North and Midlands bear the brunt of gig cancellations

06 Apr 2020

Data compiled by events guide The List suggests Wigan - where the live music scene represents a quarter of the town's events - will be disproportionately affected by gig cancellations and music venue closures due to the pandemic.

Research based on over 45,000 live events and more than 600,000 scheduled performances has found that other towns and cities in the Midlands and North of England have also been more seriously affected than others, with Leeds, Leicester, Dudley, Nottingham, Sheffield and Manchester coming in behind Wigan.

Campaigners fight for fairer deal for artists in Ireland

06 Apr 2020

The Covid-19 Crisis Response Award of €1 million for Irish artists to create online work has been met with dismay by Ireland's National Campaign for the Arts (NCFA), which is accusing the Department of Culture, Heritage & the Gaeltacht of having a "lack of vision shown in relation to the arts" because the fund "does not apply to many kinds of artistic practice".

The money is earmarked for Irish-based professional artists to provide access for the public to new and original art during the period of coronavirus isolation. But the campaigning body says the Arts Council fund "represents a small investment in individual artists" and other initiatives "do not address the real damage that has been done to the sector through the ongoing crisis".

NCFA said: "Yet again, Ireland’s place at the bottom of the pile in terms of investment in culture and arts in Europe is demonstrated", and are calling on Government to add significantly more funding to the Arts Council scheme and open up the restrictive conditions attached to the scheme.

Culture Ireland and Facebook Ireland have also announced a new scheme - Ireland Performs - to support the live presentation of professional artists' work on online platforms.

Edinburgh faces jobs crisis as festivals announce cancellations

02 Apr 2020

Jobs in the wider tourism sector that rely on income from visitors to Edinburgh's festivals are now in jeopardy as Edinburgh International Festival, the Fringe, the Tattoo, and the book and art festivals decide jointly to cancel their events. Around 5,000 jobs in the city are thought to depend on the Festivals. Four or five times as many jobs are at risk in tourism and hospitality as in the arts and cultural sector itself. The festivals are worth over £300m to the local economy.

North Somerset to benefit from Performing Arts Centre partnership

02 Apr 2020

Valley Arts and a Multi-Academy Trust in the Chew Valley are submitting a two-stage plan to Bath & North East Somerset Council for developing a new Performing Arts Centre - a flexible 250-seat auditorium costing £1.7m, together with a cafe, box office and dance studios costing a further £1.5m.

The design also allows for breakout areas, cinema facility and visual arts exhibition spaces. The building will be owned by the school, which will use it during the day for arts activities, while Valley Arts will have the facilities outside of school hours, at weekends and in the school holidays.

Economic downturn threatens legacy fundraising

02 Apr 2020

Pessimism over house prices and share prices for the rest of 2020 has led Legacy Foresight to revise its forecasts for legacy fundaising in light of the coronavirus pandemic.

During this period, legacy income to charities could fall by between 3% and 9%, with economic slowdown primarily responsible. Uncertainly over death rates will add to volatillity. Predictions for 2021 onwards are much brighter though, and legacy income to charities is expected to grow 14%-19%, from £3.2bn to as much as £3.8bn by 2024.

Covid-19: Funders reveal plans for the survival of the sector

02 Apr 2020

£11m for Scotland, £7m for Wales and £1m for Northern Ireland as their arts councils announce plans to support organisations and creative workers.

Call for major Covid-19 public art project

31 Mar 2020

The Government should support a multimillion-pound public art project during the coronavirus outbreak, Hans-Ulrich Obrist has said.

The Artistic Director of the Serpentine Galleries said the idea, which was used to great effect during America's Great Depression in the 1930s, could support cultural organisations and artists financially impacted by the crisis.


Covid-19: Charities face £4bn 'black hole'

31 Mar 2020

Thousands of arts, culture and heritage charities improve communities, wellbeing and isolation – "functions that are particularly important during this crisis".

Van Gogh stolen from closed Dutch museum

31 Mar 2020

A prized Van Gogh has been stolen from a Dutch museum closed due to the coronavirus.

Police investigating the theft of the 1884 painting "The Parsonage Garden at Nunen in Spring" from the Singer Laren museum said the thief - or thieves - had to smash a glass door to gain access.

The museum's Director Jan Rudolph de Lorm said the theft is "terrible for us all".

"Art exists to be seen and shared by us, the community, to enjoy to draw inspiration from and to draw comfort from, especially in these difficult times."

