Friday, 30 May 2014

Festival News

Bez has announced a new anti fracking festival featuring the Happy Mondays, Alabama 3, Bad Manners, The Troggs, and Toyah Wilcox. The event will be staged in association with Fleetwood Town FC, LiveWyre - aka Frack-Free Sunday - will take place on the 1st June at Highbury Stadium, Lancashire. Bez said: "It's a proud day for me to announce that the first major event I've ever put together is being held in the North West. I'm over the moon that Fleetwood Town FC have come on board to help me organise this event. I couldn't have done it without them. If they do well in the play-offs we'll be having a double celebration on the day!" adding  "It's brilliant that so many people are supporting the anti-fracking message, and I'm personally doing everything I can to support the cause and raise awareness. Come and support us. Let's make some serious noise!"

A new company has been launched with the aim of introducing worldwide festivals to Indian music lovers through package deals including festival tickets, flights and accommodation.
Muzenly was set up by Mumbai-born Sudhama Bhatia following his completion of a Masters at New York University, a five-year stint with Goldman Sachs and a year at start up Knewton

INSIGHT: How Event Technology is Transforming The Festival Market: Steve Jenner and Paul Pike, from Intelligent Venue Solutions, share their insights on the technological shift currently reformatting the festival landscape

London's Field Day is striking an official partnership deal with Transgressive Records, in celebration of the latter's tenth anniversary and a number of Transgressive signings including  Mystery Jets, Dry The River, Thumpers and Marika Hackman will be DJing all over this year's Metronomy and Pixies-headlined festival, which takes place in Victoria Park on 7-8 June.

UK festival-goers were among the biggest victims of ticket scammers last year, police have said and the Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo) said unsuspecting consumers handed over a total of £3.7m to fraudsters in 2013 - much down to internet fraud. Among the 4,555 reports were 22 victims who lost £10,000 or more. Almost half the cases involved flight or concert and festival tickets, although people buying tickets for sporting events were also targeted. Fraud reports peaked in the summer music festival season, Acpo said, and spiked for flight tickets again in December. The Glastonbury Festival is warning potential ticket buyers to be aware of fake tickets with Michael Eavis posting a website article saying "We would very much like you to be aware that there are people out there who will try and sell fake Glastonbury tickets to unsuspecting, willing and innocent potential purchasers. Photos on tickets, which we introduced ten years ago, should eliminate this to a very large extent. If you are offered a ticket it is unlikely to give you access to the Festival. The BBC will be covering even more of the Festival this year so please be content with the TV for now."

The “unprecedented” spread of so-called "legal highs" has left doctors and nurses “powerless” to treat drug users - who are almost always unable to identify what substances they have taken, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has warned. Others are buying drugs believing they are more common substances such as ecstasy or MDMA without realising they are actually a new designer drug, the UNODC added in its report on synthetic drugs.

As the Thai political crisis continues, Bangkok’s Hua Hin Jazz Festival in its full form has been cancelled, organisers have announced. The Thai government will hold a small-scale form of the event without the participation of Passion4Share, the creative agency behind the jazz festival.

And finally,  Looe Music Festival in Cornwall has been awarded a £2,500 bursary towards security wristbands as the winner of ID&C’s 2014 Grass Roots Festival Bursary. The annual event, located on the South East coast of Cornwall, is a not-for-profit festival and has grown from a modest 100 attendees at its inaugural 2010 event, to 6,000 in 2013. The festival pipped over 40 other UK festivals to the post and as winners, will be receive £2,500 to cover the cost of its access control requirements for this year’s event.

Thursday, 29 May 2014

Ticketscript announces new investment to fuel global expansion

Self-service ticketing platform ticketscript has  confirmed it has secured a new backer, FF&P Private Equity, which will invest £7 million in the business to fuel further global expansion and the development of new services for existing clients. Confirming the new investor, ticketscript CEO Frans Jonker said: "I am very excited to be able to announce this investment, and believe FF&P Private Equity are the perfect partner to help us to take ticketscript to the next level. Ticketscript has a ground-breaking, market-leading ticketing solution and this investment will support our increasing client demand and further international expansion". FF&P Private Equity Director Henry Sallitt added: "We are delighted to have invested in ticketscript as a truly disruptive service provider in the pan-European ticketing market, and back the management's ambitions to grow their market leading proposition into substantial scale. FF&P Private Equity has been successful in helping its portfolio of entrepreneurial companies to grow their businesses and we look forward to working with ticketscript to help the company develop".

Trust urges reform of UK noise abatement laws

The Music Venue Trust has launched a petition calling on the UK's Secretary Of State For The Environment Owen Paterson to "carry out an urgent review of noise abatement legislation", after concerns that long-standing gig venues could face closure because of a small number of noise complaints. The move comes as two venues, Night & Day in Manchester and The Blind Tiger in Brighton (right) have recently run into problems after their respective local councils received complaints from local residents about noise. In both cases it has been alleged that the complaints have come from people who have relatively recently moved into properties near the venues. And then complain. 

The Revolving Door

XL Recordings, part of the Beggars Group, has promoted its one-time A&R Manager, Imran Ahmed, to Head Of A&R. The label has also given Caius Pawson, boss of XL's Young Turks imprint, the new and improved job title of Young Turks Recordings Founder/Co-Owner. Home to Chairlift, SBTRKT, Sampha and, of course, The xx, Young Turks is also now considered a JV between Pawson and XL.

Following the news that Deezer's CEO Alex Dauchez was stepping down, now the streaming firm's UK MD, Mark Foster, is set to depart, according to Music Week.

US collecting society BMI has announced the appointment of a new Writer/Publisher Relations exec Tina Hart, previously Deputy Features Editor at Music Week.

Alan McGee has announced the relaunch of Creation as a management company, with his first clients being The Jesus & Mary Chain.

Sony Music's VP Of Industry Relations in the UK, Emma Pike, is leaving to pursue "entrepreneurial opportunities". Pike will depart next month before the arrival of Sony Music UK's new CEO Jason Iley.

