Saturday, 28 July 2012

British music rocks Olympic opening

Live Music from The Arctic Monkeys and Dizzee Rascal and a soundtrack that featured The Eurythmics, Queen, David Bowie, The Kinks, The Sex Pistols' 'Pretty Vacant', The Jam, Frankie Goes to Hollywood, Mud's 'Tiger Feet', the Rolling Stones and the Beatles amongst many many others rocked the Opening Ceremony at London 2012 last night in the Danny Boyle directed show that featured a cameo from Rowan Atkinson as Mr Bean playing with Simon Rattle and the London Symphony Orchestra  in a  tribute to 'Chariots of Fire', and Her Majesty the Queen arriving from Buckingham Palace 'by helicopter' with James Bond. The flag bearers for the Olympic flag included Muhammad Ali, and the Olympic flame was raced down the Thames in a speedboat by David Beckham who handed the torch over to Sir Steven Redgrave to enter the stadium - but the honour of lighting the amazing Olympic cauldron went to a group of seven young British athletes in a move to inspire a new generation of sporting heroes.

In a ceremony that included a team of flying Mary Poppins vanquishing J K Rowling's Voldemort, a Glastonbury Tor, a review of Britain's agricultural and industrial history led by Sir Kenneth Brannagh, and Emeli Sandé performing a brilliant live version of 'Abide with Me'  - and after a slight technical hitch - Sir Paul McCartney closed the show with a barnstorming rendition of 'Hey Jude' with an 80,000 strong sing along. 

Friday, 27 July 2012

Goldenvoice ship out Coachella

Goldenvoice, the promoters behind the annual Coachella music festival, have announced its first Coachella Caribbean concert cruise. The Coachella concert cruise will consist of two separate cruise itineraries. The first cruise is currently scheduled to depart Ft. Lauderdale, FL on December 16, 2012, for a three-day journey through the Bahamas and December 19-23 around Jamaica with headliners Pulp, Hot Chip, Girl Talk and Yeasayer for both.

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Ticketfly raises $22 million

Social media based ticketing platform Ticketfly, founded Andrew Dreskin who also set up TicketWeb, has announced it has secured $22 million in new funding from investors including SAP Ventures, Northgate Capital and Cross Creek Capital. The new round of investment means a total investment of $37 million the four year old company which enables artists and promoters to sell tickets via Facebook and Twitter.

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

May joins CAA

The Creative Artists Agency has recruited agent Maria May for its London office. May previously worked at International Talent Booking, or ITB.  Last week CAA US  lost one of its agents, David Zedeck, who joined Live Nation qw Exec VP Global Talent & Artist Development.

Amazon now leading UK retailer

Amazon now accounts for a 21.1% of the UK entertainment retail market, according Kantar Worldpanel. As previously reported, according to the retail stats, Amazon overtook HMV (16.6%) as the country's biggest entertainment retailer late last year.  

HMV's market share dropped 0.8% and supermarkets are also feeling the squeeze as Tesco dropped 1.7% and Asda 0.2% points in the past year. Sainsbury's is the notable exception to this rule, increasing its share of the market to 5.3% as a result of a strong focus on its video offer.

PopKomm, the long established German music business convention and trade fair, has folded after significant drops in delegate numbers and increasing competition from the Berlin Music Week and the Reeperbahn Festival and conference campus in Hamburg.

All aboard The Africa Express!

Africa Express, the Damon Albarn curated rolling circus of African and Western musicians and performers, has been asked to take part in the London 2012 Festival during the Paralympic Games with a Barbican organised tour that will go around Great Britain – not in a tour bus – but on a special  train – The Africa Express!  The Africa Express musical adventure will travel through GB, bringing together eighty African and Western musicians for an inspirational week for artists and audiences alike and featuring – amongst many others, Damon Albarn,  Amadou & Mariam,  Rokia Traore, Kano, Baloji, Charli XCX, Fatoumata Diarawa, Noisettes,  Jupiter & Okwess International and Jack Steadman (Bombay Bicycle Club) .  Expect unexpected gigs in unexpected places! Look out for  visits to schools, factories, homes and local clubs. Each day, each town, each show will be different. After a week of magic and mayhem, the tour arrives at Granary Square in King’s Cross, London. A united army of musicians armed with new music will be ready for a final show – a collaborative musical epic that defies musical and geographical boundaries!

