Placebo cancel several dates due to COVID outbreak in band and crew

“We apologise sincerely for the inconvenience and disappointment. We are doing all we can to reschedule and please check locally for further announcements.”

You can see the full post here:

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The band are due to embark on a UK and Ireland tour in November – you can see those dates below and find tickets here.

Friday 18 – Portsmouth, Guildhall
Saturday 19 – Brighton, Centre
Monday 21 – Liverpool, Eventim Olympia
Tuesday 22 – Manchester, O2 Victoria Warehouse
Thursday 24 – Cardiff, Motorpoint Arena
Saturday 26 – London, O2 Academy Brixton
Sunday 27 – London, O2 Academy Brixton
Tuesday 29 – Leicester, De Montfort Hall
Wednesday 30 – Leeds, O2 Academy

In other news, the band’s Brian Molko has recently spoken about Placebo’s connection to Kate Bush and the reason they chose to cover ‘Running Up That Hill’.


The band covered ‘Running Up That Hill’ in 2003, with the song becoming the first track on the band’s ‘Covers’ album that same year. Their rendition ended up peaking at Number 44 on the UK Singles Chart in 2006, after being used during the fourth-season premiere of The O.C.

The original song has found renewed popularity after featuring in the fourth season of Stranger Things. The track – which appears on Bush’s 1985 fifth studio album, ‘Hounds Of Love’ – reached Number One on the UK singles chart earlier this month (June 17).

In an interview with the Guardian, Molko said: “We were already in the habit of covering our favourite songs from the 80s, so I suggested that we do ‘Running Up That Hill’ but that we slow the tempo down as much as we could without it becoming a dirge, and obviously we wanted to keep it electronic with sounds from the early 2000s.

“I met Kate once at a party: it was a record company do and there was an orderly queue to speak to her. When I got to the front the first thing she said to me was: “I like your cover of my song.” That was enough. I’m very, very pleased that it got Kate’s endorsement.”




KISS’ Gene Simmons calls out COVID “conspiracy idiots”

“The pandemic is the same thing. You’ve gotta get a flu shot. If you go to school, you get all kinds of… A polio shot, all kinds of shots. Which may not be life-threatening. The pandemic and COVID could be life-threatening, especially if you have predisposed other diseases, you could die.

A million Americans have died. Close to 10million worldwide have died because of this. I know the conspiracy idiots are telling you that it’s not true — it is. So I got vaccinated twice, then had a booster, and I’m about to get another boost.”

“This is gonna be a fact of life. Every year I go and get my flu vaccine — I get the shots. Because even though flu might not be life-threatening, I don’t wanna deal with the headaches and stuff.”

Simmons then went on to recall how he contracted COVID last year, which forced KISS to postpone several shows, but because he had taken the vaccine he wound up being fine.

“As a statement of fact, I did get COVID. We got off tour. All of us are vaccinated, and even though I was vaccinated, you can get COVID,” he said. “However, as a factoid, I had zero symptoms — because of the vaccine. So I didn’t have a runny nose, I didn’t get backaches. In fact, my appetite went up and I gained a few pounds. But that’s what happens when you have a vaccine.”


He added: “If you sit in your car, the law is you must wear a seatbelt. That’s not gonna prevent an accident from happening, but it may prevent you from having to buy a new face when it crashes into your windshield. A vaccine may not prevent you from getting COVID but may be able to prevent you from having to be in the hospital and have a tube go up your ass.

“Usually I don’t tell people what to do,” Simmons clarified. “But it is an issue if your personal decision affects other people. ‘I don’t wanna wear the colour blue’ — nobody’s gonna tell you what to do. But if you sneeze in public, don’t you put your hand in front of your face? If you’re yawning in public, don’t you cover your face? I don’t cover my face when I’m at home, ’cause there’s nobody around. And those are not life-threatening events.

He continued: “If you’re willing to cover your face when you’re sneezing, which is not a life-threatening event, why wouldn’t you get a vaccine [against COVID-19], which could be a life-threatening event for you and for others.”

KISS. CREDIT: Kevin Winter/Getty Images

This isn’t the first time Simmons has spoken out about anti-vaxxers. In August, he supported the idea that the COVID vaccine should be mandatory and criticised “evil, self-serving politicians” who he said are “more interested in getting re-elected than actually saving lives”.

In December 2020, Simmons appealed to everyone to wear a face mask, sharing a photo of KISS donning masks ahead of a virtual concert.

“Wear your masks. Even if it’s only as a courtesy,” he said. “If you yawn, or sneeze, you don’t think twice about covering your mouth. Do the rest of us a favor! Mask Up! … Besides, it looks cool.”

Simmons’ bandmate, Paul Stanley, had previously also urged people to wear masks, tweeting: “Don’t listen to conspiracy theorists or graduates of The Internet University Of Medicine.”

Meanwhile, the glam rock band have denied that lax COVID protocols were responsible for the death of long-time guitar tech Francis Stueber, who passed away last October.

KISS claimed that their protocols “met, but most often exceeded” guidelines at a national and local level while on the US leg of their farewell End of the World tour. However, some crew members have disputed that adequate measures were in place.



James Blunt’s music deployed in New Zealand to repel COVID protesters

When the sprinkler tactic proved ineffective, police turned to blasting out Barry Manilow‘s greatest hits, which include ‘Mandy’ and ‘Could It Be Magic’, on a 15-minute loop from one of parliament’s loudspeakers, as well as the ’90s Spanish hit ‘Macarena’ and a number of vaccine messages.

After catching wind of what was happening, Blunt offered his services to New Zealand authorities via Twitter. “Give me a shout if this doesn’t work @NZPolice,” he tweeted, sharing a story on the protests.

Give me a shout if this doesn’t work. @NZPolice

— James Blunt (@JamesBlunt) February 12, 2022

A few hours later, it appeared the singer-songwriter’s offer was accepted, with his 2005 chart-topping hit ‘You’re Beautiful’ being played over the loudspeaker.

However, protesters seemed undeterred, responding by singing other songs over Blunt’s track and playing songs such as Twisted Sister‘s ‘We’re Not Gonna Take It’, all while dancing in the rain.

The demonstrators have been inspired by similar protest in Canada but their list of grievances has expanded to include general dissatisfaction with Jacinda Ardern’s government.


On Thursday (February 10) police said they had arrested 122 people, charging many with trespassing or obstruction.

New Zealand has employed strict coronavirus restrictions to contain the virus for almost two years now. Lockdowns and an international border closure has helped keep infection rates and death toll numbers very low.

But the duration of many restrictions – including a minimum 10-day isolation and a vaccine mandate – has fuelled growing resentment in the community.

