Friday, 31 August 2012

Olympic ticket re-seller faces bankruptcy reports that controversial ticket reseller EuroTeam faces bankruptcy after selling "unauthorized" tickets for the recent London 2012 Olympic Games. The Oslo based company originally sold 20,000 tickets for the Olympic games via the internet, using 12 different websites including [] and []. Only 5,000 of the purchased tickets were actually delivered to buyers according to the European Consumer Centre in Norway. EuroTeam is under current investigation by Britain's Office of Fair Trading (OFT) as well as the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and Police in Norway seized 455 of the tickets sold by EuroTeam - and investigators have alleged that many were illegally obtained by EuroTeam from the National Olympic Committees of two unidentified Eastern European countries. Euroteam's owner, Atle Barlaup, called Olympic officials a "mafia" who used "all their resources to protect their own economic interests." According to the Euroteam website, the actions of the IOC and the London Olympics were "done solely to harm a legally operating company in the interest of protecting the financial interest of the private organization IOC" dispute a finding in the High Court in London that the EuroTeam website misled consumers. Whilst refunds have been promised to customers who did not receive tickets, says that  the company doesn't seem to have much hope of staying afloat. 

Section 31 of the London Olympic Games and Paralympic Games Act, passed in 2006, made it a criminal offence to sell tickets without authorisation from the London Organising Committee (Locog) in the UK although once physical tickets became available holders could sell them for face value to friends and families.  The National Olympic Committee (NOC) of each participating country also received an allocation of tickets and in some countries there were authorised resellers are legitimately selling these tickets online. But EuroTeam was not seemingly one of them. Locog had warned UK fans to beware of bogus and unauthorised websites when searching for tickets from overseas sources.

And more on EuroTeam from Festival Republic here saying The same site is now offering tickets for Reading and Leeds Festivals. They are NOT an authorised seller and we have issued NO ticket allocation to them or their affiliated sites”

Viagogo target football

Viagogo, which recently upped and left the UK for a new home in Switzerland after a Channel 4 TV expose, has announced a raft of new agreements with Premiership football clubs including European champions, Chelsea, Aston Villa and English league champions Manchester City as well as five German Bundesliga clubs, two Dutch Eredivisie clubs, one Spanish La Liga club, and several Italian Serie A clubs which include FC Bayern Munich, and PSV Eindhoven. The partnership means that the company will now provide ticketing solutions for some of the world's biggest club according to an August press release. According to viagogo, allowing fans to resell their tickets to games they cannot attend will ultimately help fill empty seats and increase game-day revenue through the sales of food and merchandise. Fans cannot sell football tickets at games - Under the UK's 1994 Criminal Justice and Public Order Act, now extended by the 1999 Football (Offences and Disorder) Act, any fan selling or offering to sell, without authority, a ticket for a "designated football match" in any public place faces a fine of up to £5,000. 

Stubhub have also inked deals with three clubs to be those clubs' official ticket re-sale partner.

Burning Man tickets underbaked

Having sold out in 2011, the Burning Man festival faced a different problem this year after a system to beat the ticket touts seemingly left the event undersold with hundreds of tickets available at under face value on secondary ticketing sites and sites like craigslist and eBay. For 2012, organisers introduced a ticketing system based on a lottery - which caused outcry amongst many loyal 'burners' who failed to get tickets - and then tickets still appeared on secondary sites at inflated values. But now tickets for the week long event are freely available and theories range from the fact that burners need to plan for a week long desert stay some time in advance, to the extreme hot weather in the USA this year which may have deterred fans. Gate for the week long event in the Black Rock Desert in Nevada opened on Monday August 27th. 

Final names announced for The Africa Express

Africa Express – the collective of African and Western musicians – has announced the final set of exciting names to join the train tour around the UK this September leaving London Euston on September 2nd with the first show at Middlesborough Town Hall on September 3rd and ending at Granary Square in London’s Kings Cross on September 8th. 

