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

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

Radio: Inspired Sound w/ Busty and the Bass

Welcome back to the Inspired Sound show, hosted by, Kofi Yeboah. For this show, we’ll be showing recent releases from some brilliantly talented independent artists from the UK. Listen out for music from, Eerf Evil, Intalekt, TINYMAN, Kofi Stone, Wesley Joseph, and Cody Currie, plus much more!

Listen back the show below.

Tracklist
Jneiro Jarel – Sunwalkers Pt2, 3 (Ft Bill Summers)
Dreams – (Eerf Evil, Srigala, Kofi Stone)
Natural Force – Buscrates 16 Bit Ensemble
Feel It – Ayeisha Raquel, TINYMAN, R-Kay, Intalekt
Greentea peng – Silly
Closer To You – Ruti
2 – Mom Tudie and Byulah
Crave Love – Cecline and the Blue
Jeen Bassa – Discotheque
Be Free – Emmaculate Shannon Chambers Extended Mix)
Pyjean – Gold Plated (ft Odette Peters)
Spiralling Prism – Herbie Hancock
The Witching Hour – Psychic Mirrors
Radiant Children – Rare
Wesley Joseph – Ghostin
Moesh – Lex Amor, DIPS, Lo-Wu
Cody Currie – When The time Is Right
Busty and the Bass – Out So Far

Spotify Playlist Update: New Music From Rising Stars In The UK & Beyond

Continuing this year’s start of strong releases, our Spotify ‘Soul Food’ includes music from Hip Hop, RnB, Neo-Soul, Broken Beat and Jazz from artist we think who deserve your attention. All our tracks stay on the palylisr for 4 weeks, as we rotate with new tracks bi-weekly.

This week we’ve added music from artists such Otis Junior, Wesley Joseph, Pyjaen, Jeshi, Greentea Peng, The Radiant Children, Akemi Fox, and Tom Misch.

Listen the Soul Food playlist below.

Emerging Soultress, Ayelle And Talented Singer, Reece Release The Stunning New Single, ‘Break A Little’

‘Break A Little’ tells the story of two individuals separated by circumstances and self-destructive tendencies. Produced by Heavy Mellow (Halsey, Jhene Aiko, Juice WRLD) and written by Ayelle and Reece, the track is a deeply intimate and honest exploration of emotions underpinned by a trap-tinged beat and playful guitar motifs.  

Ayelle and Reece explain the meaning behind it, “It’s about that one that got away because you were too scared and too self-destructive, and the regret that comes with an unfulfilled love. It’s not unrequited but it never got to be fully played out, so you always wonder what if. There’s a different kind of heartbreak that comes with that.”

Have a listen to the single below, and let us know what you think:

UK Government Minister: “It’s Hard To See How Nightclubs Will Open”

A government minister has said that “it is hard to see how nightclubs will open” in the near future.

Speaking live on Sky News yesterday, Gillian Keegan gave no cause for optimism for the club community.

The Apprenticeships & Skills Minister and MP for Chichester said: “It is hard to see how nightclubs will open until we have some kind of long-term way to deal with coronavirus. That is for sure true.”

Her appearance on Sky News came as part of a government drive to re-skill workers in industries that have been devastated by the coronavirus pandemic, including the nightlife sector.

“It’s easy to see that nightclubs – which I’m sure we all enjoy going to – it’s difficult to see how you can have a nightclub operating with coronavirus. In any sort of enjoyable way,” Keegan said.

She added: “It’s difficult to see how you could go to a nightclub within the rule of six…how can you socially distance and have a good time in a nightclub?

“I think it is difficult to see how you could keep the coronavirus under control, indoors in those kind of situations which is why they haven’t been opened yet.”

The UK night time industry is worth £66 billion a year which includes nightclubs and live music venues, however the government has barely acknowledged clubs in its plans for economic recovery.

Talking to Sky, Gillian Keegan seemed to suggest that workers in industries that aren’t able to function during the pandemic simply find a new job.

“Today, we are introducing a new focus on adults which is just being able to offer people the chance to reskill, upskill, take different routes in life because they may need to,” she said.

“It is clear that some of those jobs may take a long time to come back because they don’t fit with the virus.”

In a speech on Tuesday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that the government would be “transforming the foundations of the skills system so that everyone has the chance to train and retrain.”

[Via the Evening Standard]

Q&A: Have You Met.. Idris Miles

 

Touted as one of the artists to watch for this year, Idris Miles has continual proven stage presence and rapping ability on numerous occasions already this year. Headlining at The Pit LDN’s showcase in East London’s Ace Hotel earlier in January, Idris now moves to a different stage at the 02 Academy Islington this Friday April 5th.

Idris took some time out to answer our short Q&A:

Tell us about yourself?

My name is Idris Miller a.k.a Idris (pronounced Eye-Dris) Miles.  I’m an artist and songwriter, based in Essex.  I was born around a family of musicians and artists, and I have always had a love for music from a young age, which led me to start writing songs  and poetry in school at 12 years old.

Things have been picking up for you recently, you’ve been nominated for an award, you’ve had more shows, how do you stay level headed and focused?