550 music venues under 'immediate threat of closure'

31 Mar 2020

Jobs are at risk as 550 grassroots music venues face "immediate threat of closure," the Music Venue Trust said. This represents the potential permanent loss of over 5,000 jobs, over 100,000 concerts, over 300,000 performances and over 1 million temporary employment opportunities for gig economy workers.

The trust is trying to raise £1m to respond "directly and dynamically" to every threatened closure and provide emergency financial support.

It says losses for venues, musicians, production and touring crews will be permanent.

Loyal patrons buy up tickets amid 93% drop in sales

31 Mar 2020

Average daily ticket sales at UK venues are down 93% since the lockdown started on 17 March.

But updated data from TRG Arts and Purple Seven shows "a steep increase in the proportion of tickets being purchased by loyalists," defined as people who have attended a venue three or more times previously.

Ticket sales among this group have grown 43% during the ten days to 26 March.


Purple Seven CEO Stuart Nicolle said "we're seeing that it's not impossible to sell tickets in this market, but the focus of marketing activity must be on specific types of attendees and long-term programming".

"What you do now and how you focus your limited resources will make a major difference to the speed of the sector’s recovery."

Museums' infrastructure is crumbling – literally

30 Mar 2020

As cultural venues sit empty, a national audit finds the UK's museums in dire condition.

Covid-19: Disability top of mind for DCMS

30 Mar 2020

Disabled artists say their safety, security and insight into limited lifestyles are crucial during this crisis. 

Bournemouth pays freelance players

30 Mar 2020

Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra says it will honour freelancers' fees for all cancelled or postponed performances up to 30 April.

The orchestra has lost its summer work at Grange Festival 2020. It will not pay fees for players involved in that: "This work, which is not subject to direct Arts Council funding is therefore dependent on the fee income from Grange."

Survey: Covid-19 to cost artists and managers £68m

30 Mar 2020

The music industry could lose more than £68m if shows are cancelled over the next six months.

A survey by the Music Managers Forum and Featured Artists Coalition indicates more than £50m has already been lost.

The organisations said: "aside from an immediate-term cash-flow crisis, the findings raise grave concerns for the commercial music sector’s longer-term sustainability."

"They signal the need for greater assistance from the UK’s largest music businesses and organisations – especially as Government support measures for the self-employed ... will not pay out until June, and many will not qualify at all."

New BBC fund for independent artists

26 Mar 2020

BBC is inviting artists to apply for funding to create new works for its virtual festival Culture in Quarantine.

The collaboration between the broadcaster and Arts Council England will commission and distribute 25 new works by independent artists.

Director-General Tony Hall says: "It’s important during this period that we maintain access not just to news and information, but to the arts and culture. For many people they are a valuable part of their lives and a way of stimulating imagination, thought, and escapism."

The corporation is inviting applications from organisations or individuals, which can be collaborations between different disciplines. A live link for applications will be posted on BBC channels and interested creatives are invited to apply by April 8. Visit ArtsProfessional CovidCulture for more information.



Royal Ballet drops Scarlett

25 Mar 2020

The Royal Ballet says it won't work with Liam Scarlett despite an independent investigation clearing the choreographer of sexual misconduct.

Allegations against the organisation's former artist-in-residence emerged in January. Royal Ballet said that an investigation concluded "there were no matters to pursue in relation to alleged contact with students of the Royal Ballet School".

But it says it will not work with Scarlett. His position and upcoming performances have been scrapped.


Artist management company folds due to Covid-19

25 Mar 2020

Artist management company Hazard Chase has gone into voluntary liquidation.

A statement from Managing Director James Brown appeared to blame the coronavirus pandemic for the Cambridge and London-based business' failure: "Our artists, staff, director and shareholders are devastated by this sad but inevitable turn of events".

"Our world has been torn apart in less than a month."

Hazard Chase has represented classical music performers in the UK and internationally since 1990.

£160m emergency response package for the arts

24 Mar 2020

Arts Council England has drawn on reserves and Lottery grants to save the sector from an "unsustainable loss of revenues".

Lewisham Borough of Culture delayed until 2022

24 Mar 2020

Lewisham Borough of Culture has been delayed until 2022.

Following discussions with the Greater London Authority, Lewisham's Cultural Development Team has decided "to continue with our preparation at a more conducive time".

"More crucially it will mean that our energy over the next few months can be focussed on supporting vulnerable people through this difficult time."

Mayor Damien Egan said it was important the council focussed on keeping services for vulnerable residentes going at this time.

Brent, which won the title for 2020, will suspend its Borough of Culture programme and continue into 2021.


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