This Saturday I went and saw ‘Floyd Collins’ at the Southwark Playhouse. I strongly advise you to do the same before it closes on 31 Mar. The play follows its eponymous hero (if hero is the word), whose dream of finding an underground cave that will attract tourists from miles around becomes ironically true when he becomes trapped in a narrow tunnel looking for one. The true story, which happened in 1925, became a huge media circus, and has echoes of the 2010 Chilean mining accident in that sense. It’s an amazingly well produced show, and you won’t find a better setting for it than the dark, damp tunnels under London Bridge Station that make up the Playhouse Vaults. So go and get tickets before it’s too late. But now, some more music industry-focused events taking place this week.
01: South By Southwest. The international barbeque festival in Texas is underway again, with plenty of entertainment laid on to keep you going between meat-tasting sessions. Folks began talking about technology and film last week, but are prohibited from talking about music until tomorrow, when all the world’s bands will spend six days trying to be more interesting than barbequed meat. No mean feat. Some music industry folk will be easing themselves into things today by stopping off at New York Sound City, featuring a day of panel debates and a gig in the evening, but no barbeque.
02: Channel Islanders fight the VAT loophole closure. Last year it was announced by the government that Low Value Consignment Relief for the Channel Islands would be stopped. This meant that mail order companies based there would no longer be able to avoid paying VAT on low price goods such as CDs and DVDs sent back to the UK mainland. While British retailers without offshore bases jumped for joy at the end of LVCR on the islands, a group of Channel Islanders led by Derek Coates, CEO of a Guernsey-based mail-order company called Healthspan, were less pleased and said that they would fight the move on discriminations grounds (due to the loophole not being closed for other non-EU countries). That challenge will reach the courts tomorrow.
03: Green Events & Innovations Conference. Another conference now, and the second annual Green Events & Innovations Conference, which aims to encourage and enable the festival sector to be more eco-friendly, will take place at London’s Southbank Centre this Friday. Hosted by A Greener Festival and Bucks New University, and supported by the Association of Independent Festivals, this year’s conference will look at, amongst other things, minimising water use at festivals, sustainable food and catering options, and the economics of sustainable events.
04: New releases. With most of the music industry currently out of action due to the ingestion of too much barbequed meat (either because they’re in Texas and can’t refuse it, or out of angry over-eating due to being stuck back here in the UK), the recent flurry of new releases and gigs has slowed down somewhat this week. However, a week when Grimes releases her new album ‘Visions’, plus you can get hold of a new Grinderman remix album and a Le Tigre live EP, is still a pretty bloody good week.
05: Gigs. Amazingly, there are still some bands who aren’t in Texas too, so those of us stuck back on this side of the stupid Atlantic won’t be completely without entertainment. Three Trapped Tigers will be playing a second launch show for their newly released collection made up of their first three EPs at Village Underground in London on Wednesday, and on Friday BBC 6music will be taking over the Southbank Centre with a whole load of performances to celebrate the station’s tenth anniversary. Meanwhile on tour this week are Spiritualized, Wild Beasts and Summer Camp.
And don’t forget that the latest edition of the CMU podcast is available for you to listen to right here.
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