Saturday, February 23, 2008


While we're on the subject of the Harbarrowboy....
Below is his back of an envelope Briefing Report on the ill-fated plan to stage the McCartney Concert in Salthouse Dock (remember? the one where the Culture Company were going to stun all the fish and put them in a giant goldfish bowl, eds?).
While the amount of bullshit in the report below is truly astounding, it is worth reading all the way through.
From what we hear it will give you a full insight into the preparations now underway and the spiralling cost of the Macca concert at Anfield.
And it will help you to fully appreciate the gob-smacking stupidity of the people at the city council who are still in charge.
Particularly worthy of your attention - as the bankrupt city council now wrestles with a £60million hole - is the 'back of an envelope budget' that £150,000-a-year Jase has drawn up.
Thrill to some of the completely fictitious estimates he has made for revenue!
How many of these are going to come true for the Macca concert at Anfield eh? Eh? Eh?
We will not mention the totally unsubstantiated figures for estimated costs which Jase appears to have pulled completely out of thin air for the entertainment of CoverUp and his cabal.
They were so obviously and woefully short of the mark that the Salthouse Dock plan had to be scrapped six months later.
However, we learn that the McCartney concert is already costing the city council £7.5 million - but is likely to hit double figures before long.
We shall be returning to this subject in the very near future.
In the meantime, read the Harbarrowboy's report and weep - it will certainly give you little confidence in Jase and his Associates if you have been stupid enough to become one of his new clients....

