DJ EZ And Defected 24 Hour Stream Raised £88,000 For Charity

Tireless UK garage legend DJ EZ brightened up lockdown last weekend with another 24 hour stream of nonstop heaters, hosted in partnership with Defected.

The set was hosted in aid of raising money for mental health charity MIND, with a JustGiving page set up for fans to donate while tuned in.

By the time DJ EZ completed his 24 hour journey through the best sounds in UK garage, manipulated with his peerless mixing trickery, at 6pm GMT on Sunday, £41,000 had been raised for the cause.

Defected then matched this with its own £41,000 donation, writing on Twitter: “You guys have donated £41,000 to the amazing @MindCharity… To say thank you to you and @DJEZOfficial, we will be matching that amount, meaning we have raised £82,000 for a charity doing invaluable work in the battle against mental health. Speechless.”

MIND sent a response saying: “We just wanted to send thanks again to @DJEZOfficial for his incredible 24 hour+ DJ set, to everyone who donated, and to you for matching the donations. £82,000 is such a huge amount of money, and will make such a difference to our work. You’re all amazing!”

The JustGiving page is now at £88,880 and counting with 2,871 supporters, smashing way past its original target of £5,000.

Comments posted alongside donations include “Incredible, loved every min, and for a brilliant cause. Thanks so much” and “EZ deserves a knighthood”.

Yesterday, after a much deserved rest, DJ EZ posted on Twitter: “Waking up to donations of £87k for MIND is overwhelming. Thank you once again to those who listened and locked in, to all parties involved in making it happen & to those who donated and supported us”.

TALENTED DJS SHERELLE AND AFRODEUTSCHE LINED UP FOR 7 DAYS OF SOUND DIGITAL EVENT

Saffron has finalised the line-up for its 7 Days of Sound digital event, which takes place across January 23 to January 29.

The week-long series of workshops will cover a broad range of topics with a number of artists and experts lined up as hosts.

Among the schedule is: Afrodeutsche (pictured) on frameworks for producing, scoring and performing; Sherelle in conversation with Lizzy Ellis discussing building resilience, capturing energy, supporting your crew and elevation through radio; Team Love’s Pauline Bourdon presenting a practical guide for event sustainability; and certified Ableton Live trainer Anna Lakatos taking a deep look at producing and build tracks in the software.

There will also be Mercury Prize-nominated Anna Meredith dissecting one of her scores; Katie Tavini de-mystifying the mastering process; Mix Nights co-creators Daisy Moon and Em Williams hosting a beginners guide to digital DJing; and much more.

View the full schedule here.

Day tickets are priced from £11 and can be purchased from Eventbrite.

MPS FINALLY LAUNCH AN URGENT INQUIRY INTO THE IMPACT OF COVID-19 ON UK NIGHTLIFE

An urgent inquiry into the devastating impact of COVID-19 on the UK’s night-time economy has been launched in the UK.

The inquiry is being led by the newly formed All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG), which is chaired by Labour MP Jeff Smith, who spent several years working in the sector earlier in his career.

The nightlife industry has suffered significantly in the pandemic due to the restrictions required to protect public health. Last month the Night Industries Association (NTIA) warned 75.6% of the UK’s night-time economy businesses face permanent closure.

The APPG is calling for night time economy businesses, workers and consumers to share evidence about their experiences and views on the challenges facing the sector, its importance to the country’s society and economy, and recommendations for how it can reopen.

Evidence for the inquiry can be submitted via an online survey accessed through the NTIA’s website here. Consultations will take place through this month with a report planned for release in February.

A number of Night Time Economy organisations and representatives will also be contacted to share testimonies.

Jeff Smith MP said: “As we move now into a third national lockdown, there has never been a more important time for Government to address the urgent needs of Night Time Economy businesses, their supply chains and those that rely on them for employment. Despite playing such a vital role in our local communities and UK economy, nightlife businesses have been repeatedly overlooked by the Government, and we are determined to ensure that the specific challenges facing the sector are addressed. This inquiry will be a vital first step in our work.”

Michael Kill, CEO of the Night Time Industries Association, said: “Since March, we have seen the night-time sector berated, scapegoated and even blamed for rising infections. Our sector has slipped through the cracks of insufficient support packages and borne the brunt of ever-changing and inconsistent restrictions. We urge all those who work in the night-time economy, or simply enjoy a night out, to take part in the APPG survey to help policymakers understand the importance of our vital sector.”