Meanwhile, last month, Blunt threatened to release new music on Spotify in protest against Joe Rogan’s podcast, which is an exclusive on the platform.

It came after Neil Young had his music removed from Spotify after writing an open letter that said the Joe Rogan Experience was “spreading false information about vaccines”.

“If Spotify doesn’t immediately remove Joe Rogan, I will release new music onto the platform,” Blunt wrote on Twitter before ending with a hashtag that read “You were beautiful.”



Failure remove their music from Spotify over COVID controversy: “Enough is enough”

Soon after, Neil Young demanded that his music be pulled from Spotify, asserting in a since-deleted open letter to his management that content like Rogan’s podcast “spread[s] false information about vaccines”.

The streaming platform obliged, later confirming that Young’s content would indeed be removed from the platform.

Other musicians and entertainers have since followed suit in removing their music and content from the platform including Janis Joplin, Graham Nash and Stewart Lee.

Neil Young was one of the first artists to remove their music from Spotify. CREDIT: Matthew Baker/Getty Images

Now, in a lengthy Facebook statement, cult alternative rockers Failure have announced that they too are planning to remove their music from Spotify in protest of the service platforming misinformation about the coronavirus vaccine as well as its overall business model.

“Failure have wrestled with the question of Spotify and whether to have our newest music, which we control, on the platform,” the band began their statement. “Until now, our ambivalence about Spotify has been based on their draconian royalty calculation which essentially gives artists a microscopic fraction of the money being generated by their music on the platform.


“We’ve all seen the stories of just how little Spotify pays artists whose product powers their entire business model. It’s been a scam for artists since the beginning, following in the tradition of the major label model which preceded it.

“But artists who want to have their music heard by the most ears possible have had a tough decision to make. Do we give our music to a company that devalues our product to the point where royalty checks from Spotify have become the butt of humorous memes, or do we withhold our music from the platform and supposedly miss out on an ‘entire generation of music listeners?’”

“That is exactly where Failure have been since 2015 when we released our first album since reuniting. Acquiescing to the desire for more ear holes. But now, with Spotify’s recent policy shift that allows COVID vaccine misinformation to thrive on their platform, Failure have decided that enough is enough.”

Failure have wrestled with the question of Spotify and whether to have our newest music, which we control, on the…

Posted by Failure on Tuesday, February 1, 2022

The band continued: “Beyond the moral issues raised by Spotify’s COVID decision, the issue of vaccine misinformation and how it directly affects the current situation in the live music space is simply untenable. Right now, Failure have a 31-date US tour booked for June. The last tour we had booked in 2019 was canceled because of COVID, which was a massive financial blow to the band.

“The vast majority of venues on our upcoming tour are requiring proof of vaccination or a negative test to see our show. We simply cannot square Spotify’s insistence on spreading misinformation about something that directly endangers our band’s supply chain, namely, human beings in a room with big speakers. There are multiple layers, and reasons for our decision, but looking at the capitalistic, free market angle, this band, like any other small business, is cutting ties with a partner that continues to cut into our bottom line. On that level, this problem is really that simple.

“Of course, no system or business is perfect, but we have alternatives to Spotify that allow the band to be compensated in a more sustainable way, and without the need to associate ourselves with dangerous lies about public health policy.”

Failure then issued a plea to other artists “who want to be paid better for their music, and who don’t want to be in business with a company who is comfortable jeopardising the industry to which they owe their entire business model” to join them.

Other high-profile names to hit out at Rogan for his anti-vax sentiments include Last Week Tonight host John Oliver, who labelled him a “fucking moron”, and Steve Albini, who described Rogan’s content as “trash garbage”.

Meanwhile, it’s been reported that Spotify has lost more than $2billion in market value after Young and others removed their music from the streaming giant.



Måneskin postpone UK/European tour due to venue capacity issues amid COVID pandemic

“We are extremely sorry,” the band wrote in an Instagram post alongside a video announcing the news. “We worked a lot for this tour and everything was set and ready to go but unfortunately in the last few days we had some bad news about the capacity of the venues.

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“We cannot guarantee all the gigs because every country has its own rules, and we have to stick to that, of course, because we have to do our gigs in total safety for everyone.”

Måneskin added that fans can watch their latest Instagram Stories for more information.

Earlier this month the band made their debut on Saturday Night Live by performing a cover of ‘Beggin’’ alongside ‘I Wanna Be Your Slave’ – watch footage here.


Speaking to NME last year about their plans for the future, Måneskin said: “This was our biggest dream, so we still can’t believe what’s going on. We really want to do our best to keep the attention by writing new music and trying to do some gigs in Europe and beyond.

“We’re working hard and we just want to play everywhere. We’re just figuring out how to manage everything.”



Scotland’s COVID restrictions on outdoor events to be lifted on Monday

Nightclubs have been closed since December 26 but the First Minister has said that all restrictions, including the closure of nightclubs, could be lifted from January 24.

In a recent Sunday Times article, Jason Leitch, Scotland’s National Clinical Director, called the restrictions on sporting events and nightclubs “quite minor” and that these closures hadn’t made a huge difference to Scotland’s coronavirus case numbers.

However, in a separate BBC News article, which quotes Leitch’s comments during an appearance on BBC Radio Scotland’s Good Morning Scotland programme, he has stated that such closures are making a difference.

Nicola Sturgeon. CREDIT: Russell Cheyne – Pool/Getty Images

“Should we still be protecting the public from these case rates if they are just going to go anyway?” Leitch said.

“I think yes is the answer to that. I think the protections reduce the size of the wave and they also potentially elongate the wave to allow you to get more people vaccinated and spread the hospitalisations and intensive care cases out over a longer period.


“That’s got to be good. Now that is not always good if you own a pub or a nursery and people are having to self-isolate, so it’s a real balance in there between the number of cases, the numbers off work but I still think it is the right thing to do to try and reduce that case rate.”

In other news, figures from the live music sector in the UK have spoken to NME about the need for lateral flow tests to remain free and available in order to keep gigs safe and happening. This came after Boris Johnson declared that free lateral flow tests would be available to the public “for as long as is necessary”.

Greg Parmley, CEO of music gig industry body LIVE, said that “easy access to free lateral flow tests are a vital tool in ensuring people can attend live music venues safely and allow people to comply with COVID certification with proof of a negative test.”



David Lee Roth’s farewell Las Vegas residency has been called off due to COVID

“Due to unforeseen circumstances related to COVID and out of an abundance of caution for those working and attending the shows, the David Lee Roth performances schedule for December 31, 2021 and January 1, 2022 have been cancelled. Refunds will be automatically processed, and ticketholders will be notified directly,” a statement released to the Las Vegas Review-Journal said.

