Sunday, 28 September 2014

Tragedy at Lake of Stars

Ufulu, the 21-year-old son of two of Malawi's top legal activists Edge and Ngeyi Kanyongolo, has died after drowning in a swimming pool at Malawi's Lake of Stars music festival, police and family have confirmed. Reports say he was with friends when the tragedy took place in the early hours of the morning.

Friday, 26 September 2014

American record industry revenues down so far this year

The American record industry's half-year report shows that the revenues for the first six months of 2014 were 4.9% down on the same period in 2013. Recording Industry Association Of America's figures show that a 19.1% decline in physical  CD sales and a 10% drop in download to own revenues were not matched by a 25% rise in subscription streaming income and 50% in ad funded streaming income, highlighting the importance of platforms such as Pandora, Spotify and YouTube in the future.


Our friend Angus Cameron commented on the passing of Primal Scream's guitarist Robert 'Throb' Young: "Perhaps we shouldn't be surprised - he was always the epitome of live-fast, die-young wasn't he? Certainly there were several occasions where I thought but he was heading for the exit door. But, the occasional difference of opinion notwithstanding, I will remember him with the fondest memories - a great big beautiful guy with a deep laugh and with a wicked sparkle in his eye. Shine On Throb." and John Empson added "Higher than the sun. RIP Throb".

From Andy Capon comes news of a passing - Art Ferguson - most recently of the the Big Blues Band and
who played professionally with jazz icons Humphrey Lyttleton and Memphis Slim: "Sad news about dear old Art Ferguson. Had the pleasure of drumming for him a few times, and remember the advice he gave me when I was flapping at playing in his band as an unrehearsed dep. "Just get up there and fuckin' enjoy it, y'poof", he said in that Scottish accent of his...". RIP mate x

American songwriter Bob Crewe - who's most known for his many high-charting collaborations with Frankie Valli And The Four Seasons, and for co-writing 'Lady Marmalade' -  has died aged 83.

The pioneering jazz musician Joe Sample, leader of the Crusaders, has died aged 75. Joe played with a plethora of stars including BB King, Ray Charles, Marvin Gaye and Rod Stewart and wrote hits including Randy Crawford's Street Life and One Day I'll Fly Away.

Crystal Fighters have confirmed that the band's drummer Andrea Marongiu had died posting on Facebook "It is with deep regret and great sadness that we announce the tragic passing of our drummer and friend, Andrea Marongiu.  "Andrea was not only one of the most brilliant, skilful and charismatic drummers to have ever graced the stage, but also an incredibly kind, fun and loving friend to us all. Our condolences go out to anyone who was lucky enough to have known him, and most particularly to his family".

Derrick Zeiba
And from Alia Dann comes the sad news of the death of  top sound man Derrick Zeiba of Front of House Sound: "Such sad news today that Derrick Zeiba has left us. I was lucky enough to have known him for 25 years - funny, tolerant, patient, professional, reliable. He will be missed by many". Renowned throughout the theatre and music industries for his outstanding sound designs, Derrick manned the audio during ILMC's Gala Dinners for over a decade as well as working on the BRIT and MTV Europe Awards. Derrick is survived by his children Emily, James and Edward and sister Linda.

American country singer George Hamilton IV has died aged 77. A political liberal, George was known as 'the International Ambassador for Country' in 1973 he conducted the then longest ever country music international tour - 73 dates in three months  - and the next year went to to visit the Soviet Union, Scandinavia, Australasia, New Zealand, Japan and countries in the Middle East and Africa. 

And Christopher Hogwood, the conductor and founder of the Academy of Ancient Music has died. He led the movement to recreate baroque and other old masterpieces using original (or replica) instruments from the time.


EDM promoter SFX has announced the appointment of Liz Miller to the role of VP Of Artists & Labels.

The Entertainment Retailers Association has a new Chairman, in the form of 7Digital Group SVP of Music Raoul Chatterje.

•Universal Music has given digital man Andrew Chang - a staffer at UMG since 2009 - the title of Senior VP of Digital & Strategic Development for the Greater China region.

•Cooking Vinyl has announced the launch of new divisions in France and Germany. They will support the wider Cooking Vinyl network, and its sister label services business Essential, in Europe. Zineb Benomar will manage Cooking Vinyl France and Hilke Dethleff Cooking Vinyl Germany.

•The Association of Independent Festivals has appointed a new Chairman and Vice-Chair; Jim Mawdsley from music development agency Generator takes the helm, and Sŵn Festival co-founder John Rostron respectively will be his deputy. Out-going Vice-Chair and AIF co-founder Ben Turner will sit on a new strategy board overseeing the indie festival group.

The PRS For Music Foundation has confirmed that former Generator man Joe Frankland will oversee the Arts Council-backed Momentum Music Fund, while Flora Ward joins as an administrator.

Viagogo has appointed a new exec to oversee music partnerships worldwide - Carole MacDonald, formerly with EMI.

Amazon's VP of Digital Music And Video in the US, Bill Carr, is to leave the company by the year's end. 

Calvin Harris and Frank Ocean management group Three Six Zero has confirmed a series of new appointments: Universal Music business and legal affairs man Arif Mahmud joins the London-based company as UK General Manager, while existing staff members Matt Vines and Phil Sales have been promoted, and now both enjoy the job title VP UK Artist Management. The group's COO, James Sealey, will be relocating to the firm's LA office to run worldwide operations.

