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Artists awarded funding to tour abroard

Grammy-nominated instrumentalist Imogen Heap is among a group of artists from in and around London getting a share of a quarter of a million pounds.The Music Export Growth Scheme funding is to help those signed to independent labels tour abroad.

Imogen Heap
Imogen Heap Credit: BPI (British Recorded Music Industry)

"Landmark albums and popular records from the canon of British music continue to form a strong core of UK music sales around the world. And in recent years we have started to witness more artists from the independent community top the charts and perform sell-out shows on the international circuit. The Music Export Growth Scheme has a role to play in this success and we are already seeing an encouraging return on the investment made by the Government, as bands embark on tours with iconic bands like The Rolling Stones and the Manic Street Preachers."

– Chris Tams, BPI Director of Independent Member Services


onBlackheath Festival Launch

Cleo Rocos
Cleo Rocos attends the launch of the OnBlackheath Festival on the rooftop garden of John Lewis, Oxford Street. Credit: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire

The onBlackheath festival was launched today, with Grace Jones performing on 13th September.

She was chosen by the day's headliner Massive Attack, who are curating the main stage. Other artists already announced for the weekend include Aloe Blacc, Young Fathers and Hot Chip's Joe Goddard. OnBlackheath festival, in partnership with John Lewis, is the first ever food and music festival on Blackheath Common.

onBlackheath launch
Frank Turner, Gizzi Erskine, and Harvey Goldsmith alongside members of Rhys Lewis and the Relics Credit: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire

London theatre refuses to host Jewish Film Festival

The Tricycle Theatre
The Tricycle has offered to use its own resources to replace funding from the Israeli Embassy Credit: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

A theatre has refused to host the UK Jewish Film Festival while it is sponsored by the Israeli Embassy amid the ongoing crisis in Gaza. The Tricycle Theatre in London, which has hosted the festival for the past eight years, had been due to screen at least 26 films as part of the event in November.

But Indhu Rubasingham, artistic director of the Tricycle, said the festival should not accept funding from "any party to the current conflict" between Israel and Palestinians. She said the theatre offered to use funding from its own resources to replace the festival's sponsorship from the Israeli Embassy in London. But the UK Jewish Film Festival (UKJFF) said the Tricycle's demands were "entirely unacceptable" and it was taking its screenings elsewhere.

"The Jewish community as a whole has enjoyed a successful relationship with the Tricycle and it is extremely saddening that they should look to politicise this festival by making demands that the UKJFF could never accept."

– Stephen Margolis, chairman of the UKJFF

"We have always sought to convey a wide perspective on the conflicts in the Middle East and initiate open dialogue with our audiences and guest speakers, and the Israeli Embassy have always supported us in this. The Tricycle have refused to take this into account in their decision."

– Judy Ironside, executive director of the UKJFF

"The Tricycle has always welcomed the festival and wants it to go ahead. We have proudly hosted the UK Jewish Film Festival for many years. We asked the UK Jewish Film Festival to reconsider its sponsorship by the Israeli Embassy. We also offered to replace that funding with money from our own resources. We regret that, following discussions, the chair of the UKJFF told us that he wished to withdraw the festival from the Tricycle. To be clear, at this moment, the Tricycle would not accept sponsorship from any government agency involved in the conflict. We hope to find a way to work with the UK Jewish Film Festival to allow the festival to go ahead at the Tricycle as it has done so successfully for the past eight years."

– Indhu Rubasingham, artistic director of the Tricycle


Stallone invites fans to star in next Expendables film

Kellan Lutz, Wesley Snipes, Sylvester Stallone, Antonio Banderas and Jason Statham attending the premiere of new film the Expendables III
Stallone told fans at the premiere: Credit: Ian West/PA Wire

Action star Sylvester Stallone joked that film fans could get a role in a future Expendables film as the third instalment had its world premiere in London tonight. The Oscar-nominated actor, who reprises his role as Expendables leader Barney Ross, also said: "I'd like to do Expendables 5 with everyone here. Keep your calendars open because I could be knocking on your door."

Hundreds of fans, some from South Africa and Venezuela, waited for hours outside the Odeon Leicester Square to meet cast members such as Jason Statham, Wesley Snipes, Antonio Banderas and Kellan Lutz, who did not disappoint and took time to sign autographs and pose for photos. The premiere was a family affair for Stallone, 68, who was accompanied by his wife Jennifer Flavin and their three daughters - Sistine, Sophia and Scarlet. "They're just here to see Kellan. Can you blame them?" he joked about his daughters.

Thousands expected to celebrate Eid in Trafalgar Square

Thousands of people from all faiths are expected to attend the annual Eid celebrations.
Thousands of people from all faiths are expected to attend the annual Eid celebrations. Credit: Johnny Green/PA Wire

Thousands of people will head to Trafalgar Square today for the annual Eid Festival in celebration of the end of Ramadan.

This year, visitors can expect a sumptuous array of fare from Muslim countries, with the inclusion of a global food festival as well as the usual stage entertainment, arts and crafts, exhibitions, calligraphy, henna and face painting.

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