[Via Mixmag]

UK GOVERNMENT REJECTED EU’S OFFER OF VISA-FREE TOURS FOR MUSICIANS

It was revealed on Saturday 9 January that the UK has turned down an offer from the EU of visa-free tours for musicians.

An EU source involved in the Brexit negotiations has said that it is standard to offer musicians a 90-day period for travel without having to have various different work visas. Countries like the United States and Saudi Arabia currently hold this agreement with the EU.

It has been revealed that the UK rejected the EU’s offer of a 90-day period, instead asking for a 30-day one to fit with the government’s own proposals to limit travel for EU musicians.

These measures form part of Secretary of State Priti Patel’s plans to limit immigration. From this month, musicians from EU countries hoping to tour the UK will have to apply for visas that will allow them to stay for longer than 30 days, as well as providing proof of savings and a sponsorship certificate from an events organiser. These are the measures that non-EU citizens currently have to go through to work in the UK.

The government has previously put this failure to safeguard the needs of musicians down to Brussels, saying that it ‘pushed for a more ambitious agreement which would have covered musicians and others, but our proposals were rejected by the EU’.

Earlier this week, a petition calling for visa-free EU travel for touring artists surpassed 220,000 signatures. It had been shared by people and institutions like object blue, Josey Rebelle, NTS, Hyperdub and Rye Wax.

There are worries among the music community about how this will affect touring artists who have already been greatly impacted by the Coronavirus pandemic.

As a progression to this, it is now for each EU member state to decide whether or not it will require touring musicians from the UK to obtain a work visa.

[Via The Independent]

London Club Fold Is Selling A Limited Edition Bag

London club FOLD has unveiled a new limited edition piece of merchandise.

The bag is branded with FOLD’s typography logo, and contains multiple compartments and an adjustable strap that makes it suitable for cross-body or belt-bag wear.

Its made out of heavy duty material, with a faux leather outer shell, printed red logo lining, secure zip and popper button closures, a dark silver-tone industrial finish, and an extra D-ring dog clip for the strap.

The bag was designed by Goda Poskaite.

It’s available on a limited run and costs £52. Get yours here.

Check out some more images below.

UK Music Festivals Face Imminent Cancellation Without Government Support

UK Music has warned British music festivals will be cancelled again this year unless the government steps in to provide support.

The campaigning and lobby group, that represents the commercial music industry, has shared a detailed report titled ‘Let the Music Play: Save Our Summer 2021’ outlining its strategy to protect and support the UK’s multi-billion pound live music industry.

In the report, it warns that a lack of COVID cancellation insurance available means that a government insurance scheme is necessary for music festivals to move forward with event planning this year.

UK Music Chief Executive Jamie Njoku-Goodwin said: “While this pandemic is still raging and continues to cause devastation to lives and livelihoods today, there is an endpoint in sight. Government is rolling out the vaccine and is openly speculating about returning to normal by the spring – but there is a serious risk that even if this proves to be a reality, lack of notice and available insurance options will mean much of the 2021 summer music season can’t go ahead.

“With the right support the live music industry can be at the forefront of the post-pandemic recovery and play a key role in our country’s economic and cultural revival – but there will need to be a concerted effort from industry and the Government together if we are to let the music play and save our summer.”

Last month, Germany announced a €2.5 billion cancellation fund to cover the cost of events planned for the second half of 2021 that may be cancelled due to COVID-19.

The call for action in the UK follows on from Glastonbury organiser Emily Eavis taking to Twitter yesterday to deny a claim from Mel B that this year’s festival has been cancelled.

Speaking to Nihal Arthanayake on BBC Radio 5 Live, the Spice Girls member said she had been told the event has been called off, possibly indicating that the pop group were set to play the festival’s Sunday evening ‘legends’ slot as part of the 25th anniversary edition.

She said: “I know that Glastonbury’s been cancelled, so a lot of big stage performances are on hold again this year, which is sad but we’ve got to get this virus under control.”

UK Music’s report is also calling for an “indicative” date for when venues and events can return with full capacity, and the VAT rate reduction relief on tickets and business rates to be extended.

Read the full report here

[via Mixmag]

DJ Semtex Launches New Weekly Podcast Series, Hip Hop Raised Me

British broadcaster, DJ, producer and author, DJ Semtex, has launched the trailer for a new podcast entitled Hip Hop Raised Me, featuring “exclusive, no-holds-barred conversations with the artists that define the culture”.

