Monday, 31 December 2012

2013, here we come!

It's worth remembering that as 2013 ends, two members of punk group Pussy Riot remain in custody in Russian gulags for their protest against Vladimir Putin.    Nadezhda Tolokonnikova will mark the new year in a prison camp in Mordovia, 360 miles south East of Moscow. Maria Alyokhina will be in Perm, 750 miles further east, in solitary confinement.  Both have young children, Nadezhda has a four year old daughter Gera, and Maria a five year old son Philip.


France enters 2013 with a £300 million budget disaster at the Philharmonie de Paris. The costs for the  new aluminium encased classical concert venue, designed by Jean Nouvel,  are spiralling out of control with state auditors pointing to an 'exorbitant inflation in costs'.  A Senate committee warned of a 'worrying drift' in the budget. The project is being funded by the state and the city of Paris.


Wembley Arena will be under new management in 2013 after Live Nation terminated it's venu management contract for after six years. The entertainment company has managed the north London venue since April  006. Wembley Arena owner Quintain is in talks with AEG Live for the company to become the arena's new operator, with an announcement due to be made next year. Live Nation says it now wants to focus on the music promotion side of its business, as well as running festivals in Europe. Paul Latham, UK president of Live Nation, said: "We have been privileged to operate Wembley Arena, but we are focusing increasingly on promotion and new  venues as we review our Europe-wide events calendar." All events planned at the arena for 2013 will take place as scheduled.

Emile Sande will end the year with the No 1 album in the UK with Our Version of Events.  X-Factor winner James Arthur tops the singles chart with Impossible. Adele's album 21 has sold 4.562 million copies in the UK and, despite being released in 2011, was the second biggest seller in 2012. She won six Grammy awards. Korean pop star Psy's Gangnam Style has been seen by more than 1.083 billion people on You Tube, the most watched You Tube video of all time. And  'Fairytale of New York' has joined the UK's million sellers, 25 years after it was first released by the  Pogues and Kirsty MacColl. 


Sunday, 23 December 2012

HAPPY CHRISTMAS


Fogel commits to LN

Live Nation's Global Touring chief Arthur Fogel has signed a new five year deal with the live music giant who said "We are delighted that Arthur has decided to continue his illustrious career at Live Nation. We look forward to continuing to expand our global touring activity under Arthur's leadership". And a sad farewell to Detroit bluesman Eddie Burns who has died aged 84.

Friday, 21 December 2012

EuroSonic shapes up

The line up for EuroSonic Noorderslag festival in, Groningen, The Netherlands (9th -12th January 2013) has some new additions with French Films, Acid Symphony Orchestra, Death Hawks, Phantom, Eva & Manu, Lau Nau, LCMDF, Mesak, Pertti Kurikan Nimipäivät, Satellite Stories, Sin Cos Tan, Siinai, Michael Monroe, Rubik, Disco Ensemble, Huoratron and the Don Johnson Big Band all being added to the bill.

The full lime up and the conference programme can be found at  http://festival.eurosonic-noorderslag.nl/en/home/

Summer Sundae to skip 2013


Following the news that the No Direction Home festival will take a year off in 2013, the Coda booked Summer Sundae festival in Leicester has announced that it will do the same with organisers saying: "After much consideration we have decided it's best for Summer Sundae Weekender to take a year off and as such there will be no Summer Sundae at De Montfort Hall in 2013". Organisers of the 7.200 capacity event, which has been going for twelve years, added "We have taken this decision against the backdrop of a very difficult year for festivals in 2012. The Olympics, the recession and the weather have created a perfect storm leaving many independent festivals struggling to survive. We feel it's a good idea to take the next year to look at different models and fresh ideas to bring the festival back for 2014 and beyond". 

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Madonna tops Billboard's 2012 tour figures


Madonna has topped the chart for the highest grossing tours, but the Boss actually played to more punters, with Billboard's end-of-year touring top ten featuring these tours:

1. Madonna
Total Gross $228,406,085; Number of Shows 72; Total Attendance 1,635,176; 

2. Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band
Total Gross $199,371,791; Number of Shows 72; Total Attendance 2,165,925; 

3. Roger Waters
Total Gross $186,466,703; Number of Shows 72; Total Attendance 1,680,042;

4. Michael Jackson The Immortal World Tour by Cirque Du Soleil
Total Gross $147,310,505; Number of Shows 183; Total Attendance 1,374,482; 

5. Coldplay
Total Gross $147,188,828; Number of Shows 67; Total Attendance 1,811,787; 

6. Lady Gaga
Total Gross $124,879,545; Number of Shows 65; Total Attendance 1,111,099; 

7. Kenny Chesney & Tim McGraw
Total Gross $96,458,890; Number of Shows 23; Total Attendance 1,085,382; 

8. Van Halen
Total Gross $54,425,548; Number of Shows 46; Total Attendance 522,296;

9. Jay-Z & Kanye West
Total Gross $46,986,464; Number of Shows 31; Total Attendance 371,777; 

10. Andre Rieu
Total Gross $46,785,717; Number of Shows 99; Total Attendance 490,165; 

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Shares in Aggreko tumble on uncertainty

Shares in temporary power provider Aggreko tumbled 22% after the generator company said that the business outlook for 2013 was 'particularly uncertain' as British troops withdrew from Afghanistan, there was no Olympics boost and the risk that key post-Fukushima contracts in Japan might be cancelled.

