We know it's tough right now to stay positive. But we're here to let you know that it's not all doom and gloom. Keep your chin up, and find solace in music and the arts. So, each week, we're going to be bringing you our favourite positive music news stories from around the world. We hope it brings a smile to your face. Enjoy!
BBC radio stations unite for Great British Singalong
Radio stations across the BBC network joined forces yesterday (2 April) for the Great British Singalong. The idea was created in order to lift the spirits of the nation.
The five most popular music stations - BBC Radio 1, Radio 2, 6 Music, 1 Xtra and the Asian Network - came together in a simulcast at 9am on Thursday 2nd April. It comes in a time where live streaming of radio has risen by 18%.
As he kicked off the simulcast, Greg James said: "Radio is brilliant at bringing people together, and at this time its power is magnetised". You can read which songs were played here.
Rick Astley becomes latest artist to offer free concert for NHS and Frontline Staff.
Last week, we saw Paul Heaton & Jacqui Abbott announce a free show for NHS workers at the Motorpoint Arena, Nottingham. This week, Rick Astley becomes the latest artist to offer a show for free. This time, at Manchester Arena.
The show will be free to all NHS Frontline, primary care workers, and all blue light staff, and will take place on Wednesday 28th October 2020.
In a statement, Rick said: "Our NHS and emergency services are amazing. This concert is a thank you to all those fantastic frontline staff. I promise my band and I will give it everything to give you a great night out."
Laura Marling brings fans weekly guitar lessons
In a series of Instagram Live streams, acclaimed folk musician Laura Marling has been teaching guitar to followers around the world.
Her guitar tutorials take place every Thursday and Sunday at 7pm UK time. The lessons have seen Laura teach fans how to play a number of her songs such as 'Sophia', 'Salinas', 'Walk Alone' and 'David'. As detailed on her Facebook page, Laura Marling explained that "for those who’s timezone makes attendance tricky, the live lessons will be followed up shortly after with catch up pause-and-play episodes (the first two of which are up already on IGTV)."
Tune in on Thursdays and Sundays here.
Jake Bugg joins Nottingham live stream music festival
Streaming from 3pm this Saturday, Nottingham's The Light Hustle festival will see local superstar Jake Bugg perform. He will appear alongside some great Nottingham talent including singer-songwriter Georgie. The festival was created by Hockley Hustle and Youth Music-funded project Circle of Light.
As reported in the Hucknall Dispatch, more than 20 artists will come together to support the fundraiser for Nottingham's creative community. To watch the show on Saturday, tune in on Facebook here or here.
Huge line up announced for marathon “lock-in” charity concert including Years & Years and Declan McKenna
It has been revealed that the ‘Friday Night Lock-In’ concert - a seven hour performance on Instagram Live - will see musicians, comedians and TV stars performing online today (3rd April) from 5pm til midnight. The concert will be in aid of CALM, the mental health charity.
Artists getting involved include Years & Years' Olly Alexander, Declan McKenna, Frank Turner, Kurupt FM. It will also see comedians Ed Gamble and Phil Wang perform. Tune in on the Instagram of any of the artists mentioned!
SoundCloud announces new cash plan to help artists during crisis
Streaming service SoundCloud have announced a plan to support artists during these turbulent times for the music and entertainment industry.
As reported in the NME, it includes a $5m boost in free promotional support. This hopes to drive more plays on their platform. They have also introduced a new tool in the form of a fan-support button, which enables artists to receive direct support from followers through their SoundCloud profile. These are just some of the initiatives that SoundCloud have made available to artists.
Lizzo sends thanks to hospital workers in the form of free lunches
On Tuesday of this week (31st March), Lizzo took to Instagram to show how she had been personally thanking hospital workers in these difficult times. The superstar sent meal packages to medical workers all over the US as a token of her appreciation.
In a heartwarming video, you can see images of hospital staff receiving their meals and holding up signs saying "Thank you Lizzo!". The singer also shared a link to donate money to assist those working on the frontline of the crisis. See the post here.
The Streets and Tame Impala tease new collaboration
Earlier this week, Mike Skinner of The Streets teased a collaboration with Tame Impala on Instagram. The song is due to appear on a forthcoming mixtape from The Streets.
The track will be the first time that the two artists have collaborated, and from the sound of the preview it's going to be great! Listen to the track preview on Mike Skinner's Instagram.
Bauer Media owned radio stations to air 52 hours of live music over Easter
Bauer Media has announced a schedule of special live music programming across six of their radio stations, due this Easter Bank holiday.
In a press release on the Bauer Media website, it was confirmed that Absolute Radio, Jazz FM, Kiss, Kerrang! Radio, Scala Radio and Planet Rock will be broadcasting 52 hours of live music over Easter weekend. Its intention is to make up for the gap left by the cancellation of gigs and festivals around the country.
Full programming will be announced soon. Steve Parkinson, Group Managing Director of National Radio at Bauer Media said: “While venues and clubs are closed, we saw a fantastic opportunity to bring the live music experience right into our listeners homes. Thanks to the incredible support of the Audio Content Fund, our music-loving audiences will be able to enjoy a Bank Holiday weekend full of live performances and DJ sets, and we’re really proud to work with our production partners TBI Media, Somethin’ Else, Listen, and We Are Grape to deliver this.”
Virgin EMI announce Lockdown Live Festival
Virgin EMI has revealed plans for Lockdown Live. The virtual festival will be a ‘live’ music experience in support of Global Citizen and the World Health Organisation.
Music Week reports that the three-day live streamed music festival will begin today ( 3rd April - 5th April) and aims to provide entertainment and light relief in these uncertain times, while encouraging everyone to stay indoors.
The festival features a line-up including Hrvy, The Vamps, Alessia Cara, Tori Kelly, SG Lewis, Lily Moore, Twin Atlantic and more.
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