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The Great Escape ramps up for ‘historic’ comeback

UK showcase festival and convention The Great Escape (TGE) will return to its in-person format for the first time in two years.

TGE 2022 is set to take place next week (11–14 May) in venues across the seaside city of Brighton, with around 3,500 music industry professionals in attendance.

This year’s edition will showcase 500 emerging artists from all over the world including Baby Queen, Muna, Lynks, Moa Moa, Let’s Eat Grandma and Cassyette.

Running alongside the showcases will be a three-strand conference jointly presented by CMU, which focuses on education, data and video.

“After a two-year absence due to Covid, The Great Escape has been straining at the leash to get back to Brighton to bring the best new music from around the world into the light,” says Rory Bett, CEO of TGE promoter MAMA Festivals.

“Artists have had the gift of time during covid to really engage with their creativity. The 500 stunning bands programmed across 60 indoor venues and outdoor spaces this year, will have some very special and surprising work to perform.”

“Our conference programme seeks to tackle the key issues and questions facing the industry and we will attempt to examine them thoroughly from many different and world authority perspectives. Discovery and networking are always at the heart of TGE and with the current sense of building excitement for the show, mixed with a weather forecast of 21 degrees and a sunny, we plan to come back with a Great Escape for the history books.”

The music + education conference will take place on the first day of the 2022 event, with music educators, music development organisations and the music industry coming together to discuss the best ways to nurture early-career music-makers on and off stage.

“[We’ve] has been straining at the leash to bring the best new music from around the world into the light”

Day two will see the music and data conference, which will put the spotlight on all the ways data now drives success in the music business – from ticketing to marketing and music discovery to streaming.

Finally, the music and video conference will give an overview of how video can be a revenue generator for artists, songwriters and the wider music industry.

CMU and TGE are also presenting a series of keynote in-conversations with guests including music PR legend Barbara Charone, who will be talking through the highlights and key moments of her career in the music industry ahead of the publication of her memoir ‘Access All Areas: A Backstage Pass Through 50 Years Of Music And Culture’.

MP and culture select committee member Kevin Brennan and musician and #BrokenRecord founder Tom Gray will also be in conversation.

Elsewhere, Ed Sheeran’s legal team will be discussing the recent headline-grabbing court battle over the star’s hit ‘Shape Of You’.

Organisers of the event also confirmed Ireland as lead country partner, Music Support as the charity partner and music school BIMM as the education partner.

Delegate passes for TGE are still available and can be bought here.

 


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The Great Escape announces The Steve Strange Award

The Great Escape Festival has announced the launch of The Steve Strange Award, in honour of the legendary X-Ray Touring co-founder, who died last September.

The annual award will recognise a music act that is breaking through creative boundaries, with the first recipient to be announced on 16 May following the culmination of this year’s festival, which takes place in Brighton from 11-14 May.

The winner, who will be voted on by industry delegates, will also receive a £5,000 cash prize.

“Steve Strange has a long history with The Great Escape and championed hundreds of artists over the years,” says MAMA Group CEO Rory Bett. “It is a great honour for us to launch this award for creativity in his name, so that he can continue to influence the industry he loved.”

“Steve was a huge supporter of The Great Escape and would be deeply honoured by this award being launched in his name”

“Steve was a huge supporter of The Great Escape and would be deeply honoured by this award being launched in his name,” adds agent Josh Javor, Strange’s longtime sidekick at X-Ray Touring. “He was first and foremost a passionate music fan and creativity was at the heart of his business. We are delighted his name will live on through this award and inspire many artists into lifelong careers in the industry Steve loved so much.”

Strange represented artists including the likes of Eminem, Coldplay, Queens of the Stone Age, Snow Patrol, Eagles of Death Metal, Ash, The Charlatans and Phoebe Bridgers. He was named Agent of the Decade at last year’s ILMC and it has previously been announced that the delegate bar at the event will be renamed Strangey’s Bar in his memory.