Saturday, 15 December 2012

Apple seeks unseen Beatles recordings and foogtage

Apple Corps, the Beatles master company, has launched a worldwide search for previously unseen live recordings of the Fab Four - as well as film footage and photographs taken at concerts. 

There is more at http://www.thebeatlesliveproject.com/

HMV wobbles again

HMV has admitted it is set to break loan covenants in January. The flagging retailer is currently in talks with its money-lenders in a bid to renegotiate the terms of its £176.1 million of debts. Having already sold its live music assets (MAMA), the retailer still has online platform 7digital as an asset,  but current reports say that the major record labels and DVD suppliers are propping up HMV with a 'sale or return' policy. 

Warners post positive digital results

Warner Music saw revenues rise in the quarter to 30 September 2012, while losses were down both in the quarter and over the year. Revenue for the quarter was up 2% year-on-year to $731 million, while losses were down to $18 million. For the year, revenues were down slightly, $2.78 billion compared to $2.87 billion the previous year, but losses were also down, from $205 million to $112 million - and digital revenues continue to grow. 

James Grant Group snaps up Hall or Nothing

The Horrors
Talent management and brand/media partnerships business the James Grant Group has further expanded its interests in music by acquiring the Hall Or Nothing artist management agency. Originally founded in 1989, and currently with Manic Street Preachers, The Script, The Horrors and Pixie Lott on its roster, Hall Or Nothing will become the music management division of the James Grant Group, which already has units managing media, entertainment and sports talent.

Artists join festival's anti-touting campaign

The board of the Featured Artists Coalition have all put their names to the Fair Ticketing Charter, penned by the Association Of Independent Festivals earlier this year, which sees its signatories officially criticise the secondary ticketing market, pledge to do what they can to ensure tickets to events they are involved in get to genuine fans at face value, support in principle legislation to curtail the ticket touting sector, and call on fans to boycott resale sites.

FAC's endorsement of the Charter means fourteen more artists are now signed up, including Sandie Shaw, Nick Mason (Pink Floyd), Mark Kelly (Marillion), Hal Ritson (The Young Punx), Crispin Hunt, Annie Lennox, Rumer, Lucy Pullin (The Fire Escapes), Chris Difford (Squeeze), Howard Jones, Fran Healy (Travis), Dave Rowntree (Blur), Kate Nash and Master Shortie.

Last.fm pulls back streaming offer

Last.fm has announced that it will cut back its free streaming services, so that in the UK, US and Germany the digital platform's interactive radio streams will only be for free via the web, while accessing the service via a desktop app - as with mobile apps - will only be available to paying subscribers. In many other countries the streaming element (that has always been at the heart of Last.fm) will be removed completely, even to paying users. The news came as the ten year old digital player prepared to leave its Shoreditch HQ.

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Ravi Shanka

Indian sitar virtuoso Ravi Shankar has died at the age of 92 in San Diego.

Shankar introduced western audiences to traditional Indian music in the 1950's and 60's and played at Woodstock. He introduced the idea of a benefit concert with his Concert for Bangladesh. George Harrison called him the Godfather of World Music.

Reznor , Dre and Iovine launch streaming platform

Oscar-winning musician and Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor is working on a new music streaming service with Beats Electronics, the company co-founded by Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine that bought online streaming service Mog. Reznor said that the project is currently called Daisy and is scheduled to launch in early 2013. Reznor said Daisy will be, “like having your own guy when you go into the record store, who knows what you like but can also point you down some paths you wouldn’t necessarily have encountered.”

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Musical chairs

Sony/ATV/EMI has recruited William Booth to the role of Deputy MD of its UK division. He was most recently Director Of Licensing at collecting society PRS For Music. Over at Warners, Cameron Strang will head up Warner Music's new publishing and catalogue division following the departure in September of recorded music chief Lyor Cohen, the departure of Warner Bros Records CEO Todd Moscowitz, and last month's restructure. Moscowitz's top team at the Warner Bros division, Rob Cavallo and Livia Tortella, will now report into Strang. In radio news, Global Radio has announced that Spice Girl Emma Bunton will replace Harriet Scott as co-host of the breakfast show on the London version of Heart FM and finally James Brownlow, The programming boss of London's Capital FM station is stepping down after over two years in the job.