The new passengers include Maximo Park, Thandiswa, Gilles Peterson, EL, Eliza Doolittle, Lucy Rose, The Bots, Rachel Unthank, Reeps One, Toumani Diabate and Rae Morris, joining the likes of Damon Albarn, Amadou & Mariam, Charli XCX, Baaba Mall, Temper Trap, Noisettes, Baloji, Tony Allen, Carl Barât, Fatoumata Diawara , Rizzle Kicks , Bassekou  Kouyate, Jupiter & Okwess International, Kano, Baaba Maal, The Noisettes, Jack Steadman (Bombay Bicycle Club), Rokia Traoré and Nick Zinner (Yeah Yeah Yeahs) on board the train based tour. Other shows include Glasgow Arches (Sept 4th), Manchester HMV Ritz (Sept 5th), Cardiff University Solus (Sept 6th) and Bristol’s Creative Common (September 7th). 

Thursday, 30 August 2012

Grooveshark app back on Google

Grooveshark's Android app has reappeared in Google's app store, over a year after it was evicted from the official Android app platform, seemingly because of pressure put on the web giant by the major music companies. Universal, Sony and Warners are also currently suing Grooveshark for enabling copyright infringement. EMI is suing the service for non payment of a promissory note, having previously licensed its material to the streaming service. Grooveshark insists it operates a takedown system in line with the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act, so is fully legal

Who's Who?

AEG Live's merchandising firm BandMerch has announced a long-term worldwide deal with The Who, to coincide with the forthcoming AEG-promoted Quadrophenia tour this autumn, ahead of the 40th anniversary of the band's iconic rock opera next year. The Who previously had a merchandise partnership with the Live Nation group.

Stones Rolling?

All four Rolling Stones (Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts and Ronnie Wood) have been seen leaving Studio Guillaume Tell in Paris, possibly after recording bonus material for a forthcoming greatest hits compilation, which is set for release this year in honour of the band's 50th anniversary.

Who is Doom?

The London hip hop collective Livin’ Proof has accused masked rapper DOOM, real name Daniel Dumile, of allowing an imposter to appear and play a DJ set in his place at one of their club nights billed as ‘Livin Doom’ saying on Facebook that "there is a very strong possibility the person that was finally sent down was not DOOM himself". CMU Daily reports that Livin’ Proof also say that the rapper’s representatives also made a last minute "extortionate request" for a greater fee than had originally been agreed. The DJ set was then cancelled, but reinstated again ten minutes prior to showtime, after which a masked man played briefly and signed autographs. The collective say they are "seeking legal advice" and a full refund.

And more on Doom here

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Tenenbaum damages upheld

The latest stage in the Joel Tenenbaum saga has resulted in another court loss for the self confessed file sharer after a federal appeals court upheld the award of damages of $675,000 previously made by a jury.  Tenenbaum was accused of illegally downloading 31 songs from a file-sharing Web site and distributing them, and was sued by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) on behalf of the major record labels in the USA. US District Court Judge Rya W. Zobel rejected Tenenbaum's request for a new jury trial, saying jurors had appropriately considered the evidence of Tenenbaum's actions -- downloading and distributing files for two years despite warnings -- and the harm to the plaintiffs and noted that the penalty is at the low end of the range for wilful infringement and below the limit for even non wilful infringement, and thus was not excessive. Although having been previously refused a Supreme Court hearing, Tenenbaum's attorney Charles Nesson said that he plans a further appeal. 

German live revenues grow

The German live music sector has reported growth of 22% since 2009, with live events trade body bdv saying that revenues were E3,9 billion in 2011 based on a consumer survey. However the rise is put down to an increase in ticket prices as actual attendance was down to 122 million last year (from 127 million in 2007).

Live Nation profits plunge

Live Nation's profits for the second quarter of 2012 were down by 42% after net income fell from $13.3 million to $7.69 million. Concert turnover was marginally down ($1,.076 billion compared to $1.086 billion in Q2 2011), but concert attendance was up at 9.27 million, ticket revenues marginally up by 1.7% to $313 million and management income at Frontline dropped 7.8% to $109 million.  LNE recently announced that it had acquired UK based Cream Holdings and the Creamfields brand, and US based Hard Events which specialises in electronic dance music,  and also announced expansion into the festival market in South East Asia.

