Tuesday, 5 September 2017

Failed festival companies face bankruptcy

The company behind the "chaotic" Hope and Glory Festival has gone into liquidation owing almost £890,000 to creditors. The Liverpool based event suffered numerous problems on its first day and was cancelled on its second day (6 August) amid reports of overcrowding, long queues for drinks and toilets, and long delays for artists and acts axed at the last minute. Some acts, including Charlotte Church, were axed. Headliners James did perform but lead singer Tim Booth apologised to fans for the "chaos". Insolvency firm Butcher Woods said 32 creditors were owed £888,984, including Liverpool City Council.

The Council told the BBC it was "seeking recovery of costs associated with the clean-up operation" for the festival at Liverpool's St Georges Quarter. Ticket selling websites Eventbrite and Skiddle said they had given full refunds to people with tickets for the cancelled day and a 50% refund for weekend ticket holders but it is thought likely that the ticketing firms will have to meet the cost themselves. Eventbrite had already paid festival organisers for the funds collected from ticket sales and was now "aggressively pursuing Hope & Glory" to get the money back, a spokesman said.

A judge has forced the company that owns Fyre Festival into bankruptcy, after the first edition of the ‘luxury’ VIP event soon turned into a nightmare earlier this year. Despite promising potential festival goers luxury accommodation and a line-up that included the likes of Major Lazer and Blink-182, the event quickly descended into chaos when it took place in May. Now, it has been placed into bankruptcy by Judge Martin Glenn after investors John Nemeth, Raul Jimenez and Andrew Newman claimed that they were owed a repayment of the $530,000 that they had placed in to the event to finance it. Judge Glenn approved an involuntary petition against festival founder Billy McFarland and his Fyre Fest LLC. McFarland was arrested after he allegedly showed fake documents to investors to encourage them to put more than $1 million into the Festival. 

Tragedy after storm hits Austrian festival

Two people have lost their lives after a storm ripped through a community festival in Austria. A 28-year-old local and a 19-year-old Romanian student were fatally injured by falling scaffolding when a beer tent collapsed at Zeltfest in Frauschereck, St Johann am Walde, amid 78mph winds that also left much of Upper Austria without power. A further 120 people were injured, 20 of them seriously, reports the Vienna Kurier. A reported 700 people were in the marquee when the storm broke, of around 1,000 total festivalgoers. Zeltfest (“Tentfest”) is an annual festival in aid of volunteer firefighters. Public prosecutor Alois Ebner says his department will launch an investigation to discover whether “all requirements” were filled in the construction of the tent, and if organisers – the fire brigade – should have evacuated the event. the Kurier said the festival would have had at least two hours’ advance warning of the storm.



Friday, 1 September 2017


Sony/ATV Music Publishing has appointed Thomas Krottinger as senior manager, International A&R. Based in the company’s Los Angeles office, Krottinger  will take up the newly-created position with immediate effect, reporting to both Sony/ATV president, worldwide creative, Guy Moot and senior vice president, co-head of West Coast A&R, Amanda Berman-Hill.

Columbia Records has promoted Joe Gallo to Vice President, Sales. The New York-based Gallo was previously Senior Director of Sales, working with such retails partners as Apple, Amazon and SoundCloud.

The Hollywood Reporter-Billboard Media Group announced some changes to its executive hierarchy.  Mike Bruno, who has been at the company for three years as svp of content, is leaving, and Ross Scarano, currently deputy music editor at Complex, will join the company as vp of content for Billboard. Meanwhile, Billboard music editor Jason Lipshutz will be promoted to editorial director and report to Scarano. Current svp of analytics and audience, Jim Thompson, will step into a new role, chief audience officer

Responding to what it calls a “growing demand for live events throughout Latin America”, Live Nation has announced its expansion into Brazil under Alexandre Faria Fernandes, who joins as director and senior vice-president of talent buying (IQ). 

Ticket Arena and Event Genius, one of the UK’s largest independent event technology providers and ticketing agents, has announced that Lisa Brown has been appointed as client services director.  Brown, whose CV includes spells at Ticketmaster, AXS and The Ticket Factory, will support the roll-out of "some amazing new features" for Ticket Arena and Event Genius.