BPI target Pirate Bay proxy

The UK record label's trade body, the BPI, is to take action against the UK's Pirate Party for operating a proxy making it that makes it simple for UK web-users to access The Pirate Bay. Earlier this year the BPI secured injunctions forcing six major internet service providers to block access to their customers to The Pirate Bay

London venue raids net 297 arrests


CMU Daily reports that East London nightclub and live venue 93 Feet East was raided on Friday night as part of a 48 hour operation by the capital's police to crackdown on crimes related to venue licensing. Operation Condor, which was launched in February, saw police officers visit premises across London between 8am on Friday and 8am on Sunday, with 297 arrests in total on a variety of charges. The raids involved 175 police officers, a helicopter and several police dogs and the raid on 93 Feet East was the biggest of the operation, taking place just after 10pm on Friday night. Police arrested five people on suspicion of possessing Class A drugs, two people were arrested on suspicion of being concerned in the supply of drugs, one for being drunk and disorderly and one on suspicion of being an illegal immigrant. An additional arrest was made against another individual for "being the owner/occupier of premises being concerned in the supply drugs

Beyoncé teams up with Pepsi for $50 million

Beyoncé is to team up with Pepsi as part of a $50 million branding campaign, acting as PepsiCo's creative representative on a series of projects. The singer has featured in various Pepsi ads since 2002 and as part of the new deal she will star in a new advert which will premier at her half time appearance at the 2013 Super Bowl.

Picture:  Denis O'Regan 2011 

Monday, 10 December 2012

Hurricane Sandy Relief Concert set for New York

A host of stars including Bruce Springsteen, Paul McCartney, Bon Jovi, Alicia Keys, Dave Grohl, The Who, Roger Waters, Coldplay's Chris Martin and Kanye West have been named for the 12.12.12 Hurricane Sandy Relief Concert, set to be staged at Madison Square Gardens in New York on the 12th December. Clear Channel say that the event will be streamed live on AOL, Vevo, Yahoo, YouTube and other websites. More at www.2012concert.org. Its all for the Robin Hood Relief Fund.

Mexican superstar killed in plane crash

Mexican authorities have found the wreckage of a small plane that they believe was carrying Mexican-American singing superstar Jenni Rivera. Six others, including two pilots, were also thought to be on board the plane, which took off from Monterrey, Mexico, earlier in the day and then lost contact with air traffic controllers.

Friday, 7 December 2012

Treemendous new stage in Hyde Park


The Evening Standard has reported on AEG Live’s new vision for Hyde Park’s summer concerts which will feature an organic food village and an eco-friendly stage made out of living trees. The new operators, who have a five year contract to present events, are investing £3 million in “bespoke” facilities to improve the venue and will build “a great oak stage” to fit in better with the Park. Concert goers will be able to book “treehouse” viewing platforms. Jim King, AEG’s event director, also promised movie-style scenery sets and stalls serving “hand-picked” food and “lots of local produce”. “We want everything to be unique and bespoke and don’t want you to have seen this anywhere else before” telling the Evening Standard. “You will still be able to get a burger — but it’ll be the most amazing, organic one you can get in London.” AEG was awarded a five-year Hyde Park contract by the Royal Parks Agency a month ago. The Agency has agreed to slash the number of concerts next year to six, over the last weekend in June and first weekend in July. AEG will also provide a free “village green” area for those who want to use the park but do not want to buy a ticket to a concert.


Thursday, 6 December 2012

Jazz legend Dave Brubeck dies aged 91

The jazz legend Dave Brubeck has died a day before his 92nd birthday at a Norwalk hospital in Connecticut. The pianist became a crossover jazz great thanks to his work with his Dave Brubeck Quartet and hits like 'Take Five' and 'Blue Rondo a la Turk'. He was also a civil rights activist, becoming one of the first white musicians to perform at black jazz clubs in he American South in the 1950s. Flowers will be placed on Brubeck's Hollywood Walk of Fame star to mark his passing.

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Live Nation open Moscow Office

Live Nation is to open a new office in Moscow. Tim McWilliams, currently VP of European Tour Operations for the live entertainment company, will head up the new unit from January as MD of Live Nation Russia and Ukraine.

Lamb of God frontman expected to be charged in Czech Republic


Czech prosecutors have formally filed indictment papers with the Prague Municipal Court in the manslaughter case against Lamb Of God frontman Randy Blythe. The court now has three months to set a date for his trial or return the case to prosecutors for further investigation.

Blythe was arrested and charged with manslaughter when he and his band arrived in Prague to play a gig in the city at the end of June on charges relating to the death of a fan, named as Daniel N,  following a performance in the Czech capital two years ago. The fan is said to have climbed onto the stage a number of times during the show, and on the third occasion was allegedly pushed back off by Blythe, falling onto his head and sustaining injuries that led to his death.

After being initially denied bail, Blythe is now back in the US having been on bail of eight million Czech Koruna (approximately £260,000). At the time of his release he said "While I maintain my innocence 100%, and will do so steadfastly, I will NOT hide in the United States, safe from extradition and possible prosecution". He faces a prison sentence if convicted.

Lamb Of God's manager Larry Mazer yesterday issued a statement on the latest development in the case, saying: "After a three month investigation, the prosecutor in the Czech Republic has decided to move forward with an indictment of Randy Blythe on the charge of manslaughter with intent to cause bodily harm. Obviously, we intend to fight vigorously against these charges as we feel that in no way did Randy intend to cause bodily harm on the young fan who subsequently died from injuries sustained at the show. As he has stated previously, Randy intends to go to Prague to defend himself at trial".

