Charlotte Street Partners



Culture, interrupted

Written by Ralitsa Bobcheva, associate 
Edited by Scott Reid, associate partner
26 April 2021

Good morning,

This weekend, the unusual delivery of the 93rd Academy Awards brought into sharp focus the importance of physical events for the creative sector. Set against the backdrop of Los Angeles’ Union Station, the crew at the delayed in-person ceremony beamed to the world the spectacular victory of Chloé Zhao as the first woman of colour (and second female ever) to scoop Best Director for Nomadland, which also took Best Picture.
The creative industry is nothing if not cooperative, and the shared experience enabled by in-person events is central to that interaction. So central, that film industry professionals yesterday dubbed the potential return of this year’s Cannes festival completely “vital”.
In the world of film, festivals are much more than a celebration of culture and creativity; they are a place to foster a dialogue between diverse communities and to sustain the enthusiasm for cinematic experiences.
Technology allows us to hold virtual screenings and events, but it doesn’t do the rest. In Bloomberg, Sarah Rappaport writes that while the public’s focus is on the red carpet rituals at the Cannes Film Festival, the key action happens behind the scenes where production directors and distributors close the deals and sign the checks that keep production companies alive. 
With the stakes for the industry so high, the potential return of Europe’s most prestigious film festival this summer is certainly one to watch.
In Scotland, news that the Edinburgh International Festival will return this summer was a silver lining for a struggling creative industry and culture-hungry audiences alike. It also raised hopes that other cultural events will follow suit and proceed with plans for in-person events.
In any case, the boom in live streaming of concerts and theatrical productions demonstrates the sector’s ability to adapt in the face of massive financial challenges and uncertainty. So as we wait for the reopening of cultural venues in early summer, I would say the resilience of the creative industry is one to applaud.


Countries including Germany, Britain and the United States have pledged to send medical equipment to India as a surge in Covid cases and oxygen shortages overwhelm the country. For the fourth day in a row, India set a world record for the number of new coronavirus infections, with 349,691 more cases in the 24 hours to Sunday morning and another 2,767 deaths.
Scotland is moving from Level 4 to Level 3 of its five tiers of Covid-19 lockdown restrictions today, with cafes, restaurants, beer gardens, shops and gyms reopening after four months. Travel to other parts of the UK can also resume and tourist accommodation can welcome visitors again.
Dominic Cummings, the prime minister’s former chief adviser, is reportedly preparing a dossier of evidence aimed at blaming Boris Johnson personally for the death toll during the second wave of the pandemic. This follows accusations made against Cummings last week that he had leaked details of the second lockdown prior to its announcement. (£)

Business and economy

The majority of the British public support the idea of green taxes and believe the government should increase spending to address climate change, according to a new survey. However, climate experts warned that ministers should approach a potential reform of the tax system carefully to avoid political backlash. (£)

Britain’s retail market is also set for a “sharp snap-back” as a result of gaining consumer confidence this summer, according to Deloitte. In the first three months of the year, confidence grew by six percentage points to -11. The rise is attributed to high levels of saving, the successful vaccination rollout and the easing of the lockdown. (£)
Unite has said that Amazon workers in the UK and Ireland should be allowed to talk to trade unions “without fear” and accused the online retailer of trying to suppress union organisation at its warehouses. In response, Amazon said that Unite didn’t represent the views of most staff and that it respects its employees’ right to “join, form or not to join a labour union” of their choice.

Columns of note

In City A.M., Simon Gregory argues that as remote work increasingly isolates us from our colleagues, we gradually lose our sense of empathy. Gregory explains that the creation of a more empathetic work environment is crucial as we emerge from the lockdown.
And in the Financial Times, Martin Sandbu writes that the transition to net zero may not hurt as much as most of us imagine. While we should not underplay the challenge ahead, knowing that we are equipped with the resources required to tackle it without necessarily sacrificing all aspects of our everyday lives is an important message, and one that we should probably hear more often. (£)

Cartoon source: The New Yorker


The week ahead

The US Federal Reserve’s post-meeting press conference on Wednesday will be closely watched among rising concerns about inflation that could force it to reduce its $120bn monthly asset purchase programme.
On Friday, the Eurostat is publishing preliminary growth figures for the eurozone. A Reuters survey forecasts that the region’s GDP contracted 0.8 per cent in the first quarter compared with the previous one.
In company news:
It’s an important week for big tech earnings including Apple, Microsoft, Alphabet and Amazon.
Several major banks including HSBC, Barclays, Lloyds, NatWest and Standard Chartered are updating investors.
Energy groups ExxonMobil and BP are also reporting this week.
The likes of AstraZeneca, Starbucks, GlaxoSmithKline, YUM! Brands, Kraft Heinz and McDonalds are also updating this week.

What’s happening today?

Polymetal International

Lok N Store

Source: Financial Times

did you know

The Festival International du Film was supposed to begin in Cannes in 1939, but due to the outbreak of World War II, the launch date was put off.

Parliamentary highlights

House of Commons

Education (including Topical Questions)
Consideration of Lords amendments
Consideration of Lords Amendments to the Financial Services Bill
Consideration of Lords message
Consideration of Lords Message on the Domestic Abuse Bill
Consideration of Lords amendments
Consideration of Lords Amendments to the National Security and Investment Bill
Motion to Approve the Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing (Amendment) (High-Risk Countries) Regulations 2021 (S.i., 2021, No. 392)
Motion related to the Health Protection (Coronavirus, International Travel) (England) (Amendment) (No. 7)Regulations 2021 (S.i., 2021, No. 150)
Award for next of kin of emergency services personnel killed on duty

House of Lords 

Oral questions
Industrial Strategy Council annual report which recommended the development of local strategies to deliver sustainable local growth
Oral questions
Findings of the government consultation on the proposal to add folic acid to flour
Oral questions
Reviewing the legislation that implemented the EU Habitats Directive in regard to the construction of major infrastructure whilst protecting natural habits
Oral questions
Impact of COVID-19 on the levelling up agenda in relation to the creative industries sector
Commonwealth War Graves Commission – Special Committee Report on Historical Inequalities
British Library Board (Power to Borrow) Bill – third reading
Education and Training (Welfare of Children) Bill – third reading
Overseas Operations (Service Personnel and Veterans) Bill – consideration of Commons amendments
Orders and regulations
National Health Service (Charges and Pharmaceutical and Local Pharmaceutical Services) (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Regulations 2021 – motion to regret

Scottish Parliament 

The Scottish parliament is in recess ahead of the election on 6 May

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