Just days after Apple Music’s London Festival gets shelved Spotify step in with ‘Who We Be’ festival, the streamer’s first UK live music show.
Apple’s London music festival has been cancelled after it’s annual run, but no worries as their biggest rival has jumped straight on the case. Barely half a week since Apple cancelled their Apple Music festival streamer No.1 Spotify announced Who We Be, a UK festival hosted by the streaming legends.
Who We Be will take place on the 30th of November, again in London but this time at Alexandra Palace. Performers will include a curated selection of the grime and rap scene in Britain with Grime legend Dizzee Rascal, Manchester MC Bugzy Malone, Cardi B, Giggs, J Hus, and Stefflon Don all for free.
The festival gets its name from Spotify’s popular, curated Who We Be playlist which is followed by 140,000 listeners. Lucky for those listeners, Who We Be followers get first access to tickets when they go on sale on September the 11th, next Monday.
The BBC are stepping up to fill the Glastonbury-shaped hole in 2018 as the festival takes a break for fallow.
Glastonbury announced earlier this year that they would be taking a break for a year to allow the festival site to recover and be reborn out of the mud, its first chance to rest since 2012. With a giant gap in live British music next year the BBC have stepped up to the plate and are planning to hold 4 giant events across the UK.
An expansion of the BBC Radio 1’s Big Weekend, they will be holding the ‘Biggest Weekend’ at locations in England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland. 175,000 tickets will be made available for the massive event which will take place next May on the bank holiday weekend, 25th-28th.
It hasn’t been revealed where in each country the festival will take place nor which acts will play, but you can bet it will be a range of massive artists. Whilst BBC’s events normally feature one or two of their popular radio platforms presenting music, the Biggest Weekend will feature concerts from Radio 1, Radio 2, Radio 3 and 6 Music.
The director of BBC Radio and Music, Bob Shennan, says this will be the BBC’s biggest music event ever, saying: “BBC Music has a strong history of bringing the nation together for some special moments, and this is the biggest single music event ever attempted by the BBC. We will be celebrating the diversity of music from four different corners of the country, bringing the best UK music to the world and the best global music to the UK.”
The festival will be covered by the BBC’s TV channels BBC2 and BBC4, as well as rolling coverage featured online on the BBC site. And speaking of TV – the festival is part of a new, larger commitment to music from the corporation who have also recently announce their first music-focused programme since Top of the Pops ended over 11 years ago. The program will broadcast 6 episodes this summer with interviews, comedy sketches and, of course, live performances.
Britain’s greatest celebration of jazz returned for its 5th year last weekend and saw jazz legends from back in the day and rising stars alike put on a killer festival.
Up near the Brighton coast for the past 5 years a small festival has been held as a showcase of the amazing jazz, funk and soul artists around today – particularly jazz. Set on the beautiful grounds of Glynde Place Love Supreme never fails to provide an incredible weekend of music, community and an overall atmosphere of pure, unfiltered beauty.
Of course it’s unfortunately too late in the timeline for the legends like Miles Davis and John Coltrane (although the dedication is right there in the festival’s name). That said, the templates and precedent set by the golden age of jazz is seen ever clearly in the range of incredible and talented acts performing every year at Love Supreme.
This was my second year at Love Supreme after being blown away by the location, music and ambience of last year’s festival. This year Love Supreme managed to secure a couple of old-school legends for the bill with jazz guitar virtuoso-come-R&B star George Benson taking the main stage and legendary keyboardist and jazz-fusion innovator Herbie Hancock.
George Benson lit up the crowd with nostalgia as young and old alike came together to sing and sway to his soulful crooning that, at 74, sounded as quality as ever. Herbie Hancock opted for the more personal Big Top stage, the biggest of their tent stages which was perfect for diverse and intimate jazz that emanated from Herbie and his talented band which featured Terrace Martin on the drums.
The Big Top also played host to Christian Scott who blew away audiences with his incredibly powerful and intimate tracks. As he has become notorious for, Scott went off on monologues describing his connection with each band member and the stories behind some of his songs. Putting context behind the players you’re watching and the composition’s you’re hearing give a whole new dimension to Scott’s pieces however the staff clearly weren’t ready for such a long talk as Scott was being rushed off stage towards his last song.
Kamasi Washington was back for another year, upgraded from the Big Top to the main stage. However deserving I feel Kamasi is of any notoriety I felt that the stage didn’t suit Kamasi’s epic pieces and powerful builds with restricted sound. Last year’s performance blew me away thanks to the intimacy of the Big Top and Kamasi’s absolute power over the sax, this year I didn’t stick around to the end of his set.