All aboard The Africa Express…… with confirmed shows at
3rd September  Middlesborough Town Hall   Tickets: £15 plus booking fee.  / 01642 729 729

4th September   The Arches, Edinburgh   Tickets: £15 plus booking fee. / 0141 5651000

5th September  HMV Ritz, Manchester    Tickets: £15 plus booking fee. / / 0845 2 500 500

6th September  Solus, Cardiff University Tickets: £15 plus booking fee. / 02920 230130

7th September The Big Top @ Creative Common, Bristol Tickets: £17.50 plus booking fee / 0117 922 3686

8th  September  Granary Square, King’s Cross, London    Tickets: £20 plus booking fee.  / 0207 6388891 

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Hirst guitars raise money for Strummerville

Two Damien Hirst painted guitars will raise money at Summer of Love festival, the festival celebrating Joe Strummer's life, ten years after the Clash frontman's tragic death. The guitars will form part of a raffle in aid of Strummerville -The Joe Strummer New Music Foundation, and Hirst has modified and painted a Fender Telecaster and Eastwood acoustic guitar: Tickets for the raffle are £20 each and are available from and attendees at the Strummer Of Love festival are able to purchase tickets for £10: Winners will be announced at the event by Clash and Big Audio Dynamite guitarist Mick Jones on Sunday, 16 August, 2012.

PRS launches pub prize

PRS for Music has launched its Music Makeover 2012, ahead of the October implementation of the UK's Live Music Act.  And the prize? It's £5000 to help UK pubs create the right space for music so they can remain competitive and crucially, a key destination for locals to enjoy. PRS for Music will also be contacting 41,000 pubs with a comprehensive guide to making live music work including tips on genre choice, stage lighting, jukeboxes, gig promotion and ticketing. Status Quo frontman Francis Rossi  said “Don’t even start me on the importance of the pub circuit. In the early days we were always gigging in local pubs, throwing our kit in the back of the van and motoring from town to town. We pretty much mastered our live sound and style in those old pubs.” Last year’s Music Makeover winner David Pott of The Market Inn, Faversham, said: “We were extremely pleased to win – pleased for us and for the pub. The prize money will be a great boost for the pub and the community. This will put The Market Inn on the map for music. We’re already receiving demos from local bands who want to play here.”

CockRock battens down the hatches

Whilst London was bathed in glorious sunshine in the South of England, the last day of the CockRock Festival in Cumbria in the North West of England faced rain and very strong winds. 

Organisers of the family oriented festival, headlined by Fun Lovin Criminals,  Tinchy Stryder, Senser,  Zane Lowe and the Subways, took the sensible decision on the Sunday afternoon to close the outdoor main stage because of weather conditions. The stage was due to be headlined by Dr & The Medics and Buzzcocks. Organisers re-programmed the next door large marquee 'Bar Stage' and moved the headliners indoors meaning a full festival line up could be completed.  Good on yer, me old cock - as we Southerners say.

Sunday, 22 July 2012

Anti-Putin Pussy Riot members sent back to prison “in act of political repression”

Back in February we reported that all four members of Russian female punk rock quartet Pussy Riot had been arrested after performing ‘Putin has Pissed himself’ in Red Square and then on the 27th March we reported the feminist punks were in more trouble - after an unsanctioned performance of their punk prayer "Virgin Mary Mother of God Expel Putin!" in Moscow's St Basil's Cathedral of Christ The Saviour. Patriarch Kirill, head of the Russian Orthodox Church and a public supporter of President Putin, said the band do the "devils work" and state television denounced the women's actions as "disgusting". Rather alarmingly three members of ten members plus collective, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova (23), Yekaterina Samutsevich (19) and Maria Alehina (24), remain in prison on charges of hooliganism which could eventually mean a seven-year sentence. They were denied bail at a July hearing by the Khamovnichesky Court and having been in prison for five months already, now face for six more months in custody while the trial progresses. The Guardian reports that many Muscovites were happy enough to see a tough response to the band's irreverent act of rebellion, which was aimed at President Vladimir Putin, but with no trial date set, no signs that they will be released and opposition to Putin spreading, support for the trio has grown, even among those who at first condemned them. Now the country’s arts community is voicing its opposition and now 100 cultural figures who signed an open letter last week calling on the state to release the women, in an indication that popular unease at their plight is growing. Amnesty International has also called for the three women’s release.