Francis Gurry has been  re-elected as Director General of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). Francis's second term runs from 1 October of this year till the end of September 2020. 

Uncut Editor Allan Jones is leaving the magazine at the end of the month, publisher IPC Media has confirmed. A music journalist since 1974, one-time Melody Maker writer Jones launched the publication back in 1997, with his departure first revealed last week. Current Deputy Editor John Mulvey will take the helm.

Liz Agostini is to lead the fast expanding Events Division at meetings and events industry publishing company Mash Media.

PR Karen Millar is leaving her present position at Trail Of Press/Full Time Hobby, and starting a company called Hook & Line.

The Association For Electronic Music has announced the appointment of its first CEO - Mark Lawrence, formerly Director Of Membership at UK collecting society PRS For Music.

Susan Mazo has become Universal's new SVP Of Global Communications.

Scott Ackerman has become CEO at digital distributor TuneCore.

The American Association Of Independent Music (A2IM) has announced the election of five new names to its board of directors. They are Razor & Tie President Craig Balsam, Epitaph General Manager Dave Hansen, Hopeless Records chief Louis Posen, Dualtone Music Group CEO Scott Robinson and Tommy Boy top man Thomas Silverman.

Universal Music boss Lucian Grange has commented on Jimmy Iovine's move from Universal to Apple as part of the technology company's $3 billion purchase of Beats, the company Iovine co-founded with Dre, with Grange saying "History teaches us that great entrepreneurs are few and far between. Jimmy Iovine is one of that small number of entrepreneurs who, by doing so much so well in so many different arenas, have left their indelible mark. He founded, and for more than 20 years has led Interscope, a label that has consistently been in the forefront of the music business, both artistically and commercially. He has put in place, developed and mentored there a world-class management team. At the same time, Jimmy co-founded Beats, a wildly-successful, cutting-edge company that revolutionised how consumers listen to music, and from there went on to build a platform that is advancing the evolution of the access model for the entire music industry. Based on mutual trust and respect, UMG's singular relationship with Jimmy permitted his innovation to flourish in all these ways. Together we created a once-in-a-generation opportunity that allowed Jimmy to maximise the use of his many talents". Grainge went on to reveal that Iovine's COO at Interscope, John Janick, will take over the running of the Universal division

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Aussie ticketholders disgusted by 50% Janelle Monae refund

Australian fans have heaped criticism on Live Nation - Ticketmaster over a 50% refund for abandoned Janelle Monáe show. Live Nation had begun the process of issuing refunds after the Janelle Monáe and Kimbra co-headline tour of Australia was cancelled due to the former's ill-health. The tour was actually cancelled mid-show during a Melbourne concert on the 17th May once Monáe's ill-health was confirmed, and ticketholders for that gig have only been offered a 50% refund with the promoter saying "Live Nation has advised that due to the inconvenience caused by the mid-show cancellation of the Janelle Monáe with Kimbra show which took place at the Forum Melbourne on Saturday 17 May 2014, a 50% refund of your total ticket value will be processed". Disgruntled concertgoers have flocked to the Ticketmaster Australia and Live Nation Australia & New Zealand Facebook pages to complain about the situation, with the words "disgusted" and "unacceptable" cropping up particularly often.

Monday, 26 May 2014

Devil's Dyke rave too big for police to stop

An illegal rave which started in the early hours of Sunday in a Sussex beauty spot continued for 24 hours, ending on the early hours of the bank holiday Monday (26.05.14).  The rave, at the Devil's Dyke near Brighton, was attended by at least 2,000 people with 400 vehicles and seven sound systems and reports say prompted complaints about noise from some local residents - one resident in nearby Poynings, who did not wish to be named, said “It’s really loud and it’s been going on all night and all day".The publican of the local pub explained that the Dyke Valley funnelled sound down towards the village but took a more pragmatic view accepting that evicting ravers would have caused more problems. A Sussex Police spokesman said: "Overnight it was assessed that due to the darkness, rain, and numbers present, it was not appropriate or practical to attempt to close the gathering safely" adding" Officers have been on the site and the gathering is good humoured though very noisy" but police said they were powerless to stop the rave as they did not have enough officers - although they were restricting access to the site with road blocks. 

Photo of Devil's Dyke by Val Vannet 

Acrobat dies in tragic pendulum accident

A circus performer has fallen to his death during a live show in Brazil. Wilson Gomes Barreto, 28, was performing trick known as Russian Litter in which 14 acrobats swing from pendulums down into safety nets. when it went horribly wrong. Reports say that he fell 35 feet onto the stage at a show in Londrina, southern Brazil. Emergency workers rushed to his aid and the lights were cut. He was conscious and complained of a fractured elbow after the fall but after being taken to a local hospital, Barreto died two days later. Circus director Richard Massone said the incident was a tragedy for the Tihany circus troupe. 

Friday, 23 May 2014

SFX launch Corona SunSets

SFX has confirmed a new series of international beach festivals called Corona SunSets. The news broke at this year's International Music Summit in Ibiza. Jake Kirsch, Global Marketing Director at Corona says: “The beach is part of our DNA. Over the past 80 years, we’ve developed a deep emotional connection with the beach in the hearts and minds of people around the world. This summer Corona continues our journey to celebrate the world’s beaches in every way. First, we’ll invite you to step into the sunshine with #CoronaSunSets Festivals, a new music experience on the horizon.” Corona will also invite rising DJs from around the world to co-create and shape the soundtrack that defines the future Sound of the Beach. Join us at, where the DJ career of your dream awaits you. We’re thrilled to create this new beach concept”, says Chris Stephenson, CMO at SFX Entertainment. “At any moment of the day, SunSets has its own special charm. We use Mother Nature’s own magnificent fireball as a natural backdrop for the pivotal moment of the event – the sunset. As shadows grow longer and the sun lights up the evening sky, the music gradually shifts from deep melodic, easy tunes to a more up-tempo beat. Each festival will host a maximum of 5.000 – 8.000 festival-goers.”