Jason Orange has left Take That. He said there had been "no fallings out" and he had "spent some of the best years" of his life with them. The 44-year-old has issued a statement to say he did not want to "commit" to making and promoting a new album. His bandmates, Gary Barlow, Howard Donald and Mark Owen, said his departure was "a huge loss".

In Minnesota the Catholic Church's  Director of Music, Jamie Manzi-Moore, has refused to resign after 17 years service despite a request to leave from Archbishop John Nienstedt. Why was he asked to resign? Seemingly because he is gay (which was not a secret) but had recently tied the knot with his male partner.

In the UK, Arts Council chief Alan Davey will become the new head of BBC Radio 3 but unlike his predecessor he will not run the BBC Proms. He takes over from Roger Wright, who has left Radio 3 after 15 years to become chief executive of Aldeburgh Music. Mr Davey will oversee the BBC's six performing groups, which include the BBC Symphony Orchestra, the BBC Philharmonic and the BBC Singers.

Thursday, 25 September 2014


Following its sold-out fifth edition in January 2014, the EUROPEAN FESTIVAL AWARDS, presented in association with YOUROPE and Eurosonic Noorderslag, will return in the New Year to celebrate the successes of Europe’s music festival industry. The gala award show will open Eurosonic Noorderslag in style on Wednesday January 14 2015 at De Oosterpoort in Groningen, The Netherlands, hosted by Ben Challis. Nominations are now open and will run until September 27, 2014, during which time festivals can put themselves forward to take part in the awards, which features categories including Best Major Festival, Artists’ Favourite Festival, Headliner Of The Year, the Health & Safety Innovation Award and the Lifetime Achievement Award. This year also sees the launch of a brand new Award For Excellence And Passion, dedicated to an individual whose exceptional passion and dedication has created a truly unique and magical entity in the marketplace much bigger than the sum of acts that perform there. Festivals can apply here . Decided by a combination of public vote and industry juries, the European Festival Awards are the only pan-European body solely dedicated to recognising the contributions and achievements of the event organisers and performing artists that generate billions of Euros for local economies and brighten up the summer for tens of millions of festival-goers each year. Last year’s European Festival Awards featured over 350 festivals from 32 different countries, with over 1 million votes cast. View last years winners here. Christof Huber, The General Secretary of Yourope and promoter of the Open Air St Gallen festival adds: “It’s been a very busy festival summer 2015 and we are looking forward to gather in Groningen to celebrate some of the best festivals and achievements in a friendly atmosphere“ Public voting in this year’s awards will run from October 6 – 27 2014. The final shortlists will be announced on November 10 with the winners revealed at the awards show on January 14. Tickets to the event are on-sale now. Platinum Tickets include a gala dinner are restricted to festival organisers (maximum 4 tickets per festival) until October 30, and can be purchased here Previous special guests who have performed live have included Milky Chance, Kodaline, Jake Bugg and C2C

Festivals organisers can now use a free online tool to check their energy performance in less than a minute. Supported by the Association of Independent Festivals (AIF), this simple tool asks a series of questions and provides the user with an energy rating based on industry benchmarks provided by the Julies Bicycle Industry Green Tool. The tool also provides carbon emissions attributable to fuel use, percentage of Waste Vegetable Oil (WVO) biodiesel compared to industry averages, a print-out of your results to share with staff, and links to information about how to reduce fuel use and costs. Fuel tool here.

here's an interesting article that relates primarily to EDM festivals - The Problem With Overproduction At Music Festivals - which argues "By continuing to escalate the degree of overproduction, festivals will eventually become obsolete. Soaring ticket prices will only make people more wary of how much they are investing in a few days’ worth of fun, and those who were once fans of the music will resort to another means of enjoying it. Festivals are merely a setting where live music is facilitated, and if it becomes more important than the music itself, many of us who stay true to the sounds will move towards hearing it in an uninfluenced environment, underground". The thousands who went to the Insomniac promoted Electric Daisy Carnival in Las Vegas and ID&T's Tommorrowland in Belgium may disagree!

The Association of Independent Festivals (AIF) has restructured its senior board, and is promising "more fire than ever before".  Alison Wenham and Ben Turner are stepping down as chair and vice chair respectively, after six years each in the roles. Turner, who is one of the original co-founders of AIF, will remain an active member of AIF, and the organisation will continue as a subsidiary of the Association of Independent Music (AIM).  “We are incredibly proud of how fair AIF has come,” said Turner. “We now have a platform that promotes creativity, focuses on breaking new talent, and which cares about the future of our business united as one.  “This new structure will empower many others to have more of a say, and for AIF to have more firepower than ever before,” he continued. Turner is stepping down because of a move to the States. Jim Mawdsley, CEO of music development agency Generator, replaces Wenham as Chair, with John Rostron, founder of Swn Festival, taking on the position of vice chair.  Mawdsley and Rostron began their tenure on 1 September. 

Virtual Festivals reports that OxfordOxford has been cancelled by organisers. The three day event, due to take place at South Park, Oxford from Friday 26 - Sunday 28 September 2014, has been cancelled due, in part, to poor local ticket sales. Gaz Coombes, Klaxons, Katy B, Christian Gregory and Celeste were all scheduled to play.

