Thursday, 29 January 2015

Sony's Music Unlimited to close

Sony Corp is closing its Sony Music Unlimited streaming music service. The subscription service, formerly known as Qriocity, will cease to be in all territories on 29 Mar this year. It brings to an end the various digital music adventures of the consumer electronics side of the Sony empire, which began with the ill-fated Connect download store, part of the firm's initial bid to try and stop Apple's iPod attack on the Sony Walkman brand in the digital music player space. Sony will now push Spotify to Sony PlayStation users.

Challenges for small music venues outlined in new report

The Music Venue Trust has published an interim report into the challenges currently facing small venues in the UK - with a full report set to follow in March. Perhaps unsurprisingly, noise complaints and the threat to pre-existing venues when residential neighbours move in are prominent features. Diminishing audiences at a grass roots level were also of concern, with various causes suggested. The recession was an obvious one, while some venue operators also said that the student audiences they rely on had dwindled, in part due to increased tuition fees. The Live Music Act also faced criticism: The Act which had widespread industry support, removed the red tape surrounding putting on small gigs in pubs and small venues and some respondents say this more competition for venues focused on new music, proving right predictions made by former Luminaire owner Andy Inglis in 2013.

PRS For Music also comes in for criticism in the report, with  the music publishing sector's collecting society accused of trying to collect money from venues that don't play PRS-registered music and charging more than many small venues can afford in fees, which then put them at risk of going out of business.

Announcing the report, Music Venue Trust CEO Mark Davyd said: "There is a national challenge to our live music venue circuit brought about by a sequence of events and developments which have left that network in a perilous and precarious state. Music Venue Trust feels that we need to take an overall view of the challenges out there".

He went on: "We need to be openly discussing and airing those challenges with our live music industry colleagues, and working together to tackle that range of issues so we not only maintain and preserve this circuit but actively start to improve it. We feel that past failures to talk about the ecosystem of UK music have meant that people who don't actively work in it perhaps don't understand the structure of the industry, or the vital role that this network of venues plays in maintaining it".

"The UK is, quite literally, a music world leader, punching vastly above its weight in terms of the impact our artists and musicians make across the globe. A huge proportion of the music we export, which generates thousands of jobs, develops the artistic careers of our best writers and musicians, and is such an important part of the UK's standing on the international cultural stage, starts in a small venue. This is the grassroots of our industry, the research and development department of our major international music industry partners. It is impossible to overstate this enough; no Troubadour or 12 Bar Club, no Adele".

"Our UK music scene, arguably the best in the world, is built on a robust ecosystem that starts with a first live concert in front of as few as ten people on a Tuesday night in Guildford and climaxes with three nights at Wembley Stadium. And it's not just the musicians - our industry and other parts of the creative sector are filled with people who cut their teeth promoting, booking or simply working the door at a small venue. This small venue circuit is the training ground and the entry level experience for our lighting engineers, sound technicians, and cultural organisers at all levels; we need to ensure we do all we can to protect it".

Tuesday, 27 January 2015


Joe Cocker has died aged 70 after a battle with cancer. The Sheffield-born singer had a career lasting more than 40 years, with hits including You Are So Beautiful, Up Where We Belong and With A Little Help From My Friends. His agent Barrie Marshall said Cocker, who died after battling lung cancer, was "simply unique" and Sir Paul McCartney said he was a lovely guy who "brought so much to the world". Cocker, who recorded 23 studio albums and 40 albums, lived in Colorado, in the US and was recognised with an OBE for services to music in 2007.

Music industry veteran Irwin Steinberg died at his home in Vermont. He was 94. Steinberg entered the music industry after the Second World War, first serving as CEO of Mercury Records and later at Polygram, a label he was subsequently associated with for three decades.

Former Cavern Club owner Ray McFall, who helped launch the careers of The Beatles, has died at the age of 88. McFall owned the Liverpool club ifrom 1959 to 1966, changing it from a jazz venue to a rock 'n' roll club and booking Merseybeat bands like The Beatles as well as offering early gigs to the likes of the Who and the Rolling Stones. The Fab Four went on to play at the legendary basement venue 292 times - even though George Harrison was almost refused entry from their first gig for wearing jeans = which McFaull had banned.

