Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Swift accused of hypocrisy by photographer after Apple dispute ends

Having managed to reverse Apple Music's 'no royalties' policy for the first three month launch period, Taylor Swift has come under fire from freelance photographer Jason Sheldon, who points out that photo waivers for the pop star’s concerts stipulate that a photographer can use their images from the show only once and only within the published report on that performance - meaning that whilst the copyright owner, they can’t sell their images to other editorial outlets, nor can they sell prints of the image in any way - and to add insult to injury - they have to sign over 'publicity' and non commercial right on a royalty free basis to Swift. For the life of copyright. “You say in your letter to Apple that ‘Three months is a long time to go unpaid,'” Sheldon writes. “But you seem happy to restrict us to being paid once, and never being able to earn from our work ever again, while granting you the rights to exploit our work for your benefit for all eternity…”


And another complaint here, this one signed by another photographer Matthew Parri Thomas after Swift's Hyde Park show http://www.thefourohfive.com/music/article/an-open-letter-to-taylor-swift-from-a-405-photographer-143

Monday, 22 June 2015

Scarlet Mist returns

Ethical ticket exchange Scarlet Mist is back with a new team. The site, which has an anti-touting philosophy and sets out to enable people who bought a ticket to a show with a genuine intent to attend to sell it on if and when they can no longer make it.

Originally launched in 2003, Scarlet Mist shutterd in 2011 after fraudsters had used the site to scam ticket buyers, but returned for a time in 2014 until further problems with scammers persuaded founder Richard Marks to put it all on hold again last December. Three other people have now come forward to help Marks get the service back online, including business consultant Peter Main, web developer Mark Vick and engineer Niall Barclay. The website is now live again just as the summer festival season really swings into action, with plans to overhaul the platform later in the year.

Sunday, 21 June 2015

SFX sell shares despite planned buy back

Against the backdrop of a planned share buy back, EDM festival specialist SFX has sold stock to Wolverine Flagship Fund Trading Limited and Virtual Point Holdings LLC in a cash deal worth $10 million. Meanwhile another company affiliated to SFX founder and CEO Robert FX Sillerman will reportedly pump $5 million into the business, also in return for a stack of shares.


Apple reverse 'no royalty' launch policy after Swift pulls out

Apple Music has reversed its (non) payment policy, a day after the singer Taylor Swift said she was refusing to allow the company to stream her album 1989 because the computer and music giant were offering no royalties in a three month launch period free trial period for subscribers. Indepdent record labels and their trade bodies including AIM (UK), A2IM (US), UFPI (France) and VUT (Germany) had already voiced their critcims. Now Apple says it will pay artists for music streamed during trial periods. "We hear you @taylorswift13 and indie artists. Love, Apple," tweeted executive Eddy @Cue. Swift had said the plan was "unfair", arguing Apple had the money to cover the cost and AIM CEO Alison Wenham had written to AIM members to encourage them to "make their own decision" about Apple Music - but criticised the new streaming service for essentially "asking the independent music sector to hedge its risk, to fund their customer acquisition programme and to shoulder the financial burden for their global launch."


And see Eamonn Forde's article in the Guadian here 

Friday, 19 June 2015

BBC pushes for 20 million Glasto viewers

The BBC expects to reach up to 20 million viewers with its coverage of the Glastonbury Festival this year. The broadcaster will provide 250 hours of coverage across all platforms from the event, including 30 hours on its TV channels, which will be beamed out under the BBC Music umbrella for the first time.  Coverage on TV begins with the One Show on BBC1 at 7pm on Friday before moving to BBC2, BBC3 and BBC4. The BBC’s Director of Music Bob Shennan said: “It’s a hugely important event for BBC Music for a variety of reasons” adding“It’s one of the world’s greatest music festivals and it’s certainly the biggest single weekend commitment the BBC has, bringing music to our audience" and “We expect that our content across the weekend will reach somewhere around 19-20 million people, which is a very significant portion of the population.”

More than 100 artists will be filmed for broadcast and live streaming, including headliners Florence And The Machine, Kanye West, Chemical Brothers, Rudimental, DeadMau5, Hot Chip, 'tSunday ea time legend' Lionel Richie and closing Pyramid Stage act The Who.

