SLAP Mag News Roundup June 2020

Welcome to the SLAP Mag news roundup June 2020 covering recent news and information for arts and music news from around the region. Don’t forget if you wish to contribute to SLAP Mag then please get in touch with us.

Lakefest set to resurface next year

As we go to press (!) Lakefest has announced that this year’s event is cancelled and postponed to 12-15 August 2021 due to concerns about the ‘health and well-being of the Lakefest family’. Acts due to perform this year at the Eastnor Castle venue such as Echo & The Bunnymen, Seasick Steve and Ash have now been rescheduled for next year as a result of Lakefest’s ‘Plan B’ if the event couldn’t go ahead – best wishes guys! www.lakefest.co.uk

Download download

Out of necessity rather than choice many postponed festivals such as Hay have chosen to move online for this season with streamed talks being available on the Hayplayer (hayfestival.com/hayplayer). The BBC is also streaming 50 years of Glastonbury on the iPlayer – and many others such as Cambridge, Latitude and Download are also now virtual events – plenty of choice but of course not quite like the real thing…​

Local events still on… line

Good to see and hear that local organisers and promoters are getting into the ‘virtual’ festivals and gigs concept as well with events such as Breaking Bands, The7ArtsStillExist and the West Malvern Social Club proving what can be done with a bit of technology and a whole bunch of willpower!​

Arts restoration

Local theatre bosses have cautiously welcomed the Government’s appointment of Neil Mendoza as Commissioner for Cultural Recovery & Renewal in charge of a ‘task force’ to respond to the needs of the arts and entertainment industry. It’s been stressed that arts organisations will ‘almost certainly have to develop their working practices and redefine what is essential for future survival’ – we’ll see…​

Pay and display?

Promoters in Denmark particularly are testing the possibilities of drive-in gigs where artists play to up to 600 cars with the music broadcast through each car’s radio. The first shows with up to five related people in each car took place at Copenhagen Airport’s car park – perhaps Copenhagen Street next?​

Lockdown blues

Norfolk blues rockers The Sharpville Show decided to move in together for lockdown after a period of isolation and testing negative for CV19 in order to play ‘social distanced’ free concerts to create the ‘proximity, chemistry and warmth’ of watching a band interact on stage rather than separately online. Sadly the local Norfolk police appear less impressed with their house parties and are threatening prosecution…​

Don’t wave the white flag

Some venues such as Worcester’s LGBT+ friendly The Flag in Lowesmoor are turning to crowdfunding in order to keep solvent as the lockdown bites. Owner Lee Winters said that despite receiving a government £10,000 grant and assistance with the furlough scheme bills continue to have to be paid and as the county’s only independent LBGT+ community venue future survival is critical – www.crowdfunder.co.uk/theflag ​

Keep the hills alive with the sound of…

Meanwhile the Malvern Theatres management have also launched an appeal for funds – with only one percent of their income from public money and heavily dependent on ticket sales they say that it’s vital to keep bringing ‘life-enhancing culture’ to the town – malvern-theatres.co.uk/support-us

Catchy Covid tunes

There’s been a few CV19-inspired ditties that’ve caught our ears recently including ‘Quarantine Speech’ by Brum’s Lady Leshurr, ‘Don’t Give Up’ by Alice Cooper and ‘Corona Clap’ by Dee-1. Our favourite has to be Bob E Kelly’s take on Chris Franklin’s lyrics – ‘I need the gym, I need the beach, I hear you bitch and moan/You need to grow a brain cell and stay the f*ck at home’ – poignant stuff…​

Have they ever heard of WMF?

Local councillors have called for a free ‘post-isolation’ festival to help musicians and artists who’ve struggled with postponed and cancelled gigs due to lockdown. The event would celebrate the end of social isolation measures and hopefully bring visitors back to Worcestershire with the aid of as many local artists as possible – sounds good to us!​

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