Gold in oldies

Old music is outselling new music in the US for the first time, according to a report from Nielsen Soundscan. Reviewing album sales in America for the first half of 2012, the survey shows that catalogue records (recordings over 18 months old) sold more units than new releases with 76.6 million catalogue records sold, while new releases sold 73.9 million units. 

Friday, 20 July 2012

Ticketbud relaunches

Ticketbud has relaunched their self-service ticketing platform on which organizers pay a flat fee to sell tickets, allowing them to set prices at face value and avoid passing fees on to ticketbuyers. "We have been working tirelessly for many months to launch something utterly new in the ticketing world," said Ticketbud founder Paul Cross in a recent email to TicketNews. "The relaunch gives our customers everything they've wanted based on their needs as well as allows us to play in a larger universe of events.

Australian Event Safety Alliance launches

The Event Safety Alliance Australia (ESAA) has launched, in response to the increasing need for a universal code of best practise in the live events industry.   With news of accidents at events increasingly common around the World, the Alliances has been formed to address these issues and the ESAA intends to bring together all the players in this diverse market – from performing arts to broadcast - to develop a truly representational voice for the Australian industry. The ESAA's founders say that the challenges of safety and emergency management that face people in the events industry are not just regional nor national, but truly international.  The ESAA says it plans to engage with professionals and other organisations worldwide to work toward providing mutual support, with the goal of developing the best solutions for the industry, wherever it operates.

For more information visit the website and register your interest.

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Another punk festival folds

A second UK punk festival has folded - just a couple of weeks after the last minute cancellation of the Last Jubilee in Bath. According to reports, Southsea's Punk By The Sea lasted just two days out of four before the PA Company and numerous bands pulled out. John Robb, author, founder member of The Membranes and frontman with Goldblade explained what happened on his LouderThanWar blog

"We were looking forward to playing Punk By The sea. We played it last year and it was a good day. The promoters are nice people if a bit naive in the ways of festival- last year this worked OK . this year it’s been a bit messy. The first warning was when the website suddenly said that bands were to be paid by cheque only. No-one got in touch to tell us this, it was just written on their website. Then we heard the (sound company providing the) PA had pulled out because of the same situation and then the Damned and other bands cancelled".

The event, held at South Parade Pier,  had been due to feature both Goldblade and the Damned along with a host of other bands including the UK Subs, Slaughter and the Dogs, Sham 69, The Rezillos and GBH.  It seems the festival "staggered on" for two days before being cancelled, and it appears that the festival only then continued after a local pub, the Milton Arms, hosted a impromptu 'DIY' show with the UK Subs, 999 and The Lurkers amongst others using a borrowed PA.  The organisers posted a statement on Facebook  saying the festival might not go ahead on the Saturday and Sunday because of cash flow problems and because of a lack of  experience of putting on such a huge event. The event Facebook page is now advising ticket holders to contact the purchase point to obtain a refund. The organisers' statement is here .
One furious fan commented "you've fucked off with our money, you thieving c**ts" and another pointed out that he was now over £185 out of pocket  (plus fuel) when added to the cost of the already cancelled Last Jubilee festival in Bath. 

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Jon Lord

Former Deep Purple keyboard player Jon Lord has died aged 71. Lord had been receiving treatment for pancreatic cancer since last August, and died after suffering a pulmonary embolism at a London Clinic surrounded by his family. Lord was the author of the iconic rock classic Smoke on the Water, and also a member of Pace Ashton & Lord and Whitesnake.