Police are looking into claims made by traders at Galtres Festival that they have been left £125,000 out of pocket, after the event's organiser appointed administrators. North Yorkshire Police confirmed with The York Press that they’re investigating claims made by traders at the Galtres Festival, , held at Duncombe Park, Helmsley, that they have been left up to £125,000 out of pocket, in the aim of establishing whether any crime has been committed. Around 40 traders estimate they face shortfalls totalling £125,000 and they are unhappy that plans are underway for next year’s event, while they await money for this year’s event. A statement from The Nationwide Caterers Association last week linked the complaints with the implementation of a cashless payment system at the festival. The NCASS statement claimed the payment system “resulted in traders at the event receiving no money whatsoever for four 16 hour days of work." A statement on the festival website said Galtres Festival Trading Ltd had now been placed in administration and a meeting of creditors was being organised to formalise voluntary liquidation. It said the company had significant liabilities, namely loans to the company, trade creditors including caterers and stallholders, and sums owed to staff and performers.

Festival Republic's Melvin Benn has told Radio 6 Music's Steve Lamacq show that the 2014 the summer had been a good one and gave him reason for optimism.  Benn, who is responsible for Reading and Leeds Festivals, Latitude and Electric Picnic, joined Kendal Calling's Andy Smith and The Great Escape's Kat Morris for a special festival discussion and added “There have been two or three relatively high profile casualties of festivals closing, or not being able to pay the bills, that sort of stuff. Guilfest just found itself in that position recently, Jabberwocky closed before it happened, you know Camden Crawl, there have been a few relatively high profile casualties, but from my experience and, I think probably the experience of Andy [Smith] and Kat [Morris] as well, we’ve all had particularly good years really". 

Andy Smith, Director of Cumbria’s Kendal Calling, was asked ahead of his festival’s tenth anniversary, if organising it had got harder or easier as they got larger? “It was a lot harder when we were starting out because we didn’t have the budget to get the talent that we wanted, we didn't have the budget to get the decor or the nice site. So the larger we’ve got the more resources we’ve had.”  Benn also commented on the increased costs involved in booking artists and headline acts and confirmed that the rise in headliner fees from 2004 to 2014 has been 400 per cent.” Morris commented on The Great Escape's city based festival experience and the challenge of mounting them every year saying  “You have to work within the constraints of the city, so to speak. Lots of the venues that we use might close or change hands between each year and then there’s council restrictions, local residents, etectra, so working within the constraints of the city is a challenge and obviously the landscape of a city changes which we can’t control.” More here.

Steve Lamacq’s festival special also listed the five acts to play the most festivals this summer who are:

1) Clean Bandit (24)
2) Wilkinson (18)
3) Foxes (17)
4) The Wytches (15)
5) Dreadzone (14)

And finally, promoting The Fall's forthcoming appearance at Salford Festival, frontman Mark E Smith has slammed festivals for becoming 'totally over-priced'. He added “The Fall aren’t really a festival band” and “We’re a city group, and we prefer to perform in cities. Festivals have become totally over-priced; they’re all about charging 900 quid a ticket so these rich parents can send Jemima and Tarquin for a nice weekend away." 

Sony/ATV and EMI launch new pan European licensing scheme

Sony/ATV, EMI Music, PRS and GEMA are set to build on the success of CELAS and PAECOL by launching SOLAR to administer pan European digital licensing for Sony/ATV and EMI music and compositions, replacing the previous set-ups. Sony/ATV chief Marty Bandier told reporters: "This agreement not only builds on our already successful relationships with PRS For Music and GEMA, but makes the licensing process in Europe more straight-forward as services will now have only one place to go for both Sony/ATV and EMI Music Publishing repertoire. It is also great news for our songwriters as we look to continue to facilitate licensing in this rapidly-evolving and expanding sector".

Yusuf Islam cancels New York show in touting row

Cat Stevens, aka Yusuf Islam, has cancelled a show in New York, basically in protest at local laws governing ticketing which, he says, helps the touts, resulting in tickets for his show trading at vastly marked up prices online. Islam told fans: "I have been a longtime supporter of paperless tickets to my shows worldwide and avoiding scalpers [touts]. Unfortunately NY has a state law that requires all tickets sold for shows in NYC to be paper, enabling them to be bought and sold at inflated prices".

Record year for BMI

American collecting society BMI, which handles performing rights for songwriters and music publishers, has announced that in its financial year that ended 30 June it generated record revenues of $977 million, distributing $840 million to its members. Confirming the latest record figures, BMI CEO Michael O'Neill told reporters: "We are extremely pleased with these results and are already hard at work trying to better them this year. BMI has a well-earned reputation as a trusted broker between the creative community and businesses that perform music to enhance their customer experience".

Hop Farm site 'cursed'

The latest organiser of the Hop Farm Music Festival at Paddock Wood Neil Butkeraitis, says the festival will not continue, adding he believes "It is cursed ground." The original Hop Farm event was cancelled in 2013 by Vince Power due to poor ticket sales and a series of loss making events, and returned this summer under new management - although this faced the threat of legal action from Power over the use of the already existing name and logos. Power himself faced legal action over unpaid PRS fees and the High Court has now banned him from promoting,  The Kent Messenger now says that Butkeraitis's Hop Farm Music Festival Ltd is to be the subject of liquidation proceedings next month. Butkeraitis resigned as a director earlier this month, citing financial disagreements that left contractors unpaid, including his own production and security firms. Butkeraitis told the Messenger "In 10 years in the industry this has never happened to me. The event was delivered under our £3 million budget - what didn’t stick up was ticket sales but the festival was part of a three year plan for the site.

