Sunday, 27 September 2015

LIVEUROPE announces first year's results

Liveurope, the live music platform uniting 13 European venues to support them in their efforts of programming international emerging acts, has presented its first official yearly results at the Reeperbahn Festival Conference in Hamburg saying over 300 artists were supported across 13 music venues

The platform, which is co-funded by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union and coordinated by Ancienne Belgique in Brussels, was launched in October 2014, becoming the first collaboration of international venues with the purpose of increasing the circulation of up-and-coming European musicians.

The venues are supported through a progressive bonus mechanism based on the amount of emerging, non-national artists booked every year. Concluding the first year of Liveurope, the displayed results clearly demonstrated the practical benefits of the funding system.

“Becoming a part of Liveurope not only gave us a greater opportunity to include more European artists in our programming, but has also given us a direct chance to collaborate with top European venues and learn from them”, said Dirk de Clippeleir, Managing Director of Ancienne Belgique.

The results of the 2015 season of the Liveurope platform have positively exceeded expectations, with a grand total of 559 up-and-coming European acts hosted.  The data also shows a 23% increase of emerging European acts compared to the 2014 season. On average, the venues showcased 12 nationalities with a total of 32 countries represented.

“We’re consciously booking bands from countries we haven’t booked before to increase the diversity of bands represented in the programming.” said Pedro Azevedo from Musicbox. “Having an exchange of communication between the venues is also a great advantage of this initiative”.

Out of all the emerging European bands booked in the member venues, the United Kingdom represents just below 30% of the booked acts, while the remaining top imported bands represent Germany with 10%, France with 8%, Belgium with 7%, Denmark with 7%, and Sweden with 4% respectively. 

The results of Liveurope in the first year of the platform directly show the potential that music venues can have with the right type of encouragement. Thanks to a continued support from the European Union and with increased experience in the coming years, the platform’s ambition is to program more and more concerts to give artists from every corner of Europe a chance to gain exposure on tours across the continent.

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

New report points to mental health issues in live industry

Amplify reports that an alarming report by Australian industry group Entertainment Assist paints a stark picture of mental health in the concert and live entertainment community from s asurvey of 2,904 industry workers. According to the report, Aussie concert professionals are three times more likely to seriously consider suicide and twice as likely to attempt suicide as the general public. Severe anxiety is ten times more likely in the entertainment industry than it is in the general population, and depression is five times more likely. Entertainment professionals were twice as likely to binge drink than the general population, four times more likely to smoke pot, nine times more likely to abuse prescription drugs and 12 times more likely to use cocaine.

More here

The Report:  Working in the Australian Entertainment Industry can be found here

Monday, 21 September 2015

U2 concert cancelled after gun scare

The Globe Arena in Stockholm was evacuated at around 8pm on the 19th September over a security threat. It is reported that a gunman gained access to the arena after he claimed to be an off-duty police officer. When Arena security realised their error, a full evacuation was ordered. The concert has been reportedly re-scheduled for Tuesday evening.

Friday, 18 September 2015

Who cancel as Daltrey falls ill with meningitis

The Who have postponed all the dates on the US leg of their 50th anniversary tour, after Roger Daltrey was diagnosed with viral Meningitis. The veteran British rock band had already postponed four dates due to singer Daltrey's "mystery virus". A statement on their website said, "After extensive tests the seriousness of his condition became apparent," adding doctors had "prescribed rest". The band apologised to fans and said Daltrey was "on the mend".

Image: Glastonbury 2015 by Nick Cordes


Live Nation UK's long-standing COO John Probyn has left the live music major and is now heading up operations at The Sports Show, a big new family sports event that will be taking place at Birmingham's NEC next June. Probyn has hinted he could continue to work with the promoter on a freelance basis, alongside his new role. Probyn told Event Industry News that family reasons were behind his decision to move as his family is based in Birmingham, rather than London where Live Nation have their UK head office.

Live Nation has appointed Carrie Davis as its Chief Communications Officer. She joins from Disney. 

The Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre (SECC) has hired Mark Laidlaw as its new director of operations.

Guardian writers Rebecca Nicholson and Jenny Stevens are joining Vice. Nicholson's appointment is as Editor In Chief UK, and stevens is Managing Editor.  Jamie Clifton becoming Deputy Editor of and Elektra Kotsoni rises to European Editorial Director. 

Jack Morton Worldwide today announces a key appointment to its leadership team. Bruce Henderson will join Jack Morton as Chief Creative Officer in January based in the New York office of the agency.