Strange was also honoured at this week’s Pollstar Awards, held at the Beverly Hilton’s International Ballroom in Los Angeles, where he was posthumously named International Booking Agent of the Year.

 


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FR launches International Women’s Day event

Festival Republic has announced ReBalance Celebrates International Women’s Day, a networking event for women across the live music industry, as part of the promoter’s gender equality programme, ReBalance.

The event is taking place at the 900-capacity Union Chapel in Islington, London, on Sunday 8 March, the day dedicated to recognising the movement for women’s rights worldwide.

Last year’s International Women’s Day saw pop star Dua Lipa speak at the International Live Music Conference (ILMC) in London, who illustrated the struggle faced by young female artists trying to break into the industry.

Festival Republic is looking to combat this, with a daytime programme aimed at introducing those who want a career in the industry to women working within it. Professionals from Festival Republic, Live Nation, PRS Foundation, Academy Music Group, Sony Music, MAMA, Melody VR, Metropolis Music, the BBC, National Merchandise and Safe Gigs for Women will be in present to offer advice and deliver educational talks.

An evening performance from singer Nilüfer Yanya will follow the networking event, as well as appearances from Martha Hill and Tamzene, two artists to have come through Festival Republic’s ReBalance programme.

“We are incredibly proud of what ReBalance has achieved, so it only made sense to take the scheme further”

Launched in 2017, ReBalance is a six-year programme combatting the gender imbalance within the music industry. It offers five day’s studio time to one core female-identified band and artist each month, as well as a slot of a Festival Republic or Live Nation festival.

So far, 300 nominations have been made across six rounds, with 19 finalists performing live at The Great Escape, Wireless, Latitude and Reading and Leeds Festivals.

“We are incredibly proud of what ReBalance has achieved, so it only made sense to take the scheme further by hosting an event on International Women’s Day for those who want to meet women in the industry,” says the ReBalance team.

“Aimed at newcomers or if you’re just curious, this event is the chance to learn from the brightest stars and pick up some tips. Lack of female representation in music is an industry-wide issue, and we want to level it.”

Day tickets for ReBalance Celebrates International Women’s Day can be purchased for a £2 charity donation to Safe Gigs for Women, with evening tickets priced at £17.50. All tickets are available here.

Photo: Paul Hudson/Flickr (cropped) (CC BY 2.0)

 


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TGE 2020 adds more acts ahead of live launch

Fourteen more acts have been added to the Great Escape 2020 line-up, ahead of the showcase festival’s ‘First Fifty’ live launch in London this week.

A total of 50 artists are now on the bill for 2020 event, which will host over 450 acts in total across more than 30 venues.

Newly announced acts include GoGo Penguin, Velvet Negroni, Larry Pink The Human and Evie Irie, joining previously confirmed artists such as Master Peace, Do Nothing, House of Pharaohs and Sons of Raphael.

Many of the TGE 2020 acts are performing tonight (Wednesday 13 November) and tomorrow in ‘First Fifty’ gigs at six venues in East London: Sebright Arms (150-cap.), the Old Blue Last (60-cap.), Colours (300-cap.), the Courtyard Theatre (150-cap.), the Macbeth (300-cap.) and the Curtain – LP Room (160-cap.).

A full list of concerts can be found here, with tickets available for £5 each.

The 15th edition of the Great Escape takes place from 13 to 16 May in Brighton, UK, with South Korea as lead country partner and core conference topics of education, media and global markets. Delegate passes are available here.

 


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The Great Escape unveils 2020 conference details

Showcase festival and convention the Great Escape (TGE) has announced that music education, music media and global markets will form the key themes of its 2020 conference in Brighton, UK.

TGE 2020 will take place from 13 to 16 May in venues across the seaside city of Brighton, with the conference hub located at the Jury’s Inn Brighton Waterfront hotel.

The music education conference will take place on the first day of the 2020 event, with music educators and employers coming together to discuss how music education, the music industry and the music community can better support early-career artists and musicians.

Day two will see the music media conference, which will put the spotlight on how consumers interact with media and influencers. Alongside the sessions will explore who is influencing artists’ fanbases, aside from the music press and radio, exploring options such as social media, playlists, gaming platforms and podcasters.