IMPALA co-president gives conditional approval to UMG-EMI deal

In a surprise move, one of the key players in Europe's independent label sector, Naïve Records' Patrick Zelnik, has come out in support of Universal's bid to buy the EMI record company, subject to certain provisions. Zelnik cautions against outright war within the record industry, between Warner and the indies on the one side, and the two big acquisitive players, Sony and Universal, on the other. Zelnik fears private equity groups asset stripping the music industry more than UMG, and says that Universal should commit "first, to transparent, non-discriminatory, easy licensing to new platforms. This should encompass Universal, EMI and independents, representing the majority of the market - the rest would soon follow". Second, Universal should make targeted, surgical divestitures to independents instead of to hedge funds, private equity or pension funds. As co-president of IMPALA, its an interesting opinion!

when did you last buy a CD?

A survey of British music fans found that 40 percent couldn’t remember the last time they had bought a physical music  CD.  The survey showed that 20 percent  had downloaded music during the previous week although 49 percent  said it is “acceptable” to download music for free. The study was commissioned by music equipment manufacturer Audio-Technica.

Monday, 16 July 2012

Hard Rock - Bruce cut short, Paul too quiet

Bruce - maybe time to get a watch?

Fans have complained after Bruce Springsteen's set at Hyde Park was cut short - well - cut anyway, after the boss overran the pre-agreed Curfew. The singer had just dueted with Sir Paul McCartney, and E Street Band guitarist Steven Van Zandt took to the net with a rant after the power was cut, saying Springsteen wanted to sing one more song, saying  "One of the greatest gigs ever in my opinion. But seriously, when did England become a police state?". Admitting "We break curfews in every country but only English cops needs to 'punish us' by not letting us leave until the entire crowd goes" he sort of explained "Is there just too much fun in the world? We would have been off by eleven if we'd done one more. On a Saturday night! Who were we disturbing?" The answers to that are probably (a) the Police didn't cut your set and (b) you are disturbing some rather well organised and vocal neighbours and (c) why not go on earlier - if you know you have a long set? 

Nevertheless Van Zandt continued: "The cops got nothing more important to do? How about they go catch some criminals instead of fucking with 80,000 people having a good time? English cops may be the only individuals left on Earth that wouldn't want to hear one more from Bruce Springsteen and Paul McCartney!" [again I think it may well be local residents and the licensing Authority who are more pissed off than 'cops'] and Van Zandt added somewhat randomly "If it's a public transport issue, I'm sorry but people are adult enough to go get a train if they need to without the cops pulling the plug!" A number of local residents who say they are routinely disturbed by the big Hyde Park gigs have been lobbying Westminster Council to cut back the number of shows that take place there. However,  Westminster Council insisted yesterday that it was a Live Nation decision to end the Springsteen show when it did, in order to comply with its licence. Van Zandt did say that the cut off "didn't ruin the great night", but "when I'm jamming with McCartney don't bug me!" Audience members who attended the final Sunday night edition of Hard Rock Calling, headlined by Paul Simon, complained that the sound at the show was too quiet, potentially again because of licence worries . Van Zandt later apologised to the Metropolitan Police and Mayor of London Boris Johnson described the Springsteen decision as an “excessively efficacious decision”. Live Nation COO Paul Latham explained the decision that having been told last minute that McCartney would join Springsteen for a couple of songs the boss still seemed keen to carry on even longer "For the last twelve months we have been fighting the good fight with the local authority and their licensing teams to retain the ability to stage concerts in Hyde Park. The current licences were granted on very strict noise restrictions, traffic plans and curfews with the 'sword of Damocles' hanging over any future events if we broke any of the conditions. Suffice to say the residents of Park Lane and Mayfair may not be numerous but they wield inordinate power over the Gogs and Magogs of City Hall and Parliament" saying the event had been truly memorable and the Boss wasn't that upset and "being thrown off the stage added legend to the myth" !

Sunday, 15 July 2012

Universal-EMI tie up green lit in Japan

Japanese regulators have approved the £1.2 billion takeover of EMI's recorded music division by Universal - the deal is still awaiting regulatory approval in Europe and the USA. No conditions were attached.