Monday, 27 August 2012

More Wow woe

Buried in the Observer's 'Money' letters page on the 26th August was a complaint form a member of the  public who had tried to get a £224 refund from online music shop for a drum - to no avail. After investigating, the Observer's  journalist Mark King (no relation to the Level 42 bass man and IOW resident of the same name we presume!) discovered the owner of the site was 'Sigma Piano' which had a shared director with a string of nine failed companies - including the cancelled Wowfest (Wow Festivals Limited) that had been scheduled for an August 17-19 debut on the Isle of Wight this year and was cancelled by organisers after the police called for the Isle of Wight Council to revoke WOWfest's licence after it failed to pay police, council and fire costs in advance. In July the same director registered a new company, Karmaleon Limited, at a Isle of Wight address. Wow Festivals Limited is now facing liquidation. and

Charlie chills

Charlie Simpson, ex-vocalist with guitarist with Busted, and now frontman with indie band Fightstar, has announced he will play the world's coldest gig - at -40C in Oymyakon in Sibera. Its all sponsored by those funky dudes at Jagermeister who have promised him a lifetime supply of the beverage. 

Oymyakon has a population of 472 and has no running water or electricity. He will  attempt to play the show in the town in November to enter the Guiness Book of Records - without gloves.

Sunday, 26 August 2012

More UK weather woe as Creamfields floods

The Creamfields dance music festival has ended a day early after torrential rain caused "heavy flooding" at the festival site at Daresbury in Cheshire. The site was closed and revellers were asked to leave the site after the heavy downpours over the previous 24 hours had produced 'significant and heavy' flooding in the area according to the Police. Organisers warned people via Twitter and Facebook on Sunday morning that the site was closed and people with day tickets should not travel. A message posted on said: "It is with regret that today’s event at Creamfields has been cancelled due to significant rainfall overnight and on site flooding. Every effort has been made to continue with the event and following an evaluation of the site the decision has been made by the promoters, Cheshire Police and multi agencies on site to close today’s final day in the interest of Health and Safety. The heavy downpour overnight has created issues across the site leaving many areas unusable. It is our primary concern at this time that assistance is given to those on site and ensure those campers exit safely". Coach operators Big Green Coach were attempting to bring forward its services to help campers depart.

In Liverpool, much of the city's Mathew Street Festival was also cancelled because of rain and very strong winds although some indoor events went ahead.

Friday, 24 August 2012

Tesco out of MP3s, Deezer flat

Tesco has announced that it will close its MP3 download store at the end of this month. The news comes just over two months after the company bought a 91% stake in music streaming service We7 for £10.8 million. And streaming service Deezer has seen flat growth for the last six months with its subscriber base still at 1.5 million, despite a tie up with telco Orange.

Cohen moves to Wembley

Vince Power's Music Festivals Plc has moved it's two Leonard Cohen shows scheduled for the Hop Farm in Kent to Wembley Arena, with shows on the same dates, the 8th and 9th September. The UK's inclement weather was blamed. Ticket holders were offered refunds or the opportunity to exchange their tickets for the new shows. The company's share price also hit an all time low of 3p - whilst Benicassim in Spain turned a profit, it was lower one than in 2011 and the Hop far Festival made a loss. As a result, the company told shareholders earlier this month that "financial results for the year ending 31 Dec 2012 would be significantly lower than market expectations" and that it expects to report "a material loss" for that twelve month period. Power has loaned the company £750,000. When Music Festivals Plc launched on the Alternative Investment Market in 2011 the share price was 65p.

Good food for festivals!