UK recorded music body the BPI has elected its Council members for the next year. Independent representatives will be [PIAS]'s Nick Hartley, Absolute's Henry Semmence, Cherry Red's Iain McNay and Regent Street's Vanessa Higgins. They will join two major label reps: David Joseph (Universal Music) and Jason Iley (Sony Music).

Universal's US-based Capitol Music Group yesterday announced Gary Gorman as SVP Alternative Promotion, overseeing, alternative promotion for all of the division's labels.  

A month after Universal Music Canada CEO Randy Lennox exited to join local TV and radio giant Bell Media, he's been joined by UMC artist relations boss Tyson Parker who was Universal's VP of Communications and Artist Relations in Canada. Lucian Grainge replaced Lennox at UMC with indie champion Jeffrey Remedios, the co-founder of the Arts & Crafts label.
Sony Music Entertainment has promoted Jenifer Mallory to Senior Vice President, International. She will lead the development and execution of international marketing campaigns for artists signed to Sony Music in the US, and enhance the market presence of Sony Music’s US artists in other markets around the world.

Sony/ATV has promoted Michèle Hamelink from its Amsterdam office to the music publisher's pan-European A&R team which is led by Guy Moot, and who is "excited" by this new development.

MBW repports that U.K. based artiste manager Sarah Stennett is believed to be entering into a new joint venture with Len Blavatnik’s Access Industries, surprising industry observers, who had expected her to affiliate with UMG or Sony. It's said the new venture will be a music-based company but will also dabble in film, TV and, of course, fashion, an area in which Turn First has thrived. Speculation has Stennett selling a part of her Turn First management company, which will be part of the new venture, but her clients, including Def Jam's Iggy Azalea, Cherrytree/Interscope's Ellie Goulding, Roc Nation/Columbia's Rita Ora and RCA's Zayn Malik, will remain with their present labels rather than move to Blavatnik's Warner Music.

Jeff Castelaz has resigned as president of Warner Music Group’s Elektra Records.  General Manager Greg Nadell will now oversee the running of the Warner unit which Castelaz had presided for three years.

Swedish booking agency United Stage has teamed up with music industry veteran Brian Lane to launch a new international division to be run out of London.

•Imagem Music Group's New York office has promoted COO Bill Gaden to CEO for the US. Steve King has also been made Vice President of Imagem Creative Services, with Isabel Arisso promoted to the role of manager in the same division. 

Former Sun Editor Dominic Mohan has joined entertainment PR firm The Outside Organisation as CEO. He will work alongside the agency's founder Alan Edwards - who becomes Chairman - with a remit to expand the range of clients the company works with.
Ethan Kaplan is joining Fender as their Chief Digital Products Officer after a relatively short stint with Gracenote. Before that Kaplan was at Warner Music and then Live Nation's now defunct Labs division.

In the UK the Labour Party has appointed Michael Dugher to lead on media, sport and culture issues for the opposition. 

Axwell & Ingrosso have parted company with their longtime manager Amy Thomson of ATM Artists, who recently tied her management firm up with Irving Azoff's latest entertainment venture. It is thought the Swedish House Mafia duo will move to  Ash Pournouri's At Night agency. 

Lily Allen has also departed her only recently appointed managers Henry Village of Stack House and Scott Rodger of Quest/Maverick. Reports say the split "was both mutual and amicable".

BASCA has announced their gold badges winners for this year: Michael Eaton, Peter Gabriel, Mark King, John Logan, Del Newman, Tom Robinson, Leo Sayer, Iain Sutherland, Claire Whitaker, Kim Wilde, Norma Winstone and Chris Wright.

SFX secures new finance

SFX, the embattled EDM promoter, festival organiser and Beatport owner, has refinanced its $30 million revolving credit facilities with a new $90 million cash line that comes from both new and existing investors. SFX said the funding was "for new initiatives and operating and working capital needs". Founder Robert Sillerman added: "This round of financing from these sophisticated investors reflects a level of confidence and provides growth capital to support many of the exciting new initiatives SFX is undertaking". Meanwhile SFX's CFO Richard Rosenstein added: "With the success of many of our festivals in the current quarter and this added financial flexibility, SFX is better positioned to continue growing our powerful brands and support our extraordinary team members who are focused on executing on our strategic plans. This also eliminates all operating distractions as we explore proposals from interested strategic partners".