Friday, 13 July 2012

Bieber noise suit filed

A woman in Oregon is suing Justin Bieber because she claims his fans's permanently creaming damaged her hearing and that the diminutive star encouraged this. Stacey Wilson Betts claims that she attended a Bieber gig in Portland a year ago with her daughter, and that her hearing was damaged during a sequence when the Bieber flew over the crowd in a heart-shaped gondola. 

The defendants include Promoter AEG Live, venue owners Vulcan Sports & Entertainment, Bieber and his label.

Steaming storms Sweden

Sweden, home of Spotify's Daniel Ek, is leading the way in digital music with digital now accounting for 63.5% of all music revenues - and streaming accounting for a whopping 89% of digital music sales and with labels now seeing seeing impressive royalty payments coming in from  streaming, mainly from Spotify. Universal Music Sweden MD Per Sundin said that the major was back at "the same revenue levels as during 2004, and if the development continues in the same way we'll be back on turnover similar to those during the 'golden days' of the CD in just a few years"

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Best gig in town!

Rain stops SAW fun

The Stock, Aitken & Waterman celebration Hit Factory Live is the latest casualty of the 2012 UK festival season. Promoter Live Nation announced on the 10th  July that the 11th July show would not go ahead, due to adverse weather conditions and the poor state of London's Hyde Park after the UK’s rain drenched summer. Nation COO John Probyn told CMU: "The moment the Wireless Festival ended, we put in place a massive plan to prepare the site for tomorrow. Eight thousand cubic metres of wood chip is currently being put in place and over the past 24 hours crews have started to make the site safe for our customers. Despite best efforts time has beaten us, but I want to reassure that Hard Rock Calling concerts with Soundgarden, Bruce Springsteen and Paul Simon, plus Madonna on 17 Jul and the BT London Live Opening Ceremony Celebration concert and the events will go ahead".

Baselogic folds

Baselogic Productions Ltd, the organiser of the Bloc Weekend, has gone into administration. A statement on festival's website read ""It is with great sadness that we announce Baselogic Productions (who you all know as Bloc) has been placed into administration following the events of Friday evening. The team are working hard with the administrators to investigate the issues that led to the closure of the event and people will be updated as and when we have new information. We ask that you allow the administrators time to conduct a thorough investigation so we can establish the facts. Once again we would like to apologise for all of the frustration and disappointment this situation has caused and thank everyone who has supported the team over the years, your continued support means so much to us".  The appointed administrator is Jamie Playford of Parker Andrews Insolvency Practitioners. As it appears that all ticketing funds had been paid directly to Baselogic, customers may be in a very poor position when it comes to refunds -  artistes will have been paid deposits and all site costs would have been incurred - with perhaps the only recourse for punters being with credit card companies.

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

As Leeds United test policing costs, WOMAD plans to go police free

Championship football team Leeds United, one of England’s biggest clubs, but with a history of fierce rivalry with other teams such as Cardiff City, Arsenal and Milwall, are challenging the spiralling cost of policing at the club’s Elland Road ground in the High Court. United were charged about £250,000 for policing during the 2007-2008 season, but by the 2011-2012 season this had risen to more than £1m, said club barrister Michael Beloff QC. United claim they have been wrongly charged by West Yorkshire Police for matchday work by the force on streets and car parks around Elland Road. They argue that the police should not bill them for maintaining order or preventing obstructions on land which is neither club-owned nor controlled and Leeds are now seeking to persuade top judge Mr Justice Eady to order a refund of the alleged overpayments. 

Mr Beloff told the High Court: “West Yorkshire Police’s insistence on charging Leeds United for such policing is illegal, as it is an attempt to charge a private citizen for the normal costs of policing, when such a citizen is entitled to expect such services to be provided by the police pursuant to their duties to the public. He also said that the court action was “in the nature of a test case”. Mr Beloff said the footballing and policing worlds both hoped a ruling would provide “powerful guidance” on the issue.

