Friday, 28 August 2015

Twain in at No 2 with farewell tour

Ticket sales from Shania Twain’s Rock This Country farewell tour have hiot the $40 million mark so far, with 13 unreported concerts remaining. The singer has sold 407,000 tickets across 35 shows since the tour's  launch on June 5th, and is now second in Billboard’s latest Hot Tours rankings to fellow country music superstar Kenny Chesney. Chesney brought in $12.75m over four shows from August 1-15, with ticket sales of 136,386. Twain’s five concerts from August 3-9 recorded a total gross of $5.2m from 56,589 sales. Other acts in the top 10 were Fleetwood Mac, Billy Joel, Neil Diamond, John Mellencamp, Florida Georgia Line, Imagine Dragons, Elton John and Julion Alvarez.

Lollapalooza to launch in Columbia

Music festival Lollapalooza is expanding with a new event in Colombia in 2016. Founded in the US in 1991 by Jane’s Addiction singer Perry Farrell, the event is run with agency William Morris Endeavor and promoter C3 Events. The Lollapalooza brand is now at events in Argentina, Brazil and Chile. Next month it will make its European debut in Berlin, The Colombian spin-off, held in partnership with local promoter T310/Absent Papa, will be held in Bogota in the autumn of 2016.

Edinburgh gets a new venue

Music Week reports that Edinburgh is to get a new music venue with the £500,000 revamp of a former nightclub in the city’s Old Town. The 900-capacity converted church, previously known as Faith and the Sin Club and Lounge, will reopen next month as Stramash,  It will feature acts such as Big Country  Sea Bass Kid and Mad Ferret, and will be operated by Bruce Taverns, which runs a number of nightspots across the city.

Thursday, 27 August 2015

Tyler the Creator banned from UK for 2009 homophobic lyrics

The circumstances that have prevented Tyler, The Creator from playing the Reading and Leeds festivals this weekend have been explained as visa issues. His manager, Christian Clancy,  took to Tumblr to say ""Tyler has been banned from entering the UK for somewhere between three to five years per a letter from the Secretary Of State for the home department [sic] of the United Kingdom. The letter specifically cites lyrics he wrote six to seven years ago for his albums 'Bastard' and 'Goblin' –the type of lyrics he hasn't written since... highlights from the letter include that his work 'encourages violence and intolerance of homosexuality' and 'fosters hatred with views that seek to provoke others to terrorist acts'. I grew up on NWA, Eminem and Rage Against The Machine, so it's hard for me to fully wrap my head [around] this thought process and its implications".  The rapper also recently cancelled dates in Australia, where there had been calls for his visa application to be denied because of similar issues with past lyrics.

More here

Another Hop Farm festival sinks as High Definition goes under

In the wake of the failure of live music veteran Vince Power's Hop Farm Festival, and the subsequent failure of the replacement festival at the same farm (after which the promoter called the Kent farm "cursed ground") another event at the same site has failed: It seems the organisers of the dance music festival High Definition set for the 5th of September are the latest to fall out with the owners of the Hop Farm in a dispute over whether or not the promoters had met all their licensing requirements. According to the Kent & Sussex Courier, organisers have sent out a message to ticket-holders that reads: "Due to the actions of The Hop Farm last week it is with great regret that the directors have taken the decision to cancel all future events. The decision is beyond their control due to the action of third parties and the impending insolvency of the company. Professional advice has now been received in this respect and steps to place the company into liquidation have been taken. Notice of the creditors' meeting under Section 98 of the Insolvency Act 1986, to place the company into Creditors Voluntary Liquidation will be shortly issued". Ticketholders have been advised to seek a refund from their bank or credit card company, or they can opt to swap their tickets to the cancelled festival for a ticket to one of three other events taking place in September.

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Skiibii sacks manager over death rumours

Nigerian pop star Skiibii has sacked his manager after reports of his death circulated - with his manager now apologising over what some have suggested was a misguided PR stunt. In an interview with Nigerian radio station Cool FM Skiibii said that he had suffered a blackout, saying that he had experienced this on several previous occasions. But he was not dead! His manager Soso Soberekon released a statement via his Instagram page offering an "unreserved apology to everyone". He said: "With my wealth of experience in the entertainment business, I would like to state that events leading to the above misinformation through my channel was due to a breakdown in communication."