Corona SunSets Festival programme 2014

− Weston-Super-Mare Beach, UK July 5th, 2014

− Playa Del Carmen, Mexico July 26th, 2014

− Acapulco, Mexico August 2nd, 2014

− Toronto Islands, Canada August 16th, 2014

− Ibiza, Spain August 29th, 2014

Thursday, 22 May 2014

ETEP top bands announced

The results of the third  European Talent Exchange Programme (ETEP) for 2014 have been announced.  ETEP is an initiative of Eurosonic Noorderslag to stimulate the circulation of European repertoire on festivals, radio and media in Europe. ETEP had announced 234 confirmed shows by 88 artists from 19 different European countries with the top ten being

Royal Blood  UK 13
Jungle UK 12 
DK 8
George Ezra  UK 7
Milky Chance DE 
Kodaline IE 6 
Wild Beasts UK 6
Mighty Oaks DE  6
Birth of Joy NL 6
Pional ES  6

Participating fetsivals include Glastonbury and T-in-the-Park in the UK, Exit in Serbia, Sziget in Hungary, InMusic in Croatia, Paleo Festival in Switzerland, Best Kept Secret Festival in the Netherlands and Provinssirock in Finland.

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

New survey calls for an end to wasteland festival culture and dumped tents

The waste campaign group, Love Your Tent and Buckinghamshire New University are making a call to festivals organisers and retailers alike to end the shocking wasteland culture at festival campsites. This call follows the publication of a Bucks New University survey – on behalf of Love Your Tent - into festival-attendees behaviour and attitudes, which highlights the huge negative impact on festival sustainability. In addition, Love Your Tent are asking festival organisers to sign up to a 10% reduction agreement in campsite waste year on year.

Juliet Ross-Kelly, who set up the Love Your Tent initiative on the back of environmental work she has done with the Isle Of Wight Festival, says LYT aims to discourage an increasingly common practice amongst festival-goers in the UK and beyond, buying a cheap tent for attending a festival, with the intention of just leaving it in the camping field at the end of the event. So that someone else has to dispose of it. In 2013 many supermarkets had two person tents on sale for less than £10. The survey – an industry first – found consumers at festivals have developed a socially unacceptable practice of leaving all of their waste – including tents and camping equipment – behind. This comes at a time when campsite wastes contributes to a staggering 86% of total music festival waste, while 71% of this waste caused lasting land damage to the native flora of the festival sites

In the survey of 1200 festival-goers from multiple countries, 60% admitted to discarding tents at the end of festivals, with a third then saying they intended to continue doing so, and another third unable to say for certain they wouldn't do it again in the future. This despite the fact 86% of those surveyed recognised waste was a major environmental factor at festivals.

Bucks New University's Teresa Moore told CMU: "Through our research we wanted to put some data behind the annual media coverage of campsite waste at festivals. What we found confirms a growing problem which is not confined just to the UK. As tent prices continue to fall, more cheap tents are discarded at festivals. It's time for retailers to take their share of their responsibility and work with event organisers to tackle this problem".

Ross-Kelly's work at the Isle Of Wight Festival has included inviting festival-goers to sign up to a commitment regarding taking responsibility for their waste, and their tents, pointing out that by camping alongside similarly committed people festival-goers will be able to stay in a much more pleasant campsite for the duration of the event. Launched in 2012, their ‘RESPECT’ campsite at the Isle of Wight gives consumers the opportunity of an almost VIP camping experience for free, upon signing their TENT COMMANDMENTS, a code of practise that RESPECT is left without waste. She is encouraging other festivals to introduce similar measures, with a bid to reducing campsite waste at festivals by 10% year on year. Ross-Kelly said: "Thanks to the great support and work by Bucks we can see how much work still needs to be done to encourage a change in audience behaviour. By targeting festivals to reduce their campsite waste by 10% year on year we are leading a change that will help to protect festival culture for future generations and from the work that we've done with the Isle of Wight Festival, we know it's achievable".

Isle of Wight Festival organiser, John Giddings added, “audiences leaving stuff behind is an issue us organisers have been dealing with for many years and the Bucks survey shows it’s a worsening problem. Supporting the Love Your Tent campaign has allowed us to offer a real alternative for campers who are fed up with wading through waste to get to and from their tents each day. We know there is a real market for a sustainable camping 

Monday, 19 May 2014

Brighton venue closes after 'one neighbour complains'

Popular Brighton music venue The Blind Tiger has announced that it will cease staging gigs with immediate effect because of a dispute with a newly moved in resident living in the same building directly above the stage - which has led to an noise abatement orders from the local council.

In a post on their official website, the venue's management revealed that efforts to placate a neighbour who had complained about noise levels on various occasions since moving in a year ago had failed: The venue tried to help the neighbour move with no joy - and financial restraints prevented the venue installing more soundproofing, After a complaint to the Police, Brighton's council issued a 'notice to abate a statutory nuisance'. Breach of the order could result in possible court action and a £20,000 fine under the Environmental Protection Act 1990. 9,000 people have now signed a petition against the Order. 

in its response Brighton & Hove Council has insisted that noise complaints relating to The Blind Tiger came from more than one resident, and that there have been issues for years. The local authority said in a statement: "The council has received numerous noise complaints from local residents about this venue for several years. Complaints have been received from residents in North Road, Grand Parade and Marlborough Place".

"By law we must investigate noise complaints made to the council. We also have a legal duty to serve a noise abatement notice on those responsible when a noise nuisance is identified. On 14 March 2014 a noise abatement notice was served on the leaseholders who operate Blind Tiger following complaints about noise from live music. The business was given two months to comply with the notice. This gave time for assessments to take place and any necessary sound insulation work to be undertaken".

The Council also said: "Blind Tiger chose to stop operating at the venue when the abatement notice period ran out on May 14 2014. The council has not closed the venue. The council's environmental health team has worked with the business and the police and council's licensing team to try and resolve any complaints received. The council is continuing to work with all parties to try and resolve this case".

