Friday, 30 December 2011

Live Nation boosts data mining

Ticketnews.com reports that Live Nation has hired an Internet and music industry veteran to help boost its new data analytics initiative with media measurement company BigChampagne. The live entertainment and ticketing company recently hired former Warner Music Group senior vice president Ethan Kaplan as vice president of product development, and he will help oversee Live Nation's move toward increased data mining.

Adele tops Spotify in 2011

Soulful British sensation Adele has swept Spotify's year-end charts, appearing in more country-by-country top tens than any other artist. Her album "21" ended the year having sold more than 5 million copies, a feat no U.S. album has achieved since Usher in 2004.

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Vinyl makes a UK radio comeback


The BBC's 6Music has announced that it will be having a vinyl day on January 1st 2012. Vinyl has been rarely used on BBC Radio since CDs were introduced in the early 1990s, and digital tracks have been used since early on in the 2000s. DJs and guest presenters including Jarvis Cocker and Richard Hawley will use only vinyl on all shows with the stations editor, Paul Rodgers, saying "vinyl is still close to the hearts of many music lovers".

Thursday, 22 December 2011

More news from Live Nation!

Following the news that Live Nation had opened a new division in South Korea, CMU Daily reports that the live music, ticketing, label, venue and management group is planning a new partnership for the Japanese market in 2012. It seems there are plans for a joint venture with one of the country's leading promoters Creativeman Productions, headed up by CEO Naoki Shimizu, to tour major Live Nations acts with U2 and Madonna rumoured to be on the cards.

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Live Nation launch in South Korea

Live Nation has launched a new division in South Korea , headed up by Steven Kim and Yongbae Cho, both veterans of the country's live industry. Confirming the new office, to be based in Seoul, Live Nation head honcho Michael Rapino said "We see great opportunity for concerts around the world and our move into South Korea represents another step in the growth of this business. Our strategy is to continue our international expansion into under penetrated regions and identify new markets to deliver our unique live experience product".

Goebbels back at RT

Martin Goebbels is returning to entertainment industry insurer Robertson Taylor from rival insurance firm Apex Insurance. He will bring with him his existing clients and his team at Apex, Pamela Choat and Holly Leary.

Eavis to get top gong at EFAs


Michael Eavis, organiser of the Glastonbury Festival, will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award at the January 2012 European Festival Awards. The ceremony will be held at the Eurosonic Noorderslag festival on the 11th of January. Commenting on the announcement, Eavis said: "After 41 years, to win something of this magnitude is something to be incredibly proud of. To still be doing this after that amount of time is no mean feat". Festival Awards MD James Drury added: "Since founding one of the most famous and long lasting festivals in the world, Michael has dedicated his life to Glastonbury and the millions of festival goers which have attended the event over its 41 year history. Glastonbury is the grandfather of the incredible festival market which Europe enjoys, and Michael is cited as an inspiration by almost every festival organiser I speak to across the world. This is why he is so deserving of this honour".

Sunday, 18 December 2011

HMV calls in suppliers for emergency talks

The Observer reports that HMV, the UK high street retailer and now live music group has called in suppliers tomorrow (December 19th) for an emergency meeting and is expected to announce first half losses of £38 million. Despite selling the Waterstones book retailer chain for £53 million, the Simon Fox led group is now apparently valued at just £16 million - although Christmas would usually be its busiest time. HMV brought the MAMA Group for £46 million in 2009.

Farewell to .....

Howard Tate, The brilliant US Soul singer who disappeared for nearly three decades before being rediscovered in 2001 has died aged 72. And farewell to Dick Sims, Eric Clapton's long term keyboard player who featured on classic tracks such as I Shot The Sheriff, Cocaine, Lay Down Sally and Wonderful Tonight who has died aged 60. And also farewell to country music legend Billie Jo Spears who had hits in the 70s with Blanket on the Gound and Misty Blue and had an an enduring career. She has died aged 74.

Beach Boys Back

After decades of ill will, rancour and legal disputes, Mike Love, Al Jardine and Brian Wilson have announced that they will reform the Beach Boys, fifty years after their original formation. The trio, along with Bruce Johnston and David Marks, have set aside their differences and said they patched things up during a recent rerecording session of Do It Again for a planned new album.

Saturday, 17 December 2011

SO HERE IT IS, MERRY CHRISTMAS


Can we wish all of our readers, musicians who celebrates Christmas a very very merry festive season 2011. And to everyone of whatever their religion, creed, beliefs or code, can we wish you a happy and healthy 2012. “Live long and prosper”.

McFly double??


McFly never cease to impress me with clever and inventive ways to keep what probably should have been a rather short boy band career going. Apart from adopting novel ways to get their music to fans using all sorts of tricks like an amazing 2.4 million cover mounts on the Mail on Sunday, they have taken reality TV by storm - in a reasonably dignified way. First of all guitarist and vocalist Danny Jones had a pretty good run on 'Popstar to Opera Star' and then more recently bassist Dougie Poynter won ITV's 'Im A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here' and was crowned King of the Jungle. Will drummer Harry Judd make it a double on BBC1? Harry's up against Jason Donovan and actress Chelsee Healey in the final of Strictly Come Dancing, but he's odds on favourite with partner, professional dancer Aliona Vilani, and looks set to win. What about a hat trick I say to missing vocalist Tom Fletcher?!!

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Live Nation buys Big Champagne

Live Nation has bought BigChampagne, the US-based research company which specialises in monitoring and assessing online media consumption. BigChampagne have become increasingly prolific in monitoring social media activity in recent years and Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino says that "We love the basics of what they've created, and love the idea of taking an incredible amount of fan data off and online and merging that into a relevant database of what artists are most popular and relevant to today's consumer".

Clive Robbins dies

Clive Robbins, the inspirational music therapist, has died aged 84. His death was confirmed earlier this week by the music therapy charity that bears his name, Nordoff-Robbins. We also have to sadly confirm that John Atterbury, gunned down in LA last week, has died from his injures.

Monday, 12 December 2011

LA Music executive gunned down

An LA-based producer and former music executive is in a critical condition in hospital after being the victim in a random shooting on Sunset Boulevard on Friday. John Atterberry, who worked with the likes of Jessica Simpson, Brandy and the Spice Girls, was shot three times in the face and neck after gunman Tyler Brehm fired at his and other cars. Brehm fired his gun randomly into traffic on the LA street, also wounding Hollywood Reporter photo editor Chris Godley. Brehm was shot dead by police. An off-duty officer working at a movie set and a detective confronted and shot him, police said.

New research says women spend more on music

New UK research from IPC Media says that women are bigger spenders on music than men, though only when tickets and merch are taken into consideration. The new survey by the NME and Uncut publisher found that while the average man spends more than the average woman buying actual recordings (£381 versus £327), women spend more on live music and merchandise, so overall they spend £803 on music products, versus £793 for men. The Great British Music Survey also claims that Britons spend on average 51 days a year listening to music, that 82% of Brits listen to music every day, that radio and personal recommendation are the most important music discovery routes, and that 61% of us talk to our friends at least once a week about musical matters.

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Metallica Pump The Zone

CMU Daily is speculating that Metallica newly announced 2012 festival dates, following had on the heels of alive appearances over the last two years, are a result of fears of a Eurozone meltdown. CMU also point to what looks like a premature celebration of the band’s ‘The Black Album’ which is 21 in 2013, rather than 20 in 2012 (though U2 might disagree having just celebrated 20 years of Achtung Baby). It seems Metallica will prioritise Europe in 2012 with Asia and Latin America being targeted in the years following 2012. Manager Cliff Burnstein has admitted that Europe's faltering currency has impacted on the way he has scheduled Metallica's live plans for the coming years, telling the Wall Street Journal: "We're a US export the same way Coca-Cola is. We look for the best markets. And you have to ask yourself, what's the best time to be doing what, when and where".

CPA Welcomes the PRS Status Quo

The UK’s Concert Promoters Association has welcomed the recent announcement by PRS For Music that it will keep the royalties it charges the live sector at the current rate of 3% of box office receipts after a lengthy consultation. CPA Chairman Stuart Littlewood issued a statement supporting that move yesterday, telling reporters: "We are extremely pleased that the consultation has been persuasive in assisting PRS For Music in deciding to abandon an increase. The potential ramifications of the proposed increase - for both live music fans and people within the industry - were massive" adding "Any increased tax on musical performances would have been directly passed onto music fans up and down the country. If live music is to survive, we need to ensure that we are keeping ticket prices at an affordable level, not least given the current harsh economic climate".

UK Live Music Bill Just Three Steps Away from Becoming Law

Tim Clement Jones’ Live Music Bill, which aims to roll back almost a decade of licensing restrictions on small live music events has now passed its 'second reading' stage in the UK Parliament on Friday 25 November 2011. The Bill was introduced in the House of Lords last year by Lord Clement-Jones, a Lib-Dem peer and it will make it easier for musicians in England and Wales to perform by allowing small venues like schools, colleges and village halls to hold concerts without needing a licence. Other measures in the Bill will make it easier for venues with an existing licence – such as pubs – to put on live music events.

Deborah Annetts, Chief Executive of the Incorporated Society of Musicians (ISM), the professional association for musicians said “'The deregulation of live music is something the ISM has been campaigning for some time as part of our role in protecting the rights of musicians and the progress of the Live Music Bill – further than ever before – is fantastic news for musicians across the UK” adding “
This Bill will free up musicians from endless bureaucracy and red-tape allowing them, and their venues, to put on events without jumping through so many hoops beforehand. We must now make sure the Bill – which is further-reaching than the Government's consultation – makes it into law before Easter.”

Thursday, 1 December 2011

UK managers push for ticket resale legislation

Concert promoters and artist managers in the United Kingdom are calling on the country's culture secretary to back a proposal that would cap resold ticket profits at 10 percent above face value. The plan was initially proposed in Parliament earlier this year by member Sharon Hodgson, but it has since languished but was kicked back into play at a meeting with Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt where industry representatives including Muse manager Anthony Addis and Iron Maiden manager Ron Smallwood called for action. A 2010 Government report said that the secondary ticket market could police itself – and after the meeting the Department of Culture Media and Sport (DCMS) released a statement saying that it did not anticipate a move towards regulation. Edward Parkinson from secondary ticket platform Viagogo told ticketnews.com that price caps were not the answer.