Japan's recorded music market edges upwards

The recorded music industry in Japan saw its overall income across physical and digital rise 1.1% in the first half of 2015, according to MBW calculations. New stats from the RIAJ show that total digital income in the six months was up 5% year on year, to 22.9bn Yen (US $192m). Interestingly physical sales in this time period were up year-on-year, ever so slightly to 129.4bn Yen (2015): both were worth just over $1bn. Album downloads grew 14% to 4.73bn Yen ($40m), as streaming subscriptions leapt up 43% to 5.04bn Yen ($42m).

Saturday, 22 August 2015

UTA confirms TAG acquistion

The United Talent Agency has acquired The Agency Group, Under the deal, The Agency Group will merge with UTA's existing music division, which will then be headed up by TAG founder and President Neil Warnock, who takes over as the firm's Head Of Worldwide Music. TAG's CEO Gavin O'Reilly will leave the company. The acquisition has been enabled by a new investment into UTA by Jeffrey Ubben of San Francisco-based ValueAct Capital, Ubben is investing in a personal capacity and joins the UTA board as a non-voting member.

Friday, 21 August 2015

72% of the recorded music revenues in Denmark are now from streaming

Digital music is taking over in Denmark: 88% of music companies’ revenue comes now from digital music sales with IFPI figures showing that revenue from streaming has risen by 14% compared to the same period in 2014. Physical sales fell by 35% year-on-year and downloads dropped by 13% in the period: Streaming constituted 72% of the market in H1 2015, downloads accounted for 16%, while sales of physical products only claimed 12% of the market by value.

Snowboarding launches a sister event

The  team behind Snowbombing has launched sister festival called Transition, with the inaugural event taking place at the end of this year. Transition will be held December 13th -19th in the "snow-capped resort of Avoriaz, in the French Alps". Dizzee Rascal (pictured) will headline, with Bondax, Krafty Kuts, B-Traits and Wilkinson also appearing.  Other events will include an organised snowball fight and what is purported to be Europe's largest alpine meal, with 2,000 people.

New dot tickets URL signs up big names

we've gone dot tickets - you too?
U2, Ticketmaster, Google, Amazon, eBay, Sky, Yahoo, Manchester United, Real Madrid and Apple have all acquired newly available ".tickets" top level domain names. Owned by London-based start-up Accent Media, the .tickets domain names have only been available to pre-registered trademark holders since July 13th, as part of the soft pre-marketing phase. The firm says the domain names enable brands and rights-holders to easily protect and develop their assets, while helping customers feel safer when buying tickets. The domain names will go on general release to the global ticketing industry on September 14 and will deploy a rights protection mechanism powered by Domains Watch which helps rights-holders ensure that their rights are protected and that any new domain registrations end up in the possession of those who hold the legitimate rights to that name.

Thursday, 20 August 2015

Bug wars at Burning Man

"Yesterday, Burning Man organizers revealed the truth: the annual desert arts festival is infested with bugs. Swarms of them. Piles of them. What are they? Why has nobody ever seen them before, in over two decades of building mega-party spaces in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert? We found out." More on Gizmodo here

Kenyan musicians ask for music quota protection

In South Africa, 55 percent of the content on radio stations as well as community and public TV has to be local. Nigeria has a law that more than 70 percent of the music played on radio must be by local artists. Now Kenyan artists want Kenya to do the same. Musicians there are pushing for a law that would force Kenyan radio stations to devote 70 percent of their playlists to Kenyan music (and 70 percent of TV programming to Kenyan films). With the Kenyan government predicting that IP based earnings will form 10% of the country's GDP by 2030 the move i planned to encourage the local music scene - but critics warn that quotas can be 'contagious' and could spark tit for tat quotas in other countries - ultimately reducing Kenya capacity to  export it's music.

Russian music boss badly beaten after voicing concerns over PRO merger

A critic of the Russian Communications Ministry's proposal to merge Russia's three main collection societies, RAO (Russia's Author Society), VOIS and RSP to make operations more transparent and simplify procedures for rights holders has been attacked and badly beaten.  Andrei Krichevsky, head of the state-run Melodiya label, was quoted by the news agency RIA Novosti as saying that the proposal was "incompetent" and the existing system of copyright royalty collection has proven to be efficient. Shortly after making that comment, Krichevsky, who also holds the position of RAO's deputy general director, was severely beaten when leaving his office in central Moscow.

