Kara Gurr

Kara Gurr, Reporter

New venue launches to target live electronic music scene

A group of professionals in the music and events industry has launched E1, a new late-night venue set to reawaken the city’s live electronic music scene. Their names have not been disclosed, and details about the venture are minimal.

The collective is currently transforming a former factory into the new music space. Access understands that the venue owners have worked with the country’s leading promoters and production houses. “The bookers are behind  some of London’s biggest events over the last decade and the management team comes with experience from the capital’s best alternative venues,” read a statement.

An experienced team will curate a wide-range of live music, aiming to attract the best established and emerging talent in electronic music from around the world.

The creators are working with acoustic consultancy and  audio specialists Sound Services Ltd, to install a bespoke, integrated sound system “to rival any in the capital”.

The new E1 venue is said to have high-tech features including the Funktion-One sound system, and air conditioning.

E1 London will open its doors on New Year’s Eve with a 27-hour party.

The Great Escape teams up with Dutch Music Export

The festival for new music The Great Escape (TGE) has announced that the Netherlands will be its lead international partner in 2018. The live event is organised by MAMA Festivals and will take place on 17-19 May in Brighton, UK.

TGE has teamed up with Dutch Music Export for the next year’s show and together will be highlighting the Netherlands’ music industry with performances from a selection of the country’s rising musicians.

The Great Escape festival is internationally renowned for breaking the best of emerging talent from around the world, and by having a lead international partnership, the focus will be on the chosen country of that year. For over 13 years, the festival’s international partnership have played a key part reforming this ethos to enable new artists from diverse music markets.

Previous lead international partnerships have included the likes of Canada (2006), New Zealand (2009), France (2007) and Switzerland (2017).

“Dutch Music Export is proud to be the focus country at TGE 2018,” said Rudd Berends, Dutch Music Export producer.” Our country has supported and attended TGE from year one. The UK is one of the most important countries for us to present the best the Lowlands has to offer and The Great Escape provides the best platform to showcase, support and promote Dutch musical talent to not only the UK but international music industries and audiences.

The partnership has been made possible by the coming together of Dutch Music Export, powered by Eurosonic Noorderslag, Dutch Performing Arts and Buma Cultuur, with support of the embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

Rory Bett, MAMA CEO commented: “At last we are thrilled to shine a spotlight on one of our strongest most longstanding partners, the Netherlands. Since the birth of TGE in 2006 the DME has worked alongside us to bring the best Dutch artists to the festival, our convention and line-up has grown from strength to strength with their support and incredible music scene. 2018 is the perfect time to put the very best the Netherlands has to offer at the forefront of our festival.”

Appointments round-up

Ricoh Arena

Stuart Cain

Wasps has appointed Stuart Cain, a senior sports and live events industry figure, as new commercial director to help drive the club forward and increase usage of the Ricoh Arena’s event facilities.

Cain served seven years at the NEC Group (NEC; ICC; Barclaycard and Genting Arenas) as managing director.

AVT Connect

Nadine Wray

Nadine Wray has been appointment as senior account manager for AVT Connect, the live event and digital communication specialists.

Director of client services Becky Deo commented: “Nadine has deep knowledge in all aspects of event project management and planning with a particular emphasis on the international pharmaceutical industry. Her enthusiasm and dedication is obvious straight away and she has already delivered global projects to the very highest standard.”

Imago Venues

Imago Venues has chosen Keith Barber for the newly created role of Head of Venues. The appointment has been made as the conference and event arm of Loughborough University looks to align its venues more closely as it delivers a seamless customer journey.

Barber commented: “My role will allow a more strategic view of operations across the portfolio of venues going forward for a more joined up approach. There are already a number of initiatives which have been put into action and this is already creating a better team experience across the venues.”


Jamie Ades

Jamie Ades

As part of its ongoing aim to develop association business and strengthen its foothold in the market, the Barbican has contracted Jamie Ades as head of associations.