Alex Omes, Co-founder of the Ultra Music Festival in Miami, has died. He was 43.

Greek singer Demis Roussos has died at the age of 68, Athens’ Hygeia Hospital has confirmed. The singer, real name Artemios Ventouris Roussos, was born and raised in Alexandria, Egypt, experienced huge succes selling over 60 milllion albums worldwide. Demis has been a member of a number of different groups, including Aphrodite’s Child with Vangelis. His hits included Forever and Ever. He continued touring into the early 2000s, and in 2009 he released his final studio album ‘Demis’.

Monday, 26 January 2015

UK tax relief for orchestras moves a step closer

The UK Government is to introduce new tax relief for orchestras from April 2016, following a public consultation. Chancellor George Osborne first announced the move, which mirrors similar reliefs in theatre, film, videogames and animation, in his autumn statement last year, and now has issued a consultation document outlining proposals and calls from input in their implementation. Director of the Association of British Orchestras Mark Pemberton said: "We welcome the launch of the consultation. Tax relief will make a big difference to our members' resilience in these challenging times, helping them to continue to offer the very best in British music-making to audiences both here in the UK and abroad".

Thursday, 22 January 2015

Dice appy with no fee tickets

Mobile ticketing platform Dice, which counts the Robbie Williams management team of David Enthoven and Tim Clarke, Metropolis Music boss Bob Angus Anghus Baskerville from 13 Artistes amongst its backers, as well as White Star Capitak, has launched a new app that can sell tickets at face value with no booking fee. Tickets are sent straight to mobile phones and also offers a queing service for sold out shows. DFice already has shows including Ghost Poet, Julian Cope and Paolo Nutini on sale and will go UK wide from March.

RoboHallet launches

Former AEG Live UK boss Rob Hallett has unveiled his new venture, almost nine months after exiting the giant promoter in April 2014, with a new company called Robomagic, which promises to be 360 operation including a live promotion company which also offers talent recording, publishing, management and brand management. Hallett says he has the ambition and financial backing to compete with Live Nation and AEG and although described as a boutique operation, ‘Robomagic Live’ aims to produce live tours to stadium and arena level on both a domestic and global stage. Hallett told Musicweek “The size of the financial backing I’ve got enables me to compete with Live Nation and AEG Live at their own game and pay similar advances,” Hallett told Music Week when outlining his company’s promotion arm. “I can buy global tours and I intend to maintain as many of the relationships that I’m known for as possible.”

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Paris focussed Live Earth 2015 announced for 18th June

Eight years after the inaugural Live Earth, co-founders Al Gore and Kevin Wall will revive their campaigning worldwide festival in 2015 in the lead-up to this year's UN climate change conference in Paris. Wall and Gore announced the details of Live Earth 2015 at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, where they were joined onstage by Pharrell Williams, who will serve as Live Earth's creative director.

Live Earth will unite voices from around the world to deliver a single message to world leaders to reach a binding agreement to tackle climate change at the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris. On June 18, Live Earth concerts will take place across the world, on six continents on one day, reaching over 2 billion people across more than 190 countries with shows at the Stade de France in Paris, New York, Brazil, South Africa, China and Australia and one act will play a seventh concert on Antarctica. and more from eFestivals here

New group aims to protect UK's live music venues

Music Venues Alliance, a new trade body aimed at protecting live music venues, has formed following a string of venue closures over the last year.

The existing Music Venue Trust, launched by the smaller venue community a year ago, will do the actual donkey work of lobbying and campaigning, but it will now also sit on and have access to the UK Music UK Live Music Group. Which, you might remember, is the trade group of live music trade groups sitting within the trade group of music industry trade groups. Yeah, keep up.

The announcement comes after a meeting called by London Mayor Boris Johnson at City Hall yesterday to discuss how public authorities can better support music venues in the capital. The Mayor's Office is apparently also planning to set up a task force to look into the issues affecting music venues specifically in London.