David Lee Roth Credit: Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

He was due to play further shows at the venue tomorrow night (January 5), Friday (7) and Saturday (8) but those gigs along with further performances right up until February 12, have also been cancelled owing to the pandemic and the “alarming” spread of the Omicron variant of the virus in Nevada.

Roth announced his retirement with the residency last October. “I am throwing in the shoes. I’m retiring. This is the first, and only, official announcement… You’ve got the news. Share it with the world,” he said at the time.

He also pointed out that his backing band for the shows would be the final iteration of Van Halen’s original lineup, which would feature Eddie’s brother Alex Van Halen.


His cancellation comes after Katy Perry kicked off her residency at The Theatre at Resorts World resort/casino last week.

Adele also recently announced a 12-week residency at the Colosseum in the Caesars Palace hotel, which runs from January 21 through to April 16, 2022.



LL Cool J pulls out of New Year’s Eve show after testing positive for COVID

“I know it’s disappointing to the millions of fans but my test came back positive for COVID, which means I’ll no longer be able to perform as scheduled at NYRE,” he added.

“We were ready and I was really looking forward to ringing in 2022 in my hometown in a special way, but for now I wish everyone a healthy and happy New Year. The best is yet to come!”

Avril Lavigne and Travis Barker Credit: Avril Lavigne Facebook.

Other performers scheduled to perform at the event include Billy Porter and Journey while Avril Lavigne & Travis Barker and Big Boi are among the acts at the Los Angeles leg.

Meanwhile, LL Cool J recently marked his induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame with a medley of his songs, including a surprise appearance by Eminem for ‘Rock The Bells’.

J-Lo also joined the rapper onstage for ‘All I Have’, and he rounded off the set with ‘I’m Bad’ and ‘Mama Said Knock You Out’.


The rapper was presented with the Musical Excellence Award by Dr Dre at the 36th annual induction ceremony, which was held at the Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse in Cleveland, Ohio.

He was nominated to be inducted six times since 2010 before he was finally accepted into the institution this year.



Clairo reschedules UK/European tour due to COVID concerns

She added: “as much as we want to get back on the road, everybody’s safety is far more important & i hope you understand.”

See the new list of rescheduled dates below:

19 – Dublin, Olympia Theatre
20 – Dublin, Olympia Theatre
22 – Paris, Le Bataclan
23 – Brussels, La Madeleine
27 – Amsterdam, Paradiso
28 – Amsterdam, Paradiso
29 – Birmingham, O2 Academy
30 – Bristol, O2 Academy

2 – Glasgow, O2 Academy
3 – Manchester, O2 Academy
4 – London, Brixton Academy

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Clairo becomes the latest in a host of artists to cancel shows in the last week due to a global rise in COVID cases.


Yesterday (December 19), LCD Soundsystem cancelled the remainder of their 20-show run at Brooklyn Steel, while Enter Shikari also postponed the rest of their 2021 tour dates and some 2022 shows, saying that “the safety of our crew and our audience will always come first”.

As it stands, Clairo is still set to head out on a 2022 North American tour, which will kick off in February and feature Arlo Parks as support.

For both the US and UK/EU tour, Clairo has partnered with SafeTour and Calling All Crows for her 2022 live dates “to provide a safe and harassment-free concert experience”.

A representative from Calling All Crows will join Clairo’s touring team to respond to requests for support through a text helpline and provide “proactive canvassing of each concert, [as well as] messaging and educational support so that attendees can take part in making these shows and their own communities safer”.



Neil Young won’t tour until COVID is “beat”

Young then said how thankful he was that “we might be able to beat this. There’s no reason why we can’t. If we came together, we could take care of this. And I have confidence that we can.

“We got a lot of smart people in the world with a lot of great ideas. And the more love there is in the world, the more we’re gonna hear those ideas. We’re gonna make this happen,” he added. Check out the interview below:

In August, Young called on promoters to cancel “super-spreader” COVID-era gigs.

“The big promoters, if they had the awareness, could stop these shows,” Young wrote in the blog post. “Live Nation, AEG, and the other big promoters could shut this down if they could just forget about making money for a while.”


In December, Young released his 41st studio album (and 14th with long-serving band Crazy Horse) ‘Barn‘.

In a four-star review, NME said: “Raw and rugged at every turn, the album captures the telepathic bond that these rock’n’roll renegades have cultivated over the years. Of all the messages we should listen to on this album, the overriding one is that Neil Young remains as vital as he always has been”.



Brockhampton cancel most of 2022 European tour due to surge in COVID cases

“Due to current restrictions resulting from the recent COVID-19 surge across Europe, we have made the difficult decision to cancel all the dates on our European tour except for the 2 shows at Brixton Academy in London, which will proceed as scheduled on February 08 & 08,” Brockhampton said in a statement shared on social media.

They added that refunds for the cancelled shows will be available from the original point of purchase.

— BROCKHAMPTON (@brckhmptn) December 16, 2021

Brockhampton’s remaining European tour dates are as follows:

07 – 02 Academy Brixton, London
08 – 02 Academy Brixton, London

The likes of The Charlatans, SupergrassSam Fender, Paul Weller and Coldplay have all scrapped recent shows due to COVID infections while The Streets have pulled their entire 2022 tour.


Last week, Boris Johnson announced ‘Plan B’ measures that made COVID passports mandatory for gigs and nightclubs, with people needing to show proof they’re fully vaccinated, or provide a negative test.

However yesterday (December 15), he confirmed that the government had no plans to close pubs, venues or nightclubs. “We are not closing hospitality or stopping parties,” he said, though he did urge the public to take caution when attending social events and emphasised the importance of regular testing.

This messaging has created what some industry professionals are calling a “steal lockdown” with many venues “on the brink of collapse” due to postponed gigs, a “catastrophic” drop in attendance and worries about a January lockdown.

Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham, has hit back at Johnson’s messaging. “You can’t tell people to ‘think carefully’ before going to pubs and restaurants and then fail to provide any support for the workers/businesses affected,” he said on social media.

“The Government needs to bring forward a support package TODAY for hospitality, events, music and other affected sectors.”



Arcade Fire play first gig since COVID pandemic

Maroon 5, Billy Idol, Kings Of Leon, Snoop Dogg, Alice Cooper and Steve Aoki also performed at the event described as a “an immersive event for the community to celebrate the Gala Games metaverse”. Gala Games describes itself as “the leaders in play-to-earn, blockchain, and NFT gaming”.

Footage from the event shows Butler and Chassagne plying Arcade Fire songs including ‘My Body Is A Cage’ from 2007’s ‘Neon Bible‘ and ‘Everything Now’ from their latest album of the same name, which was released in 2017.