SFX's share price rose on the news to 62 cents per share, compared to $3.70 at the start of the year, and $13 when SFX floated in October 2013. 

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Drone fine is welcome news for event safety

The danger of drones falling out of the sky (and things falling from drones) has recently begun to trouble event organisers - including sports events, outdoor music events and festivals. Now Nottingham based Nigel Wilson, 42, has been convicted flying unmanned devices over built-up public places, or without direct sight of the aircraft, which is prohibited under sections 166 and 167 of the Air Navigation Order 2009. 

Wilson flew drones over Liverpool's Anfield Stadium during a match in September 2014, flying so close to the ground that police horses were “startled” and officers struggled to control them, according to a police statement. He also flew drones over Arsenal’s Emirates stadium in North London, Derby County’s iPro stadium, and Manchester City’s Etihad stadium, all on busy match days. After the Manchester incident, on the 18th October 2014 Wilson was arrested by Greater Manchester police. Wilson was bailed, but then arrested again by Metropolitan Police, who were carrying out an investigation with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), after it emerged he had also been flying drones over London landmarks including Buckingham Palace, the Shard, HMS Belfast and the Houses of Parliament.

Westminster Magistrates Court ordered him to pay a fine of £1,800 and £600 in prosecution costs and also issued a order banning him from buying, owning, or flying drones, or assisting anyone else in using drones, for two years.

Buzzfeed quotes Met Police Chief inspector Nick Aldworth saying: “Flying drones over congested areas or buildings can pose great risks to public safety and security and Wilson put many people in real danger. Today’s outcome should serve as a warning to anyone thinking of doing similar that they could end up in court if they ignore these regulations.”  

At the Burning Man Festival in the Nevada Black Rock Desert last week  a GoPro camera that was meant to capture a panoramic view of Burning Man narrowly missed killing revellers when it fell from a drone, falling to the desert floor where it continued filming after being picked up and ending up in the middle of an outdoor dance party.

Anti Piracy Advert contained infringing material

When the makers of an anti-piracy advert  approached independent musician Melchior Rietveldt asking him to make music for an advertisement that would be used at a local film festival to fight piracy. he was happy to sign up! But it seems the ad makers liked Mr. Rietveldt's work so much they the used it in over 71 DVDs and pre-movie ads in dozens of regions, including the USA.  Mr. Rietveldt never received any compensation and was unaware of this infringement - which some might also call piracy - until he watched a DVD copy of a Harry Potter movie and was shocked to hear the track he composed. It gets worse - his collection society, Daily Tech reports that Buma/Stemra (Buma was recently in the news over a secret  'kickback' scheme it was operating) then got involved - but then a director of the collection society offered to 'collect' royalties through his own company for a 33% share of revenues. All a bit odd? Well yes! In June, Buma/Stemra agreed to pay over €31,000 - but by now Mr. Rietveldt had launched a law suit in place and this week he was awarded another €60,000, plus legal fees, while Buma/Stemra was most certainly in the naughty boys corner. More on Daily Tech here.

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Suspected Bestival scammer bailed

A teenager from Brighton has been arrested on suspicion of fraud following complaints about non-supply of Bestival tickets.  Eighteen year old Ben Hyland-Ward was arrested by Sussex Police on suspicion of fraud by false representation and released on bail. BBC News reports that police received over 60 complaints from music fans who paid Hyland-Ward for tickets to the 2015 Isle of Wight Festival but failed to receive anything in return.  A spokesman for Bestival estimated as many as 300 tickets had been bought.  A number of his customers set up a 'Stresstival' Facebook group. Hyland-Ward claimed he had set up a 'guestlist' with the Bestival organisers and then 'sold' tickets at a substantial discount. Bestival organisers have denied any such scheme. Hyland-ward has also claimed that he himself had been scammed.  Hyland-Ward has been bailed until November 10.  At one point a group of disgruntled customers surrounded his home and Hyland ward posted on the FaceBook page "I would like to give a huge apology to everyone as well. I am not asking for sympathy but it has been a horrible 24 hours and I have had some full death threats and I am in real danger."

Friday, 11 September 2015


Rico Rodriguez
The Specials' trombonist Rico Rodriguez has died at the age of 80, it has been announced. In a tweet the band expressed its condolences and said his legacy would “go on forever and a day”.  Rodriguez also recorded as a solo artist and played with Jools Holland’s Rhythm and Blues Orchestra. He was an influential figure in the development of the British ska and 2-Tone movements in the 1970s and 80s after moving to England from Jamaica. He was awarded an MBE for services to music in 2007.

