Tuesday, 24 December 2013

RIP

Milton Everett Olin Jr has died after being struck and killed by a sheriff's patrol car whilst cycling in the 22000 block of Mulholland Highway in Calabasas. The 65 year old US music industry veteran was the former chief operating officer of Napster and was involved in their high profile law suit where he sought to defend the burgeoning music service against the major record labels.  Olin was a prominent entertainment attorney for Altschul & Olin LLP, which he co-founded, and had been practising law since 1975.

Belgian-born soul/R&B singer Cole Williams, aka Martijn Teerlinck or The Child Of Love, has died aged 26. NME reported that his death  it was due to complications following surgery and that Williams had lived all his life with a severe heart defect.

We were shocked to hear of the death of Addison Cresswell, who has died aged just 53. He died in his sleep. Addison represented some of the UK's biggest comedians including Jonathan Ross, Lee Evans, Jo Brand, Michael McIntyre and Jack Dee: having been an entertainment officer at Brighton Polytechnic where he studied, he decided to start his management company, Off The Kerb, some 32 years ago, revolutionising British comedy. His TV production company, Open Mike, was behind popular TV shows such as Live At The Apollo and he initiated and organised the annual Channel 4 Comedy Gala in aid of Great Ormond Street Hospital for children. He leaves behind his wife, Shelly. 

And just as sad was the passing of Allan McKeown who produced a string of TV hits including Auf Weidersehen Pet and Birds of a Feather, and a number of successful shows for his wife, comedian Tracey Ullman, including The Tracey Ullman show (which launched The Simpsons) and Tracey Takes On for US TV, created indie producer SelecTV, and produced several stage shows including Jerry Springer: The Opera and Lennon. Allan was 67. He is survived by Tracey, and children Mabel and John. A good man.

Pussy Riot pair released

The two members of Pussy Riot jailed for religious hooliganism, Maria Alyokhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, have been released under Russia's new amnesty law, with Alyokhina saying she was woken in the night and left at a Russian train station in her prison overalls and with no money. The were each sentenced to two years in prison after the band staged a provocative performance that criticised the Russian government and Vladimir Putin  in a Moscow cathedral in August 2012. The sentence was recently criticised by Russia’s Supreme Court although only three months of the sentence remains to be served. The court said that the prosecution in their case had failed to demonstrate that the three musicians charged were motivated by hatred towards one specific group, which is required in cases of this kind (see our separate update on this topic). The new law is being seen as an attempt to ease Western concerns about Russia’s human rights record, with the Winter Olympics in Sochi coming up early next year. Alyokhina and Tolokonnikova were unbowed, and used their sudden freedom to slam Mr. Putin, accusing him of using the Russian justice system to bolster his image before the Winter Olympics and insisting they did not want his mercy.

Saturday, 21 December 2013

Green Events & Innovations 2014 - the agenda shapes up

The sixth edition of the Green Events & Innovations conference takes place at the ILMC and as the industry's response to environmental management matures, GEI will continue to demonstrate the latest solutions and technologies for practical event management. There is a crucial aspect of consideration in order for any practical solutions to be truly effective - and that is audience behaviour. This year the event will give greater focus to the psychology and sociology behind our behaviour, to seek more effective and sustainable collective action.

As ever, Green Events & Innovations will host speakers and panellists who are experts in their field and in event sustainability and the following have now been confirmed@

Making Waves: Can we eliminate disposable plastics from festivals? Raw Foundation launch their guide to reducing plastics at festivals, accompanied by a panel of experts in just that! Case studies including Shambala’s “Bring A Bottle Campaign” and Open Air St Gallens’s ground breaking research into the question “Do re-usable cups really stack up?” With Melinda Watson (Raw Foundation), Chris Johnson (Shambala Festival) and Chrisof Huber (Open Air St Gallen / Yourope)

Keynote: Alan Watson Featherstone, Executive Director, Trees for LifeL: In 2012 A Greener Festival teamed up with Trees for Life to launch the Festival Wood initiative, a grove planted thanks to the festival industry, for the purpose of reforesting the Caledonian Forest for ecological balance and biodiversity. Trees for Life’s outstanding record and ethos made them THE choice for collaborating on this project and Alan heads up this inspirational organisation.

Love Your Tent Audience Survey findings: In 2013 the first audience study regarding tents and camping equipment being left behind at festivals was conducted by founders of the Love Your Tent campaign Eco Action Partnership, Bucks New University and A Greener Festival. Here Teresa Moore (BNU) and Rick Storey (LYT / Eco Action Partnership) will launch the findings.

Tickets for the Conference (which include lunch, and a day of panels, keynotes and workshops) are £80, with a discount rate of £50 available for AIF Members, Yourope Members,  ILMC delegates and students. An EARLY BIRD rate is available until the 31 December. More here http://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/green-events-innovations-conference-tickets-9578199653

Friday, 20 December 2013

William Morris Endeavour acquires IMG

Talent agency William Morris Endeavour earlier this week confirmed it was acquiring one of its major competitors in a $2.3 billion deal backed by private equity group Silver Lake. The combination of WME and IMG Worldwide will create a talent management and partnership powerhouse, with particular significance in the sports domain where IMG was strongest. Though it will also further extend WME's reach into the live music space too, with IMG working with both Taylor Swift and Justin Timberlake. Confirming the deal, WME bosses Patrick Whitesell and Ariel Emanuel said in a statement: "IMG has incredible strategic value to WME. Supported by Silver Lake's continued partnership, WME and IMG together will deliver a broad range of opportunities and resources to the companies and talent we collectively represent".

Russian amnesty may free Pussy riot members

Russia’s state Duma has unanimously agreed to a new ‘amnesty’  law which proposed by president Vladimir Putin to mark the 20th anniversary of Russia’s post-Soviet constitution. The amnesty bill looks to free prisoners who have been jailed for certain non-violent crimes, women with dependent children, juveniles, veterans, invalids and first time offenders and is likely to include the 30 Greenpeace crew and journalists from the Arctic Sunrise, currently on bail on charges of hooliganism in Russia after boarding a drilling rig. The bill specifically included the charge of hooliganism, which was used to prosecute 28 Greenpeace activists and two journalists, among them six Britons, over a protest at Russia’s first offshore oil platform in the Arctic. The 30 will still need exit visas to leave Russia. Others who may be freed include some, but not all, of the political protesters arrested during clashes with police after Vladimir Putin’s inauguration as Russian president for a third term last year.

