LIVE Newsletter – 27.10.23


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Fabulous Final Field for the LIVE Awards 2023

The nominees have been announced for the 2023 edition of the LIVE Awards, taking place on 12 December at Troxy, East London.  The full list stretches the breadth of the UK’s £5bn live music business.  Across the 14 categories, there are over 80 finalists, including the likes of Live Nation, CAA, WME, The Royal Albert Hall and Ticketmaster. The shortlist ranges from Wembley Stadium to The Fire Station in Sunderland, and Reading and Leeds Festivals to Three Choirs Festival, with many of the country’s leading promoters, agencies, ticketing companies and production superstars shortlisted.  Brands nominated for awards include Coca Cola, Sky, and Amazon Fashion House, and with the awards recognising the importance of sustainability and industry workforce, other nominees include The O2, Exeter Phoenix and Sound City Liverpool.

Jon Collins, CEO of LIVE, says: “The strength of this year’s nominations is testament to the excellence delivered by 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.”

The winner in each category is decided by a panel of industry professionals. The awards will be presented in front of an invited industry audience on 12 December at Troxy in East London, with 600 guests expected to attend. Tickets are also on sale now on the website (

DCMS Select Committee Hearing(s) into Grassroots Music Venues

In response to increasingly vocal representations from constituency MPs concerned at the closure (or potential closure) of grassroots music venues in their local area, Dame Caroline Dinenage MP, Chair, Culture, Media and Sport Committee in the Commons, used a panel at last week’s MVT Venues Day to announce plans to investigate the issue.  Dame Caroline said that there will be a call for evidence in the coming weeks to inform their thinking on the state of live venues in the UK with, it is expected, a small number of oral evidence sessions taking place early in the new year.  LIVE plans to submit evidence, while MVT will, of course, feature strongly having been the lead voice calling for action in this space.

Timings for the rest of the process are unclear but, if this is to be a short inquiry, it would be reasonable to expect a report from the committee in late winter or early spring.  It is expected that this report will not just make recommendations to Government but will also cover councils and our industry.  We would urge anyone with an interest in this matter (which should be all of us) to get involved and submit evidence (either direct or via LIVE).  The more we can evidence our work to support the grassroots, the more open the Government should be to our wider asks on touring, tax and rates.

A1 Forms: A Minister Speaks

Having raised our concerns on the extensive delays currently being experienced in the issuing of A1 forms with officials, MPs, Peers and Ministers, LIVE has now received a formal update from Financial Secretary to the Treasury, Victoria Atkins MP.  The Minister has recognised this is a pressing issue and asked HMRC to investigate the cause of the delays (which appear to have been affected by the “unprecedented demand relating to other National Insurance services”).  The Minister has provided further detail on plans to resolve the delays, including deploying more resource to service A1 requests and a recovery strategy to deliver service standards for A1 forms by April 2024.  In addition to more people, this will include the development of digital channels to improve customer experience, and technology to speed up the processing of forms.  While it is good to have a commitment to improve the current situation, we will keep monitoring matters closely to see if wait times fall consistently through to April. 

LIVE Talks x ABEP: The Journey Into The Industry – Seeing is Believing

Join a panel discussion with the ABEP (The Association of Black Event Professionals), on the importance of representation for Black Event Professionals both entering the events industry and, more importantly, progressing through the industry.

Date: 31st October 2023 
Time: 1pm – 2pm UK time
Location: Online
Free for all – Sign up here!

Raising the Bar: choosing the right sustainable cup for your venue

As those of you who joined our recent LIVE Main call will already know, Julie’s Bicycle, supported by Hope Solutions, have now finalised their investigations into the most appropriate sustainable cup options for live music venues.  Thanks to AEG’s Lucy Noble for the seemingly straightforward question that prompted this work and to BACH, MVT, NAA, AMG, DHP, The O2 and Royal Albert Hall for offering financial support.  The work has been very well received, offers a practical introduction to the complex world of sustainable cups, a sobering analysis of the current challenge, and a clear guide through the range of options out there today.  A conservative estimate of at least 80 million single-use cups being used across UK music venues each year must give us all pause for thought.  Take a look at the report here to access decision-making trees with ‘good’, ‘better’, and ‘best’ choices pertaining to cup usage – a streamlined route-map adaptable to each venue.

CIISA: lend your voice to help prevent and tackle bullying and harassment in the creative industries

Time’s Up UK has been on a historic journey to create a step change in challenging unacceptable behaviour in the creative industries.  Whilst we know much has been done to tackle bullying and harassment over the last five years, there are still those within our talented workforce who are afraid to raise concerns and/or uncertain as to where to go to seek confidential advice.  Crucially, where there are multiple concerns, there is no one single entity able to accept them and assume responsibility.  This is the ‘grey space’ where poor behaviour festers and thrives, where individuals suffer in silence, and within which there is no accountability. 

In response Time’s Up UK has been working to fill this void by developing the Creative Industries Independent Standards Authority (CIISA) with colleagues from across film, TV, theatre and music.  CIISA’s defined purpose is “to uphold and improve standards of behaviour across the creative industries, to prevent and tackle all forms of bullying and harassment, including bullying and harassment of a discriminatory nature.”  Friends in film and TV have helped create a short film, a call to industry to back the creation of CIISA, and they’d love to do the same in music.  If you’d be happy to stand with CIISA and lend your voice to provide a safe place where all can be heard and where there can be resolution please get in touch.  You can see the film CIISA made with actors in film and TV here.