Although yet to fully respond to that statement, The Blind Tiger team quickly countered the Council's position via Facebook, writing: "Just seen the Council's statement about our venue today in response to the spontaneous public petition - it's a bit breathtaking, because their reply is variously untrue, very partial and ignorant. We were not angry with the Council before we read that statement. We genuinely sympathised with them that they were only doing their jobs and were quite philosophical about it all. Now we're absolutely livid! We'll write another blogpost tomorrow when we've calmed down!"

More here

Billboard Awards announced

It may have been the TV BAFTAs in the UK - but it was the Billboard Awards across the pond - featuring a Michael Jackson hologram - and here they are

Top Artist: Justin Timberlake
Top New Artist: Lorde
Top Male Artist: Justin Timberlake
Top Female Artist: Katy Perry
Top Duo/Group: Imagine Dragons
Top Billboard 200 Artist: Justin Timberlake
Top Hot 100 Artist: Imagine Dragons
Top Digital Songs Artist: Katy Perry
Top Radio Songs Artist: Justin Timberlake
Top Touring Artist: Bon Jovi
Top Social Artist: Justin Bieber
Top Streaming Artist: Miley Cyrus

Top R&B Artist: Justin Timberlake
Top Rap Artist: Eminem
Top Country Artist: Luke Bryan
Top Rock Artist: Imagine Dragons
Top Latin Artist: Marc Anthony
Top Dance/Electronic Artist: Daft Punk
Top Christian Artist: Chris Tomlin

Album Awards
Top Billboard 200 Album: Justin Timberlake - The 20/20 Experience
Top R&B Album: Justin Timberlake - The 20/20 Experience
Top Rap Album: Eminem - The Marshall Mathers LP 2
Top Country Album: Luke Bryan - Crash My Party
Top Rock Album: Imagine Dragons - Night Visions
Top Latin Album: Marc Anthony - 3.0
Top Dance/Electronic Album: Daft Punk - Random Access Memories
Top Christian Album: Alan Jackson - Precious Memories: Volume II

Song Awards
Top Hot 100 Song: Robin Thicke - Blurred Lines
Top Digital Song: Robin Thicke - Blurred Lines
Top Radio Song: Robin Thicke - Blurred Lines
Top Streaming Song (Audio): Imagine Dragons - Radioactive
Top Streaming Song (Video): Miley Cyrus - Wrecking Ball
Top R&B Song: Robin Thicke - Blurred Lines
Top Rap Song: Macklemore & Ryan Lewis featuring Ray Dalton - Can't Hold Us 
Top Country Song: Florida Georgia Line featuring Nelly - Cruise
Top Rock Song: Lorde - Royals
Top Latin Song: Marc Anthony - Vivir Mi Vida
Top Dance/Electronic Song: Avicii - Wake Me Up!
Top Christian Song: Matthew West - Hello, My Name Is

Festival News

Osfest, the Shropshire based festival, which was meant to take place over the UK's May bank holiday weekend, has now been moved back to 9-10 Aug. It seems that rhe Wiley and Union J headlined event wasn't selling enough tickets, which organisers have linked to the fact that late-May is the height of exam-time for the festival's target ticket-buyers, who are mainly students and MD Mike Scott also blamed increased rivalry from other festivals, "most notably BBC Radio 1's Big Weekend", moving to the bank holiday, which made booking acts harder.

Glastonbury Festival founder Michael Eavis is to be honoured by the music industry for his outstanding contribution. Michael, who first hosted an event on his land in Somerset in 1970, will be recognised for his achievements in staging live music and in raising money for charity. He will be given the Music Industry Trusts (MITS) Award at a special fundraising dinner on November 3, raising money for music therapy charity Nordoff Robbins and the Brit Trust. Mr Eavis, 78, said: “When I set out on this crazy hippy trip 44 years ago, little did I know how this rollercoaster would run. But now I have to pinch myself every morning when I wake up to the excitement of another day – heading up a team of the most creative artists anywhere in the world.” 

Picture: Portrait of Michael Eavis by Bea Gibson.

Denmark's NorthSide has sold out in record time. In its fifth year, this is the third sold-out event for the organisers of the 35,000-capacity festival. “It’s a fantastic feeling to be able to put the ‘sold out!’ sign in the window, especially this long before we open the doors to three days of fantastic music. It gives us some peace of mind in these last weeks, when we all are really busy constructing and organising the area, which will be rather different than last year,” says spokesperson John Fogde. NorthSide takes place on 13-15 June, featuring Lana Del Ray, The National, Franz Ferdinand, Mew, Arcade Fire, Queens of the Stone Age and Pixies.

A new festival is being planned to mark the 40th Anniversary of the Rumble In The Jungle boxing match between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman. The international, not-for-profit festival will be called CONGO14 and will take place over two days with simultaneous events in Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Louisville, Kentucky. CONGO14 is a music, sporting and cultural event which organisers say will bring leading contemporary music artists and sporting personalities to Kinshasa in September to perform in the 35,000 capacity Stade Tata Raphaël with a simultaneous international broadcast/stream. Over the same weekend in Louisville, Kentucky, Muhammad Ali’s hometown and headquarters of the Muhammad Ali Center, a parallel event will take place, beamed live via satellite to the Stade Tata Raphaël in Kinshasa. Organisers, Cable Music and Authentic Brands Group say both events will feature well-known names from the worlds of music, sport, arts and entertainment.

Latitude has been awarded Attitude Is Everything's Silver Award for compliance with its Charter Of Best Practice for providing access for deaf and disabled festival-goers. Amongst the provisions Latitude offers are British Sign Language interpretation services for performances at the event, as well as viewing platforms for wheelchair users and access for artistes with disabilities. Melvin Benn, MD of Latitude promoter Festival Republic said: "I am very proud and delighted that Latitude has achieved the Silver level from Attitude Is Everything this year. Festival Republic takes access at all of our events very seriously and we are committed to improving the festival experience to all of our valued disabled and deaf customers. We hope to build on our achievements this season, with the team working in conjunction with Attitude Is Everything to make our 2014 events as accessible as possible". And Attitude Is Everything CEO Suzanne Bull added: "Access provision goes beyond just building facilities for people with physical impairments; there is a wide range of provision for people who have sensory impairments and as a result, Festival Republic have been rewarded with a loyal customer base of deaf and hearing-impaired people. Latitude regularly programmes deaf and disabled artists which is important because it demonstrates the value of programming a diversity of artists to other commercial festivals".