Festival organisers across the UK are being challenged to serve up delicious, healthy and sustainable food to festival-goers, with the launch of a new Good Food for Festivals Guide, published by the food and farming charity Sustain.  The guide has the backing of organisations including A Greener Festival and the environmental campaign group Greenpeace, as well as festivals Bestival, Waveform and The Green Man.  The  Guide provides issue-by-issue advice on tackling the sustainability of food and drinks served by mobile caterers. It covers the benefits of going local and seasonal, higher-welfare meat and dairy, sustainable fish, reducing waste and water use, as well as how festivals and events can celebrate their good food credentials. The Guide also includes a checklist for organisers to give potential traders, to see how their food measures up environmentally.  There is more and you can order a download of the Guide as a pdf at 

Stubhub rewards regulars

StubHub have announced the launch of their new customer rewards program saying the initiative is the first of its kind in the ticketing business, akin to similar programs in the travel and credit card industries, and it rewards loyal customers for their continued usage of StubHub services. 

Michigan looks to ban bots

The Michigan House and Senate are currently debating bills that would make it illegal to use or sell ticketing bot software in the state which can be used to buy up multiple allocations of tickets to popular events. 

Spotify still at a loss

The Wall Street Journal reports that Spotify's losses rose from E28.5 million  in 2010 to E45.4 million last year. However, the company's revenues also grew rapidly in 2011, up to 156.9 million euros - over E100 million more than the previous year's 52.6 million euros. Despite considerable growth, the streaming service is still relying on venture capital funding, and the latest accounts noted that it "cannot exclude the need or desire to raise more funds in the future".

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Church sale sparks protest

The sale of the Church Studios in London's Crouch End has provoked local protests after it became clear that the iconic studios, used by Bob Dylan and the Eurythmics amongst others, might be turned into flats. And it's not the decision of some heartless property developer - the Church is owned by none other than David Gray. 

A spokesperson for the White Ladder musician has said that changes in recording industry and the way albums are recorded means that the most attractive financial return may not be selling the studio as a ongoing business - which is why Gray has applied for planning permission to turn the studios into flats. Harringay Council said no decision had been made on the application. 

Thai disco fire claims 4 lives

At least 4 people are dead and 20 injured after fire swept through the Tiger Discotheque in Patong on the holiday island of Phuket. Survivors said that fire started at 4am, seemingly two hours after the club should have shut, and was packed with people sheltering form a tropical rain storm. An eye witness said they heard two explosions 'like a bomb going off' and then fire spread along air conditioning ducts and that 'foam insulation was on fire' falling 'on a man below' with the venues power supply and lighting then failing and toxic smoke spreading. A Government spokesman Prompong Nopparit said that the club's walls were seemingly made of the same flammable foam material used for decoration in the Santiago club in Bangkok - which caught fire in 2009 killing 66 and injuring 222 others. 

Monday, 20 August 2012

Scott McKenzie

Singer songwriter Scott McKenzie, who sang the 1960s hit San Francisco (Be Sure To Wear Flowers In Your Hair), has died aged 73. McKenzie went on to release two solo albums but further hits eluded him as a performer but he co-wrote the Beach Boys' hit Kokomo.

Scott had been diagnosed with Guillain-Barre Syndrome, a disease affecting the nervous system. 

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Death at V

Police are investigating the "unexplained" death of a 20-year-old man at this year's V Festival at the Weston Park site in Staffordshire. The man was pronounced dead after being found in a tent in an unresponsive state at about 1am on Sunday morning at the music event.

Saturday, 18 August 2012

Leeds police victory good news for festival organisers

Leeds United Football Club have successfully challenged charges from West Yorkshire Police for policing any areas not “owned, leased or controlled’” by the club. The Police force had charged te club based on a ‘footprint’ on match days which included public highways, car parks abd the bus station near to Elland Road stadium, but in the High Court a reluctant Mr Justice Eady, noting the cost to the public purse from his decision, said that nothing in the law allowed the police to charge for a conveniently designated footprint. He added “I appreciate that my interpretation of the law is unfortunate not only for West Yorkshire Police but also for the public purse” but ordered the police to repay Leeds an estimated £1 million it had paid over the last three years concluding that the services rendered fell within the normal constabulary duty to keep the peace saying “More generally, it seems wrong to discount the majority of well-behaved fans who come to Elland Road, whether club supporters or visitors, all of whom retain their status as members of the public. In that capacity, they too are entitled to expect police protection”. Other clubs are also now expected to apply for refunds after other police forces charged for their services based on ACPO (Association of Chief Police Officers) guidance. ACPO said they were seeking legal guidance and reviewing the information provided by the ruling.