He added: "While it is a tragedy that a Lamb of God fan died following a performance by the group, in no way do I feel that Randy did anything improper that led to the young man's injuries and subsequent death. The price of a ticket to a show does not entitle audience members access to a band's stage. In the years since the murder on stage of Dimebag Darrell Abbott, performers of all genres have had to become more guarded while performing, in response to the dangers presented by fans trying to become part of the performance. We believe that Randy responded professionally to the numerous amount of fans rushing the stage that day, a number of them captured on videos that have been posted on the internet. We have testimony from the venue operator that acknowledges lax security and an improper barricade being used that evening. Numerous testimonies from fans also were contradictory as to the actions of the multiple fans that tried to access the stage".

He concluded: "At this point, all that the band, myself, and our lawyers can do is to present a defence and try to convince the panel of judges who will hear the case that Randy is innocent of all charges and that his name and reputation need to be cleared and that he be permitted to carry on with his life and career always mindful that a fan passed away after a Lamb Of God performance".

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

MAMA MBO


The MAMA Group has new owners after a £7.3 management million deal backed by Lloyds Development Capital, the private equity arm of the 42% state owned Lloyds TSB.  HMV sold the MAMA’s network of smaller venues, a number of festivals, the Mean Fiddler tour promotion business and some other music and media assets to a consortium led by MAMA's existing CEO Dean James. The company runs a number of venues including The Forum, Jazz Cafe, The Garage, HMV Ritz Manchester and the Borderline, and organises the Wilderness Festival, Lovebox, Global Gathering and the Great Escape and now has a stake in All Tomorrows Parties.  The company also publishes the Fly magazine. MAMA's biggest single asset, the Hammersmith Apollo, had previously been sold to AEG/Eventim. HMV, then under the control of the now departed CEO Simon Fox, brought Mama for £64 million in 2009, giving the cash strapped group a substantial loss of approaching £25 million when combining the sales. 

UK Festival Award winners


Best Major Festival: Bestival
Best Medium-Sized Festival: Bloodstock Open Air Festival
Best Small Festival: Y Not Festival
Best New Festival: Festival No 6
Best Dance Event: GlobalGathering
Best Metropolitan Festival: Camden Crawl
Best Family Festival: Latitude

The Grass Roots Festival Award: Green Man
Best Overseas Festival: Benicassim (Spain)

The Greener Festival Award: Croissant Neuf Summer Party

Best Line-Up: Download
The Extra-Festival Activity Award: Live From Jodrell Bank
Best Toilets: Lodestar
Agency Of The Year: William Morris
Promoter Of The Year: Gareth Cooper (Festival No 6, Beach Break, Lollibop)
Concession Of The Year: Paelleria
Best Brand Activation: Southern Comfort Juke Joint
Headline Performance Of The Year: New Order at Festival No 6
Best Breakthrough Act: Jake Bugg
Anthem Of The Summer: Django Django - Default

Lifetime Achievement Award: John Probyn

Saturday, 1 December 2012

Anti-gay protests in Malaysia target Elton

Islamic extremists in Malaysia have taken to the streets to protest against a concert by Elton John will "drag Muslims into vice". and will promote "immoral" and hedonistic values. The protests came two days after Sir Elton's show in Kuala Lumper at the 6,000 capacity Arena of The Stars which the Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party failed to have cancelled.  Homosexuality is illegal in Malaysia and punishable by up to 20 years in prison. A Lady Gaga concert in the country was cancelled last year after protests.  In Russia, the Duma is examining extending a ban on 'homosexual propaganda' already in place in nine regions including St Petersburg to a nationwide reach. The legislation is apparently needed to protect minors.

Friday, 30 November 2012

Vevo pays up

Music video service VEVO has paid over $200 million to rights owners since being set up in 2009 according to head honcho Rio Caraeff, speaking at the Business Insider conference in New York this week. Although co-owned by Sony Music and Universal Music, VEVO licences content from a wide range of labels and publishers, sharing ad revenues with its content partners.

Bush joints AEG

The UK division of AEG Live has announced the appointment of Sam Bush, of live and management company the Sam Bush Organisation, to the role of Director Of Promotions.

Dre tops artiste earnings

Forbes have published their calculations of artiste's annual global earnings and this year Dr Dre, he of the headphones, comes out top, followed by Roger Waters and Elton John. The full list is:

1. Dr. Dre ($110 million) 
2. Roger Waters ($88 million) 
3. Elton John ($80 million) 
4. U2 ($78 million) 
5. Take That ($69 million) 
6. Bon Jovi ($60 million) 
7. Britney Spears ($58 million) 
8. Paul McCartney ($57 million) 
8. Taylor Swift ($57 million) 
10. Justin Bieber ($55 million) 
10. Toby Keith ($55 million) 
12. Rihanna ($53 million) 
13. Lady Gaga ($52 million) 
14. Foo Fighters ($47 million) 
15. Diddy ($45 million) 
15. Katy Perry ($45 million) 
17. Kenny Chesney ($44 million) 
18. Beyonce ($40 million) 
19. Red Hot Chili Peppers ($39 million) 
20. Jay-Z ($38 million) 
21. Coldplay ($37 million) 
22. Adele ($35 million) 
22. Kanye West ($35 million) 
24. Michael Buble ($34 million) 
25. Sade ($33 million)