Hip Hop Raised Me is produced by Nikita Chauhan and is available on all major podcast platforms, including Apple Podcasts, Spotify and Stitcher.

Chauhan produced BBC 1xtra radio shows including The Friday night Hip Hop show with DJ Semtex and Destination Africa, hosted by DJ Edu.

The weekly series starts on January 11 with the legendary Chuck D of Public Enemy, who joins DJ Semtex for a conversation about Public Enemy and the group’s contributions to hip hop music and to the larger community.

They also discuss the making of the 2020 remix to their hit Fight The Power. Upcoming episodes feature Busta Rhymes, French Montana, Jeezy, Sheff G, and more.

Semtex has played a key role in breaking some of the biggest hip-hop acts on both sides of the Atlantic.

He joined the Global-owned UK radio station Capital XTRA in October 2018 after leaving BBC Radio 1 after 15 years, where he hosted the 1Xtra hip-hop show. He’s also the host of the popular UK-focused Spotify podcast, Who We Be Talks.

The broadcaster’s relationship with, and history in, the hip-hop community is detailed in his 2016 bestselling book, Hip Hop Raised Me.

“THESE ARE IN DEPTH CONVERSATIONS WITH ARTISTS ACROSS THE GLOBE, NO AGENDA.”

DJ SEMTEX

DJ Semtex said: “These are in depth conversations with artists across the globe, no agenda. New cutting-edge artists. A-list artists. Architects of sound. Moguls. Icons.”

“Hip Hop is now the biggest art form of this generation. It is the Rock and Roll of the youth, a genre that transcends race and culture, this it isn’t going to stop anytime soon.”

Catch Up With Parklife and Boomtown Fair reps discussing The future of festivals with UK MPs

Watch a video meeting between MPs and representatives from UK festivals Parklife and Boomtown Fair. The title of the two-part Digital, Culture, Media And Sport Committee, which began at 10 AM GMT on January 5th, is “The Future Of UK Music Festivals.” First up were Anna Wade, communications & strategy director at Boomtown Fair, and Sacha Lord, cofounder of Parklife and The Warehouse Project.

They discussed issues such as the vaccine rollout and government insurance and financial support. At 11 AM, three new industry reps entered the session: Jamie Njoku-Goodwin, CEO of UK Music; Paul Reed, CEO of Association Of Independent Festivals (AIF); and Steve Heap, general secretary at the Association Of Festival Organisers (AFO). The session ended at 12:06 PM.

Watch it back here.

Denis Sulta, Chaos in the CBD, Mall Grab and Moxie Named And More Are Confirmed For Strawberries & Creem 2021

Strawberries & Creem this week announced the first wave of artists joining them in Cambridgeshire for their 2021 edition.

Pa Salieu, Tiffany Calver, Sean Paul, Koffee, Bugzy Malone and more have been announced for the main stage. The Hidden Palms stage, dedicated more to house DJs, will be graced by Honey DijonDenis SultaChaos in the CBDMall Grab and Moxie.

The festival markets itself on the basis of offering the best in youth culture, meaning there will also be appearances from the latest figures in gaming, podcasting, comedy, and football.

Weekend tickets went on presale this week, costing £79.50 for two nights. Single day tickets for Saturday and Sunday are priced at £44.50.

Music Venue Trust’s #SaveOurVenues campaign has raised over £3.8million so far

The Music Venue Trust has revealed that their #SaveOurVenues campaign that launched in April has raised over £3.8million so far.

Back in April Music Venue Trust launched the #SaveOurVenues campaign in response to the coronavirus pandemic that halted live shows, leaving hundreds of grassroots music venues around the country in need of financial aid to stay afloat.

In their end-of-year statement released yesterday (21 December), Music Venue Trust wrote that they “feel it is important to take a moment to acknowledge all the remarkable work that has been done this year to shield our community from the worst possible outcome of this pandemic, and to thank all of the people who made that possible.”

The organisation revealed that Music Venue Trust has been able to support 920 Music Venues Alliance members during the pandemic, and has raised a staggering £3,872,512 via the #SaveOurVenues campaign so far.

Music Venue Trust’s statement added, “This year, more than any other, we are reminded of the words of Joe Strummer, who said ‘Without people, you’re nothing’. Our community has responded to this crisis with extraordinary passion and commitment. You are our people, and that means everything to us and to the venues.”