Big Events And Festivals Could Be Cancelled Within Days

Large-scale live events will begin cancelling within days if the UK government does not agree to underwrite a protective insurance scheme, reports The Times.

The government has been warned by organisers that they will be forced to pull the plug on planned events if no security for covering costs in case of COVID-forced cancellation is offered.

According to insurance brokers, it would cost the state as little as £250 million to guarantee events such as festivals can plan to go ahead, and these could be worth billions to the UK economy if they do take place.

Music events organisations have been warning since the start of year that insurance will be necessary to prevent festival cancellations, with Glastonbury cancelling weeks later in January.

The UK music events industry received a major boost when festivals began selling out at record speeds and organisers were hopeful cancellation cover would be included in the recent Spring budget, but this was not forthcoming.

Julian Knight MP, chairman of the Commons digital, culture, media and sport committee, called the UK Treasury’s refusal to back such a scheme “inane”, adding that organisers “need the confidence to put plans in place and go ahead and lead to a summer of fun rather than a summer of none”.

Knight claimed there is “quite a lot of support” for an insurance scheme in government, but “it is the chancellor that has stopped it”.

He also revealed that the government had agreed to insure pilot test events planned to go ahead to test COVID-19 protocols, such as the two club nights planned to take place in Liverpool, which he said evidences a “market failure”, with insurers unwilling to provide COVID-induced cancellation insurance.

Paul Reed, CEO of the Association of Independent Festivals, said more than 90 per cent of its membership feels it cannot hold events this year without cover, and warned The Times events would begin being cancelled within days due to financial commitments needing to be confirmed far in advance.

Within hours of Reed’s comments, Northamptonshire’s Shambala Festival (pictured), which attracts around 15,000 attendees each year, cancelled for the second year running, with organisers stating that a “lack of government-backed insurance leaves us no choice”.

Jamie Njoku-Goodwin, chief executive of UK Music, said in a seminar hosted by the Let Live Thrive campaign that the “market failure is going to lead to a wave of cancellations”, adding: “It is also bad for the taxpayer. Lots of money has been spent supporting the sector. This is a way of getting away from government support. But the billions of pounds that could be generated for the economy will not happen.”

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden MP said last month that when there is more certainty about reopening of large-scale events, “the more we can have discussions about the insurance point”.

[Via: The Times]

New Report Shows UK Festival Line-Ups Still Have A Gender Balance Problem

Music festivals are set to return in the UK this summer but new research shows that issues surrounding gender equality still remain.

Research conducted by The Guardian found that out of 31 festivals, a majority were heavily weighted towards male performers.

Read this next: Are music festivals actually going to happen this year?

Analysis showed dance festival Creamfields featured a 91 per cent male line-up while Manchester-based Parklife was over 70 per cent.

Elsewhere, the Isle Of Wight Festival, which is set to be headlined by David Guetta, and three other male performers only offered a 27 per cent female line-up.

Maxie Gedge, UK project manager of music industry initiative Keychange, said: “It’s totally unacceptable that after a year of turmoil, women and minorities are being excluded from this return to live.

“We usually stay on the positive side instead of calling people out, but we’re getting tired. It’s not an accident any more, it’s a statement of exclusion.

“The fact that this keeps happening shows that there are certain festivals that just aren’t taking responsibility, or they’re not viewing it as their responsibility when, in actuality, it’s everyone’s.”

Keychange is the PRS Foundation’s initiative encouraging festivals to commit to lineups that are 50 per cent women and gender minorities by 2022.

Read this here: Ministry of sound to focus on homgrown talent

Other festival line-ups such as We Out Here are over 60 per cent male, while Reading & Leeds, Camp Bestival and Cross the Tracks ranges between 50-60 per cent.

Keychange highlights that diverse line-ups would refresh the talent pipeline and prevent events from becoming stale while enhancing their sustainability.

Gedge continued to tell The Guardian that exclusionary programming presents a negative message to attendees as well as society as a whole, especially as women, gender minorities and women of colour had been affected more by the pandemic.

“It’s really important that we take that very seriously and think about what we want the future of music to look like, and not what it did look like,” Gedge said.

Via Mixmag

The Simpsons’ Matt Groening Will Join Theo Parrish On NTS April 28th

NTS, the London station that has redefined internet radio over the last decade, is turning 10 years old.

To celebrate it will host a week of celebrations with 10 special guests curating both of its channels all day long.

Matt Groening, creator of The Simpsons and the inspiration for NTS’ name, will be on curation duties alongside longtime friend of NTS Theo Parrish, Detroit titans Dopplereffekt, shoegaze icons my bloody valentine, Arca, Mica Levi, Laurie Anderson and more.

The special week of broadcasts will also raise money for The Global Foodbanking Network.

Proceedings take place from Monday April 19 to Friday April 23.

Matt Groening curated an edition of All Tomorrow’s Parties the year before NTS was founded while the station recently hosted The Sopranos‘ Michael Imperioli.

Full info here.

Electronic Music Spotify Playlist Update

Every fornight we update our spotofy playlists with 20 NEW TRACKS from indepdent artist we think you should be listening to. We have incldued names such as Felipe Gordon, Chaos in the CBD, Jon Sable, Ciel, UMFANG, Beatrice Dillion, as well as many more from electronic producers all around the world.

Listen to the playlist below.

Jordan Rakei Returns With His Dreamy New Single ‘Imagination’

The artist-curated mix series, Late Night Tales, is pleased to announce its next compilation, this time curated by multi-instrumentalist, vocalist and producer Jordan Rakei.