Friday, 17 August 2012

Pussy Riot trio found guilty

Three members of Russian punk band Pussy Riot - Maria Alyokhina, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Yekaterina Samutsevich - have been found guilty of hooliganism motivated by religious hatred at the conclusion of their widely reported trial in Moscow for  performing a "punk prayer" against President Vladimir Putin on the altar of the Cathedral Of Christ The Saviour Of The Russian Orthodox Church in Moscow. All three pleaded not guilty to the charges against them.  Paul McCartney has now joined artistes including Madonna, Rufus Wainwright and Bjork in supporting the three saying "I'm writing to show my support for you at this difficult time. I would like you to know that I very much hope the Russian authorities would support the principle of free speech for all their citizens and not feel that they have to punish you for your protest. Many people in the civilised world are allowed to voice their opinions and as long as they do not hurt anyone in doing so I believe this is the best way forward for all societies. I hope you can stay strong and believe that I and many others like me who believe in free speech will do everything in our power to support you and the idea of artistic freedom". 

State prosecutors had asked for the defendants to be jailed for three and whilst Marina Syrova Judge did not immediately issue a sentence as she read out the verdict, she subsequently jailed each of the defendants for two years in a widely criticised sentence. German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the sentences was "excessively harsh" and around the globe supporters of the group donned trademark multi coloured balaclavas in street protests. Judge Syrova said the girl's actions were "sacrilegious, blasphemous and broke the Church's rules". 

2012 ticketing under fire

The National Association of Ticket Brokers (NATB) has criticised the ticketing methods used at the London 2012 Olympics saying that many fans have not been able to purchase a ticket despite many empty seats at some of the most popular events in the Games at venues like Wimbledon saying that with a closed secondary market, fans have nowhere to turn, although some nation's officials were re-selling tickets and the ban on secondary ticketing was simply ineffective and didn't work. 
According to a recent press release from NATB, the distribution method used by the London Organizing Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOGOG) and the prohibition on the re-sale of tickets on the secondary market  backfired, causing immense ticketing problems despite the fact that officials from countries including Serbia and China were willing to break the ban and sell top-levels seats for the Opening and Closing ceremonies, diving, gymnastics, and athletics. According to a statement from the LOGOC, "National Olympic Committees (NOCs) and their Authorized Ticket Sellers (ATRs) sign a contract with LOCOG agreeing to specific terms and conditions." The authorized sellers are limited to selling tickets within their own country. The Telegraph reported in June that 1.2 million tickets were distributed to NOCs to be used for sale within their own country and to be distributed to their athletes' families and the country's sponsors. UK Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt said of empty seats, usually allocated to members of the 'Olympic Family'  "Often these are very nice seats in very high-profile positions — and so what we're saying to the IOC and the International Sports Federations is if you're not going to use them, could we have as many as possible back, because, of course, we've got lots of members of the public who would dearly love to go."

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Baroness in viaduct coach plunge

US metal band Baroness were involved in a serious accident when their tour bus plunged from a 30 foot viaduct near Bath in England during torrestial rain. Nine people, including the four band members, were travelling in the bus when it crashed. Seven people were taken to hospital with minor injuries. However, two people, including the driver, had to be freed from the wreckage by firefighters and were said to be hurt more seriously. All UK, German, Belgium and US tour dates have been postponed.