“You know that dream that you have where you’re, like, in Las Vegas and your band’s not there and you’re about to sing, and then you turn around and there’s a bunch of people eating dinner? Yeah, it’s a fucked up dream,” Butler said while introducing ‘My Body Is A Cage’. See footage below.

Mind Blown!

🔥⚡ Arcade Fire! ⚡🔥#IntoTheGalaverse $GALA@GoGalaGames @BitBenderBrink @mysticaloaks @CryptoWendyO

— Crypto Euclid – I'm at GALAVERSE! (@CryptoEuclid) December 12, 2021

Oh my God this is so good!

Arcade Fire! @arcadefire 🔥#IntoTheGalaverse $GALA@GoGalaGames @BitBenderBrink @mysticaloaks @CryptoWendyO

— Crypto Euclid – I'm at GALAVERSE! (@CryptoEuclid) December 12, 2021

Oh my God this is so good!

Arcade Fire! @arcadefire 🔥#IntoTheGalaverse $GALA@GoGalaGames @BitBenderBrink @mysticaloaks @CryptoWendyO

— Crypto Euclid – I'm at GALAVERSE! (@CryptoEuclid) December 12, 2021


Earlier this year the band shared a new 45-minute song titled ‘Memories of the Age of Anxiety’ for a meditation and sleep app. The instrumental was created for the Headspace app, which offers meditation and mindfulness skills “on everything from managing stress and everyday anxiety to sleep, focus and mind-body health”.

In October 2020 Butler told Rick Rubin’s Broken Record podcast that the band had recorded “two or three” albums during the pandemic.



Jessie Ware postpones the rest of her UK tour after crew members contract COVID

Taking to Twitter, the singer said: “I’m completely devastated to announce that sadly, we have to reschedule the remaining shows of the ‘What’s Your Pleasure?’ tour.


— Jessie Ware (@JessieWare) December 10, 2021

“We tried hard to make sure the tour was as safe as possible but unfortunately Covid has found a way to scupper my disco dreams. More crew members tested positive this morning and whilst we attempted to find a way to save the show and keep going till the end, it feels irresponsible to do so.

“Everyone has worked so hard on pulling this show together & I am proud of what we have created. The show is there ready and waiting for you all when it is safe enough to do so.”

The singer confirmed all tickets remain valid for the rescheduled shows.

The tour was previously moved from April 2021 to December due to ongoing concerns surrounding the coronavirus pandemic.


The remaining tour dates are now as follows:

MAY 2022

26 – Marble Factory, Bristol
28 – O2 Brixton Academy, London 
29 – O2 Brixton Academy, London

A new date for the Glasgow O2 Academy show will be announced soon, according to the singer.

In a four-star review of the her recent album, NME wrote: “An intoxicating cocktail of seductive beats, exhilarating choruses and sleek production, ‘What’s Your Pleasure?’ is pure escapism. Moving away from the wistful melancholy that permeated her last record, here Jessie Ware takes to the dancefloor – and you’ll want to join her.”



Government announces masks and COVID passes for gigs, nightclubs and cinemas in England

Speaking at a Downing Street news conference this evening (December 8) the prime minister announced the measures in the government’s Plan B for dealing with coronavirus this winter.

BREAKING: Boris Johnson announces Plan B restrictions.

From Monday people will be advised to work from home if they can.

From Friday, face masks will be mandatory in most indoor venues.

COVID passports will be mandatory in "certain settings".


— Sky News (@SkyNews) December 8, 2021

“It’s now the proportionate and responsible thing to move to Plan B in England, while continuing to work closely with our colleagues in the devolved administrations so we can slow the spread of the virus,” Johnson said.

“From this Friday we will extend the legal requirement to wear face masks in most indoor public venues including theatres and cinemas. We’ll also make the NHS COVID pass mandatory for entry into nightclubs and venues where large crowds gather including unseated indoor venues with more than 500 people, unseated outdoor venues with more than 4,000 people and any venue with more than 10,000 people.”

These new measures have been heavily criticised by bodies across the live music industry.

“The introduction of Plan B results in an unfair double standard that allows people to go on all-day pub crawls in crowded bars without having to prove their COVID-19 status, whilst live music venues get hit with certification,” said Greg Parmley, CEO of Live music organisation LIVE.


“Across the country, music venues and events already have tried, tested and workable systems in place to ensure that live events continue to be safe – and these remain effective. However, after such a prolonged closure throughout the pandemic it is important the industry is able to remain open and that the government have listened to the industry and included the use of lateral flow testing in COVID certification.”

Nightclub Circus in Liverpool Credit: Anthony Devlin/Getty Images

Michael Kill, CEO of the Night Time Industries Association, also said that Boris Johnson “has thrown us under a bus”.

He added: “Today’s announcement of Plan B by the government is devastating news for nightlife sector. Vaccine passports have a damaging impact on Night Time Economy businesses, as we’ve seen in other parts of the UK where they have been implemented like Scotland – where trade is down 30 per cent – and Wales, where it is down 26 per cent.

“The government’s own report on the subject concluded that vaccine passports wouldn’t even have a significant impact on virus transmission – they don’t stop the spread of COVID but they do damage trade. You do, therefore, have to question the timing and rationale for this announcement. Is this sound evidence-based public policy making or is this an attempt to move the news agenda on from a damaging story about the Downing St Christmas party? It feels that nightclubs and bars have been thrown under the bus by the Prime Minister for him to save his own skin.

“And of course these businesses, who have already sacrificed so much during the pandemic, will be asking – ‘Why are we being asked to carry more of the burden when it seemed that the most senior Government officials felt they didn’t need to do their bit?’”

His comments come after a recent report claimed that COVID passports will only reduce overall community transmission by just one to five per cent.

The Music Venue Trust meanwhile, welcomed the latest measures with CEO Mark Davyd saying: “Whilst this is obviously a blow in the battle against the virus, we are pleased that the government has listened to the grassroots music venue sector and adopted a COVID pass policy that recognises testing and applies to larger gatherings – those venues operating above 500 capacity.

“MVT’s take a test policy has been extremely successful in limiting infection incidents in grassroot music venues, and we welcome the announcement that this has been recognised in the new policy.”

Please read Mark's statement in response to the governments announcement:

— Music Venue Trust (@musicvenuetrust) December 8, 2021

Both Wales and Scotland recently introduced vaccine passports for gigs and nightclubs.



Ozzy Osbourne jokes being a “devil worshipper” has helped him avoid COVID

“My wife had the virus; my daughter had the virus and I never got it,” he said. “Being a devil worshipper does have its good points!”

Ozzy previously confirmed that he had taken the vaccine in February this year. Last November, he revealed that his weak respiratory health makes him particularly vulnerable to the disease.

