Tag Archives: live nation

ANOTHER PLANET?

Namibian lionThe Zimbabwean environment minister has called for  Walter Palmer, the 55 year old extraordinarily odious dentist who killed Cecil the beautiful and iconic  lion, to be extradited from the US to face trial for financing an illegal hunt. Oppah Muchinguri told a news conference that Palmer, 55, was a “foreign poacher” and said she understood Zimbabwe’s prosecutor general had started the process to have him extradited. Two men in Zimbabwe are already facing charges for illegal hunting and poaching: Theo Bronkhurst has said he believed he had the correct permit for the hunt. Zimbabwean wildlife authorities say they have suspended the hunting of lions, leopards and elephants in an area favoured by hunters following the killing of a lion popular with tourists. The National Parks and Wildlife Authority said  that bow and arrow hunts have also been suspended unless they are approved by the authority’s director. The authority says it is also investigating the killing of another lion in April that may have been illegal. The Independent  newspaper named 68 year old US surgeon Dr Jan Seski as the person who killed another lion with an advanced bow. He is based in Pittsburgh. Dr Seski, of Murrysville said in statement issued by his attorney that he had complied with rules and regulations. A local man, Headman Sibanda, has also been arrested in connection with that killing. Other reports says that Cecil’s brother Jericho has been shot dead by poachers in Zimbabwe, but local reporters believe this could be another lion.  Reports added that contrary to earlier fears, Jericho was protecting Cecil’s lion cubs after Cecil was killed by Palmer. Delta, United and American Airlines have banned the shipment of big-game trophies on flights after the illegal killing of Cecil the lion in Zimbabwe. The airlines announced that they would no longer transport lion, rhinoceros, leopard, elephant or buffalo remains.

France’s top climate ambassador has said she is very concerned at the slow rate of progress on a negotiating text that will form the basis of a new international deal on global warming in Paris later this year. But Laurence Tubiana also said that negotiators from nearly 200 countries were making headway on the document, and made clear that the French government wanted to see serious progress on the text by October. The comments, in an interview with the Guardian, came as climate ministers met last week to advance international climate talks before a crunch UN summit in Paris this November and December. The UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon said in June that the negotiations were proceeding at “a snail’s pace” after a fortnight of talks in Bonn cut the 90-page text by just four pages. Last Friday a new streamlined version was published, with the two officials overseeing it warning the “pace was slow” and there was an “urgent need, owing to serious time constraints, to accelerate the work”.

Sheringham_Shoal_Wind_Farm_2012Europe’s offshore wind power industry has set a record for its biggest ever year just six months into 2015. The biggest factor was a huge jump in turbines in German waters connecting to the grid, with Germany installing three times more electricity-generating capacity than the continent’s current leader, the UK.

Authorities have forced protesters in kayaks from a river in Portland, Oregon, where they were trying to stop a Royal Dutch Shell icebreaker from leaving dry dock and joining an Arctic oil drilling operation. Police also tried to lower protesters who were dangling from a bridge into the water below. Sergeant Pete Simpson said safety was the main priority, and police and coast guard officers were joined by firefighters and a rope-rescue team. A federal judge in Alaska had earlier ordered Greenpeace USA to pay a fine of $2,500 for every hour that protesters continued to block the icebreaker from leaving for the Arctic.

