SEARCH DATE RANGE

SEARCH TERM OR WORD


CC: Ben Wallace MP
CC: Boris, Number 10 Downing Street
CC: Preston City Council
CC: Oliver Dowden, Culture Minister.

21st October 2020

It’s been a tough year for lots of people and it’s certainly no exception at Skiddle. The Covid-19 pandemic has decimated the industry and not only brought our income (which is 98% ticket sales) to a complete halt, but has in fact reversed as we have refunded many millions of pounds back to our fantastic customers.

We are currently operating at a maximum of 15% of our usual income, and the reserves that we have spent so many years reinvesting into our business are dwindling.

We’ve worked hard to maintain fantastic relationships between event organisers and customers, and yes we decided to refund booking fees back to customers in credit form that they can use on the site again in the future.

We realise this wasn’t ideal, but as our only form of income we needed to retain this so we could keep Skiddle afloat and as many people in work as possible.

At present, there are no clear signs of a recovery for the industry. We absolutely enthuse at people’s risk in organising normal events for 2021 and it’s amazing to see customers support these events with advanced purchases. Across the country, there is a smattering of creative, socially distanced events taking place which are keeping the music alive (and people sane) but we are still a long way from being back to normal.

Unfortunately, we have had to lose some fantastic members of staff (around 20 in total), we have closed one of our offices. We had to outlay on digital phone systems and purchase a whole load of hardware so we could maintain our usual levels of customer service whilst working from the sofa, kitchen table or garden shed.

We’ve tried to laugh, we’ve definitely cried, we are tired and a little bit broken.

Yet we are still here. More importantly the majority of the industry still is as well. Sadly we are aware of some casualties, many financial ones but unfortunately some physical ones as well, with the news that some of the people we work with have been unable to face the challenge ahead and taken their own lives as the only answer. We are very, very sorry to hear this.

We have stood alongside you at the #wemakeevents marches. We have spoken to tens of thousands of you on the phone, understanding your frustrations of the movement or cancellation of events, hearing your own stories of the challenges that COVID-19 has created.

We are eternally grateful for the love and support we have received throughout these times and hope that we can continue to serve you long into the future.

Skiddle was able to take advantage of the government furlough scheme for which we were thankful. However at the time when business rates relief was offered to the hospitality industry we were told categorically by Preston City Council that ‘as nobody comes into your premises to buy a ticket, you are an office and not categorised as hospitality or cultural’’

We took this further with our MP, the Secretary of State for Defence nonetheless, Ben Wallace who said he would push for us to be included and then signposted us to a discretionary grant, of which we were not eligible for as we had too many employees.

When the Cultural Recovery Fund was announced then, we checked the criteria which reads “By ‘cultural organisation’, we mean an organisation that works in one of our supported artforms or disciplines: music, theatre, dance, combined arts, visual arts, museums, or literature.” or as our MP Ben Wallace put it “This support package will benefit cultural sector services by providing support to cultural venues and many other organisations in the Creative Industries that host live events, to stay open and continue operating”.

Skiddle took the decision not to apply, as we frankly did not fit the criteria as a cultural venue or host live events. We felt, and STILL feel that the money was best distributed to the many thousands of amazing venues, promoters and arts organisations across the country that frankly, without you – Skiddle would be nothing.

Imagine our sheer disgust then when the lists are published of who received grants, and amongst the many great people that received money, we see companies like Resident Advisor – a website that writes music reviews of events across the world, whilst generating income from tickets – and on their very own Facebook describe themselves as a Media/news company, and on Companies House list under 58190 – Other publishing activities – or Ticketline (the clues in the name) receiving VAST sums of money – whilst at the same time some of the best venues and event creators in the country/the world were not successful as they “Didn’t fit the bill”.

We are talking about The Frog and Bucket in Manchester who helped launch the careers of Peter Kay and Jack Whitehall, or Printworks in London which has been a simply magnificent addition to UK Nightlife. Many venues who DID apply, were not awarded, whilst publications or dormant event brands were.

This is frankly, ridiculous and yet more evidence of how disconnected our government is from culture. Oliver Dowden bleats on about the opera whilst our industry dies. A fund that was designed to save venues, to save culture has been savaged by people who knew how to write better applications than others – even if they don’t appear to fit the criteria.

Skiddle WILL be ok. The road to recovery will be a long, bumpy one but as long as we stick together with the remainder of our fantastic team then we will be able to continue serving both the event organisers and customers for a long time to come. Our approach to finance has always been simple, we never touch event organisers ticket money for our own use, we don’t have any investors to please. Nearly 20 years of hard work was constantly reinvested into the company to further our growth. We will pay back our CBILS loan. Eventually.