Wayne Carson, the prolific US songwriter who penned 'You Were Always On My Mind' amongst many other hits, has died aged 72. Other hots included 'The Letter', 'Somebody Like Me', 'Soul Deep and neon Rainbow' and artistes who recorded his songs included Elvis Presley, Willie nelson, Johnny Cash, Joe Cocker and Tina Turner.

Nashville businessman Jeff Walker has died aged just 65.  Walker suffered from a heart attack at Nashville International Airport. He died later that night in hospital.  Walker made his mark as president and CEO of the AristoMedia Group/Marco Media Group, a diversified entertainment company with branches in publicity, radio and music video promotion and country dance club marketing, among other areas. The company, which worked with both country and Christian music acts, marked its 35th anniversary in April.

Joy Beverley, the oldest of the Beverley Sisters, has died aged 91. Along with her two sisters Teddie and Babs, The trio were known for songs including "Little Drummer Boy" and the Irving Berlin standard "Sisters". They had their own BBC TV show in the 1950s and were made MBEs in 2006. Joy was married to Wolverhampton Wanderers' star Billy Wright until his death from cancer in 1994.

Leading UK house and techno DJ Colin Faver has died. 
Tributes included "Another UK legend sadly passed," said the label Rough Trade, while Nicky Blackmarket posted, "RIP COLIN FAVER one of the originals and true legend." 

Dennis Greene, a founding member of Sha Na Na, has died at 66. He left the band in 1984 to study law and Greene then moved into the movie industry and was a vice president at Columbia Pictures, and began teaching law at the University of Dayton in 2001. He died after a brief illness. Greene performed with Sha Na Na at Woodstock in 1969 and with the group in the 1978 movie "Grease."

Hamburg not hampered by fire

The full programme for Hamburg's Reeperbahn Festival will go ahead as planned later this month, despite one of its outdoor stages burning down earlier this week. The stage on Spielbudenplatz on the Reeperbahn street from which the festival takes its name apparently caught fire in the early hours of Tuesday morning. Performances planned for that stage will now be moved to a neighbouring stage.

Ents24 revamps and partners up with See Tickets

Online entertainment guide and ticketing hub Ents24 has announced a revamp of is Backstage event listing platform, which will see it partner with See Tickets to offer direct ticket sales.

Adam Brooks of Ents 24 said: "Our partnership with See provides the best of both worlds; the ability to list events and sell tickets via a trusted, secure and recognised platform, and the benefits of promotion to one of the UK's largest audiences of live entertainment lovers - all for free and within a few clicks." See Tickets' CCO Martin Fitzgerald added: "We are pleased to be powering the refreshed Backstage platform with our ticketing technology and functionality. There's a natural and mutually beneficial fit between Ents24 and See - we are both committed to connecting fans to events and this new partnership is all about doing just that".

McManus arrested in connection with drug smuggling operation

Australian Promoter Andrew McManus, who has toured Fleetwood Mac, ZZ Top, KISS and Lenny Kravitz, has been arrested over an alleged link with a drug syndicate. The 54-year-old McManus was arrested at Melbourne airport following the arrests of Sydney solicitor Michael Croke, convicted drug trafficker Craig Haeusler, US businessman Owen Hanson Junior, and Zeki Atilgan, owner of the Gaziantep Sweets & Pastry shop in Auburn. Music Network report that  the five men were detained in Australia and the US in connection with an alleged importation of 300 kilograms of cocaine from Mexico, via America, and money laundering charges. According to Fairfax, the international investigation by the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the NSW Organised Crime Squad and the Australian Crime Commission stemmed from the discovery of a suitcase filled with $702,000 cash at Sydney's Hilton Hotel in 2011. Police were called to the hotel after an anonymous tip-off who claimed a person in one of the Hilton’s rooms had a gun. Sean Carolan, who ran Advanced Peptide Solutions (a company which produces custom peptides) with Owen Hanson Junior, was the occupant of the room. McManus then claimed the cash was his own and that it had been brought in from New Zealand by numerous crew members before a Lenny Kravitz’s tour. McManus, who placed McManus Entertainment in voluntary administration in September 2013, was reportedly using the cash to repay Hanson who had leant him money to fund ZZ Top’s 2013 tour.

