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


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

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

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. pulls back streaming offer 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 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 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


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.