A US concert promoter is annoyed about billboards for a local law firm sited by his music-festival site - that offer legal services to those arrested at the event. Event promoter Jay Goldberg, who organises the 15,000 capacity Summer Camp festival in Chillicothe, Illinois, has complained about the ads - that have included one with the headline "“Arrested at the Festival?" with the law firm’s name and phone number. In Goldberg's view, the billboards by an East Peoria law firm look sensational and crass, the Peoria Journal Star reports, calling the ads "ignorant and stupid". Chillicothe Mayor Doug Crew also dislikes the billboards advertising the services of Hall, Rustom & Fritz. “It does cast the area in a poor light,” he told the Journal Star.

MOG founder sues Beats

Billboard reports that David Hyman, the founder of streaming music service MOG, which was acquired by Beats Electronics in 2012, has issued legal proceedings against Beats for more than $20 million, claiming that Beats fired him to avoid giving him an equity payout, according to a report from Courthouse News Service. News of the suit arrives as Apple is reportedly closing in on a deal to acquire Beats for $3.2 billion. Hyman, a serial entrepreneur who was also once CEO of Gracenote, claims in the suit that Beats dismissed him in bad faith, knowing that he would receive 2.5% of the company under an incentive plan based on the duration of his employment,  andHyman claims Beats was intentionally depriving him of his fair equity compensation. The suit names Daisy LLC as a co-defendant, the report said; Beats Music was code-named Project Daisy before its launch in January.  More at

UPDATE: Now a second writ ha surfaced - one time hedge-fund manager Steven Lamar claims he first took the idea of celebrity-endorsed headphones to Universal executive  Jimmy Iovine back in 2006, (with the latter bringing in Dr Dre). Lamar says that, via his businesses SLS International and Jibe Audio, he then put together a consortium of companies to make the project happen, including Pentagram who designed the initial product and a Chinese company who would handle manufacturing.  Lamar's new lawsuit is against Iovine, Dre, Beats, his former partners Pentagram, and the main man he dealt with there, Robert Brunner. The suit alleges that after the original legal agreement between all the founding partners in 2006, Brunner and Pentagram reached a separate arrangement with the Beats business that basically cut him and his company out of a royalty revenue stream.

Friday, 16 May 2014

ASA rejects ticketing complaint against Ticketmaster

The Advertising Standards Authority has rejected a complaint against Ticketmaster UK, which accused the company of misleading customers by saying that it had tickets for The Cure's Royal Albert Hall show on 28 Mar, while actually directing fans towards more expensive tickets on it's own secondary ticking site, Get Me In.
CMU Daily reports that the complainant said that they had logged onto the Ticketmaster website in time for when tickets went on sale for the Cure show at 9.30am on the 31st January. However, despite repeated searches, they were never offered tickets directly, and instead given the option of going to Get Me In.  In 2009 in the US Ticketmaster faced a Federal Trade Commission investigation and an angry Bruce Springsteen after fans buying tickets for two of his gigs in New Jersey via his official ticket agent - Ticketmaster - were pointed towards the TicketsNow website (that being Ticketmaster's US secondary ticketing website), where tickets for said gigs were being sold at a mark up, even before Ticketmaster's allocation of normal priced tickets had sold out.

This time the complainant inferred that Ticketmaster itself may have listed at least some of its tickets for the concert onto its secondary site before anyone had had a chance to buy them on the primary site. In response, Ticketmaster pointed out that it only had a certain allocation of all the primary tickets on offer for the show, with various other outlets also selling them, and that demand meant that 90% were sold by 9.45am. The remaining 10%, data provided to the ASA showed, were at that time reserved in other customers' shopping baskets, meaning that they were temporarily unavailable for purchase (the site holding tickets for fifteen minutes before returning them to general sale if they are not bought). The company added that as well as suggesting users go to the Get Me In website to see if any tickets were available there, it also recommended that customers search the main Ticketmaster site multiple times to check if tickets previously reserved in another customer's virtual basket had become available again.  However, the vast majority of primary tickets for that particular show were gone by 10am.

The ASA said it was happy that the Cure tickets available on Get Me In were being offered by various resellers, and not Ticketmaster itself.

Apply now for UKTI funding!

The third round of applications for funding from the BPI and UKTI's Music Export Growth Scheme has opened . The scheme offers grants of between £5,000 and £50,000 to UK music companies to aid international touring, artist promotion and music projects. The deadline for applications is 16 Jun 2014. Applications will be reviewed by the BPI and UKTI and those successfully shortlisted will be considered by a panel of music industry experts, chaired by John Kennedy OBE.  The panel will draw on the marketing expertise of a number of organisations including the Music Managers Forum (MMF) and the Association of Independent Music (AIM) as well as representatives of independent record labels and BPI.

Full details and the application form are available from the BPI's website - 

New agency launches on Earth

Perfect Pussy
A new London-based globally-focusing booking agency has launched with agents formerly from both Elastic Artists and Nomanis on board. The new business is called Earth Agency. Leading the new company are ex-Elastic Artists staffers Naomi Palmer and Rebecca Prochik, one-time Nomanis agents Claire Courtney and Isla Angus, and 'operations expert' Luke Williamson. Black Lips, Cass McCombs, Perfect Pussy, JME, Omar Souleyman, SOPHIE and Atlas Sound are all on the company's books so far, as are lots of other artists whose names you'll find listed on

UK guidelines on ticket re-sales 'do not go far enough'

The UK government has issued new guidelines to secondary ticketing platforms to increase transparency but the move has attracted criticism from the All Party Parliamentary Group on Ticket Abuse which has warned that the new conditions do not go far enough. The new rules will come into play on the 13th June and require secondary ticketing sites to show the seat number of tickets sold via their platforms, and in some cases the face value of the original ticket. The APPG is pushing for secondary ticketing websites to also have to show who the seller of a ticket is - particularly where it's actually the show's promoter or the resale site itself - and also for assurances that fans will be compensated for travel and accommodation expenses if and when tickets turn out to be fake or cancelled and the APPG is looking to see if their suggestions could become law by amendments to the current Consumer Rights Bill.