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Jackson Tribute company folds

The company behind the Michael Jackson Tribute concert at Cardiff's Millenniun Stadium, Michael Forever, has gone into administration. Not much of a result for what was meant to be a charity event, and even worse for those owed money. Global Events LLP, founded by Michael Henry and Chris Hunt, has now gone into administration. A spokesman for London-based insolvency practitioners RSM Tenon confirmed it was handling the administration, told reporters: "We are currently conducting our initial review of the business".

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Sugarland named in new lawsuit

Country duo Sugarland have been named as defendants in a lawsuit in the US relating to the stage collapse tragedy that occurred at the Indiana State Fair back in August when freak 60mph gusts of wind hit the State Fair's site just before the country act were due to perform in the event's main arena, bringing stage rigging crashing to the ground on top of waiting audience members. In total, seven people died and over 40 were injured. Claims had already been filed against the State of Indiana, whose liability under State law is limited to $5 million in total and against various other parties linked to the fair and the Sugarland performance.

Rheinkultur cancelled - Permanently

The organisers of Rhinekultur, Germany's biggest admission-free festival, have said that they have cancelled the 2012 30th anniversary edition and will now stop the festival permanently. Giving reasons, organisers Sabine Funk and Holger Schmidt. said that the admission free concept required a lot of idealism and volunteer work from the organisers that doesn't now fit with the responsibility and risk involved. They also said that the financial base of the festival was always fragile and the organisers felt that there was a lack of support from the city of Bonn and that the Festival's influence, image and benefit for the city always has been underestimated by politicians and city government. The differences in support and subsidisation of entertainment and established culture were one of the main frustrations for the organising team who pointed to the fact that Rhinkultur, attended in 2011 by 160,000 visitors, was just 80,000€ , whereas the 2011 Beethoven Festival with a capacity of approx 60,000 visitors was awarded 1,6 Million€. But organisers also said that reasons also included the fact that they had recently had deal with a small but significant anti social element who were often aggressive and drunk. RhEINKULTUR closes with a "balanced financial state" having reduced debts from 2010 meaning that organisers can stop the festival "without doing any harm to anybody"

www.rheinkultur.com

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

UK Music call for Licensing Act input

Cross sector trade body UK Music is calling on players from across the music industry to contribute to a previously reported government consultation on proposals to deregulate elements of the 2003 Licensing Act, proposals which could greatly reduce the bureaucratic strain on live music promoters, especially at the grass roots end of the market. More details about the consultation and how to respond, plus some template response letters should they be required, are online here: http://www.ukmusic.org/policy/currentconsultations/licensingact2003

Adele and Taylor top 2011 AMAs

Adele and Taylor Swift each picked up three awards at the 2011 American Music Awards with Swift picking up overall Artist Of The Year. New Artiste of 2011 was Hot Chelle Rae

Pop & Rock
Favourite Male Artist: Bruno Mars
Favourite Female Artist: Adele
Favourite Band, Duo Or Group: Maroon 5
Favourite Album: Adele - 21

Country
Favourite Male Artist: Blake Shelton
Favourite Female Artist: Taylor Swift
Favourite Band, Duo Or Group: Lady Antebellum
Favourite Album: Taylor Swift - Speak Now

Rap/Hip Hop
Favourite Artist: Nicki Minaj
Favourite Album: Nicki Minaj - Pink Friday

Soul/R&B
Favourite Male Artist: Usher
Favourite Female Artist: Beyonce

Favourite Album: Rihanna - Loud
Favourite Alternative Rock: Foo Fighters
Favourite Adult Contemporary: Adele
Favourite Latin: Jennifer Lopez
Favourite Contemporary Inspirational: Casting Crowns
Artist Of The Year: Taylor Swift
New Artist Of The Year: Hot Chelle Rae

Monday, 21 November 2011

UK Festival Awards 2011 - the winners!

The results of the UK Festival Awards 2011 have just been announced – with Glastonbury, Bestival and Secret Garden Party picking up the big prizes. Glastonbury took the award for Best Major Festival at a packed London Roundhouse while Secret Garden Party and End of the Road were crowned best medium and small festival respectively. Bestival was the Fans’ Favourite and Croatia’s Outlook won the award for Best Overseas Festival. Ed Sheeran picked up the award for Best Breakthrough Act and Paolo Nutini’s set at Latitude was named Headline Performance of the Year.

And those winners in full are:

Best New Festival in association with Access All Areas: Wilderness

Best Metropolitan Festival: Tramlines

Best Dance Event in association with Peppermint: Creamfields

Best Overseas Festival: Outlook (Croatia)

Best Family Festival in association with Showsec: Beautiful Days

Best Breakthrough Artist: Ed Sheeran

Line-Up of the Year in association with XL Video: Sonisphere

Headline Performance of the Year in association with Jagermeister: Paolo Nutini – Latitude

Anthem of the Summer: Chase and Status – Blind Faith

Agent of the Year in association with IQ: Steve Strange

Promoter of the Year in association with Virtual Festivals: Secret Productions

Best Small Festival in association with Doodson: End of the Road

Best Medium-Sized Festival: Secret Garden Party

Best Major Festival in association with The Ticket Factory: Glastonbury

Fans’ Favourite Festival: Bestival

The Lifetime Achievement Award: Steve Heap, Mrs Casey Music / Towersey Village Festival

The following awards were presented at the Festival Conference:

The Grass Roots Festival Award in association with ID&C: Y-Not Festival

Concession of the Year: The Beat Hotel

The Greener Festival Award in association with Robertson Taylor and agreenerfestival.com: Shambala

Best Toilets in association with Shewee: Y-Not Festival

Best Sponsor Activation in association with Field Marketing and Brand Experience: Capitalize – Bacardi

The Extra-Festival Activity Award in association with Music Week: Bearded Kitten

Outstanding Contribution to Festival Production in association with TPi: The Event Safety Shop

UK festivals could power 10,000 homes

New research conducted this summer by creative industry greening experts Julie’s Bicycle, the University of Sussex and the Power Providers Forum (an informal network of power suppliers and festival promoters, JB, AGreenerFestival and the Association of Independent Festivals) shows that the energy used at UK festivals could power 10,000 homes for a year – with large inefficiencies found with diesel generators. The research findings show that UK music festivals consume about 12 million litres of diesel per year, generating an estimated 48,000MWh of electricity and 31,600t CO2e emissions. One of the green solutions for this, waste vegetable oil (WVO) biodiesel is currently meeting just 3-6% of this festival power supply demand, and on-site renewable energy – solar powered battery, temporary wind or pedal power – is meeting just 0.026%. with the current capacity of renewables meeting 0.1% (91kW) of demand. Julies Bicycle have made a number of recommendations to the sector including festivals understanding and reducing their energy demand, including better planning and rationalising of generators, and using more energy efficient kit for PA and lighting; Tour bus operations significantly reducing energy demand; Increasing the supply of WVO biodiesel through better information; and Energy suppliers providing better information about the power and entertainment output provided by diesel, biodiesel and renewable installations to increase confidence and promote forward planning.

Julie’s Bicycle has also developed the Green Suppliers Database, a platform for suppliers to share information and increase awareness of their business available at:
www.juliesbicycle.com/resources/jb-green-database

Thursday, 17 November 2011

AEG focuses on consumers

AEG has begun a digital marketing campaign for its consumer ticketing Web site axs.com. Specific details of the initiative were not disclosed, but the company said this week that it plans to concentrate on search engine marketing (SEM) efforts. International digital marketing company iCrossing will develop the campaigns to attract more users.

Quebec passes new ticket re-sale laws

Ticketnews.com reports that the Quebec government has passed a strict new ticket resale law designed to make it more difficult for ticket brokers to resell tickets above face value. The new law, Bill 25, calls for brokers to obtain permission from a content provider, such as a sports team, concert promoter or venue, before they can resell that provider's tickets above face value.

Google Music launches

Google Music has gone live, taking its beta cloud-based personal music library service and adding multiple device synching, purchasing, Google+ integration and exclusive content. Much more interesting capabilities, however, are the ability to share songs and the Artist Hub feature for musicians who want to control their own fan sales and relationships. More at http://www.dmwmedia.com/news/2011/11/16/google-music-plugs-in-its-amps-with-videos-from-launch-event

Two arrested in Counterfeit CD raid in UK

Two men have been arrested after a large CD and DVD counterfeiting operation was discovered in a flat above a shop in Bognor in the United Kingdom. 150,000 CDs and DVDs and 100 computer hard drives containing 25,000 music, movie and software files were seized as part of the raid. The arrests followed a long investigation which began in North West England: investigators from the BPI's Anti-Piracy Unit were also involved in the raids.

More labels give up on streaming

Dorset-based dance music distributor STHoldings has announced that it is pulling the music content from 238 of the labels it represents off Spotify, Simfy, Rdio and Napster, leaving only four of their clients providing music to the subscription-based music platforms. The company said that "these services cannibalise the revenues of more traditional digital services".

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Sharkey leaves UK Music

Feargal Sharkey, boss of UK Music, has said that he is leaving cross sector campaign group with immediate effect. Former Undertone and record label executive Sharkey has been instrumental in building the group into a representative body that included the live sector and in catching the attention of government.

Saturday, 12 November 2011

FESTIVAL HARVEST 2011



FESTIVAL HARVEST 2011 is the new CD from A Greener Festival with eleven new bands for 2011 – all packed in recycled card to reduce the CD’s carbon footprint and promote a lower carbon future. CD packaging (in particular plastic jewel cases) can contribute up to 90% of a CD’s carbon footprint – so simply swapping to card packaging makes a big big difference.