Controversy continues in Russia over the move to take the Russkaya Media Group, and the music radio stations and TV channel it operates, into state ownership, through an acquisition by state-run concert promoter Goskontsert, which reports into the country's Ministry Of Culture.

UTA in talks to acquire TAG?

Billboard reports that United Talent Agency is in advanced negotiations to acquire The Agency Group, in a move that would vastly boost UTA's profile in music, while paying dividends for a rapid expansion strategy by TAG. TAG's roster of about 2,000 clients includes the Black Keys, Deep Purple, Guns N' Roses, Muse, Paramore, Nickelback, Bullet for My Valentine, The Kills, Gotye, Tegan and Sara, Merle Haggard and many others. While TAG has a presence in virtually all genres of music, including pop, rock, metal, country and EDM, the agency's urban business declined in May when VP of urban music Peter Schwartz and international agent James Rubin left TAG for WME.


the sale was confirmed on Friday 21st August: Neil Warnock, who founded TAG 35 years ago, becomes UTA’s head of worldwide music. TAG CEO Gavin O’Reilly is leaving the business. The Agency Group (TAG) brings over 90 agents and more than 2,000 acts into the business, such as Alice Cooper, Dolly Parton and Status Quo. They join UTA’s clients including Mariah Carey, Ice Cube and Kanye West.

WRG posts £1.6 milllion loss for 2014

AAA reports that live events specialist WRG Worldwide has recorded a financial loss despite a boost in turnover. WRG saw losses after tax for the financial year deepen from £1.5m in 2013 to £1.6m in 2014. According to documents filed at Companies House, turnover rose 15% to £55.7m in the year ending 31 October 2014. Operating profit stood at £501,000, before interest payments to shareholders and its private equity firm, and ‘exceptional items’, identified as payroll costs resulting from restructuring, and set-up costs in relation to the US office. A company spokeswoman said: “WRG is a growing business that serves some of the world’s best-known brands and the company has a solid and stable financial strategy. Our 2013-14 accounts show that year-on-year turnover is up, gross profit is up and operating profit is up. We have made an operating profit before exceptional items this year while continuing to invest in the business. The loss shown in our company accounts is after exceptional items and interest on shareholder loans. This is quite normal for a business owned by a private equity firm.”

Apple's iTunes Festival rebrands to Apple Music

Apple’s iTunes Festival has rebranded to promote the technology giant’s Apple Music brand, reflectung the growing importance of streaming and the decline in downloads sales. The Apple Music Festival will feature 10 nights of live shows, including Pharrell Williams, One Direction, Florence + The Machine and Disclosure at London’s Roundhouse venue this September. Apple will broadcast performances around the world for free, live and on-demand on Apple Music. Apple’s radio station Beats 1 will broadcast backstage news while footage will be available on Apple Music Connect.

Monday, 17 August 2015

SFX - Sillerman buyback off - for now

Robert Sillerman has failed to secure enough investment to take SFX Entertainment back into private ownership: Sillerman's plan to take the EDM powerhouse back into private ownership - having only floated it in 2013 - at a prce of $5.25 per share was a substantial premium on the current share price - but less than half what shareholders paid on the float. On Friday, SFX confirmed in a statement that the buy-back  was now off the agenda, and that therefore the special committee of independent directors, previously set up to consider the firm's founder's proposals, would now start exploring other options for the future of the company. That includes the possibility selling some or all of the firm's assets to another party, or, indeed, an alternative buy back plan from Sillerman. Recent shenanginans including a share sale (!) and a delay in payments to labels from subsidiary Beatport made the buy back look an unlikely happening.


In the past three days of trading – Friday (14/08), Monday (17/08) and Tuesday (18/08) – SFX’s share price has fallen by a worrying 41%, from $1.94 to $1.15. That equates to a total company market capitalisation decline of around $80m, down to just $112.3m - from a value  of $640 milllion in August last year - and the market capitalisation in December 2013 on the cusp of a billion dollars, at $927m.

