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News items for 2014
Leicester venue to cease operating
Lock42, the music venue located on Frog Island, is to cease to operate. The owners of the building in which it is situated – Stayfree Music – have decided to close it down. Promoter Andy Wright told us: “Lock42 will cease trading as a live music venue on a temporary basis until the area around us enters into a period of regeneration. We were led to believe by the local authorities 5 years ago that there was a 5 year plan of regeneration centred around this area but obviously this hasn’t happened and indeed the area seems to have deteriorated further in this time.” Andy added “Lock42 will reconsider this decision in time when appropriate. In the meantime the venue will be handed back to Stayfree Music who will be using it for more rehearsal space.”
Meanwhile the Council-sponsored website Visit Leicester continued to list the venue: ‘Lock 42 is a versatile live music venue situated on Frog Island, home to a venue and stay free music studios. Lock 42 hosts regular gigs from Leicester’s music scene and up and coming bands, previously hosting rising indie bands The Fixers, The Crookes and an early gig by The Vaccines.
Lock 42, 2-4 Frog Island, Leicester LE3 5AG.’
We intend to ask City Mayor Peter Soulsby why there has been little progress with the regeneration of the Frog Island area.
Kasabian gig is a sell out
The Kasabian home-coming gig has sold out, reports The De Montfort Hall. The event, to be held on Victoria Park, takes place on 21st June. In a background piece about the band, band member Serge Pizzorno said: “We are hugely honoured to be playing in our home town at such an incredible setting right in the heart of the city. It’s a happening we’ve been planning for years. Summer solstice is coming; set the controls for the heart of the sun.”
Live Nation, the company that is organising the show (they also mounted this weekend’s Download festival), organiser Andy Copping said “Having worked with Kasabian from the very early days, it has been my dream to stage a really big “homecoming” show for them. The band is very proud of Leicester and this means more to them then any other show they have ever played. Having liaised with the local authority over the last few years to see if it was possible, I am overjoyed that we are finally able to make it happen. I really hope that the people of Leicester will get behind this event and celebrate the success of one of their own.”
Meeting of the Leicester Music Forum
The Leicester Music Forum is an open monthly meeting for people involved in the Leicester music scene, ranging from musicians to promoters, the assemblies provide a platform for people to share ideas, concerns and to contribute to the advancement of music in our local area.
Tonight’s meeting, this time held at the Musician, considered progress on organising a central list of gigs throughout the city’s venues and heard Carol Leeming’s call for examples of partnerships in music. Dawson Smith reported on preparations being made by the City Council for the City Festival, to be held in August. The next meeting will be held in May.
Charlotte re-opens as a pub
Leicester’s legendary music venue, The Charlotte, opened it doors again tonight, this time as a pub. After a substantial refurbishment few people would recognise the inside now but old-timers might see some features still intact from the venue as it was. The main room has had a complete makeover but the red quarry tiles are still in place. Outside there is a patio area and the back wall of this still displays the word CHARLOTTE which some people will remember from the back of the stage.
The Charlotte, as a main live music venue, developed from the pub known as The Princess Charlotte, when it was taken over by promoter Andy Wright. It eventually closed in January 2009 having opened in 1989. It re-opened for a time in 2010 before finally closing while the building was converted into student flats. In its last full year the stages was visited by bands such as The Courteeners, Elliott Minor, Sonic Boom Six, The Rifles, Little Man Tate, Twisted Wheele, The Mystery Jets, Danananananakroyd, Does It Offend You Yeah, Example and pretty much all of the local bands who were big at the time.
The pub is now open seven days a week from 12 to 12, and plans to put on some live music events during the student holidays. The Charlotte is at 8 Oxford Street, opposite De Montfort University.
Easter Band Academy
The UK’s newest music academy has opened its door and is running its first courses. Gary Moore told us “We still have some availability for the second week for the Academy.”
Leicester Music Awards launched.
Leicester is to be one of the few cities in the UK to make awards to bands and artists. A website was published today to provide information about the planned awards, although as its says, that is ‘coming soon.’ The aim of the Awards is stated on the new site: ‘ The awards will recognise, celebrate and honour the outstanding achievements that local musicians and other individuals have made to the Leicester music scene.’
The website Leicestershire music published a news item on this in which it reports that ‘LMA aim to celebrate the array of talent in both the City and County, In a year that has seen a huge amount of talent hit the spotlight and firmly put the local music industry well and truly on the map.’ [Leicestershire Music News]
A Facebook page has also been created.
The concept of the Awards is due to be discussed at the meeting of the Leicester Music Forum set for Monday 14th April at The Musician ( 7 p.m.)
News items for 2013
LEICESTERSHIRE BANDS INVITED TO BATTLE IT OUT FOR CHANCE TO PERFORM ALONGSIDE A-LISTERS
PLAY @ LMF competition will see two local bands join the star line-up at the inaugural Leicester Music Festival.
Leicester’s burgeoning local band scene is invited to get involved in the biggest music event to hit the city in recent history – with a slot sharing the stage with A-list artists up for grabs.
PLAY @ LMF will offer the chance for unsigned bands from Leicestershire and the Midlands to prove to a credible panel of judges that they deserve a place on the line-up at the Leicester Music Festival.