beesThe manufacturers of controversial pesticides took part in a key meeting on whether a Europe-wide ban on their chemicals should be lifted in the UK, according to newly published documents. The record of the meeting of the UK government’s expert committee on pesticides (ECP) had previously been suppressed. Neonicotinoids, the world’s most widely used insecticide, have been linked to serious harm in bees, including a drastic reduction in queens, and were banned across the EU in 2013. Bees and other pollinators are essential for many crops but are in decline due to the impact of pesticides, loss of habitat and disease. The National Farmers Union (NFU) applied for an “emergency” suspension of the neonicotinoid ban for oil seed rape fields in the UK, which they said were under attack from pests. The newly released record of the meeting on 20 May shows manufacturers Bayer and Syngenta were the only external representatives invited to answer the ECP’s questions. More here and also take a look at theSumofUs’s report that “Bayer, BASF and Syngenta are suing the European Commission to overturn a ban on the pesticides that are killing millions of bees around the world” and theSumofUs add “A huge public push won this landmark ban — and we can’t sit back and let Big Pesticide overturn it while the bees vanish.” The EU banned these bee-killers in May 2013, after a massive public campaign and a clear scientific finding from the European Food Safety Authority that neonics pose huge risks to bee populations: “Let’s defend this landmark ban for the bees and our food supply.” Interestingly the Agriculture & Horticulture Development Board has said that their research shows that the oil seed rape harvest this year looks like being a record breaking success, somewhat undermining the NFU’s allegations that the neonicotinoid ban has damaged harvests – and prompting the question – WHY do the chemical companies and the NFU want this ban overturned and why do they want to put our bees at risk? Interesting theories here – and let’s not forget the recent debate about Monsanto and others creating genetically modified plants that have sterile seeds – so called ‘terminator seeds‘ – so you always have to buy your seeds from the chemical companies –  and more here.

shell
lneLive Nation Entertainment and Shell Oil have formed a marketing alliance making Shell the official fuel and Pennzoil the official lubricant sponsors at eight of LN’s North American amphitheatres. The pact extends Pennzoil’s collaboration with Live Nation, with Backseat Pass – a video series on a customized website that will feature artists performing in the back seat of a moving vehicle. The deal also gives Shell and Pennzoil naming rights on VIP pavilion decks and parking lots, according to the announcement. The sheds included in the sponsorship are PNC Music Center in Charlotte, N.C.; First Midwest Bank Amphitheater in Chicago; Susquehanna Bank Center in Camden, N.J.; Gexa Energy Pavilion in Dallas; Irvine Meadows Pavilion in Irvine, Calif.; Aaron’s Amphitheatre at Lakewood in Atlanta; Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View, Calif.; and Molson Canadian Amphitheatre in Toronto.

A London-listed mining giant Vedanta Resources has been polluting the drinking water and poisoning farmland in villages in Zambia and threatening a wider health disaster with its copper mining activities, the Observer has found. London law firm Leigh Day has issued proceedings in the High Court in London on behalf of 1,800 people who claim to have been affected by the company’s copper mining pollution. “The case could take three years to resolve,” said Leigh Day senior partner Martyn Day, recently returned from Zambia, where lawyers and paralegals have been taking witness statements from people living near the rivers and the company’s operations. A Vedanta spokesman said: “All Vedanta’s operating subsidiaries take the health of their employees, the wellbeing of surrounding communities and the environment very seriously. Our subsidiaries are committed to ensuring they operate in a safe and sustainable way.”

solarAs a senator President Obama had been in favour of coal subsidies to reduce the USA’s reliance on imported oil. Now the President’s Clean Power Plan is targeting coal in a move to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and global warming. Today in the USA the solar industry employs more people than coal and the Clean Power Plan is aimed at accelerating the move to renewables and is part of a major new White House initiative on climate change.  The measures will place significant emphasis on wind and solar power and other renewable energy sources. However, opponents in the energy industry have vowed to fight the plan. They say Mr Obama has declared “a war on coal”. Power plants fired by coal provide more than a third of the US electricity supply. The revised plan will aim to cut carbon emissions from the power sector by 32% by 2030, compared with 2005 levels.

Green groups in the UK have compared US President Barack Obama’s Clean Power Plan with the lack of UK Government action, claiming Prime Minister David Cameron needs to do more to meet climate change targets. Commenting on the announcement of the Clean Power Plan, Greenpeace UK’s executive director John Sauven said recent Conservative U-turns on environmental policy were making the UK look “parochial and small-minded.”

The Prince of Wales is planting 1,000 rare varieties of apple trees in a bid to create a ‘gene bank’ as the apple growing agribusiness sector moves towards a narrower and narrower range of commercial trees.