Streaming revenues grows in importance

CMU Daily reports that streaming music services around the world should generate £696 million for the global music industry this year. The new research by Strategy Analytic predicts an increase of 40% year on year, making it (unsurprisingly) the fastest growing strand of the recorded music market. Download sales are also still increasing according to the Report, and should be up 8.5% this year. Meanwhile, physical product sales continue to drop, down 12%, though overall CDs and such like still account for 61% of music sold Worldwide. The 50/50 physical-to-digital domination switchover may have happened in some territories, but not as yet on a global level - though Strategy Analytics reckons this could happen by 2015. However one worrying trend was that overall spending on recorded music is likely to be down 2.6% this year in the UK, partially blamed on a weakened release schedule. In Germany the German Music Industry Association (BVMI) has reported a 0.2% increase in overall revenue for the half of 2012. The strongest growth was in album downloads, which jumped nearly 35 % year-on-year and online music sales now account for just under 20 % of total revenue in the German market, up from 14.4 % over the same period last year. The BVMI figures do not include revenue from streaming services - apparently streaming revenue accounted for about 2% of the German music market last year. Unsurprisingly, physical CD sales continue to fall (by 5.4 % in the first half of 2012), although CDs still account for 72 % of overall revenue.

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Nicolas Jaar, Rizzle Kicks and The Temper Trap are amongst the artists just added to the all-star line-up of the previously reported Africa Express' railway tour, which makes its first stop on 3rd September at Middlesbrough Town Hall followed by Glasgow (Arches), Manchester (HMV Ritz), Cardiff (University) and Bristol (Creative Common) and ending up at the new 5000 capacity Granary Square in King's Cross London on Saturday September 8th .  Kyla La Grange, Tony Allen, Carl Barat, Nneka, John McClure, Spoek Mathambo and Marques Toliver will also perform live as part of the train convoy, and join Damon Albarn,  Touamani Diabate, Rokia Traore, Amadou & Mariam, Charli XCX, The Noisettes and Kano with more 'pop up' shows promised.

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Brent Grulke

Brent Grulke, the longtime creative director and driving force behind the South by Southwest Music Conference and Festival, died Monday after a heart attack following oral surgery. He was just 52. Having been a tour manager, sound engineer and record label executive at Spindletop Records, Brent had been creative director at SXSW for nearly 20 years, playing a central role in the festival's transformation into an international event and making host city Austin the "Live Music Capital of the World"

Friday, 10 August 2012

Lights All Night lasts an extra day

The Lights All Night electronic dance music festival will bring in the New Year over three spectacular nights on December 29th, 30th, and 31st. Lights All Night will be held at a new venue, Fair Park in Dallas, TX and the event has extended by an extra day and has increased capacity for 2012 - The DJ lineup has still not been announced yet, but early rumors include Girl Talk (making a return appearance), Pitbull, and Armin Van Buuren, according to Last year Tiësto, RJD2, Diplo, Benny Benassi, and Flux Pavilion entertained punters on three stages at the Dallas Convention Center,

Thursday, 9 August 2012

First Central and Eastern European border breakers announced

Eurosonic Noorderslag and co-organisers Sziget Festival and Exit Festival have announced the first results of the new Central and Eastern European Talent Exchange Programme (CEETEP) - a sub-programme of ETEP, the European Talent Exchange Program which helps acts perform across borders in Europe. The announcement at a press conference at The Sziget Festival with Fruzsina Szep (Sziget Festival), Ivan Milivojev from Exit Festival and Peter Smidt from Eurosonic Noorderslag, said that 24 confirmed shows by 16 European artists from 9 different countries had been confirmed, headed up by Grimus (Romania, 3 shows), Instrumenti (Latvia, 3 shows), Kerekes Band (Hungary, 2 shows) Monika Brodka (Poland, 2 shows) and Pipes & Pints (Czech Republic, 2 shows). The 3 CEE acts with the most bookings at the 13 CEETEP festivals will receive an invitation to play at Eurosonic Noorderslag. CEETEP Festivals also include Coke Live Music Festival (Poland), Podoha (Slovakia), Rock For People (Czechia), Taksirat (Macedonia), B'estfest  (Romania), Heineken Open'er Festival (Poland), the Positivus Festival (Latvia) and Spirit Of Burgas (Bulgaria).

Madonna speaks up for the Riot Girls

Madonna has spoken out in support of the three members of Pussy Riot currently on trial in Russia. At her show in Moscow on Tuesday she told the audience: "I know there are many sides to every story, and I mean no disrespect to the church or the government, but I think that these three girls - Masha, Katya, Nadya - I think that they have done something courageous. I pray for their freedom". It is expected that the women will be given three year jail sentence, as requested by the prosecution earlier this week, but the judge in the case has decided to delay her decision, which has renewed hope that they may be freed.