And Jack Daniel’s has announced a yearlong initiative to bring greater awareness to independent small venues in 2015.  Venues including Glasgow’s King Tuts, the Zanzibar in Liverpool, and the Birmingham Rainbow will host regular ‘Jack Rocks’ nights throughout the year that will also feature up-and-coming talent alongside established acts. 

In other venue news, The O2, Wembley Arena and Academy Music Group have all banned the use of selfie sticks at live events. A spokesperson for The O2 told Billboard: "The O2 do not allow selfie sticks into the arena due to safety considerations and so as not to impact the view of other fans. We welcome selfies, but leave the stick at home please".


Self-service ticketing system provider Ticketscript has appointed a new CTO, André Buren, who will take over from the company's co-founder Ruben Van Den Heuvel, who is shifting over to the job of Head Of Product Innovation.

Psonar, the UK-based pay-as-you-go streaming music company that first emerged in 2011, has announced the appointment of artist manager and The Orchard co-founder Scott Cohen as non-executive Chairman

Arts Council England has announced that Classic FM MD Darren Henley will take over as its new CEO. Davey is moving to head up BBC Radio 3.

The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers HAS announced the appointment of Elizabeth (Beth) Matthews as the organization’s new CEO. Matthews, former Exec VP and General Counsel of the organization, replaces CEO retiree John LoFrumento, who has worked with ASCAP for 33 years and as CEO for 17 years. Matthews begins her tenure immediately.

The Featured Artists Coalition has announced that is appointing a full-time CEO for the first time in the form of Paul Pacifico. Previously board members Mark Kelly and Crispin Hunt had worked as part-time co-CEOs for the artist repping group.

Deezer has announced the appointment of a new CEO, Dr Hans-Holger Albrecht, who will replace former top man Axel Dauchez, who announced he was departing from the digital streaming company back in April. Deezer jas also confirmed it has purchased Muve Music from AT&T, giving it a sizable userbase over night. The service will be promoted by Cricket Wireless to its mobile customers moving forward under the arrangement. Deezer's North American CEO Tyler Goldman said: "Muve has been one of the bright spots in the music subscription category in terms of getting very significant penetration, like what Spotify did in the Nordics and Deezer did in France. But Muve has been a little bit under the radar, especially outside the US. For a long time it was the largest subscription service in the US, now it's probably the second largest. So over the course of this year, that means Deezer will become one of the largest players in the US".

Music therapy charity Nordoff-Robins has announced Julie Whelan as its new CEO, replacing Marcus Stephan who had been in the role since February 2013. Whelan joins from the Dame Kelly Holmes Trust.

PR man Jon Lawrence has left Stoked to set up his own company, Chalk Press Agency. Clients include Haim, St Vincent, Ben Howard, Michael Kiwanuka, Kyla La Grange, Broods and Denai Moore.

Ash Collins has joined Sony Music UK's RCA publicity team as Senior Publicist. Collins has previously worked for Universal, Toast and 9PR. 

And Andy Fixmer has joined Universal Music as the new VP Global Communications. He joins from Bloomberg and will be based at Universal Music's Santa Monica HQ, reporting into Exec VP and Head Of Global Communications Will Tanous.

Universal Music Group has announced two new appointments, with Marc Cimino named Universal Music Publishing's Chief Operating Officer and Narcís Rebollo made President of Universal Music Iberian Peninsula.

US-based music group Primary Wave has announced the merger of its talent management division with Intellectual Artists Management to create, what it's calling "a full service entertainment management company with talent spanning creative industries, from music to film to television and literary". Primary Wave had already added to its talent management business recently by acquiring film and TV agency Evolution Entertainment Partners. The new business, which will operate under the Primary Wave brand, will be headed up by both Primary Wave CEO Larry Mestel and Intellectual Artists boss David Guillod, with Evolution CEO Mark Burg as Vice Chairman.

