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 and find out more at

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

ands here

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 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'

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 ( and Peace Boat ( 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.

London's Burning

The riots in London are having a profound effect on the capital and England's friendly football match against the Netherlands at Wembley on Wednesday 10th August has been called off following three nights of rioting in London. Police say they do not have spare manpower for the 70,000 capacity stadium. Carling Cup matches at Charlton, West Ham, Crystal Palace (all in London) and Bristol City have also been postponed. In the music industry, a number of HMV stores in North London have been targets of looting and a warehouse facility used by leading indie label distributor [PIAS] was burned to the ground on Monday, seriously affecting UK independent labels. The Enfield distribution centre was operated by one of Sony Corp but the impact of the centre and its stock being destroyed will be felt far beyond Sony as the warehouse was used by [PIAS] which is one of the country's leading distributors of CDs for independent labels, including the Beggars Group, Ninja Tune, Warp, Domino and around 150 others. There are also unconfirmed reports both the Brixton Academy and Electric Ballroom venues were attacked.

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Kanrocksas plans streaming with iClips

The new Kanrocksas Music Festival which will take over the Midwest and Kansas City area at the Kansas Speedway on August 5th and 6th has inked a deal with to cover the Festival. and will also feature the live broadcast. With a planned 50,000 attendees, the event will feature headliners Eminem and Muse, plus over 20 other acts including The Black Keys, A Perfect Circle, The Flaming Lips, Bassnectar, Kid Cudi and Ween. The free live streaming of the event begins on Friday, August 5 at