Ades brings a wealth of association knowledge to the team with past experience in association focused roles at Park Plaza Hotel Group and ExCel London. He will be working alongside head of sales, Oliver Hargreaves to deliver on the Barbican’s long term strategic goals, which include a focus on association events aligned to the venue’s ethos and principals, including the arts and culture.


Melle Pama and Philippa Fann

Melle Pama and Philippa Fann

Freeman has appointed two new directors to its agency team at FreemanXP in EMEA. Philippa Fann joins as director of client services, and Melle Pama has come onboard as creative director.

Fann brings 25 years’ event industry experience to the business, working both in the United Kingdom and South Africa. Pama specialises in creating and realising brand activation projects for top companies.

NOEA announces awards shortlist for 2017

Michael Eavis CBE, Glastonbury Festival founder

Michael Eavis CBE, Glastonbury Festival founder

The shortlist for the National Outdoor Events Association (NOEA) Awards 2017 has been announced. The 14th annual convention and awards dinner will be held at the Roman Baths and Pump Rooms on the 22 November. The event will see the very best of organisations in the industry recognised.

Susan Tanner, NOEA’s chief executive, commented: “This year saw a 50 per cent increase in nominations across all categories for the awards which was unprecedented. Consequently our judges had a hard job to decide on the three or four shortlisted in each category today.”

“The quality of entry has once again improved from previous years, and some amazing events have applied,” said Alistair Turner, head judge and managing director of EIGHT PR & Marketing, added. “The strength of entries was excellent and seeing some events come back with even more success shows their commitment to the awards. It is a huge achievement for those shortlisted today and we look forward to seeing who is named as winners in November.”

Full Shortlist

Best Practice Award

  • Swansea Council
  • Bournemouth 7s Festival
  • Just So Festival

Caterer of the Year Award

  • Dorshi Dumpling
  • Lalita’s Vegan Kitchen
  • StarChip Enterprise UK Ltd

Event Innovation of the Year Award

  • Entertee Hire
  • Eventmen
  • BATFAST Cricket Centres

Event of the Year Award

  • Culture Liverpool
  • Henley Festival
  • Swansea Council for Air Show
  • Bath Christmas Market

Event Organiser of the Year Award

  • Eat Festivals
  • James Dean Events
  • Swansea Council

Event Supplier of the Year

  • Barserve Co
  • Creator International
  • Eco Track & Access
  • Knight Rigging Service
  • PKL Group Event

Team of the Year Award

  • Wonder Fields Festival
  • Civi Events
  • TTK Welfare

Large Festival of the Year Award

  • Liverpool International Music Festival
  • Eden Sessions 2017
  • End of the Road Festival
  • Henley Festival

Medical Provider of the Year Award

  • Ambulance Scotland
  • SE Medical
  • SportsMedics Ltd

PR Campaign of the Year

  • Eat Festivals
  • Samphire Festival
  • The Women’s Tour Production

Partnership Year Award

  • Creator International with Hooper Events Ltd
  • Eden Sessions with John Empson and TAO Productions
  • EFS Europe Ltd with N L Leisure
  • Event Wine Solutions with Pop Up Hotel

Small Event of the Year

  • Eat Festivals
  • Eilean Dorcha Festival
  • Pub in the Park
  • World Yoga Festival

Small Festival of the Year

  • Just So Festival
  • Lechlade Festival
  • Samphire Festival
  • Tiree Music Festival

Sporting Event of the Year Award

  • Tour Of Britain
  • Bournemouth 7s Festivals

Student Event of the Year

  • Bournemouth University
  • Robert Gordon University

The NOEA Scotland Tribute Award

  • Beltane Fire Festival for the Fire Festival
  • Rural Projects for Gardening Scotland
  • PDF Productions for Party at the Palace
  • Falkirk Community Trust for Fire & Light

Technological Innovation of the Year Award

  • Swansea Council
  • Katjes Magic Candy Factory

Never judge a festival by its cover

In the midst of autumn, when everyone is reaching for a cup of hot cocoa and a good book, organisers of the London Literature Festival are gearing up for another educational event, showcasing some of the best writers in world.

