Thursday, 28 April 2011

Millions at risk after Sony hacking

Sony have admitted that millions of customers personal data may have been lost after the electonics giant was hacked. The data, which includes personal data including names, addresses and dates of birth may also possiblly include credit card details belongs to up to 79 million gamers who use users the Sony Playstation network and other customers who use Sony Qriocity based music service.

Poly Styrene passes on

Poly Styrene (Marianne Elliott-Said), icon of the British punk scene and best known as frontwoman of X-Ray Spex, has died after losing a battle with breast cancer. She was 53 and died peacefully at home.

Songlines 2011 winners announced

Songlines magazine have announced the winners of the third annual Songlines Music Awards. The Awards recognise outstanding talent in world music and are voted by Songlines readers and the general public. There are four categories: Best Artist, Best Group, Cross-Cultural Collaboration and Newcomer - the results from the initial vote generate the final nominees, the top four in each category. The winners, selected by the Songlines editorial team will be published in the June issue of Songlines (#76) and will also be announced on BBC Radio 3's World on 3 programme on April 29.

A 16-track compilation album (SPLCD004) featuring the winners and all nominees is out now on CD and download. A Songlines Music Awards 2011 app, for the iPad, iPhone and iPod touch, is also available to download for free from the iTunes App store.

And the winners are...

BEST ARTIST: FEMI KUTI (For the album Africa for Africa on Wrasse Records)

BEST GROUP: BELLOWHEAD (For the album Hedonism on Navigator/Proper)

CROSS-CULTURAL COLLABORATION: AFROCUBISM (For the album AfroCubism on World Circuit)

NEWCOMER: RAGHU DIXIT (For the album Raghu Dixit on Vishal & Shekhar Music)

Thursday, 21 April 2011

Blink 182 postpone

Blink 182 have announced that they are postponing their upcoming UK tour dates in order to finish work on their new album, their first since reforming. The new arena dates will be n the UK in June and July 2012 and the band have now also announced new shows in Ireland and Scotland. In a statement, the band said: "It is with heavy hearts that we have to announce our planned 2011 European Summer tour has been rescheduled. When we booked the tour last year, we were confident that we would have the new album out before the summer. Turns out we were mistaken as the album is taking longer than we thought and won't be out til later this year. We hoped we would have some new songs to play rather than do another 'greatest hits tour', which you all saw last summer. As much as we know our fans would be cool with that, we feel that we owe you guys something new when you spend your money to come see us. Frankly, it's what needs to continue for us to remain vital".

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Grooveshark defends its service in face of industry opposition

Digital Music News reports that online music service Grooveshark has issued an open letter to the music industry, defending its legality and protesting the removal of its mobile applications by Apple and Google, CEO Paul Geller wrote "There is nothing illegal about what Grooveshark offers to consumers” adding “Grooveshark is completely legal because we comply with the laws passed by Congress, but we are not licensed by every label (yet)" and explained “We pay for our streams, and we actively negotiate with virtually every single content owner." The company argues it is operating within the parameters of the "safe harbor" clause of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) and that it actively polices content from its 25 million users with Geller saying "We've taken down over 1.76 million files and suspended upload privileges to 22,274 users," Grooveshark is currently being sued by Universal Music Group for copyright infringement. A second major label, EMI, dropped its suit against the company and licensed its catalogue in 2009..

Ticketfly raises $12 million

Ticketfly, the provider of a "social" online ticketing service, had announced that it has raised $12 million in its second round of funding. San Francisco-based Ticketfly provides ticketing, social marketing, website management and mobile tools to live entertainment venues and promoters and its clients include Austin City Limits Live, Knitting Factory Entertainment and Los Angeles' Troubadour.

Final line up announced for Green Events and Innivations

Green Events and Innovations – Keynotes, Panels and Presentations

09.30am Registration opens (please arrive at the Gateway Building, Buckinghamshire New University and you will be directed over to the conference room (N3.06)

10.15am Introducing the Greener Festival Award: Presented by Helen Wright, A Greener Festival : The Greener Festival Award is now in its 5th year and is recognised internationally as a prestigious independent assessment of sustainability and environmental good practice. This session aims to allow delegates the opportunity to understand how the scheme works and what criteria are used in assessing festivals.