Now it is time for our leaders to listen. Time to listen to some of the amazing people in this industry that actually have the slightest clue of the UK events scene and the importance of it to our culture. We made our greatest friends on the dancefloor, and we would like our children to be able to as well.

In summary, we call on you, the UK Government to get a grip. A funding process should be fair. There should be clear guidance across all authorities and agencies regarding who can apply for what support and why. Define Culture, define Hospitality, define Retail.  Alongside this, there needs to be a clear roadmap out of the pandemic, and a conversation around what the future might hold for the fantastic music and cultural sector this country has been proud of for so long.

Yours

Richard Dyer,Ben Sebborn and the entire team at Skiddle Ltd.

28 Nov 2020 | Press release

Delic Appoints Industry Experts To Advisory Board

  Music collaboration tool Delic are delighted to announce the appointment of Cliff Fluet and Claire McAuley as Members of their Advisory Board. Both will appear on a Delic panel on Dec 1 2020, discussing what it means to be an...more

27 Nov 2020 | Press release

Stagehand Launches #ILOVELIVE

A Prize Draw Campaign To Raise Funds For Music Stage Crew Impacted By Covid-19Now LiveFeaturing Unique Memorabilia From Artists Including Ajimal, Alt-J, Bastille, Billy Ocean, Blossoms, Camelphat, Chemical Brothers, Clannad, Courteeners, Craig David, Disclosure, Django Django, Download Festival, Elbow, Ellie...more

26 Nov 2020 | Press release

Perfect Havoc expand with new employee hire

Today, independent dance music record label Perfect Havoc announce the hiring of their first full time employee.  Frederik Bonnesen has joined the company as Junior Label Manager, leaving UTA where he was working as an assistant on a diverse range...more

26 Nov 2020 | Press release

Charlene Brown appointed as Chair of The Ivors Academy’s new Ethics Committee

Charlene Brown appointed as Chair of The Ivors Academy’s new Ethics Committee Lawyer and human resources expert Charlene Brown to Chair the Committee on a three-year term. Ethics Committee to advise the Academy Board and help create a new ethical framework to...more

26 Nov 2020 | Press release

Pioneering Youth-Music event announces more speakers, sessions and networking opportunities

Off The Record is pleased to announce a range of exciting additions to its programme including workshops, an opportunity for artists to have a track critiqued by an industry panel and book one-to-one meetings with speakers. The two-day online event...more

26 Nov 2020 | Press release

Pete Tong brings live music back to The O2

Calling all ravers. For one night only, Pete Tong, The Heritage Orchestra and Jules Buckley return to The O2 to take music lovers back to Ibiza for the ultimate Christmas rave at home. Available to watch on Saturday 19 December...more

26 Nov 2020 | Press release

BMG acquires No Angels catalogue bringing Germany’s biggest ever popstars back to streaming services

No Angels, the most successful girl band in German chart history, is returning to streaming services thanks to BMG. The welcome news for fans follows BMG’s acquisition of the Cheyenne Records catalogue, which includes many of Germany’s most iconic songs...more

26 Nov 2020 | Press release

BBC Radio 1: Aitch x AJ Tracey, Billie Eilish, HAIM, and Royal Blood named on longlist for Annie Mac’s Hottest Record of the Year

The longlist for Annie Mac’s Hottest Record of the Year was revealed on BBC Radio 1’s Future Sounds this evening, with Aitch x AJ Tracey, Billie Eilish, HAIM and Royal Blood among the artists named.   Every Monday to Friday at...more

26 Nov 2020 | Press release

In Place of War Announces Global Music Industry Advisory Board: Midem, Native Instruments & Roland Represented

In Place of War, the organisation that uses creativity to effect positive change in 26 areas of conflict around the world, today unveils its newly appointed Global Music Industry Advisory Board.Over 16 years, the charity has enabled a network of...more

26 Nov 2020 | Press release

Get a year’s worth of Deezer Premium or HiFi for half the price

Pre-pay and get 12 months of Deezer Premium for £60 or HiFi for £90*Are you itching for a great Black Friday deal that your ears will love? This year Deezer’s got you covered. Our new Black Friday promo gives you...more

26 Nov 2020 | Press release

ESNS confirms first acts for 2021 edition

56 up and coming artists confirmed to showcase on the digital platform ESNS (Eurosonic Noorderslag) reveals the first artists for its upcoming edition, taking place from January 13 - 16, 2021. The showcase festival will be fully digital for the first...more