Hendrix feud ends

The Jimi Hendrix Experience in 1968
The family feud over the estate of guitar legend Jimi Hendrix has been settled - 45 years after it began. Hendrix's adopted sister Janie Hendrix, and his brother Leon Hendrix, have reportedly reached an out of court agreement and according to The Seattle Times, the settlement includes past and futrure use of Hendrix's name and image in merchandise such as posters and T-shirts. Experience Hendrix LLC owns the rights to the estate and is controlled by Janie Hendrix. Her company accused, operated by Leon Hendrix, of infringing their trademarks and other rights.

Stones top city earnings table with $7.8 milllion per show

The Rolling Stones earned an average of $7.8 million for each city they played in 2014, with average tickets costing $174.50 according to Pollstar. This was just ahead of U2 who generated $7.6 million per city and Taylor Swift at $4.7 million. Other big earners included Neil Diamond, Fleetwood Mac, Ed Sheerhan, Rush and Bette Middler. 

Saturday, 15 August 2015


Solomon Parker has left his role as Vice President of William Morris Endeavour (WME) to join Coda Agency as a Senior Agent. Parker, who will be based in Coda’s London offices, has been at WME since 2007 – before which he ran Concorde International Artistes. Parker brings with him a roster of acts that includes include Take That, The Prodigy, Cheryl Cole, Matt Corby and Haelos,  amongst others.

Music distribution and services company INgrooves Music Group has hired music promo veteran, Gabriella (D’Agostino) Ianni as its new Director of Promotion & Marketing, based in the company’s New York office. The parent company of INgrooves Music Group, Isolation Network, has named its new CEO: Bob Roback, who joins from his role as President of Fender Musical Instruments Corporation.

Liverpool Sound City – has announced a new alliance with the Zandari Festival in Seoul, which takes place each October which "forms the gateway to the exciting and rapidly developing Korean music market".

PR agency the Outside Organisation has promoted Head Of Music Chris Goodman promoted to the role of Director Of Media And Events. Jack Delaney takes over as head of Music. Former Radio 1 comms man Nick Caley, a senior consultant at the agency, will now head up the corporate communications department.

Azealia Banks has left Prospect Park as a management client, though will remain signed to the company's record label for the time being saying on Twitter that Prospect Park and Jeff Kwatinetz "no longer wants to manage me BUT... is holding me in my album contract until February 2016".

Dominic Pandiscia, the head of Universal's US indie distribution and services company Caroline, is stepping down. EVP Mike Harris is expected to replace him.

Universal announced that Jay Frank, who founded the music and marketing analytics companies DigSin and DigMark, has been named to the newly created role of Senior Vice President of Global Streaming Marketing.

Sony Music Entertainment Australia has promoted Grant Donges to Director, Promotions & Publicity, Australian Artists Creative Marketing and Television Entertainment, Asia Pacific.

The Roundhouse's Head Of Music of eight years, Dave Gaydon, is leaving the venue to launch his own bookings and events business to be called GOAT Music, in partnership with Lou Birkett, also a former events exec at the North London venue.

Sam Gregory, currently Senior Talent Manager at radio services and talent management agency Wise Buddah, has announced he is leaving the company to begin a new media talent agency.

UTV Radio has hired former Magic 105.4 Content Controller Liam Thompson as Programme Director for the newly re-launched Virgin Radio.

Event and Visual Communication Association (Evcom) CEO Marco Forgione has resigned after seven years in the role. Forgione will take up a CEO role in the cultural sector next month.

Graphics, animation and projection mapping expert Richard Kenyon has joined FIX8Group as Creative Director of its new FIX8Studio.

The Concerto Group has appointed David Gilbertson as non-executive chairman and group board member.

Ken Parks, Spotify’s Chief Content Officer and one of the company's longest-serving executives, is leaving to join streaming television service, Pluto TV, where he'll be the Executive Chairman. He will stay on part-time with the company, however, as an advisor to CEO Daniel Ek.

AEG's Brian Kabatznick has been appointed President of the European Arenas Association. Francesca Battistoni from Italy's FourmNet Group was re-elected to the Board and John Langford (SSE Hydro, Scotland) joins the Board.

MBW says that the man who has fronted Pandora's repeated attempts to lower royalty payments to the music biz - business affairs chief Chris Harrison - has quit the company. Pandora has appointed Thomas Heymann to head up Artist and Music industry Relations across its Australia and New Zealand territories. Most recently, he was Head of Australia and New Zealand for rival streaming music service Deezer, which he joined in 2012.