The bands on the CD were all chosen because they are simply some of the best emerging talent from around the festivals in 2011 – and the new CD will be launched at the UK Festivals Conference on November 15th November at the Forum in Kentish Town, London. Abd the are (with their track)

Twin Brother - Lungs / My First Tooth - Orchards / Empty Headz - From Before / Related to Merv - BBC2 / J-Treole - Skydive / Fallen Trees - Black Eagle / Freddie & The Fair Stone Youth - Got A Little Soul / Kamal Arafa & The Moonlight Band - Grey / London Afrobeat Collective - Lagos Junction / Louise & The Pins - Beauty Strange / Akayzia - Sleepwalking

http://www.agreenerfestival.com/index.html

EMI sold to UMG and Sony


EMI Group, the UK based music company, has been split in two and sold for $4.1 billion to Universal Music Group and Sony Corp. The absorption of the music major leaves just three major record companies in control of 70% of the declining recorded music sector. Universal will acquire EMI's recorded music division from EMI parent company Citigroup Inc. for $1.9 billion (£1.2 billion) and Sony will acquire the smaller but more lucrative music publishing business for $2.2 billion (£1.4 billion). Competition (antitrust) regulators in the U.S. and Europe are expected to review the transaction for possible anti-competitive issues. Indie labels group IMPALA had already warned European regulators that they would be unhappy with any sale to wither Universal or Sony. Globally, recorded music sales have sunk from $29.4 billion in 2005 to $18.4 billion last year from according to a report from research firm Enders Analysis.

The sale brings to a close EMI's 114-year run. The independent music company was founded in 1895 by Emile Berliner. Announcing the deal, UMG Chairman and CEO Lucian Grainge said: "This is an historic acquisition for UMG and an important step in preserving the legacy of EMI Music. For me, as an Englishman, EMI was the pre-eminent music company that I grew up with. Its artists and their music provided the soundtrack to my teenage years. Therefore, UMG is committed to both preserving EMI's cultural heritage and artistic diversity and also investing in its artists and people to grow the company's assets for the future. As a result, we will be better positioned to fully capitalise on the many new and exciting opportunities in the current marketplace, and also able to better serve our artists, songwriters and business partners, while offering fans even more choice".

Farmer James apologises for food festival fiasco

Blur's Alex James has sent a personal apology to creditors of a festival held on his farm in Oxfordshire, after the promoter Big Wheel Promotions, headed up by Shabs Jobanputra, went into administration. James hosted one of two Harvest festivals on his farm in September. Telly presenter and real life farmer Jimmy Doherty held a sister event on his farm in Suffolk. In a letter to over 100 creditors, including artists, James wrote: "I am appalled by Big Wheel's financial management of the festival held at my farm, which has left many out of pocket. Please be aware that I have no relationship with Big Wheel, beyond allowing them to stage the Harvest Festival at my farm and - regrettably - to use my name to stage the event. At no stage was there ever any indication that they would be unable to meet their costs. The news has come as a complete bolt from the blue". Ticket sales for the 2012 edition have now gone offline.

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

UK Government closes offshore tax loophole

The UK Government says that it will close the VAT loophole that has enabled mail-order operations based in the Channel Islands to sell low-cost goods to customers back in the UK without paying the 20% sales tax. Independent retailers who can't afford an offshore base have campaigned on the issue for a number of years against the
"Low Value Consignment Relief". Many mail-order operations including most of the big mail-order CD and DVD sellers will no longer have a 20% advantage over their mainland competitors and it is expected that at least 1000 jobs will be lost on the Islands.

Monday, 7 November 2011

Robertson Taylor sold to EIP

Oxygen Holdings plc has announced the sale of its subsidiary Robertson Taylor Holdings Ltd to Entertainment Insurance Partners (EIP) for an undisclosed sum. The sale is subject to FSA approval. Robertson Taylor provides dedicated broking and services to the music and entertainment sector on a global basis. It was acquired by Oxygen in 2007 and employs 75 staff in offices in the UK and USA. All staff and clients of Robertson Taylor will transfer to EIP on completion of the sale.

Bob Brunning and Beryl Davies

Bob Brunning, a seminal figure on the British blues scene and a founder member of Fleetwood Mac, has died aged 68. More latterly a head teacher, he continued to perform and record with bands including Deluxe Blues Band and Savoy Brown and write books on music with books on Fleetwood Mac including 'Behind The Mask' and The Fleetwood Mac Story: Rumours & Lies' and 'Blues: The British Connection". Beryl Davies had an eight decade singing career during which she performed with legends such as Bob Hope, Frank Sinatra and Glenn Miller. A successful solo performer and recording artiste, she has died aged 87.

Andy Williams in cancer scare

Andy Williams has been diagnosed with cancer of the bladder and will begin a programme of chemotherapy. Concern for the 83 year old singer's health had grown recently after he cancelled a series of gigs.

Gaga triumphs at MTV EMAs

Lady Gaga triumphed at the MTV European Music Awards in Belfast on the 6th November, winning Best Female, Best Single, Best Video and Best Song – and Best Fans. Mars did well with four gons but split between the rather different Thirty Seconds to Mars and Bruno Mars, each with two gongs.

Best Female: Lady GaGa
Best Male: Justin Bieber
Best New: Bruno Mars
Best Live: Katy Perry
Best Pop: Justin Bieber
Best Hip-Hop: Eminem
Best Rock: Linkin Park
Best Alternative: Thirty Seconds To Mars
Best World Stage: Thirty Seconds To Mars
Best Push (Emerging): Bruno Mars
Biggest Fans: Lady GaGa
Best UK & Ireland Act: Adele
Best Worldwide: BIGBANG
Best Video: Lady GaGa - Born This Way
Best Song: Lady Gaga – Born This Way

UK digital sales still growing

The BPI has announced that more digital albums have already been sold this year than last year, with two months still left to go. According to Official Charts Company data released by the trade body, over 21.3 million digital albums have been sold so far this year, meaning 2010 sales levels have already been beaten. Digital albums now account for 26.2% of all album sales, up from 17.5% in 2010.

Odd Futures axed in NZ

Promoters of the Big Day Out festival in New Zealand have axed the Odd Future posse from the line-up of their Auckland date after complaints about the hip hop group's homophobic lyrics.

Friday, 4 November 2011

Live Nation profits up

Live Nation saw revenues decline year-on-year in the summer quarter but profits were up. Revenue was down 2.5% to $1.79 billion for the quarter ending 30 Sep 2011, but net income was up 1.4% to $51.7 million. Perhaps more importantly, the company is having a profitable year - nine months into the current financial year profits stand at $16.5 million, them having made losses of $228.4 million in the previous financial year.

GWAR guitarist dies

Cory Smoot, the guitarist in American cult metal band GWAR, aka Flattus Maximus, has died from unknown causes.

Food festivals go bust


Big Wheel Promotions, the company behind the farm-based “Harvest Festival” franchise and fronted by record label veteran Shabs Jobanputra, has gone into administration. The company launched two editions of the foodie fests this year, one fronted by Blur bassist Alex James on his farm near Chipping Norton and the other by television presenter and real life farmer Jimmy Doherty on his farm in Suffolk. A number of creditors remain unpaid, including a primary school near Alex James' farm who had booked local talent for the event. eFestivals says it's under the impression the planned 2012 Harvest festivals (for which early bird tickets had already gone on sale) will still go ahead, though neither Alex James, Jimmy Doherty nor Big Wheel Promotions have as yet made any comment on the matter.

Saturday, 29 October 2011

Coldplay avoid Spotify


Coldplay's new album, 'Mylo Xyloto', will not be available on Spotify or most other streaming services, and the reason seems to be to promote conventional record sales. The album will be available as download to owns on iTunes and other online stores and as physical product.

Thursday, 27 October 2011

46 festivals win green festival award


46 festivals across the UK, Europe, Australia and North America have been awarded the prestigious Greener Festival Award for their green efforts in reducing their environmental impact 2011. The Awards are made by environmental campaign and advice group A Greener Festival and to achieve the Award each festival must complete a detailed 53 part questionnaire, submit relevant information such as a carbon footprint, traffic plans and waste and recycling management schemes, and then have an independent environmental audited to complete the Awards scheme. Organisers said they were extremely pleased with the results which took place against “very difficult financial pressures in some parts of the festivals sector” and “challenging summer weather” in both hemispheres. Ben Challis, Co-founder of A Greener Festival said “one highlight was the real reduction in car use at many festivals as people swapped to coaches, trains, shared cars or even cycled. A downside was the thousands and thousands of tents ands other perfectly reusable camping equipment left behind at festivals in the UK – “what a mess and what a waste”. The Awards scheme is sponsored by Robertson Taylor who specialise in insurance for live events and the music industry.

Outstanding inners of the Greener Festival Award 2011 included the Croissant Neuf Summer Party (England, Falls Festivals(Australia), Isle of Wight Festival (England), Lightning in a Bottle (USA), Oya Festival (Norway), Peats Ridge (Australia), Shambala (England), Sunrise Celebration (England), We Love Green (France), Wood (England)and the Woodford Festival (Australia. Highly commended awards went to the Glastonbury Festival (England), Bonnaroo (USA), Bestival (England), Lollapalooza (USA) and the Cambridge Folk Festival (England) amongst others. An overall UK winner will be announced at the UK Festival Awards at the London Roundhouse on November 15th.

Stubhub gains seating patents

Ticket resale marketplace StubHub has been granted U.S. patents relating to methods of "mapping price and location" for tickets at an event venue, according to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Newly filed documents indicate that the company has been granted other ticketing-related patents dating back to 2009, but the most recent of the StubHub patents was granted earlier this month.

Luminar goes into administration

The UK's biggest nightclub operator, Luminar, has gone into administration threatening 3000 jobs. The chain of 75 clubs which operate under the Oceana, Lava & Ignite and Liquid banners, suffered a 19% drop in revenues last year as the recession bit and its core market of 18 to 24-year-olds were hit by high levels of youth unemployment. The recent UK riots added to its woes, as did the recent death of student Nabila Nanfuka from traumatic crush asphyxiation at their Northampton Lava & Ignite nightclub. It is understood that administrator Ernst & Young will continue to run the business as a going concern while it seeks a buyer.