Lady Elliott Island, Great Barrier Reef by Jasmine ChallisAnd in Australia, the approval for Adani’s Carmichael coalmine has been overturned by a federal court. The case alleged environment minister Greg Hunt approved project without regard for conservation advice for two endangered species and the court ruled that  Hunt ignored his own department’s advice about the mine’s impact on two vulnerable species, the yakka skink and the ornamental snake.  Sue Higginson, the principal solicitor at the Environmental Defenders Office NSW, which ran the case for the conservation group, said: “This kind of error in the decision-making process is legally fatal to the minister’s decision” and “The conservation advices were approved by the minister in April last year, and describe the threats to the survival of these threatened species, which are found only in Queensland.” The court did not rule on the conservation group’s separate argument that Hunt failed to consider the impact of carbon emissions from burning of thermal coal from the Carmichael mine – which would exceed Australia’s annual emissions – or Adani’s “poor” environmental track record overseas.

There will be an international ‘megashift’ towards energy storage – batteries in particular – within the next 10 years, the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) has predicted. In a new study, ARENA forecasts that the cost of Li-ion batteries will fall 60% by 2020 and the cost of flow batteries will fall by 40%, leading to an installation boom. The report states: “The rapid uptake of solar PV provides a useful analogy to what could occur in the energy storage market, as technology prices have potential to reduce as technology development simultaneously improves.

China is set to begin the construction of what is expected to be the world’s largest solar thermal power plant. The Delingha plant, which will cover 25km of land in the Gobi desert, is slated to have a 200 MW capacity – enough to supply one million homes with electricity. Once fully operational, the plant will prevent the burning of 4.26 million tonnes of coal every year, reducing CO2 emissions by 896,000 tonnes.

football leagueThe sharing economy picked up an unlikely new advocate this week as the Football League announced a new partnership with Liftshare.com to encourage fans to travel to games as efficiently as possible. The partners have a launched a ‘Get to the Game’ travel platform, where fans can post details of their match day travel and offer their spare car seats to other fans for a split of the total petrol costs. More on edie.net here.

Leicester City Council is planning to add cycling to the city’s sustainable transport network using new Electrically Assisted Pedal Cycle (EPAC) hubs. The city council and sustainable travel experts Go Travel Solutions have submitted the full application for funding for the electric bike hubs as part of a bid for a share of £500,000 from the Department of Transport. The UK Government is aiming to develop electric bikes in cities and at tourism hotspots around England.

WRAP-1Recent UK Government spending cuts led to a 38% drop in income for the Waste & Resources Action Plan (WRAP) in 2014/15, despite the organisation delivering a five-fold return on its funding. According to WRAP’s latest annual report, total income for 2014/15 was £40.7m, down from £66.3m the previous year, with the drop “mainly due to reductions in central Government funding”. But the deep cuts appear overly punitive, given the success of the organisation. In the report, WRAP claims that for every £1 of funding spent on priority programmes like Love Food Hate Waste, it leveraged £2 of external contributions.

Supermarket chain Morrisons has announced it is working with charity FoodCycle to tackle UK poverty and food waste. Morrisons group corporate services director Martyn Jones said: “Our colleagues work hard to minimise waste every day and we know that our customers really care about this. “Our partnership with FoodCycle will allow us to find a good home for the small amount of unsold or used food in stores and support FoodCycle’s great work in the community.”

Advertisements

FESTIVAL NEWS

summersunHaving taken a break in 2013, Leicester’s Summer Sundae festival has been permanently cancelled with organisers Concert Clinic saying “Having taken a hiatus for 2013, we have worked hard on a number of different options to try and make the festival viable moving forward. 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. Read more at http://www.efestivals.co.uk/news/13/130904d.shtml#AQMoW7AQWSXE521y.99