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

UK Music industry booms

Ellie Goulding at Glastonbury -
 both major UK success stories
The British music industry contributed £3.8bn to the UK economy in 2013, according to a new report from UK Music. With the sector seeing a 9% growth over the year before, the cross industry group called for a stronger national copyright framework. The increase in overall music receipts can be traced to individual revenues by musicians, singers, composers, songwriters and lyricists, which rose more than 6% to £1.7bn, and live music sales, which rose almost 20% to £789m according to Measuring Music report. There were also increases in publishing and studio revenues, and a massive boom in UK music exports - up 57% to £2.2bn. On negative note, revenues from recorded music fell by £16m last year, to £618m.  More than 110,000 people hold full-time jobs in the UK music industry, 67,000 of whom are professional musicians.  UK Music boss Jo Dipple told reporters: "We all know how amazing British music is. Now we can put a figure to its value. Last year its contribution to our economy grew by 9%. This is a big deal. The music industry creates real jobs and real opportunities for young people". She added: "'Measuring Music' provides us with the data to accurately show government and policy makers how important an industry we are to the UK economy. The young bearded kids in the pub, making a racket on a Friday night, might just turn out to generate more revenue for [the Treasury] than a car manufacturer. But they need support to get there".

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

U2 and Apple giveaway prompts criticism - and no sales

With a new 'delete all' available to non U2 fans who have had the band's latest album 'Songs Of Innocence' inserted (albeit for free) into their iTunes account by Apple, comes news that the Entertainment Retailers Association are non too pleased with Apple's big U2 giveaway, saying that even back catalogue was not really affected by the promotion saying that Official Charts Company data shows that just 6,047 sales of the band's pre-existing nineteen albums followed the giveway - and of those 6000 odd sales, just 60 transactions took place in high street stores (possibly because said shops had no warning about the Apple tie-up, so stocks were low). ERA Chairman Paul Quirk said: "This vindicates our view that giving away hundreds of millions of albums simply devalues music and runs the risk of alienating the 60% of the population who are not customers of iTunes. If one of the justifications of this stunt is that it would drive sales of U2's catalogue through the market as a whole, then so far at least it has been a dismal failure" adding "This promotion is a failure on so many levels. It devalues music, it alienates the majority of people who don't use iTunes and it disappoints those who prefer to shop in physical stores since few shops had U2 stock available".

It has been reported the band may have been paid $100 million for the give way by Apple - But there has been a considerable backlash with several high profile outlets including the Washington Post and LA Times questioning the move. Many iPhone users have complained about the album downloading onto their expensive devices without their permission. Some even described it as a virus.

Monday, 15 September 2014

SFX acquires Plus Talent in Brazil

SFX's has acquired Brazil-based talent agency and event promoter Plus Talent - the two companies recently cooperated to bring the Tomorrowland festival franchise to the country. Confirming the deal, SFX chief Robert FX Sillerman told reporters: "Plus Talent is an extremely talented and creative company, with the deepest experience in the Brazilian market. [Its management team] understand every aspect of the business and we are delighted to have them in the SFX family of companies". Plus Talent co-founder Luiz Eurico Klotz added: "Partnering with SFX is the next logical step for our company. Bringing brands like Tomorrowland to Brazil is a watershed moment for the scene we have so carefully nurtured here for the last 20 years. We are excited to continue to bring new brands, experiences and partners to Brazilian fans".

Agent of change principle gathers momentum in UK

The now much debated 'agent of change' principle, designed to protect live music venues, bars and clubs in the face of the increasing numbers of residential properties being built close to venues has prompted the Musicians’ Union to call for new law to protect venues from noise complaints New regulations should be introduced to protect live music venues from possible closure following noise complaints, the Musicians’ Union has said. At the Trades Union Congress conference the union proposed a motion, which was passed, demanding the introduction of new regulations that would help put a stop to the “worrying trend of long-established music venues being forced to close after only one or two complaints from neighbours”. John Smith, MU general secretary, said: “Venues must, of course, stick to the terms of their licence and residents must be able to complain if they do not comply or are causing a genuine nuisance. But equally, flats which are built above, adjacent or nearby to an existing music venue should not take precedent over an established institution. “The onus should be on the agent of change, and developers who build flats and houses next to venues must be required to let potential residents know so that they can make an informed decision about whether they would like to live there, as well as ensuring adequate soundproofing.”

And Frank Turner has warned Culture Secretary Sajid Javid that  the country is facing "a meltdown in the British live music circuit". Turner is campaigning to change UK law and protect music venues. and has urged Javid to adopt the Agent of Change principle into UK law to halt the escalating threats to dedicated live music clubs and other community activities saying "12 venues are already under threat, an avalanche will follow if we don't take action. These venues are where I grew up, where I learned about rock’n’roll music, where I saw all my favourite bands. The venues where I played my first shows and some of my most recent, the home of the music scene that has given me my career, my passion and my life."

Friday, 12 September 2014

Cockpit closes

Leeds live venue The Cockpit, active for 20 years, has this week closed for good, and with immediate effect, its operator Futuresound Events has confirmed. The Cockpit has been closed since the 19th Juyl, when the premises were shut to the public (on a temporary basis, it was then hoped) for "essential maintenance work" but the venue's website now reveals that "it is no longer viable to deliver you the level of service you deserve with the building in it's current condition".

Jay's Good Times end

Norman Jay's Good Times In The Park festival, slated for this weekend (Saturday 13th and Sunday 14th September) has been cancelled. A statement from Good Times in the Park says:

"It is with enormous regret that DJ Norman Jay MBE and his Good Times team confirm that their Good Times in the Park festival scheduled for the 13th and 14th September in Wormwood Scrubs has had to be cancelled due to unforeseen technical difficulties.