Universal partner up for festival in India

Having already launched its own Latin music themed festival in Los Angeles, Universal Music Group has taken a 50 per cent stake in the Enchanted Valley Carnival, reportedly the country’s  first camping music festival. UMG will joint venture the festival with Twisted Entertainment, founder of EVC. Enchanted Valley Carnival and Enchanted Village. 

The festival will be held on December 18th to 20th at the Aamby Valley City Festival Arena (in Pune district) with Tiësto and Fatboy Slim are both already confirmed.

BMI post record figures

US-based collection society BMI (Broadcast Music Inc.) has announced record-breaking revenue and royalty distributions for its latest fiscal year. Total revenues in the 12 months to end of June 2015 reached $1.013bn.  BMI distributed $877m in its fiscal year – or 86.6% of its total collections – a 4.5% increase on 2014.

Thursday, 10 September 2015

Koko triumphs in historic planning battle

A historic Camden nightspot has triumphed in a High Court battle to block plans to convert a neighbouring pub into flats after a judge ruled that councillors' attention had not been drawn to the potential heritage impact of the development. Koko, located at 1A Camden High Street, appealed to the High Court after plans to turn the Hope and Anchor pub into eight flats were approved. The club and live venue’s owners, Obar Camden Ltd, emerged victorious after the court ruled councillors had been “significantly misled” by planning officers.

Eventbrite launch noise checklist for venues

Eventbrite have published an Independent Music Venues Noise Complaint Checklist to help club and venue owners, promoters and even bands protect themselves against anti-noise complaints.

As residential developments push up housing density in city centres, some venues have been hit by noise complaints from residents. Local authorities have significant powers to deal with these. They can impose strict licensing conditions or even revoke venue licences altogether. Eventbrote say that legislation introduced in 2013 made it easier for developers to convert commercial spaces like office blocks into residential premises. So, with city centre development set to continue, we found out how independent music venues can protect themselves. 

Download our Independent Music Venues Noise Complaint Checklist here and find out how you can avoid the conflict.

More on the recent battle between Koko in Camden and the local authority over neighbouring developments on Music Law Updates here

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Iommi cancer pushed Sabbath farewell

Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi has confirmed that his band's decision to head out on a farewell tour is down to his own health concerns from his cancer. "I can't actually do this anymore", he told the Birmingham Mail. "My body won't take it much more. All the travelling involved in Sabbath tours increasingly takes its toll. That's why we're going out on one last tour, to say our farewells. And then it very definitely is the end, we won't be doing it again". In January Iommi admitted he was unsure how much longer he will live, saying it could be anywhere from one year to 10 years - he was diagnosed with cancer (Lymphoma) in January 2012.

AIM Awards 2015

The AIM Awards are out, held at a star studden event at the Brewery in London EC1, attended by a host of indie label bods, indie festival organisers, publishers, merchandisers - well anyone who is anyone in independent music, including ever irrepresible Michael Eavis and that Noel Gallagher chappie, Tom Robison, The Charlatans Tim Burgess and Radio 1's Huw Stephens. Winners on the night included a delighted Wolf Alice, who won Independent Breakthrough, All Time Low won Best Live Act, Swans won Hardest Working Act, Young Fathers won 'Best Difficult Second Album' for 'White Men are Black Men Too', Brainchild won the 'Golden Welly Award' for best independent fetsival and the Ninja team (Matt, Peter and Johnathan) won the indie Innovator Award.

Transgressive won the Independent Label of the Year Award, the PPL Award went to Jungle, Enter Shakira picked up Indie Album of The Year for 'The Midsweep', FKA Twings was ever so pleased to get Track of the Year for 'Two Weeks',  Skepta won the 'Outstanding Contribution' Award and Digby Prarson from Earache Records picked up the Pioneer Award and Marc Riley got the Indie Champion gong. Always kicked the whole thing off with a live show. Well done all! 

Drowned In Sound have put together a Spotify playlist, offering a taste of 2015's AIM Awards nominees. The playlist highlights the incredible year independent music is having and features a wide range of winners and nominees from this year's Awards. Click here to give the playlist a spin!