2000Bowie4According to the Mirror newspaper, Live Nation have made a multi-million pound offer for David Bowie to play East London’s Olympic Park. The paper reports the two biggest promoters Live Nation and AEG have embarked in a bidding battle to persuade the iconic singer to make a return to the live stage after an eight year hiatus. Bowie is also rumoured as a possible Glastonbury headliner although Michael Eavis said he had lined up three big acts who had never headlined the Somerset 177,500 capacity festival before – Bowie headlined the Pyramid Stage in 2000. Any live dates next year would tie in with the singer’s 50th anniversary of his first single ‘Liza Jane’ released under the name Davie Jones with the King Bees when he was just 17. This year the 66 year old released his first new album in a decade ‘The Next Day’ sparking hopes of live dates although Bowie has not toured since a heart attack on stage in Germany in 2004.

city_of_circus_logoCreative Common has revealed details of the inaugural Bristol Circus Festival, opening on Friday 13th September. Set to “wow” crowds with 41 performances over 33 nights and featuring 8 local, national and European companies, 16 live bands and DJs, and 143 individual performers, the festival will celebrate the city’s historic and continuing strong links to the art form. Curated by Bristol’s very own Invisible Circus, the festival climaxes with the world premiere of their brand new show ‘Under A Dark Moon’. More exciting performances from Fringe First winners Pirates of the Carabina, family favourites The Insect Circus and stars of the National Theatre’s ‘Watch this Space’, Joli Vyann. Plus more Festival exclusives including Mr Scruff, The Sheelanagig Band and Twisted Fairground. For details of the full festival program and tickets, visit the  Creative Commons website.

SHAMBALATypically more than 60% of waste thrown on the ground at festivals is plastic pint cups and bottles. This takes staff time to clear, incurs waste management costs, and makes festival experience less pleasant. Bottled water is typically 2000 times as expensive as domestic tap water, often lower in quality, has a huge ecological burden, creates waste which endangers ecosystems, pollutes our own food chain with tiny plastic nodules, compared to tap water represents a massive contribution to green house gasses through production and transportation, is causing mass-scale pollution of rivers and oceans, is a risk to wildlife , and is a very resource-inefficient way to consume generally. The phenomenon of buying bottled water is a perfect expression of how ridiculous and disconnected to environmental cause-and-effect modern consumer society has become. Shambala has decided to tackle this issue head-on and in 2013 DECIDED TO BAN BOTTLED WATER: Shambala banned the sale of bottled water  with concessions onsite and asked all festival- goers, staff and artists to bring their own re-usable bottles to the event. To make the initiative work the Festival: (a) made it easier to get fresh clean water by installing more taps across the site; (b) Worked with charity FRANK Water to provide free chilled filtered water on all the bars and (c) Provided quality re-usable bottles for sale for those that forgot to bring a bottle. A new online pdf graphic on how they did it will be available online soon. We’ll drink to that!

Wireless and Hard Rock Calling to quit Hyde Park

Live Nation has confirmed that it will not re-bid for the rights to stage festivals and concerts in London’s Hyde Park, claiming licensing restrictions put in place in recent years have hindered the company’s efforts to stage events there, and that the tender process put in place by the Royal Parks Agency for a new five-year contract to use the park for live events is “flawed”.

The move would put an end to the Wireless and Hard Rock Calling festivals, as well as Live Nation’s series of major summer concert events. The number of events in the Park is being reduced by The Royal Parks and Live Nation faced criticism after brining in tonnes of woodchip to counter flooding during the  awful English summer. Much criticised noise limits and a strict curfew were also put in place to appease local residents resulting in the plug being pulled on an overrunning Bruce Springsteen this summer.

Live Nation COO John Probyn confirmed that LN would  not promote in Hyde Park and told Access All Areas “Royal Parks has ignored everything else and gone for the money and we’re really good at walking away when something makes no sense” adding “Hyde Park is the most expensive venue in the country and the stakeholders just don’t want events in there. I’ve kept saying that it’s a fantastic site, and in its heyday it was, but for the last four years it’s been a nightmare. When you’re constantly looking to cut spend and make money elsewhere, the buck always has to stop with the ticket buyer,” he said. “We have no desire to be involved with a loss-leading project, or to work with someone who doesn’t understand what we’re doing. Other venues that don’t have the same approach or the same noise restrictions are courting us now, which is nice after 15 years of battling with local residents and the Royal Parks.”

http://www.accessaa.co.uk/news/live-nation-coo-slams-royal-parks/

ANOTHER PLANET?