The new legislation is also likely to prompt the release of the two members of Pussy Riot jailed for religious hooliganism.  Maria Alyokhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova were each sentenced to two years in prison after the band staged a provocative performance that criticised the Russian government  in a Moscow cathedral in August 2012. The sentence was recently criticised by Russia’s Supreme Court. The court said last week that the prosecution in their case had failed to demonstrate that the three musicians charged were motivated by hatred towards one specific group, which is required in cases of this kind.

The law is being seen as an attempt to ease Western concerns about Russia’s human rights record, with the Winter Olympics in Sochi coming up early next year. But critics point out that it does not change the underlying system, which allows for the jailing of protesters in the first place. Ruling party MPs said the amnesty would free up to 3,500 people in all. It is expected to could go into effect as soon as the bill is published in the government gazette today, but the wording allows prosecutors a six-month enactment period, meaning some of the prisoners could in theory wait weeks or months before being released.

Wireless to move to Finsbury Park - and Birmingham

The London edition of Live Nation's Wireless festival is almost certainly moving to Finsbury Park after Haringey Borough Council approved a licensing application earlier this week, although it seems there is quite some resistance from local residents. The festival will move from its 2013 home at the Olympic Park  - which whilst a good venue in publicity terms, had a number of issues with using the space for a music festival - some of which remain unresolved. The North London park has been host to numerous concerts and festivals over the years, though some critics of the licence Live Nation has secured say that Wireless is significantly bigger than any event previously hosted at the site, and will result in more inconvenience for locals, and more of the park being blocked to the public. The Festival will also take place in Birmingham as well as London in 2014.  Wireless 2013 saw headline performances by Jay Z and Timberlake, with the pair joining together for the first ever Legends Of The Summer show in the UK with Rihanna. Elsewhere, there were performances from Kendrick Lamar, A$AP Rocky, Emeli Sandé, Rita Ora, Frank Ocean, Katy B, Calvin Harris and Tinie Tempah across the weekend. Wireless 2014 takes place between July 4-6. No artists have been confirmed for the event as yet. 

Read more on the NME

Ian Watkins sentenced to 35 years in prison

Ian Watkins, the former Lostprophets singer has been sentenced to 35 years in prison for child sex offences, including two counts of attempting to rape a baby. His two female co-defendants, aged 21 and 25, were also sentenced, with mother 'A' receiving 14 years and mother 'B' 17. They cannot be named for legal reasons. Mr Justice Royce told the defendants: “What you three did plumbs new depths of depravity saying “Any decent person looking at or listening to material here would experience shock, revulsion, anger and incredulity.”

Apollo Theatre's roof collapses

The roof of the Grade II-listed Apollo theatre in London's West End has collapsed with with seven audience members taken to hospital with "more serious injuries". Eyewitnesses described the "chaos and panic" as a theatre "began to crumble down" around them, leaving scores of people injured. More than 40 people are described as "walking wounded" after masonry plummeted into the stalls below, striking members of the packed audience and filling the theatre with clouds of thick dust. A capacity audience of more than 700 people was inside the theatre, in Shaftesbury Avenue, which was 45 minutes into the National Theatre's performance of The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-time. Witnesses spoke of creaking and water dripping from the roof before plaster, large planks and masonry fell onto the stage left side front seating of the Balcony, Upper circle, Dress circle and Stalls.

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

New North Carolina law to affect entertainment venues

A new admissions tax has presenters at local entertainment venues in Durham, North Carolina "scratching their heads," according to the Herald Sun.  Beginning in January, the cost of tickets for a concert, play, movie, ballgame and other types of entertainment will rise when an admissions tax that the state legislature enacted last summer takes effect. The new tax, enacted as part of a package of tax reforms, applies to venues as diverse as the Durham Performing Arts Center, the Durham Bulls Athletic Park, local music clubs and university artists’ series.  The base tax is 4.75 percent plus any local sales tax. In Durham and Orange Counties, the tax will be 7.5 percent; for Chatham, 6.75 percent. However and confusingly there are some exemptions, and some events have been “grandfathered” from the tax. For example, Durham Bulls fans will not have to pay the tax on 2014 games because they were first sold and advertised in 2013. Whilst commentators say the additional tax likely will not sway audience members determined to see their favoirite performing artist, it may “affect folks on the fence” who are having to be more budget conscious, said Mark Z. Nelson, director of marketing and communications for Carolina Performing Arts, and Nelson said he is concerned about the possible impact on sales of tickets to students. 

Ticketing surcharges deter half of all customers from coming to shows

A new study from UK consumer group Which? says that  theatre-goers and music fans face massive mark-ups on the value of some online tickets. The study shows that compulsory charges are added to 72% of tickets sold online, and nearly half of those surveyed (49%) said the charges had put them off buying tickets for an event altogether. In one study, only 3% of tickets were being sold at face value without any additional compulsory fees like booking or delivery charges. The survey of 2,000 customers looked at 15 events with tickets sold through 20 different outlets in all. One example given was tickets to comedian Jimmy Carr's show at Wolverhampton Civic Centre which have a face value of £25. To this a 38% surcharge is added by means of a £3 booking fee and a compulsory delivery fee if £6.50. Tickets to War Horse at the new London Theatre had £18.75 in fees added to by StarGreen to a face value of £62.50 and tickets to Strangers On A Train at the Gielgud Theatre had fees of 35% added. Shows by Miranda Hart, Rizzle Kicks, Ellie Goulding, Russell Brand and Joan Rivers all had 20% (and more) added in charges. Some agencies even charge people to collect in person at the box office,  with Ticketmaster adding £3, and some agencies charged to 'print at home' - The Times reported that TicketWeb and Eventim both charged £2.50. 