“I’ve got emphysema, so if I get this virus, I’m fucked,” he told GQ.

Ozzy Osbourne in 2020. Credit: Kevin Winter/Getty Images for iHeartMedia.

Last December, Sharon had tested positive while her talk show The Talk was on hiatus. Her granddaughter Minnie Osbourne contracted the virus in September that year.

In an interview last month, after her departure from The Talk, Sharon opened up about Ozzy’s current battle with Parkinson’s disease. The Black Sabbath frontman made his diagnosis publicly known in January 2020.


“He’s fine, he’s got it under control,” she said. “It breaks your heart that he wants to get back. He misses his friends, his musicians, they’re his partners. He misses that life.”

Last month, Ozzy reissued his 1991 album No More Tears as a deluxe reissue that featured a duet between him and the late Motörhead frontman Lemmy.

Ozzy is also busy preparing his next studio album, which is set to feature a cast of guest musicians, including members of Foo Fighters, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Metallica.



LA to require COVID vaccinations for indoor gigs

As Pitchfork reports further, LA city businesses that violate the new law will be subject to escalating fines, however, these will not be enforced until November 29. The mandate is intended to expire once the city lifts its emergency pandemic order.

Under this Los Angeles City rule, customers may submit written exemptions on the basis of religious beliefs or medical reasons but they can only use outdoor facilities.

Should no outdoor facilities be available, they may provide a recent negative COVID test to enter an indoor space. People who don’t have written exemptions or proof of vaccination will still be able to enter facilities briefly to pick up takeout orders or to use bathrooms.

Additionally, from November 4 the city law will require patrons of outdoor events with 5,000 or more people to show proof of vaccination or a recent negative test. However, the county-wide law will apply to outdoor events with 10,000 people.

Business groups have raised concerns about potential confusion because Los Angeles County is imposing its own set of vaccination rules for many local businesses and their customers. The county order already applies within LA city limits, but Californian cities can expand on county orders for vaccine requirements [via the Los Angeles Times].

The moves, which echo mandates in New York City, differ from situations overseas such as in England.


For months the UK government touted plans for indoor venues and other establishments to require patrons to be fully vaccinated against COVID. However, the government has halted enforcing the rule in England, stressing that the option to unroll it remains in its power.



NTIA calls Scotland’s COVID vaccine passports launch a “shambles”

It was then revealed that Judge Lord Burns refused the delay, saying that the implementation of the scheme is a “balanced way” to address “legitimate issues” surrounding the pandemic.

As such, the scheme came into force at 5am yesterday morning (October 1) as planned.

Businesses in Scotland are now obliged by law to check the vaccination status of everyone entering most pubs, bars, function rooms, or nightclubs who will still be on the premises after midnight, either by scanning the QR code on the NHS Covid Passport app, visually checking the status, or checking a printed paper copy of vaccine status.

CREDIT: Chris Eades/Getty Images

The NTIA has since issued a statement calling the implementation of these passports a “shambles”, following numerous reports of their being problems with the apps.

“It has become very clear that the Scottish App is simply not fit for purpose and the vast majority of people are experiencing repeated problems in registering and uploading their personal vaccine status to the app,” the NTIA said. “The NTIA has repeatedly warned Scottish government of just how unworkable their vaccine passport plan is, and the disastrous launch of this flawed scheme has proved that our warnings were well founded.


“Venues all over Scotland reported high levels of customer frustration over the lack of information from government and chaotic roll out of the App. It is becoming clear that increasing numbers of the public are losing trust in the Scottish government’s ability to competently administer this scheme and safeguard their personal medical details.”

It added: “Against a background of virtually zero public information from Scottish government, and little guidance issued to affected venues, the degree of understanding amongst the general populace of these requirements is close to non-existent.

“Confusion reigns over the delay in enforcement with most people believing that the scheme itself has been delayed, while as predicted there are huge operational issues as operators try to comply with this nonsensical and discriminatory policy with their hands effectively tied behind their backs.”

Reacting to the news, Mike Grieve, chairperson NTIA Scotland and Sub Club director, said: “As anticipated, the roll out of this ill-conceived policy led to chaos and confusion in the street last night with only a handful of our customers in possession of a functioning app passport. Around 50-60 others had a photocopy or screenshot of the wrong vaccination information or other spurious evidence of vaccination. Despite this we successfully checked all attendees for same day LFTs to protect the health and safety of our customers and staff. What a shambles!”

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon. CREDIT: Russell Cheyne-Pool/Getty Images

NTIA Scotland’s vice chairperson, Gavin Stevenson, added: “It is beyond belief that the Scottish government have continued with this flawed, discriminatory and unfair vaccine passport scheme against the advice of the affected sector and a majority of public health experts. Worse still, the rush to get it out to political deadlines has resulted in a completely botched launch that is destroying public trust in this government and creating anger and frustration on the streets outside venues. Nicola Sturgeon’s disastrous plan for medical ID’s must be scrapped immediately, and lessons learned as to why other European countries are now scrapping their schemes too.”

Elsewhere, Michael Kill, CEO NTIA UK, said: “Last night businesses across Scotland felt the real weight of confusion and frustration from members of the public on the first trading session where operators were expected to implement COVID passports, this ill-conceived, unworkable mitigation which has been poorly communicated will only lead to further chaos and potentially irreversible damage to a sector which is still extremely fragile, and is fundamental to the recovery of Scotland’s economy.”

Other comments have come from Donald Macleod, managing director of Holdfast Entertainment/CPL, who called the entire thing “an APP-ALLING shambles”, while Club Tropicana director Tony Cochrane said the passport launch is “one of the greatest failures ever”.

In England, meanwhile, the plan for vaccine passports for nightclubs, sporting events and large live music events has been scrapped.



Twenty One Pilots compare touring during COVID to ‘Lord of The Rings’

“Galadriel says ‘This quest stands upon the edge of a knife. Stray but a little and it will fail’.

“Why am I telling you that,” he continued, “Well, we’re not in the clear. I know that you guys know there’s a lot of risk involved in going and playing shows right now.”

“So I want you to know that I appreciate you guys taking the extra precautions, being smart and just know, Josh and I will be doing the same,” he continued. “We’ll be trying as hard as we can to get through this entire tour.”

The footage was released as part of the first episode of Twenty One Pilots’ Takeover Tour Series.

These behind the scenes videos will look at Twenty One Pilots’ ongoing tour that will see the band play a series of shows ranging from “rare and intimate club performances to full-on arena spectacles” in select cities in the US, as well as London and Mexico City.