Paradigm Talent Agency has opened an office in Toronto, its first in Canada, just over two weeks after rival agency UTA announced it is to shutter its operation in the same city.The new office will be overseen by Rob Zifarelli, hired from UTA, who is joined by fellow Canadian agents AndrĂ© GuĂ©rette and Adam Countryman, also both formerly of UTA (IQ). 

Former Kobalt Music Group President Richard Sanders has been named CEO of streaming service TIDAL. According to Variety, Sanders is now set to succeed Jeff Toig as TIDAL CEO. Before joining Kobalt in 2012, Richard Sanders was Sony Music’s Chairman of International & President of Global Marketing where he oversaw the global company’s 43 operating units outside the US.

Live Nation has formed a new electronic music division, Live Nation Electronic Asia, in response to what it calls “the region’s rising demand for electronic dance music”. The new venture is headed up Jim Wong, an independent Hong Kong-based promoter who has promoted and booked more than 500 acts in Hong Kong and mainland China over the past three years.

Independent rights-holder Downtown has has engaged A&R man Daniel Lloyd Jones in London, in addition to ex-Roc Nation exec Jacque O'Leary. Lloyd Jones was previously at Sony/ATV Music Publishing. 

Pandora has hired Roger Lynch as CEO and President, and a member of its board of directors, effective September 18, 2017. Lynch was previously the founding chief exec of US OTT television service Sling TV. Naveen Chopra, who has served as Pandora’s interim CEO since June 2017, will continue in his role as chief financial officer.  And ex-Sony Entertainment CEO, now Snap Inc. Chairman, Michael Lynton joins Pandora's board of directors.

Wasted Talent has hired Phil Alexander to oversee the development of Kerrang!  The new owner of Kerrang! has engaged Alexander to oversee the development of the rock media brand and Alexander will join the senior management team as Global Creative Director of Kerrang! and Rock Music Media. He will be responsible for the print, digital and events side of the Kerrang! business as well as contributing to the wider development of the Wasted Talent company.

Ministry Of Sound Recordings, now a Sony Music UK label, has a new General Manager, Amy Wheatley, who was previously Head Of UK Marketing at management firm Three Six Zero. Wheatley - who worked in various roles at Sony earlier in her career - will report into MOSR MD Dipesh Parmar and MOSR/RCA President David Dollimore in the new role.

United Talent Agency has hired David Zedeck from live giant Live Nation to become its Global Head Of Music, as well as a partner and special advisor to the board. UTA says that Zedeck will be based out of its LA office and will "oversee the company's rapidly expanding worldwide music business".

Jo Dipple will join Live Nation Entertainment as SVP of Public Affairs. Dipple was previously CEO of trade body UK Music in London for five years. In her new role, she will serve Live Nation and Ticketmaster internationally.

Def Jam has taken on Scott Greer to head up Marketing and Commerce as EVP. Greer perviously worked at Capitol Music Group, which he joined in 2014 after 18 years at Sony - where he was most recently SVP of Marketing at Columbia.

Bertil David has been promoted to the position of Managing Director at Universal Music Publishing in France. The head of the company for the past decade, Jean-Philippe Allard, has left the group. David jointly reports to Jody Gerson and Olivier Nusse.  Sony Music exec Adam Granite has joined  Universal. Granite will take up the newly-created position of EVP, Market Development at UMG in September. He will work out of Universal's London office and report directly to UMG Chairman and CEO Sir Lucian Grainge.And long-serving Universal exec Gustavo Lopez has officially left the major to launch his own services company for Latin music, Talento Uno. The LA-based exec was previously GM/EVP of Universal Music Latin Entertainment and launched Machete Music.

Vevo has promoted Claudia De Wolff to vice-president, creative content and programming, UK and international. De Wolff will be based in the firm's London office.

Andre Paine has been appointed news editor of Music Week. Paine, a former global news editor at Billboard, started at Music Week on the 31st July. In his new role, he will lead Music Week’s news coverage across print, online and social media and will report to editor Mark Sutherland. 

Spotify has appointed Jane Huxley as Managing Director for Australia and New Zealand. Huxley, who succeeds Kate Vale, stepped down as the boss of Pandora in the territories earlier this year. Stefan Blom calls her "an impressive addition to Spotify" And Spotify is parting ways with Tom Calderone, the head of original video and podcasts