11.00am Waste Management Solutions: Presented by Andy Willcott, Network Recycling Network Recycling are acknowledged experts in providing waste management solutions to festival and Andy Willcott will provide a presentation on practical and effective waste management regimes for festivals. The presentation will follow a group discussion on the opportunities and challenges ahead for reducing and managing event waste most effectively.

12.00pm Measuring GHG Emissions: Presented by Helen Heathfield, Julies BicycleEstablished in 2007 by and for the UK music industry, Julie’s Bicycle is a non-profit company working with the creative industries to co-ordinate and catalyse best practice in sustainability and develop cultural leadership around climate issues to reduce the sector’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. JB help organisations understand their carbon impacts and take responsibility for reducing them by providing clear, practical advice and support, based on the best available research, tools and which will be explained by Helen Heathfield, Julies Bicycle’s Associate Director for Energy & The Environment.

1:00pm Lunch Break: Lunch is not provided but there are two cafeterias at Bucks New University: Rusty Bucks in the Gateway Building (ground floor) and Beats (1st floor) as well as a number of pubs and restaurants in the centre of High Wycombe, just 5 minutes walk away.

2.00pm Keynote: The Role of Arts in Climate Change. Ben Challis

2.30pm PANEL: Sustainable Power Solutions Whilst travel is known to be the highest contributor to a green field event’s GHG emissions, on site power is something that is possibly more within the control of organizers, and area where a demand from green solutions is seen to be rising in conjunction with some of the technological advancements of our society. This panel brings together a range of expertise on power – from festival organisers, education, long established generator and large scale power providers, to those with smaller scale innovative solutions. The panel will discuss what is available on the market at present, what is being done, what are future the challenges, and where do we go from here? Panelists: Andy Mead (Firelfly Solar) Juliet Ross-Kelly (Eco Action Partnership, Isle of Wight Festival) Helen Heathfield (Julies Bicycle) Sam Jenner (Eco Charge Technologies) Rob Hutchinson (Innovation Power) Tom Davidson(Buffalo Power) and Moderator: Claire O’Neill(AIF / A Greener Festival)

3.45pm PANEL: Travel Solution for Music FestivalsWith audience travel now acknowledged as the biggest contributor to the music industry’s carbon footprint, panellists will discuss what festivals are doing to reduce car travel to festivals. Questions to be asked include what are the most and least polluting options of travel? Are there any new initiatives on the horizon? And what works and what doesn’t? Panellists Lucy Brooking Clarke (Glastonbury Festival) Kevin Green (Big Green Coach) Zoe Burton ( Robin Bennett (Wood/Truck festivals) and Moderator: Teresa Moore(Bucks New Uni)

5.15pm Drinks Reception and 6.30pm Close

Julies Bicycle gives 14 UK festivals the IG

Julie's Bicycle has awarded fourteen UK festivals its Industry Green certificates, with Shambala becoming the first to get the full three-star award for running almost entirely on renewable energy. Julie's Bicycle director Alison Tickell told CMU: "The challenge of reducing impacts while growing the business is being tackled head on by this brave group of festivals, It's not always comfortable to put the green brand to the test. This group of festivals are doing it for real" .The full list of newly awarded festivals is: Big Chill, Glastonbury, Grass Roots, Hyde Park Winter Wonderland, Isle Of Wight Festival, Latitude, Leeds Festival, Lovebox, Reading Festival, Shambala, Sonisphere, T In The Park, Truck and Wood Festival.
Also out this week are the nominations for the Music Week 2011 Julie's Bicycle Green Business Award. The six finalists are Firefly Solar CIC, KOKO, The NEC Group, The Premises Studios Ltd, The Sage Gateshead and Truck Enterprises for the Wood Festival.

Ticketmaster offers dynamic ticketing to promoters

Live Nation's Ticketmaster has set up a partnership with analytics company MarketShare to offer dynamic pricing to promoters who use a platform to sell their tickets. The new technology Ticketmaster plan to employ will, according to the live firm's press release "allow sports teams, artists, promoters, and venues to better understand the value of their ticket inventory throughout the entire ticketing process - both prior to, and during the onsale". The news follows AEG's February announcement that AEG Live had gone into business with a tech start up called Outbox Technology to launch its own ticketing service. The move should ultimately enable AEG to become independent from Ticketmaster. Outbox is heasded up by ex Ticketmaster chief, Frederic Rosen.