Richard Lloyd, executive director of Which?, said: "Consumers tell us they are feeling ripped off by the level of ticketing charges and the lack of transparency means it is almost impossible for people to compare prices when booking online" adding "We want to see the ticketing industry play fair on ticket fees, so that all charges are displayed up-front and with a clear explanation of what they're for."

A Ticketmaster spokesperson told Sky News: "To suggest that ticket fees are hidden is utterly misleading and factually incorrect. Before a customer purchases a ticket, any additional fee is always displayed clearly. The fees cover a wide range of costs to provide the services which ensure the best and easiest possible experience for our customers from purchasing a ticket to accessing the event" and the Society of Ticket Agents and Retailers (STAR) pointed out the sales through multiple outlets promoted healthy competition and ensures prices are 'kept as low as possible'.  See Tickets, owned by France's Vivendi, refused to comment to Which? 

Which? is launching a campaign to bring down the cost. The move by Which? follows the successful lobbying of regulators to force airlines to scrap debit card surcharges. A dozen airlines including easyJet and Ryanair last summer pledged to include the charge in the headline ticket price.

More at http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/consumertips/household-bills/10520701/Watchdog-pans-ticket-agents-for-fleecing-theatre-goers.html and http://www.theguardian.com/stage/theatreblog/2009/oct/28/booking-fees-theatre


Monday, 16 December 2013

Russia's Supreme Court critical of Pussy Riot ruling

Russia's Supreme Court has criticised the guilty verdicts in the Pussy Riot case and ordered a review of the ruling that convicted three members of the punk protest group of "hooliganism motivated by religious hatred" after the band staged a provocative performance that criticised the Russian government  in a Moscow cathedral in August 2012 Two of the three, Maria Alyokhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, were jailed. The Supreme Court has now said that the prosecution in the case failed to demonstrate that the defendants were motivated by hatred towards a specific social group, which, appeal judges said last week, is necessary for this ruling. The Supreme Court added that judges in the lower court should also have considered that Alyokhina and Tolokonnikova were mothers with young children when sentencing them. The ruling comes alongside the recently announced amnesty bill' y put forward to the country's parliament by premier Vladimir Putin, which aims to show leniency on the twentieth anniversary of the Russian Constitution (and remove embarrassing Russian court rulings before next year's Winter Olympics in Russia) could also lead to the Pussy Riot two being freed early although with just three months left to run on both protestors' sentences, any ruling will have little effect on the two year custodial sentence’s Alyokhina and Tolokonnikova received.


UK Music worth £3.5 billion annually

The UK music industry contributed £3.5 billion to the UK economy in 2012, according to new figures from cross-sector trade body UK Music. The £3.5 billion in 'added value' constitutes the profits made and wages paid by the music industry. According to The Times, that figure includes £1.6 billion related to musicians, composers and songwriters, £662 million from live music, £634 million from recorded music sales and £402 million from music publishing. UK Music also calculated that the music business accounts for £1.4 billion in exports and employs 100,000 full-time employees.

Warner Music posts a $57 million third quarter loss

Warner Music have posted a $57 million net loss on the quarter up to 30 September. Revenue for the quarter was up 4.5% year-on-year to $764 million, helped by the acquisition of the Parlophone Label Group. Warner Music's CFO Brian Roberts said that the decline in profits (and in revenues if Parlophone is taken out of the mix) was down to a "light release schedule" in the quarter compared to the same period a year earlier, particularly in Japan where the summer quarter in 2012 included three major artist releases. For the financial year, which ended with this quarter, the company posted net losses of $198 million on revenues of $2.87 billion, compared to $112 million on £2.78 billion the previous year. Roberts said that the acquisition of Parlophone had contributed to the losses, though the merger would result in $70 million in cost savings over the next two years.


Bon Jovi top 2013 tour results

Bon Jovi have topped Billboard's annual touring chart for the third time, having grossed $205,158,370 through their live activity in 2013, putting themselves some way ahead of the closest competition, Cirque Du Soleil's Michael Jackson tribute show and third placed Pink. 

1. Bon Jovi ($205,158,370)
2. Cirque Du Soleil's Michael Jackson The Immortal World Tour ($157,299,100)
3. P!nk ($147,947,543)
4. Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band ($147,608,938)
5. Rihanna ($137,982,530)
6. The Rolling Stones ($126,182,391)
7. Taylor Swift ($115,379,331)
8. Beyonce ($104,358,899)
9. Depeche Mode ($99,972,733)
10. Kenny Chesney ($90,932,957)

Edinburgh Playhouse to close

Edinburgh is to lose another of its live music stages, following the news that the city's Picture House venue will close after this month's Hogmanay celebrations.

Lost Johnny Cash album to be released

Johnny Cash's son John has unearthed an LP's worth of unheard Johnny Cash songs from the early 1980s.  Cash made 'Out Among The Stars' with producer Billy Sherrill over two sessions in 1981 and 1984. The twelve track album includes duets with June Carter Cash and Waylon Jennings, plus a pair of Cash originals, 'Call Your Mother' and 'I Came To Believe'. John found the tapes in 2012 whilst logging his parents' archives and he commented "When my parents passed away, it became necessary to go through this material. We found these recordings that were produced by Billy Sherrill in the early 1980s. They were beautiful". The album will be released by Sony's Columbia label in March 2014.

Thursday, 12 December 2013

Live Nation in at V

Live Nation has a stake in the V Festival franchise, according to Music Week. The move came as part of a restructure by Ireland's Denis Desmond, who has transferred his stake in V over to his joint venture with the global live music firm, Live Nation Gaiety. The V Festival's other shareholders, SJM's Simon Moran and Metropolis's Bob Angus, have also sold part of their stakes in the event to LNG. In the United Kingdom Live Nation Gaiety has substantial stake in the Academy Music Group, T In The Park owner DF Concerts, Reading/Leeds/Latitude operator Festival Republic, and Ireland's Electric Picnic Festival. Live Nation's other festivals in the UK include Download, Wireless and Creamfields, and a recently announced new event in Leicester which will take the form of a Kasabian home-coming gig in 2014. 