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Q the Awards

OK OK, not many more awards to go now, but the winners of the Q awards are out, and the grown ups list is headed up by Queen and U2 who both win lifetime awards. Ed Sheerhan wins the newcomer gong and Lana Del Ray and those lips is next big thing

Q Best Male Artist: Tinie Tempah
Q Best Female Artist: Adele
Best Live Act: Biffy Clyro
Best Act In The World Today: Coldplay
Breakthrough Artist: Ed Sheeran
Best New Act: WU LYF
Q Next Big Thing: Lana Del Rey
Best Track: Adele - Rolling In The Deep
Best Album: Bon Iver - Bon Iver
Best Video: Jessie J - Do It Like A Dude
Q Classic Song: Snow Patrol, Chasing Cars
Q Classic Songwriter: Gary Barlow
Q Innovation In Sound: Kaiser Chiefs
Q Icon: Noel Gallagher
Q Inspiration: Fatboy Slim
Q Outstanding Contribution To Music: Siouxsie Sioux
Hall Of Fame: Queen
Greatest Act Of The Past 25 Years: U2

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Death at Club in Northampton

A woman has been crushed to death and at least eight other people have been injured, two critically, at a nightclub in Northampton. Nabila Nanfuka, 22, of Neasden, north-west London, died in Lava and Ignite in St Peter's Street in the early hours of Wednesday 19th October. One witness told the BBC that a "stampede" had begun as people made for the exits when they were told that their buses were leaving. Anotrher report said that the stampede began when a fire alarm went off. The number of people in the club is unknown and is under investigation although it appears Police were called to the club earlier in the night and Superintendent Andy Cox, of Northamptonshire Police, said they were aware of large numbers of people at the 1,600-capacity event which had been widely promoted in London and the Midlands. The two critically injured people are in intensive care.

Pukklepop to go ahead in 2012

Belgian music festival Pukkelpop will go ahead next year, despite the tragedy which struck this year's event when four people were killed after a stage collapse when a freak storm hit the festival site on the opening day of Pukkelpop 2011. 70 other peiole were injured by as lighting rigs and large screens also fell. Following an investigation by the Hasselt Public Prosecutor, a 'force majeure' ruling was put in place, stating that the festival's organisers could not be held liable for what happened. The festival will take place between the 16th and 18th August 2012 and customers who had bought a ticket for the cancelled 2011 event will receive free food and drink vouchers, valued at 75 euros and 150 euros respectively which can be used at any of the next three Pukklepops.

Stone Roses resurrected


The Stone Roses have reformed and the iconic British band will play two shows at Manchester's 75,000 capacity Heaton Park on 29th and 30th Jun in 2012, which will form part of a World tour. At a press conference in London's Soho Hotel yesterday, original members Ian Brown, John Squires, Gary ‘Mani’ Mountfield and Alan ‘Reni’ Wren also announced that they would be playing new material at the shows.

Music stars in Facebook poll

The list of the most popular Facebook pages has been updated and the top page remains Facebook’s own, becoming the first to attain 50 million “likes” ( 54.03 million) with Zynga’s Texas Hold’em Poker in second place with 51.15 million likes and YouTube in at No 4 (46.06M). Music dominates the rest of the top 25 with a host of music stars including Eminem at No 3 with 47.88 million likes, Rihanna at No 5 (45.91M), Lady Gaga at no. 6 (44.29 M). Michael Jackson at 7 (41.56M), Shakira at 8 (41.06M), TV series Family Guy at 9 (38.54M), Justin Bieber at 10 (36.69M), Harry Potter at 11 (35.67M), Katy Perry at 12 (35.63M) and Linkin Park at 13 (35.39M). Apart from Jackson, a second deceased entertainer makes the list with Bob Marley further down at 19 with 31.74 million.

Digital Cull Due says Deezer Dude

According to Deezer UK's Managing Director, Mark Foster, there is only "room for three or four" digital music services on the internet, and we'll see a lot close in the next twelve months. Asked which digital services currently out there would most likely survive, Foster told Music Week: "We'll be one of [the ones that survives], no question. Whether we'll be bigger than Spotify, I don't know. There'll inevitably be a shake-out - as with any market where you get a lot of people coming in with great ideas - over the next twelve months, you'll get four or five big players coming out of the pack. Some will fall away. That's market dynamics". Since arriving in the UK in September, Deezer claims to have signed up 1.4 million premium subscribers. Most of those have come through an exclusive deal with Orange to bundle the service in with pay monthly mobile phone contracts though, which means it's not clear how many active users the service actually has.

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

STAR gets new mark

The UK's Society Of Ticket Agencies and Retailers (STAR) has launched a new 'kitemark' to reassure consumers about the safety of its member's websites. The new STAR mark comes as the ticketing body launches research that shows that 10% of people have been affected by ticket fraud in the UK. The study also found that 10% of those interviewed would buy tickets from any website that "looked genuine" and that the same percentage said they'd never think to check a service's authenticity before buying tickets. The new STAR mark will be given to "reputable ticket outlets" that adhere to the trade body's code of conduct. The new kitemark is backed by other key bodies including the Concert Promoters Association (CPA), the National Arenas Association (NAA) and The Society of London Theatres.

Monday, 10 October 2011

Euro-Border breakers and UK live music awards out

The winners of the European Border Breaker Awards 2012 have been announced for the Awards which will be handed out at next year's Eurosonic convention in January in Gronigen, and the winners are:

Elektro Guzzi (Austria)
Selah Sue (Belgium)
Agnes Obel (Denmark)
Ben l'Oncle Soul (France)
Boy (Germany)
James Vincent McMorrow (Ireland)
Afrojack (Netherlands)
Alexandra Stan (Romania)
Swedish House Mafia (Sweden)
Anna Calvi (UK)

All ten will perform at next year's awards, where the winner of a peoples choice vote will also be announced. More at www.europeanborderbreakersawards.eu.

The Live UK Music Business Awards haver also been announced and the winners are ...

Best Venue Teamwork
Stadium: Wembley Stadium, London
Arena: The O2, London
Theatre/Concert: Royal Albert Hall, London
Campus: 53 Degrees, Preston
Major Club (800+): The Leadmill, Sheffield
Club (under 800): Robin 2, Wolverhampton

Artiste Manager Of The Year: Jonathan Dickins, September Management
Agent Of The Year: Solomon Parker, William Morris Endeavour Entertainment
Tour Manager Of The Year: Sarah Moir (The Wombats)
Best Record Label Partner: Hayley Absalom, Full Time Hobby

Best Festival (40,000 +): Glastonbury
Best Festival (15,000-40,000): Secret Garden Party
Best Festival (under 15,000): Kendal Calling

Best Festival Performance: Slipknot at Sonisphere
Spectacle Of The Year (Best Production): Take That's Progress tour
Breakthrough Artiste: Ed Sheeran

National Promoter Of The Year: SJM Concerts
Regional Promoter Of The Year: DF Concerts
Indie Promoter Of The Year: Gary Prosser & Ben James, All Night Long Promotions

Greatest Brand Impact: O2
Unsung Hero: Jane Montague, The Eden Project
Outstanding Contribution: Danny Betesh, Kennedy Street

Friday, 7 October 2011

Live Nation connects with new music

Live Nation has launched a online music venture called Live Connection (www.live-connection.co.uk) to work with new bands to create audio and audio visual recordings which will be promoted to the music industry and fans alike. The music created will be available via We7 and played into students unions using the Sub.TV network and fans signed up to the Live Nation, Ticketmaster and the Academy Music Group's mailing lists, and the bands will be free to use it for their own promotional purposes.

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Mobo winners out

And the winners at the 16th MOBOs (Music of Black Origin) in Glasgow were:
Best UK Act: Jessie J
Best Newcomer: Jessie J
Best Hip Hop/Grime Act: Tinie Tempah
Best Video: Tinchy Stryder feat Dappy - Spaceship
Best International Act: Rihanna
Best Song: Jessie J - Do It Like A Dude
Best Album: Jessie J - Who You Are
Best Reggae: Alborosie
Best Jazz Act: Kairos 4Tet
Best African Act: Wizkid
Best Gospel Act: Triple O
Best R&B/Soul Act: Adele
Outstanding Contribution To Music: Boyz II Men
BeMOBO Award: Youth Music

Music sales down at HMV and Tesco

HMV has announced like for like sales dropped 15.1% in the 18 weeks to the 3rd September whilst the UK's major retailer, Tesco, announced a 0.5% drop in sales said that music CDs and DVDs had been hard hit. Teco blamed the high cost of fuel and the economic downturn as major factors in the drop in sales. HMV has said it will continue to focus on 'high growth' markets such as the live music side of the business.

Shakira turns down a presidential invitation


Shakira has turned down an invitation by the president of Chechnya, Ramzan Kadyrov, to play at birthday celebration in former soviet country. Other rumoured guests included Vanessa Mae and Kevin Costner's Modern World country rock band, who also said they had declined the offer.

Adele cancels US tour

Adele has said that heartbroken after being forced to cancel her US tour. Doctors have told the chart topping chanteuse that she needs a period of extended rest after a haemorrhage on her vocal cords. Adele said on her blog that "I have absolutely no choice but to recuperate properly and fully or risk damaging my voice for ever. Her two week US tour was due to kick off in Atlantic city this Friday.

Will the UK European Court decision on satellite football coverage impact on music?

The recent decision by the European Court of Justice that British pub landlady Karen Murphy was entitled to access live coverage from English Premiership football matches from Greek broadcaster Nova, rather than from the more expensive Sky domestic service (which as granted the exclusive licence for UK broadcasts) as EU competition law allows for this (and the free movement of goods, services, labour and capital in European common market) may well have an impact on the music industry - particularly on service such as Spotify and LastFM. In advance of the European Commissioner For The Digital Agenda Neelie Kroes, told The Guardian newspaper "If I can buy a music CD online from a company in the Netherlands and have it posted to me here in Belgium, why can't I buy a digital download from the same company? If I can watch my local team's football matches using online pay-per-view in one member state, why not in 27? This situation does not make much sense to the man on the street. To be honest, it is not a situation that makes much sense to me. And we need to fix it". The EU is also pushing for the reform of the collection society set up, still based on territorial monopolies.