And the WOMAD festival organisers have told the BBC that they may use security companies to police the event held at Charlton Park, near Malmesbury, in Wiltshire if an agreement is not reached with the the local Wiltshire Police who currently say they will not be attending.  Now organisers have confirmed that this year's event will still go ahead even if an agreement over policing is not reached with WOMAD director Chris Smith telling the BBC the event are considering the use private security. He is quoted as saying, "We don't want to go ahead without the police, but where we are at the moment is the police have said they are not coming, so we are now revising our plans to present to the licensing authority to show that we can run the event without the police. It's not where we want to be, but it's currently where we're heading."

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

It has been reported that The EU is planning to publish a new bill to improve the regulation of collection societies, to promote better relationships with members such as composers, publishers and recording artistes, allow for transparency in fee structures and to allow for pan-European licensing The new draft reportedly offers songwriters to option to opt out of the collective licensing system where pan-European deals are not offered by their society.

Fake tickets hit T and Wireless

A Scottish man, Paul Reidy, has appeared in court in Scotland accused of selling three music fans fake VIP tickets to last weekend's T In The Park, and for then posing as a security guard at the festival so he could 'escort' the ticket holders onto the site. Reidy is accused of selling the 'tickets' for £300 each; he pleaded not guilty to the charges made against him, and will go on trial at Perth Sheriff Court in October. Meanwhile in London hundreds of fans were reportedly turned away from Live Nation's Wireless Festival this weekend, also having been sold fake tickets, seemingly via websites like Gumtree and eBay. 

Those affected by fakes at Wireless has been asked to contact the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau through its website

Monday, 9 July 2012

Bloc Weekender cut short

The first ever London edition of  dance music festival Bloc Weekend was closed early, with reports that the event's site, the new London Pleasure Gardens complex by the River Thames in East London, was dangerously overcrowded with large queues both the enter the site and for tents on site. At 12.30am a decision was made by organisers seemingly, on the advice of the the Metropolitan Police, to shut down the festival, even though headliner Snoop Dogg was yet to go on stage, and the event was due to run to 6am. It was later announced that the second day of the event was also cancelled.  The site was set up to open just in time for the Olympics, with support from both Newham Council and London mayor Boris Johnson, and is organised by the team behind Glastonbury's Shangri-La area and the site is set to host a wide range of cultural events both this summer and over the next three years, the next of which is the Africa Stage of the pre-Olympics River Of Music event, on 21 and 22 July.  Tickets were £99 or £125 for 'express' tickets with private bars and toilets and 'queue jumping' rights

UPDATES:  in a statement Bloc organisers have said they would welcome input from ticket-buyers as they investigate what happened on Friday. The statement read: "We wanted to reiterate that we have launched an investigation into the events of Friday night. To that end we have opened an email address to which we would like you to submit any information you think may be relevant. We are keen to hear from you so we can build the most accurate picture and report of what happened. As ever, you guys are at the heart of what we do so please drop us a line with any comments on".

CrowdSurge, the direct-to-fan ticketing company that powered ticket sales the Festival issued a statement distancing itself from the problems that occurred at the event. Whilst some web commentators have pointed out the sequential numbering on tickets meant that fans could easily duplicate counterfeit e-tickets, CrowdSurge notes that even if numerous people did arrive at the site with the same barcode, only one ticket-buyer would be able to get past the gates, because the company's scanners would only authenticate each barcode once. In its statement, CrowdSurge says: "The number of tickets sold for the event on Friday 6 Jul was 15,796 - a figure far short of the 18,000 capacity placed by the festival organisers and the 30,000 posted by London Pleasure Gardens. Throughout the process Baselogic controlled the amount of tickets sold and this was at the discretion of Baselogic, not CrowdSurge". It continues: "CrowdSurge were advised to 'shut down' scanners at 21.27pm on Friday 6 Jul 2012, whilst the queuing barriers were reorganised. At this point 8,000 people had been given access to the site. The entry gates were reopened and scanning and personal searches ceased as per the request of Baselogic and London Pleasure Gardens staff. At no point throughout the scanning process did the scanners cease to operate". CrowdSurge has confirmed that Baselogic handled all payments directly so customers will need to get refunds from the promoters (from CMU Daily, 11th July 2012).