For Rakei’s Late Night Tales, the first mix of the acclaimed series’ 20th year, the 28-year-old modern soul icon effortlessly stamps his own jazz and hip-hop driven sound all over this gorgeous array of handpicked tracks.

A beautifully layered blend that is mirrored in the music he’s made, it comes as no surprise that such a supremely gifted songwriter should deliver a mix that is all about the song.  

I wanted to try and showcase as many people as I knew on this mix,” says Rakei. “My idea of Late Night Tales was to distil a series of relaxing moments; the whole conceptual sonic of relaxation. So, I was trying to think of all the collaborators and friends that I knew, who’d recorded stuff with this horizontal vibe.

Plus, I was also trying to help my friends’ stuff get into the world. I know the story of Khruangbin blowing up after appearing on the series (in fact, I think that’s how I discovered them). So, the main idea was to create a certain atmosphere, but also to help some of my favourite collaborators and buddies to give their songs a little push out into the world. Hope you like it.”

Check it out below

Nasty C Joins Ari Lennox For Their New Single, Black and White

“Black and White” is the latest single from South African rapper Nasty C. With the song finding itself placed on the ‘Coming to America 2’ soundtrack, Nasty C has stumbled into a new sense of popularity. Although, people will most likely discover the collaboration through Tiny Desk Concert team  who recently released a ‘Coming to America 2’ soundtrack special concert.

Nasty C’s real name is Nsikayesizwe David Junior Ngcobo, got his start in 2016 with the release of his debut album “Bad Hair”. After receiving critical acclaim for his album and a few mixtapes, he went on to sign with Def Jam in March of last year. It would be this deal that would bridge the musical gap between Africa and the States, and bring us the future summer time jam that is “Black and White”. 

Nasty C impresses with his wordplay, rapping about being a devoted soulmate while Ari Lennox answers back in her signature Badu-esque tone. Despite being a rapper at heart, Nasty C impressively flits between rapping and carrying a melodic chorus throughout the track making sure to cater for Rap and RnB heads alike. 

In the early stages of his joint venture deal with Def Jam, Nasty C’s future in the music business looks bright. In a time where space between the diasporas are getting smaller and smaller (thanks to the internet and films like Black Panther), and the fusion of various genres is becoming the norm, this is the perfect moment for Nasty C to shine.

Listen to Black and White below.

Inspired Sound Radio w/ Nubiyan Twist | 13.03.21

Following the release of their album, Freedom Fables, a 9-piece afro-jazz group, Nubiyan Twist joined us on the radio show to discuss the album, and their journey. Now, it wasn’t all nine members of the group (the show would be way over an hour and a half) but we spoke with Pilo and Joe.

Be sure to follow Nubiyan Twist on their socials – @nubiyantwist
And head over to website to learn more – www.inspiredsound.ukJazzHip HopSoulfunk

Have a listen back below.

Electronic Producer Anz Launches New Label – ‘OTMI’

Anz is launching a label. Short for “otras mitades,” which means “other halves” in Spanish, OTMI will house some of the UK artist’s unpublished works and contributions from friends across the electronic music spectrum.

The first release, OTMI001, lands April 9th and will be available digitally and on vinyl. “I’ve always loved—’mi otra mitad de naranja,’ or ‘the other half of my orange,’ a way of describing a soulmate,” Anz wrote in an email. OTMI001 will be Anz’s first EP since last year’s RA-Recommended Loos And Twos on Hessle Audio.

Read more about that record and more in our recent Breaking Through feature with Anz.

Listen to “Unravel In The Designated Zone” below.

Ministry Of Sound To Focus On Homegrown Talent

Ministry of Sound has announced six weeks of reopening parties.The series will kick off on June 25, running from 10pm to 6am every Friday and Saturday through to July 31.

On Instagram, Ministry of Sound wrote: “our opening six weeks of parties will celebrate the sounds of the UK with an extra emphasis on homegrown superstars.”

Its website adds: “We’ve come a long, long way together, and we can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. Dust off your raving shoes, call your friends, cancel your Zoom subscription and let’s never speak of quizzes, banana bread or Joe Wicks ever again. It’s Summer 2021 and it’s time for a FUCKING PARTY.

“Line ups are being finalised as we speak and we’ll update you as soon as we can. For the moment all you need to know is: Friday 25th and Saturday 26th June, 10PM – 6AM, bring your crew, we’ll do the rest. Let’s have it!”

Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased from Ministry of Sound’s website. Early bird tickets are priced at £14.

Any ticket purchases will be eligible for a full refund or transferable to a later date if there is any delay on the government’s roadmap to easing lockdown restrictions which means the event cannot go ahead as unplanned.

Earlier this month Printworks announced plans to go “back to basics” for three reopening parties on September 17, 18 and 19, which will be “a pure celebration of club culture” with no line-ups announced in advance and a rule of no social media, no cameras and no distractions.

Read our guide to what nightclubs are opening here.

New York House DJ Carlos Sanchez has Died

A longtime staple of the New York house scene, DJ Carlos Sanchez, has passed away. The news comes three years after the likes of Francois K, DJ Spinna and Soul Clap played a fundraiser event to cover the medical expenses of Sanchez, who had been diagnosed with kidney failure in 2018.

Sanchez produced under his given name and the Carlos Sanchez Movement, and released the bulk of his music via New York-based house label Maxi Records. He also worked as a professor at Pace University, where he taught a World Music & The Underground course. Sanchez additionally played a pivotal role in the underground dance music community as a promoter, and heavily influenced the programming at New York clubs Leviticus and Save The Robots.