Russian court brands Pussy Riot videos 'extremist'

A Russian court has ordered that websites must remove video clips of performances by Pussy Riot after they were deemed 'extremist' and a call for mutiny and "mass disorder" by Judge Marina Musimovitch. Two members of the band remain in custody in Russia's infamous gulags for their cathedral  protest against Vladimir Putin. A third member of the band, Yekaterina Samutsevich, who was released, said the band would try to overturn the decision. 

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Stones fined for curfew breach

The Rolling Stones have apparently been hit with a £200,000 fine for their first show at the O2 Arena for breaching the curfew. Greenwich Council imposed the fine after the band played for an additional 35 minutes past their 10.30pm curfew. The band's spokesman Bernard Doherty said "It means a big fine - but the guys just do their thing. [And] there wasn't a janitor standing there, jangling his keys, saying "I want to go home'". Post event the O2 denied that a fine had been levied, and the matter remains unclear.

Artist & Manager Awards 2012


It was the second running of the revamped Artist & Manager Awards at the Troxy in East London last night (27th November), the annual awards bash staged by the Music Managers Forum and the Featured Artists Coalition. Kylie Minogue presented the Peter Grant Award to her long term manager Terry Blamey saying "Thank you for helping a 19 year old girl become a woman and an artist and take on the world." And the winners are:

Breakthrough Manager: Owain Davies (Ben Howard)
Breakthrough Artist: Madeon
Manager Of The Year: Sam Eldridge (Plan B, Tribes)
Artist Of The Year: Plan B
Artist Award: Pale Seas
Pioneer Award: Amanda Palmer
Industry Champion: Zane Lowe
Peter Grant Award: Terry Blamey (Kylie Minogue)

FINAL GREENER FESTIVAL AWARDS 2012 ANNOUNCED


The final winners of the 2012 Greener Festival Award have been announced with thirteen more UK, European and North American winners picking up the Award along with the first ever winner from Brazil. They join the previously announced winners list which included seven festivals in Australia and other sustainable events in Europe, the UK and the USA, a total of forty one winners in all. The new winning festivals, some of the greenest in the world, are:

Lightening in a Bottle (USA) - Outstanding
Latitude (UK) - Highly Commended
Rock The Green (USA) - Highly Commended
Symbiosis Gathering: Pyramid Eclipse (USA) - Highly Commended
Calgary Folk Music Festival (Canada) Commended
Leeds Festival (UK) - Commended
Reading Festival (UK) - Commended
Hadra Trance (France) - Commended
Sled Island (Canada) - Commended
Barclaycard Wireless (UK) - Improving
Hard Rock Calling (UK) - Improving
Milton Keynes Festival Fringe (UK) – Improving
T in The Park (UK) - Improving
A Greener Festival have also announced four new GREEN INSPIRATION AWARDS for projects that promote sustainability and captured the imagination of AGF's team of volunteer environmental assessors. The four worthy winners are:
Boom Festival for their STAR waste water recycling scheme (Portugal)
Shambala Festival for their 'Surplus Supper Club' food recycling scheme (UK)
Food and farming alliance Sustain for their 'Good Food For Festivals Guide' (UK)
Open Air Festival for their on-site biodigesters (Czech Republic)

The Greener Festival Awards are supported by Robertson Taylor, insurance brokers. Robertson Taylor are specialists in the music industry and offer a discount  insurance scheme for green events, a scheme fully we endorse and support.

The overall winner of Australia’s Greener Festival Award 2012 was announced at the ‘Are festivals getting greener, or meaner?’ forum at the Eclipse 2012 Festival on Tuesday 13th November 2012 and the winner was The Falls Festival. Well done!

The overall winner of the UK's Greener Festival Award will be made at the UK Festival Awards on Monday December 3rd at the London Roundhouse. The GO Europe 'Green Operations' Award will be handed over to the greenest European festival at the European Festival  Awards at Eurosonic in Groningen, Netherlands, on Wednesday the 9th January 2013.

More on the UK and European Festival Awards here:  http://eu.festivalawards.com/tickets/ and here http://www.festivalawards.com/



Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Music Makeover finalists announced


PRS for Music have announced the five finalists of their competition to put music back at the heart of pubs. Music Makeover will award a pub £5,000 to improve their venue with live music facilities. Research conducted with pub-data specialists CGA Strategy Ltd. found that using music resulted in a 48% increase in sales over the weekend and 21% on weekdays.
The finalists are:

  • The Brunel Arms, Pontyclun, Wales
  • Pig & Whistle, Ladbroke Grove, London
  • The Burnaby Arms, Bedfordshire
  • The Grafton, Kentish Town, London
  • The Shepherds Crook, Portsmouth
.

Rock The House!