Shennan added: “The majority of people want to take what we give them on television and radio, and they listen to it as a linear experience. But being able to delve into lots of different stages and artists, going into the complexity of what Glastonbury has to offer is one of the great opportunities of our digital coverage.”

Thursday, 18 June 2015


U2’s tour manager of more than three decades, Dennis Sheehan, has died after suffering a heart attack in his hotel room in Los Angeles. Mr Sheehan, who was 68, was described as a “legend” by lead singer Bono, who said he was “irreplaceable” and like a “family member”. He also worked with acts including Led Zeppelin, Iggy Pop, Patti Smith and Lou Reed during his long career. 

​Dean Schachtel, General manager of Ronnie James Dio’s label and management company, Niji Entertainment Group, passed away suddenly at the age of 49 on May 18, Billboard has confirmed.

Late Of The Pier drummer Ross Dawson has been killed in a "very sudden and tragic accident", his family have announced. As well as writing and playing his own material Ross was a drummer with many other successful artists including Misty Miller, Kai Fish and most recently Zibra.

Ornette Coleman
Ornette Coleman, the musician, saxophonist, violinist, trumpeter, composer and pioneer of free jazz has died. He was 85. 

Flesh For Lulu’s Nick Marsh passed away on June 5, 2015. His family said "Sadly, Nick lost his fight this morning. He passed peacefully away, with Kat by his side holding his hand. A massive thank you to everyone who has shown support, in so many ways, to Nick, Kat and their beautiful girls. We’ve lost a good’un." Nick was just 53. He’d been fighting cancer since being diagnosed in 2014, and was moved to hospice care earlier his week after the disease was found to be inoperable. Singer-songwriter and guitarist Marsh came to prominence in the 1980s with alt-rock band Flesh For Lulu before becoming part of The Urban Voodoo Machine in 2003. He was also a member of From The Deep with his wife Kat (Katharine Blake of Miranda Sex Garden and The Medieaval Baebes). More here.

Easy listening star James Last has died following a brief period of illness. He was 86.

Beggars Group boss Martin Mills has paid tribute to Pete Edwards, the former tour manager and sound man for Bauhaus and others, who died last weekend. In a post on his company's website Mills wrote: "We've just received the very sad news that our dear Pete Edwards passed away over the weekend, after a long illness. Pete Edwards, aka Plug The Roadie, originally came to us through, and worked with, The Lurkers, our very first band, and went on to tour the world as tour manager and sound man for Bauhaus and Love And Rockets, becoming legendary in the process".

Mouse grouse settled in house

The real mau5
Less than 24 hours after tweeting about a cease and desist letter he had sent to a Toronto production called Deadmouse: The Musical, Deadmau5 has revealed the legal dispute is already over. "The dead mouse musical debacle is settled. They have just put up a disclaimer and called it a parody. Moving along now," he tweeted on the evening of Wednesday June 17. According to the musical's website, Deadmouse: The Musical is about "a mouse who wants to be a house DJ but is discriminated against for being a mouse.... Think Ratatouille meets Book of Mormon." The lead character is named Joel Zimmermouse, somewhat similar to Deadmau5's real name - Joel Zimmerman. It also includes other parody characters, including David Goudda and Avicheese - hohoho!  Zimmerman's letter claimed intellectual property violations against the production. The letter was sent to the Al Green Theater, where the musical is being staged.



Sony Music top man Doug Morris has inked a new two year deal to run the music major, according to the New York Post. And Sony/ATV chief Marty Bandier is also was set to extend his contract with the company.

Warner Music Group COO Rob Wiesenthal is leaving the major - and the music industry - to focus on a start-up called Blade, "the first crowdsourced short distance aviation company". Warner Music has announced that former exec Michael Nash is returning to the company, to replace Wiesenthal.

And The Chief Operating Officer of the BMG Group worldwide, John Dobinson, has exited the company. The news was confirmed by BMG CEO Hartwig Masuch.

Dorothy Hui has been appointed VP Digital Business at Sony Music UK, joining from Roc Nation. 

Proper Music Distribution has appointed Kameil Sattar, formerly with eMusic, to the role of Head Of Digital. 