In other news, Yahoo! has acquired Evntlive, a US-based live concert streaming business that launched in 2012 and went live in beta earlier this year after raising $2.3 million in funding.

Saturday, 7 December 2013

RIP

Classical composer Sir John Tavener has died, aged 69. A leading composer since his early 20s, he had suffered numerous health issues relating to Marfan Syndrome, a disorder of the body's connective tissues, which can cause heart problems. Widespread tributes included words fro HRH The Prince of Wales and fellow composer John Rutter told BBC Radio 3 that Sir John, known for his spiritual music, "was absolutely touched by genius at every point". James Rushton, managing director of Sir John's publisher Chester Music, described him as "one of the unique and most inspired voices in music of the last 50 years". Sir John premiered three works at the Manchester International Festival this summer, The premiere of his latest work, Three Shakespeare Sonnets, scheduled to take place at Southwark Cathedral the week he died. Soprano Patricia Rozario said: "He really connected with our humanity, and people from all walks of life and different areas.

Arne Worsoe had died aged 72. Arne had been struggling with cancer for several years. Arne was the head of ICO Concerts in Denmark, and one of the originators of the modern live business.

Heinz Krassnitzer, a member of the Jazz Fest Wien team and Live Performance Service, based in Vienna, Austria, has died, aged 60. Krassnitzer was a jazz aficionado and first started organising concerts in the 1970s at the Technical University in Vienna. 

British music industry veteran and former BPI Council member Harry Maloney has died after a long battle with cancer. Maloney worked in both artist and label management through his long career. Starting out in artist management in the early 1970s, he worked with the likes of Manfred Mann's Earth Band, Uriah Heep and Eddie & The Hot Rods. He moved into the label side of things by joining BMG in 1993, and later became Chairman of music distributor the Apex Music Group. he retired from the BPI Council this year.

The artist Martin Sharp was died aged 71. Martin created some of the most celebrated images from the 1960s including album covers for Cream and iconic posters for the likes of Jimi Hendrix, Bob Dylan and Donovan. Martin was also a founder and art director of Oz magazine. 

The Revolving Door

The Mechanical Copyright Protection Society has appointed former Warner/Chappell exec Jane Dyball to the newly created job of CEO, and she will start work in the new post from 1st January  next year. 

The UK music publishing sector's trade body the MPA has announced that Sarah Osborn, the organisation's General Manager since April last year, will become its new CEO with immediate effect. She takes over from Stephen Navin, who announced he was exiting earlier this year, formally standing down after seven years at the helm at the trade group's AGM in June, to belatedly read history at Oxford University, an opportunity he called a "dream come true". Before joining the MPA, Osborn had spent eight years at publisher Schott Music. 

Crispin Hunt and Mark Kelly have been elected Performer Directors at the annual Performer Meeting of Phonographic Performance Limited (PPL). 

Rdio has a new CEO in the form of Anthony Bay, who has previously worked for Amazon, Microsoft and Apple.

Download store Tunetribe has announced the appointment of Marcel Swagers to the new role of Business Development Manager. Swagers joins from digital comms agency Way To Blue.

Music PR company Outpost Media has announced that Mel Ruben, who currently is a consultant at the company, has been promoted to the role of Managing Director. With the appointment officially in effect from the beginning of 2014, Ruben will take over from founder David Silverman, who will then focus on the newly formed Outpost Group, which also includes music publishing and distribution branches.

Kevin McCabe, formerly a long-term EMI exec, is joining Universal Music where he will head up promotions within the mega-major's new label services business Caroline International.

Robert Kraft, who previously oversaw music for movie and TV projects at Fox Music, will join its Warner Bros Records division in the US as Soundtracks Consultant and Kris Ahrend had been promoted to the role of SVP Recorded Music Rights Administration at Warner Music's US business

Elton criticises Russia’s anti-gay laws at Moscow show

Sir Elton John interrupted a performance in Moscow on Friday night to condemn Russia’s anti-gay laws as “inhumane”. The singer went ahead with a series of concerts in the country despite calls by anti-gay groups for him to be banned. Whist saying he loved coming to Russia and loved its people, he said “So I am deeply saddened and shocked over the current legislation that is now in place against the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community here in Russia. In my opinion, it is inhumane and it is isolating.” Sir Elton dedicated the concert at the Crocus City Hall in Moscow to Vladislav Tornovoi, a 23-year-old man who was tortured and murdered in the southern city of Volgograd in a homophobic attack in May.

Friday, 6 December 2013

Beats Music to launch in January 2014

DigitalMusicNews reports that the Beats Music service will finally launch in January. The service was proposed to go live in the summer of 2013, but the service could not be finalized. With the expected launch in January, the company has started accepting reservations for usernames. The launch of the service was announced in a blog by CEO Ian Rogers saying “I work with people who have patience and are more concerned about getting Beats Music right than pushing it out the door.” Beats acquired MOG in 2012 to power its music service with MOG’s technology. 

Thursday, 5 December 2013

SFX buys into ticketing

SFX has paid a reported $16.5 million  a 75% stake in Paylogic, the European "new generation ticketing company" which counts a number of big dance music festivals amongst its client base, but which also works with the wider music and entertainment industries.  Paylogic was founded 5 years ago, and has offices in Amsterdam, Groningen, Berlin, and Antwerp. Currently, the company offers ticketing services to more than 2,000 clients and has operations in the U.S., offering ticketing services for the TomorrowWorld festival outside Atlanta. Confirming his latest acquisition, SFX's Robert Sillerman said: "Paylogic has consistently proven its ability to handle unprecedented ticket requests. This kind of technical skill will be invaluable to us as we connect the millions and millions of EMC fans to the content and events they love, and to each other through integrated social media". Paylogic's Jan Willem Van Der Meer added: "It is very exciting to become part of this growing, worldwide EMC company, SFX. We will have the opportunity to further advance and develop the most optimal ticketing and data solutions for this market and beyond: web, mobile and social".