The Houses of Parliament rocked last night (26 November) at a special event hosted by Mike Weatherley MP to launch Rock The House 2013, the competition to promote new talent and great venues. Playing live, the 2012 competition under 18 winners, Stoneway, admitted that just two nights before they had been gigging to an empty pub in Warrington before their trip to London and the slot in front of politicians, music industry guests and musicians in the grand setting of the Speakers State Rooms. The event was sponsored by Yamaha, PRS for Music, Orange, Future Music Publishing and UK Music amongst others 

Every single UK MP is invited to nominate a solo-artist, a band, an under-18s act and the best small live music venue from their constituency. A panel of international music industry experts and musicians will determine the finalists who will compete in a live battle of the bands  with the winners in each artist's category playing a live set on the Terrace of the House of Commons in the evening at a reception. Runcorn based Stoneway had been nominated by Weaver Vale MP Graham Evans.

Chris Stamp dies of cancer aged 70

Chris Stamp, former manager of the Who, and who also launched the career of Jimi Hendrix, has died aged 70. Stamp, brother of actor Terence, was credited by Who front man Roger Daltrey of being instrumental in the bands success saying without Stamp the band "wouldn't be the band we were".

Frank Barsalona, the pioneering music agent who is often credited with helping create the modern American rock touring circuit, died last week after losing a long battle with Alzheimer's disease. He was 74. Over the years his agency represented the likes of Led Zeppelin, The Who, Tom Petty, Van Halen, Bruce Springsteen, Marianne Faithful, Sinead O'Connor, Suzanne Vega and U2

Monday, 26 November 2012

Stones NOT a sell out!

It seems a number of tickets remained unsold for last weekend's Rolling Stones concerts at London's O2 Arena - with fans shunning what many considered over priced tickets - further inflated by re-sellers and the secondary market. Primary tickets for the Virgin Live-promoted event were already pretty pricey, starting at £106 including booking fees, and going up to £1140 for a premium package but Xfm reported that at the last minute online offers dropped below the face value as touts moved to offload tickers.

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Intelltix launch in Australia

Intellitix has opened an office in Australia, and is set to announce its first shows within weeks. Having activated 2.5 million RFID chips since it formed in 2011, Intellitix says it will bring its fully integrated access control, social media and cashless payment solutions to the Australian market, " dramatically improving the fan experience"The company’s Sydney office – its fourth after Montreal, Denver and London – has been established by Turnkey Management Group Director Dion Brant who has also been appointed Director of Business Development, Intellitix Australia. Brant, who previously worked as Business Development Director of Ticketek and was a Senior Consultant at Coffey International, said“Intellitix brings a wealth of new ways to connect fans, friends, artists, brands and even exhibitors. It’s a system that has been proved rock solid at some of the most high profile events in the world, while generating new sources of income. It’s a perfect compliment to what we do at Turnkey Management Group and we believe this technology will redefine the live event experience in Australia.”  Intellitix will  be exhibiting its RFID solutions at the inaugural Electronic Music Conference (EMC) in Sydney, from 27-28 November. Intelltix's client's include  AEG, Live Nation, C3 Presents, and ID&T and festivals include Coachella, Bonnaroo, Outside Lands, Lollapalooza and Tomorrowland as well as corporate clients including Samsung, Adidas, Ford Motors and Mercedes
.

Saturday, 24 November 2012

The 25 Greatest Gigs Ever

The Times has revealed its all time to 25 live shows, topped by The Who at Leeds University in 1970 followed by  Queen at Live Aid in 1985, James Brown at the Apollo in New York in 1962, David Bowie at the Rainbow Theatre, London, in 1972 and Kate Bush at Hammersmith Odeon in 1979. The 25 Greatest Gigs Ever also features Bob Marley at the Lyceum in London (1975) at number 6, Nirvana at Sony Music Studios in New York (1993) at Number 7, Blur at Glastonbury (2009) at Number 8, The Rolling Stones in London's Hyde Park in 1969 at Number 9 and Radiohead at Glastonbury 1997 at Number 10, said to be Michael Eavis's favourite ever show at the Festival and one of four performances from the iconic Somerset event which make the list - the others being Lady Gaga in 2009 (16) and Orbital in 1994 (22). Other notable gigs include Led Zeppelin at the Royal Albert Hall in 1970 (11), The Sex Pistols' 100 club show in 1976 (14), Elvis Presley on the Milton Berle Show in LA in 1956 (15), Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison in California in 1968 (20) and Patti Smith at CBGBs in  1975 (23). 

Viagogo lose court battle

Viagogo have lost an important court battle after the Supreme Court in London ruled the secondary ticketing service must release details of sellers of rugby tickets to the Rugby Football Union. The RFU's ticketing terms prohibit the resale of tickets. Viagogo said that the move would only apply to 'legacy' sales as their new data technology would render the curt ruling irrelevant.  