Steven Melrose, formerly co-MD at Sony's Epic Records UK, has joined Crown Talent & Media Group as Head Of Music

David Pickard has been appointed director of the BBC Proms. Pickard is currently general director at Glyndebourne and will take up his new role later this year, reporting to Alan Davey, controller of BBC Radio 3. Edward Blakeman, director, BBC Proms 2015, will continue to lead the festival throughout this year’s season and ahead of Pickard’s arrival.

MusIc publisher Sony/ATV has announced the promotion of both Janice Brock and David Ventura to the newly-created positions of Joint Heads of A&R in the UK.

The Fender company has announced the appointment of a new CEO, Andy P Mooney, who joins the musical instrument firm from surf wear company Quiksilver.

Fran Nevrkla will step down as Chairman of the UK record industry's collecting society PPL at the end of the year. Nevrkla was CEO of the recorded music rights body until 2012 before becoming chair.

Universal Music Publishing has promoted Markus Wenzel, previously MD of its German unit, to be President of UMP Germany and SVP for UMP in Austria and Switzerland.

Jackie Alway, Universal Music Publishing’s VP International Legal and Industry Affairs, will become the UK Music Publishers Association’s new Chair, following elections by the MPA board. The publishers' trade group also announced the appointment of a new General Manager - Claire McAuley - who joins the organisation from ad agency TBWA\Media Arts Lab, having previously also worked at Universal Music Publishing.

Music agents Peter Schwartz and James Rubin have left The Agency Group (TAG) to join William Morris Endeavor (WME), reports Variety.  Between them, the duo, who will be based at WME's New York office, represent acts including Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, A$AP Ferg, Run The Jewels, Cypress Hill and Method Man.

Beyonce has moved her touring business from ICM Partners to CAA, The Hollywood Reporter says. She will remain with ICM for acting.

Rob Wells, who stepped down as Universal Music's President Of Global Digital Business in February, has re-emerged on the advisory board of Revelator, a Jerusalem-based sales and marketing data platform for independent music. Wells is also joined by EMI's former Senior Vice President Of Digital Strategy And Development, Tom Ryan.

Wixen Music UK's Managing Director, Beth Wijayarathna, has left the company. She joined Wixen in 2010 after spending three years at Nettwerk One.

Specialist rigging, automation and performer flying services group Rigging Team has appointed Claire Gilligan in the role of Operations Manager.

AEG’s ticketing company AXS is to merge with Veritix. The combined entity will partner the ticketing platform of AXS, including its AXS Invite and AXS Waiting Room, with Veritix’s season ticket management technology and digital, ID-based ticketing technology.

Former Sony Music UK CEO Nick Gatfield is back with "an investment, strategy and services provider for early stage artists and music entrepreneurs". The new business aims to be an angel-type investor for both new artist businesses and other music start-ups.

7digital has announced the promotion of its VP of Business Development James Priestley to the role of General Manager of the digital music provider's North American operations.

Jesse Norman MP
American magazine publisher Wenner Media has made a number of staffing cuts across its Rolling Stone, US Weekly and Men's Journal titles, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Among the cuts, Rolling Stone's David Fricke has apparently been taken off contract and will now contribute on a freelance basis. 

Conservative MP Jesse Norman has been named the new chairman of Parliament's Culture, Media And Sport Select Committee, replacing John Whittingdale, who is now Culture Secretary.

Spotify has announced former Netflix exec Barry McCarthy as its new CFO. He will step down from the music streaming service's board, upon which he has sat since February 2014, to take up the hands-on role.

UK music tourism generates £3.1 billion annually

UK Music has released a report showing that music tourism numbers increased by 34% between 2011 and 2014, with 9.5 million eager human beings travelling to UK music events in 2014 alone. Over half a million came from overseas, the rest travelling more than "three times the average commuting distance" of an event's local region in order to get to the event.

Other statistics presented in the UK Music report are that £3.1 billion was generated by music tourism last year, while those 546,000 music tourists coming from abroad spent an average of £751 each while in the UK. The music industry group also reckons that 38,238 full time jobs were sustained by music tourism last year.

Total attendance at UK music events topped 21 million in 2014 – a 23% increase in three years.

