LIVE Newsletter – 10.11.23


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Phil Bowdery to be honoured at LIVE Awards

LIVE is thrilled to announce that Phil Bowdery will receive this year’s LIVEtime Achievement Award at the LIVE Awards, taking place on 12 December at Troxy, East London.  With a career spanning 50 years in the live music business, and this year alone having promoted shows by Harry Styles, Beyoncé, Sir Tom Jones, Coldplay, Bruce Springsteen, Depeche Mode and John Legend, Phil needs no introduction.  But his work to support the broader live music business is also remarkable.  Whether it’s as chair of the Concert Promoters Association, leading negotiations with PRS for Music on behalf of the industry, or as co-founder of LIVE, and, of course, we cannot forget his tireless efforts to support the entire sector during the Covid-19 pandemic.

To be in the room on the night, celebrate Phil’s accomplishments and recognise those others who have also delivered excellence in 2023 click here.  The strength of this year’s nominations is testament to the brilliance of individuals and companies, venues, festivals and events across the UK live music sector.  It is also an indicator of how quickly the LIVE Awards have established themselves as a must-win, must-attend event.  Not to mention its growing reputation as our industry’s Christmas party.  Such a strong set of nominations guarantees an outstanding roster of winners.  Here’s to another unforgettable evening.

UK-EU Government Advisory Groups Voice Support for EU Touring

As part of our campaigning to improve EU touring arrangements, LIVE participated in back to back meetings of the UK DAG, UK-EU DAG and Civil Society Forum this week.  These bodies bring together representatives from business, labour organisations and the voluntary sector to discuss working arrangements between the UK and EU.  That is a very broad set of organisations and so we were very pleased to secure text in the joint statement issued after the meeting calling for a cultural visa waiver.  The full statement can be found here with the key paragraph being:

Furthermore, a range of workers and professional service providers, including those in creative industries, should be allowed more flexible travel arrangements, including visa-free and longer stays than 90 in 180 days.  A cultural visa waiver should be created for creative workers.

Statements like this keep touring issues front and centre in policymakers’ minds.  To reinforce our point, LIVE worked with the Foreign Office to put on some live music at the reception welcoming our guests from Europe and officials from across Whitehall.  The music was kindly sorted by the Musicians’ Union, provided an excellent backdrop to our networking and a natural kick off point on the need for visa free touring.

DBT/DCMS celebrate strength of live music

As part of International Trade Week, the Department for Business and Trade (DBT) worked with LIVE and UK Music to put on a celebration of our vibrant, worldclass music sector at Koko in Camden.  The event, which saw welcome speeches by both DCMS and DBT Ministers, was sparked by discussions between LIVE and DBT earlier this year.  As part of the event LIVE moderated a panel session with Annabella Coldrick, MMF, Craig Stanley, Marshall Arts, Steve Zapp, ITB and Sophie Lewis, the new chair of ABO.  As you would expect, this expert panel clearly set out the current challenges and implications for talent development.  Given the clear offer of support advanced by Ministers and senior officials across both departments, LIVE is following up to see what more can be done on information provision, financial support, bilateral agreements and, ultimately, TCA reform.

King’s Speech: Terrorism (Protection of Premises) Bill

This week saw the annual King’s Speech (previously Queen’s Speech) setting out the Government’s legislative agenda for the Parliamentary session taking us up to the General Election (still expected in Autumn next year).  Of most relevance to LIVE is the planned Terrorism (Protection of Premises) Bill which is intended to take forward the Government’s plans for the introduction of a protect duty (aka Martyn’s Law).  The bill was announced with a simultaneous commitment to consult further on how it could work for venues defined as sitting in its standard tier (100-799 capacity). 

Reacting to the speech, LIVE’s Jon Collins said, “The live music sector fully supports cooperative efforts to make venues as safe as possible for fans.  Venues and festivals throughout the country are already working extensively with relevant authorities and continuously review security arrangements.  We share the assessment of the Home Affairs Committee which identified serious concerns about the proportionality of the Bill and a range of unfinished provisions.  The Committee’s report vindicated our members’ view that the draft Bill is impractical, misses its core aim, and, through the excessive penalties it proposes, would create existential risk for live music venues.  Government must urgently redesign the Bill to ensure it is workable, places no disproportionate burdens on venues and crucially delivers greater reassurance and safety for concertgoers.  We will continue to engage with Government and Parliamentarians to ensure the Bill is appropriately revised and strengthened as it goes through Parliament.”