Former Warner Music executive Conrad Withey has been confirmed as CEO of a new artist development label called PopShack, built on the back of a YouTube-focused multi-channel network business led by marketeer Abi Hanna, who is also Withey's wife.

Apple has acquired Semetric, the London-based business behind music analytics service Musicmetric.

Nick Roden, formerly of ADA and Defected Records, has just been named Director Of International Business Development at music distributor INgrooves.

Alissa Crevier, formerly of Spotify, has just been named Global Head Of Brand at direct-to-fan platform PledgeMusic.

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

LeeFest rests to grow, Sonisphere has no acts to show, Barcelona Metal clobbered by VAT and fees

LeeFest is to take a year off in 2015 before moving to a new, bigger site in 2016. Headlined in 2014 by Frightened Rabbit and The Cribs, the festival has grown in size in it’s 8 years from a party in organiser Lee Denny’s back garden to a 2500 capacity weekender with camping. Upon confirming that the event will be taking a fallow year, Lee Denny said in a statement: “After an amazing five years the event has outgrown its current home at Highams Farm, and the time has come to move on”. He continued, “We’re gutted that we won’t get to see you all this summer, but this will serve to make LeeFest all the more awesome. The festival is still being run entirely by volunteers, despite its unbelievable growth, so we often don’t get a chance to work on the big picture stuff. This is a unique opportunity for us to make LeeFest more sustainable, more creative and even more ambitious in the long term”.

The promoters of Sonisphere have confirmed that there will be no UK edition of the metal fest this year, after failing to secure suitable headliners to lead the event. The 2012 UK edition of Sonisphere was cancelled , as was 2013 in the UK. but last summer Iron Maiden, Metallica and The Prodigy headlined a special edition designed to celebrate 40 years of rock music at its English base Knebworth Park. In a statement organisers said "Team Sonisphere reluctantly confirm that Sonisphere will not take place in the UK in 2015. We've been working hard to get a line-up that we felt was good enough but also on a weekend which would avoid other events that we know rock fans would want to support" addeding "Unfortunately our last irons in the fire have just been extinguished and it's clear that we won't be in a position to run the event this year. We've said in the past that Sonisphere will only go ahead if we feel it is going to be good enough and that hasn't changed. We hope all rock fans have a great summer with all the festivals and concerts already in the calendar and we plan to see you all in 2016".

And the Barcelona Metal Festival has announced that it will also not take place in 2015. Launched last year, with its first edition headlined by Within Temptation, organisers have blamed the ever increasing artiste fees and Spain's high VAT rate for the cancellation. A statement on the event's website reads: "The conditions were not favourable for us to be able to hold this second edition in 2015 in the manner we would have liked. The proliferation across Europe of festivals of this genre, the increase in the fees of many bands and the fact that Spain has the highest rate of VAT in Europe on the price of a ticket (21%), means that our offers were not sufficiently attractive for artists of the calibre required by BMF". The event had been set to take place on 13 Jun. Organisers say that they hope to return in 2016.

All the bad news needs some good news in reply - and  a NEW festival has launched in the UK! Bestival's Rob de Bank has announced a June event for Southampton called Common People - with Fatboy Slim and Band of Skulls already on the bill.

And well done Kendal calling for  a great rail offer with Virgin. way to go to Cumbria!

Live Nation announce Thai JV

Live Nation has announced a joint venture with Thailand-based entertainment firm BEC-Tero. The new company, Live Nation BEC-Tero, will promote concerts by Western, J-Pop and K-Pop artists in the region, a pursuit in which BEC-Tero's concerts division is already a market leader locally. The joint venture will be led by Neil Thompson, who has been working in the Thailand music industry for over two decades.

Monday, 19 January 2015

T for two?

