed significantly to the growth and delivery in this sector,” says Mcwilliams.

“I am delighted that James and Julie’s dedication to this area of the business has been recognised and that they have accepted these well-deserved promotions”.

McWilliams told IQ‘s European Arena Yearbook 2018 that “arena business continues to be buoyant in Glasgow”, with SEC’s SSE Hydro finishing the year at number four in the Pollstar arena rankings and taking the top spot on Billboard’s list.

The Hydro celebrated its fifth anniversary in September and renewed its partnership with AEG’s venue management division, AEG Facilities, in October. Hugh Jackman, Michael Bublé, Westlife, Kiss and Ariana Grande are among the artists performing at the Hydro in coming months.

 


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SEC appoints John Watson as new board member

The Scottish Event Campus (SEC) has announced a new addition to its board, with the appointment of John Watson as a non-executive director.

Watson is an operating principal for global infrastructure partners (GIP), working with a number of the fund’s investments and is chief executive of Crosswind Development, the sister company of Edinburgh airport.

Prior to joining GIP, Watson was managing director of Lloyds Banking Group’s US$50 billion small- or medium-sized enterprises lending portfolio during the banking liquidity crisis. He was also a founding board director of the Business Growth Fund plc.

Watson is a trustee of Entrepreneurial Scotland Foundation, a non-executive director of the Institute of Directors and a member of the the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland governing council.

“John brings with him a wealth of experience across the financial markets and infrastructure investment which will be invaluable as we look to secure funding for a major expansion of our facilities”

“John brings with him a wealth of experience across the financial markets and infrastructure investment which will be invaluable as we look to secure funding for a major expansion of our facilities with the vision to create a unique global event campus,” says SEC chairman Will Whitehorn.

Speaking of his appointment, Watson comments: “The SEC is a world renowned and important facility for both Glasgow and Scotland generating significant economic benefit. I’m delighted to be joining such a brilliant team with a great track record of delivery and I look forward to working with them to further grow their success.”

SEC recently promoted Debbie McWilliams to director of live entertainment.

 


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SECC becomes the Scottish Event Campus

The Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre (SECC), the Glasgow entertainment and conference complex that includes the SSE Hydro arena, has been rebranded the Scottish Event Campus (SEC).

The news – announced last night at the SE(C)C’s annual Burns Night dinner at the V&A in London – reflects the evolution of the site, established in 1985, from an exhibition centre to one that includes a significant proportion of live entertainment. The SECC added the 3,000-cap. Armadillo (Clyde Auditorium) venue in 1997, followed by the AEG Live-operated SSE Hydro (13,000-cap.) in 2013.

SEC chief executive Peter Duthie (pictured) explains: “The decision and announcement comes at a time when the company has seen changes in the nature of the business it now operates in. The name Scottish Event Campus better describes the site, is more representative of what we do and reflects a vision for the future. [O]ur three buildings will be known as The SSE Hydro, SEC Armadillo and the original building, the SEC Centre.

“We believe that this is the perfect time for a revamp of our brand, building on the success of the business to date. Historically, we have found that many people don’t necessarily realise that all of our buildings are part of the SECC.

“The name Scottish Event Campus  better describes the site, is more representative of what we do and reflects a vision for the future”

“We also want to showcase that the SEC is able to stage large-scale events, capitalising on the huge success of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games and, more recently, the Ignition Festival of Motoring – both great examples of utilisation of all areas of our campus, internally and externally.

“It is important to add that the new name still retains a clear reference to its origins, maintaining a connection to the excellent reputation the venue has built up in each of the market sectors – conferences, exhibitions and live entertainment – in which we operated as SECC.”

Major shows at The SSE Hydro last year included sold-out performances by Adele and Justin Bieber.

 


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