26 Nov 2020 | Press release

Sony Music Brazil launch new programme to boost digital transformation in the Brazilian music industry

Programme seeks to develop creative tech-driven solutions that help further improve the music experience for people across the country Sony Music Brazil ‘code/stage’ hackathon awards prizes to three projects that harness artificial intelligence and machine learning, including helping the hearing impaired...more

26 Nov 2020 | Press release

MU expresses consternation as new Government measures deliver blow for live music

The Musicians’ Union has greeted with dismay the Government’s new guidance for the live music and events sectors, with particular concern at the new cap on capacities for indoor live events under Tiers 1 and 2. Such limitations has made...more

25 Nov 2020 | Press release

Universal Music UK launch 0207 Def Jam label

Alec Boateng and Alex Boateng named co-presidents of the new frontline label with a series of senior appointments confirmed Amy Tettey joins as managing director, Jacqueline Eyewe named marketing director and Char Grant becomes A&R director   Universal Music UK has today...more

25 Nov 2020 | Press release

Best Art Vinyl Award 2020 Goes Virtual

Bringing contemporary cover art to the public in a lockdown   Best Art Vinyl 2020, the annual search for the most creative and well-designed record cover of the year, is underway and the 50 nominations shortlist has been curated as a unique Virtual...more

25 Nov 2020 | Press release

Can music make you multilingual?

New research explores the connection between music and learning languages- 87% of people in the UK found listening to music helps when trying to master a new language - Global audio streaming service Deezer surveyed over 12,000 people across six...more

25 Nov 2020 | Press release

Clubbing TV launch Clubbing.Live, a New, Interactive Streaming Platform

Over the last 10 years, Clubbing TV has successfully produced and broadcast more than 1500 hours of live streams from all around the globe. From studios, clubs, roof tops and crazy boat parties to some of the biggest festivals in...more

25 Nov 2020 | Press release

Jackie Davidson MBE and Peter Thoms elected as directors at PPL Annual Performer Meeting 2020

Today, at the PPL Annual Performer Meeting (APM) Jackie Davidson MBE and Peter Thoms were elected as Performer Directors by PPL-registered performers. They will sit on both the PPL Performer Board and main PPL Board. The meeting looked back over the...more

25 Nov 2020 | Press release

UK Music Chief urges chancellor to use new £4bn fund to help support music industry

Responding to the Chancellor’s Spending Review, UK Music Chief Executive Jamie Njoku-Goodwin said: “We welcome the Chancellor’s announcement of a £4 billion levelling up fund which we hope will be a much-needed boost for the creative sector. “We look forward to engaging...more

24 Nov 2020 | Press release

Jon Ollier launches One Fiinix Live

Plans for New Live Booking Agency Revealed “Now is the Time to Embrace the Change"  Jon Ollier the award-winning UK booking agent whose clients include Ed Sheeran, Anne-Marie, Lauv, 2Cellos and JC Stewart among others, has unveiled plans for a new, independent...more

24 Nov 2020 | Press release

Female-focused mentoring enterprise The Cat’s Mother teams up with PPL for 2021 event series

Mentoring network The Cat’s Mother is teaming up with music licensing company PPL to provide support for young women entering the music industry. The collaboration will see the two organisations work together in 2021 to help young women build networks...more

24 Nov 2020 | Press release

#loverecordstores launches Inaugural ‘Independent Albums Of The Year’ Initiative

List Announced on December 3 – New, Vinyl Exclusives Available to Buy & Pre-Order instore & Online on December 5   #loverecordstores, the campaign launched earlier this year to raise awareness of the challenges faced by record stores during the COVID-19 pandemic is...more

24 Nov 2020 | Press release

Tribe XR Bring Streaming for DJs to Virtual Reality for the First Time Ever with Beatport LINK Integration

No DJ gear, no problem! Beatport and Tribe XR have announced the full integration of Beatport LINK,the streaming service for DJs, directly into Tribe XR's virtual reality software. Almost anyone with a consumer VR rig can now stream and mix...more

24 Nov 2020 | Press release

Rick Boardman and TripTik Management Announce Matter Music and New Signing, The Nocturns.

Rick Boardman, hit songwriter/producer and former member of the critically acclaimed Delphic, alongside Will Gresford and Holly Lintell of TripTik Management (Nick Mulvey, The Six)join forces to announce label, management and publishing company, Matter Music. Founded in Manchester, Matter Music’s extensivecatalogue...more

24 Nov 2020 | Press release

Communion are very excited to share details of a forthcoming weekly streamed series of live new music sessions and artists in conversation, filmed at London’s Lafayette.