Drinks company Tennents is locked in a legal battle with a small music promotions company over the use of the letter T in the title of the  new event, due to be staged at Strathclyde Park this year. And The brewers, who are “founding partners” of T in the Park, say the logo for tribute band festival Tfest infringes their trademarks. In response, Tfest promoters Bookaband Ltd have said it would cost them £50,000 to alter their logo and website. Festival director John Ure said: “We don’t understand why a huge company like Tennent’s can feel we threaten them. Tennent’s don’t own the letter T. “We contacted them months ago to show them our logo and didn’t get any objection at the time. But now our website is live, we’re hit with lawyers’ letters.” Tennent’s have alleged that the Tfest mark “bear[s] a close similarity” to T in the Park and will “inevitably” mislead fans into thinking the two festivals are linked saying “To call another event Tfest is confusing at best and misleading at worst.” adding “The T in the Park name, frequently shortened to T, took a great deal of time and effort to become established.”

The new event has tribute acts such as Coldplace, the Antarctic Monkeys and Oasish booked to play at the planned 5000 capacity event in July. . 

Friday, 16 January 2015

UK's Creative sector is worth £76.9 billion

The UK's Creative sector is worth £76.9 billion to UK economy in 2013 according to the Department Of Culture, Media & Sport - which represents 5% of the UK economy.The figures show that together the creative industries accounted for 1.71 million jobs, a 1.4% increase on 2012, and 5.6% of the British workforce. Meanwhile the value of creative service exports was £17.3 billion, 8.8% of the UK's service export total. Culture Secretary Sajid Javid MP said: "The UK's creative industries are recognised as world leaders around the globe and today's figures show that they continue to grow from strength to strength. They are one of our most powerful tools in driving growth, outperforming all other sectors of industry and their contribution to the UK economy is evident to all".

Kendal Calling can grow

Kendal Calling  has been given the go-ahead to grow its capacity to 35,000 over the next three years following the withdrawal of objections ahead of an Eden Council licensing committee meeting which was due to be held today. A spokesman for Eden Council confirmed late yesterday that an agreement had now been reached between the organisers and the local authority's environmental health department which had resulted in a slight amendment to some of the conditions. The festival will start at 5pm on Thursday, 30th July, as opposed to noon, and will continue until Sunday, 2nd August. The capacity can rise from the current 20,000 capacity by 5,000 each following three years to 35,000.

Thursday, 15 January 2015

More green winners at the European Festival Awards

Three more festivals picked up their Greener Festival Award 2014 certificates at the European Festival Awards in Groningen, Holland, on the 14th January with OyaFestivalen (Norway) and Ilosaarirock (Finland) both picking up their 'Outstanding' Awards and Northside (Germany) picking up their 'Highly Commended' Award from European Festivals Awards host and A Greener Festival co-founder Ben Challis.

Denmark's Roskilde Festival picked up the GO (Green Operations) Award in the main Festival Awards Europe for their campaign against food waste.

Ilosaarirock collect their Award

Katri looks pleased!
The Oya team collect their Award
Well done Northside!

European Festival Awards .... and the winners are .....

The 6th Festival Awards Europe are done and dusted and at a star studded gala celebration at De Oosterport on January 14th at the start of this year's EuroSonic festival and conference in Groningen, host Ben Challis welcomed guests and winners and live performances from MØ (Denmark), Jack Garratt (UK) and Aurora Asknes (Sweden) - as well as a special surprise opening act, The Illegal Terms, made up of Ben on vocals, Michal Kaščák, organiser of the Pohoda Festival on drums, Open Air St Gallen's organiser Christof Huber on guitar alongside Virtual Festivals' Steve Jenner, and Das Fest booker and boss of Green Events Europe, Holger Jan Schmidt,  on bass. The Illegal Terms gave  barnstorming renditions of 'Blittzkrieg Bop' and 'I Fought The Law'. Sponsoring partners for the Awards included hosts Yourope, the European festivals association, EuroSonic and Eventbrite, Intelligent Venue Solutions, Plug Go and Snack Media. With over 1.2 milllion votes cast in the public categories this year, the Arctic Monkey's won two awards for Headliner of the Year and Festival Anthem of the Year, collected on the night by the bands long time manager Geoff Barradale. Hungary's Sziget won Best Major Festival, Glastonbury picked up the Best Lineup Award for their Metallica and Dolly Parton inspired summer bash, and Stromae picked up best newcomer.