100 hit by fake Mumford scam

The BBC report that 100 Mumford and Sons fans were turned away from the band's show in Portsmouth after it was discovered that their tickets, brought at inflated prices from secondary ticketing sites, were fakes. Police received a report that about 100 people were refused entry to the city's Guildhall on Thursday night and fan Paula Wynne told BBC News her partner had bought a pair from resale website Viagogo for £200. The tickets had a face value of £23.50 each.  Viagogo said duped fans would be offered real tickets to a future Mumford & Sons gig or a voucher to the value of the original purchased ones.

Sony credit rating cut

Sony Corp, owner of Sony BMG and co-owners of the newly expanded Sony ATV, has had its credit ratting downgraded to 'junk' status for the first time. Fitch cut electronic giant Panasonic’s rating by two notches to BB and Sony three notches to BB minus on Thursday, the first time one of the three major ratings agencies have put the creditworthiness of either company into junk-bond territory. Sony, which has forecast a full-year profit of $1.63 billion helped by the sale of a chemicals business to a Japanese state bank, announced plans to raise $1.9 billion through a convertible bond before the latest rating downgrade.

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Curtain call for Earl's Court


Earl's Court, London's iconic music and exhibition space, is being levelled to make way for 7500 new homes. 

The £8 billion regeneration plan from developer Capco, which faced strong opposition from local residents, was used for the 2012 Olympics and has previously hosted shows from Radiohead, The Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd and The Who.  

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

IOW survives licence jitters

The Isle Of Wight Festival will go ahead in 2013 after a two day licensing committee review resulted in the event's current licence being upheld after a review was called for by local aerospace firm GKN, which argued that the festival should be given each licence on a twelve month term, with a formal review every five years and more consultation with local residents and businesses. GKN had objected after the traffic chaos caused by the rain deluged 2012 Festival. Promoter John Giddings has been required to make public an Event Safety, Operational & Traffic Management Plan.  Giddings also said that whilst he that he was willing to invest in improving the local infrastructure around his Festival's site to avoid the problems that occurred this year should the event be hit by very wet weather again in the future, he would not be able to fund wide scale infrastructure improvements telling the Committee  "I'm willing to put my hand in my pocket, but if you don't want us to, just tell me and we'll go away".

One in six Brits still downloading illegally

One in six UK internet users access music, films, TV shows and ebooks through illegal downloads or streams, a report has revealed.  New research shows that a quarter of all digital music consumed online in the UK is acquired illegally

The study also found that online copyright infringement accounted for a third of film streaming, a fifth of TV shows, video games and an eighth of ebooks accessed during a three-month period analysed by OfcomThe results revealed that 16% of users aged 12 and above accessed content illegally at least once between May and July this year.  Metro quotes Liz Bales, director general of the Industry Trust for IP awareness, saying: "It's also crucial to help them [the public] appreciate the value of film, TV and video and the role copyright plays in safeguarding the future of the entertainment they love." 

A recent report by Virgin Media showed that two in five people admit to illegal downloading

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

AC/DC join the digital age


Australian rockers AC/DC have agreed to let their entire catalogue, including individual tracks, be sold on Apple’s iTunes as digital downloads, after long refusing, Fellow refuseniks  including The Beatles, Kid Rock and Metallica who had all previously joined iTunes, leaving just Garth Brooks as the only major recording artist to continue to  hold out. 

AC/DC’s catalogue will be available in every country where iTunes Store operates. Additionally, there are two special digital compilations, one that includes all 16 studio albums,and another that has those plus four live albums.

Farmer not liable for ELO death

A farmer and a contractor have been acquitted of charges related to the death of former ELO cellist Mike Edwards in 2010. A Plymouth court found that Brian Burden and Russell Williams were not responsible for an accident in which Edwards was crushed by a giant hay bale. Edwards was driving his van near Totnes in Devon on 3 September 2010, when a rolling hay bale burst through a wire fence, a thin hedge, and on to the A381. The 600kg bale killed the 62-year-old instantly.

Bieber tops AMAs


Justin Bieber has triumphed at the The American Music Awards taking three of the gongs on offer, including overall Artist Of The Year. The genre themed winners in full are:

Artist Of The Year: Justin Bieber
New Artist Of The Year: Carly Rae Jepsen

Pop/Rock
Favourite Male Artist: Justin Bieber
Favourite Female Artist: Katy Perry
Favourite Band, Duo Or Group: Maroon 5
Favourite Album: Justin Bieber - Believe

Country
Favourite Male Artist: Luke Bryan
Favourite Female Artist: Taylor Swift
Favourite Band, Duo Or Group: Lady Antebellum
Favourite Album: Carrie Underwood - Blown Away

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

SoulR&B
Favourite Male Artist: Usher
Favourite Female Artist: Beyonce
Favourite Album: Rihanna - Talk That Talk

Favourite Alternative Rock Artist: Linkin Park
Favourite Adult Contemporary Artist: Adele
Favourite Latin Artist: Shakira
Favourite Contemporary Inspirational Artist: Tobymac
Favourite EDM Artist: David Guetta

Friday, 16 November 2012

Waters builds a bigger Wall

Roger Waters has announced plans to stage a new version of his iconic 1979  rock opera The Wall, with a 23 date tour, beginning in Ireland on July 13th 2013 and ending at Wembley Stadium on September 14th. The production will be twice the size of the last outing which was presented at the O2 in London. Waters said he wanted to stage the show as he felt that the relevance of its message was 'stronger than ever'. The show will feature 43 projectors, a helicopter, fireworks and 'a small army of children' for Another Brick In The Wall Park 2.  