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Universal announces new Indian alliance

Universal has replicated its recent tie up with Live Nation that enables artists and rights owners to more easily bundle tickets, content, merchandise and CDs with a similar deal in India with ticketing firm KyaZoonga.com. The new alliance will utilise KyaZoonga's direct-to-fan relationships in India, offering consumers physical and digital products from Universal artists as well as tickets.

Friday, 30 September 2011

BT Digital Music Awards announced


The winners of the BT Digital Music Awards have been announced and amongst the very worthy recipients picking up gongs at London’s Roundhouse were JLS who picked up Best Group, Bruno Mars who picked up Best International, Adele who picked up Best Independent Artist, Jessie J picked up Best Newcomer and Best UK Female Artiste and Ed Sheerhan as Breakthrough Artist Of The Year. At the digital sharp edge, the Best Music App was Orange’s Glastonbury 2011 app, the Best Place To Discover Music was Radio 1 online, the Best Place To Hear Music: YouTube (!!), the Best Place To Buy Music was iTunes and the Best Innovation Or Gadget: SoundCloud. Colplay picked up both best Official site for an artiste with www.coldplay.com and the People's Choice Award For Best Fan Site For An Artist for www.coldplaying.com

Farewell to Sylvia & Bert

Sylvia Robinson, The Founder of the Sugar Hill record label has died from heart failure, aged 75. Often referred to as the "mother of hip hop", she was a pioneering figure in the genre, producing the labels’s first commercial hit, The Sugarhill Gang's 'Rapper's Delight', and later 'The Message' by Grandmaster Flash And The Furious Five. The influential folk musician and founder of the band Pentangle, Bert Jansch, has died aged 67. He had been suffering from lung cancer. After a long and distinguished career, he had been performing live as late as August this year

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Music tops YouTube channel viewing

ComScore has eleased its first comScore YouTube Partner Report, putting some actual numbers to the popular streaming platform's successes. Machinima had 17.7 million viewers in August, which exceeds the average number who watch NBC's Sunday Night Football and the mostly under 35, male-skewing Machinima audience sticks around for a monthly average of 70 minutes per viewer. But it was music videos that reached the most people on YouTube. The Universal/Sony platform Vevo attracted the most viewers with 60.6 million and Warner Music clocked up 31 million, with average times of 60 minutes and 29.1 minutes respectively.

Benn has plans for two more UK festivals

Festival Republic boss Melvin Benn has told BBC 6Music that he is considering possibly launching two new festivals in 2012. Benn revealed he is considering launching a new event next year, possibly a twin event, with the main focus outside of music, although he didn't reveal what exactly the focus would be adding it was "too early" to reveal the details for the events which he felt there was "a market for a festival in a space that doesn't currently exist.". In other UK news, both the Isle of Wight Festival and the Big Chill both look likely to move their dates in a busy British summer. The Isle of Wight is planning to move into the vacant 'Glastonbury weekend' from June 22nd to 24th because of problems with busy ferries to and from the Island caused by the Queen's Diamond Jubilee, and Benn is considering moving the Big Chill as it cashes with the London 2012 Olympics.

Saturday, 24 September 2011

Coldplay top headliners poll


Coldplay have been voted the best UK festival headliner of 2011, in an online poll conducted by BBC 6 Music. The band - who headlined Glastonbury and T In The Park - topped the survey with 22.7% of votes cast, breakfast show host Shaun Keaveny announced. US rock band The National came in second with 14.2%, while Muse were third with 13.9%. Coldplay's drummer Will Champion told 6 Music playing festivals gave the band "a chance to win people over but added "But there's also a strong possibility that people have already made their mind up about you," he added, "and no matter how well you play they're not going to be happy about it."

Picture by Denis O'Regan (C) 2011

Friday, 23 September 2011

Cancelled gigs "cost UK fans £12.7 million a year"

New research from Viagogo says that UK fans lose out to the tune of £12.7 million when gigs are cancelled and re-arranged. Viagogo surveyed 1,500 people and say the results show that 2 million fans were affected last year - and a third of these could not make the new date - and of this third almost one half (an estimated 303,600tickets) did not re-sell their tickets or ask for a refund and with an average ticket price of £42 means that Viagogo estimates that £12.7 million was wasted by fans.

Thursday, 22 September 2011

REM Split


REM have amicably split after thirty one years. A message on the band's website reads "To our Fans and Friends: As REM, and as lifelong friends and co-conspirators, we have decided to call it a day as a band and walk away with a great sense of gratitude, of finality, and of astonishment at all we have accomplished. To anyone who ever felt touched by our music, our deepest thanks for listening. REM". Frontman Michael Stipe added "A wise man once said – ‘the skill in attending a party is knowing when it's time to leave.’ We built something extraordinary together. We did this thing. And now we're going to walk away from it … I hope our fans realize this wasn't an easy decision; but all things must end, and we wanted to do it right, to do it our way.”

Photo (c) 2003 The Television Company (London) Ltd

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Live Nation and Universal announce new alliance

Live Nation's Executive Chairman Irving Azoff has announced that Live Nation and the Universal Music Group are forming a new alliance via Live Nation's management division, Front Line, which will form a new joint venture with Universal, to focus on extending the reach and revenue potential of big name artists through brand partnerships, and the creation of packages containing recordings, tickets and merchandise sold direct to fans via artist websites. Azoff told reporters: "This is an unprecedented partnership that unites the world's top music artists with the world's leading artist management, live entertainment, event ticketing and sponsorship resources to drive innovation across our industry. We see tremendous opportunities to work together to create a broad range of products built on the power of music and the direct connection between artists and fans. We look forward to working closely with Lucian Grainge and the talented UMG team in this new and exciting chapter of the music industry". Grainge, Universal Music's CEO, added: " We are creating a series of new platforms and global direct-to-consumer initiatives that will further expand the presence of our artists in this evolving marketplace while providing music fans with even more flexibility in how they consume music. Our artists and their music are at the heart of everything that we do, and by leveraging our combined skills, strengths and global reach with that of Live Nation Entertainment, our management companies, artists and their fans will benefit immeasurably".

MTV Europe nominations out

The Award season is now in full flood and the latest nomination are MTV’s celebration of European music – this year with Belfast hosting the actual ceremony on November 6th: The main award nominations are:

Best Song: Adele - Rolling In The Deep, Bruno Mars - Grenade, Jennifer Lopez feat Pitbull - On The Floor, Katy Perry - Firework, Lady Gaga - Born This Way
Best Live: Coldplay, Foo Fighters, Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, Red Hot Chili Peppers
Best Pop: Britney Spears, Justin Bieber, Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, Rihanna
Best New: Bruno Mars, Far East Movement, Jessie J, LMFAO, Wiz Khalifa
Best Female: Adele, Beyoncé, Jennifer Lopez, Katy Perry, Lady Gaga
Best Male: Bruno Mars, David Guetta, Eminem, Justin Bieber, Kanye West
Best Hip Hop: Eminem, Lil Wayne, Jay-Z & Kanye West, Pitbull, Snoop Dogg
Best Rock: Coldplay, Foo Fighters, Linkin Park, Kings Of Leon, Red Hot Chili Peppers
Best Video: Adele - Rolling In The Deep, Beastie Boys - Make Some Noise, Beyoncé - Run The World (Girls), Justice - Civilization, Lady Gaga - Born This Way
Best Alternative: Arcade Fire, Arctic Monkeys, My Chemical Romance, The Strokes, 30 Seconds To Mars
Best World Stage: Arcade Fire, The Black Eyed Peas, Diddy Dirty Money, Enrique Iglesias, Kings Of Leon, Linkin Park, My Chemical Romance, Ozzy Osborne, Snoop Dogg, 30 Seconds To Mars

Another label quits Spotify

Another heavy metal has said it is quitting streaming music platform Spotify. Prosthetic Records has followed Century Media and Metal Blade in pulling its content from the Spotify service, with its co-owner EJ Johantgen telling LA Weekly "there [does] not appear to be an upside" to being part of the Spotify party and that payouts are "fractions of pennies". An online debate about Spotify's payments to both labels and songwriters has been initiated by self-releasing indie-folk outfit Uniform Motion based around the royalties they earn on their sound recordings (as both label and recording artist) rather than their publishing (as songwriters). Posting a long blog about the economics of being a DIY artist, they provided some interesting insights into what artists can make from the various digital services - both download and mail-order - and streaming - and the blog led to an online debate comparing the money artists can make 'per download' via services such as iTunes and 'per stream' models such as Spotify. Spotify responded by pointing out the diffence between the two models and saying that they has paid out $100 million to rights owners, that they are the second largest source of digital revenue for European labels. Interestingly, Uniform Motion has since noted on their blog that their problem with Spotify and other streaming services isn't so much how much they get paid per stream, but rather how that fee relates to what the streaming firms earn for ad sales and subscriptions. They say: "What we dislike about Spotify, is the lack of transparency in their business model. With Apple, it's simple. They take 30%. With Spotify, we don't know if we're getting a fair deal or not".

Tenenbaum damages back up to $675,000

In the see-saw world of US damages, a federal appeals court has reinstated a $675,000 judgment against a Boston University graduate student Joel Tenenbaum who admitted to downloading music on Internet file-sharing sites after a judge had reduced the previous jury award at the same level by 90%. The US Circuit Court of Appeals for the First Circuit rejected Tenenbaum’s assertions that he did not violate copyright protection laws because he was a consumer, not someone looking to make a profit from downloading. The court also vacated the US District Court’s decision to reduce the total charges to $67,500, because Judge Nancy Gertner found the original figure was unconstitutionally excessive. The court instead reinstated the jury’s figure of $675,000 criticising Judge Gertner for disregarding procedure in reducing the award. The case involves 30 infringements of copyright law which attracts maximum statutory damages of $150,000 per violation, or a potential maximum in this case of of $4.5 million.