There is nothing quite like strolling into a bookstore and opening the pages to reveal that comforting smell of ink on paper. Whether that is a local Waterstones, or an old antic-store that in the dusty corner, delving into realms of literature that can get you lost in your own imagination. That is something that everyone shares with words thoughtfully placed onto a page is that you can get lost within an entirely different setting, somewhere you can get lost for a day. This is what novelists and readers share alike.

Tom Hanks will discuss his first collection of short stories, Uncommon Type

Throughout the month of October, novelists and poets will be travelling from all across the world to gather at London Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall for a celebration with the London Literature Festival and Poetry International. The Festival features twenty days of live readings, performances, talks and workshops with writers from all different types of backgrounds.

Festival highlights

This year, the festival is turning its focus towards Nordic Literature with the thought-provoking theme of ‘World on the Brink’, combining the topics of politics and the planet. Panel discussions throughout the Nordic weekend (21–22) will push discuss the power of language, as other talks will explore the concept of home and the relation with refugees. The highlight announcements have been Hillary Rodham Clinton, who will discuss her new book in which she is said to ‘let her guard down’ about the presidential race in the memoir What Happened, and Tom Hanks who will be talking about Uncommon Type, his debut collection of short stories.

American portrait photographer, Annie Leibovitz will be presenting a selection of word from her new book, Annie Leibovitz: Portraits 2005-2016. Featuring artists, writers, actors, politicians, athletes and royals who have shaped various time periods, with the likes of Leonard Cohen and Barack Obama.

The Young Adult Literature weekend (28–29) welcomes novelists, bloggers, vloggers, poets and spoken word artists such as Juno Dawson, Hannah Witton and Samantha Shannon.

Norwegian writer Karl Ove Knausgård will be talking about his latest release, Autumn, for ‘World on the Brink’

Poetry International is celebrating its 50th anniversary with special guests Claudia Rankine, Arundhathi Subramaniam and Yang Lian, which began in 1967 and with today being National Poetry Day, it only makes sense to speak to one of the programmers of the festival.

Access speaks to Bea Colley, a literature programmer at Southbank Centre to discuss the challenging troubles of the world that has inspired the festival’s lineup this year.

Endangered languages

Touching on endangered languages again, we have an event called 7000 Words for Human: Endangered Poetry, which will highlight the National Poetry Library’s call-out. Five poets who write in endangered languages or in languages that have been lost to them personally through displacement have been commissioned to write a new poem in their mother tongue. We are honoured that First Nation poet Joy Harjo from Oklahoma is joining us, writing in Mvskoke, the language of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation.

We also have the as yet unpublished letters of poet Sylvia Plath in a live reading from writers and actors, and finally our sell-out Young Adult Literature Weekender showcasing some of the best writers for young people, features amongst other things a panel discussion around Stripes Publishing’s, A Change Is Gonna Come, a new anthology of short stories and poetry for young adults written by authors from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) backgrounds.

Laura Dockdrill, performer and YA author is set to attend the festival

Can you tell me a little more about Poetry International and how the Endangered Poetry Project came about? 

It’s the 50th anniversary of Poetry International here at Southbank Centre, a festival which was set up by Ted Hughes in 1967 to represent some of the very real questions of displacement, exile and alienation that poets writing from the shifting plates of Europe and further afield were experiencing. Hughes said that poetry is ‘a universal language of understanding in which we can all hope to meet’ and this is really inspiration for the festival in its current form, with poets from across the globe including Claudia Rankine, Anne Carson, Joy Harjo, Yang Lian and more speaking many different languages and bringing many different concerns and urgencies to this one meeting point. For the first time Poetry International joins with our annual London Literature Festival and runs from 13–15 October.