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

UK Festival Award winners announced

The Camp Bestival Team
The Arctic Monkey's performance at Glastonbury picked up the best headline gong and Download picked up Best Major Festival at the UK Festival Awards at the Roundhouse in Camden last night, hosted by comedian Phil Jupitus . Camp Bestival picked up Best Family Festival, Cumbria's Kendal Calling won best medium sized festival and Bearded Theory, held in Derby, won best small festival.  James Drury, managing director of UK Festival Awards, said: "In this, our 10th year, we had the most fiercely-fought competition for the awards adding "There were so many incredible festivals taking place this year that it's not surprising that 575,000 votes were cast by fans from across the world." Daft Punk's international hit Get Lucky won the anthem of the summer, beating songs such as Bastille's Pompeii and Imagine Dragons' Radioactive. Rudimental beat the likes of Haim, Bastille and Disclosure to win breakthrough act of the year. And Shambala Festival won the overall Greener Festival Award from a list of nominees that included the Croisant Neuf Summer Party, The Sunrise Celebration, The Cambridge Folk Festival and the Glastonbury Festival. And the full list of winners are .....

Public Voted Awards
Best Major Festival: Download
Best Medium-Sized Festival: Kendal Calling
Best Small Festival: Bearded Theory
Best New Festival: We Are FSTVL
Best Dance Event: Creamfields
Best Metropolitan Festival: Dot To Dot
Best Family Festival: Camp Bestival 
Best Grassroots Event: 2000 Trees Festival
Best Overseas Festival: Snowbombing (Austria) 
Best Toilets: Arctangent
Headline Performance Of The Year: Arctic Monkeys - Glastonbury
Anthem Of The Summer: Daft Punk - Get Lucky
Breakthrough Act Of The Year: Rudimental

Jury Voted Awards
Best Line-Up: Latitude
Concession Of The Year: Strumpets With Crumpets
The Greener Festival Award: Shambala Festival
Best Brand Activation: Virgin Media
The Extra-Festival Activity Award: Wilderness 
Promoter Of The Year: Paddy Glasgow (Glasgowbury)
Best Use Of New Technology: Barclaycard Presents British Summer Time 
The Outstanding Achievement Award: Fiona Stewart, Green Man Festival

Monday, 2 December 2013

Sonisphere back in 2014- with Iron Maiden and Metallica confirmed!

Iron Maiden and Metallica will make history this summer when they co-headline the Sonisphere Festival in Knebworth, the very first time both bands have appeared together on a British bill. Iron Maiden vocalist Bruce Dickinson said “We all grew up in England well aware of the importance of the legendary concerts at Knebworth, and scarily it all seems quite recent! Without being clichéd, it really is an honour and privilege to return to play there with the purpose of celebrating some of the finest moments in British rock history from inspirational bands like Pink Floyd, The Who, Zeppelin, The Stones and Genesis. Sonisphere will take place from the 4th – 6th July 2014

Saturday, 30 November 2013

Police helicopter crashes into live music pub in Scotland

A police helicopter has crashed into the roof of The Clutha pub in Glasgow, Scotland, close to the Clyde River. One eyewitnesses said the aircraft dropped "from a great height at a great speed... like a stone". Rescue efforts were in "full operation", according to Scotland’s first minister Alex Salmond, whilst police confirmed that two officer and a civilian were on board the helicopter during the incident. Three people have been confirmed as dead by the BBC as rescue operations continue with many people trapped in the unstable building and debris and 32 have been taken to hospital. The bar was busy with revellers enjoying a gig by nine-piece ska band Esperanza at The Clutha Vaults when the crash occurred and it is thought over 100 people were present, enjoying a Friday night out.   A senior fire officer said they had made contact with some people trapped inside the pub but the building was unsafe and they were taking a "methodical" approach to the rescue. The rescue operation continued throughout the night  - whilst some attendees were rescued or escaped, others have been trapped by a collapse on the left-hand side of the building.

UPDATE: 18.00 Saturday 30 November: We are sad to report that eight people have been now been confirmed as dead. A further 14 people are being treated for "very serious injuries" in hospitals across the city, as tales of heroism continue to emerge from the shocking scenes.

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Blur out of Big Day Out

Blur have pulled out of Australia's Big Day Out bash in January, saying that the event's organisers were "shifting goalposts" and making "challenging conditions". The band were set to co-headline the festival, which takes place over six Australian cities between 17th January and the 2nd Feb 2014, with Pearl Jam and Arcade Fire, but said on Facebook: "We've done our very best to work with the organisers and considered every option to make it happen, but they've let us down and let everyone else down too".

Phillips out at AEG

AEG has announced a series of changes at its concert division which sees the departure of Randy Phillips, Jay Marciano, COO of the AEG parent company, will become Chairman of AEG Live and will have a more hands-on role in running the division. Reporting in to him will be Paul Tollett, who remains President of the Coachella-producing Goldenvoice unit; John Meglen as President Of Global Touring; and Shawn Trell who becomes COO of AEG Live. Trell replaces Thomas Miserendino, who recently moved within the business to become CEO of AEG Europe.

Watkins pleads guilty to child sex charges

Ian Watkins, the former singer of the Welsh rock band Lostprophets, has pleaded guilty to a series of "depraved" child sex offences including theattempted rape of a baby which he had previously denied. In Cardif Crown Court, prosecutor Chris Clee QC described Watkins as a "determined and committed paedophile". Watkins made a series of admissions in a last-minute change of plea ahead of what would have been the launch of his trial. He pleaded guilty to sex offences involving the babies of two women fans – attempting to rape the 11-month-old baby of a fan 'Woman A' and conspiring to rape the baby daughter of another fan 'Woman B'.

Monday, 25 November 2013

American Music Award winners 2013

Taylor Swift, Justin Timberlake, One Direction and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis were the biggest winners at the 2013 American Music Awards on Sunday. And those gorgeous winners are .......