In the other leading case involving single mum Jammie Rasset Thomas (Capitol Records v. Thomas-Rasset) Judge Michael Davis rejected a jury damages award of $1.9 million through both remittitur and on constitutional grounds, and reduced the award to $54,000. The record labels offered Rasset Thomas a settlement at $25,000 but she rejected this, and then the labels appealed the judge determined award and a new trial which was convened solely to determine damages. Here the jury awarded $1.5 million. This was again reduced by the judge to $54,000. The RIAA is currently appealing the most recent lower damages figure set by a court in the Eighth Circuit.

Both defendants have said they do not have the means to pay the damages.

Super Girl blitzed in China

China has lost its version of Pop Idol and X-factor from its TV screens after state regulators placed a cap on the amount of screen time it could have, saying it was concerned about the programmes effect on younger viewers. At its peak Super Girl attracted 400 million viewers but the State Administration for Radio, Film and TV (SARFT) has now banned it from prime time. It will be replaced by programmes that promote moral ethics, public safety and practical advice for home owners.

Friday, 16 September 2011

StubHub to launch in UK but Scarlet Mist closes down

Stubhub have announced that they will begin operations in the UK. It will put the American ticket resale business up against Viagogo, which (also founded by Eric Baker) and StubHib’s now parent company, eBay. At the same time ethical ticket exchange Scarlet Mist said that it was closing down due to criminal activity of the site by unspecified users. Site founder Richard and Olly Marks said in a statement this morning that the decision to close was due to "unacceptably high levels of fraud carried out by a small number of criminals".

Q Awards and UK Festival Awards nominations out

Nominations for the Q Awards and the UK Festival Awards are out!

The nominations for the Q Awards are out and here they are:

Breakthrough Artist: Jessie J, Ed Sheeran, Katy B, James Blake, Miles Kane.

Best New Act: The Vaccines, WU LYF, Foster The People, Everything Everything, Nero.

Best Female Artist: Adele, Laura Marling, Beyoncé, Jessie J, PJ Harvey.

Best Male Artist: Cee Lo Green, Tinie Tempah, Wretch 32, Ed Sheeran, Example.

Best Track: Adele ¬ Rolling In The Deep, Aloe Blacc - I Need A Dollar, Arctic Monkeys - Don't Sit Down Cause I've Moved Your Chair, Adele - Someone Like You, Foster The People - Pumped Up Kicks.

Best Album: Bon Iver - Bon Iver, Arctic Monkeys - Suck It And See, Elbow - Build A Rocket Boys!, The Horrors - Skying, PJ Harvey - Let England Shake (already winner of the Mercury Music prize)

Best Live Act: Coldplay, Biffy Clyro, Elbow, Beyoncé, Chase And Status.

Best Video: Jessie J - Do It Like A Dude, Lady Gaga - Judas, Foo Fighters - Walk, Ed Sheeran - You Need Me, I Don't Need You, Katy Perry - Last Friday Night (TGIF), Hurts - Wonderful Life.

Best Act In The World Today: Muse, Coldplay, Arctic Monkeys, Kasabian, Arcade Fire, U2.

There’s also a new award (well, probably planned to be announced once every 25 years from now on .....) and its for the Greatest Act Of The Last 25 Years: Nominees are : U2, Damon Albarn, Radiohead, Oasis, Nirvana, Arcade Fire, Arctic Monkeys, Muse, Jack White, Paul Weller, Jay Z, Eminem, Madonna, The Strokes, REM, The Stone Roses, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Coldplay, Manic Street Preachers, Björk, Beastie Boys, Metallica, Prodigy, The Cure and Green Day.

And the UK Festival Awards have opened up voting on the five categories that will be chosen by festival goers at the launch of the Awards in London and the categories are: Headline Performances Of The Year, Anthem Of The Summer, Best Breakthrough Artist, plus Best Overseas Festival and Fan's Favourite Festival. All five awards will be presented at the Camden Roundhouse on 15 November, alongside other ‘best festival’ categories that will be chosen by a panel of judges whilst other gongs such as Agent Of The Year, Concession Of The Year and the Greener Festival Award etc - will be judged by separate panels. www.festivalawards.com.

And at the first ever Artist and Manager Awards at London’s Roundhouse winners included Adele, Ed Sheeran and Massive Attack. Live performances on the night also included Sheeran and Mumford & Sons. The awards are the result of a collaboration between the Music Managers’ Forum (MMF) and the Featured Artists’ Coalition (FAC). Sponsored by American Express, the Artist and Manager Awards celebrate and recognise music talent in the UK.

The winners are:

Achievement Awards: Everybody’s Management and Artists
The Artists’ Artist Award: Massive Attack
Manager of the Year Award: Jho Oakley
Breakthrough Artist: Ed Sheeran
First Rung Manager Award: Hiroki Shirasuka and Richard Austen-Smith (Giant Men Management)
Artist of the Year: Adele
The Peter Grant Award for services to management: John Glover
Industry Champion Award: Martin Mills (Beggars Group)

Quebec gets tough with secondary ticketing

Ticketnews.com reports that a proposed bill that would essentially wipe out the ticket resale market in the Canadian province of Quebec could end up being watered down to allow for a regulated secondary market. Government officials concluded two days of hearings about the bill on September 13, and are considering some changes to the bill in part because the Canadian Ticket Brokers Association (CTBA) and others argued that banning ticket resale in the province would drive the secondary market underground where consumers could be at greater risk of being scammed.

Jackson tribute concert hits new problems with fans

Michael Jackson fans are lambasting the organisers of the October 8th Michael Forever tribute concert in Cardiff, Wales, after organisers Global Live Events heavily discounted tickets after struggling to sell out. Many early bird purchasers had pledged substantial amounts for charity in order to secure what they thought would be a hot ticket, only to now see Global offering ‘two for the price of one’ packages. Concert organisers had stated on the application that the higher the donation pledge, the greater likelihood that application would be selected to purchase tickets when they eventually went on sale. A refund in the difference paid has now been promised but fans are sceptical Confirmed talent includes Leona Lewis, Cee-Lo Green, Christina Aguilera and Smokey Robinson with video contribution from Beyonce. Jamie Foxx hosts.

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Term extension approved by EU

The European Union's Council Of Ministers has approved proposals to extend the copyright term for sound recordings from the current 50 years up to 70 years, giving backing for an EU directive extending the sound recording copyright term which must be implemented by menber states within 2 years.

BMG buy Bug

BMG has bought up US independent music publisher Bug Music. The terms of the deal, expected to be completed by next month, are not known. BMG chief Hartwig Masuch said"With the acquisition of Bug Music and its vast collection of evergreen and contemporary compositions, BMG further establishes itself as a leading music rights management company. We look forward to working with Bug Music's exceptional roster of artists and songwriters".

Bestival rape allegation

A 15-year-old girl has reported that she was raped at Bestival in the UK. The teenager has told police that she was with friends in the main arena of the festival at Robin Hill Country Park on the Isle of Wight on Sunday when she was approached by a man she did not know. She said she was raped some time between 19.30 and 20.30 near the main arena. The attacker was described as black, in his 20s, approximately 6ft tall, and of large muscular build with braided hair.

RIP Richard Turner

Rising rock and jazz trumpeter Richard Turner, a graduate of the Royal Academy of Music who played with Friendly Fires amongst others, has died at the tragically young age of 27 from an aneurysm.

Monday, 5 September 2011

UK Festivals Conference back

Organisers of the UK Festival Awards have confirmed the fourth outing of the UK Festivals Conference to run alongside the Awards show in November. The evening Awards show will take place at the Camden Roundhouse and will be preceded by the UK Festival Conference at the HMV Forum. The draft agenda include preparing for bad weather, the potential of social media and how to stand out in a saturated market place. Festival Republic chief Melvin Benn will take part in a Q&A, and the results of the UK Festival Market Report will be presented.
More at : www.festivalconference.com

Universal grabs See Tickets

In a surprise move it seems Universal Music owners Vivendi have bought UK-based See Tickets from its current owners Parcom Capita in a deal reportedly worth £80 million. Vivendi's already own a 65% stake in French ticketing firm Digitick.

Friday, 2 September 2011

Pukklepop launches victims fund

The organisers of Pukkelpop have announced that they are launching a fund to support the victims of the storm which hit the Belgian festival last month, and the families of those who died. The Steunfonds Slachtoffers Pukkelpopstorm (the Support Fund for the Victims of the Pukkelpop Storm) will act as an independent organisation with its own board. Information on the fund and how to donate money can be found at :www.pukkelpop.be/en/faq/relief-fund

Thursday, 1 September 2011

Mars tries to escape Bug

Bruno Mars has filed papers ar the LA County Superior Court in a move to to end his music publishing contract with Bug Music. TMZ reports that Mars believes that he has fulfilled his commitments under his contract with the up-for-sale independent publisher, and that it failed to take up an option to renew in the renewal period previously agreed. Mars now says he is currently without any commitments to any music publisher. TMZ reports that Bug seems not agree and maintains that he is still under contact to the company.

http://www.tmz.com/2011/08/30/bruno-mars-lawsuit-singer-music-bug-music-inc-publishing-rights-lawsuit-bughouse/?adid=recentlyupdatedstories

CTS closes in on See, EMI up for grabs

Music Week reports that CTS Eventim is seemingly the favourite to buy the UK's See Tickets from current owners, Dutch investment firm Parcom Capital. See Tickets originally span out of Andrew Lloyd Webber's Really Useful company, and sells tickets to West End shows as well as a plethora of music and sporting events, including the Glastonbury Festival. an according to Dow Jones, the next round of bidding for EMI is expected to take place next week and owner Citigroup has invited a number of parties to submit second bids after the Labour Day Weekend in the US, initial bids having been made at the start of last month. It is thought that existing music companies Warner Music, Universal Music and BMG are all still in the running. Whilst Citigroup wanted just ‘one’ sale (as does current CEO Roger Faxon), it's thought that bids for both EMI in its entirety and the major's constituent parts are both being considered

US festival accused of unregistered investment sales

The organisers of an Orange County weekend music festival in Irvine may have run foul of state law with an unusual financing scheme by attempting to sign up investors using “boiler-room” style phone calls. Billed as a “new music experience in Orange County”, the two-day Playgound Festival is planned to feature hip-hop and rock acts at Hidden Valley, a grassy area adjacent to Verizon Amphitheater. Rapper the Game and rock bands the Bravery and Panic! are currently billed as headliners according to Orange County Register, However, it seems that sales teams from promoters Elevated Sound Productions having been cold calling local residents offering exceptional returns from investments in the Festival. Steve Blasko, an ESP managing partner, denied that the company made unsolicited calls to investors. He told the Orange County Register that the company only contacted people who had previously expressed interest through the company’s website. If anyone got an unsolicited call to invest, Blasko said, it was because “wires were crossed somewhere.” Investigations by the Register say that one salesman compared the newly established Playground Festival with long-established Coachella Festival and the Electric Daisy Carnival in Las Vegas and that another pressuried an undercover reporter to make an immediate investment.

http://www.ocregister.com/news/calls-314780-music-invest.html

Monday, 29 August 2011

Spotify profit due?