LIVE x TEAA Roundtable

As LIVE continues to grow and develop, we continue to experiment with new ways to engage with members and supporters.  It is important that we are hearing from and representing all aspects of the UK live music industry.  Having previously spoken at and presented to various member organisations’ meetings, we have now put in place a roundtable with TEAA to allow us to hear firsthand from agents as to the pressing issues of the day in their sector.  The meeting, kindly hosted by Live Nation, is on November 28th (1.30pm – 3:30pm).  There are still a couple of spaces in the room available for what should be an informative and useful discussion.  If you would like to be considered for attendance (subject to numbers), please contact LIVE’s Head of Partnerships, Gaby Cartwright.

LIVE in the Chair as AAA looks at audience behaviour

LIVE is to chair a session at the upcoming Access All Areas Conference in London on 16 November.  “The In Crowd” will look at how, post lockdown,changing crowd behaviour at events and venues has caused concern across our industry, outline the extent of the issue, explore likely causes and identify solutions.  Joining Jon Collins on the panel will be MOM Consultancy director, Professor Chris Kemp, Safer Spaces CEO and co-founder, Anna MacGregor and DHP Family head of risk management, Julie Tippins.  They will be looking at what has changed around crowd behaviour, delving into why this is the case and the implications for artists, venue staff and the wider audience.LIVE strategic partner, the Power of Events, the not-for-profit established in 2022 to showcase all aspects of the UK events industry, is out on tour visiting all corners of the four nations to showcase its brand new insight app.

All event professionals are invited to download the Event Industry Insight App and register, to help the industry become better understood, valued and respected. The Event Industry Insight App is designed to be an innovative tool for industry partners to help them with their insight/data and research needs, leveraging the unique cross 7 sectors supporter community and trust in The Power of Events mission.

The Power of Events tour comprises over 20 engagements running through to mid-November. The PoE team will be visiting University and Industry Partner events alike, whilst engaging with the full spectrum of event professionals and the next generation. View the full tour and ticket links here.

ETAs go live

The Home Office has confirmed that the UK’s Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA) scheme is now open for applications from Qatari nationals, who will require an ETA for visiting the UK on and after 15 November 2023.  Other nationalities do not need to apply yet.  ETAs will replace the Electronic Visa Waiver scheme (EVW) for Qatari nationals, cost £10 and permit multiple journeys to the UK over two years or until the holder’s passport expires – whichever is sooner.  You can find out more on the ETA process (and keep up to date on expansion to other countries) here.


AIF (Association of Independent Festivals) updates

The Association of Independent Festivals (AIF) has launched a new Equality, Diversity & Inclusion (EDI) Policy and Action plan – with a key aim being to further improve representation and the talent pipeline across the AIF membership. It has already led to the hiring of two new administrative assistants at AIF, funded by Youth Music. Adassa Dixon joins with a background in research, activism, and events planning; while Dan Kanabar is a Masters student studying event management, with a degree in digital photography and radio production.

AFEM (Association for Electronic Music) updates

Georgia Taglietti and Jay Ahern will be joining Finlay Johnson as a leadership triumvirate following a management restructure of The Association For Electronic Music. Georgia Taglietti will be joining AFEM as Culture and Campaigns Manager, Jay Ahern joins as Chief Growth Officer with Finlay Johnson in a newly created Chief Operating Officer position. With the new restructure, AFEM is poised to pursue an ambitious vision for the future. The association is committed to innovating practices, providing valuable resources to members, and fostering collaboration within the community. 

ABO (Association of British Orchestras) updates

Following an inclusive and wide-ranging recruitment process, Sophie Lewis, CEO of the National Children’s Orchestras, has been appointed Chair of the Association of British Orchestras (ABO), a key position in UK performing arts. See the full announcement here.

During the Political Party Conference Season, the Association of British Orchestras (ABO) showcased of some of the impactful and innovative work of UK orchestras on and off the stage, in and around the cities where the Conferences took place, in BournemouthLiverpoolManchester and Aberdeen

MVT (Music Venue Trust) updates

Music Venue Trust announces a new partnership with Skiddle which will see every ticket sold contain a 50p levy to support grassroots music venues through the Pipeline Investment Fund. Skiddle will match fund this levy pound for pound. Swansea Arena also announced a partnership with Music Venue Trust, becoming the first arena in the country which will ask every ticket buyer to contribute to the Pipeline Investment Fund.

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.

The FAC’s 101 Sessions continue in November, with ‘Protecting Your Artistic Identity’, a session looking at how to protect your brand.  This is particularly pertinent light of Easy Life’s forced name change and as the industry grapples with the impact of AI – more info & sign up here. 


International live music booking agency Midnight Mango announces an upcoming series of EDI speaker series supported by a committee, manifesto and press releases. If interested, please get in touch and we can pass on the relevant details.

LIVE welcomes the 36th edition of the International Live Music Conference (ILMC) which will take place in London from 27 Feb-1 March 2024. ILMC returns to the Royal Lancaster Hotel with 1,400 live music professionals from over 60 countries expected to attend. The 2024 edition features an expanded London Calling new music showcase; Futures Forum, the one-day event for young live music professionals; and a new dedicated event for touring exhibitions and family shows, Touring Entertainment LIVE. Full details about ILMC 36 can be found on the website here