ARTIST OF THE YEAR
Taylor Swift

ICON AWARD
Rihanna

NEW ARTIST OF THE YEAR PRESENTED BY KOHL'S
Ariana Grande 

SINGLE OF THE YEAR
Florida Georgia Line Featuring Nelly, "Cruise"

FAVORITE MALE ARTIST – POP/ROCK
Justin Timberlake   

FAVORITE FEMALE ARTIST – POP/ROCK
Taylor Swift

FAVORITE BAND, DUO OR GROUP – POP/ROCK
One Direction

FAVORITE ALBUM – POP/ROCK 
One Direction, "Take Me Home"

FAVORITE MALE ARTIST – COUNTRY
Luke Bryan

FAVORITE FEMALE ARTIST – COUNTRY
Taylor Swift

FAVORITE BAND, DUO or GROUP - COUNTRY
Lady Antebellum

FAVORITE ALBUM - COUNTRY 
Taylor Swift, "Red"

FAVORITE ARTIST – RAP/HIP-HOP
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis

FAVORITE ALBUM – RAP/HIP-HOP 
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, "The Heist"

FAVORITE MALE ARTIST – SOUL/R&B 
Justin Timberlake

FAVORITE FEMALE ARTIST – SOUL/R&B 
Rihanna

FAVORITE ALBUM – SOUL/R&B 
Justin Timberlake, "The 20/20 Experience"

FAVORITE ARTIST - ALTERNATIVE ROCK
Imagine Dragons

FAVORITE ARTIST - LATIN 
Marc Anthony 

FAVORITE ARTIST - ELECTRONIC DANCE MUSIC (EDM)
Avicii 

FAVORITE ARTIST - ADULT CONTEMPORARY 
Maroon 5

FAVORITE ARTIST - CONTEMPORARY INSPIRATIONAL
Matthew West 

TOP SOUNDTRACK
"Pitch Perfect"

Read more at http://www.billboard.com/articles/news/5755250/american-music-awards-2013-full-winners-list

Friday, 22 November 2013

Spotify valued at $4 billion as Deezer confirms US plans

After the latest fund raining venture netting US $250 million, the Wall Street journal says Spotify is now valued at $4 billion. US-based Technology Crossover Ventures have led on the latest funding round. Spotify's publicly listed rival Pandora, has a market cap, according to the WSJ, of $5.7 billion. Pandora is bigger than Spotify in terms of customers (over 70 million active users, versus Spotify's 24 million), though its younger rival is operating in many more countries, and actually brought in more revenue last year. Both companies have seen losses widen in 2013. And in related news, one of the founders of Deezer has told news agency AFP that the company will finally arrive in the US market next year.



Thursday, 21 November 2013

Belgian Courts block the Pirate Bay again

The Supreme Court in Belgium has upheld an earlier ruling that forces internet service providers in the country to put web-blocks in place against all "current and future domains" utilised by The Pirate Bay. The Belgian Anti-Piracy Foundation began legal action to force ISPs in the country to block access to the Bay on copyright grounds in 2011, securing an injunction against net firms Belgacom and Telenet on second attempt.

Ministry decision delayed as talks take place

London mayor Boris Johnson has again delayed a decision on plans for a residential development opposite the Ministry Of Sound nightclub, following a meeting with representatives from either side earlier this week, with the club fearing that the new development will put its future at risk. After meeting with Ministry and property developer Oakmayne, Johnson deferred his decision until next month, pending further discussions between the two sides themselves. Presencer said in a statement published on the MoS website: "We're encouraged that the Mayor has chosen to adjourn the decision and we're confident he recognises that the solutions we are putting forward will ensure all parties are happy with the outcome. We have always said that we can co-exist with a new development and we welcome regeneration in Southwark. We are committed to our local area and neighbouring businesses, as we have been for more than 20 years". He added: "As the Mayor has requested, we will sit down with the developer to work on a mutually agreeable, sustainable solution - one which will deliver housing for London and safeguard the future of our club". Meanwhile a spokesperson for Johnson said: "Good progress was made on Tuesday and the Ministry Of Sound accepted that the noise mitigation measures built into the building were satisfactory. However, they were looking for greater certainty and with so much at stake for both the nightclub and the developer, the Mayor has decided that a short adjournment would be the most sensible way forward. This would allow both parties to carefully consider a legal mechanism recently proposed by the Ministry Of Sound which they say could address their concerns". They added: "The Mayor expressed hope that a solution could be reached that would deliver much-needed housing in Elephant And Castle while ensuring that the Ministry Of Sound, one of London's leading cultural and musical icons, can continue to thrive".

The Revolving Door

Merlin, the organisation that represents independent labels worldwide has selected a new board. Beggars boss man Martin Mills was re-elected and will stay on as Chairman of the group. Meanwhile Essential Music USA's Erik Gilbert and Evolution Music Hong Kong's Ashley Whitfield join the board for the first time. The Board now comprises Europe: Erik Brataas - Phonofile (Norway), Michel Lambot - PIAS Group (Belgium), Martin Mills - Beggars Group (UK), Florian von Hoyer - Altafonte (Spain), Horst Weidenmueller - K7 (Germany) Plus non-voting observers for Europe: Emmanuel de Buretel - Because Music (France), Oke Goettlich - Finetunes (Germany): North America: Glenn Dicker - Redeye Distribution and Yep Roc Records - (USA), Erik Gilbert - Essential Music and Marketing (USA), Dave Hansen - Epitaph Records (USA), Geoff Kulawick - IDLA (Canada), Tom Silverman - Tommy Boy (USA) plus non-voting observers for North America: Kris Gillespie - Domino Recording Co (USA), Darius Van Arman - Dead Oceans/Jagjaguwar/Numero Group/Secretly Canadian (USA): Rest Of World: Colin Daniels - Inertia (Australia), Hilton Roth - African Dope - (South Africa), Luciana Pegorer - Delira Musica (Brazil), Ashley Whitfield - Evolution Music (Hong Kong) and Alison Wenham (WIN)

The IFPI's market research chief Gabriela Lopes is to join Universal Music as Senior Vice President Global Insight.

Celador Radio, which operates a network of local stations under the Breeze brand, plus three Jack FM outlets, has announced Don Thomson as its new CEO.