Best Small European Festival - Festival Tuaron Nowa Muzyka (Poland) 

Best Indoor Festival - I love Techno (Belgium)

The Green Operations Award - Roskilde Festival (Denmark)

Newcomer Of The Year - Stromae

Artist’s Favourite European Festival  - Primavera Sound in Barcelona (Spain)

Best New European Festival - Down the Rabbit Hole (The Nederlands)

Festival Anthem of the Year - Arctic Monkeys – R U Mine

YES Group H&S Innovation Award  - Mojo Concerts

Best Medium-Sized European Festival - Sea Dance Festival (Montenegro)

Promoter Of The Year -  Live Nation (Belgium)

Best European Festival Line-Up - Glastonbury Festival (UK)

Best Headliner - Arctic Monkeys

Best Major European Festival - Sziget (Hungary)

Lifetime Achievement Award - Melvin Benn 

Award For Excellence And Passion - Rikke Oxner

The European Border Breakers Awards (EBBAs), which give recognition to new European acts who have achieved cross-border chart success were also confirmed at a ceremony hosted by Jools Holland earlier in the day at EuroSonic. The ten winners were announced in October, with three - Melanie De Biasio, MØ and Indila - performing live  (as did previous winners, The Ting Tings), The other seven nominated acts were Klangkarussell, Milky Chance, Hozier, The Common Linnets, Todd Terje, Tove Lo and John Newman. Last year's Dutch Eurovision entrants The Common Linnets were handed the Public Choice Award after an online vote, and Jungle were awarded the EBBA Best Festival Act prize.

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

UK ticketing reforms voted down

A bid to tighten the laws on ticket re-sales in the UK has been defeated in the House Of Commons, as MPs voted 289 to 204 against an amendment to the Consumer Rights Bill.

Monday, 12 January 2015


March 5th 2015 sees Green Events & Innovations returning to the International Live Music Conference in London. As the leading sustainable events conference and gathering in the UK, this year we have three key themes: Communication, Social Impact and Changing to More Sustainable Behaviours.
Thursday March 5th at the ILMC, Royal Garden Hotel, London W8
Register here on the GEI 2015 eventbrite page:
Delegate earlybird discount rate to January 31st is  just £60
Delegate registration rate £80: ILMC delegates / Yourope / AIF members are offered a discount of 10% and students 20% (discount code is Partner2015 / Student15)
A Greener Festival and Bucks New University will host the seventh edition of the Green Events & Innovations conference (GEI). GEI remains the UK’s leading conference looking at sustainability at live events, drawing experts from around the country and internationally. As the industry’s response to environmental management matures, GEI will continue to demonstrate the latest solutions and technologies for practical event management. GEI 2015 will be exploring how events can make a social and cultural impact in addition to environmental factors, and how these issues intertwine.  The GEI schedule will include showcases of the latest actions and top case studies from events across the globe and delegates will enjoy complimentary lunch and refreshments throughout the da
Confirmed panels include 
Spreading the Message -  Communication – How important is the  communication of your successes and failures to a festival’s green agenda?
Making a Difference - Social Impact and the wider reach of Sustainability
Behaviours and Values -  How do you influence audiences to  more sustainable environmental behaviours.
One of the projects we will focus on will be  Change The Record (a project of In Place of War) co-creates cultural spaces in the most under-resourced communities in the world, working where others do not. To date, it has collected over £120,000 worth of unused musical instruments and studio equipment from the UK. By shipping them to groups around the world, they aim to empower local people to make their own opportunity and change. Change The Record also mobilses musicians, records albums and makes sustainable festivals in the places we work. Their current projects are in the oldest township in Zimbabwe – Makokoba; the biggest favela in Rio – Rochina; and the middle of remote jungle in DR Congo – Kisangani.
Confirmed speakers include
Ruth Daniels (In Place of War)
Artur  Mendes (Boom Festival, Portugal)
Dr Stephen Henderson (Leeds Beckett University)
Andy Fryers  (Hay Literary Festival)
Pip Rush Jansen (Arcadia Spectacular)
Claire O'Neill  (AGreenerFestival)
Rob Scully (Glastonbury Festival)
Teresa Moore  (Bucks New University)
Alesh (Mental Engag é , DR Congo)
With more speakers to be announced! Register here on the GEI 2015 eventbrite page:

Friday, 9 January 2015

Years & Years top BBC Sound Of poll

The results of the BBC's Sound Of poll has been announced and the winners are,  in reverse order: George The Poet, Raury, Stormzy, James Bay and top winners Years & Years

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Sting's Ship goes down

Sting's musical 'The Last Ship', a story of ship building in the North East of England in the 80s, and which opened on Broadway in October to good reviews, will close after producers said that current ticket sales cannot cover the $625,000 per week running and $15 million set up costs. Sting himself joining the cast in November, replacing Jimmy Nail. 'The Last Ship' will close on 24 Jan. The New York Times says producers are now hoping to secure licensing deals to help cover some of the losses.

News of the closure comes after Broadway theatres reported a record-breaking year for attendance and box-office takings in 2014. A total of 13.1 million people went to see shows in the heart of New York last year, bringing in $1.36bn (£0.89bn) with attendances  up 13 percent and box-office takings up 14 percent. Long-running shows Wicked, The Lion King and The Book of Mormon were among the top-grossing shows, with each pulling in more than $2.2 million (£1.45 million) for the New Year week. Nearly 20 new shows are scheduled to open on Broadway in 2015, including a musical version of the 2003 Jack Black film School of Rock.

Monday, 5 January 2015

Amsterdam's Trouw shuts its doors for the last time

Amsterdam's Trouw club closed its doors for the last time on January 3rd 2015. Founder Olaf Boswijk said that organisers always knew that the day would come saying “When you work on a temporary basis there’s no other way but stopping on a climax” adding “It’s gone from something quite basic to us all creating things that we really believe in, fulfilling our dreams in any way we see possible. We’ve always done so with the end date in mind, so it gets more intense as you progress; more energy and emotion. It’s a beautiful thing.” DJ Seth Troxler told MixMag “Trouw has always been home to me. There are very few clubs in the world that have such incredible care and love for the creation they’ve made: the music, the food, the total experience. It will go down in the history of our times as one of the most notable spaces, like a modern-day Paradise Garage. I’m honoured to have played there since I first started DJing in Europe, and I’m happy to have played a part in its history. I’m going there for the final three nights. Not to play, but to go raving. I just want to be there and be part of it.

The UK record indusrty in 2014 - streams and vinyl up, downloads and CDs down

Top year for Ed
The end of year sales figures from the UK record industry have few surpises, showing that streaming boomed, downloads peaked, CD sales continued to decline and vinyl sales were up, if comparatively tiny. Figures from the UK's Entertainment Retailer's Association show that the UK download sector brought in 14.9% less in 2014 than 2013 at £338.1 million, while streaming revenues shot up 65.1% bringing in £106 million for the record industry. Streams accounted for 12.6% of consumption overall, digital albums accounted for 25.3% of total units, single track accounted for 13.3%. Physical sales slipped 6.9% and now making up 48.8% of consumption overall it means that overall the UK record industry saw its sales dip 1.6%.

Overall the end of year charts compiled by the Official Charts Company show:

Top Ten Albums of 2014 
1. Ed Sheeran - x (Warner/Atlantic)
2. Sam Smith - In The Lonely Hour (Universal/Capitol)
3. George Ezra - Wanted On Voyage (Sony/Columbia)
4. Paolo Nutini - Caustic Love (Warner/Atlantic)
5. Coldplay - Ghost Stories (Warner/Parlophone)
6. Paloma Faith - A Perfect Contradiction (Sony/RCA)
7. One Direction - Four (Sony/Syco)
8. Olly Murs - Never Been Better (Sony/Epic)
9. Pink Floyd - The Endless River (Warner/Rhino)
10. Take That - III (Universal/Polydor)