For a damning opinion on a summer of rubbish British festivals, including the Stone Roses Heaton Park shows (which my good friend Alex told me was truly brilliant show wise but otherwise a disorganised pile of total crap including a long walk home back to Manchester at the end) see this blog

Sony and UMG look to up Vevo investment

The Sony/Universal owned music video service VEVO is looking to raise new finance to fund global expansion, according to reports in. 

The digital music has a target of $100 million to $150 million to be raised in new investment.
After reports of very low audience numbers at the recent Hop Farm Festival in Kent (June 29 to July 1), a July 3rd statement to shareholders from Vince Power's Music Festivals plc has said that sales for both Hop Farm and the company's flagship Benicassim festival in Spain, were lower than expected, and that this was affecting the company's revenues. 

Power has made an unsecured loan of £750,000 to provide more working capital for the company

Hope farm was headlined by Bob Dylan, Peter Gabriel and Suede and Benacassim features New Order, Florence & The Machine, Stone Roses and Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds. 

Ultra cancelled in Poland

A planned Polish edition of Miami-based dance music festival Ultra has been cancelled less than a week before it was due to take place. 

Part of the rapid global expansion of the thirteen year old US event, the Polish Ultra Music Festival was scheduled to run in Warsaw on 13 and 14 July.

Stabbings mar Swedish House Mafia Irish gig

Police in Dublin are investigating a series of stabbings that occurred at Ireland's big dance music event, the  MCD promoted Swedish House Mafia concert in Dublin's Phoenix Park, which also featured Snoop Dogg, Tinie Tempah and Calvin Harris. In a separate incident, a man in his early 20s died at the event of a suspected drugs overdose.

Lamb of God frontman remains in jail in Czech Republic

Lamb Of God front man Randy Blythe remains on remand in jail in the Czech Republic after his arrest on arrival in the country last month over allegations he caused the death of a fan at a gig there two years ago. The fan, named as 19 year old Daniel N, fell off the stage at a Lamb of God show in 2010, seemingly after being pushed, and incurred head injuries that ultimately led to his death. Blythe is accused of pushing the fan, and now faces charges of manslaughter. The band's manager, Larry Mazer, last week told Rolling Stone that the case against Blythe was "full of holes", adding that the fan had invaded the stage three times before his fall, and that a video of the gig shows it was not the frontman who pushed him: a new statement from the band said they were seeking to get Blythe released and have asked fans for financial help with legal costs, although it seems prosecutors fear Blythe, a US citizen, would flee the country if he is freed before a trail.

T wades through, but Carlisle cancels

One of Cumbria's largest open-air concerts was also abandoned before the weekend when bosses at Carlisle Racecourse scrapped a headline performance by Madness, part of the Stobart Summer Festival, due to a waterlogged course. Whilst Cumbria escaped the worst of the rain that hit the UK,  organisers said that Cumbria "had the wettest June since records began more than a century ago and this first week in July has brought more heavy and persistent rain to compound the problem" saying that "The track is not raceable and would remain so even if the weather was dry for the rest of today and tomorrow. "The forecast is for more rain, which means there is no prospect of holding the concert either, with both the course and car park already out of use". More than 7,500 ticket holders will be entitled to a refund and the event will be re-staged later in the year.
T-in-the-Park, Scotland's 85000 capacity festival returned to something approaching normal service on the final day (Sunday)  after torrential rain on Saturday threatened to turn the festival into a wash-out. The site had been transformed into a quagmire as rain fell almost continuously from the early hours of Saturday until the evening, forcing the temporary closure of the Slam Tent during the day, which normally hosts dance acts, which had become flooded, while parts of the site were reduced to lakes of sludge. Festival organiser, Geoff Ellis said site staff had worked overnight, laying wood chip and gravel in areas, including the main stage, while drainage trenches were dug in the King Tut’s Wah Wah tent to remove some of the worst flooding. The rain finally abated as legendary Manchester band The Stone Roses took the main stage on Saturday evening for their first ever Scottish performance, and it remained dry overnight and into Sunday although the mud remained steadfastly in place meaning wellies and shorts was a popular combination.