Caroline International, has announced a number of a new appointments who will report into the division's top duo MD Michael Roe and Head Of Music Jim Chancellor. Joining are Berlin-based Tina Adams, formerly with Domino Records; Amsterdam-based marketing and A&R man Fred van Kruining; Emma Greengrass, formerly with Oasis's label Big Brother Recordings; and Anya Strafford, previously with the aforementioned Co-op Music. The latter two will be UK-based in their new roles.


Warner Music have announced the promotion of Lucy Otterwell to the role of SVP for Digital Strategy & Business Development for the EMEA region.

Digital music company Rdio is downsizing its workforce, with a source telling TechCrunch that about 35 staff members are likely to go, reducing the firm's overall headcount between a fifth and a third.

The Kobalt Music Group has announced the appointment of former Sony and BMG marketing exec Ryan Wright to the role of SVP Marketing. Ryan will be based in New York and reports to Kobalt President Richard Sanders.

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

SFX snaps up i-Motion

SFX, The EDM-focused company led by entertainment industry veteran Robert Sillerman has now bought i-Motion, the long-standing German dance event promoter. The deal is reportedly worth $21 million, of which $5 million is made up of stock in the rapidly expanding dance music business. i-Motion currently operates eight festivals in Germany, Poland and Belarus, including Nature One and Toxicator, and works with a number of brand and media partners on its events. Confirming the buy, which has been in the works for a few months, Sillerman told reporters: "i-Motion is a key strategic acquisition for us, as it sits at the helm of dance music in Europe's biggest country and is a portal to the fast-growing EMC markets of Continental Europe".

Gaga's Russian promoter fined for violating anti-gay laws

A court in St Petersburg has fined the promoters of a Lady Gaga show that took place in the Russian city last year under Russia's controversial "blame it on the gays" law. As previously reported, Gaga's show was criticised almost immediately last December, with local political figures accusing the singer of breaching rules that ban the "promotion" of homosexuality in the presence of minors. Ruling on the complaint, the judge hearing the case said that promoter Planeta Plus had  failed to protect "children from information that could harm their health and/or development". Though the firm was only fined 20,000 roubles, just under £400. It is thought the parents of the minor may launch a civil action against Planeta.

Monday, 18 November 2013

Vans Warped Tour stage dive goes wrong

The Vans Warped Tour was briefly shut down after a stage jump went dramatically wrong during the Sunday afternoon (17.11.13) of the event. A Gigwise reviewer attending the Alexandra Palace event reports that the event was halted after a stage stunt by George Watsky went wrong. He climbed onto the lighting rigging during his performance and attempted to dive into the audience from some 10 metres above the stage. The audience reportedly parted, and Watsky fell to the floor, suffering unknown injuries although he later discharged himself from hospital.  A female member of the audience was left with a broken arm after the accident. Another man was injured. In an the video from the show (link below), George Watsky can be seen high above the audience before his jump. Shortly afterwards, the show resumed. The rapper later apologised for his "stupid and irresponsible" stunt at the London show.

Video here
http://www.standard.co.uk/news/london/video-rapper-apologises-for-horrifying-stage-dive-at-alexandra-palace-show-which-left-two-fans-in-hospital-8946828.html

And in the USA - a Buffalo Bills fan 'fell' from an upper from the Upper Deck of the Ralph Wilson stadium onto fans below - again amazingly - it seems no serious injuries. The man who fell has a shoulder injury, the man he fell on a head injury: Video here http://www.aol.co.uk/video/buffalo-bills-fan-falls-from-upper-deck-into-crowd/518016428/

Friday, 15 November 2013

McGuinness and Oseary to merge in Live Nation

More management news: The managers of U2 and Madonna are close to merging their respective management companies into a new venture that will sit within the Live Nation empire, according to various media reports. Paul McGuinness will merge his Principle Management business with Guy Oseary's Maverick company, with the former becoming Chairman of the new firm and the latter the more hands-on CEO. That would see Oseary become involved in the day-to-day management of U2's affairs, all within the Live Nation family.

Managers plan a new fund

Hypebot reports that Scooter Braun, the manager of music stars Justin Bieber, Carly Rae Jepsen and Psy, is meeting with the managers of several music artists with the goal to raise $120 to $200 million for a new venture fund. The New York Times reports that Braun is discussing with Drake and his managers, Shania Twain and Little Big Town Representative Jason Owen; and former Gaga manager Troy Carter. 

Africa Express launch new Mali album

Africa Express are releasing a new LP 'Maison Des Jeunes', recorded in Bamako in Mali in one week this October, featuring the likes of Nick Zinner from the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Damon Albarn, Two Inch Punch and Ghostpoet,  singer Kankou Kouyaté, Tumbuktu group Songhoy Blues and Bamako-based talking drum band Doucoura . Whilst it'll initially be released digitallyas an 11 track album, a tangible edition will follow via Transgressive in early 2014. Marking its coming out, Songhoy Blues and Kankou Kouyaté will play live at a party on 9 Dec at London's Oval Space, where there'll also be DJ sets by Ghostpoet, Olugbenga and David Maclean and a Premier of Africa Express's film of their 2013 train tour of Great Britain. Click here to get tickets, here for more info on the project, and look here to see a clip documenting the Mali trip and Songhoy Blues track Soubour here

