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Roadie Cookbook to fund mental health aid on tour

A group of live music crew members have curated a non-profit cookbook with the aim of funding mental health first aid training for ‘every tour bus in the UK’.

The publication, titled The Roadie Cookbook: Toured There, Ate That, is a collection of 50 recipes, anecdotes and advice, helping road crew continue to enjoy meals together in the absence of crew catering.

For each copy sold, 100% of profits will go towards charities Music Support and Stagehand to help continue funding, delivering and normalising mental health first aid training.

The brains behind the book is production manager Nick Gosling (Nile Rodgers & Chic), who came up with the idea in April 2020, at the onset of the pandemic.

The project was curated with production coordinator Julie Cotton (Massive Attack), production assistant Athena Caramitsos and backline tech Rich House (Elbow), after the four encouraged their peers to share recipes over social media and Zoom in the absence of touring.

“While almost every venue in the world closed, home kitchens became the new catering hub for unemployed workers”

“Food is a fundamental part of life on the road,” a press release reads. “When the devastation of Covid-19 hit, live music stopped overnight, and tour buses stood still. While almost every venue in the world closed, home kitchens became the new catering hub for unemployed music workers.

“As stories of memorable meals and secret ingredients in roadie comfort food took hold, so did the stark reality that isolation and mental ill-health was becoming commonplace within the forgotten touring business…the idea of an industry cookbook was formed.”

The book’s contributors have worked with artists and events ranging from Dolly Parton to Bryan Ferry, Chemical Brothers, Kylie Minogue, Glastonbury, Linkin Park, Robbie Williams, Anastacia and Jay Z.

Recipes include The Killer Sandwich, Stage Left Satay Bowls, Tour Bus Nachos, and the Loose Cocktail.

Pre-order The Roadie Cookbook: Toured There, Ate That for £25 here.

 


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PPL donates £75k to Stagehand Covid-19 fund

The Stagehand Covid-19 relief fund has been bolstered by a £75,000 donation from PPL, the UK’s music licensing company for performers and recording rights holders.

The fund was founded by the Production Services Association (PSA) in September 2020 to support touring crews and event production workers during the live industry’s ongoing unemployment crisis.

According to Stagehand, the fund has been able to provide some of the 20% of people (more than 1,500 workers) who have fallen through the gaps in governmental support with grants of up to £500 for food and housing bills.

PPL’s second donation to the fund will enable Stagehand to open the fifth round of applications for crew in need.

“PPL and live event production workers are at opposite ends of the music business,” says Mike Lowe, Stagehand Chair of Trustees.

“It is so heartening that PPL regard the entire business as one ecosystem”

“It is so heartening that PPL regard the entire business as one ecosystem and at a time when our sector is on its knees, offers help. PPL was the first major organisation to make a significant donation, helping to raise awareness of the plight, as well as kick-starting the campaign and inspiring other contributions.

“PPL’s most recent donation will continue to help live events crew through these extremely difficult times, and it is a very appreciated endorsement for the work that Stagehand is doing.

Peter Leathem, PPL CEO, says: “The pandemic has been an incredibly tough time for many, but it has also shown our industry at its best. Stagehand, as well as other hardship funds from the likes of the Music Managers Forum, Help Musicians, the Musicians’ Union, AIM and the BPI, has brought the music community together to help those facing financial difficulties. PPL is proud to continue to support these funds. We hope this latest contribution to Stagehand will help crew and production workers while the live industry plans its return.”

Stagehand has launched a number of fundraising initiatives including the ILoveLive prize draw, which raised more than £300k from the auction of unique live music memorabilia, and Prints for Music, which saw celebrated photographers donate iconic music photography to raise money.

Donate to the Stagehand Covid-19 relief fund here.

 


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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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Glastonbury goes global with ticketed livestream

Glastonbury will host an exclusive global livestream from its Worthy Farm festival site on 22 May, in lieu of the flagship event which was called off for a second consecutive year.

Coldplay, Damon Albarn, Haim, Idles, Jorja Smith, Kano, Michael Kiwanuka, Wolf Alice and DJ Honey Dijon will perform across the site’s landmarks – including the Pyramid Field and the Stone Circle – for the event, dubbed Live at Worthy Farm. There will also be a number of unannounced surprise performances.

