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Róisín Gadelrab’s music news

Venue sponsorship debate; Toots and the Maytals at Barbican Hall; Monster Truck; Peruvian independence day; Curtis Stigers at Ronnie Scott’s

27 July, 2017 — By Róisín Gadelrab

The Forum in Kentish Town

HOW much does art benefit from private companies sponsoring venues? This week’s announcement that O2 has renewed its sponsorship of 19 Academy venues across the UK, including The Forum in Kentish Town, brings its own questions. Part of the deal is that twice as many priority tickets will be saved for O2 customers at all O2 Academy venues and Live Nation Shows (of which there are many). So, your chances of getting a ticket for your favourite artist are directly affected by the type of mobile phone contract you hold. This is nothing new but, as these allocations are increased, general release access is reduced. Secondly, new tech will be installed in all venues to monitor crowd movement, reaction, calories burned, etc, with audience members given a digital memento and artists given feedback about which song went down the best, crowd reactions and more. Apart from the obvious privacy questions, do artists really want such detailed reports to dictate how they plan their set? Won’t such data just contribute to the creation of uniform gigs, smoothing out the unpredictability that comes with attending a live concert? As music venues struggle, sponsorship may be a good way to help them stay open, but at what price?

• REGGAE and Ska founding fathers Toots and the Maytals bring the summer spirit to the Barbican Hall on Friday with a performance of classics from their back catalogue – we defy you not to smile through this one.

• IF you’re lucky, you can catch Monster Truck (above) play a special intimate gig at the Big Red on Holloway Road tomorrow (Friday), ahead of their mainstage performances at Steelhouse and Ramblin’ Man this weekend.

OLD Street’s Ceviche celebrates Peruvian independence day with a fiesta of food, culture and live music from Kieffer Santander & Lokandes with chef and DJ Martin Morales on the decks on Friday.

• SAXOPHONE smoothie Curtis Stigers performs Sinatra At The Sands at Ronnie Scott’s between July 30 and August 4 as part of the celebrated venue’s Big Band season.

HÒ-RÒ (above) perform an intimate concert in the basement of the Harrison, King’s Cross, on July 31. Expect an evening of vibrant Scottish traditional folk and song, advance tickets are available from

• TOO Many Zooz (above) rose to internet stardom busking on the NY subway, attracting a personal phone call from Beyoncé and ending up featuring on her Lemonade album. They play Koko August 1.

WILLIAM The Conqueror (above) launch their debut album, Proud Disturbers of the Peace, at The Social on August 2.


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