LIVE will continue to lobby on this issue with activity coordinated through our LIVE Protect Duty group.  We have a roundtable with Home Office officials on November 23rd and, prior to that, a sit down with Dan Jarvis MP, Labour’s lead on this bill, who has already highlighted current weaknesses.

King’s Speech: Drip Pricing

The King’s Speech also confirmed that Ministers are considering using the Digital Markets, Competition and Consumers Bill to introduce measures tackling ‘drip pricing’.  This has been positioned as a measure to address concerns around airline ticket pricing (where the original price can increase tenfold by the time you have selected a seat, booked in a bag etc).  We need to clarify with officials at DBT if this will be framed in a way that impacts concert ticket pricing or if, as proposed by STAR and supported by LIVE any issues here can be addressed via revised guidance.  The accompanying background note on the Bill states that, “regulators may be given new powers to tackle drip-pricing, however this will be subject to consultation”.

Live Talks: How can we better support carers in the music industry with PiPA 

Date: 24th November 2023
Time: 12pm – 1pm UK Time
Location: Online
Sign up here 

Parents and Carers in Performing Arts co-founders and co-CEO’s Cassie Raine and Anna Ehnold-Danailov will be sharing insights from their research and discussing how we can better support carers within the live music industry. They’ll be talking about ‘hidden carers’, an important (and likely growing) minority of people working in music who have caring responsibilities for people who are not children (and who sometimes have children to care for as well), and sharing examples of what best practice can look like for carers, sharing tips and strategies for support. They would also love to hear from you about your experiences and there will be an opportunity for questions and discussions.

For more information on our LIVE Talks programme, head here

LIVE Touring: Webster takes the chair

LIVE is pleased to confirm Dave Webster as our new chair of LIVE Touring.  Dave’s role with the MU, where he is Head of International, makes him the perfect person to build on the great work of the group under Craig Stanley.  As we have done with the other expert groups, we are taking this opportunity to review the make-up, role and remit of the group to ensure it remains focused on matters of most importance to our members.
Dave is raring to go and has commented that, “I am delighted to be taking on this role of Chair of LIVE Touring.  As we head towards a possible change of Government and the review of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement in 2026 there is much to do to build on the excellent work that has been done by the group under the Chairmanship of Craig Stanley.  My thanks for to Craig, Jon and the LIVE touring membership for giving me this role and I look forward to working with them”.


MU (Musicians’ Union) updates

On 21st November the MU is hosting a free event at Future Yard in Birkenhead featuring two panel discussions covering sustainable touring and wellbeing, starting at 6pm. Register here.

Also coming up is an in-conversation event with Fiona Brice and Bernard Butler who’ll be discussing songwriting, collaborations and musical connections. Their conversation will be hosted at Halle St. Michael’s, Manchester, on the 14 December. Tickets go live on the MU website (free of charge but for MU members only) on 17 November. 

AFO (Association of Festival Organisers) Updates

The next AFO members’ meeting is online on the 22nd November at 6.30pm – members can register by contacting

The AFO in-person conference will be taking place on the 10th February at Derby Silk Mill, offering presentations, interviews, debates and networking. Register online here.

ABO (Association of British Orchestras) Updates

ABO launches its annual conference, Creative Solutions, the major gathering of the classical music industry in the UK, hosted in Bristol from 24-26 January 2024. This year’s conference will explore the theme of ‘Creative Solutions’, tackling the challenges of inclusive recruitment; emerging technologies; sustainability; and how to shift the dial in the narrative around the impact and value of the work of British orchestras, on and off the concert platform.

FAC (Featured Artists Coalition) Updates 

The FAC and MMF’s Artist & Manager Awards supported by beatBread, has published the shortlists for Breakthrough Artist and Breakthrough Manager of the Year, alongside news that Forever Living Originals collective, home of Little Simz, Cleo Sol and SAULT and Chronixx will be receiving the Team Achievement Award. The event takes place on Thursday 23rd November and tickets are still available here.

FAC’s 101 sessions continue.  With the growing presence of AI in music making identity a key factor, as well as the recent easy life vs EasyGroup trademark battle, join Lewis Silkin’s Head of Media & Entertainment, Cliff Fluet, as he discusses ‘Protecting your artistic identity‘. 

Hold the date! FAC announces date of the 2023 Annual General Meeting in association with PPL, supported by NME – 29th November 2023.