8tracks has announced the appointment of three new people to its advisory board: The new advisors are digital marketing and licensing expert and former Beggars new media man Dick Huey; artist manager (Red Light Management) Bruce Flohr; and Fred McIntyre, who previously worked at CBS, AOL and


TV personality and singer Cilla Black has died, at the age of 72 after a five decade career in music and TV.  Black, born Priscilla White, she grew up in Liverpool and her career began in the 1960s, rising to prominence as a singer. Black's first single, 'Love Of The Loved', was written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney and produced by George Martin and she had a string of hit singles to her name, including ‘Alfie’, ‘Step Inside Love’ and ‘Anyone Who Had A Heart’, which came to be known as one of her signature songs. Later in her career she moved to TV, fronting massive hit shows including ‘Surprise, Surprise’ and ‘Blind Date’. Black continued to record music during that time though, her most recent and eleventh solo album, 'Beginnings: Greatest Hits & New Songs', released in 2003.

US country singer Lynn Anderson, best known for her worldwide 1971 hit '(I Never Promised You a) Rose Garden', has died, aged 67. She had been in hospital in Nashville, where she suffered a heart attack.Other US hits included 'You're My Man', 'How Can I Unlove You?' and 'Top of the World', also recorded by the Carpenters.

Sunrise Summer Celebration and Waveform Co-Founder, Sun Bird, has passed away in a tragic accident in the Alps. This year's Sunrise is part of the Boomtown Fair from the 13th to 16th August in Chepstow, Monmouthshire and Sun Bird will be sorely missed by everyone.

John Gammon, Pollstar’s UK and European Correspondent over the last two decades, has died and a real fixture on the live music scene. It will be a strange ILMC without John. Formerly a manager and an agent, John had been fighting cancer. More on Pollstar here

RIP Jazz Summers.- "a hell of a manager and a true maverick" and a sad loss to the artist management community. Co-manager of Wham! and manager of Yazz, the Verve, Snow Patrol, London Grammar, the Klaxons and many many others though his Big Life group and a long career, Jazz was a former chair of the MMF and a board member of Julies Bicycle.  he was awarded the prestigious Peter Grant Award in 2003. He will be much missed. He was 71 and had been living with lung cancer for two years. Big Life posted a message saying "The music industry has lost one of its most vibrant, most notorious and most brilliant characters. A champion of new music, a non-conformist and a visionary, Jazz Summers will be greatly missed.  Jazz Summers was a master of artist development. His ability to hear a song and recognize its power and potential brought him huge success across several decades." Our thoughts go out to his family, friends and colleagues. Jazz is survived by his wife Dianna, his daughters Katie, Rio and Georgia, his granddaughters Claire, Lila and Rose and his brother Don.

Record producer Bob Johnston has passed away. He was 83. Johnston, a record producer, was perhaps best known for the work he did with Bob Dylan though the mid-Sixties and early Seventies (he produced Highway 61 Revisited. Blonde on Blonde, John Wesley Harding, Nashville Skyline, Self Portrait, and New Morning).

LNE Q2 revenues up, but still posts a loss

Live Nation experienced mixed fortunes in Q2 2015, with revenue rising 12% to $1.86 billion but operating income declining 13% to $48.4m. Concert revenue for the period was $1.34bn, while operating loss was $4.3m. The company says it has sold around three quarters of its projected tickets for the year and is pacing 7% ahead of last year’s sales. Live Nation stages close to 75% of the top 25 global tours, including U2, Imagine Dragons, Lady Antebellum and One Direction. It has also grown per-fan on-site revenue this year by 18% to over $20 per fan, citing sales initiatives, focused on high-end fans for the rise. More on Music Week here.

Friday, 14 August 2015

AFM launches legal action to force digital pension payments from the major labels

The American Federation Of Musicians has launched a legal action against the three major record companies in the New York courts relating to an agreement between the majors and the AFM pension fund, in which the American branches of the record companies promised to pay 0.5% of all receipts from non-domestic digital transmissions of recordings into the fund. This agreement includes the ever growing monies from streaming, non-permanent downloads and ringbacks, and dates back to the 1990s - when such income was marginal. The AFM says that independent auditors have identified missing payments last year, but attempts to settle the matter directly have been unsuccessful. AFM International President Ray Hair says: "The record companies should stop playing games about their streaming revenue and pay musicians and their pension fund every dime that is owed. Fairness and transparency are severely lacking in this business. We are changing that".