Finally, the global markets conference will provide an overview of the major trends, developments, challenges and opportunities in each key music market, identifying the strongest revenue streams, services, social media and genres in each region. The conference will also highlight emerging markets including India, China, Brazil, Nigeria and South Korea.

Organisers of the event also confirmed South Korea as lead country partner, following Australia last year and the Netherlands in 2018. Brighton-based charity Grassroots Suicide Prevention is the event’s named charity partner.

“The impact Korean artists are having within the music industry today is very exciting”

Alternative K-pop band Balming Tiger will perform at TGE 2020’s showcase festival, alongside Sons of Raphael, Lazarus Kane and Boy Scouts. More acts are to be confirmed in the run up to the festival.

Last year’s festival saw performances from Lewis Capaldi, Foals, Shame, Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes, Friendly Fires and more.

“We are very excited to be back for another year bringing together top industry professionals and creative minds under one roof,” comments Rory Bett, CEO of TGE promoter MAMA Festivals.

“The impact Korean artists are having within the music industry today is very exciting and it’s important for The Great Escape to put the spotlight on and to celebrate that fact.”

A spokesperson for the music industry team at the Korea Creative Content Agency, Kocca, says it is an “honour” to team up with TGE.

“It will be our fourth year working with the festival and to be named lead country partner for 2020 is a great privilege. It is a very exciting time for the Korean music market and we are looking forward to bringing our new wave of artists to the Brighton shoreline next year.”

Early bird delegate passes for TGE 2020 are available here, priced at £180.

 


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Fontaines D.C. close in on ETEP record

The latest European Talent Exchange Programme (Etep) results show swift progress for Irish post-punk band Fontaines D.C., with 18 festival slots booked including Glastonbury Festival, INmusic Festival, Trnsmt and Roskilde festival.

The results take into account 37 new confirmations over the past month, welcoming newcomers Penelope Isles and Sea Girls into the top ten most-booked artists. The same artists remain in the coveted top three chart positions, as Fontaines D.C. widen their lead from a three-show to eight-show difference.

With 18 festival slots already under their belt, Fontaines D.C. are shaping up to challenge last year’s top artist, UK eight-piece band Superorganism, who were booked at a record-breaking 19 Etep festivals. The Dublin-based band are represented by ATC Live in Europe and Paradigm in the United States.

Following Fontaines D.C. on the Etep chart are London-based artists Black Midi and Flohio, each with nine festival bookings under their belts. Austrian rapper Mavi Phoenix, Dutch quartet Pip Blom and British songwriter and producer Elderbrook remain hot on the heels with seven bookings each.

“As proven by Etep’s success, support programmes can work for the benefit of all involved parties – and without too much bureaucratic effort”

Now in its 17th year, Etep continues to support the booking of emerging acts at 129 festivals across Europe. Brighton-based showcase festival the Great Escape heads up the Etep festival chart, booking 25 acts through the programme. Iceland Airwaves and Hungary’s Sziget festival also feature a strong Etep representation, with 12 acts booked each.

In an interview with programme organisers, Rembert Stiewe, the director of boutique festival Orange Blossom Special, comments: “As proven by Etep’s success, support programmes can work for the benefit of all involved parties – and without too much bureaucratic effort.”

Etep, a Eurosonic Noorderslag (ESNS)-led initiative, has supported the early stages of successful careers for artists including Calvin Harris, Franz Ferdinand, the xx, Idles and Dua Lipa.

See the full chart below:

1. Fontaines D.C. (ie) – 18 shows
2. Black Midi (gb) – 9 shows
3. Flohio (gb) – 9 shows
4. Mavi Phoenix (at) – 7 shows
5. Pip Blom (nl) – 7 shows
6. Elderbrook (gb) – 7 shows
7. The Murder Capital (ie) – 6 shows
8. Octavian (gb) – 6 shows
9. Penelope Isles (gb) – 6 shows
10. SEA GIRLS (gb) – 6 shows

 


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Lewis Capaldi, Foals: the best of TGE 2019

Over 580 artists played 780 shows in Brighton as part of the Great Escape (TGE) from Wednesday 8 to Saturday 11 May, as 20,000 festival fans and music industry representatives attended venues across the seaside city.