This weekend, Twenty One Pilots also appeared in online game Roblox for an interactive livestream. The five-song set premiered just after Midnight BST September 18 and will be repeated every hour, on the hour, until 7am BST September 20.

To view the concert, people will need to log into their Roblox account or sign up for one here.



Nightclubs and gigs in Wales to require COVID passports from October

In a statement, Drakeford said: “Across Wales, coronavirus cases have risen to very high levels over the summer as more people have been gathering and meeting. Tragically, more people are dying from this terrible virus.

Fall Out Boy perform at Motorpoint Arena in Cardiff CREDIT: Mike Lewis Photography/Redferns

“The very strong advice we have from our scientific advisers is to take early action to prevent infections from increasing further. The last thing we want is further lockdowns and for businesses to have to close their doors once again.

“That’s why we must take small but meaningful action now to control the spread of the virus and reduce the need for tougher measures later.”

A similar scheme is being implemented in Scotland by Nicola Sturgeon after cases surged across the country in September.


In England, meanwhile, the government’s plans to introduce coronavirus vaccine passports in order to gain entry into nightclubs and large events in the country were scrapped last week.

The scheme, which was met with backlash from industry leaders when it was first announced back July, was confirmed to be going ahead earlier this month. However, health secretary Sajid Javid has since confirmed the government has decided not to move forward with it.



London nightclub Egg lost £20,000 per night during COVID lockdowns

Since reopening on July 19, Egg has required a negative COVID test result for all those wanting to enter the venue, which Hans said “works really well”.

Among other measures, Egg has installed air conditioning for proper ventilation, new coronavirus-proof hand dryers and temperature checks at the door as well as training up staff on COVID protocol. Hess claimed that the club hasn’t had issues with spikes in infections so far.

Clubbers at Egg nightclub hug each other on ‘Freedom Day’, July 19, 2021. CREDIT: Rob Pinney/Getty Images

“We’re happy. We’ve been quite busy. People have been getting down and the vibe has been really good,” Hess explained. “We’ve had lots of young people, which is really good for the younger generation and those who haven’t experienced nightlife before.”

But he added that “bills are adding up and authorities are not helping with the guidelines and restrictions. It’s been a nightmare”.

“It will be really difficult for us,” Hess said in light of the new COVID passports, which will require anyone wanting to enter a nightclub to be double vaccinated. “I’m feeling a bit apprehensive.”


Michael Kill, CEO of the Night Time Industries Association said last Wednesday (September 1), that the government’s decision to proceed with the move “is disappointing as it will cripple the industry”.

“Surely the government can see this is not workable. The challenges are endless, and the sector will be hit extremely hard by this decision, embroiled in discrimination cases, staffing and supply chain shortages, tourism and so on,” he said in a statement.

Other environments are also to be included in the government’s new plan to help curb the spread of the virus. Full details are expected to be announced soon.



TRNSMT festival announce COVID safety measures ahead of event

Attendees at the festival must complete a Lateral Flow Test ahead of the event. Proof of vaccination won’t be a condition of entry.

Organisers said in a statement: “Everyone attending the festival must take a lateral flow test, upload their result and show their confirmation email or text message (or a screen grab) to stewards before entry – anyone unable to provide proof of a negative test result will be denied admittance. This is the only covid related condition for entry and the recent announcement about Vaccination Passports in Scotland will not apply to TRNSMT 2021.

“Fans attending multiple days across the weekend, will be required to take a second test 48 hours after the first one. So for example, anyone taking their first test on Friday morning before arriving onsite must take another on Sunday morning in order to enter the festival.”

Fans watch the Sundara Karma perform on the main stage during the TRNSMT Festival at Glasgow Green on July 13, 2019 in Glasgow, Scotland CREDIT: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

As well as this, the festival has set up over 140 hand sanitisation stations, enhanced cleaning schedules and more hand-washing facilities than ever before on site to help with the safety of the event.

It also added: “TRNSMT is also asking fans to avoid car sharing with people outside of their household and to make sure to wear masks if travelling on public transport, also recommending face coverings are worn in any queues on entry, as well as at toilets or bar areas.


“And, as an additional COVID precaution TRNSMT is operating a completely cashless site for the first time – with all vendors accepting contactless payments.”

Geoff Ellis, Festival Director of TRNSMT said in a statement: “For lots of people, this will be the first big weekend out they’ve had in over a year – long overdue and extremely well-deserved after some really tough months.

“But we all need to work together and we’re reaching out to fans to make sure they order and take lateral flow tests 48 hours prior to  entry and upload the result, use the on-site hygiene points and wear a mask when queuing.”

“It’s impossible to completely eliminate the risk of COVID but we’re doing our best to reduce it as much as possible.”

“We want everyone to have an absolutely first-class weekend out with their friends enjoying live music so make sure you look after yourself and each other so that it’s the weekend you’ve been waiting for. I know there are a lot of excited fans out there, so our trained welfare team will also be on hand to look out for everyone and provide support if needed.”

The Scottish event will return to Glasgow Green between September 10-12, with Courteeners, Liam Gallagher and The Chemical Brothers set to headline.

This year’s festival will run at full capacity (50,000 people) following the recent easing of COVID restrictions in Scotland.



Kid Rock says “over half” of his band have tested positive for COVID

“I was gonna come and rock the house anyway, play acoustic, DJ or even just Juggle…. Deez Nutz!! – or at least try to entertain u good folks. But seriously, shit is way out of my hands on this one. I am beyond upset and you real ones know I would never cancel if I absolutely didn’t have too. For this, I am sorry.”

Following the update, he went on to share an expletive-laden rant about Afghanistan – see the full post below.

Earlier this year (June 10), Kid Rock doubled down on his use of a homophobic slur by repeating the same word again on Twitter.

The rapper was filmed calling fans “f*****s” on June 5 as they captured footage of his performance at Tennessee’s FishLipz Bar & Grill.


Addressing the controversy over his comments last night (June 9) in a post on the official Kid Rock Twitter account under his real name, he wrote: “If Kid Rock using the word ‘f****t’ offends you, good chance you are one. Either way, I know he has a lot of love for his gay friends and I will have a talk with him. Have a nice day. – Bob Ritchie.”



Masks required for Harry Styles’ US tour alongside vaccinations and COVID tests

A statement accompanying the announcement read: “Requiring testing, or proof of vaccination, is the best way to protect the health and safety of our crew and fans, and is quickly becoming the new standard for concerts around the US. There will be no exceptions to these policies.”

It added that venue staff at each show will need to follow the same protocols as attendees.

Harry Styles performs live, 2021. CREDIT: Getty

Styles confirmed the rescheduled US shows in July. Last December, he said that the UK and European leg of the tour is postponed “indefinitely”.