Hackney Council postpones controversial review of club licensing regulation

Controversial plans to clamp down on new venues and bars in the London borough of Hackney are on hold after the council there said it had discovered a "minor error" in its proposals. Current licensing rules, originally due to expire next January, will be kept in place until a new consultation on reform is completed sometime next year. London promoters and clubbers had expressed concerns about the planned licensing reforms, which included a cut back on late night opening at bars and clubs, and a move to stop licensing new clubbing venues in Shoreditch entirely. Local music businesses argued that this would hugely hinder the night-time economy that has become so important to this part of the capital.

the local authority's Licensing Chair Emma Plouviez said: "Unfortunately there was a minor error in the published consultation document. Although this was not related to the part of the consultation affecting nightclub opening hours, which is what we know has caused the most concern, we want to ensure that everyone who takes the time to respond to any council consultation can have confidence that they did so with the full facts" adding "We needed to decide whether to correct the mistake and extend the current consultation, or take the opportunity to take a step back and re-consult on a new draft policy that we hope both residents and businesses will be able to support".

SFX shares plummet as Sillerman misses buyback deadline

SFX stock fell 7 % Thursday to an all time low of  $1.94 as CEO Robert Sillerman missed a 10AM deadline prove that he had the financing to complete a stock buyback. As of 4:10PM the company had not issued a statement. Sillerman has promised a cash buyback of stock at $5.25 per share. More on Hypebot here

Thursday, 13 August 2015

Drugs warning from festival coma victim

Cumbrian teenager Jordan Blackburn has posted a photo and brave message on Facebook after he was left in a coma - and he has admitted that the cause was taking drugs at Kendal Calling 2015. The drugs tragically left his 18 year old friend Christian Pay, from Millom in Cumbria, dead. In all nine people were taken seriously ill after taking the drugs. Organisers of the 20,000 capacity Kendal Calling  used the screens on the main stage to warn festival goers of the dangers the drugs posed. Jordan's message read

Drugs seized that may be linked to the illnesses include a blue tablet with an Adidas logo, yellow powder believed to be MDMA, and an orange oval tablet with a Rolls-Royce logo. Other seized drugs have been described as green tablets with a white fleck and plain grey tablets with a white fleck. Four people were arrested on suspicion of intent to supply drugs. All were released on bail.

AIM A|wards 2015 - The nominations are out!

The 2015 AIM Awards nominees are...

 in association with Disc Manufacturing Services
Basick RecordsDMS
Erased Tapes
High Focus Records
Planet Mu Records
Rocket Girl

BEST 'DIFFICULT' SECOND ALBUM - in association with XFMXfmlogo
Alabama Shakes - Sound & Colour
Holly Herndon - Platform
Nadine Shah - Fast Food
The 2 Bears - The Night Is Young
Young Fathers - White Men Are Black Men Too

SPECIAL CATALOGUE RELEASE OF THE YEAR - in association with Amazon Music
Cities Of Darkscorch Boardgame
Frankie Goes To Hollywood - Inside The Pleasuredomeamazon
Bjork - Coloured Vinyl Catalogue Reissue
The Pretty Things - Bouquets From a Cloudy Sky
Imogen Heap - Sparks (Deluxe Boxset)
Oasis - (What's The Story) Morning Glory? Reissue

Courtney Barnett
Little Comets
Young Fathers

Barn on the Farm
Brainchild Festival
Pete The Monkey
Truck Festival

Courtney Barnett
FKA Twigs
Run The Jewels
Sonhoy Blues
Wolf Alice

INDIE CHAMPION AWARD - sponsored by CICI 2015
Camilla Pia - BBC 6Music
Marc Riley - BBC 6Music
Peter Guy - Getintothis
Rupert Morrison - The Drift Record Shop
Tim Burgess - Songwriter & O Genesis Music Ltd

Alt-J - Hunger Of The Pine
Flying Lotus - Never Catch Mevevo 2014
Ghostpoet - Sorry My Love It's You, Not Me
Ibeyi - River
Son Lux - Change Is Everything