The festival was also used as a platform for announcements from organisations including the Music Venue Trust (MVT), Music Managers Forum (MMF) and Attitude is Everything (AIE).

Foals made a return to TGE after 12 years away, playing a sold out spotlight show on Friday at the 500-capacity Concorde 2. The performance celebrated the 15th anniversary of independent, London-based record label Transgressive Records.

Lewis Capaldi, who recently sold out a UK arena tour in minutes prior to his debut album release, was another spotlight show artist, performing at the Brighton Dome (1,860).

South London post-punk band Shame came as a last minute announcement for the headline slot at the Fender Next Stage on Thursday night. Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes headed up the stage the following evening and Friendly Fires played a show on Brighton beach.

Over 580 artists played 780 shows in Brighton as part of the Great Escape

Other surprise performances across the festival came from singer-songwriter James Bay and Brighton-based artist Yonaka.

The festival closed with performances from Brisbane’s Emerson Snowe, European Talent Exchange Programme (ETEP) forerunner Black Midi and Brit-nominated singer-songwriter Anna Calvi.

Elsewhere, there was good news for grassroots music venues, as music charity MVT announced funding breakthroughs including a £1.5 million grassroots live music fund from the Arts Council England and several industry-led initiatives.

At the TGE conference, fellow music charity AIE revealed survey findings highlighting problems with accessibility for deaf or disabled artists and MMF debuted its new song royalties guide.

This year’s conference programme focused on music education, streaming and marketing.

Early bird delegate passes for next year’s TGE are now on sale.

 


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MMF report: licensing short changes songwriters

The UK’s Music Managers Forum has released a new song royalties guide, highlighting “global licensing inefficiencies” and calling for greater transparency around royalty chains and rights ownership.

Published today at the Great Escape, the new guide, produced by CMU Insights, lifts the lid on how songwriters’ repertoire is licensed to digital music services and how payment systems can reduce the royalties that creators receive.

The report states that while featured artists can be paid royalties within weeks of their track being streamed – especially if they self-release via a DIY distribution platform – those who write the track sometimes wait years before receiving their share.

The MMF calls for action to reform royalty chains, in which global-facing digital music services are licensed on a territorial basis and revenues flow between several parties, causing “delays and deductions” to royalty payments.

Although the percentage of income allocated to the song copyright in streaming is often double that allocated on a CD sale, the report finds that problems on the royalty chains mean songwriters do not benefit from this.

Research shows that problems increase as listening goes global, especially beyond Europe.

“Streaming should be boosting songwriters’ incomes”

MMF draws six key recommendations from the report, urging greater transparency around royalty chains, the reduction of links in the global licensing chain, a nine-month limit on payments post-streaming, the disclosure of any disputes and the reform of redistribution practice.

MMF also encourages songwriters, managers and accountants to push publishers and collecting society partners to address licensing inefficiencies.

“Streaming should be boosting songwriters’ incomes, instead MMF research reveals much of their money is subject to unnecessary data disputes, deductions and delays,” says MMF chief executive Annabella Coldrick.

“Long and complex royalty chains need to be simplified and shortened so more of the money gets back to the creator of the music. Digital licensing needs to be fit for purpose.”

The report forms part of MMF’s Dissecting The Digital Dollar, a series of publications helping artists and managers better understand the streaming business.

MMF membership grew 25% in 2018. The organisation recently made two new appointments to its team, hiring its first industry relations and events manager.

 


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Irish, British acts top preliminary ETEP results

Irish post-punk band Fontaines D.C. and south London group Black Midi lead the way in the first results of Eurosonic Noorderslag’s (ESNS) European Talent Exchange Programme (ETEP), with ten and seven festival slots booked respectively.