They hope that they'll be able to continue to work closely with the authorities so that next year they can welcome you back for what promises to be their greatest adventure yet in the land of music and the biggest and best Good Times party ever. All ticket holders are advised to contact their ticket agencies who will arrange their refund."

The line-up across 3 stages included an exclusive UK performance from Chaka Khan and Groove Armada, Brand New Heavies, The Cuban Brothers, David Rodigan, Ms Dynamite and more. All proceeds from the festival were to go to Great Ormond Street Children's Hospital, Damilola Taylor Trust, Prostate Cancer UK and Coppafeel!

Read more at and

German live sector bounced back in 2013

Germany's concert and events sector rebounded in 2013 after falling by 16 per cent in the previous year according to a new survey. The results, published by the Consumer Research Association on behalf of event organisers and agents association BDV and Musikmarkt magazine, show turnover increased by 15 per cent last year to €3.822 billion ($5.043bn), a rise of €500 million ($660m). FKP's Scorpio boss Folkert Koopmans told Audience magazine the growth was due to the economic recovery and an increase in major stadium tours over 2012.

Live Nation raise $500 million to pay off debt and fund growth

Live Nation Entertainment (LNE) has raised another $500 million from private lenders in order to pay off more expenses borrowing and leaving the company with a war chest for further possible acquisitions. Around $220m will be used to redeem debt that is incurring higher interest, leaving LNE, after related costs, with in excess of $260m for potential investments and takeovers. Live Nation's Ticketmaster has announced it is acquiring Eventjoy, a provider of mobile ticketing and marketing tools to event organisers.

And in the USA, SFX Entertainment reported second quarter financial results for the three months ending 30 June with revenue at $82 million compared with $27.4 million in 2013 for the same period last year. However, net loss was $43.7m up from $24.9m in the preceding year's quarter, while long term debt almost tripled to $220.5m from $74.7m the preceding year.

Thursday, 11 September 2014

The Revolving Door

Jody Gerson has been named the new Chair and CEO of Universal Music Publishing, following the departure of Zach Horowitz.

Mariah Carey has split from her manager and long-time collaborator Jermaine Dupri. Billboard claims Carey is now working "closely" - if not officially - with Kevin Liles, who held the premiership of Def Jam at the time she was signed to the label. Dupri follows in the wake of Randy Jackson, Irving Azoff, and Bruce Eskowitz (all managers in2013 alone) and, over the past ten years, Benny Medina, the late Chris Lighty, Randy Hoffman and Sandy Gallin.

Nightwish drummer Jukka Nevalainen is to withdraw from the band for an unspecified break in order to try to cope with his longstanding - and now, debilitating - insomnia.

Former Digital Spy Music Editor Rob Copsey has been announced as the new editor of the Official Charts Company's website, ahead of a revamp in the autumn. he replaces Dan Lane, who is leaving to become AXA Insurance UK's new Social Media And Content Manager.

The numerically extensive and then very young Blazing Squad who split following the release of a 'greatest hits' compilation in 2009, are on the way back it seems.

James Drury has stepped back from the day-to-day operations of UK and European Festival Awards, and is now Editor of he remains a director of Festival Awards. Amy Wright takes the helm at the London Roundhouse and Groningen EuroSonic based Awards shows. 

Future Publishing has announced the promotion of Declan Gough to Head Of Content & Marketing for all of its film, games and music titles. 

SpinMedia, the American music and entertainment blog owner known as Buzzmedia before it bought SPIN magazine, has announced Stephen Blackwell as its new CEO, succeeding Dale Strang, who will stay with the company as its Chairman.

Kobalt Label Services has announced a rejig of its team: Vincent Clery-Melin is now UK Managing Director, replacing Paul Hitchman who has been promoted to President of KLS International, while Pete Dodge becomes VP Operations And Distribution. Clery-Melin will also remain MD of AWAL.

Gigwise has a new editor, Andy Morris, who joins the music website from GQ, where he most recently edited the magazine's website.

Merlin, the agency that represents many of the indie labels in the digital domain, has appointed a new Director of Legal & Business Affairs, Ryan McWhinnie. Ryan joins  from law firm Harbottle & Lewis and he'll report into Merlin's General Counsel, Charlie Lexton.

CISAC, the organisation international umbrella for  music publishing collecting societies has confirmed Gadi Oron as its new Director General. He has been General Counsel for the Confederation since 2012.

Sony/ATV has promoted Jennifer Knoepfle to Senior Vice President, Creative at its LA office. 

•US indie label group A2IM have made a number of changes. Molly Neuman is now Vice President replacing Jim Mahoney; also in new roles are Jennifer Masset as Senior Director, Fawn Goodman as Industry Relations and Communications and Marcus Assenmacher as Operations Manager.

Sony/ATV has added Max Paproth to its Pan-European A&R team. A Senior Manager A&R & Creative at the major publisher's Berlin office since 2013, he will now have a Europe-wide focus working under President Guy Moot,

Warner Music has appointed Howard Gabriel to the role of Executive Vice President of Marketing for the Warner Bros label in the US, he joins from Sony's RED business. 

Live Nation's Ticketmaster has bought Belgian ticketing company It is understood that staff working for the Brussels-based ticketing firm will now join the recently launch Ticketmaster Belgium.