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Foos cancel Glastonbury

The Foo Fighters have cancelled the remainder of their tour dates after Dave Grohl brole his leg falling of a stage in Sweden. Glastonbury Festival releaswed a statement saying

 “Due to injuries sustained in Dave Grohl’s fall from the stage during Foo Fighters’ June 12 show at Ullevi Stadium in Gothenburg, Sweden, doctors have required the cancellation of the remainder of the band’s dates in the UK and Europe. Sadly, this means that the band will not be able to make their scheduled Pyramid Stage headline appearance on Friday, 26th June. We wish Dave Grohl all the best for a full and speedy recovery. A new Friday night headliner will be announced soon."

The band's dates at Wembley Stadium are also cancelled on 19th and 20th June, as is their Edinburgh, show at BT Murrayfield Stadium on 23rd June, and 25 June  at Rock Werchter, Belgium.

Monday, 15 June 2015

UK promoter acquires Croatian island

The UK-based promoter behind Croatia’s Unknown Festival has acquired the island of Obonjan, which it plans to turn into the world’s first curated entertainment tourist destination. Sound Channel is linking up with Croatian operating company Gratiosus to operate the island, situated near the city of Sibenik in Croatia. It will host music and other entertainment from summer 2016, with the primary aim of developing a low impact environmentally friendly destination.

Queen honours music industry

Van Morrison has been knighted, for Services to the Music Industry and to Tourism in Northern Ireland under his real name George Ivan Morrison. The CEO and Chairman of Universal Music Group International, Max Hole, was also awarded a CBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in the UK. PPL’s Director of Performer Affairs Keith Harris, who also represents Stevie Wonder and is Chair of Music Tank, was awarded an OBE for Services To The Music Industry. Elsewhere in the Honours list, Sally Groves, Creative Director at Schott Music, received an MBE for Services To Music. Opera and musical director Jonathan Kent received a CBE for Services To Music and Theatre, while composer Mark Turnage and singer Michael Ball were also also awarded CBEs for Services To Music and Services To Musical Theatre, respectively. Kathryn Tickell was awarded an OBE for Services to Folk Music, David Whelton  picked up an OBE. He is MD of the Philharmonic Orchestra and the award was again for Services To Music, as was Professor Michael Bochmann's MBE. Composers James MacMillan and Karl Jenkins both received knighthoods, clarinettist and conductor Michael Collins was awarded an MBE, and Simon Halsey, Chorus Director of the City Of Birmingham Symphony Chorus, among other roles, becomes a CBE.

Sunday, 14 June 2015

Download faces privacy backlash

The organisers of the Download Festival are facing a backlash from fans who complained that the much vaunted and compulsory cashless payments system (which failed on the opening day) could be used to track them around the site, that personal details the system gathered  were being released to 'targeted marketing companies' and that festivals goer's faces were being scanned by "strategically placed cameras"at the Download festival site in Donington by the Leicstershire Police "before comparing [them] with a database of custody images from across Europe”.


Foos cancel Pinkpop after Grohl breaks leg

The Foo Fighters have cancelled two shows after frontman Dave Grohl sustained "at least one fracture" when he fell off the stage during a concert in Gothenburg, Sweden. He later returned to complete the show after medical attention, sitting in a chair assisted by a medical team. The band have cancelled their appearance at the Pinkpop Festival in Landgraaf, Netherlands, today (Sunday 14th June)and a show at the AFG Arena in St Gallen, Switzerland, on Monday 15th. There is no news whether two sold out Wembley Stadium shows will go ahead, scheduled for the 19th and 20 June, and the band are also scheduled to headline Friday night at the Glastonbury Festival on June 26th. Florence Welch, who fronts Florence and the Machine who are the penultimate act that night on the Pyramid Stage that night, broke her foot leaping off stage during her energetic live set at Coachella in April.

The Foo Fighters were two songs into their set at the Ullevi stadium when Grohl went to jump on a ramp but missed and fell into the security area. "I think I just broke my leg" the singer told the crowd as he lay on the ground adding "I'm going to go to hospital. I'm going to fix my leg. And then I'm going to come back."