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Nine in frame for Parlophone

According to the FT, nine bidders are in the race to buy EMI's Parlophone label, including Warner Music, and the much discussed joint venture between XIX Entertainment's Simon Fuller and Island Records founder Chris Blackwell. Ronald Perelman's investment company MacAndrews & Forbes, which unsuccessfully bid for both Warner Music and EMI last year, is also thought to be among the nine. BMG has also reportedly signed a non-disclosure agreement with Universal, but has yet to submit a proposal. It's also thought Sony Music has also expressed an interest and signed an NDA, though a Sony acquisition of Parlophone would come with its own competition regulatory issues. Parlophone was put up for sale as a term of the EC's approval of Universal's take over of EMI's recorded music division.

Depeche Mode swap CAA for WME

Depeche Mode have signed a new deal with agents William Morris Endeavor to manage their live activity in North and South America, having previously been represented by the Creative Artists Agency in those territories. The band are currently working on a new album to be released in 2013 and plan to head out on a world tour.

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Which is Europe's greenest festival?


The GO Group have announced the final nominations for the new Green Operations Award which will be handed over at the 2013  European Festival Awards.

The Award is the European Festival Award for Green Excellence and is annual award presented by Yourope and the GO Group, targeting festivals that have made a significant contribution to or achievement towards developing more sustainable events. It replaces the prestigious Green n Clean award, handed over at the last three EFAs. The winner of the Award is decided by a panel made up of experts who are not directly linked to any specific festival,  with the exception that the previous year's winner who will be invited to cast a vote for the following year's award only. For 2013 the judges panel comprised representatives from Bucks New University (UK), Green Events Europe (GER), The Green Music Initiative (GER), A Greener Festival (UK), Greener Event Foundation (NOR) and 2012 Green n Clean winners Melt! Festival (GER)

The short list for the Green Operations Award 2012:

Boom Festival (POR) - Awareness, creativity and overall approach to sustainability at the highest level. Boom is a true leader on green issues.

Maifeld Derby (GER) - A great debut from a young group of people with Greener Maifeld Derby. Our "Rookie of the year".

Open Air St.Gallen (CH) - For their continued contribution to leadership in general, and for their work in developing greener festivals over a number of years.

Way Out West (SE) - Great sustainability approach on a triple bottom line. Absolutely remarkable: this major event went 100% vegetarian.

We Love Green (FRA) - The second year of We Love Green sees the festival already as a shining example. Exceptional work on various topics.

Jacob Bilabel (Go Group, GMI) said: “Green trailblazers of the European festival industry will be awarded with the new EFA Green Operations Award. They are the smart operators, who have shown innovative and outstanding approaches in the field of green operations as integral part of their activities.”

The winners will be announced and presented with their accolades at the European Festival Awards gala ceremony, which crowns the opening night of the Eurosonic Noorderslag conference and showcase in Groningen, Holland on Wednesday 9th January 2013. The event features a three course gourmet dinner, live performances drinks reception and after show party and is a unique opportunity to celebrate with the leaders of Europe's festival industry.

Tickets to the event are available here

Flowers' throat a Killer


The Killers were forced to stop a show at Manchester's MEN Arena yesterday (13th November) after just five songs after frontman Brandon Flowers lost his voice.

A second date in Manchester has also been cancelled, and it's not yet certain what will happen to the band's planned London shows later in the week. 

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

AEG ink deal with StubHub

AEG has announced an alliance with eBay ticketing service StubHub which will see the auction site's secondary ticketing set up declared the official resale platform for some US shows promoted or hosted by AEG. Under the new arrangement, resellers using StubHub will be able to have tickets for AEG shows automatically reassigned to buyers using the ticket's barcode, meaning fans buying from the secondary market won't rely on the seller to deliver the ticket. As part of the new alliance, eBay-owned PayPal will also become a payment option on AEG's new primary ticketing service AXS.com.

MTV Europe Awards out


The MTV Europe Music Awards are out with UK boy boyband One Direction and Carly Rae Jepson both picking up two awards and the recently dumped Justin Bieber,  and  the lovely pizza selling Taylor Swift each grabbing three in Frankfurt.

Best Female: Taylor Swift
Best Male: Justin Bieber
Best New Act: One Direction
Best Rock: Linkin Park
Best Pop: Justin Beiber
Best Hip Hop: Nicki Minaj
Best Live: Taylor Swift
Best Alternative: Lana Del Rey
Best World Stage: Justin Bieber
Best Song: Carly Rae Jepson - Call Me Maybe
Best Video: Psy - Gangnam Style
Best Look: Taylor Swift
Biggest Fans: One Direction
Best PUSH: Carly Rae Jepson
Global Icon: Whitney Houston