TO: Executive Management Team
SUBJECT: Liverpool Sound Music Event
DATE: 20 March 2007
The purpose of this paper is to provide the EMT with background on The Liverpool Sound music event and gain endorsement of the strategic direction.
a) The Event Overview
The Liverpool Sound will be a unique once in a lifetime festival to celebrate Liverpool’s global status as The World Capital of Pop, featuring events all around the city. The climax will be a spectacular concert broadcast to the world on bank holiday Monday, 26 May 2008. This concert will have a unique atmosphere as a live broadcast, in a world heritage setting. A surprising show with world famous contemporary stars who can talk of how the Liverpool music scene inspired them and their music and how that music has travelled around the world and come back home to be redefined in the place it was born. An international concert, world-class musicians, funny and famous hosts and a fantastic waterside location, all add up to a never to be forgotten moment in time. Where better to celebrate the sound of Liverpool – than in a place from where the city began. Salthouse Dock will become the biggest temporary stage and seating structure this country has ever seen seating over 25,000 people and giving the illusion that both artists and audience are floating on the pool that is Liverpool. The city itself becomes the frame for the stage. Behind the Liver Building, to the side the World Heritage site of the Albert Dock and from the stage a panoramic view of the City Cathedrals and the brand new centre.Less than a hundred years ago most of Europe travelled through Liverpool to get to America indeed nearly a third of all Americans can trace their family’s journey back to this port. From its origins as a slave trade port, the exotic was always part of the fabric of the city. As one of the first multicultural cities in the country the unique acceptance of the different in Liverpool meant that when “The Beatles” stepped off the plane in America and proudly talked about specific “Black” songs that inspired them it was a crucial paradigm shift for the way that Black music was perceived in America. If Liverpool loved this music then so could all of America. The musical links between Liverpool and America are incredibly strong and this concert will be an international demonstration of how this city has been one of the biggest influences in the world of popular music over the last 50 years.
b) BBC Engagement
The BBC is fully supportive of the event and are intending to provide 2½ hours of live coverage on BBC1 on 26 May, 2008 (May Bank Holiday). Radio TWO are planning to spend a week in the city and Radio ONE are also very interested and are researching the John Peel links that could provide special programming for them.
c) Artists
The key Liverpool artist (Macca, ed) is committed to the project and is providing personal support in the approach of key international and UK artists. A preferred participant list has been developed (with a priority shortlist) and approaches are currently being made. This process will take several months and there will certainly be additions and changes as the process unfolds. Booking artists of global stature always takes time and the key to this event being successful is the element of surprise and excitement when the line up is finally announced. A carefully executed PR plan for creating a real demand for ticket sales is vital and any supposition prior to the chosen dates could put in jeopardy all artist negotiations that have to happen behind the scenes.
d) Location
Following a review of all potential locations in Liverpool it was determined that Salthouse Dock would be the perfect option given that it is an iconic location in the heart of the World Heritage site and that it will provide an unparalleled, spectacular backdrop to television that will be beamed nationally and internationally. In one single camera sweep you can tell the story of the city. It is a unique skyline that can only be Liverpool. Music concerts are great for the international broadcast market, but to stand out from the crowd you need a great line up, a great atmosphere and a unique never to be repeated occasion. The Liverpool Sound ticks every box.The proposal is that both the concert stage and the spectator seats will be placed within Salthouse Dock which will give the impression that both are floating on the water. This will help create spectacular television and will showcase Liverpool’s waterfront.
Much work has already been done with dock stakeholders and consultants and it has been confirmed that these plans are feasible both from an engineering and dock operation perspective. We are still to finalise the formal license agreement with GSE and we expect that within the next few months.
e) Location Contingency
We have identified an alternative location (Queen’s Dock) as a contingency. This area was originally selected by Barrie Marshall as an alternative location for PM’s concert in 2003 when there were issues with King’s Dock. Plans and costs are currently being explored.
f) Additional Concert
We are currently planning that there will be a concert on during the weekend just prior to the key event. The purpose of this event will be to provide the BBC with a rehearsal evening at the venue, provide an opportunity for key international and Liverpool artists to perform at Salthouse, give more people a chance to experience a concert at the venue and provide another revenue stream to help offset the costs of creating the Salthouse Dock venue.
g) Music Festival
Given that a number of international artists will be coming to Liverpool some time in advance of the Monday concert, there is a unique opportunity to showcase these and other key artists across the venues of Liverpool in the week leading up to the concert. Initial discussions with television and radio broadcasters have also been very positive regarding their interest in these pre-concert gigs.
h) Event Charitable Structure
To gain participation of some of the world’s greatest artists in this event, it is important that we create a charitable dimension to the project so that the artists are compelled to perform for the cause as well as the uniqueness and profile of the event. Discussions have already been held with both LIPA and Nordoff Robbins (a global music charity that is widely supported by the global music industry) and they have confirmed their support of the event.We will be working with them further to identify the nature of the support and how we can collectively create a legacy for Liverpool and the UK. They also have realistic expectations on the scale of any potential support given the anticipated costs of staging the event. They are also very excited about the potential from national and international exposure.Whilst we are budgeting for a slight surplus on this event with the expectations that an element of this will go to the charities, we have budgeteda guaranteed commitment to the charities, which will both are important to the artists and the media. This is included in the budget outlined below.