Video here

Friday, 12 June 2015

Kerrang Awards 2015

The Relentless Kerrang Awards! are out -  and those winners are:

Best British Band: Bring Me The Horizon
Best Live Band: Black Veil Brides
Best International Band: All Time Low
Best British Newcomer: Royal Blood
Best International Newcomer: Pvris
Best Fanbase: Pierce The Veil
Tweeter Of The Year: Hayley Williams

Best Single: Enter Shikari - Anaesthetist
Best Album: Marmozets - The Weird And Wonderful Marmozets
Best Video: New Years Day
Best Event: All Time Low
Best Festival: Slam Dunk

Best Film: Guardians Of The Galaxy
Best TV Show: Adventure Time
Best Radio Show: Nights With Alice Cooper On Planet Rock
Best Video Game: The Walking Dead
Best Comic Book: The Walking Dead
Best Comedian: Russell Howard

Spirit Of Independence: Baby Metal
Spirit Of Punk: Slaves
Inspiration: Judas Priest
Kerrang! Legend: Alice Cooper
The Relentless Award: Rolo Tomassi
Lifetime Achievement: Marilyn Manson

Thursday, 11 June 2015

Early chaos for cashless at Download

Early arrivals at the Download Festival have experienced problems with the festival's new cashless payment system. However, Live Nation have told Gigwise that the situation is under control. Download's new system allows festival-goers pay for drink, food and items at the various stalls with a barcode on wristbands pre-loaded with money.  However Festival-goers have been complaining of longer queues than ever, with many finding that their wristbands do not contain the money they loaded on. With no failsafe, back-up or cash alternative, hundreds have been left frustrated. 

The Download Festival at Donington Park sees Muse headline alongside Slipknot, Kiss, Marilyn Manson, Judas Priest, The Darkness, Slash and many more.

Glasgow's Arches closes

The Arches in Glasgow has announced that it was closing with immediate effect, having placed itself in administration. This follows new licensing restrictions placed on the venue by the local council last month after a number of drug and alcohol related incidents.  Management at The Arches recently announced that they were seeking legal advice on the local authority decision to cut its licensed hours. They said that by essentially forcing it to stop running club nights, the council was cutting off 51% of the charity-run arts venue's income. In a statement, the chairman of the venue's board of directors, Gordon Kennedy, said: "The board has taken professional advice and is left with no other choice than to begin the process of appointing administrators for both The Arches Theatre Ltd and Arches Retail Ltd. This decision has been taken with deep regret as it will have a major impact on our staff, business partners, customers, and on Glasgow's reputation for night time economy".

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Spotify raises another $526 milllion

Spotify has closed its latest funding round raising more than half a 
billion dollars. Reports originally suggested that the streaming music firm was seeking in the region of $400 million to fuel its global expansion, but according to the Wall Street Journal some $526 million has been raised, with $115 coming from Nordic tel co TeliaSonera AB.

Just hours after confirming that it had secured $526m in new investment, Spotify has announced that it has reached 20m paying subscribers. It's added 10m subs in the past year alone - the same number it attracted in its first six years of business.

Ten Walls dropped after homophobic rant

At least five festivals have removed Ten Walls, AKA Lithuanian musician Marijus Adomaitis, from their lineups in response to his recent anti-gay comments.  Creamfields, PITCH, Pukkelpop, Urban Art Forms Festival and Sónar took the action after a now retracted Facebook post that compared gay people to paedophiles and described the LGBTI community as a "different breed".

Creamfields issued a statement saying: "Whilst we respect freedom of speech, we find his defamatory and prejudiced comments about the gay community extremely offensive and feel that this is not in line with the spirit of Creamfields." Meanwhile PITCH explained: "We are against any form of discrimination whatsoever, on and off our festival site. Comments like these are so far from our beliefs that it wouldn’t make any sense to have this act playing our festiva." and a Sónar statement read: "Ten Walls will no longer be appearing at Sónar 2015 as his statements are at odds with the nature and ethos of the festival." 

Adomaitis's former bookers, Coda Music Agency, have dropped Ten Walls from its roster. A statement from the London-based agency explains: "Coda Music Agency condemns all forms of discrimination based on race, religion or sexual orientation. We are proud to be an equal opportunity employer and to represent a hugely diverse roster of artists. We no longer represent Ten Walls." Electronic artist Fort Romeau has also cancelled his slot supporting Ten Walls at Koko in London in November.