Other notable acts include the Robert Glasper Experiment who shined with Glasper seamlessly moving between tracks and incorporating his renowned covers of Roxanne and Smells Like Teen Spirit, which got the crowd going wild. The Jackson’s rocked the main stage following their recent regrouping, which I heard was great – I however had other priorities.
Badbadnotgood were slated as my favourite to see after their recent album ‘IV’ blew my tits off with gorgeous jazz blended with hip-hop and electric noise. Whether it was the stage, set-up or their mood I don’t know but their performance wasn’t the blow-away event I was hoping for. Still a pretty wild ride, however.
When it came time for the night there was a choice between the great DJ’s on, including Nightmares On Wax, at the Green and Blue bar, hidden away between the woods. There was also a range of music in The Arena tent which became home to multiple dance trains and chants of “Ohhhh Jeremy Corbyn“.
I also had the pleasure of seeing my friends in Têtes De Pois play on the bandstand in the centre of the festival. The lovely Leeds lot played a killer set of their sophisticated originals and even a jazzed up cover of Redbone by Childish Gambino. Têtes De Pois got to play the Bandstand after winning a competition between 3 other artists to play there, the runners-up ‘The Thirteen Club‘ also happen to be a RouteNote artist I’ve liked for a long time – so that was all very cool.
Now one of the things that made me fall in love with Love Supreme festival so much last year was it’s atmosphere. Thanks to still being a fairly niche event the crowds are normally dedicated fans and muso’s who have come to have a good time and enjoy great music. Young and old alike, t-totallers and joint smoking teenagers can all co-exist in a land where all that matters is amazing music, being happy and loving one another. Love Supreme never fails to create this ambience.
Beyond the music there’s the food and drink. Whilst the food was once again top quality from a MASSIVE range of independent outlets featuring everything from paella, black pudding hotdogs, duck burgers, and plenty for the vegan and veggies. Drinks were a different story: Of course we all know festival drinks are overpriced but £5.50 for a coke can’s worth of beer is quite honestly a joke, as is paying almost a tenner for a double with mixer. This resulted in many sneaking drinks in, which were thankfully allowed in the campsite.
And then finally the location. Set in a gorgeous valley surrounded by trees and hills with the glorious looking Glynde Place looking down over the festival. The surrounding countryside really completes the beauty that is held at Love Supreme festival.
Despite weather predictions the sun was blazing on both Saturday on Sunday, and I like to think the love and beauty that encapsulates Love Supreme helped clear the skies for my favourite festival on earth.
It truly is A Love Supreme.
Tickets for Love Supreme 2018 go on sale tomorrow – 06/07/2018 – for super early bird price of 30% off. Find out more at : www.lovesupremefestival.com
Spotify are teaming up with “the heaviest hitters and hottest emerging artists in rap” to bring their RapCaviar playlist to audiences.
RapCaviar is the second biggest playlist on Spotify boasting more than 7 million followers tuning in to hear the latest and greatest in hip-hop. Inspired by the playlist’s popularity Spotify have teamed up with Live Nation to launch a series of hip-hop concerts spanning 6 different US cities.
RapCaviar Live will debut in Atlanta with rap legends and Atlanta locals Gucci Mane and Mike WiLL Made it performing on August the 12th. After Atlanta shows will take place in Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, New York and Toronto with the artists and dates to be announced by Spotify soon.
Spotify’s head of hip-hop, Tuma Basa said: “Proud to partner with Gucci Mane on this incarnation of the RapCaviar Vibe. Gucci was an early believer in what we are doing and it’s gonna be beautiful to see it manifest live. Taking RapCaviar on the road was just a dream for us a few years ago. This is an important milestone for Spotify, for RapCaviar, and for hip-hop in the streaming age.”
Special pre-sale tickets for Spotify Superfans are available now and tickets for the Atlanta show in The Tabernacle on the 12th of August will begin sale tomorrow. The tickets will be made available through Ticketmaster.
Spotify are bringing you personal recommendations for gigs and making it easier than ever to buy a ticket straight from Spotify.
Spotify have partnered with AXS to offer personalised recommendations for gigs and simple, one-click ticket purchases. The global partnership will find gigs nearby to users and correlate the data with their users’ listening history to serve them up recommendations for live music in their area.
AXS are a subsidiary of AEG, an American entertainment company and the largest owners of sports teams and events in the world. AXS’ senior vice president Dean DeWulf said: “This integration enables a direct connection between the 100 million Spotify users and seeing their favourite bands live. Fans, artists, promoters and our venue clients all benefit from this aligned technology – it’s a natural fit that extends the reach of the AXS platform into the Spotify ecosystem.”
Together with Spotify’s lengthy knowledge users’ music tastes and AXS’ extensive music events the two can geographically target events for who is most likely to want to go. Spotify are also introducing one-click tickets which will allow users to buy concert tickets immediately through Spotify – no hassle required.