Portishead’s Adrian Utley has composed a fifteen minute “aural landscape” (ie soundtrack) to a walk amid the ancient forests of Croft Castle in Hertfordshire. He’s done it as part of the ‘Sonic Journey’ project, as is commissioned by Sounduk and the National Trust.

The UK’s highly controversial badger slaughter faced another legal challenge from lawyers acting for the Badgers Trust. The Trust has served papers on Natural England, the government agency licensing the cull, pointing out escalating costs and disputed evidence pf any benefit to cattle farmers saying its time for the government to ‘reconsider’.  Defra and the National Faremrs Union both insist that the cull would go ahead although two ministers cancelled media interviews . More than 150,000 people have signed an online petition against the cull, sparking a  Parliamentary debate scheduled for Thursday 25th October – and then on the Tuesday 23rd – suddenly the cull was suspended for at least a year as ministers looked at new reports apparently l showing even more badgers would need to be killed. Lord Krebs, the man who instigated trial badger  culls in 1997 told the UK Government that it should scrap its approach saying “long term culling of badgers is estimated to reduce the instance of TB in cattle by 16% – in other words 84% of the problem still remains. Ministers responsible for the muddle: Owen Paterson MP and David Heath MP.

“Fears grow over Conservatives links to lobbyists for fossil fuels”. Wonder why Top Tory George Osbourne seems to keen on shale gas extraction and fracking? Interestingly the boss of energy company Vitol has given £550,000 to the Tory party. Hmmmmmmmmm. More here .

21 Super Kids that Will Save the World from Adults – more on TreeHugger here http://www.treehugger.com/culture/future-bright-21-super-kids-will-save-world-adults.html

“Harnessing our low carbon potential isn’t just right environmentally, but is a central plank of energy security”. These wise words come from the now sacked energy minister Charles Hendry MP who points out that whilst a minister he indeed approved more gas fired power stations thna ever before – but that the UK cannot rely on gas alone in the future and that energy security can only be delivered with a mix in technologies and that ‘renewables harness the the exceptional resources of these islands” – although Hendry still supports coal alongside carbon capture and storage and nuclear.  This comment sums it up : Every part of our society depends on energy, yet we don’t have a plan. You can read this article by Andrew Simms in full from the Observer here . And guess who is in charge of PR and lobbying for the energy companies in the UK now? None other than ex Tory MP Angela Knight, now CEO of Energy UK, and previously with the British Banker’s Association, joining just as the bankers extraordinary (and costly) incompetence and arrogance became  clear in 2007. Minister responsible for the muddle: George Osbourne MP.

Live Nation has reportedly said that it will not re-bid for the rights to stage festivals and concerts in London’s Hyde Park, claiming licensing restrictions put in place in recent years have hindered the company’s efforts to stage events there, and that the tender process put in place by the Royal Parks Agency for a new five-year contract to use the park for live events is “flawed”. The move would put an end to the Wireless and Hard Rock Calling festivals as well as Live Nation’s series of major summer concert events.

The two members of Russian rock band Pussy Riot who were each sentenced to two years in prison for religious hooliganism have been sent to separate labour camps. Defence lawyers said Nadezhda Tolokonnikova has been sent to Mordovia and Maria Alyokhina to Perm, part of a “Gulag archipelago” on the edges of European Russia. One supporter of the band tweeted: “Of all the possible options, these are the cruellest prison camps.”

Summer rain in the UK and the droughts and extreme heat in countries such as Russia and the USA will push up the cost if UK foods. Already carrots are up 49%, cabbage 72% and cauliflowers have doubled in price. The overall rate of food inflation is estimated at 4% for 2013.

