UK stadium shows face travel disruption
Ed Sheeran fans have been advised to make alternative travel arrangements for the singer’s four-night run in Cardiff, as engineering work means there will be no direct trains to or from London.
The million-selling second UK leg (and the ninth in total) of the ÷ world tour wraps up at Principality Stadium on Sunday, with Sheeran becoming the first artist to play four consecutive shows at the venue. The 60,000 people expected to attend each night are facing significant travel disruption, with the closure of the Severn Tunnel leading to the suspension of the service to London Paddington.
Services from London before the show will additionally not call at Bristol and Cardiff, and trains coming from England’s south coast will terminate at Bristol Parkway, where a rail replacement bus service will take passengers to Newport for onward trains to Cardiff, reports the BBC. Additionally, last trains to Birmingham, Portsmouth and Aberdare will likely leave before the concerts finish at 22.30.
After the gig, trains to Newport and west Wales will run as normal, with replacement buses taking passengers to Bristol.
In a statement provided to IQ, a Network Rail spokesperson says delaying the electrification works in order to keep the tunnel open would have meant a “significant cost” for taxpayers.
“Rebooking the work for another time would mean a significant cost to the taxpayer”
“The Severn Tunnel and Patchway tunnels in Bristol will be closed for three weeks so engineers can deliver essential modernisation and electrification work on the mainline in Bristol and south Wales,” according to the organisation, which operates the rail infrastructure in Great Britain.
“This work requires engineers and specialist equipment and has been planned well in advance, and rebooking the work for another time would mean a significant cost to the taxpayer. Additional capacity is being provided where possible during work, and passengers have been advised to plan their journey in advance. ”
Sheeran’s is the second major UK stadium tour to face travel disruption this week, after thousands of Rolling Stones fans were left stranded at Twickenham Stadium on Tuesday night after a “series of incidents” led to the cancellation of all trains to central London from Twickenham station.
As with the rest of the ÷ UK tour, Cardiff concertgoers with tickets bought from unauthorised resale sites such as Viagogo will be turned away at the door, with fans given the option to buy new tickets at face value and claim back their money via Viagogo or their credit card company.
“Although it’s inconvenient for customers, we are helping them achieve refunds on transactions where they’ve just been ripped off,” said Stuart Galbraith, of tour promoter Kilimanjaro Live, last month.
Twitter inks live-streaming deal with Live Nation
Social network Twitter, known primarily for its 140-character microblogging platform, today announced a major expansion of its live video offering, signing live-streaming content deals with Live Nation and 15 other news, sport and entertainment partners.
New York Stock Exchange-listed Twitter, which is estimated to have close to 700 million users and turned over US$548m in Q1 2017, says the deal with Live Nation will see the world’s largest promoter “deliver select Live Nation concerts and original content exclusively on Twitter”.
Other content partners include news outlets Bloomberg and BuzzFeed News, broadcaster Viacom and sports leagues MLB (baseball), WNBA (basketball) and PGA Tour (golf).
The partnerships, announced at today’s Digital Content NewFronts conference, are, says Twitter, part of a concerted effort to grow the service’s “premium video” offering. “People have always come to Twitter to see and talk about what’s happening,” reads a statement. “Over the last four years, we’ve brought users video content around the things they’re already discussing on the platform, working with the world’s top TV networks, sports leagues, publishing houses and magazines and professional news outlets.
“In 2016, we started building on this to bring live-streaming video to Twitter to create a one-screen experience for great live content and the conversation around it. Brands align with all of this content to reach engaged audiences at scale.”
“Fans around the world will be able to experience concerts live on the same platform where they talk about what’s happening in music”
Since launching its live video service in Q4 2016, Twitter has streamed more than 800 hours of “premium”, or professionally produced, video content to an audience of 45m viewers.
According to Josh Contine of TechCrunch, who is attending NewFronts, the Live Nation/Twitter concert series will kick off Saturday 13 May with a show by Zac Brown Band (pictured). Future performers include Train, Portugal the Man, Marian Hill and August Alsina.
“Music has always been one of the most tweeted-about topics on the platform, and now fans around the world will be able to experience concerts live on the same platform where they talk about what’s happening in music,” says Live Nation chief strategy officer Jordan Zachary.
In the video space, Twitter (and subsidiary Periscope – it of accidentally-live-streaming-The Cure fame) is once again competing with Facebook, which is similarly pushing its live-streaming offering, Facebook Live. Facebook Live recently signed a deal to broadcast 22 Major League Soccer matches this year, raising speculation a music partner could soon follow suit.
Daydream Festival gets its own railway station
Move over, Belgian Rail: Daydream Festival will this year have its own station.
Daydream – the country’s second-largest dance music event, after Tomorrowland – has a railway line running through its festival grounds, in Lommel, Limburg, and says for 2017 it decided to “cut out the middle man” and construct a temporary railway station on site.
Two trains will depart from Antwerp and Hasselt on Saturday 8 April, coupling in Mol and travelling “as one party train” – dubbed the Daydream Express – to the festival station, returning the same evening.
“Why dream small if you can dream big?”
Festival promoter Roel Berens explains: “We encourage our visitors as much as possible to come to the festival in a sustainable way. Our ‘daydreamers’ already score very well in this area, but this year we were still looking for an extra boost. And why dream small if you can dream big?
“We decided to just cut out the middle man, the station and Lommel, and build our own, right on the festival grounds. As soon as you step on the Daydream Express you have already started your adventure.”