Rock The House 2015 lauches

Mike Weatheley MP has launched the 2015 edition of the UK's Parliament's music talent competition, Rock The House, at the County Hall Marriott Hotel, opposite the Houses of Parliament. The launch featured performances from Tom Butler and Lauren Flynn and a rather witty and well informed speech from Rick Wakeman. Guests included Lord Tim Clement Jones. Film The House was also lauched with David Fares, Senior VP at 21st Century Fox doing the honours. 

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Avicii and Cher both cancel

•Both Avicii and Cher have cancelled upcoming live shows due to ill-health. Avicii has put all upcoming appearances on indefinite hold because of "overriding health issues from a previous surgery". Cher has postponed two shows in the US after contracting an acute viral infection.

FESTIVAL NEWS reports that three outdoor events due to take place at Hylands Park in Essex this month have been cancelled as the organisers claim the site isn't "acceptable". Last Night of the Proms, which was due to take place this Sunday, September 7, and feature Aled Jones and the Philharmonic Orchestra, has been cancelled by the event producers (UK Events & Production) today.  The same production company have cancelled two more Hylands Park events this month: Flashback Festival on September 13th and Wet Wet Wet on September 14th. Flashback Festival was to feature some of the top selling acts of the eighties, including headliner Billy Ocean, Marc Almond, ABC, Hue and Cry, Go West, From the Jam, and The Doctor (of Dr & The Medics). In a statement, UK Events and Production indicated that the V Festival, held on the same site (16-17 August) was contributing factor in the decision to cancel the concerts saying "The site was recently used for the V Festival and after a recent site visit we do not feel that the area within the park we are using is acceptable to put on our concerts."

And residents in Clapham, London, are voicing concerns about the number of festivals on Clapham Comon afre recent rainfall  hit the end of an event and turned areas of the park into a 'quagmire'.  The Evening Standard reports that South West Four (SW4) attracted 50,000 party-goers on the August bank holiday weekend and starred DJs Deadmau5, Eric Prydz and Pete Tong. Heavy rain hit the clean-up, with lorries churning up turf and creating vast patches of mud as they picked up equipment. Campaigners are urging local authority Lambeth to introduce a cap on the number of major events, as Westminster did at Hyde Park last year. They also want a 20,000-a-day limit on the number of revellers. Similar complaints have been made about Finsbury Park after it hosted three-day Wireless Festival in July – which saw rappers Kanye West, Pharrell Williams and Rudimental perform – just six weeks after band Arctic Monkeys rocked the green for two days.

AlJazeera America hosts an interstung article on Adam Auctor, the founder of the Bunk Police, an organization that travels to summer music events in the USA to help test the purity of festival goers’ drugs. His business came about amid a unique set of circumstances over the last decade: a 2003 law that held club owners and music festival promoters criminally responsible for knowledge of any drug use at their events, the revitalized big business of music festivals, the rise of electronic dance music and the ascendance of the drug Molly. ..... more here. Bunk Police website here.

Bestival’s magnificent disco ball has set a new GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS title! Topping the tape at 10.33 metres, the dazzling disco beauty is as high as a three storey building, is covered in 2,500 mirrored tiles that would stretch out for a kilometre if you laid them end to end, and is filled with 350 cubic metres of air; equivalent to one thousand beach balls! Verified by Mark McKinley from GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS, the Disco Ball was measured by surveyor Ollie Salter at midday on Sunday (7th September), before clinching the record when it was raised and spun, with a suitably disco-tastic light show, at the start of Chic featuring Nile Rodgers’ epic finale set on the Disco themed Bestival Sunday evening. And Bestival now holds the GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS title for the Largest Disco Ball.

The company behind Guilfest 2014 has gone into insolvency, Blaming, primarily, a lack of time to organise this year's event resulting in low ticket sales, and a forecast of bad weather (whIch didn't transpire).
Organiser Tony Scott also confirmed that certain artists on the 2014 bill, which featured headliners in The Boomtown Rats, Jedward, Kool & The Gang, Fun Lovin Criminals and The Human League, have yet to be paid. First established in 1992, Guilfest ran every year till 2012, when it went into administration due disappointing ticket sales), with its parent company Scotty Events facing debts of over £300,000. Live Nation staged an event in the town in 2013, but Scott regained the use of Stoke Park after a social media campaign, and his new company Trowfest Ltd was, back in February, given the green light by Guildford Borough Council. Interviewed by Get Surrey this week, Scott said despite this year's event being "fantastic", Trowfest Ltd had needed to sell a couple of thousand more tickets to cover its costs. He told the site: "Unfortunately we didn't get enough ticket sales to pay all the bills we have got to pay. One of the reasons was that we were a bit short of time to do it all in. We have never done a festival in three-and-a-half months before".

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Crowd saftey graduates !

Another group of students have graduated with degrees and foundation degrees in Crowd Safety Management  from Bucks New University, celebrating their big day at a ceremony at the Swan Theatre in High Wycome and then at the University's campus.  Pictures are 2014 graduates in front of Buck's Gateway Building with staff members Stuart Kirk, Emma Parkinson and Ben Challis.

Monday, 8 September 2014

Kerrang mobilizes for Fresh Blood

Kerrang! is set to "mobilise its entire network across television, radio, print and online for the first multi-platform new rock music initiative in the UK" to promote new talrnt. Called 'Fresh Blood', under the new venture "each platform will unite to seek out and nurture the very best in unsigned and independent label talent from the alternative UK music scene with one chosen act to receive a full showcase and maximum exposure across the network every Wednesday".

And Vevo UK has launched its first ever presenter-led bespoke programme called 'VVV' (Triple V). 