In partnership with LIVENow, ‘Communion Presents’ takes the form of a weekly 30 minute show featuring two live performances and interviews with Communion’s host Mazin Tappuni. The first episode goes live on Sunday 29th November featuring performances by Olivia Dean...more

24 Nov 2020 | Press release

Absolut and Beatport Launch NYE 2020 - a 20+ Hour, 15-city, Global New Year’s Eve Live Stream Party to #DanceAway2020

In response to global research insight that consumers, especially LDA Gen Z*, are craving real life connections, Absolut has launched a campaign to celebrate the great things that happen when diverse minds come together reminding the world that nothing beats...more

24 Nov 2020 | Press release

MMF reactive comment - Select Committee

Annabella Coldrick, CEO, Music Managers ForumThe MMF is delighted that this hugely important inquiry has started, and that MPs have heard directly from artists and songwriters. Hopefully more will get an opportunity to do so in the coming weeks, as...more

24 Nov 2020 | Press release

Sony/ATV Signs KOLIDESCOPES to Exclusive Global Deal

Today, Sony/ATV Music Publishing UK announced it has signed powerhouse duo KOLIDESCOPES to an exclusive worldwide publishing deal. KOLIDESCOPES, consisting of Dan Dare and John Courtidis, is an accomplished songwriting and producing team known for co-writing the hit single “Head...more

24 Nov 2020 | Press release

Warner Music Group taps Dr. Kobi Abayomi as SVP, Data Science and Analytics

Recognized Expert and Author Joins Company in Newly Created Role  Recognized data science expert, statistician, and author Dr. Kobi Abayomi has joined Warner Music Group (WMG) as SVP, Data Science and Analytics. In this newly created role, he will lead analytics...more

24 Nov 2020 | Press release

Music Groups Unite to Again Ask Congress to Provide Relief from Toll of Pandemic

A united music community today sent a letter to congressional leaders highlighting the growing devastation to the live music industry due to COVID-19.  The letter urged that they immediately pass legislation to provide additional relief desperately needed by the many...more

27 Nov 2020

  • Latest Government guidelines leave live sector reeling (see News)

  • How an imaginary grandmother got millions of Spotify streams (see Features)

26 Nov 2020

  • Universal Music UK launches 0207 Def Jam (see Business)

  • Jackie Davidson and Peter Thoms elected as PPL Performer Directors (see News)

  • Guy Garvey and Crispin Hunt talk about the 'music streaming scandal' (see Features)

24 Nov 2020

  • Warner Music Group posts flat results in challenging year; Simon Robson named President, International, Recorded Music (see Business)

  • Government issues Winter Plan, but concerns raised for grassroots venues (see News)

  • SoundCloud reports strong growth for 2019 (see Business)

  • How Driift cracked livestreaming (see Features)

23 Nov 2020

  • The time for the impossible is now (see Comment)

  • Snapchat appears to have acquired Voisey (see Digital)

  • Amazon Music announces 'Ones to Watch 2021' list (see Digital)

20 Nov 2020

  • Taylor Swift’s masters: What Shamrock gets for $300m, why it matters, and what’s next (see Analysis)

  • Should the BBC have censored Fairytale of New York? (see Opinion)

19 Nov 2020

  • Artist Partner Group becomes independent; roster moves to Atlantic Records (see Business)

  • The Great Escape festival announces first fifty acts for 2021 edition (see News) 

17 Nov 2020

  • UK Music’s Music By Numbers report to highlight pre-pandemic success (see Analysis)

  • Scooter Braun sells Taylor Swift’s Big Machine masters (see Business)

  • Lil Nas X shows on Roblox score 33m views (see Digital)

  • VEVO DSCVR Artists To Watch 2021 named (see Digital)

16 Nov 2020

  • HMV makes loss, but confident about future (see Business)

  • Feature: Shabs Jobanputra, who set up Relentless Records 21 years ago (see Features)

13 Nov 2020

  • The US Commerce Department halts ban on TikTok (see Bigger Picture)

  • Abuse: Octavian dropped following allegations, AFEM launch Code of Conduct, Lily Allen speaks (see News, Features, News&Showbiz)

  • Steve Barnett: The Head Coach (see Features)

  • John Lewis, Amazon Music launch Christmas campaigns with hit potential music (see News)

12 Nov 2020

  • DCMS Committee inquiry to consider Government policy on music festivals support (see News)

  • Graham Norton to leave Radio 2 (see Media)

  • Composer Howard Goodall on post-Brexit touring in the EU (see Analysis)