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

EMI makes money but posts a loss

EMI has reported a pre-tax loss of £349 million for the year ending 31 March 2012 after a write down of catalogue assets totalling £372 million and redundancy payments of £37 million pushed the major into the red. After taking these costs into account, underlying earnings were £290 million, and EMI’s operating profit was up to £133 million, prompting EMI boss Roger Faxon to tell staff that the figures represented an "incredibly strong performance... set against the backdrop of a challenging state of the music market and wider economic conditions".

Warner Music saw revenues slip in its third quarter - partly because of currency fluctuations, though with costs down the mini-major was able to reduce its losses overall, to $32 million, compared to $46 million in the same period a year earlier. Digital revenue continued to boom, offsetting the continued slump in physical sales. The major said its digital revenues were up 13% (16% with constant currencies), and now accounted for 41.5% of all recorded music income.

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Free beer for Reading and Leeds!

Weekend ticketholders at this year's Reading and Leeds festivals will receive free food and drink, organisers have confirmed. 

Festivalgoers will receive beer (or a soft drink) for each music day and a voucher for a breakfast bap for each of the three days of the twin events with Heinz donating free sauce and Festival Republic providing a free recycling bag  -which if filled with more cans gets the fans more free beer!

Power posts a loss

Vince Power's publicly listed music festivals company, Music Festivals plc, has told shareholders that the company expects to make a loss this year, due to the disappointing ticket sales for this year's Hop Farm Festival, which made a loss overall. In a statement to investors, Music Festivals plc said that its other flagship event, Benicassim, was profitable this year, but at a lower level than 2011. Power has made a £750,000 unsecured loan to the company which is now “exploring ways of raising additional working capital".

Hunt orders UK commercial radio enquiry

UK Secretary Jeremy Hunt has ordered an investigation into the bid by Global Radio to buy the radio business of the Guardian Media Group in a £70 million acquisition. The deal will give Global the frequencies currently used by the Smooth and Real Radio networks.

Monday, 6 August 2012

Another HMV chief departs

In the UK, HMV has confirmed that the company's Finance Director David Wolfe is to follow CEO Simon Fox in leaving the flagging entertainment retail company.

Lamb of God frontman freed on bail

Lamb Of God frontman Randy Blythe has been released on bail from a Prague prison after being arrested upon arrival in the Czech Republic in June on a charge of manslaughter which he denies. He issued a statement on his return to the USA saying ""I feel VERY STRONGLY that as an adult, it would be both irresponsible and immoral for me not to return to Prague if I am summoned. This is not about bail money. This is about a young man who lost his life. I will act with honour, and I will fight to clear my good name in this matter".

Tiesto tops turntable take

Forbes has named Tiësto as the highest earning DJ in the world, banking $22 million (about £14 million last year. He is followed by Skrillex ($15 million). Swedish House Mafia ($14 million). David Guetta ($13.5 million). Steve Aoki ($12 million), Deadmau5 ($11.5 million), DJ Pauly D ($11 million), Kaskade ($10 million). Afrojack ($9 million) and Avicii ($7 million)

London Pleasure Gardens goes into administration

East London venue complex the London Pleasure Gardens has gone into voluntary administration, just a few weeks after opening. In a statement a spokesperson for Newham Council, which provided £3 million plus loan funding for the project, said that the decision was "regrettable but understandable" and said that it was "disappointing that the anticipated visitor numbers and revenue from recent planned events have not materialised". The Bloc Weekender ended up closing on the first night after overcrowding and  the organisers of another event due to take place, Secretsundaze Go Bang!, moved to another venue. LOCOG's restrictions on numbers, only 2500 locals and ticket holders at the neighbouring ExCel venue could attend the unfinished  site which housed a big screen for the 2012 Olympics, meant it was mostly deserted according to Reuters. LPG creative director Deborah Armstrong has resigned from her post 