Spotify is due to report a profit when it publishes its 2010 results later this year. The online streaming service with 1.9 million paying users and 6 million free users in the US and Europe turned over an estimated E59 million and paid out E45 million to record labels. No details are known about music publisher payments, but with some E10 million spent on marketing and business overheads, a profit of E5 million could be achieved, against a loss of around E20 million last year on turnover of just E13 million in 2009. Spotify is now looking to shift users from the now restricted free service to paid for subscription services.

Beyonce pregnant


Beyonce, who along with Lady Gaga recently made an real impact in the Forbes "Power 100 Women" topped by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, has announced that she is pregant with her and Jay-Z's first child. She broke the news at the MTV VMA's as she posed for photographers on the awards show red carpet saying "I have a surprise," before showing off her growing baby bump for the cameras. She went on to perform Love On Top at the bash, telling the crowd: "I want you to feel the love that's growing inside me." Gaga performed at the VMA's as her 'alter ego', the very male Joe Calderone.

Tragedy in Joshua Tree National Park

Dutch promoter Augustinus 'Guus' Van Hove and his girlfriend Helena Nuellett have been found dead in the Joshua Tree National Park in California. The pair had driven to the Park which is currently experiencing heat wave conditions of over 40C and had taken the remote Black Eagle Mine road towards Arizona. Officials said that the couple had probably died from heat exposure as temperatures soared. Guus was manager of the 013 venue in Tilburg.

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Australian music fans see more live music than AFL games

New research in Australia has found live music contributes more than $500 million to Victoria's economy each year. The Deloitte Access Economics report has found more Victorians attended live music venues last year than AFL games, and that the live music industry creates more than 17,000 jobs. However, tough new liquor licensing regulations have sparked protests from music fans and The Tote, one of Melbourne's iconic music venues was forced to close its doors because of the new rules, but later re-opened.

Consumer Affairs Minister Michael O'Brien says the Government will continue to support live music saying "Later this year we'll be changing the Liquor Licensing Act to insert, as one of its objects live music and its importance to Victoria" saying
"We want to make sure that the regulators and the decision-makers understand that live music is an important part of our live venues" and added that the Government will change the way venues are classified to protect the music industry and will attempt to reduce licence fees payable by music venues

US industry mourns the loss of two songwritering giants

Jerry Leiber, one half of the iconic song writing team Lieber & Stoller who penned classics such as 'Jailhouse Rock' and 'Stand By Me', has died aged 78. At the time of his death his partner Mike Stoller said he was working with Leiber on a musical charting the life of Oscar Wilde saying it was amongst the 'best things we'd ever written'. Motown songwriter Nick Ashford has died aged 70. He had been suffering from throat cancer. Ashford began writing songs with his wife Valerie Simpson in the mid-60s and they wrote classics as 'I'm Every Woman', 'Ain't No Mountain High Enough', 'Ain't Nothin Like The Real Thing' and 'Solid As A Rock' which Ashford performed with Valerie as Ashford & Simpson.


AEG launches axs

AEG have launched axs (pronounced access), their a new entertainment platform that will leverage AEG’s facilities and music, sports, and entertainment properties in an effort to redefine the live event consumer experience – from access to ticketing to digital engagement and multi-platform content distribution. Phase I of axs, axsTicketing was built in partnership with Outbox Enterprises, in which AEG is both an equity partner and a client. The white label technology Outbox developed enables AEG to sell tickets under both the axs brand and their local venue brands "empowering local brands to connect directly with fans while providing centralized CRM services and core ticketing technologies. The first shows available for purchase on the new service are in Denver at the Ogden Theatre and the Bluebird Theater in Colorado. Nine shows will be going on sale Saturday, August 27 at 10 am MT including Yelawolf and Decide at the Bluebird Theater and Paper Diamond, Railroad Earth and Social Distortion at the Ogden Theatre.

New Book on Green Events


A new textbook covering the exciting new world of sustainable meetings, conferences, exhibitions, festivals and events has been written by Sam Goldblatt and features interviews with over 50 industry leaders around the world in order to put together a global perspective on sustainable practices for the events and entertainment industries. And not only does The Complete Guide to Greener Meetings and Events feature over 30 fabulous full-colour photos, it is printed with ink containing soy content on paper certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and is bound with 85% pre-consumer recycled fibre! You can buy the book here http://www.amazon.co.uk/Complete-Greener-Meetings-Events-Management/dp/0470640103 and find out more at http://greenerevents.wordpress.com/

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

London Olympics will cause Scotland fringe festival shortages

The UK’s press got very excited when it decided that Michael Eavis had “cancelled” the 2012 Glastonbury Festival because of a shortage of portaloos caused by the London Olympics (conveniently ignoring the fact that that Eavis usually takes a year of every few years to rest his Farm) but now it seems that the Edinburgh festivals will face real problems in 2012 as the Olympic Games will temporarily soak up lighting, sound and staging technicians in the UK. The directors of the Pleasance, one of Edinburgh’s biggest Fringe venues, said it was looking to foreign staff to fill the gaps. Other reported temporary shortages include toilets, herras fencing, stages, security staff and police. The Games run from the 27th July to the 14th August 2012. Similar shortages are expected when Glasgow hosts the Commonwealth Games in 2014.

Jackson insurance claim poised to go to court

The $17.5 million insurance claim against Lloyd’s of London underwriter Cathedral Underwriting is poised to go to court in the USA after insurers said that the singer had failed to disclose his medical history and the treatments he was receiving prior to his death. The claim relates to AEG’s ‘This is It’ London shows. His physician, Dr Conrad Murray, faces trial oncriminal charges over his death.

Elsewhere in Jackson world, organisers of the ‘Forever Michael’ tribute planned for Cardiff in October have withdrawn their invitation to Kiss after frontman Gene Simmons made a number of ill judged comments about Jackson’s relationships with young boys.

Friday, 19 August 2011

Five dead in Pukklepop storm disaster

At least five people have died and many more injured at the 60,000 capacity Pukklepop Festival in Belgium after a storm swept through the popular open-air music festival in the town of Hasselt, 50 miles east of Brussels. The storm hit the site in the late afternoon on Thursday 18th August. Concertgoers described scenes of panic as the sky darkened, the winds whipped, rain poured, hailstones nearly half an inch across pelted the crowds, and concert structures buckled. The worst affected area was the Chateau Stage which collapsed as the Smith Westerns began their set. Lead singer Cullen Omori told Pitchfork: "We had just finished the first song of our set at Pukkelpop when the stage/tent started shaking. We simply thought it was a storm passing through. I made a comment about Cheap Trick, and we were about to play the next one, when our tour manager yelled at me to run off the stage. Right then the tress collapsed one foot in front of Max. At this point we thought only the stage broke, not the tent. Amid the chaos it was hard to tell exactly what had happened, but after the rescue teams started coming in it became clear that there were severe injuries and we are now being told there are reports of multiple deaths. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families who lost loved ones in today's tragedy".

Hugo Simons, Hasselt's head of emergency medical planning, told VRT radio that three people had died, 11 had been severely injured and 60 had sustained light injuries as a result of the storm and the numbers have moved upwards. Ambulances ferried the seriously injured to nearby hospitals. Some of those lightly injured were being treated at a local sports complex. More than 20 ambulances were dispatched to the festival ground. Dutch NOS television reporter Rick Hoogkamp, who was attending the concert Thursday, said several tents collapsed. An AP reporter saw concession stands blown down and a large food tent spread across the ground. Initially only the remainder of Thursday's shows, including Foo Fighters' headline performance, were cancelled, but as the death toll rose and the extent of the damage became clearer, organisers decided to call off the whole event and Chokri Mahassine, the organizer of the festival who is a MEP initially said, "We have for now put the festival on hold until we understand the situation completely" Then confirmed the event’s cancellation saying "Pukkelpop is in deep mourning. We truly sympathise with the families and friends of the victims. Words are not enough. We have struggled with the [initial] decision to continue the festival. Therefore we have decided to cancel Pukkelpop 2011. What has happened is very exceptional and could not have been predicted. We are deeply moved by all the spontaneous support the festival goers and the organisation have received ... We ask everyone to understand that this decision was extremely difficult to make". The news follows on from the disaster at the Indiana State Fair in the US on Saturday when a storm hit just before country stars Sugarland were due to perform on the event's Hoosier Lottery Grandstand stage killing five and injuring dozens more, and a stage collapse during a storm whilst Cheap Trick were onstage at the Ottawa Bluesfest in July.

Video here http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/video/2011/aug/19/belgium-pukkelpop-festival-storms

ands here http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-14582448

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Warrant frontman dies

Jani Lane, former frontman of LA glam metal band Warrant has been found dead in a California motel room last Thursday evening. Lane, real name John Oswald, He was 47. An autopsy to determine the cause of death conducted on Friday proved inconclusive. We are also saddended by the death of John Northcote, CEO of the Academy Music Group who has died aged just 62. he will be much missed.