Ikea is planning to build wind farms in the UK as part of an estimated E1.5 billion investment. It aims to generate 70% of its own power from renewables within 3 years and 100% by 2020 – and export surplus power to suppliers and customers.  Ikea had already allocated E590 million to wind and solar farms in Poland, Germany, France, Sweden and the UK saying that there was a strong business case for the move  “energy prices are going to increase overall by perhaps 30 to 40% in this decade and there will be more carbon pricing in markets around the world” and an independent energy supply would give the company complete ‘price security’ to help mitigate climate change which Ikea regards as a threat to its business. In Sweden Ikea expects to generate all of its own electricity within 18 months from the Glotesvalen wind farm.

Tory MP Peter Lilley has been elected to the House of Commons Energy and Climate Change Committee. He was just one of three MPs to vote against the Climate Change Act 2008 and acts as a consultant for Tethys Petroleum which operates in Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, who paid Lilley £47,000 last year.

A new fungus, chalara fraxinea, which causes rapid leaf drop and  ‘dieback’ in ash trees has hit the UK, having spread across continental Europe over the last 25 years.  Ash trees in Denmark have been reduced by 90% since 2003. The Government is planning to ban imported ash trees and may cull trees to stop what could be an “environmental disaster” if the disease take hold in the UK. There are 80 million ash trees in the UK and the disease is seen as a far bigger threat than Dutch Elm disease which hit the UK in the 1970s. The new disease was found for the first time this week on a mature tree in Suffolk. Whist transmission of the fungus is not yet fully understood, it is thought spores could have been blown across the North Sea.  They may also be carried by animals.There is no known cure or vaccine. In fact I’s been a miserable year for Britain’s trees – there is a dearth of conkers after  horse chestnuts trees had their blossom washed away in the wet wet April (as did apples and pear trees) and they are also suffering after attacks by the leaf miner moth(cameraria ohridella)  and a fungal disease known as bleeding canker which causes lesions, allowing sap to seep out. Larches are under attack from a fungus like disease called phytophthora ramorum , oaks from the oak processionary moth and the bee population is also at a record  all time low.  UPDATE (28.10.12) – the disease has now been found at more than twenty sites in East Anglia much to the alarm of conservationists. Ash provides more than 30% of UK woodlands.

The Drax power station is set to switch three of its six units from burning coal to burning biomass. The first unit will be converted by spring 2013, the second in 2014 and the third in 2014.  With penalties for burning fossil fuels expected, a full move to biomass is expected.

A Chinese electric car manufacturer, Build Your Dreams, will provide electric taxis for London in a move welcomed by Mayor Boris Johnson The 50 cabs will be provided to Green Tomato Cars. Each cab will be able to travel for 186 miles before needing to be recharged.

The MAMA Group has announced it has taken a 50% stake in the All Tomorrow’s Parties company, promoters of the holiday-camp based ATP festivals and the I’ll Be Your Mirror events. ATP founder Barry Hogan was forced to restructure his company earlier this year, putting one business into administration, after a difficult time the UK festivals market. However, the restructuring did not stop any planned events from going ahead. The ATP team will also assist in the booking of talent for other MAMA Festivals, including Lovebox, Wilderness and The Great Escape.

Hyde Park ‘eyesore’ to be cleared up by Live Nation

Parts of Hyde Park in London remain an ‘eyesore’ after the series of outdoor concerts this summer – with a large area still covered by 8,000 cubic metres of wood chip, brought in by promoters Live Nation do deal with the excessively wet British summer. Only one event was cancelled, the now rescheduled Hit Factory Live event, and concerts by Madonna, Bruce Springsteen, Rihanna and Blur all went ahead along with over ten other events based around the London 2012 Olympics.  Whilst Live Nation will begin restoring the park in the spring, within a time frame agreed with the Royal Parks, the Times called the Park a ‘royal mudbath’ and said the site was a ‘national disgrace’ and was now a ‘giant wasteland of mud, puddles and woodchips that was once the capital’s grandest sward of grass’, whilst also levelling criticism at the state of Regent Park after the Frieze Art Fair, saying the park currently ‘looks like a building site’. More than 800,000 people attended the concerts. Next year the number of concerts allowed will be cut from 12 to 9