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"


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

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

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:

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 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


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.