Ticketmaster reaches into festivals and DIY

Ticketmaster has snapped up two more companies, expanding its reach into the festival and DIY ticketing space. Front Gate Tickets was started in 2003 as an alternative ticketing service for venues in Austin, Texas, and  now helps venues, artists, promoters and festivals grow their business and effectively promote events to fans. Clients include music events as Coachella, Austin City Limits, Electric Forest, The Governors Ball Music Festival, Lollapalooza, RBC Royal Bank Bluesfest and X Games. Additionally, Front Gate Tickets offers RFID-powered access control, experiential marketing and cashless POS systems that streamline festival entry, sponsorship activations, and concession sales. DIY ticketing platform Universe helps event organisers sell tickets online. It works with thousands of event organizers worldwide and provides them with tools to sell tickets, and promote and manage events online.

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Apple Music is go!

Apple has launched its Apple Music streaming service at this year’s WWDC conference in San Francisco. Headline news is that the new platform will be available from 30th June for $9.99 a month, after a free three months period - with a 'family' package costing $14.99 a month for up to six family members sharing with the service promising to “change the way you experience music forever",  initially available on iOS, Mac and Windows, with an Android version following in autumn. 

Opening his presentation by explaining "“So now, 2015, music industry is a fragmented mess. Do you wanna stream music? You can go over here. If you wanna stream video, you can check some of these places out. If you wanna follow some artists, there’s more confusions with that… So I reached out to [Apple executives] Tim Cook and Eddy Cue and said ‘guys, can we build a bigger and better ecosystem with the elegance and simplicity that only Apple can do?", Interscope Records / Beats by Dre co-founder Jimmy Iovine promised “one complete thought” around music. Labelled a “revolutionary music service”, the new service aims to streamline the experience of enjoying music. It also allows artists to share music directly with fans. “When you upload your music to Apple Music, anything can happen,” says Iovine. The core of Apple Music will be a catalogue of millions of songs and music videos to stream on-demand, as well as a wide variety of programmed playlists created by its in-house team of editors, and by musicians. In August 2014 Apple bought Beats for $3 Billion.

Connect will allow artists to publish and post their music directly to fans, with pushes to Facebook and Twitter and they can also share behind-the-scenes photos, lyrics and additional cuts like remixes, with Drake explaining the artist’s perspective, saying how the internet has changed the game for musicians – including his ability to bring music directly to fans: “The dream of being a new artist like myself five years ago and connecting directly with an audience has never been more close and reachable than now". 

Eddy Cue explained the Apple Music iPhone app: here users will be able to search their existing music library, as well as the wider Apple Music library, along with a feature called “For You” that recommends playlists and albums “that you’re going to love.. and it isn’t just algorithms. It’s recommendations made by real people who love music, and they’re our team of experts”. Playlists will be sorted by genre or activity.

Apple Music includes a worldwide 24-hour radio station called Beats1 which will be broadcast from three cities - LA, New York, London -  with ex- BBC Radio 1 DJ Zane Lowe amongst the hosts. Julie Adenuga will host live from London.

The launch closed with a performance from The Weeknd's new single ‘I Can’t Feel My Face’.

Apple's objective of paying no royalties to either the three major labels or the independent labels during the free three month launch period has prompted angry comment not least as to why musicians and labels are subsidising the world's most valuable company.  The American Association Of Independent Music has posted its thoughts on Apple Music's objective saying "Since a sizable percentage of Apple's most voracious music consumers are likely to initiate their free trails at launch, we are struggling to understand why rights holders would authorise their content on the service before 1 st Oct. This is especially true in light of the potential revenue damage to a music label's iTunes download revenues and impact on their cash flow".

Video here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BNUC6UQ_Qvg

http://musically.com/2015/06/08/wwdc-2015-apple-streaming-music-liveblog/ and 
http://www.digitalmusicnews.com/permalink/2015/06/08/apple-shines-spotlight-on-unsigned-artist-who-doesnt-exist and http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2015/jun/08/apple-music-streaming-service-wwdc-spotify?CMP=share_btn_fb

Monday, 8 June 2015

Booming UK nightime needs a light touch

lan D Miller, Chairman of the recently formed Night Time Industries Association, which brings together bars, venue owners,  club promoters and DJ representatives, has called on the government and other authoritiies to be careful when looking at new regulations, practices and laws which affect the entertainment sector. Miller said: "We have seen that, despite fears ten years ago that 24 hour licensing would lead to crime and disorder, a new report from the Institute Of Economic Affairs demonstrates that crime has decreased and late night licensing has spread the offering available and contributed to a better environment for leisure, entertainment and our cities. This is a time to celebrate - not to regulate".