T in the Park promoter Geoff Ellis posted this on FaceBook: "RIP Stevie Broadfoot. Very sad to hear of his passing. We worked together back in his doorman days at The Marquee and then at King Tut's where he was head doorman, then rep and a whole lot more too. Most people knew him from his Tour Manager and driving days and for generally being one of the good guys."

Many Roth, who owned and promoted at Cafe What? in Greenwich Village in the sixties has died aged 94. The club was a launch pad for many careers including Jimi Hendrix, Bruce Springsteen and Bob Dylan,  who immortalised the club in  his song 'Talkin' New York'.  

And another contemporay of Dylan, the Scottish folk singer Jean Repath, has died. she moved to New York in the early 1961when she was 23 and was a successful singer in the folk clubs and bars sharing bills with Dylan.
Peter Grosslight

The celebrated Italian born soprano Licia Albanese, prima donna at the Met, has died aged 105. 

Ronny Rocka had died. Ronny was one of The Godfathers' guitarists for a period during the '90's and Godfathers' frontman peter Coyne said "a sweetheart of a man, one of the music biz's real good guys & an excellent guitar player".

Peter Grosslight, who was the president of William Morris Music Word Wide, has died. Peter had pancreatic cancer. Grosslight's roster during his long career included Charlotte Church, the Eagles, Roy Orbison, Whitney Houston, Journey, Tom Petty, Brian Setzer and Carly Simon. “Peter was a true gentleman, whose generosity and unique sense of humor will be deeply missed. He was a pioneer in our industry and represented some of the greatest performers of our time,” said WME co-CEOs Ari Emanuel and Patrick Whitesell. “In addition to being a tremendous agent, he served as a valuable mentor to many of us. It was a privilege to work with him.” He will be remembered as the consumate agent.

And Peter Pritchard OBE who with his partner Laurie Mansfirld formed International Artists has died aged 81. He organised the Beatle's first US appearance on TV on the Ed Sullivan Show , in his 12 years with the Grade Organisation, Prichard helped promote British concert appearances by Frank Sinatra, Danny Kaye, Bob Hope, Bill Haley and the Comets, and represented  light entertainment artistes including Ray Alan,  Bob Monkhouse, Max Wall and Jimmy Tarbuck. He was a judge on ITV's New Faces and a trustee of the the Entertainment Artists Benevolent Fund.

Lincoln Anderson, bassist with Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel has died. The band said "t is with a heavy heart that we must report that Lincoln Anderson passed away today at 5.30pm, after a long illness. Steve and all the band and crew send their deepest sympathy to Lincoln's wife, Shereen, and his family and close friends". 

Simone Battle, a former 'X-Factor' contender in the US and one fifth of rising pop group GRL, has died. her death was cnfirmed as suicide. The tragedy came ahead of the group's debut single 'Ugly Heart' charting in the UK,

New noise laws take hold in Victoria

Victoria’s live music scene has welcomed the implementation of the new "Agent of Change laws", which will better protect venues from noise complaints by new residential developers - meaning that developers and newcomers will have the adaprt to change - rather than forcing venues to close down or spend unsustainable sums of money on sound proffing when redidential and other new developments are located nearby.  Members of the music industry have praised the changes as overwhelmingly positive and “unprecedented around the world”.

Nova acts to access the bigger picture

West London promoter and booking agent Nova Music has announced a new partnership with digital marketing agency Million Media to launch a new company, Nova Artist Services. Artists signed to Nova Music for booking will also be able to access artist services covering distribution, publishing and marketing. Nova Music Founder, Sophie McCreddie said in a statement: "This exciting new venture will enable us to further assist artists we already book, promote and generally look after. We're often the first people to discover new talent as we are consistently showcasing new music, acts that have then gone on to be signed by labels and publishers. With this partnership we can now support artists with everything they need to build their career whilst still retaining their individuality and ownership of their creations".

Thursday, 4 September 2014

MOBOs back to London for 2014

After five years away from London, the MOBO Awards will return to the capital in 2014, honouring all that's good and great in urban and other music of a black origin.The show, which was held at the SSE Hydro in Glasgow last year. Founder Kanya King said of this year's event: "We are thrilled to have the Awards returning home this year, and excited to announce it will be the iconic SSE Arena, Wembley that will play host".  The show takes place on the 22nd October. King added  "The show promises to be absolutely spectacular and not to be missed whilst at the same time carrying the potential to inspire a lot of young talent." The 2014 ceremony will be broadcast on ITV2, having previously aired on BBC Three. Coverage will continue on BBC Radio.

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

BMG acquires Infectious Music

BMG has announced it has acquired indie label Infectious, bringing the UK indie's acts including Alt J, The Temper Trap and Drenge to its recordings roster, and founder Korda Marshall and his team to BMG's London HQ. The new asset will be overseen by BMG's UK Exec VP Alexi Cory-Smith.

Live Nation confirms JV with leading promoter in the Philippines

Live Nation has announced an alliance with Music Management International Corp in the Philippines which will allow the live music major to grow its operations in the country. The first gig staged by the joint venture will be a One Direction show. Confirming the partnership, Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino said in a statement: "Following the recent addition to our network in Taiwan, this partnership with Rhiza in the Philippines means we can now provide artists a turnkey solution connecting them with the leading promoters across this rapidly growing region and further expands our global footprint, which includes operations in more than 40 countries".