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

The 2013 A Greener Festival Awards winners are announced

Forty three proud winners of the prestigious 2013 A Greener Festival Award have been announced by A Greener Festival. Each Festival has to sign up to a strict check list of environmental good practice - and each event is inspected by one or more environmental auditors, the festivals are invited to provide supporting evidence such as environmental policies, waste management plans, analysis of CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions and the final awards are decided by the AGF's Executive Committee. So, for 2013 the forty three wonderful festivals (up from forty one events who won the Award in 2012) , which are some of the greenest in the world, can be confirmed as:
Outstanding Award
For truly outstanding and inspirational events. These need to be exceptional events who have significantly reduced greenhouse gas emissions, have excellent travel, transport and waste management programmes, protect the environment and minimise water use and communicate this to the public.
Croissant Neuf Summer Party (UK)
The Falls Festival, Marion Bay (AUS)
Hebridean Celtic Festival  (UK)
Island Vibe Festival (AUS)
Lightning in a Bottle (USA)
Oya Festival (NOR)
Shambala Festival (UK)
Splendour In The Grass (AUS)
Sunrise Festival - Another World, The Festival Micronation (UK)
Way Out West (SWE)
Welcome to the Future Festival (NL)
Highly Commended Award
For well managed environmentally aware festivals which have taken significant steps to reduce waste, reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and engage with the audience.
Bona Nit Barcelona (ES)
Bonnaroo  (USA)
Bristol Circus Festival (UK)
Le Cabaret Vert  (FR)
Cambridge Folk Festival (UK)
The Glastonbury Festival (UK)
The Falls Festival, Lorne (AUS)
Regrowth Festival (AUS)
Wood Festival (UK)
Commended Award
For well-managed and environmentally aware festivals
Calgary Folk Music Festival (CAN)
Dia de la Música (ES)
End of the Road (UK)
Folk, Rhythm & Life (AUS)
Greenbelt  (UK)
Heart of Glass, Heart of Gold  (FR)
Indian Summer Festival (NL)
Larmer Tree Festival (UK)
Malmofestivalen (SWE)
PlanetaMadrid (ES)
Plisskën Festival (GR)
Rock 'n Coke (TR)
SOS 4.8  (ES)
Winnipeg Folk (CA)
Improving Award
For festivals at the beginning of the green “journey” that can exhibit a significant engagement with the process of reducing the event’s environmental impact and greenhouse gas emissions.
BBC Radio 2 Live and The Proms in Hyde Park (UK)
Bluesfest (AUS)
Body and Soul (Eire)
Brownstock Festival (UK)
Hadra Trance Festival VII (FR)
Nozstock: The Hidden Valley (UK)
T-in-the-Park (UK)
Truck (UK)
Y-Not Festival (UK)
The Greener Festival Award is the internationally recognised independent scheme for environmentally aware festivals which is available for events throughout Europe, North America and Australia. In 2012 forty one festivals gained the prestigious mark,  and this year forty three events successfully completed the scheme certifying their green credentials. Festivals who apply for the scheme must prove to the judges that the festival has meaningful and effective environmental policies and practices to deal with traffic and transport, greenhouse gas emissions, waste and recycling, water conservation, noise pollution, ethical policies and environmental protection. The festivals should also have sustainable office policies.
The overall winner of the UK's Greenest Festival Award will be announced at the UK Festival Awards at the London Camden Roundhouse on Monday December 2nd.
The Greener Festival Awards are generously sponsored and supported by
RT-Logo
Robertson Taylor are specialist insurance brokers in the music industry and offer a discount  insurance scheme for green events which AGF endorse. http://rtworldwide.com/

Monday, 11 November 2013

EMAs presented

The European Music Awards took place in Amsterdam last night and the 2013 winners are:

Best Song: Bruno Mars - Locked Out Of Heaven
Best Video: Miley Cyrus - Wrecking Ball
Best Female: Katy Perry
Best Male: Justin Bieber
Best New: Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
Best Live: Beyoncé

Best Pop: One Direction
Best Hip Hop: Eminem
Best Rock: Green Day
Best Electronic: Avicii
Best Alternative: Thirty Seconds To Mars

Best Look: Harry Styles
Biggest Fans: Tokio Hotel

Best World Stage: Linkin Park - Mexico 2012
Best Push: Austin Mahone - April 2013
Best Worldwide Act: 李宇春 Chris Lee (Southeast Asia)
Global Icon: Eminem

One week left to apply for UK export funding

Record industry trade body the BPI  is reminding independent music companies that they have one left to apply for grants under the Music Export Growth Scheme, the new UK Trade & Investment-funded initiative launched back in September. The programme is aimed at SME music companies - including labels, publishers and management firms - who are working with artists who have already enjoyed commercial success in the UK, and who are now plotting global expansion. Grants from £5000 to £50,000 are available to fund international marketing campaigns that aim to expand audience and revenues for British artists overseas.

Friday, 8 November 2013

The Revolving Door

Agent Francesco Caccamo has joined Primary Talent from Echo Location Talent Agency.

Watford Colosseum has appointed Tim Brinkman as it's new Director, succeeding interim Director Elizabeth Jones.

Gareth Paul Jones has confirmed that he will leave Apple where he was a Product Manager, and join Twitter, tweeting “I’ll be working on Platform Partnerships – specifically advertising focused".

The Ticket Factory has appointed three new e-commerce and ticketing experts to assist with its move towards the entertainment and online retail sector. Rob Williams has joined as operations director, having previously worked at Nottingham’s Capital FM Arena and Dixons Retail Group. Client services director Kelly Whitehead has extensive senior level experience in ticketing with Avalon, lastminute.com, AEG Live and Mean Fiddler.  Finally, Gail Webb joins as consumer sales and marketing director, having held the role of head of digital for the NEC Group. The three will work with MD Stuart Cain to develop The Ticket Factory's online marketing and e-commerce capability.

Beats Electronics has appointed Matthew Costello as its new COO. He was previously Head Of Group Strategic Development for IKEA

Lady Gaga has parted company with her long time manager Troy Carter, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Warners have made two new appointments: Dirk Ewald becomes SVP of Global Catalogue Management;  and in New York former Nokia man Jonathan Dworkin has been appointed SVP for Digital Strategy & Business Development; Meanwhile, Warner Music's European VP of digital strategy and business development, Leanne Sharman, is to depart the major.

Ticketmaster has appointed Nick Griffiths, previously with SkyIQ, as Sales Operations Director; Tommy Tyekiff from Ingenious Media, will become VP for Business Transformation at the start of next year; and Nihal Pekbeken is joining the ticketing firm from NBC Universal, and will become VP Global Marketing and Creative Services. Internally, current Marketing Director Dan Pearce will be promoted to the role of VP Marketing & Business Development for Ticketmaster's ticket resale business; Andrew Parsons, currently VP Sales, will become VP Music & Comedy; and Doug Smith, VP Client Services, will expand his remit taking on responsibility for the operations team within the business.