Having had his own experiences running a venue, and noting other issues that some clubs and promoters have faced in the last year, Miller went on: "If people in Britain want to go out and enjoy themselves after 10pm, there are increasing obstacles" saying "The latest is the wholly misguided concept of breathalysing citizens outside clubs, football stadiums and even McDonalds in Cambridge. We at The NTIA believe British citizens are decent and on the whole well behaved - as the evidence proves - and visitors to the UK are too. It's time to champion the night time industries and to stop these wrong practices".

Miller says that the NTIA hopes "that licensing authorities take on board the recent good news [about a booming night time sector] - and indeed the massive contribution that the UK operators, owners, promoters, DJs and other entrepreneurs and workers make to local economies and indeed the UK's GDP".

Meanwhile, addressing potential new members for the BTIA he said: "We need our fellow owners and operators to sign up with us so that we can be an even stronger voice in the UK. We are the cauldron and conduit of creativity - and we must protect the dancefloor".

Spotify payments to rights owners rise - but Apple's challenge looms

Spotify's total payments to rights holders rose by another $300 million in the first quarter of 2015, according to Billboard. This means the company has now paid out $3 billion to music rights owners since launching in 2008, $2 billion of which has come in since the beginning of 2014.

Apple Inc. is poised to unveil its new streaming and music services today (08.06.15). Taking on the likes of Spotify and Pandora, the Cupertino, Calif., tech giant is expected to announce a $10-a-month streaming service and revamped Internet radio feature at its developer conference in San Francisco.

I'm not sure there is anything particularly groundbreaking in this article - and whilst it champion's Daniel Ek's (Spotify biased) point of view, the more interesting point is probably that in the wings, Apple and Google wait like vultures wth a hungry smile on their faces, gently salivating, waiting to benefit from all the hard work (and mistakes) Spotify laid the foundations for .......


Rock am Ring hit by lightning strikes

33 people were injured after lightning bolts struck the Rock Am Ring festival in Western Germany. The incidents took place at approximately 1:00 am on Saturday morning, an hour after Marilyn Manson's set, Lightning struck the event in the town of Mendig during thunderstorms, and the injured included eight people from the festival's production team when a bolt struck backstage, and this forced the cancellation of German singer Fritz Kalkbrenner's 1.35am performance. The second bolt at 04.00 hit a camping area. Medical staff on site confirmed that no one was struck directly by either of the lightning bolts. 

Photo of the lightning strike backstage by Lars Baumeister

Friday, 5 June 2015

New Report sets out roadmap to music city growth

Recording industry groups IFPI and Music Canada have released a new report that sets out how cities worldwide can take simple steps to help develop their music economies. The Mastering of a Music City was launched at Midem and  provides a simple checklist to help local authorities, businesses, community groups and the creative sector capitalise on the potential of music to build, grow and strengthen their cities. 

It cites examples from 22 cities from all continents to explain what a music city is, why it is beneficial, and – critically – the most effective strategies and policies that can be implemented to nurture active music hubs.  

Graham Henderson, President and CEO, Music Canada, said: “A vibrant music sector delivers an extensive array of social, cultural and economic benefits to its community; from job creation and retention to city identity and music tourism, to social cohesion, music can play an essential role.”  

“Communities of any size, anywhere in the world, can assess the extent to which they have the essential ingredients for a Music City, and deploy the strategies successfully used in the likes of Nashville, Melbourne, Toronto, Berlin and other renowned Music Cities, in order to enhance or grow theirs.  These strategies don’t necessarily require heavy investment - addressing red tape and establishing dialogue between leaders in the music community and city officials are inexpensive ways to grow music’s contributions.”

