A festival set on hotel balconies has been unveiled in Canada, while Music Venue Trust receives funding from Scottish Government and Sochi F1 could welcome fans…

Diesel Bird Hotel Music Festival

A new festival experience that uses pool decks and courtyards as stages and hotel room balconies as box suites has been launched by Diesel Bird Group.

The event, scheduled to take place on August 7 at the Ramada Plaza Downtown in Calgary, will follow the ‘Staycation’ venue model, developed by event and ticketing platform Showpass (pictured).

The Diesel Bird Hotel Music Festival is being run in partnership with Showpass, as well as SteelHead Music, 604 Records and Craig Senyk Initiatives, with tickets starting at C$75 per person.

The event company said that the hotel layout provides a safe social distancing environment with individual bathrooms, room service capabilities, contactless check in and check out, and a room to stay the night in, alleviating drinking and driving concerns and complying with all COVID-19 health and safety guidelines.

Lucas McCarthy, Showpass chief executive, said: “After seeing the success and response to the Hotels Live concert series, we started thinking of ways that we could take this concept one step further.

“We’ve now expanded our network of hotel partners, artists, and have begun working with amazing festivals partners like Diesel Bird to revive and support live music throughout Canada and the US.”

The festival will showcase Canadian country acts including Kristin Carter, NBC Songland finalist Shawn Austin and JoJo Mason, among others.

Sochi F1

Fans will be able to attend the Russian Formula One grand prix race in September after the season began behind closed doors last weekend.

Organisers of the race in Sochi said they are “meticulously planning” the event to allow for spectators to safely attend on September 27.

The Sochi Autodrom, the 55,000-capacity racetrack, recently began advertising ticket sales for the race, and has now formally confirmed that fans will be able to attend the Russian GP.

Alexey Titov, chief executive of F1 promoter ROSGONKI, said in a statement: “This will be an incredible festival for the widest audience possible.

“The event attendance remains at a good level year on year, and we are confident that the difficulties of this year will not become a special obstacle for motorsport fans.

“We are meticulously preparing to receive spectators safely and looking forward to seeing everyone in the Olympic Park.”

The opening races at the Red Bull Ring in Austria this month have been closed to spectators and the FIA has also limited the number of team personnel that can attend the race.

Tickets for the Russian Grand Prix can be bought via the Motorsport Tickets website.

Music Venue Trust

Scottish grassroots music venues will receive £2.2m from the Scottish Government to stabilise venues and prevent permanent closure.

Economy Secretary Fiona Hyslop announced the fund, which has been agreed with Music Venue Trust (MVT) and will support grassroots music venues until October.

Beverly Whitrick, strategic director, MVT, said: “Music Venue Trust is delighted to have agreed this funding with Scottish Government, and we thank them very much for their commitment to grassroots music venues. This funding will stabilise venues in the short term and prevent permanent closures, and we can begin to plan towards reopening every venue safely.”

MVT expects the fund to cover fixed costs which include rent, non-furloughed staff, servicing debts and utilities.

Nick Stewart of Sneaky Pete’s in Edinburgh, added: “This provides a lifeline for venues like Sneaky Pete’s whose future hangs in the balance. With no income in the pipeline and no reliable timeline for opening, venues’ staff have been distraught, especially as other enterprise or arts funding schemes were inaccessible to them.

“This will provide well-earned relief for these venues, and not before time. At Sneaky Pete’s we can begin to plan our recovery now, so that we can bring back music to our community who have really rallied behind us in an incredible way. We’re over the moon that we’ve been assured we can survive to eventually get back to making more paid performance opportunities for musicians.

“I think this time has really seen audiences realise how much they value their local music venues. We get supportive messages every day from music fans aching to see us reopen. They say you don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone, but thanks to this great news we are still here!”

Images: Showpass