Harry Styles ‘Love On Tour’ US dates 2021:

04 – Las Vegas, NV, MGM Grand Garden Arena
07 – Denver, CO, Ball Arena
09 – San Antonio, TX, AT&T Center
11 – Dallas, TX, American Airlines Center

13 – Houston, TX, Toyota Center
15 – St. Louis, MO, Enterprise Center
17 – Philadelphia, PA, Wells Fargo Center
18 – Washington, DC, Capital One Arena
20 – Detroit, MI, Little Caesars Arena
22 – St. Paul, MN, Xcel Energy Center
24 – Chicago, IL, United Center
25 – Chicago, IL, United Center
29 – Nashville, TN, Bridgestone Arena


01 – Nashville, TN, Bridgestone Arena
03 – New York, NY, Madison Square Garden
04 – New York, NY, Madison Square Garden
07 – Orlando, FL, Amway Center
08 – Ft. Lauderdale, FL, BB&T Center
10 – Tampa, FL, Amalie Arena
12 – Raleigh, NC, PNC Arena
14 – Pittsburgh, PA, PPG Paints Arena
16 – New York, NY, Madison Square Garden
18 – Cleveland, OH, Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse
21 – Uncasville, CT, Mohegan Sun Arena
23 – Uncasville, CT, Mohegan Sun Arena
25 – Boston, MA, TD Garden
27 – Atlanta, GA, State Farm Arena
28 – Atlanta, GA, State Farm Arena
30 – New York, NY, Madison Square Garden
31 – New York, NY, Madison Square Garden

03 – Milwaukee, WI, Fiserv Forum
07 – Tacoma, WA,Tacoma Dome
08 – Portland, OR, Moda Center
10 – Sacramento, CA, Golden 1 Center
11 – San Jose, CA, SAP Center
13 – Glendale, AZ, Gila River Arena
15 – San Diego, CA, Pechanga Arena
17 – Los Angeles, CA, The Forum
19 – Los Angeles, CA, The Forum
20 – Los Angeles, CA, The Forum

The tour will hear Styles play songs from his latest solo album, ‘Fine Line‘, which was released in 2019. He is also likely to perform cuts from his 2017 debut self-titled record.

Meanwhile, the One Direction bandmember is leading nominations for this year’s Ivor Novello Awards.

Styles is up for Songwriter of the Year along with his regular collaborator Kid Harpoon, while he’s also nominated twice in the PRS for Music Most Performed Work category. Lewis Capaldi also has two nods in that category.



Busta Rhymes rails against COVID protocols on stage: “Fuck your mask”

Busta Rhymes. CREDIT: Press

“It’s called a God-given right for freedom, right?” he continued. “No human being is supposed to tell you you can’t even breathe freely. Fuck your mask! Some of y’all might feel differently but fuck your mask! You can’t eat food with a fucking mask on. You can’t even see each other smile with a mask on.”

The rapper also complained that he was finding it harder to flirt with women while wearing a mask. “All of that energy gets blocked when your mask is on,” he told the crowd. “Energy is important and we are all conductors of good energy.”

Busta also spoke out against COVID safety protocols in an NME interview in October last year, claiming that ulterior motives for the pandemic were being hidden by “sheeple” who were following government guidelines.

“This is one of the most unfortunate times in the history of the existence of this planet. It feels like our intelligence is being insulted significantly and there’s no accountability for the suffering we have to encounter as a result. There feels like there’s a blatant inconsistency in truth for us to be able to protect our well-being in the right way,” he said.


Asked to elaborate who would stand to gain from such a conspiracy, Busta responded with the vague assertion that there was “obviously something wrong and some other agenda going on – a lot of it is political”.

He added: “We’re getting caught up in the overwhelming abundances of propaganda that’s keeping us distracted from realising that there’s some truth we need to start working towards and getting to the bottom of.”



Governors Ball and Louder Than Life to require COVID vaccines or negative tests

“To protect the health of our fans, artists, staff and crew, all attendees will be required to show proof of either a full COVID-19 vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test,” Louder Than Life organisers wrote on Twitter.

— LouderThanLife (@LTLFest) August 11, 2021

“Safety is always our number one priority,” Governors Ball’s team wrote in their own statement. “As such, a full COVID-19 vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test result will be required to attend the festival.”

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by The Governors Ball (@govballnyc)

Louder Than Life will take place in Louisville, Kentucky between September 23-26 and will feature performances from the likes of Metallica, Nine Inch Nails, Korn, Snoop Dogg, Machine Gun Kelly and more.

Gov Ball, meanwhile, will be held in New York between September 24-26 at its new location of Citi Field in Queens. The festival will celebrate its 10th anniversary, postponed from 2020, with sets from headliners Billie Eilish, A$AP Rocky, J Balvin and Post Malone.


The NYC festival also announced a series of shows, dubbed After Dark, taking place at various venues around the city before and after the weekender. Freddie Gibbs, Earthgang, Muna and more will perform at the gigs – find more details on those at the festival’s website.

The festivals’ COVID requirements follow Live Nation announcing that all of its venues and festivals in both the UK and US will require attendees to be fully vaccinated or provide a negative test. Venues across New York will also adopt new entry requirements that will need fans to show proof of at least one vaccination dose.



Haim postpone UK tour due to COVID travel restrictions

As per an official updated poster, Georgia will fulfil her previously announced “special guest” slot on next year’s tour. An extra date for Dublin has also been added for June 28 as part of the city’s Trinity Summer Series.

“We can’t wait to bring wimpiii to the stage and we’re going to go even harder as soon as we’re allowed to play for you!!!” Haim wrote on Instagram. “Until then, everybody stay safe and we love you.”

You can see the band’s announcement and the full list of concerts below.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by HAIM (@haimtheband)

28 – Trinity College, Dublin

13 – Millennium Square, Leeds
14 – SSE Hydro, Glasgow
16 – O2 Victoria Warehouse, Manchester
17 – O2 Victoria Warehouse, Manchester
19 – Motorpoint Arena, Nottingham
20 – Motorpoint Arena, Cardiff
21 – The O2 Arena, London


Next month’s shows would have seen Haim showcase their acclaimed third album ‘Women In Music Pt. III’, which came out in June 2020, to UK audiences for the very first time.

The sisters have, however, appeared in various live-streamed settings over the course of the pandemic – including on Glastonbury’s Live At Worthy Farm, which was broadcast back in May.

Reviewing the show, NME wrote: “[Haim played] a gorgeous sunset slot and mark the long-awaited live debut of their huge level-up of a third album, ‘Women In Music Pt. III’. From ‘Summer Girl’ to ‘Don’t Wanna’, Haim’s newest songs feel tailor-made for sunset on the Pyramid Stage, a setting that will surely await them at – fingers crossed – a full-scale Glastonbury in 2022.”