The Mastering of a Music City has identified recommendations in seven strategic areas that are an effective means to grow and strengthen a city’s music economy:

1.   Music and musician-friendly policies, from licensing and liquor laws to parking and planning regulations to affordable housing and artist entrepreneur training.

2.   The creation of Music Offices to help musicians and music businesses navigate the broad range of government policies and regulations that impact music.

3.   The formulation of Music Advisory Boards to engage the broader music community in a collaborative way and to facilitate dialogue with city governments.

4.   Engaging the broader music community to ensure the people most affected by music policies are involved and informed.

5.   Access to spaces and places for artists to practice, record, and perform at every stage of their career

6.   A focus on audience development, ensuring that there is an engaged and passionate audience for local musicians as well as international touring artists, now and into the future

7.   Music tourism or the development of a Music City brand to leverage a thriving live music scene, rich music history, or large music festivals in order to reap the significant benefits associated with music.

In addition, multi-level government support for music, a broader city infrastructure conducive to the sector, music education programmes and efforts to highlight music history and identity are important.

The Mastering of a Music City was produced after more than 40 interviews with music leaders, city and tourism officials, international focus groups and secondary research.  It cites best practices and case studies from 22 cities.  IFPI’s affiliated national groups will share the report globally to assist municipal leaders and other stakeholders to develop local music strategies.

Songkick and CrowdSurge merge

Concert-tracking website Songkick has merged with CrowdSurge to create the world’s largest artist-to-fan ticketing platform. The combined entity will trade under the Songkick banner, bringing together the firms’ complementary technologies with the aim of expanding the number of touring artists directly selling concert tickets and live experiences.  Terms of the transaction were not disclosed, but the firm announced additional financing, from investors Access Industries, Index Ventures and Sequoia Capital, reportedly worth $16 million, as part of the deal.

More from Music Week here

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Robertson Taylor keep up the green theme

Robertson Taylor W&P Longreach, who provide entertainment insurance worldwide, have agreed to sponsor A Greener Festival for 2015 – 2016. Robertson Taylor have  sponsored A Greener Festivals international Awards scheme for seven years, and with the scheme taking ‘a year off’, have agreed to  sponsor AGF's website this year.

A Greener Festival co-founder Ben Challis said “Robertson Taylor have been fantastic supporters of our environmental work with live events over the years and their generosity in funding the running costs of our website this year is truly appreciated by the whole team at A Greener Festival. We also plan to keep on working with a range of strong campaigns we have already committed too including Powerful Thinking – the not-for-profit industry think-do tank working towards an energy efficient, low carbon and cost effective future for festivals; Love Your Tent – the campsite waste campaign created by Eco-action Partnership in association with A Greener Festival and designed to bond people with their portable homes; and our new project 8th Plate – a partnership with FareShare SouthWest and the Nationwide Caterers Association – it’s a food waste project which aims to reduce the amount of food waste at events and develop systems to salvage food and redistribute food – before it goes off – and builds our work with Sustain who publish the ‘ Good Food for Festivals Guide‘ and the ‘ Good Food Guide for Festival and Street-food Caterers‘. We also plan to keep supporting the GO Group (Green Operations Europe); we now have a partnership with the ILMC to present our annual conference, Green Events & Innovations in 2016. On top of this we plan to keep planting trees in Festival Wood! Robertson Taylor’s support will make all of this possible – so it’s a big ‘thank you’ from us!”

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.”

For more information about RT please visit http://rtworldwide.com/music-event-insurance/

PRS extend live music consultation

PRS for Music have extended the consultation to review the terms of it's Popular Music Concert Tariff (Tariff LP). Tariff LP is applied to ticketed live popular music events such as concerts and festivals.  Currently promoters pay 3% of Box Office receipts (after VAT)  to the PRS for songwriters. The extension has been granted following the Concert Promoters Association’s (CPA) stated interest in conducting its own research in response to PRS for Music’s consultation documentation which was announced on April 13. The extension will help the CPA respond more comprehensively to the tariff review and the PRS welcomed the CPA’s commitment to engaging in this process. The extension is also supported by a number of industry bodies in the live sector.  Tariff LP was originally agreed in 1988, though was last reviewed as recently as 2010/11, when the PRS decided to keep the system as it was. The deadline for the consultation’s completion has now been extended until 30 September.