Warner's class action green light puts spotlight back on interns

Following news that a class action lawsuit in the States had put the focus on the use of volunteer labour at music festivals comes news that a US judge has ordered that over 3000 former Warner Music interns will receive a letter informing them about a class action lawsuit being pursued against the major over its internship practices.Festival volunteers are something many large scale music events depend on. According to, that new lawsuit is aimed at Live Nation and its festival promotion partner Insomniac Events, and has been brought by an Elizabeth Valladares, who volunteered at the Californian edition of dance music festival Nocturnal Wonderland in return for a free ticket to the festival. The Warners class action joins a number of others which argue that full-time unpaid internships violate US employment laws Targeted employers are unsurprisingly trying to block said lawsuits from attaining class action status, arguing that everyone's internship is different, and some may have fallen within 'trainee exceptions' allowed under the relevant laws. The new litigation against Warners, led by claimant Kyle Grant, moved forwards after the judge hearing the case said that - while not commenting on the merits of the lawsuit itself - there was a sufficiently strong argument for court-authorised notices to be mailed to anyone else who may be eligible to join the class action. And earlier case by Warner's intern Justin henry was launched in June 2013. and

Thursday, 15 May 2014

Technology News

The WSJ reports that Warner Music Group owner Access Industries, Vivendi’s Universal Music Group and Sony Music Entertainment have each acquired $3 million stakes in Shazam Entertainment, the music-identification app, according to people familiar with the transactions. All of the shares were purchased from a single third-party investor. Read more.

And Hypebot reports that Apple is reportedly preparing high-definition audio playback for iOS8, according to Japanese website Mac Otakara. The announcement is expected to be made at their World Wide Developers Conference (WWDC) in early June. Apple’s current music application for iOS 7 cannot handle high-quality 24-bit audio files with a rate above 48 kHz, according to MacRumors and its present earbuds would also require a major redesign to accommodate the high-definition audio.

And the programme of musicians due to speak at the the fifteenth SF MusicTech Summit. due to take place in San Francisco later this month,  have been announced. Amongst them are Gang Of Four's Dave Allen (also a Beats Music's Artist Advocate), Universal-signed Vine stars Us, prolific session drummer Elmo Lovano, singer-songwriter and blogger Ari Herstand, and Magik*Magik Orchestra artistic director Minna Choi.

Robertson Taylor and A Greener Festival tie up for another year

Environmental campaign and advice group A Greener Festival have announced Robertson Taylor W&P Longreach (RT) insurance brokers as the headline sponsor for the Greener Festival Awards Scheme for its 6th year running. RT have been the main sponsor of the awards since 2008.  Ben Challis, co-founder of A Greener Festival said, “As a not for profit organisation, and with no government funding, RT’s sponsorship is vital to our worldwide Awards scheme and on-going campaign”. John Silcock, CEO at RT, added, “The environment is and will always be an important issue. As part of our community programme, we are delighted to support A Greener Festival’s work and to support festivals that are reducing their environmental impact.” 

And Robertson Taylor W&P Longreach (RT) have also announced that they will again offer discounts on the cost of insurance for UK  festivals that adopt green initiatives.  Commenting on this RT said that they are very pleased that insurers recognise the efforts of festival organisers, to introduce green initiatives so that they can pass on the benefits to their clients.  RT have negotiated special discounts for any festival organisers who are striving to make their festivals greener that implement at least 5 of the 16 green initiatives that are suggested by A Greener Festival.

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Mysteryland goes cashless

Mysteryland USA will be North America’s first ever cashless multi-day music festival, organisers have announced. The music and arts festival is the latest event to go cashless, following Liverpool Sound City’s similar announcement last month.  Event organisers ID&T have contracted Intellitix, one of the leading Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) companies, to supply their Intellipay cashless payment system across the entire festival. 

DEAG snaps up Kilimanjaro

Live promoters and Sonisphere organiser Kilimanjaro has announced a that Germany's DEAG will take a controlling stake in the business. Confirming the new deal, founder Stuart Galbraith, who will continue to run his firm as well as offering expertise to the new parent company, said "This is an exciting time for Kilimanjaro. We have always operated as an independent promoter and this deal allows us to continue to do so whilst benefiting from the support and reach of being affiliated with an organisation such as DEAG. We already have a lot of exciting projects in place for 2014 and this deal will mean that our customers and supporters can expect the same and more in 2015. It's a time for growth and investment in our core regular projects whilst looking for interesting opportunities wherever they arise". Detlef Kornett, Executive Board Member of DEAG, added: "This is a further strong stride into the UK market for us with a strong and well respected partner helping us to double our turnover in this market. We are also hoping that opportunities with exciting artists and tours for Germany, Austria and Switzerland will arise".