Elsewhere in ticketing news, Music Week reports that StubHub is looking to expand into the European market, particularly in the music and entertainment secondary market.

Warners buys Vivo in Italy

Warner Music has said that it has acquired Vivo, the Italian live events company. Vivo will work closely with F&P, an artist services company already owned by the major. Warner Music Europe CEO John Reid said "As one of the region's most well-respected, innovative touring and events companies, Vivo will add further strength and flexibility to our live operations in Italy. At the same time, the deal is another significant step in the transformation of our role in the European music value chain, as we expand our ability to partner with both local and international artists across all their activities and at all stages of their careers".

Friday, 15 April 2011

High Court intervenes in UK ticket re-sale row reports that UK secondary ticket company Viagogo has been ordered by the High Court to turn over the names and other personal information of resellers of Rugby Football Union (RFU) tickets who have sold tickets for a premium above face value because the RFU tries to control resale to help keep prices affordable. The league took a unique approach in their case against Viagogo by convincing the judge, Mr Justice Tugendhat, that they considered those who bought tickets for above face value to be trespassers, because those fans allegedly violated certain RFU (contract of sale) rules that disallow the resale of tickets above face value. Mr Justice Tugendhat said “a reasonable person holding an RFU ticket (however he has acquired it) should not be surprised or aggrieved that RFU wish to know his identity," adding "The identity of individuals who enter onto premises such as the Stadium may be important to the owners of those premises for a number of obvious reasons, including security. And as RFU point out, Viagogo's own conditions permit it to communicate the personal data of its customers to partner organisations, presumably for marketing purposes. The customers who Viagogo refers to as "innocent" might be presumed to suppose that RFU was a partner of Viagogo, or that RFU had as much interest in using their names for marketing as Viagogo's partners."

Spotify moves away from free streaming model

Spotify, the streaming music service currently plotting a U.S. launch, has announced new limits on its ad-supported, free music streaming service – now Spotify’s free users who number 10 million in Europe will now be limited to 10 hours per month, while each track will be available for free for up to five total plays. Spotify now sys that users who reach the new limits move over to join the 1 million users currently subscribed to its Unlimited or Premium offerings, which cost about $8 per month for PC-based access and $15 for mobile access. Spotify has yet to launch in the USA having so far only signed Sony and EMI calaogues and not Warner Music or Universal Music in the US.

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Bestival goes 3D!

Bestival, this year headlined by The Cure, Pendulum, Primal Scream, PJ Harvey, Brian Wilson and DJ Shadow will now be broadcast for two hours each day of the Festival in 3D TV in the UK on Sky TV in a deal organised by Whizz Kid Entertainment. Festival organiser Rob da Bank said: "It’s amazing to be part of the world's first 3D TV festival extravaganza on Sky. Bestival in 3D will be a mind-blowing explosion of colour and multi-dimensional music and mayhem and it’s great to be working with Whizz Kid again to bring it to life" There will also be a 90-minute Bestival Special on Sky One following the September Festival.

Copyright reforms back on the agenda in Europe

As Amazon continue to insist that its ‘cloud’ based music service needs no licences from either music publishers or record labels, better news for rights owners from the 1709 Copyright Blog who report that ‘term extension’ is back on the EU’s Agenda. Term extension for sound recordings means extending the current EU wide term of copyright protection from the current 50 years to anything from 70 years to even 95 years (mirroring the USA) - something the record labels have long lobbied for and something it seems that the current presidency of the EU, Hungary, is pressing for. In other news it seems that the Dutch Government is also looking at revising its copyright laws to fit in with the digital age. At the moment the Dutch apply a levy to blank CDs and DVDs – to compensate rights owners for downloading and copying – which isn’t illegal in Holland under the private copy clause of the country's fair use provisions - although uploading is illegal. Under new proposals from the government downloading would also become illegal - meaning anyone who downloads music could be liable for copyright infringement actions. The new proposals are supported by the country's anti-piracy group BREIN, who say that if the law is changed they will not go after individual downloader's, preferring to target those who run the websites that enable file-sharing instead.

Monday, 11 April 2011

U2's 360 Degree tour highest grossing ever

U2's 360 Degree global tour is now the highest grossing tour ever, overtaking the Rolling Stones, whose 2005-2007 Bigger Bang tour previously held the record. Ticket sales at U2's show in Sao Paulo this weekend took revenues above the $558 million the Stones tour made over its three years, even despite the postponements caused by Bono's bad back last year. According to reports, by the time U2 complete the forthcoming North American leg of their 360 Degree tour the gross will be over $700 million.