5 die in Indiana freak storm

Five people have died after stage rigging at the Indiana State Fair in Indianapolis collapsed after being hit by 70mph freak gusts of wind just before country stars Sugarland were due to take to the stage. An announcement warned concert-goers that a storm was approaching BUT and critically it seems also said that it was hoped Sugarland's concert could go ahead: Seconds later strong winds blew up in the space of seconds and a large stage rig collapsed onto the waiting crowd. According to local media reports, four people died immediately, while one more died later in hospital. Over 40 others were being treated for injuries incurred during the stage collapse. . One member of the audience managed to film the incident State Governor Mitch Daniels told reporters later that many precautions had been taken ahead of the event to cope with stormy weather, but that the stage collapse had been caused by a freak gust of wind - between 60 and 70 mph - that could not have been foreseen. It appears that Sugarland had delayed the start of their set to see how bad the weather was, potentially saving the band’s own and many other lives.

There has been some debate in the US about how much warning organisers of the Fair really had. A spokesman for the Fair said that the metrological information they were relying on suggested there was at least half an hour more time before the storm would arrive at their site. He told a US radio station: "The information we had, with our meteorologist on site with constant contact with the National Weather Service, was that we had about 30 more minutes before any kind of rain or storm blew in". But some meteorologists claimed there were very real severe weather warnings that State Fair organisers ignored. Mike Smith from AccuWeather told CBS News that the storm at the Fair site "was very predictable", adding: "We put out a warning for 60 mile an hour winds a full half hour before the stage collapse occurred".

Saturday, 13 August 2011

EMI sale may be to another major label or publisher


As talk around of the impending sale of EMI rumbles on, anti-trust lawyers in Europe and the USA are speculating that the sale of EMI, which has a 10% share of the recorded music market and a 20% share of music publishing, may be less of a problem as regulators would no longer be so alarmed if another of the majors, whether Warners, Sony or Universal, brought the UK based conglomerate. Lawyers comment that the music market has changed so dramatically in the last few years, with new entrants such as Apple, Amazon and Live Nation, new forms of distribution including Pandora and Spotify and the capability of artistes such as Nine Inch Nails, Radiohead and Sir Paul McCartney to manage their own record releases in the digital age. Citygroup took over EMI in February after the company's previous owner, Terra Firma Capital Partners, proved unable to repay a $5.4 billion loan and are now looking to sell.

Friday, 12 August 2011

Woodstock responds to the Prodigy

Woodstock Poland organiser Jurek Owsiak has responded to a statement released by The Prodigy about on-site safety. In response, Owsiak has said: "For many years, my festival has been considered a model when it comes to providing safety for such a big mass event. The floor of the stage is located 3.5 meters above ground. The elements which make it difficult to move or which create the risk of somebody being squashed or trampled have been reduced to a minimum. The audience is lit all the time, which makes it possible to monitor the situation constantly and react to any safety threat immediately". He added: "Also the model of cooperation between all kinds of services working to provide safety at the event is assessed to be impeccable. Those services include suitably trained volunteers, a security agency, medical services, Government Security Bureau, border guard, firefighters, various police units (intelligence police units, police psychologists and negotiators, riot police, traffic police, an antiterrorist brigade and a pyrotechnic unit) and a police helicopter. What the organiser thinks has happened is there has been a misunderstanding between the organiser and [the band's team]" and then pointed out that apart from some audience members faintin g and some minor injuries "Nobody was really injured. Nobody died. The attendees of Woodstock Festival Poland are safe, and they went home happy. Only a nasty aftertaste is left in them, of a pretentious attitude of an artist".

Groupon sales a big success says Live Nation

Ticketnews.com reports that Live Nation's discount ticketing deal with Groupon, called GrouponLive, has yielded impressive sales, during what was an overall solid financial quarter during an investor conference call. The company has sold 422,000 tickets so far through GrouponLive, and more than 1,200 artists, teams and events have signed up to release offers, according to Michael Rapino, President and CEO of Live Nation

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Secret Garden Party face criticism over security

An intersting film about the security at the Secret Garden Party this year - as the film itself says 'dstressing and depressing' http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wF8MLPDAsUs

Prodigy respond on barrier claims

The Prodigy have responded to claims that they asked for a barrier to be placed in front of the stage at their recent appearance at the Woodstock Festival in Poland and then asked for a police escort to get them off site quickly, pointing out the barrier wasn’t to keep fans away from them, but to keep fans safe – and that all headline artistes needed to be escorted off the site because of the huge number of vehicles at the Festival. The band’s manager John Fairs categorically denied accusations that the band acted in an "unsafe" and "unprofessional" manner when they performed at the Woodstock Festival and said that the festival's promoter, referred to as Mr Owiask, who seemingly made the accusations in he first place, was the real culprit. In the statement, the band said: "It was brought to our attention by our production manager on Friday night that Mr Owsiak had no intention of providing a safety barrier in front of the stage, despite signing a legally binding contract agreeing to installing barriers on 4 Apr 2011. This is the biggest open air European festival with a 500,000 capacity, and the provision of safety barriers is acknowledged as an essential practice at all festivals in Europe and indeed the world".

They continued: "Without [a barrier] Mr Owsiak - and his event - would have been putting the crowd at huge risk, especially given the subsequent promoters report of 670,000 people in attendance. In reality, an event of this size should and must have several barrier lines. Woodstock is clearly in breach of the number one goal of The European Festival Association - YOUROPE - of which they are a member". A last minute barrier was put in place at the insistence of the band and their management, but this still did not meet safety regulations. According to the statement, Owsiak then "insinuated in the media" that the barrier had been put there because the Prodigy wanted fans kept away from them, and that they subsequently "fled the site" quickly under police escort because they thought "their barrier" had caused injuries, and didn't want to stick around to find out for certain.

On the quick exit, the band's statement continued: "There are always traffic queues in and out of festival sites - it was quoted that 124,000 vehicles attended the event. All headline artists use police escorts to get through traffic when severe delays are possible. It is necessary and not arrogant. Furthermore, it is advisable for the band to leave immediately after their performance to avoid the congestion leaving the site".

Century pull out of Spotify

Metal label Century Media have confirmed that they are pulling all of their music off the Spotify streaming music platform saying that that Spotify's current business model was not the "way forward", and that the low royalties paid were not sufficient to compensate for the negative impact that the streaming platform has on more record sales. Having your content on Spotify, the label concluded, "accelerates the downward spiral". Spotify responded saying "We are sorry that Century Media has opted not to offer its music to their fans through Spotify. Spotify was launched out of a desire to develop a better, more convenient and legal alternative to music piracy. And Spotify now monetises an audience the large majority of whom were downloading illegally (and therefore not making any money for the industry) before Spotify was available".

Rap not to blame for UK riots

Following on from the UK’s worst riots for three decades, the Daily Mirror's political correspondent Paul Routledge put the blame on rap saying "I blame the pernicious culture of hatred around rap music, which glorifies violence and loathing of authority (especially the police but including parents), exalts trashy materialism and raves about drugs. The important things in life are the latest smart phone, fashionable trainers and jeans and idiot computer games. No wonder stores selling them were priority looting targets. Stir into this lethal mixture, the fostering of irrational anger against the world and disrespect for others, and the end result is self-absorbed young people living at boiling point". Hmmm, strong stuff, and it drew a quick response from rapper Professor Green, who took to Twitter to say: "You had to be at East Dance at Glasto to see the damage urban music does: people of all colours and classes enjoying themselves. Terrible. Paul Routledge is an absolute moron. An absolute fucking moron. Yeah, ban rap music, silence our voices even more. Ignorant prick. Surely this isn't about shifting the blame, but accepting responsibility? Neither my music nor that of my peers is to blame for society and its faults. We didn't create the tiers".

40 Fix Yous for Japan

Coldplay’s “Fix You” has been covered by over 40 artists from around the world to benefit Japan’s quake relief efforts. the proceeds will go to The Japanese Red Cross Society and Tokyo charity Peace Boat. The Multi-platinum selling band Simple Plan recorded their version in Canada and on the other side of the world, 11 year old guitar prodigy Yuto Miyazawa laid down his guitar solo in Tokyo, Japan. In Ireland, the lead singer from Sweet Jane recorded her vocals at a Dublin studio and at Singapore’s Ocean Butterflies Studio, over 40 artists from all over the globe did their part by recording an Asian themed version of “Fix You” to benefit the victims of theJapanese earthquake and tsunami that shook the lives of so many on March 11, 2011. The sale proceeds of the this track will go towards the Japanese Red Cross Society (http://www.jrc.or.jp/eq-japan2011/) and Peace Boat (http://peaceboat.jp/relief/) a Tokyo based charity which is helping with the country’s rebuilding and rehabilitation efforts. “We would like to thank everyone for the outpouring of support we have received from the international music community. All of your support has mattered significantly to us in Japan,” said Haji Taniguchi, Chairman of Music Publishers Association of Japan.

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Ticketmaster and Walmart finally launch in-store scheme

Ticketmaster and Walmart are finally launching their previously announced scheme to sell tickets out of hundreds of Walmart stores throughout the USA. The move comes about 18 months after Walmart and Live Nation, Ticketmaster's parent company, first announced the partnership, but a little late in the current summer concert season to take full advantage of the added exposure.

Truck to stop?

The co-founder of the UK's Truck Festival has denied claims the Festival's parent company is going into administration after losing too much money at this year's event in Oxfordshire, but has admitted the 2011 festival has caused financial difficulties. Robin Bennett told a local paper: "Things are still a little unclear, but the situation is not looking good. Our revenue has not been adequate to cover the cost of this year's event and we have been left with a major hole. We are a small family business and we cannot sustain that kind of loss, and are now reaching out to find a method of dealing with it". Explaining the situation, he said: "We didn't have enough full-price ticket holders, and bar and food spending, which we hoped would make a contribution to profits, wasn't high ... The market this year is dire. There are just too many festivals" and said the company was looking for investment.