AXS shows will be imported into Spotify’s growing Concerts section. AXS shows will also be included on Artist Pages in their personal Concerts section so it’s easy to see when and where your favourite artists are playing. They will also come up on their mobile app under ‘On Tour’ on Artist Pages and on Spotify’s bi-weekly emails in ‘Concert Recommendations’.
Reportedly Spotify have featured over 150,000 artists’ concert dates in over 100,000 venues.
Imagine a world where books blossom from trees, buildings come alive and every little road you venture down leads to something exciting. I found myself absorbed in this world for a weekend at The Great Estate Festival in Cornwall, UK.
The festival itself was set on Scorrier Estate grounds, centered around an 18th century manor house and featured an array of performances from music to comedy, poetry to fiery burlesque shows; something for every taste.
Upon entering the grounds you are led down a long and winding path. Straying from the path, you arrive at a secret serene gin garden where the sun constantly shone and you could prepare yourself for the events to come. Not too far from there I stumbled across a humble setting of an outdoor bedroom where poetry was being held in the afternoons.
The three-day event was focused around the music, performances were split between two stages and an additional, mystical tent ominously named ‘The Portal’. At first I wasn’t sure where The Portal was, then out of nowhere I was drawn through it and found myself dancing to an amazing mix of the Talking Heads classic Once in a Lifetime from Hong Kong Ping Pong. The Portal also hosted a film screening with a Q and A session of Brown Willy, a comedy about two school friends who go on a disastrous stag weekend across Bodmin Moor. In the midst of that you could witness enthralling dance performances and DJ’s.
On the main stage we were graced with phenomenal shows from Dr. Meaker – The Bristol based sound system made up of electronic and acoustic musicians, Echo and the Bunnymen – The iconic and inspirational post punk group, and Craig Charles’ Funk and Soul Show. There were also other amazing artists like Showhawk Duo, bringing us 90’s club classics on two acoustic guitars and Meadowlark, a pair feeding you thick indie electronic sound.
Over in Madam Wong’s House of Wrong we were treated to the freshness of the BBC introducing stage, which hosted intimate acoustic shows from King Creature, Rosie Crow and Daisy Clark. Throughout the day the stage hosted comedy shows and a performer who mashes up vintage circus style with fire and burlesque, Talulah Blue. All the while this was going on you could book yourself in for a tattoo.
As dusk came closer, this tent got wilder with hard-hitting performances from RSVP Bhangra who gave out sonic hugs left, right and centre and guided you through the Bollywood-Dub experience. WAXX left us wanting more of their engaging mix of grungy pop punk. Bringing the festival to a close and headlining the second stage was If I Were King, a trio of amazing musicians delivering heavy bass lines with live looped hang drums, keys and synth wrapping around vocals and guitar; they’re like the soundtrack to a lucid dream.
There were many other things to keep you occupied over the weekend and plenty for the little ones too like face painting, bouncy castles and silent discos. The Sanctuary invited you to join in with morning yoga and chakra cleansing workshops and delicious, earth friendly treats from Archie Browns and the Nature Kitchen. Throughout the festival you could indulge in some vintage attire, hand-made jewellery all while witnessing camel races and Cornish wrestling.
It’s safe to say that for a festival in its first year, it went down as a blazing success and the organisers are already planning next year’s endeavors. For more information visit greatestatefestival.co.uk. There’s still plenty of festivals left this year in Cornwall alone from Electric Beach Festival based on Great Western beach in Newquay to the renowned Boardmasters Festival, there’s still enough time to get involved.
Amazon are kicking off a bunch of live gigs across London starting with Blondie as a new exclusive benefit for Amazon Prime members.
Amazon are launching a bunch of intimate gigs with massive artists as a bonus benefit for members of their Prime service. Prime Live Events are debuting in London, UK where Amazon have begun rolling out a bunch of tickets for sale to their Prime users.
Amazon’s Prime Live Events will host their first gig on May 23rd when classic rock band Blondie will play at the Round Chapel. The tickets certainly aren’t cheap, at £150 a pop, but the value is made up by it’s exclusivity and intimate 750-person capacity stage.
In a questionable move, Amazon are only allowing one ticket purchase per Amazon Prime member, so if you wanted to treat your partner, family, friend or just wanted someone to go with… unlucky. Whilst not allowing multiple ticket sales is logical in this age of ticket scalping, especially for such an exclusive event, it seems unfair to limit it to just 1 rather than maybe a 2 ticket maximum.
For those who feel like they might lose out from the gigs’ rarity fear not, as Amazon will record each Prime Live Event for distribution on Amazon Prime Video. So anyone around the world with access to Amazon Prime Video can still catch these live and personal gigs with top artists.