The uninterrupted five-hour production will be shot by acclaimed Grammy-nominated director Paul Dugdale and co-promoted and produced by Driift, the pioneering UK livestream business which has hosted livestreams for Laura Marling, Nick Cave, Andrea Bocelli and Kylie Minogue.

“For one night only people all over the world will be able to join us on this journey through [Worthy Farm] together”

The performances will be interspersed by a spoken word narrative, written and delivered by special guests.

“After two Glastonbury cancellations, it brings us great pleasure to announce our first online livestream, which will present live music performances filmed across Worthy Farm at landmarks including the Pyramid and, for the first time ever, the Stone Circle,” says Glastonbury organiser, Emily Eavis.

“It will feature a rolling cast of artists and performers who have all given us enormous support by agreeing to take part in this event, showing the farm as you have never seen it. There will also be some very special guest appearances and collaborations. We are hoping this will bring a bit of Glastonbury to your homes and that for one night only people all over the world will be able to join us on this journey through the farm together!”

Live at Worthy Farm will support Glastonbury’s three main charitable partners, Oxfam, Greenpeace and WaterAid, as well as helping to secure next year’s edition.

Stagehand, the live production hardship fund that has been providing financial support to crew members throughout the pandemic, will receive the proceeds from a limited edition line-up poster for the event.

The online event will be broadcast in full across four separate time zones, with staggered livestreams.  Tickets are on sale now at worthyfarm.live for £20/€23/US$27.50/A$35.

Live at Worthy Farm

 


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Major artists to perform in aid of music charities

Newton Faulkner, Charlotte Church and The Supernaturals are among the artists set to perform for at-home charity festival Music Feeds.

Organised by ethical, non-profit promoter Everybody Belongs Here and with support from Co-op, Music Feeds will broadcast performances from more than 40 artists from 8 pm GMT on 28 and 29 January to raise money for charities dedicated to crew, musicians and tackling food poverty.

Tickets for the two-night event cost £15 and net proceeds from the sales will be split between three charities with 70% going to FareShare (a long-running charity network aimed at relieving food poverty and reducing food waste in the UK), 20% to Stagehand (live production hardship fund) and 10% to Help Musicians (the UK’s leading charity for musicians).

As part of Music Feeds, Co-op has also donated one million pounds, with the same percentage split, to all three charities.

As part of Music Feeds, Co-op has also donated one million pounds

Other artists performing at the event include: Sam Smith, Blossoms, Fontaines DC, Fenne Lily, Kyle Falconer (The View), Gruff Rhys (Super Furry Animals), The Slow Readers Club, Steve Mason, October Drift and more. See the full line-up here.

Tickets are available through DICE, the official ticketing partner of Everybody Belongs Here.

Stagehand – which is this year’s Nikos Fund, the ILMC charity of the year – recently raised £535, 840 for production staff and stage crew impacted by the loss of work caused by the Covid-19 pandemic through a prize draw featuring unique memorabilia from artists.

The charity has already raised £280,000 in donations from PPL, the BPI, major record labels and artist management companies – most of which went to the 300 crew members in the most desperate need late last year – and is also collecting more through other fundraising initiatives including Prints For Music.


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Stagehand #ILoveLive draw raises more than £300k

#ILoveLive, the Stagehand prize draw which aims to raise £1 million for UK crew before Christmas, has raised over £300,000 with just under week to go, organisers have revealed.

The #ILoveLive draw gives fans the chance to win unique memorabilia from artists and live music organisations, such as signed guitars from Nile Rodgers, Liam Gallagher, Nick Cave and Warren Ellis, Mark Knopfler, Eric Clapton and more; hand-written lyrics by Florence Welch, Robbie Williams and Years & Years; and a rare mask worn by FKA Twigs during her live show.

Fans can choose which artists they want to buy tickets for and can increase their chances of winning by purchasing multiple tickets, which are priced at £5 each. The draw is live on Crowdfunder until 17 December and winners will be chosen on 23 December.