BEST LIVE ACT - in association with Jack Daniel's voted for by visitors toSongkickJD
All Time Low
To Kill A King
Twin Atlantic

INDEPENDENT TRACK OF THE YEAR - in association with Spotify
Alt-J - Every Other Freckle
Courtney Barnett - Pedestrian At Bestspotifynew
FKA Twigs - Two Weeks
Jamie XX - Loud Places
LA Priest - Oino
Major Lazer - Lean On
Mogwai - Teenage Exorcist
Neck Deep - Can't kick Up The Roots
Unknown Mortal Orchestra - Multi-Love
Wiley - On A Level

- in association with dotFans
Bjork - Vulnicuradotfans
Enter Shikari - The Mindsweep
Father John Misty - I Love you, Honeybear
Ghostpoet - Shedding Skin
JME - Integrity>
The Bug - Angels & Devils
The Charlatans - Modern Nature
The Xcerts - There Is Only You
Wolf Alice - My Love Is Cool
Young Fathers - White Men Are Black Men Too

in association with Believe Digital
Epitaph RecordsBelieve Digital
Erased Tapes Records
Heavenly Recordings
Planet Mu Records
Transgressive Records

FKA Twigs
Ward Thomas


Some of our 2015 winners have already been decided by our esteemed judging panel!


INNOVATOR AWARD 2015 in association with Promostream


Read more about the Innovator Award here

The Orchard

PIONEER AWARD 2015 in association with The Orchard


 Read more about the Pioneer Award here

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Fraud investigation continues at SMG

Police are investigating allegations of a fraud at venue operator SMG Europe. The Manchester-based company runs venues including the 21,000 capacity Manchester Arena, First Direct Arena in Leeds and Metro Radio Arena Newcastle.  Greater Manchester Police (GMP) said they had received an allegation of fraud but that no arrests have been made and enquiries were ongoing. SMG Europe has not commented on the matter, but Amplify says the fraud investigation is tied to an internal embezzlement case, quoting Bruce Hanson, corporate counsel for SMG, who said that last year “internal controls picked up a potential embezzlement” by an employee. “They use the term fraud a little differently,” in the UK, Hanson said. “SMG is not being investigated. Police are looking at a possible crime against the company.” He added that SMG had first discovered financial impropriety “several years ago”.

SFX revenues grow but losses widen

SFX reported a 48% rise in second quarter revenue to $121 million, driven by ticket sales at live events such as Life In Color Austin, Kingsland Amsterdam, Rock In Rio Vegas, Electric Zoo Tokyo, Tomorrowland Brazil and Mysteryland USA. Other sales, which including digital music streaming and marketing partnerships with brands like Budweiser and T-Mobile, came in at $14.4 million.

However, SFX reported an operating loss of $27.8 million during the second quarter and an overall net loss of $48 million. The company provided no new updates on founder Robert Sillerman’s $5.25 a share controversial offer but has confirmed that its Beatport platform will re-start payments to labels.

More on Forbes here

Thursday, 6 August 2015

BUMA Stemra Review Board rules against new rates and 'kickback' scheme

The supervisory board reviewing problems issues between Dutch royalty collection society BUMA Stemra, including an expired deal with promoters and venues and claims for recompense over “kickbacks”, has rejected the new rate offer from the organisation and has told Buma Stemra to re-open talkns with promiters and venues.  Alongside the royalty rate impasse, the UK’s Music Manager’s Forum (MMF) is pressing BUMA for recompense for its members’ artiste clients who lost out when BUMA refunded up to 25% of monies collected for writers and music publishers to some to promoters and venues, which reportedly has been ruled invalid by the Board. The Board's deliberations continue.

Swiss promoters call for anti ticket-tout laws

Audience magazine reports that Swiss promoters have called for tougher consumer protection laws in the fight against secondary ticketing and websites such as Viagogo, whose worldwide headquarters is in Geneva. Members of the Swiss Music Promoters Association (SMPA) have called for the Government to help tackle touts and inflated ticket prices on resale sites.SMPA Board member Dany Hassenstien said that existing Swiss consumer protection laws did not go far enough toprotect fas against touting and also called for Europe wide action to identify the best solutions in the battle against touting and secondary ticketing.