Claudia Rankine, will attend the 50th celebration of Poetry International

Building on the history of the festival and on Southbank Centre’s 2012 Poetry Parnassus, which was the largest poetry festival ever to take place in the UK, Southbank Centre’s National Poetry Library wants to preserve poetry in many different languages. According to UNESCO, half of the world’s languages are endangered with languages dying out at the rate of one every two weeks. On National Poetry Day 2017, Southbank Centre’s National Poetry Library is making an international call out to collect poems in endangered languages. The Library aims to archive a poem from as many of the languages that are classed as endangered or at risk as possible, so that future generations can enjoy these poems as we do. We are also commissioning 5 poets to write poems in languages which are endangered or under threat and these poems will receive their world premiere performance at an event at Poetry International on Saturday 14 October.

How does the festival’s lineup take shape?

I am a Literature Programmer here at Southbank Centre so work on our festival programme which entails around 14 festivals per year – from Imagine Children’s Festival to WOW-Women of the World to Alchemy Festival of South Asian arts and culture to the annual London Literature Festival. We also have a year-round literature programme with large scale events such as the godmother of sci-fi and author of the hugely popular The Handmaid’s Tale, Margaret Atwood, as well as the regular Polari series, a night supporting LGBTQ+ established and emerging writers.

With London Literature Festival, we usually focus on a theme with this year’s being ‘World on the Brink’ looking at a swiftly shifting world from climate change to political turmoil to endangerment of language and community. The Literature team gathers ideas and works with partner organisations to create the giant tetris that is a Southbank Centre festival!

Hannah Witton will take to the stage to discuss her book, Doing It, as part of the Young Adult Literature Weekend

What are your future plans for the festival? 

Poetry International as part of London Literature Festival is celebrating its 50th birthday and we very much hope it is around for another 50 years. With no end to the turbulence in the news from continuing wars to the threat from nuclear powers to the refugee crisis and social inequality, we need poets more than ever, to explain and make sense of the world for us. During the continuing refugee crisis, Somali poet Warsan Shire’s poem ‘Home is the Mouth of a Shark’ was shared thousands of times on social media; it was a poem of understanding and tolerance that the general public reached for at this time. Poetry is as vital as it has ever been and offers us comfort and a way of comprehending the world we live in so the festival will continue to grow and shift and respond to our times.

 In terms of some of the bigger names we have at Southbank Centre for this year’s festival, I am really looking forward to seeing Rebecca Solnit with her brilliant and inspired views on gender and social change and also to seeing Forward Prize winning poet Claudia Rankine whose innovative collection Citizen pushes the boundaries between prose, poetry and essay in its often shocking depiction of racism in America.

But the festival isn’t just straightforward events. We will have the dreams of refugee communities projected in lights on the walls of Royal Festival Hall building exterior across the whole festival in a project from Danish poet and artist Morten Søndergaard. We also have a selection of artworks from Sámi artists, tying in with our year-long programme Nordic Matters, which looks at ideas of loss of land and threats to culture and traditions alongside a new half term programme of children’s events including the Children’s’ Laureate Lauren Child.


Southbank Centre’s London Literature Festival featuring Poetry International which will be running from 13 October–1 November. For more details, please visit the Southbank Centre