“Money raised from these prize draws will actually save lives and help to safeguard their future”

Newly announced products include memorabilia by Pink Floyd, who are auctioning a new Delicate Sound of Thunder triple vinyl signed by David Gilmour and Nick Mason, and the Cure and Depeche Mode.

Mark Knopfler’s guitar is currently the most wished-for item, with more than £57,000 of a £60,000 target raised with six days to go.

Artist manager and promoter David Stopps, #ILoveLive’s project manager, comments: “When I heard about the tenth suicide among stage crew in late August, I knew I had to do something. Stage crew are not only suffering great financial hardship but most are also experiencing ill mental health.

“Money raised from these prize draws will actually save lives and help to safeguard their future.”

To support the #ILiveLive campaign, which is raising funds for UK crew affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, go to www.crowdfunder.co.uk/i-love-live.

 


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Stagehand launches prize draw for crew relief fund

Live production hardship fund Stagehand, along with Crowdfunder, has launched a prize draw to raise funds for production staff and stage crew impacted by the loss of work caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The #ILoveLive draw will give fans the chance to win unique memorabilia from artists and live music organisations such as signed guitars from Nile Rodgers, Liam Gallagher, Nick Cave and Warren Ellis, Mark Knopfler, Eric Clapton and more; hand-written lyrics by Florence Welch, Robbie Williams and Years & Years; and a rare mask worn by FKA Twigs during her live show.

Fans can choose which artists they want to buy tickets for and can increase their chances of winning by purchasing multiple tickets, which are priced at £5 each. The draw is now live until 17 December and winners will be chosen on 23 December.

“We know that when live shows can take place again in financially viable ways, the industry will be extremely busy,” says Mike Lowe, the chair of Stagehand’s board of trustees.

“Artists, festivals and venues just want to get back to work and the public are hungry to see live entertainment again. No live show of any kind can happen without the skills and expertise of the army of live events workers. I am sure that the live events industry workers who we can help, will join me and my fellow trustees in expressing our massive appreciation for making all of this happen in the most difficult and unprecedented of times.”

“No live show of any kind can happen without the skills and expertise of the army of live events workers”

Stagehand, which is this year’s Nikos Fund – the ILMC charity of the year, aims to raise at least £1 million before Christmas.

The charity has already raised £280,000 in donations from PPL, the BPI, major record labels and artist management companies – most of which went to the 300 crew members in the most desperate need earlier this month.

Stagehand has also launched several fundraising initiatives including Prints For Music, which launched earlier this week.

Organised by photographer Ed Robinson, a slate of celebrated photographers including Rankin, Tony McGee and Jill Furmanovsky have donated iconic music shots to raise money for Stagehand’s Covid-19 Crew Relief Fund.

Over 100 iconic prints of globally treasured artists such as David Bowie, Grace Jones and The Rolling Stones, are now on sale for £95 each for a limited time of four weeks, with 100% of proceeds going to the fund.

Stagehand is one of the many funds for live technicians, most of which were set up during the pandemic. According to the charity, over 60% of the people working in the industry are freelancers without any support from a larger company and over 20% of all crew have discovered that they don’t qualify for any government support at all.

Join the prize raffle here or make a donation to Stagehand here.

 


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Iconic music photography donated to Stagehand fund

Celebrated photographers including Rankin, Tony McGee and Jill Furmanovsky have donated iconic music shots to raise money for Stagehand’s Covid-19 Crew Relief Fund.

Over 100 iconic prints of globally treasured artists such as David Bowie, Grace Jones and The Rolling Stones, are now on sale for £95 each for a limited time of four weeks, with 100% of proceeds going to the hardship fund.

Stagehand was launched over two decades ago by live production trade association PSA and claims to be the only UK charity specifically dedicated to providing hardship funding for crew who have fallen on tough times.

“The livelihoods of people working in live music productions has been decimated by the effects of Covid-19,” says Mike Lowe, chair of Stagehand’s board of trustees. “Every day we hear from people who are struggling and Stagehand is raising funds to help those in most need, with the simple aim of helping to keep roofs over heads and food on tables.”