And in New Zealand, promoters are becoming increasingly concerned about the growth of fake ticket scams and online touting, some of which is linked to Viagogo. Ian Magan, local organiser for Australian promoter Garry Van Egmond’s AC/DC tour, has already issued two “cease and desist” warnings to Viagogo and is considering legal action.

SoundExchange payouts to labels likely to top $900M in 2015 - but Beatport stalls payments

SoundExchange has just announced that its distributions to recorded music rights-holders have now topped $3bn since 2004, with a $900m million plus pay out likely for this year. Pandora says it pays out around 44% of its total revenue to SoundExchange each year. The organisation has revealed that it distributed $194.5m to labels and artists from digital radio via its statutory license in the first quarter of 2015.

SFX streaming platform Beatport has written to labels telling them it won’t be paying owed royalties for the past quarter until its parent, SFX Entertainment, completes its ‘going private’ process. In a letter to music rights-holders sent last night and obtained by MBW, Beatport told labels that SFX’s ‘going private’ procedure had “trapped certain earned label payments” - which will impact particularly on EDM labels with Beatport accounting for 90% of digital income for some dance labels.

More on SFX here 

UPDATE (08.08.15)

Beatport has confirmed that its latest quarterly royalty distributions to labels will be processed next week – with SFX box Robert Sillerman personally apologising for the “deeply embarrassing” and “inexcusable” decision to freeze Q2 payments.

Apple Music signs up 9 milllion

Apple's Eddy Cue has confirmed that nine million people have signed up for the standard $9.99pm Apple Music trial, with two million opting for the $14.99pm family package since the platform's launch on June 30. The Cupertino giant is attracting around 315,000 sign-ups per day worldwide but  none of these users are paying for the privilege yet - they are all enjoying a three-month free trial period on Apple Music.

The Verge  claims that the launch of Apple Music hasn't caused any significant drop in iTunes downloads. Which could mean that Apple Music is working well in tandem with the download store, or that it's failing in its aim to attract more mainstream users who are still downloading rather than streaming.

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Bjork cancels festival shows

Björk has cancelled a number of upcoming tour dates, including the Pitchfork Music Festival Paris and Iceland Airwaves, "due to a scheduling conflict beyond our control" - which is a very odd excuse. The Icelandic singer was scheduled to play sets at La Route Du Rock in Saint-Malo, France on August 15, Pitchfork on October 30, and Iceland Airwaves on November 4-7. The statement added "Björk is not going to be able to play the summer and autumn tour as planned" and "Björk had been really been looking forward to the concerts and we will work on rescheduling the cancelled dates as soon as possible." 

And Justic Bieber has cancelled a show at this month's Fusion Fetsival in Birminghams saying in a statement "To all my UK Beliebers, due to an unforeseen issue I will be unable to perform at the Fusion Festival on 28th August. I support the Prince's Trust wholeheartedly and am deeply disappointed I won't be able to perform. I look forward to the opportunity to give my UK Beliebers a great show, and hope to honour my commitment to the Trust at that time".

ICCMSS board moves to ICE, the Institute of Crowd Education

The International Centre for Crowd Management & Security Studies (ICCMSS) is being re-launched this autumn as the Institute of Crowd Education (ICE). After two years of redevelopment ICE will be launched to coincide with the Reeperbahn Festival and Eurosonic/Noorderslag. The Board has spent over two years redeveloping the brand, its strategy and focus. ICE is now ready to drive crowd education, research and training forward to a new level.

The board, made up of the leading authorities on crowd safety and security in the UK and Europe, has carefully crafted the new institute to support those aspiring to make events safer. Many of those involved in the institute have been prime movers in the development of groundbreaking innovations across the crowded space environment. These include making safe major events hosting hundreds of thousands of people, solving complex problems at transport hubs across the world, the architectural development of new stadia and the delivery of safe public spaces.

The Institute will be working with Universities across the world in the development of innovative practices to meet the increasingly complex challenges of the future. Leading experts in the field of research, education, crowded space whether at events, festivals, in built environments for work and recreation will be working to take crowd management to a new level of professionalism.

For ten years the International Centre led the world in developing a qualification framework for the industry. Building on this legacy those experts from the centre have worked in partnership to take this legacy into the next decade and beyond. ICE has expanded its activities by bringing in leading experts in new and emerging fields in crowd education and research.