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

12th European Health & Safety Seminar

Buckinghamshire New University and Yourope announce 12th Health and Safety Seminar, 26-27 May 2011
This European Health & Safety Seminar for event industry professionals across the events industry takes place at the beautiful Missenden Abbey in Buckinghamshire on the 26 and 27 May supported by Espirit Arena and show & Event Security. A wide range of topics will be discussed focusing on the needs of event professionals in keynotes, workshops and panels which will include crowd psychology, communication as a tool to manage the psychology as a crowd, panels with police and fire services on communication and managing the non violent crowd, Football crowd behaviour - and the parallels with festival behaviour with a workshop with participant examples, Intermediate crowd dynamics, The crowd management plan - evacuation procedure and Olympic Security & Crowd Management - Working with culture and sport, issues, differences and similarities.

A gala dinner in the beautiful setting of Missenden Abbey is one of the highlights.

You can book online at or email for more information.

Sunday, 3 April 2011

Treetop Flyers top Glastobury Emerging Talent

London based country blues outfit Treetop Flyers have won the Glastonbury Festival Emerging Talent Competition in a hard fought battle that saw them secure a main stage slot at the 2011 Festival. Othr finalists were Emily & The Woods, J-Treole, My First Tooth, My Tiger My Timing, Tristram, Twin Brother and Louise & The Pins. The two day finals event also saw performances from four 'judges selections' which were Subsource, L.A.C, Kamal Arafa & the Moonlight Band and Freddie Dickson. Promoter Michael Eavis promised that a number of the runner up bands would get bookings on different stages accross the Festival and some would appear on the 2011 'Festivals Harvest' CD.

Live Nation bidding for Warners?

According to the Wall Street Journal , Live Nation is a new bidder for Warner Music and is thought to be one of seven currently being reviewed by Goldman Sachs, the bankers hired by Warner's current owners to advise on a full or partial sale of the music major. The live music conglomerate already has certain sound recording interests within its existing stable of artists and since its merger with TicketMaster and Frontline Management extensive management interests - and no doubt competition regulators will be taking note, although Warners / Live Nation combination would almost certainly be more palatable than a takeover of Warners by Universal or Sony.

Friday, 1 April 2011

Artists, managers and legislators to "re-think" the music business

Some of the most creative artists and managers who are reshaping the music business scene will come together with key politicians who are redefining government policy and legislation of the future, at the first "Rethink Music: Creativity, Commerce and Policy in the 21st Century" conference. The event will be held in Boston, April 25-27, 2011. Rethink Music will bring together a unique mix of experts, who are actively shaping the future of the music industry. Discussions will cover a wide range of topics including the business and rights challenges facing the music industry in the digital era and formulate solutions to promote the creation and distribution of new music and other creative works. On April 26, numerous artists and managers will give their perspectives on the current state of the music industry and their forecasts for the future. Participating artists include: Ben Folds, Damian Kulash (OK Go), Metric, Mike Mills (REM) and Amanda Palmer (formerly Dresden Dolls). Artist managers taking part in the discussions will be: Paul McGuinness (U2), Bertis Downs (REM), Mathieu Drouin (Metric), Mark Kates (MGMT) and Michael McDonald (John Mayer).

On April 27, the focus will shift onto more political issues. Rethink Music will examine potential changes to existing government policy and legislation. Two key personalities of copyright law will deliver their vision of the topic. United States congressman John Conyers, Jr. will speak in a session entitled "The future of copyright law – Enforcement, graduated response, and COICA." Congressman Conyers is responsible for the HR 848 bill which proposed record labels and performers receive a share of ad revenue that radio stations collect from playing their songs. Marybeth Peters, the former United States Register of Copyrights, for her part, will consider the best ways to protect content under current law in her panel "The current state of copyright law."

Rethink Music will also headline numerous speakers from CEO-level music industry executives including Lyor Cohen, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Recorded Music Americas and the United Kingdom, Warner Music Group, as well as noted academics. A highlight of the event will be a presentation forum at which entrepreneurs will present their original business model concepts in ten minute intervals; separately, $50,000 will be awarded to the winners of a business model competition.

To see the complete and final conference program at Rethink Music, please click on

To register online, visit