Van Morrison drops legal action over Northern Ireland’s COVID live music ban

Now, following the Stormont’s Executive’s recent decision to allow live music to return, according to the BBC Morrison has dropped the challenge. He was forced to cancel a run of shows at Belfast’s Ulster Hall due to begin last week.

Van Morrison CREDIT: Tim Mosenfelder/WireImage

After the release of Morrison’s anti-lockdown songs, Northern Ireland’s Health Minister Robin Swann criticised the longstanding singer, who he accused of delivering a “smear on all those involved in the public health response”.

When the musician first began legal proceedings, a spokesman for the Department of Health said: “It is an accepted scientific fact that COVID-19 can spread when people are brought together in enclosed indoor locations.

“Stopping the spread of the virus is a priority for governments across the world – to save lives and stop health services being overwhelmed.”


Meanwhile, Eric Clapton – who appeared on one of Morrison’s anti-lockdown songs ‘Stand And Deliver’ – recently declared that he will not perform concerts that require proof of vaccination.

Last month, Clapton revealed that during the first UK lockdown he began to consume “alternative data” about the pandemic on YouTube from the group of academics behind the Great Barrington Declaration, whose call for ‘focussed protection’ for those at risk from coronavirus and a return to normal life for all others has been widely criticised by numerous public health bodies including the World Health Organisation.



Yungblud shares COVID entry requirements for ‘Occupy The UK’ tour

Earlier this evening (July 27), the Doncaster rocker updated fans with information regarding entry into the shows on the tour, revealing that each date will offer free complimentary masks that are “fookin sick”.

“august tour news!!! ive waited for 18 months for this moment but as always safety and well-being is always my priority,” Yungblud said on Twitter. “these shows are gonna be fookin history, let’s do it right !!! you’re my blood and guts. i love you!!! are you fookin ready?!?”

august tour news!!! ive waited for 18 months for this moment but as always safety and well-being is always my priority. these shows are gonna be fookin history, let’s do it right !!! you’re my blood and guts. i love you!!! are you fookin ready?!? 🖤🩸🖤

— YUNGBLUD’s on mars (@yungblud) July 27, 2021

One of the following criteria will be accepted in order to gain entry to the shows:

  • Proof of a negative NHS COVID-19 lateral flow test, taken within 24 hours of entry
  • Proof of full COVID-19 vaccination, both doses received at least 14 days before entry
  • Proof of natural immunity based upon a positive PCR test, taken within 180 days of the show (including 10-days self-isolation following the result)

The singer will head out on another tour, dubbed the ‘Life On Mars’ tour, later this year, beginning in Brighton at the end of September.

See Yungblud’s full list of upcoming tour dates below:




6 – Nottingham, Rock City
7 – Nottingham, Rock City
9 – London, Kentish Town Forum
10 – London, Kentish Town Forum
12 – London, Kentish Town Forum
13 – London, Kentish Town Forum
14 – London, Kentish Town Forum


7 – Glasgow, Barrowlands
8 – Glasgow, Barrowlands



27 – Brighton
28 – Bournemouth
29 – Plymouth


1 – London
2 – Portsmouth
4 – Bristol
5 – Bristol
7 – Manchester
8 – Manchester
9 – Doncaster
11 – Edinburgh
12 – Newcastle
14 – Birmingham
15 – Birmingham
16 – Leeds
18 – Liverpool
19 – Liverpool

APRIL 2022

30 – Lisbon

MAY 2022

3 – Barcelona
5 – Paris
6 – Paris
8 – Esch-sur-Alzette
9 – Berlin
10 – Warsaw
12 – Hamburg
13 – Brussels
14 – Amsterdam
16 – Munich
18 – Milan
19 – Zurich
21 – Vienna
24 – Moscow
25 – St Petersburg
26 – Helsinki
28 – Stockholm
29 – Oslo
30 – Copenhagen

JUNE 2022

1 – Prague
2 – Prague
4 – Cologne
10 – Dublin

Yungblud released his second album ‘Weird!’ last December. Last month, he played a free, last-minute show in Los Angeles.



Northern Ireland music venues reopen with COVID restrictions

However, some rules will remain in place. Punters are required to adhere to one-metre social distancing, purchase tickets in advance and have allocated seating in the venues from tonight.

Van Morrison, who legally challenged NI’s ban on live music, described the announcement as “shambolic” and a “kick in the teeth”.

“Cancelled concerts that were planned for this week could have gone ahead,” he said. “Regrettably like many other sectors, there’s been no advance warning, no plan or roadmap for the industry.

“Stormont have lost the confidence in the public and are clearly deaf to our industry when making decisions.”

Morrison has been an outspoken critic of COVID-enforced restrictions throughout the pandemic, condemning the “pseudo-science” of socially distanced gigs last summer and writing multiple songs denouncing lockdowns.


Meanwhile, full capacity live shows returned in England last Monday (July 19) as the government lifted all legal coronavirus restrictions.

Over the weekend, Latitude, Tramlines and Standon Calling became the first festivals to take place at full-scale post-lockdown.



New poll finds that eight in 10 nightlife businesses won’t use COVID passports

However, REKOM UK – who own over 40 nightclubs across the UK – this week rejected the government’s advice to voluntarily request COVID passports from attendees once restrictions are lifted, and a new poll has now found that eight out of 10 nightlife business in the UK are set to follow suit.

The survey of 250 venues, which was conducted by the Night Time Industries Association (NTIA), found that 82 per cent would not be asking their customers to provide their COVID status in order to gain entry.

XOYO in London, 2019 (Picture: Getty)

Among the popular reasons supplied by respondents to the poll included concerns over the cost of implementing a COVID passport system without active government support, the potential for confrontation between staff and disgruntled consumers without certification and the fact that businesses have only been given a week’s notice by the government.

“We are hugely concerned that the government has caused yet more confusion by suggesting that COVID Passports are not mandatory while, at the same time, details reveal clearly that this could well be the case in future,” NTIA CEO Michael Kill said in a statement.

“Government guidance released this week has given businesses less than a week to make what would be a major change to their operating model. This type of ambiguous communication is creating hesitation amongst customers and operators. At this rate, ‘freedom day’ will be a false dawn for a nightlife sector characterised by chaos.”


Speaking to NME earlier this month, Michael Kill said that the challenge for nightclubs in terms of reopening “is to be responsible”.

“We have to be realistic in terms of protecting our staff and customers while retaining some key protocols and really consider the government guidance. We need to do our part,” he said. “We can’t just say: ‘The doors are open – let’s run’. Let’s proceed with caution.”