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Andrew Lloyd Webber tackles West End ticket touts

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Andrew Lloyd Webber has announced he is to join forces with ticket resellers Twickets in a bid to beat the touts.

The theatrical grandee’s LW playhouses, which include The London Palladium the Theatre Royal Drury Lane, hope the move will bring “consumer-friendly ticket resale to the West End”.

Fans have often found themselves ripped off on secondary ticketing platforms.

Unwanted tickets bought at the box office will now be able to be resold for no more than the original price.

  • Andrew Lloyd Webber: My career in 7 songs

Rebecca Kane Burton, CEO at LW Theatres said: “We continue to strive to not only offer our customers an incredible experience, but also help them when things don’t go to plan.

“Providing a safe, secure and easy way to resell tickets is best practice and yet another step LW Theatres is taking to innovate and improve theatre-going.”

‘Market shift’

Lord Lloyd Webber has produced best-selling and long-running musicals including Cats and Jesus Christ Supsterstar.

Twickets launched in 2015 as a more ethical ticketing company, helping fans get into concerts by the likes of Adele and Arctic Monkeys, but this is their first official tie-in with a UK theatre group.

“The UK is in the midst of a market shift away from rip-off secondary ticketing platforms and towards capped consumer-friendly resale services,” added Twickets’ founder Richard Davies.

“I am proud Twickets is at the forefront of this change, and delighted we can extend our service to theatre lovers via this groundbreaking partnership with LW Theatres.”

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Liam Gallagher gig: Fan burned by flare at Sheffield concert

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Stacey Andrew

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Stacey Andrew photographed the flare in the crowd before it was thrown

A Liam Gallagher fan fears she has been “scarred for life” by a flare thrown at a gig.

Stacey Andrew, 27, from Boston in Lincolnshire, was at the Fly DSA Arena on Monday when she was set on fire, The Star reported.

“The flare hit my head and fell down my top, at first I didn’t realise what had happened until people shouted,” she said.

“It looks like someone let a firework off on my chest”.

Ms Andrew said it was her first gig.

She and her partner Callum Mutton were near the front and the people with flares were behind to the right.

“I didn’t realise what had happened then people started patting me. My shirt was in flames and a man ripped it off,” she said.

“People were shouting, ‘She’s on fire’.”

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Stacey Andrew

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Stacey Andrew and her partner Callum Mutton were at the Fly DSA Arena to see Liam Gallagher

She said security staff did not go over, but she had to go through the crowd to them.

“It was so embarrassing, I was just in my bra.

“The Red Cross saw us but their tap wasn’t running so they had to find water. The on-site nurse was good and covered my dignity as best as she could.”

But Ms Andrew said there was “no proper first aid”.

“I’m scared I’m going to be scarred for life,” she said.

  • Latest news and stories from Yorkshire
  • Flare let off at Liam Gallagher gig

Fly DSA Arena said it was “extremely sorry” to hear about the “irresponsible” actions of a fellow concert-goer.

“The irresponsible behaviour of the concert goer who threw the flare along with any other people within their party who were aware of the possibility of their actions cannot be condoned and they should be held accountable for their actions,” said Dominic Stokes, from the Fly DSA Arena.

He said Ms Andrew and Mr Mutton were both seen at the venue by an on-duty paramedic and advised to go to hospital.

The Arena said it had contacted them through social media to speak with them directly.

Arena staff offered a taxi but in the end Mr Mutton drove to hospital.

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Stacey Andrew

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Stacey Andrew was burnt on her chest and arm after the flare fell down her top

Bags were checked on entry, but security staff did not personally check everyone, Ms Andrew said.

“Everyone who bought drinks from Arena had plastic cups but a lot of lads had their own cans,” she added.

Mr Stokes said the use of smoke bombs and flares was a “new but increasing challenge” for all arenas.

He said security at the Fly DSA Arena was in line with National Arena Association guidelines, and added that its procedures will be reviewed.

Mr Stokes added: “I am aware from comments on social media that our processes for dealing with this type of prohibited item is being linked with our counter terrorism strategies.

“I can assure all our customers that our work with the relevant partners and agencies in this particular area has been commended and the seen and unseen actions we take mean the wellbeing of our customers is front and centre of everything we do.”