Friday, 3 August 2012

Lollapalooza not part of new pot ticket law

The Chicago Tribune reports that the city's new "pot ticket" law goes into effect during the middle of Lollapalooza, but the new system of a $250 fine (for the first offence) for possession of less that 15 grams of cannabis won't apply to the festival in Grant Park because it's Chicago Park District property. That exception to the new rules means that police instead will continue to arrest those caught - although last year, police made exactly zero marijuana-related arrests among the 270,000 people who passed through the Lollapalooza gates. Chicago has moved to decriminalise cannabis and officials with C3 Presents, the festival's promoters, declined comment to the Tribune although they drew attention in 2006 when Lollapalooza-branded rolling papers were given out at a news conference in advance of the Festival. 

A Chicago Police Department order issued last week on how to enforce the new ordinance lays out several "aggravating factors" that require arrest for even small amounts of pot. In addition to the rule about Park District property, people caught in the act of smoking marijuana — as opposed to just possessing it — also still will be subject to arrest. So will those police deem "under the influence of cannabis and in control of a motor vehicle." People caught with marijuana on school property will be taken into custody, along with people police believe intend to sell the marijuana they have in their possession. Subsequent tickets for possession of pot attract a $500 fine.

Thursday, 2 August 2012

Pussy Riot lawyer speaks of abuse

Violetta Volkova, the lawyer acting on behalf of the three members of Russian punk band Pussy Riot charged with aggravated hooliganism after performing a “punk prayer” in Moscow’s Russian Orthodox cathedral, says that her cients are being deliberately mistreated by Russian authorities. She says that Maria Alyokhina, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Yekaterina Samutsevich are woken at 5am and then kept in a tiny room without food until they are transported to court before 11 hour court sessions. If convicted the Pussy Riot face up to seven years in prison for their political anti Putin protests.

Spotify starts to pay says Mills

Martin Mills has told UKTI's Global Business Summit On Creative Content that some Beggars Group artists are now receiving significantly higher revenues from streaming services than from traditional radio, saying “I'm finding that some of our artists, particularly the more catalogue artists, are opening their royalty statements and earning more [from streaming] than from any other source on some individual tracks. [For Beggars] it pays many, many more times than radio play. We're big supporters". Spotify's Ken Parks revealed  that the company now has four million paying subscribers. In other good news for Spotify, Century Music Group said that it was rejoining the streaming service. In 2011 the Group pulled al of its repertoire off Spotify saying "physical sales are dropping drastically in all countries where Spotify is active. Artists are depending on their income from selling music and it is our job to support them to do so. Since the artists need to sell their music to continue their creativity, Spotify is a problem for them. This is about survival, nothing less, and it is time that fans and consumers realize that for artists it is essential to sell music to keep their heads above water." but now says "After the initial decision to pull the Century Media catalog from Spotify, label execs were impressed by the resulting debate, especially the messages and comments by the thousands of fans who weighed in on the issue. Fan sentiment and continued discussions with Spotify have resulted in the label reversing its initial decision."

Secretsundaze moves from Pleasure Gardens

The organisers of one-day electronic music festival Secretsundaze Go Bang! have announced that they are moving to a new venue. The festival had been due to take place at the new London Pleasure Gardens venue complex, where the ill-fated Bloc Festival took place last month. Yesterday it was announced that Deborah Armstrong, the London Pleasure Garden's Creative Director was resigning in the fall out from Bloc. She remains the creative force behind the Shangri La area at the Glastonbury Festival and works with artistes including Radiohead, Ed Harcourt and Groove Armada.

HMV boss to leave

Simon Fox, The boss of flagging entertainment retailer HMV is to step down. He will be replaced former Jessops boss Trevor Moore, who will take over as CEO next month

Edwyn Collins and Daniel Miller to receive AIM Awards

AIM Independent Music Awards have announced the recipients of 2 awards for 2012: the legendary Edwyn Collins is set to receive the Outstanding Contribution to Music Award, and Mute founder Daniel Miller will receive the prestigious Pioneer Award. All other winners will be unveiled at the AIM Independent Music Awards’ second ceremony which will be held at The Brewery in Clerkenwell on October 29th.