AIF unveils Festival Congress 2017 programme

The Association of Independent Festivals (AIF) has announced further details of its flagship event in Cardiff, featuring a two-day conference and the Independent Festival Awards.  
Confirmed for 30–31 October, the fourth annual Festival Congress will play host to over 400 delegates, but possibly for the last time in the Welsh capital, as bids to organise and host the congress are currently under consideration.
Extending the ‘Pseudoscience’ theme of this year, the first day of the conference will take place within the spectacular surroundings of National Museum Cardiff, with the second day at the Wales Millennium Centre (WMC) featuring a packed day of smaller-scale panels and workshops entitled ‘Festivals Under the Microscope’.  
Festival Congress is a ‘must-attend’ date in the festival and live music calendar. Expect debates on key industry-wide issues, enlightening workshops and illuminating speakers.  
The first day of the conference will see a headline panel discussion on AIF’s ‘Safer Spaces’ campaign featuring Kate Lloyd (features editor, Time Out), Rebecca Hitchen (Rape Crisis South London), Tracey Wise (Safe Gigs for Women) and Ami Lord (Standon Calling), in addition to a Question Time-style political debate that will include UK Music CEO Michael Dugher and YouRope general secretary Christof Huber.
There will be 15 separate workshops on the second day, with topics ranging from counter-terrorism training, crisis communications, digital marketing trends and staff welfare to direct licensing and festival growing pains. Among the features are Instagram for live events delivered by Music Ally and top tips for contingency planning delivered by the Event Safety Shop.
AIF is also partnering with Musicians Union for a discussion of line-ups and gender at festivals featuring MU artists and AIF promoters.    
The ‘Building new worlds’ panel will explore how creative production, visual arts, décor, interactive experiences and installations contribute to a festival’s identity. Among the panel, with some of the most creative brains in the industry, are House of Bestival and others. There will be a ‘Sustainability focus’ session curated by Shambala festival in addition to new quick-fire talks on booking artists by Ian Evans (IME Music), upscaling events and managing growth by Nick Morgan (The Fair) and the progress of the Fanfair Alliance on secondary ticketing by Annabella Coldrick (CEO of the Music Managers Forum).
Previously announced speakers include a keynote from John McGrath (artistic director, Manchester International Festival), Zoe Cormier (Author of Sex, Drugs & Rock N Roll: The Science of Hedonism and the Hedonism of Science) and John Kampfner (chief executive, Creative Industries Federation).
AIF general manager Paul Reed commented: “Following an eventful season, Festival Congress is an invaluable forum to debate the issues, challenges and opportunities facing the festival sector. We’re pleased to announce our most eclectic group of speakers and topics yet. From a day at the museum to the awards party and a packed day of festivals under the microscope, the event promises be a fun and informative couple of days.”      
The Independent Festival Awards takes place on the evening of 30 October at DEPOT, Cardiff, followed by a dedicated after-party at The Big Top venue. Awards nominees will be announced in October.
Tickets to the AIF Festival Congress are on sale now at £100 for AIF members, £135 for Friends of AIF and £200 on general sale available through headline sponsor The TicketSellers. Visit www.festivalcongress.com for tickets.
PlayPass are the exclusive RFID partner for the Congress and BIMM will again be the educational partner.
Attendees include notable festival organisers from the likes of Glastonbury, Bestival, Boomtown Fair, Kendal Calling, Shambala, End of the Road, Liverpool Sound City and many more. The event also invites speakers from every corner of the music sphere with a speaker alumni of Jude Kelly OBE (artistic director, Southbank Centre), Huw Stephens (Radio One and Swn Festival co-founder), Simon Parkes (founder, Brixton Academy), Professor Tim O’Brien (Jodrell Bank observatory), Robert Richards (commercial director, Glastonbury) and many more.

US plans for Frank Turner’s Lost Evenings festival

Frank Turner’s Lost Evenings festival is set to return to London next year with future plans to hit the US.

The four-day event will be coming back on 11–14 May 2018 with plans for an international edition of the event the following year in 2019. Lost Evenings was focused on two stages at the Roundhouse in Camden, with elements of film, DJs, panel discussions on the topics of mental health, digital technology and women in the industry.

This year the event key panels focused on the topics of ‘The Business’, ‘Women & The Industry’, ‘Getting Gigs’, ‘Mental Health, Erasing the Stigma’, ‘Digital Generation’, ‘How to Access Funding’ and a keynote speech from Radio 1’s Gemma Cairney.

“We’ve just announced it and Frank will be playing again,” Charlie Caplowe, Xtra Mile label founder and Turner’s manager commented. “We’re talking about maybe taking it elsewhere in 2019, possibly in the States.”

“One of the things I wanted to achieve with this little festival is to try and build a sense of community,” said Frank Turner during the opening night.

In partnership with OneFest, the non-profitable UK music industry development company, Turner curated the 2017 Lost Evenings line-up with musical associations and fellow musicians on the Xtra Mile Label, including acts Beans On Toast, Skinny Lister, Sam Duckworth, Will Varley, Ducking Punches and Non Canon.