ETEP aims to promote European music across the world, supporting the booking of emerging European talent at festivals in 37 countries. Two months on from the 33rd edition of ESNS, promising acts from the UK, the Netherlands, Denmark, Belarus and Belgium have all secured multiple festival shows.

51 out of the 129 Etep festivals have released some line-up information, with 143 ETEP shows already confirmed across festivals including the Great Escape (20 ETEP acts), Ment Ljubljana (6 ETEP acts) and Lollapalooza Berlin (5 ETEP acts).

“ETEP selection results are always a surprise – no-one can predict the ten most booked acts,” says Robert Meijerink, head of programme and programme manager of European talent at ESNS.

“The first results prove that festivals across the world are interested in putting on a wide variety of different styles and genres by European artists”

“I am really pleased to see how ETEP is helping the circulation of European artists in the live sector already so early in the year. The first results also prove that festivals across the world are interested in putting on a wide variety of different styles and genres by European artists,” adds Meijerink.

The initiative enjoyed a record-breaking festival season last year, with ETEP acts playing 457 shows at festivals around the world. British indie band Superorganism finished the summer at the top of the leaderboard, playing 20 gigs in total, beating the record set the previous year by London post-punk band Shame.

Since launching in 2003, ETEP has facilitated 4,144 shows by 1,531 acts in 37 countries. The programme has helped to initiate successful careers for artists including Calvin Harris, Franz Ferdinand, James Blake, the Kooks and the XX. More recently, ETEP has supported the first international shows of acts such as Idles, Aurora and Dua Lipa.

A list of the ten most booked ETEP acts so far can be found below:

1) Fontaines D.C. (Ie) – 10 shows

2) Black Midi (GB) – 7 shows

3) Flohio (GB) – 6 shows

4) Pip Blom (NL) – 5 shows

5) The Murder Capital (Ie) – 4 shows

6) Iris Gold (Dk) – 4 shows

7) Yegor Zabelov (By) – 3 shows

8) Whispering Sons (Be) – 3 shows

9) Lewsberg (NL) – 3 shows

10) Whenyoung (Ie) – 3 shows

 


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TGE announces initial speakers and more for 2019

The Great Escape (TGE) has announced details regarding this year’s conference programme, including initial speakers, daily itineraries and music industry partners. The event will take place from 8 to 11 May in Brighton, UK.

Speakers will share insights, case studies and opinions related to the festival’s three key themes for 2019: music education, digital dollars and music marketing. The first 40 speakers include Virgin EMI Records’ Andy Knox, Insanity Group founder and chief executive Andy Varley, Fuga founder Dorothee Imhoff, Live Nation’s Jackie Wilgar and Warner Music’s Tim Fraser-Harding.

CMU Insights will launch three pieces of original research during TGE, including the first report from the ‘Redefining Music Education’ project, a ‘Song Royalties Guide’ explaining how artists are paid by streaming platforms and ‘Rethinking Music Marketing’, a new report examining the evolution of music marketing companies in the streaming era.

Speakers will share insights related to three key themes: music education, digital dollars and music marketing

At the heart of the conference are three full-day strands, each one focused on a different key theme and ending with a one-on-one interview. TGE has announced that Cassandra Gracey, president of Sony Music’s 4th Floor Creative division, will conclude the strand on music marketing.

TGE have confirmed 68 music industry partners, including BBC Music, AIM, The Box Fresh Network, Clash and Dork. Two of the partners, Believe and Julie’s Bicycle, have teamed up with TGE to stage a charity bike ride from London to Brighton this year.

The bike ride will raise money for London-based NGO Julie’s Bicycle, empowering the creative community to take action on climate change and environmental sustainability. The money raised will go towards their Green Rider initiative; a campaign that helps touring artists to work alongside venues, festivals, labels and promoters to become more sustainable.

All 2019 core conference sessions and networking events will take place at TGE’s new home at the Jury’s Inn Brighton Waterfromt, the official delegate portal and hotel. Early bird delegate passes are now available, along with hotel packages and conference only options.

 


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