The Times reports that the Burning Man Festival in Nevada has attracted an influx of Silicon Valley millionaires and billionaires who are altering the festival's unique dynamic, flying to the event in private jets and sleeping in air conditioned yurts and winnebegos, somewhat undermining the Burning Man ethos. The first day of the desert event was cancelled .... after heavy rain! The festival,  which draws tens of thousands of festival-goers known as “burners” to the Black Rock Desert, was slated to open at 10 a.m. Monday, but those who were not inside were being turned around at the entrance after "rainstorms that left standing water on the playa, leaving it un-drivable". Those heading to the festival from Reno were asked to stay put until the rain let up.

The Electric Zoo festival in New York was also cut short because of extreme weather conditions. The third day of last year's EDM event was cancelled last year after two festival-goers died and four others were taken ill, all in drug-related incidents.

Festival Insights reports that Hertfordshire’s Standon Calling has announced its intention to improve three key areas of the event for 2015 in response to customer feefback, Firstly and the allowance of alcohol for each individual has been raised to either 12 cans beer/lager/cider, 75cl of spirits or one box of wine (which seems very low still!) Secondly the site’s water system will undergo a complete overhaul following a failure of its bore hole compression system during this year’s proceedings. Organisers also plan to invest in better technology after problems with mobile phone connectivity put the mobile card machines out of commission and many were forced to use the on-site ATMs, which incurred a charge. 

A US-based 'ticketing search engine' called SeatGeek has announced it has raised $35 million in investment, in a funding round led by Accel Partners which has been backed by a number of investors, including some from the technology and sporting sectors. The new monies will be used to fund expansion and marketing. In a statement the company's founder Jack Groetzinger said: "SeatGeek is a technology company, not a ticket company. We spent our first four years focused exclusively on building a great product. A year ago we began to try our hand at marketing, and were blown away by the results. So for us, this is a natural opportunity for us to get more aggressive in marketing. Still, we weren't looking to raise money, but when we met Accel, we knew it was a great fit".

Police at the Budweiser Made in America Music Festival made several arrests, and 6 were for felony narcotics. The two site event was first held at the Benjamin Franklin Parkway in Philadelphia in 2012 and in 2014 it was decided that the festival would be held simultaneously in Los Angeles as well where the arrests were made.  Rita Ora and Iggy Azalea took the stage in sweltering heat to an enthusiastic crowd - over 34,000 people attended.

The Ultra Music Festival in Miami has announced that it will introduce a minimum age limit of 18 for its 2015 edition, and that it has hired a new head of security. The festival struggled to gain a licence for 2015, following an incident in 2014 which saw a security guard seriously injured when part of the fence surrounding the festival was pushed down. Miami city officials had been critical of Ultra promoters, claiming that the authorities had warned organisers about the issues with the particular area of fencing where the incident took place. Although a licence for 2015 was ultimately granted, the city's mayor Tomas Regalado had said that he is opposed to the event. In a statement Ultra's organisers said: "While we sincerely value the incredible ongoing support from our younger fans, we ultimately believe that Ultra Music Festival is a premium event geared towards adults. This decision has been made to reinforce and promote the safety of all Ultra Music Festival fans and to ensure the overall enjoyment of all future attendees". They added: "We are extremely grateful for all the support we have received from our younger fan base to date and we encourage them to attend the festival once they reach the appropriate age. Until then, our free YouTube stream 'Ultra Live' is available worldwide for everyone, all ages to enjoy and to share in the Ultra experience".

The Association Of Independent Festivals has announced more details about its Festival Congress, which will take place in Cardiff on 17 and 18 Oct. Confirmed to speak are Southbank Centre Artistic Director Jude Kelly, Welsh minister Edwina Hart, and a number of festival reps, including Rob da Bank (Bestival), Martin Elbourne (Glastonbury/The Great Escape) and Ivan Millivojev (Exit Festival). Commenting on all that, da Bank, as both panellist and AIF co-founder, told reporters: "As the hour rapidly approaches, all at AIF are absolutely buzzing about the Congress. These latest announcements show that we're bringing the cream of the independent festival world together in Cardiff. The stage is set for an excellent conference and we'll be celebrating a big season that has seen more sold-out AIF festivals than ever before".

Nasty - how NOT to behave at a festival. Any of them -  "Drunk festival girl destroys tent and falls in her own piss / Синька зло! - See more at:

Vice announce new venue

Fashion and lifestyle magazine and brand Vice has announced it's adding a third venue in London to its collection, taking over The Record Club in Camden and rebranding it as The Stillery. Vice currently operates The Old Blue Last and Birthdays in East London. Vice UK's Head Of Events Ross Allmark said: "I guess the first thing is that we didn't want to open another bar in East London. It really felt like sometime last year the whole area reached saturation point and people were just opening bars in east because that's the accepted logic. Customers have started to experience launch-fatigue". The Old Blue has previously hosted shows by Kylie Minogue, Discliosure and Lily Allen. The new gig and club venue will be open until 01.30 dauly except Sundays from mid Setember.

AIM Awards 2014

The AIM Independent Music Awards took place in London last night - and the winners of those all important indie gongs are .....


Sophie Ellis-Bextor

London Grammar


Various – Purple Snow – Forecasting The Minneapolis Sound

Ben Watt – Hendra

Barn on the Farm

John Doran, The Quietus

Twin Atlantic – Heart and Soul
Scroobius and friends

Dan Le Sac vs Scroobius Pip – You Will See Me

London Grammar

Arctic Monkeys – AM

Steve Goodman, Hyperdub

Alison and Martin

Alison Wenham, AIM

Martin Mills, Beggars Group

Richie Hawtin