UK: RiZE Festival Announced, Go-Ahead For Colston Hall Refurbishment

There’s a new event, RiZE Festival, coming to Hylands Park in Chelmsford, England, one of the former sites of V Festival, which won’t be returning in 2018.

RiZE Festival
– RiZE Festival
Is this the replacement for V Festival?

RiZE is reportedly taking place on the same weekend V Festival used to take place on, Aug. 17-18, it seems fair to assume that this is the replacement event fans have been waiting for.

It’s hard to say where Essex Live got the date from. One can still find festival artwork displaying the date in a Google search, but it’s nowhere to be seen in the original article. RiZE Festival’s official Twitter account does not mention any date. It merely states that the official announcement will be made on Monday, Feb. 26.

What speaks against RiZE being the official replacement event for V Festival is the fact that it’s only been announced for Hylands Park. V Festival, used to take place at two locations over the same weekend, Hylands Park and Weston Park, Staffordshire.

When Virgin announced it would be pulling out as a sponsor of the event, promoter Melvin Benn of Festival Republic said that the new festival would expand to a three-day event with both the southern and northern legs remaining.

RiZE is also the name of the company that bringing Liam Gallagher to the Old Trafford cricket grounds in Manchester, Aug. 18. It is being rumored that RiZE is the trading name of Festival Republic and SJM Concerts, both of whom had a stake in V Festival.

Back when the Gallagher show was announced, Pollstar had sent out a request for clarification to Festival Republic, to find out what kind of company RiZE is. The request has been resent.

Colston Hall Redevelopment Plans Approved

The 2,000 capacity Colston Hall in Bristol, England, has received the city council’s go-ahead for its planned £48.8 million ($68 million) redevelopment.

Bristol City Council own the building, which is run by the Bristol Music Trust. The council has now selected a contractor for the construction works, Willmott Dixon. The company was also responsible for Colston Hall’s £20 million ($28 million) foyer space, which was constructed in 2009.

No work has been done to the rest of the building for 60 years. The plan is to transform the long-standing hall into a modern-day concert venue, while retaining its Victorian charm. Among other things the cellar space will be transformed into a new venue, and the two current halls, the main Colston Hall and The Lantern, will be refurbished. The main auditorium will receive a larger stage, new canopy, balconies and seats, a fore-stage lift and new wall finishes, among other things.

The New Colston Hall (Rendering)
– The New Colston Hall (Rendering)
The venue’s operators believe the refurbished building will attract 54 percent more performances.

The Hall’s operators believe the new building will increase its capacity by 30 percent, and the number of performances by 54 per cent, as well as create 50 additional jobs.

The refurbishment, which is going to launch in summer and is scheduled for completion in 2020, marks Bristol’s biggest redevelopment program in the arts sector ever, according to the announcement. Until then, the Hall’s foyer is going to be used for live events.

“The Hall hasn’t been updated since it opened in the 1950s, so it’s a long overdue a transformational refurbishment that will give Bristol and the South West a world class venue to be proud of as we make our detailed plans a reality,” said Louise Mitchell, Chief Executive of Bristol Music Trust.

Bristol’s mayor Marvin Rees said he was “really pleased that the Arts Council has committed this funding alongside our own investment and that of other city partners. There is no doubt that it will bring long-term benefits to people in a number of ways. First and foremost it will make culture more accessible to everyone, but it will also help more people participate in the arts, improve education facilities for young people and attract more people to the city by providing a world-class music venue fit for the future.”

The public has the opportunity to purchase seats in the venue over four years, which are going to include the person’s name plaque, by making a monthly £5 donation. So far, more than £41 million ($57 million) has been raised, including £10 million from Bristol City Council, £5 million from the UK’s Treasury, £10 million from Arts Council England, £4.75 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund, £5 million from the West of England Combined Authority as well as local donors and trusts and foundations.

Clare Jack, the former development director at Bath Festivals, England, recently took on the role as COO of Bristol Music Trust.