Electric Picnic dispute settled

The founder of Ireland's Electric Picnic festival, John Reynolds, has settled his legal action against the company that now operates the Electric Picnic. Reynolds took legal action against Festival Republic Dublin, alleging breach of a March 2009 shareholders agreement and oppression of the petitioner’s interests. Reynolds argued that management decisions made by Melvin Benn, the chief executive of FRD, relating to the 2012 and 2013 festivals were damaging to Reynold's POD Music Ltd, the 100 per cent shareholder of EP Republic Ltd, but were to the benefit of the FRD Group. In 2009 FRD paid €4.2m on acquiring a 71 per cent stake in EP Festivals Ltd, then a subsidiary of POD. Reynolds also claimed he was kept out of volume discounting on sales of tickets and lost out as a result - estimating a discounting sum of €450,000 was involved over the five Electric Picnics between 2009 and 2013 which had a direct impact on the value of his shareholding. Reynolds had previously secured an order requiring Ticketmaster to provide him with information about volume discounts paid on the sale of tickets for five Electric Picnic festivals up to 2013. In response FRD alleged Mr Reynolds had been engaging in a deliberately obstructive pattern of behaviour and was seeking to have his shares bought out at “grossly inflated prices” and that Reynolds had presented a one-sided account of how the management of the festival has worked both before and after 2009 - and that POD had been loss making before 2009. Mr Justice Peter Kelly at the Commercial Court adjourned the case until June 3rd when it is expected to be struck out. A press release said "“EP Festivals is pleased to report that an agreement has been reached between POD Music and Festival Republic Dublin regarding Electric Picnic. As part of the agreement, POD Music, a co-shareholder in Electric Picnic, has agreed to divest its stake to Festival Republic Dublin. Festival Republic Dublin would like to thank John Reynolds, director of POD Music, for his contribution to the successful development of Electric Picnic and wish him well for the future.” The 2014 edition  features  Portishead, Beck, OutKast, Kelis, Foals, Pet Shop Boys, Paolo Nutini, Sr Vincent, Lily Allen, Neneh Cherry, Blondie, Sinead O’Connor and The Horrors

Sunday, 11 May 2014

Festival News

Kendal Calling have released their final tranche of tickets as the award winning Cumbria festival approaches a sell out in 2014. Featured headliners and performers at the August 1st - 3rd show at the beautiful Lowther Deer Park include Frank Turner, Suede, Example, Tom Odell, the Pig Ignerents, Colt 45, Bird, Miles Kane and the Happy Mondays.  KENDAL CALLING // 1 - 3 August 2014 // @KendalCalling

The Australian Sprung hip-hop festival will return to Brisbane this year following a disastrous attempt at expansion to Melbourne in 2013. Festuval Insights reports that the festival is one of Australia’s premier hip-hop events and will run for a fourth consecutive year in Brisbane, this year at the outdoor area of the Eatons Hill Hotel. Last year, the festival tried to expand to host a second leg in Melbourne, but were met with licensing and venue issues that led to its cancellation. Other hip hop festivals, such as Rap City festival, Movement and Supafest, also pulled the plug in 2013. More here.

hadraHadra Trance Festival will not take place at its home location of Lans-en-Vercours from next year after new the mayor of the town said he would not allow it to take place there from 2015. The 2014 edition will go ahead as preparations had already commenced and organisers had already booked a number of  artists and the mayor decided not to cancel this as his office would face paying a large sum in compensation.

Music festival travel company Eufest and Band Crusade have announced the winners of their now annual All About The Music band competition - which sees the successful  band gaining an all expenses paid slot at the INmusic festival in Croatia which this year features The Black Keys, Pixies, Foals and MGMT at INmusic in Zaghreb in June: electronic rock act Stop Drop Robot from Sheffield beat of strong competition from soul/rock band The River 68s from Glasgow, classic rock outfit The Black Hands from Sheffied, the marvellous indie rock band BETE from Manchester and melodious musical trio Faitala, also from Manchester.

isle of wight
The Hard Rock Cafe has announced a new partnership with the Isle of Wight Festival, to give new artists and undiscovered talent chance to play at the event on a new stage called Hard Rock Rising. The debut partnership between the festival and the brand will see over 30 new bands perform at the 12-15 June event. Festival-goers visiting the Stage will have the opportunity to enter a competition to win a trip for two to the newly opened Hard Rock Hotel in Ibiza. Headliners include Biffy Clyro, Calvin Harris, Kings of Leon and Red Hot Chilli Peppers.

And the Exit Festival have announced the line up for their Explosive stage  36 bands from 14 countries over four days - from "guerrilla underground to worldwide renown mainstream names" for ll fans of metal, punk, rock, and hardcore including Sabaton, Madball, 7 Seconds,  Arkona, Death Before Dishonour, Angel of Death, Heller, Hobbs Angel of Death, Jambinai,  the Pig Ignerents, Violentor and 6th Awakening. Main Stage and Dance Arena headliners include Damon Albarn, Gloria Gaynor and Jamiroquai along with Skrillex, Disclosure, Carl Cox, Rudimental and Example. 10 -13 July 2014.

Those live industry charts for 2013

2013 Year End Worldwide Tours

1. Bon Jovi                 $259 million     2.65 million tickets
2. Beyonce                 $186 million    1.69 million tickets
3. Pink                        $171 million    1.82 million tickets
4. Justin Bieber          $169 million    1.87 million tickets
5. Bruce Springsteen $145 million    1.36 million tickets
6. Rihanna                 $142 million    1.67 million tickets
7. Cirque de Soleil     $133 million    1.18 million tickets
8. Taylor Swift            $131 million    1.48 million tickets
9. Depeche Mode      $119 million    1.61 million tickets
10. One Direction      $114 million    1.80 million tickets

2013 Top Ten Arenas for ticket sales

1. O2 Arena London                         2,123,464 tickets
2. Phones 4u Arena Manchester      1,186,557 tickets
3. Barclays Centre New York                991,743 tickets
4. Palais Omnisports Paris                    900,289 tickets
5. Staples Centre LA                            898,469 tickets
6. Rod Laver Arena Melbourne            894,629 tickets
7. Wells Fargo Centre Philideplphia     778,788 tickets
8. SportsPalais Antwerp                       741319 tickets
9. The O2 Dublin                                  673,577 tickets
10. Lanxess Arena Cologne                 661,469 tickets