South Yorkshire Police is investigating the incident.

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Grammys 2020: Snubs and surprises

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Alicia Keys will return as the host of the Grammys in January 2020

Getting a Grammy nomination isn’t easy. Even a low-key award like “best jazz instrumental album” received 302 entries.

For the more coveted record of the year prize, a staggering 1,160 candidates were submitted. Members of the Recording Academy narrowed that down to eight nominees, with the likes of Taylor Swift, Lizzo and Billie Eilish all in the running.

That category sets a pattern, with female artists dominating the “big four” awards – best new artist, song of the year, record of the year and album of the year.

Lil Nas X also has a lot to celebrate – with nominations in record of the year, album of the year and best new artist.

But, even with 84 categories, there’s always a debate over perceived snubs. And this year is no different, with Ed Sheeran and Maren Morris shut out of the main categories.

Here are some of the other notable facts, figures, stats and surprises.

Mixed news for Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift is a darling of the Grammys, with 10 wins under her belt – including two album of the year awards. But the Academy didn’t shower her last album with love. The shadowy and vengeful Reputation received a single nomination for best pop album.

Swift did better this year, with four nominations – but she’s still frozen out of the best album category; which she was widely predicted to walk away with.

She can console herself, though, with the citation for song of the year, which recognises the craft of songwriting. Lover, the starry-eyed title track of her seventh album, is the only song in the running to be written by one person. And that’s one Taylor Alison Swift.

Billie Eilish could break one of Taylor’s records…

At 17 years old, Billie Eilish is the youngest singer in Grammys history to receive nominations in all four of the main categories.

She turns 18 next month but, even so, she stands to be the youngest-ever winner of album of the year for her snarling, macabre debut When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go.

If she does, she steals the crown from Taylor Swift, who was just 20 when she won album of the year for her second record, Fearless, in 2010.

Lizzo’s “song of the year” is two years old

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Lizzo’s breakthrough this year has been as loud and joyous as the artist herself; and the Detroit-born musician rightfully gets a nod for best new artist.

More controversial is her record of the year nomination for Truth Hurts. Why? Because the salty empowerment anthem was originally released as a stand-alone single in 2017.

Luckily for Lizzo, it was never submitted for a Grammy at the time; and made its first appearance on an album this year – Truth Hurts appears on the deluxe edition of Cuz I Love You, which was released in April – meaning the Academy gave it the go-ahead.

Wait, how is A Star Is Born eligible again?

Sparks flew as Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper performed Shallow at this year’s Grammy ceremony – and their steamy performance was followed by an award for best pop duo/group performance.

So it’s a surprise to see the soundtrack for A Star Is Born nominated this year. Luckily, there’s a simple explanation: Shallow came out as a single right before the end of the eligibility period for the 2019 Grammys. But the film’s soundtrack was released too late to be considered.

All of which means Ally and Jack could be reunited in Los Angeles next January. Fingers crossed.

BTS were robbed!!!!!!!

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Well, if you believe their fans, that is.

The South Korean boy-band broke all sorts of records this year, headlining two nights at Wembley Stadium, and scoring their first top 10 single with Boy With Luv.

Their fiercely-dedicated fans fervently hoped that’d lead to a Grammy nomination but sadly it wasn’t to be… The best pop group performance category, which was their most likely target, was dominated by collaborations like Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello’s Senorita; and Lil Nas X’s hook-up with Billy Ray Cyrus on the all-conquering Old Town Road.

And to be fair, all of those songs made a bigger impact on the charts and the radio than anything BTS released in the last 12 months. Maybe next year, guys.

Ariana Grande moves up to the big leagues

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Given that she’s one of the biggest stars on the planet, it’s shocking to consider that Ariana Grande has never been nominated for one of the Grammys’ main prizes. In fact, she only won her first trophy earlier this year – picking up best pop album for Sweetener.

That changes this year, as Thank U, Next gets a nod for album of the year; and the single 7 Rings makes the grade for record of the year.

The recognition comes as Grande moves away from production-line pop to a more conversational, confessional style – with her fifth album frankly discussing the depression and anxiety she suffered after the death of her ex-boyfriend Mac Miller.

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