Yeah! To be perfectly honest, I’ve been enjoying the process so much. I’m around an amazing team who have been supporting and helping me make moves and the efforts are really paying off. I’m also hungry for more so that’s helping me keep focused and humble. There’s so much more to achieve and I’m aware of that now more than ever.

Do you produce your own beats, what’s your team like around you?

I produce from time to time but I also have some amazing producers around me too like, Ryan-J who has been my G from day! I also have some new music coming out soon with some amazing producers who I’ve wanted to work with for ages now so I’m excited. But like I said, the team I have right now is dope and we’re all progressing together like a family so it’s only a matter of time till we’re at the point of achieving big things.

Where do you take your inspiration? From you fashion sense, to your music

I think I subconsciously take inspiration from everything around me. It’s been a lifetime since I’ve said “Oh, I wanna do it like that guy” because right now I’m trying to establish myself as a brand and basically just be me… But saying that I also like to support designers and brands that are close to me such as AM By Anna Makri, Sarah Garfield , Josiah Amari.. I’m a fan of them all!

You’ve been working quite closely with The Pit LDN, how did that relationship come about, how have they helped your career so far?

Big up to the Pit every time! I went to one of their Cyphers back in 2016 and they’ve supported ever since, I can’t even express my gratitude as they’ve been responsible for some big milestones in my career including my headline show at Ace Hotel last year and my first ever Rinse FM radio play! Yeah big them up.

Check his performance for SoulMate LDN at London, Brixton’s Ritzy:

Which musicians do you look up to most in the UK or outside of it?

I love a lot of UK music at the moment, which actually makes me happy, it’s nice to see our culture on form and shining. People like Little Simz, Octavian, Kojey, A2, Che Lingo… Those are artists I look up to. Just pure talent and artistry in everything that they do! In terms of outside of UK? There’s so many names… Dreamville, Sevdaliza, Jacin Trill, Mick Jenkins, Goldlink, Tierra Whack… The list can go on!

To try and speak some things into existence, name three artists you love to collaborate with over the next couple years in the UK?

I WILL MAKE A SONG WITH A2 AND KOJEY RADICAL. That is all I will say, let the universe do its thing!

Finally, what can expect from your show at the O2 Academy Islington?

Just my essence, like in every show! Energy, emotion, passion… I love it! And I hope everyone that comes through enjoys it too! I’m just excited to achieve yet another great moment in my life and it will definitely show on stage!

Click here to buy tickets to his show at the 02 Academy Islington 

Check out the raw video to his track RUN:

First Thoughts: Intalekt – The Adventures of Masta Splinta

Last year saw Intalekt show off his versatility, putting pen to paper for a number of tracks on his debut release titled – ‘The Intervention’ alongside Geefree as The Billy Dukes (click here to read our review). Intalekt puts down the pen, to show off his production and arrangement ability with 10 tracks of seamless bliss. Intalekt is certainly not new to game with a regular show on Youth Led Radio station Reprezent Radio, and having worked with some amazing UK artists in Jacob Banks, Kojey Radical, Slicc Vicc, and Jay Prince to name a few, for his debut EP titled – It Is What It Is.

Earlier in February Intalekt dropped his first solo Album of the year titled – The Adventures of Masta Splinta. With his last album featuring a number of artists to provide the lyrics and vocals, this album puts Intalekt’s beats at the forefront for the first time. There’s a wonderful calmness throughout the album, and Intalekt seems to make heavy use of wind instruments and chiming bells which creates a beautiful meditative soundscape.

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The first track ‘Are We Safe?’ lays the foundations for the atmosphere of the whole album, as each track seamlessly blends into one another. Intalekt covers a range of subtle influences, ‘Hope’ has a similar stripped down, downtempo feel to late 80s American Hip Hop. Whilst the timely up-tempo claps in ‘Wolves’ is nicely layered with the guitar rift and percussion elements bouncing off it. The following track ‘We Move’ develops more of a head-nodding groove with the off-beat kicks against the claps, which builds nicely for the heavy bass kicks to inflate the track with energy midway.

If you are a fan of Hip Hop this album will definitely give you something to think about. On first listen you wouldn’t notice the subtle significant changes between tracks but its definitely album worth listening to more than once!

NEWS: Little Simz Teases New Album Release and Drops Visuals for New Single – Selfish

At only 24 years of age Little Simz has been grinding to push her voice through to the masses for a long while, and to have two award winning albums to her name is a more than impressive feat. Having remained independent for all of career she’s released music through her own label Age: 101. Easily speaking on her experiences of growing up in North London, and love so candidly has won her appreciation from some of Hip Hop’s finest in Kendrick Lamar and Jay Z.

With her third album titled ‘Grey Area’ on the cards this year, Little Simz released her new single ‘Selfish’, featuring vocals from Cleo Sol. ‘Selfish’ seems to open up a reflective yearn for self-love and value, as she describes drifting her focus back to herself. Cleo Sol accompanies the track subtly, as she eases back and forth to sing the hook graciously.

*This video is for promotional use only*