Two winners will perform on the same stage as million-selling acts such as Professor Green, Union J, Billy Ocean and Soul II Soul, with one band each playing to a crowd of 22,000 music lovers on Friday 25 and Saturday 26 July 2014.
Launching today, the competition will whittle down entries through online voting and a series of live heats, which will take place in venues across Leicester from March 2014.
To sign up, bands must register their details online and upload a sample of their music (audio or video) to the dedicated PLAY @ LMF Facebook group before entries close on 31 January 2014.
A maximum of 150 entrants selected by the PLAY @ LMF team will be progressed into round two of elimination by public vote. A total of 50 bands can progress to live heats, based on the number of unique votes cast on the Play at LMF website.
Successful bands who make it through to live heats will be judged by an expert panel to be announced on the day. Judging criteria will include performance, musical ability, originality and fan response.
Entry conditions include that acts must have at least one member who resides in or was born in Leicestershire or the Midlands, and they must not have been signed to a record label.
X factor star to perform in Leicester
LEICESTER singing sensation Sam Bailey returns to the city tomorrow (Wednesday 11 December) after securing a place in the final of this year’s X Factor.
The prison officer from Leicester Forest East, whose emotional performances have captivated audiences since her first TV appearance back in August, will thank the thousands of Leicestershire fans who have voted for her each week by staging a homecoming gig in the city’s cultural quarter.
Some 1,800 free tickets for the event – which will be filmed for The X Factor – will be handed out on a first-come, first-served basis from 10 am tomorrow at the Athena on Rutland Street.
A maximum of three tickets for the show – which will also take place at the Athena – will be issued per person. Those who miss out on a ticket can still enjoy Sam’s homecoming by gathering outside Curve, in Orton Square, from 5pm to watch the fireworks that will greet her arrival on the red carpet.
City Mayor Peter Soulsby said: “Sam’s achievement is extraordinary, when you consider the competition she has had to overcome to secure a place in the X Factor final.
“She is clearly a gifted singer whose talents have finally been given the recognition they deserve.
“Leicester is extremely proud of Sam and I’m sure the people of the city and the county will turn out in force on Wednesday to welcome her home – and to wish her luck in the final.”
Sam – who is the favourite to win this weekend’s final – said: “I want to thank all the people who have voted for me and continue to believe in me. “This is a dream come true for me and I will give it my all to win the final. “I just need everyone to be behind me and to keep voting.” Sam is expected to spend at least 30 minutes meeting fans during the red carpet event, before she makes her way into the Athena to prepare for the gig.
Sam Bailey: The Homecoming has been organised by Thames TV in partnership with Leicester City Council.
[Source: LCC press office]
National star booked for 2014 Festival
Professor Green is to headline the Leicester Music Festival in 2014, reports the Leicester Mercury.
The new festival is planned to take place in July at the Welford Road Rugby ground. The festival is being organised by local businesses and is reported to be booking big UK acts. Two other acts have been announced – Billy Ocean and Soul II Soul – according to the newspaper’s article. Earlier this year the company behind the festival – Kong events – put on Alexander O’Neal at the O2 Academy.
The Leicester Music Festival is to take place on 25th to 26th July at the Welford Road rugby stadium. Crowds of up to 22,000 are expected to attend for each day.
Organisers Shane Whitfield and Manoj Keshavji announced they have promised to bring a wide array of music from Soul, R’n’b, Hip Hop and Pop. They are hoping that the festival will help Leicester to attract larger events and bring commerce to the city. Manoj said “Be proud of your City, Be proud of Leicester.”
Leicester Music Festival is being held at Welford Road Stadium, which is home to the Leicester Tigers, The best-supported and most successful club in English rugby, Leicester Tigers occupy an enviable position in the game both at home and abroad. From domination of the Midlands Cup in their formative years to national knockout cup conquests and on to a place at the top of the professional game, nine English league titles and back-to-back European crowns, Leicester have set the benchmark for others to follow.
Film documents 40 years of Black music in Leicester
A film brought out by 2FunkyArts presents artists and musicians from Leicester’s Black community talking about the way in which their music has developed over the past 40 years and up to the present day. This fascinating and important film was premiered at Phoenix tonight with many people from the world of music in attendance.
A news item on the BBC website today indicated interest in organising a major new music festival in Leicester.
The news item suggests that Victoria Park would see a major new Festival to replace Summer Sundae.
The news story suggests that the festival might go ahead between June and August next year.
Summer Sundae cut
Leicester SummerSundae Weekender festival has been axed, organisers of the event announced today.
Summer Sundae Weekender posted on its Facebook page that the annual event would not be returning in 2014.
Their posting comments: ‘ Sadly we have found that running a city-centre event of this size with such an array of entertainment and professional production standards is just not possible in the current economic climate.’
Some critics of the festival have commented that expenditure on production last year was extravagant and lavish.
Many music fans will miss the festival and be sad to see it go. Over the 12 years that it has been running, the festival has attracted attenders from all over Europe. Its stages have provided slots for big international level bands and, very importantly, to rising local bands, like The Heroes, Vows, Little Night Terrors, Park Bench Society, Mahalia and Jake Bugg.
A previous announcement explained that the festival would not take place in 2013.
Leicester singer honoured
Carol Leeming, singer and Artistic Director of Dare to Diva, has been made a Fellow of the Royal Society for The Arts.
This follows her nomination, by a RSA Council Member and her subsequent election to the Society.