Top Ten Vinyl Albums of 2014 
1. Pink Floyd - The Endless River (Warner/Rhino)
2. Arctic Monkeys - AM (Domino Recordings)
3. Royal Blood - Royal Blood (Warner/Warner Bros)
4. Oasis - Definitely Maybe (Sony/Big Brother)
5. Pink Floyd - The Dark Side of the Moon (Warner/Rhino)
6. Jack White - Lazaretto (Beggars/XL)
7. The Stone Roses - The Stone Roses (Sony/Silvertone)
8. Foo Fighters - Sonic Highways (Sony/RCA)
9. Led Zeppelin - Led Zeppelin (Warner/Rhino)
10. Oasis - (What's The Story) Morning Glory? (Sony/Big Brother)

Top Ten Singles of 2014 
1. Pharrell Williams - Happy (Sony Music/Columbia)
2. Clean Bandit feat Jess Glynne - Rather Be (Warner/Atlantic)
3. John Legend - All Of Me (Sony/Columbia)
4. Mr Probz - Waves (Sony/Left Lane Recordings)
5. Ed Sheeran - Thinking Out Loud (Warner/Atlantic)
6. Ella Henderson - Ghost (Sony/Syco)
7. Sam Smith - Stay With Me (Universal/Capitol)
8. Meghan Trainor - All About That Bass (Sony/Epic)
9. Pitbull feat Kesha - Timber (Sony/J-Mr 305-Polo Grounds)
10. George Ezra - Budapest (Sony/Columbia)

Top Ten Most Streamed Tracks in 2014 (compiled by Official Charts Company based on chart-returning audio streaming services)

1. Clean Bandit feat Jess Glynne - Rather Be (Warner/Atlantic)
2. Pharrell Williams - Happy (Sony Music/Columbia)
3. John Legend - All of Me (Sony Music/Columbia)
4. Mr Probz - Waves (Sony/Left Lane Recordings)
5. Sam Smith - Stay With Me (Universal/Capitol)
6. Ed Sheeran - Thinking Out Loud (Warner/Atlantic)
7. George Ezra - Budapest (Sony/Columbia)
8. Ed Sheeran - Sing (Warner/Atlantic)
9. Pitbull feat Kesha - Timber (Sony/J-Mr 305-Polo Grounds)
10. Magic - Rude (Sony/RCA)

Lotta Mullah - Live Nation take control at C3

Live Nation has taken a controlling stake in Austin City Limits and Lollapalooza promoter C3 Presents, with the live music major rumoured to have spent in the region of $125 million to take a 51% shareholding in C3. C3 Presents founders Charles Attal, Charlie Jones and Charlie Walker said "We are excited to join Live Nation and become a part of their global family, while continuing to grow our festivals within a culture of entrepreneurship that will empower our team to keep improving these festivals and the fan experience".

Thursday, 1 January 2015

New Year's Eve tragedy leaves at least 35 dead in China

Thirty-five people have been killed in a stampede during New Year's celebrations in Shanghai, China's state-run Xinhua News Agency reported that the Shanghai government confirmed that another 42 people were injured amid the chaos about half an hour before midnight. The deaths and injuries occurred in the  popular riverfront Bund area. Last week, the Shanghai Daily reported that the annual New Year's Eve countdown on the Bund, which normally attracts upwards of 300,000 people had been cancelled, apparently because of crowd control issues. The report said a "toned-down" version of the event would be held instead but that it would not be open to the public.

Thousands gathered in London along the Thames to see an 11-minute firework display centring on the London Eye, accompanied by a electronic soundtrack and followed by Auld Lang Syne. Ticketing was introduced for the first time, with numbers kept to 100,000, down on the estimated 500,00 last year.

In Edinburgh, thousands took part in the huge outdoor celebrations before the clock struck midnight, with Lily Allen headlining the Concert in the Gardens, joined by special guests Bjorn Again and Soul II Soul. The world-famous street party also saw performances from Twin Atlantic, Eddi Reader and Young Fathers and an outdoor ceilidh with 3,000 dancers. High winds forced some last minute cancellations.