i) Company Structure
We are currently exploring with Hill Dickinson the best strategy for the structure of the entity that will both manage the key elements of the event as well as provide a charitable dimension to the overall structure. The current thinking is that a trading arm be established with surplus revenue following all identified expenses transferred to the charitable entity for distribution with agreed protocols.
j) Procurement
The procurement process recommended by the LCC Procurement team will treat the events as four distinctly separate areas:
• Auditorium Construction (Salthouse Dock)• Event and Technical Production• TV Productions and Artist Management• Venue Management
The Auditorium Construction would be a capital expenditure.
The Event and Technical Production will involve all elements of the event production including all associated equipment costs and staffing.
TV Production and Artist Management will consist of all equipment and staff costs for the production of the broadcast in all of its forms (live transmission, webcasting, CD and DVD) as well as all associated costs for the artists involved.
The Venue Management will involve all peripheral costs (staff, barriers, fencing, facilities including toilets) for both the Salthouse Dock event and any other activity across the city.
k) Key Staff
It is important to note that key staff will be required for this event to support the Culture Company team and this has been included in the outlined budget. These include:
• Executive Producer: This person has been in place for approximately 9 months, has already played a major role in developing this event. This person will be focused during the actual event primarily on the television and other broadcast production liaising with the BBC and other international broadcasters.(we shall return to this person soon, eds)
• Event Producer: This person will manage the staging of the event and all technical elements
• Musical Director: This person will be responsible for all the musical elements of the event including working with the Liverpool RoyalPhilharmonic Orchestra and other music partners in Liverpool
• Auditorium Construction: This company will lead the construction of the stage and seating within the Salthouse Dock
• Venue Management: This will be undertaken by the Culture Company Events Team
• Concert and Festival Promotion: We will be shortly inviting interested companies to support us with the promotion of both concerts (with a clear focus on the May Bank Holiday) as well as the Festival leading up to the weekendl)
Launch and Promotional Support
The current plan is that the event will be publicly launched at the end of September by the significant Liverpool artist. (Macca, eds) Given that the opportunities to purchase tickets will be limited (capacity of 25,000) this launch will include a call-to-action for all those who are interested in purchasing tickets to register via the Liverpool.08 website where their details will be captured and a lottery will be conducted with those individuals then contacted to purchase tickets. This has been the normal process for both the Olympic and Commonwealth Games’ Opening Ceremonies as well as recently for Glastonbury. Prior to any lottery, allocations will be made to ensure that a significant percentage of the tickets are available to local people. This process will be developed further and will need LCC endorsement of the strategy.The launch will receive significant global and national coverage and will provide a perfect platform to build awareness of Liverpool 08. A national marketing effort will also be required to support the launch to help maximise the response.
To begin preparing the ground for this launch we are planning for the ’08 website to have a World Capital of Pop page that will play selected Liverpool Songs and this page can then be used to get chat room discussions going on the songs that best sum up the spirit of the city. This is a great opportunity to involve everyone in the city in a discussion about what makes the city unique and why it is the World Capital of Pop.
From September, alongside the ticket launch, each month the 08 site will list a top ten from well known Liverpool faces e.g. Steven Gerrard, Daniel Craig, Anne Robinson, Johnny Vegas etc to build further excitement and interest. These contact details captured will provide a critical foundation for future national marketing efforts to encourage people to take part in 08 and come to Liverpool. It is anticipated that the launch and accompanying marketing effort could result in hundreds of thousands of enquiries.The Festival will also require its own marketing and PR effort, which will be developed following the initial launch
The Liverpool Sound Concert tickets (in some cases including accommodation and transport) will play a crucial role in encouraging ongoingmedia partner support and will be another catalyst to build further awareness and interest for Liverpool 08 and the 08 Programme Highlights.
The Business Plan
Event Revenue Estimates
These represent initial estimates of revenue and should be considered to be at the conservative end of the spectrum:
• Ticketing revenue: Anticipated revenue from two concerts with an average ticket price of £50 (this assumption has been supported by leading concert Promoters) £2.5 M
• Hospitality/concessions revenue: £ 0.25 M
• Merchandise/other: £ 0.15 M
• Global Television Rights. In addition to live BBC1Coverage, The Queen’s Jubilee Concert was able to secure sales of the global television rights. This was also a multi-artist event and The Liverpool Sound may have a more recognisable theme for international sales. The longest running radio programme in the US has been “Breakfast with the Beatles”. £1.25 M
• Event DVD: £1.0 M
• Local Broadcaster Support: Anticipated cost recovery from BBC £ 0.85 M
• Texting revenue: subject to securing a mobile telephone partner and protecting the rights of current CoC partners, there is a possibility of revenue from texting during the ticketing phase as well during the event £.0.25 M
• Additional sponsorship: subject again to protecting Current CoC partners, there is an opportunity to offset some production costs (eg travel, accommodation etc). Similar sponsorship was secured for the Queen’s Jubilee Concert and significant interest has already been received from companies who do not conflict with current CoC Commercial Partners £1.5 M
Total Estimated Revenue £ 7.75 M