“So much work went into that weekend, it’s lovely to see it recognised,” said Turner.

The Future Of_ returns to London

Creative reps agency Propela has announced that the talks series The Future Of_ will be taking place during London Design Week on 20 September.

The Future Of_ has been curated and produced by Propela to showcase the next generation of thought leaders through a live dragons-den style pitch. Post-graduate students are set to pitch their futuristic projects to the audience for a cash prize.

This year’s finalist students include Maria Apud Bell from Royal College of Art, Martina Rocca from Central St Martins, and Lucy Hardcastle from the Royal College of Art.

 “The theme of the event is because artists and designers are using facts and scientific results from today and are putting them into the future,” said Deborah Rey-Burns, founder of The Future Of_ and director at Propela.
Rey-Burns continued: “If we want advances to happen, we need to get the right people in the room. We have brands like Samsung, Loréal and Google attending. The room will be full of people who can make this happen. That is why we are doing it.”
The event brings together artists, futurists, and designers to discuss the themes of wellness, nature, humanity, paper and consumption. Featuring WIRED Innovation fellow Rachel Wingfield, author Paula Zuccotti, TED speakers Dr Kate Stone and Natsai Audrey Chieza, and speculative architect Liam Young.

Appointments round-up

Newbury Racecourse

Newbury Racecourse has strengthened its team with the addition of Sarah Richardson, a recent graduate from Liverpool John Moore’s University. Richardson is now marketing assistant following her success of her internship at the venue.

After exceeding expectations during her year-long placement at Newbury Racecourse, Richardson will be focusing on delivery e-communications, helping to execute the venue’s conference and events marketings plan.

Thorns Group

Stuart McDonald has been promoted to regional sales manager after working with Thorns Group for over two years as business sales account manager. McDonald has played an important roles in the rapid development and expansion of the core business in North West England.


Following substantial growth, the event production company Hawthorn, is expanding its project management team in London and the Midlands.

Hawthorn has welcomed Kate Doughty to its Leicestershire based team while Same Kilby and Paul Leimonas are set to join the London division.

Jockey Club

Jockey Club Venues London has appointed Stephanie Grove as regional business development executive at Kempton Park Racecourse. Groves joins the group from her role as conference an events manager at Chessington World of Adventures Resort.

Grove will be responsible for selling conference and events packages, identifying and targeting new customers and sectors, whilst working closely with the marketing team.

Nick Hart and Dan Orchard

Anna Valley

The AV company, Anna Valley, has created new business development teams to identify and develop opportunities within events and integration business units. The restructure includes the appointment of Dan Orchard, for the role of director of business development.

Anna Valley director and co-owner, Nick hart, has assumed responsibility for sales across the companies units while each department’s business development team maintains a sector-specific focus.

Somerset House launches exclusive ice rink hire

This winter, the arts and culture event space, Somerset House will launch three new corporate hire packages for its celebrated ice rink.

Guests attending Somerset House will be able to enjoy the Christmas backdrop, with the famous 40ft Christmas tree which takes centre stage in the 18th century Edmond J. Safra Fountain Court.

All three of the winter packages for 2017 have been tailored to event planners and companies looking to mark the festive season with a truly unique experience.

Ranging from exclusive private hire of the ice rink before it opens to the public, to the hire of the Portico rooms and Navy Board rooms over Thames, the packages can also offer up to 80 tickets per public session for guests to skate as a group in conjunction with booking event space at Somerset House.

“Our iconic venue is already well known for its festive atmosphere and Skate at Somerset House with Fortnum & Mason,” said Jenny Freestone, head of corporate events at Somerset House.

In previous years, the building has played host to winter events such as Fortnum’s Christmas Arcade and the immersive virtual reality experience, Björk Digital.

“For Christmas 2017, we are very excited to be able to offer guests exclusive hire of the ice rink to celebrate the festive season in style. We have created three versatile options to fit with individual company needs,” added Freestone.

The ice skating rink will open to the public on 15 November until 14 January.