Geraldine Wilson, general manager of Amazon Tickets, said: “We want to offer Prime members the best live entertainment experience they’ve ever had by giving them the chance to see their favourite artists perform up close and personal in iconic and intimate venues. We’re delighted to reveal our first line up of fantastic artists performing Prime Live Events in stunning venues to audiences of less than 800, and Prime members in the UK and internationally will have the chance to watch the performance on Prime Video.”
Debbie Harry, the lead singer of Blondie with her own successful solo career under her belt, will perform alongside her reformed band celebrating the release of their new album Pollinator. The performance will mark 40 years since the band played their first ever performance in the UK, at Bournemouth Village Bowl in 1977. Debbie Harry said: “We are excited to be performing at the first Prime Live Event marking 40 years since our first gig in the UK. The Round Chapel is an intimately warm and beautiful room allowing our fans to get up close and personal.”
Future Prime Live Events will feature Alison Moyet, Texas, and Katie Melua. Tickets go on sale on Thursday at 9:00 AM exclusively for Amazon Prime members from here: www.tickets.amazon.co.uk/prime.
In addition to Prime Live Events, Prime members now also have exclusive access to Amazon Tickets pre-sales to music, theatre and touring shows across the UK, enabling them to purchase tickets at least 24 hours before they go on sale to the general public. Furthermore, Prime members have access to premium seating options which include the exclusive Amazon lounges at The O2 and the SSE arena, Wembley in London. Lounge package tickets allow Prime members to skip the line, arrive early and enjoy food and drink in premium surroundings before taking their seats which have great views of the stage.
The most sought after re-union in all of rock and roll could happen as the 3 surviving members of Led Zeppelin may be getting back together to rock once again.
Robert Plant, singer of one of rock’s biggest and greatest bands ever – Led Zeppelin, has been teasing the world on social media with a cryptic statement. 10 years since their only gig for almost 40 years and fans are going wild at the possibility of one more chance to see the legends of rock and roll in action once more.
The teasing suspicion comes from Robert Plant’s website, which is currently blank except for the words: “Any time now…”. Whilst this could easily be a tease for an upcoming album from Plant alone or something else entirely, Zeppelin fans refuse to give up hope and are fuelled by one website which claims to have inside information on what the message means.
Someone named Raul from ‘feelnumb‘ told that his “well placed sources in the industry” told him that Led Zeppelin will reform to play Desert Trip this year. He says: “Rumor has it they turned down a reported $14 million dollar pay-day to play at last years festival and that this year there are ‘millions & millions’ of more reasons why they should do it.”
In addition the classic rock band are fast approaching their 50 year anniversary, which is apparently what has persuaded Plant to do it. Guitarist Jimmy page says that whilst he’s been keen for a reunion, Plant is the one to turn it down, saying: “Robert would rather play Led Zeppelin with his own band, not with his old band members.”
If it’s true the act would make an outstanding follow-up to last year’s impressive roster at Desert Trip, which included Paul McCartney, The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan and more classic artists. Whilst Raul may not seem the most convincing source, he claims to have revealed the Guns N’ Roses reunion line-up weeks in advance of anyone else – so fingers crossed we get to see Plant, Page, Jones and Bonham Jr ride again!
Massive live entertainment company Live Nation have just bought a majority stake in the iconic Isle of Wight Festival.
Live Nation will work with Isle of Wight festival’s leaders John Giddings and Solo Music Agency in continuing the 45 year legacy of the Isle of Wight festival. The festival has been compared to Woodstock and is widely credited as the UK’s first major music festival having hosted Jimi Hendrix, The Doors, Rolling Stones, David Bowie, Sex Pistols and many more legendary acts old and new.
The Isle of Wight Festival’s founder, John Giddings said: “After 15 hugely successful and glorious years, we have been looking at how we can elevate and take the Isle of Wight Festival to the next level. This partnership with Live Nation will give us the ability to access the company’s scale and talent pool, bringing more acts and a better experience to the UK.”
Live Nation UK’s Chairman, Denis Desmond added: “John Giddings and the Solo team have developed the Isle of Wight Festival to be one of the most iconic festival brands in the world and it’s fantastic to be able to add it to our growing and diverse portfolio of festivals.”
With the Isle of Wight festival added to Live Nation’s global roster of live music and entertainment they now have a portfolio include over 86 events around the world. Live Nation already have stakes in Download, Lollapalooza, Reading & Leeds, Bonnaroo and many more, and now they have another internationally renowned festival bringing 100 acts to eight stages on the Isle of Wight this summer. Roughly 42,000 people are expected to go and see acts like David Guetta, Run DMC, Arcade Fire and Rod Stewart.