The Revolving Door

It's all change at Team Rock, TeamRock which owns the radio station of the same name and rock magazines including  Classic Rock and Metal Hammer. A senior editorial team has been created, which sees Classic Rock Editor In Chief Scott Rowley and Metal Hammer Editor In Chief Alexander Milas taking on the role of Editorial Directors for the group; Managing Editor of Classic Rock Alex Burrows becomes Editorial Operations Manager. This eam will all report directly into TeamRock MD Chris Ingham. Elsewhere in editorial, Merlin Alderslade becomes Deputy Editor and Lewis Somerscales becomes Art Editor of Metal Hammer; Dave Everley becomes Deputy Editor and Polly Glass joins to become Assistant Features Editor of Classic Rock; and James Isaacs becomes Art Director of both Classic Rock and Metal Hammer. Hannah May Kilroy becomes Deputy and Production Editor for Prog Magazine: Paul Brannigan heads up a new online editorial team as Online Editor for TeamRock; Fraser Lewry joins the company as Online Editor for Classic Rock and Luke Morton arrives as Online Editor for Metal Hammer. Meanwhile Martin Kielty becomes Online News Editor and Stef Lach joins as Deputy News Editor. And in the digital magazine team Aaron Standen and Mark Critchell join as Digital Art Editors while Emma Johnston joins as Digital Production Editor. The legend that is Malcolm Dome becomes the company's Archive Editor. 

Deezer has announced that Axel Dauchez, who has been the streaming service's CEO since 2010, is stepping down. He will leave the company to "pursue a new professional opportunity" in September.

AEG Live's President of International Touring Rob Hallett has departed the company, leaving with immediate effect. He had been with the live firm for a decade. AEG said Hallett "now feels the time is right to explore other opportunities within the live music entertainment space".

Live Nation has confirmed the departure of UK Marketing Director Jasmine Skee, who joined the company less than two years ago from Telefonica.

Eric Jansssen has joined cashless payment specialist Intellitix as their new chief revenue officer.

Cooking Vinyl Group has appointed Verity Griffiths as its new Head Of Sync. She joins the company from Ministry Of Sound, and will report in to Cooking Vinyl Publishing MD Paul Kinder.

Swedish publishing rights collecting society STIM has announced the appointment to its top job of Karsten Dyhrberg Nielsen, who will join from Nordic copyright management organisation NCB (Nordisk Copyright Bureau). He will replace acting CEO Alfons Karabuda, who took on the role earlier this month.

The cellist Julian Lloyd Webber has announced his retirement after a neck injury saying "I am devastated. There were so many exciting plans that cannot now come to fruition". The musician has sustained a herniated disc in his neck which is affecting the strength in his right arm. Lloyd Webber will retire from performing following a concert at the Forum Theatre in Malvern on the 2nd May plans to "give back" to music by moving over to the education side of the industry.

Warner Music Group has announced the election of three new directors to its board. Axel Springer SE CEO Mathias Döpfner, economist Noreena Hertz, and Perform Group co-CEO Oliver Slipper increase the number of board members from eight to eleven.

Apple Beats deal would make Dr Dre rap's first billionaire

The FT has reported that Apple is set to buy headphone maker Beats Electronics for $3.2bn (£1.9bn). The Financial Times says the deal could be announced as early as next week, marking Apple's largest ever acquisition. Founded by rapper and music producer Dr Dre and fellow music producer Jimmy Iovine in 2008, the firm produces 'Beats by Dr Dre' headphones and also runs its much lauded Beats Music subscription music streaming service - both of which seem to interest Apple - it had been reported that Apple is contemplating a Spotify-like on-demand music service alongside its dominant iTunes paid for download operation and important consideration with Warner Music Group's Q1 financials showing showing that digital now accounts for 45.2% of WMG's total revenue (compared to 41.6% in the first quarter last year), and these revenues grew by 5% year-on-year. Subscription revenue saw the biggest increase, up 65%, while ad-supported streaming revenue grew by 13%.

The deal would potentially make Dre rap's "first billionaire". 

Thursday, 8 May 2014


Pioneering house DJ and producer Frankie Knuckles has died, aged 59. His business partner Frederick Dunson told The Chicago Tribune that Knuckles had died "unexpectedly" at his Chicago home.

Photographer Leee Black Childers, who made his name documenting the rise of the New York punk scene in the 1970s, has died. He has been seriously ill. 

Víta Chromek, the organiser of musical life in Uherské Hradiště and its surroundings, a member of the band Mírový sbor, and an advisor and friend to the Pohoda Festival in Slovakia has tragically lost his life. 

Film and music journalist Phil Hardy has died. Initially writing for titles like Time Out and Variety he also wrote numerous books about the music and movie industries, most recently 'Download! How Digital Destroyed The Record Industry' for Omnibus Press in 2012. Phil is survived by his son, Joel, and daughter, Emily.

Rashad Harden, a house music and footwork pioneer who performed as DJ Rashad, was found dead in Chicago of an apparent drug overdose, authorities said. He was 34. Harden's death comes just days before his EP was scheduled for release and as said above, less than a month after fellow house music star Frankie Knuckles, who also died the city.

Country music singer Kevin Sharp, who survived cancer as a teenager and became a big supporter of the Make-A-Wish Foundation has died aged 43. He had three hit albums including Measure of a Man and Love Is and the hit single Nobody Knows  and became a important motivational speaker for Make-A-Wish, which helps young people with life threatening illnesses. 

And farewell to two live music legends:

Mo Morrison, production manager to the likes of Michael Jackson and and Prince and most recently Lady Gaga's tour director has died aged 61.

Concert Productions International co-founder Bill Ballard has died aged 67.

Splendour hack leads to massive fee charges

Customers who bought apparently discounted tickets for this year's Splendour In The Grass festival in Australia have found themselves charged over AUS$1,000 in credit card fees, after it appears that ticketing website Moshtix was  hacked. some fees reached AUS$4,000. The festival tweeted a warning when the problem was noticed, saying: "High credit card fees happening on invalid 50% off tickets - DO NOT PURCHASE THESE 50% OFF TICKETS!" but with the festival later saying that they could  "100% confirm that nobody's personal information has been compromised". The Splendour In The Grass festival takes place from 25-27 July.