Event Cost Estimates
The team consulting on this project have, between them, worked on numerous global television events of a similar stature (e.g. Live 8, Party at the Palace, The Prince’s Trust, Nelson Mandela 46664 Concerts from South Africa and The Grammies.) This expertise and experience is also backed with the engineering skills to manage specific aquatic concerts. With this detailed background knowledge of what it takes to create a global television event, we anticipate the event budget to consist of the following:
• Auditorium Construction £ 1.55 M
• Television Production and Artist Management £ 2.45 M
• Event and Technical Production £ 1.25 M
• Venue Management £ 0.85 M
• Marketing costs: Campaign to support PR efforts £ 0.3 M
• Charity Commitments £ 0.3 M
• Contingency £ 0.66 M
Total Estimated Costs £ 7.36 M
Total Estimated Surplus £ 0.39 M


Anonymous said...

Ye frigging Gods!!

£2.45 million for 'TV production & artist management'? What in living sh*t is this? You could build two new secondary schools, or 50 houses for less.

What is 'artist management'? Isn't this a euphemism for artists' appearance fees, with all the hoop-la and slush-funding that involves. Nice little earner for Jase in there somewhere.

And income @ £2.5 million. What a laugh! That's on the assumption that every £50 ticket will be bought for 25,000 x 2 concerts. But at least 25% will be freebies taken by the corporate leeches, the Bradley family, and Jase & Associates.

Macca on the rates! FFS, we're all mugs of Kintyre

Anonymous said...

What other international artists?
They dont even have his name on a contract they are relying on hjs goodwill at present.
There is a reason concerts are not held at Anfield - IT IS TOO EXPENSIVE AND TOO DIFFICULT.
Watch the city;s coffers get bled dry over this cock up.

Jason Harbrow's legacy to the people of Liverpool is massive debt.

Warren did not bully him enough if he let him get away with this right under his nose.
How much did we pay him to leave?

You could not make this up !

Roll on the inquiry - anothe Cover up white wash blamed on a convienient scapegoat

Anonymous said...

And this "eye-watering" report from a Director in the top 6 officers of the Council on £150,000 per annum plus perks and profit related pay and untold jollies on top.

Anyone else got much confidence in our City leaders?

Anonymous said...

I am surprised there isn't mention of filling the dock up with custard given that this is the Capital of it.

Jase could then throw in one of his giant pies (preferably not the savoury variety) and clean up just like he has elsewhere in the City

Anonymous said...

What were the board of Directors doing to alllow cock ups like this to go ahead?
The whole program is an unbelievable farce of incorrectly budgeted overly ambitious projects concocted by an ignoramus dickhead from Chorley with no experience or qualifications, yet paid a ridiculous salary and allowed to pull the wool over everyones eyes and bully anyone who dared speak out against him.
This is a classic example of employing a bulshiting tee shirt sales man with no experience in managing such projects.

This City has piss poor governance, where were the checks and balances? What function did the board play in all this? What function did line mangemanent (Colin the Cock Up Cover up) play in all this?
How did this get agreed without being approved by EMT?

There are lots more answer's to be had and I would suggest lots more cock ups to be discoverd.
Why was this man allowed to make agreements that would cost the city tens of millions of pounds apparently without any restriction?
Was he acting legally and if so with whose authority? I know of no one who can approve projects of this level of expenditure without due process.
This is an outrage !

Anonymous said...

the "liverpool artist" hadn't committed when that was written

Anonymous said...

Has "The Liverpool Artist " committed now?
Do we have a contract or just a verbal statement on Screen that "Liverpool I will be there in 08.."
That could mean he is intending going shopping !

Anonymous said...

Artist committed; Mr McManus on the bill; the RLPO kicked off the bill. Our Lord rumoured to be creating a simultaneous event in the Arena.