Saturday, 7 July 2012

U2 assistant jailed for theft

Carol Hawkins (48), the ex-assistant to U2's Adam Clayton, has been sent to prison for seven years after embezzling E2.8 million. She was found guilty of 181 counts of theft from the bassist's accounts. Hawkins spent the money on  22 horses, a luxury New York apartment, a string of exotic holidays and a wardrobe full of designer clothing. She worked for Clayton for 17 years. The judge, Patrick McCartan  described her as 'greedy' and 'frankly deluded' in the Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.

Apples settles iPad name dispute

Apple has paid $60m (£38.3m) to settle a long-running legal row which threatened to block it from selling its iPad tablet device in China. The US technology giant agreed to make the payout to computer manufacturer Shenzhen Proview Technology after a two-year dispute over who owned the rights to the “iPad” name.

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Coachella tax threat

Skip Paige, the President of Goldenvoice, the AEG Live subsidiary that produces the Coachella Festival, has said he will move the event, and sister festival Stagecoach, if its current home city, Indio, introduces a new tax on large-scale entertainment events. 

A member of the Indio council, Sam Torres, has proposed a new city tax of 5-10% on ticket revenues for events attended by over 2500 people, which would include both the Coachella and Stagecoach festival ventures, staged at the city's Empire Polo Club.

Teenage Rampage inspires!

Teenage Rampage has been chosen as the three main national Inspire project for Culture for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, and Teenage Rampage has linked up with the London 2012 Olympic Games to provide unique performance and work opportunities for young people in the Olympic Park and athlete's, VIP and Press Villages throughout the games.

More information and how to apply now at

Major theft at Canadian event

Police in the Canadian capital of Ottawa are investigating the theft of $600,000 from the site of the Escapade Music Festival, which took place in the city last weekend. The Ottawa Citizen report that it is thought that the money, proceeds from ticket and alcohol sales, was taken from a safe at the festival's venue, the Ottawa Stadium, by one of the founders of the event's promoters DNA Presents, who has since gone missing.

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

ATP folds, but shows go on

Music festival company All Tomorrow's Parties, founded by promoter Barry Hogan, had gone into liquidation. Hogan previously admitted  that ticket sales for the early-summer ATP events had declined in recent years. More recently he announced that ATP would be working with  holiday camp operator Pontins ending a six year partnership with Butlins. Hogan incorporated a new company at the end of May, called Willwal Ltd, and it is now listed as promoter of future ATP events, meaning that up coming tours and festivals being advertised by the firm will still go ahead.

BPI chair calls for Google to treat the music industry with respect

BPI Chairman Tony Wadsworth has told the record label trade body's AGM that the UK government's love affair "with big technology and big telecoms has cast a shadow over our home-grown creative success and it's time to redress the balance. We have earned the right to be treated seriously and fairly by government. The technology world has to also come to the party either willingly, or kicking and screaming" with Wadsworth saying Google had failed to do enough to remove links to unlicensed content for its search results, and to ensure copyright infringing websites do not benefit from its ad networks. The BPI Chair continued: "When consumers are encouraged towards illegal content by search engines, where reputable advertisers plough millions towards websites that make their money from our music and return not a penny to the creators, the government needs to step in". Also calling on the current government to do more was guest speaker Harriet Harman MP, the Shadow Secretary Of State For Culture, Media And Sport, who called for more action in getting her party's DEA enacted, and also added "Google and other technology companies need to do more with the content creators to better signpost legitimate search and block illegal sites. Search engines like Google are highly trusted, and there's no way of telling, as an average consumer, what is an illegal site. They could also do more to stifle the income of pirate websites by stopping advertising on illegal sites. And I want to see the government getting on with implementing Labour's Digital Economy Act. And while I'm pleased that OfCom published their code for consultation [on three-strikes] last week - it will still be 2014 before any warning letters are sent out".

Zero waste events - call for case studies

Zero Waste Events are looking for case studies on waste management initiatives at festivals and events to share throughout the events industry. Case studies can range from supply chain regulation to  volunteer litter picks, tent reuse scheme and spectator engagement. If you’d like to submit a case study from your festival fr Zero waste, which is a 2012 inspired initiative  contact
More on Zero Waste Events here