“None of these photographs would have been possible without the artists and those who support them”

The launch of Prints For Music for Stagehand was organised by leading photographer Ed Robinson who says: “Like so many others, the struggles of the Covid-19 pandemic has affected me deeply on a personal level as well as professionally. I have reached out to the people I know in the music and photographic industries with the simple idea to try to help those who are not getting the support they need to survive this crisis.

“For many photographers who have been privileged enough to have been given access to photograph these artists, it has only been made possible by the efforts of their production teams. None of these photographs would have been possible without the artists and those who support them. This initiative is our way of giving back in their time of need. It will help preserve their livelihoods and enable the shows to go on in the future.”

 

 

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Prints For Music also features artists including Coldplay, Arctic Monkeys, Bob Marley, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Marina Diamandis, The Streets, Florence and the Machine, Liam Gallagher, Jonny Greenwood, Beth Ditto, Tina Turner, Brett Anderson, Alice Cooper, Sting, Stormzy and Kate Nash. The sale is open on Prints For Music until 21 December 2020.

The Stagehand fund opened for applications last month (15 October) and initially awarded grants of £500 to help with “keeping a roof over heads and food on the table”.

The charity is working on a number of fundraising initiatives for crew who have been financially impacted by Covid-19 including a virtual tip jar and an upcoming memorabilia raffle.

 


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Artists join call-to-arms for crew support

A number of artists including Nick Cave, Niall Horan, Amy MacDonald, and Marillion, are rallying support for live events technicians who have been financially impacted by the pandemic through fundraising events and memorabilia donations.

Solo artist and ex-One Direction member Niall Horan recently announced a one-off livestream show at London’s Royal Albert Hall on 7 November to raise money and awareness for his touring crew.

Amy MacDonald is launching her new album with a socially-distanced show and interview at The Mildmay Club in London, with proceeds going towards the #WeMakeEvents campaign. The event, titled An Evening With Amy MacDonald, will take place on 1 November and be livestreamed from 7 pm GMT.

Elsewhere, 80s rock band Marillion has already raised over £30,000 from the virtual tip jar at their Couch Convention weekend, which they split equally between their 10-man crew.

“That’s just the tip of the iceberg,” says Andy Lenthall, general manager at PSA, the live production trade association which also runs Stagehand, a live production hardship fund. “There is so much goodwill towards crew that people don’t know about,” he tells IQ.

“It is an ecosystem and artists appreciate they need crew to amplify, magnify and illuminate the shows”

“People say, ‘Why can’t the artists pay?’. Well some of them can, and some of them are, and some of them can’t. It’s about what we can do, not what we can’t do. Artists at the top of the pile work with the same crew a lot and many are supporting them,” he maintains. “It is an ecosystem and artists appreciate they need crew to amplify, magnify and illuminate the shows.”

Lenthall says Stagehand has received many anonymous contributions from artists, in the form of cash and memorabilia. Most recently Nick Cave donated one of his guitars for an upcoming memorabilia raffle, organised by the association.

The raffle, along with Stagehand’s ‘tip the crew’ concept, is part of the fund’s longtail business model based on fan engagement. “Fanbases are where we hope to make lots of small bits,” says Lenthall.

Stagehand has also received donations from companies such as PPL, BPI and Sony – though Lenthall maintains that the fund is a long-term project and will require several different initiatives to raise the money needed.

“It’s about what we can do, not what we can’t do”

“We all know it’s going to take a while for the industry to restart so we need to raise a seven-figure sum and it needs to last around six months,” he says.

The Stagehand fund opened for applications yesterday (15 October) and is initially awarding grants of £500 to help with “keeping a roof over heads and food on the table”.

“Houses are on the market and it’s the beginning of the sofa-surfing season for some people. We’ve opened the fund now because at the end of October rent arrears will be due and the mortgage holiday is over. People will have accumulated a lot of debt over the summer,” Lenthall explains.

However, he’s confident that now some companies have been saved through packages such as the Culture Recovery Fund, attention is turning to crew.

“We need to focus on retaining people. Crew are tenacious, hardworking and diligent. We don’t want to lose them.”

Make a donation to Stagehand here or donate to similar funds supporting live technicians such as #WeMakeEvents; Live Nation’s Crew Nation; and the recently launched hardship fund We Need Crew.

 


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