Monday, 7 September 2015

Live Music market in the USA up 5.8% in H1 2015

First-half North American ticket sales were up 5.8 percent compared to 2014, according to Pollstar. Top promoter Live Nation's sales, through July, increased 7 percent and AEG Live, the second-biggest promoter, posted box-office gains of 26 percent. In otrher headline news, Lollapalooza drew 300,000 fans, the Rolling Stones grossed $80 million from just 10 shows, Taylor Swift has sold 2 million tickets (so far), the Grateful Dead set an attendance record by drawing more than 70,000 fans to Chicago's Soldier Field and even Ed Sheeran is selling out stadiums internationally. "I can't think of a time in recent history that business has been any better," says Jay Marciano, AEG Live's chairman

Major labels vie for dominance in global music market

The market dominance of Universal and Sony in the recorded music and music publising sectors remains unchecked as the latest MBW analysis shows Universal Music Group took 42.7% of total revenues accrued by the major record companies in the first half of 2015.  Sony Music Enterttainment had a 33.3% share and Warner Music Group 24%.  Together the three majors control about 75% of the recorded music sector.

In terms of music publishing, Sony/ATV remained way out in front with 51.2% of income in H1 2015. Universal Music Publishing had 30.3%,  and Warner Chappell an 18.5% share.
Across the entire corporate groups of the major trio, including recorded music, music publishing and other operations, UMG claimed 41.2% of total revenue, with Sony following on with 36.3% and Warners 22.2%. 

More here


eResponse Group has announced that event security and crowd safety expert Robbie Naish has joined its eResponse Crowd Safety Division.

Toronto-based independent music publisher Ole has appointed accountant and mergers expert Brian Holdcroft to the new role of VP Acquisitions.

Dr. Clemens Trautmann has been appointed President of Universal Music’s Deutsche Grammophon classical label in Berlin.

Universal Music has appointed Franck Villet as Chief Operating Officer Asia. Villet will become a key member of the UMG Asia leadership team, providing commercial, financial, strategic, operational and analytical insight to Greater China & South East Asia.

Universal Music Canada CEO Randy Lennox is leaving the business to become President of Entertainment Production and Broadcasting at Bell Media, the market’s largest television, radio and digital media company. He will be replaced by Jeffrey Remedios, who will step in as President and Chief Executive Officer of the UMG company on September 21st. Remedios is co-founder of Arts & Crafts, one of Canada’s foremost independent labels and artist services companies.

Vevo has appointed Jon Carvill as its new VP Communications.

BMG UK has appointed former Universal Music exec Jamie Nelson as Director of A&R in its recordings business, reporting to SVP Korda Marshall.

Tyler Brown has been promoted to the newly-created position of Head of A&R, Syco Music, based in London. Brown has worked in the A&R department at Syco Music for over seven years, starting out in a supportive A&R role before being appointed Senior A&R Manager.

The editor of, is leaving parent Time Inc in November. Greg Cochrane joined the UK-based site in 2013, following five years as a Music Reporter at BBC Radio 1’s Newsbeat.

US collecting society ASCAP has appointed a new SVP Strategy & Business Development, Mark Sperling, who was previously with investment bank Allen & Company.

The PRS For Music Foundation has promoted current staffers Joe Frankland and Flora Ward, to Senior Grants & Programmes Manager and Grants Co-ordinator respectively. Meanwhile Naomi Belshaw moves from PRS itself over to the Foundation to be Grants & Programme Manager, and Leyla Atamturk joins the charity as Administrator. 

Sony Music has acquired German metal label Century Media Records. Terms of the deal are not known, though sources have told Billboard it was worth something around $20 million. The hard rock indie's co-founder Robert Kampf will stay on as head of the company.

Members of One Direction have been explaining to their fans what their planned 'hiatus' in 2016 means as they take time away from the band to follow solo projects. Its not a band bust up .... just a break ....  probably.

Music PR firm Inside/Out has announced the appointment of Kathryne Chalker to the role of Senior Publicist, as relatively recent recruit Frazer Lawton departs the company.

The Box Plus Network has promoted its business affairs chief Stacey Mitsopulos to the new role of Director Of Commercial & Business Affairs. 

Indie publisher Imagem Music has announced that Chimene Mohammed had joined its UK unit as Junior A&R, joining from Atlantic Records where she worked in marketing.

Ian Rogers is departing Apple Music just two months after the new streaming service he helped develop launched, The former TopSpin boss joined Beats Music which was then brought by Apple. He will join luxury brands group LVMH.

Mark Cohon has been named as the new Chairman of the Board of Directors at The Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (CARAS) – in addition to the annual JUNO Awards as well as music education programme MusiCounts.

Sony/ATV has announced a new joint venture with former Pitbull manager Charles Chavez and his company Latium Entertainment. Chavez is setting up a publishing venture with Sony/ATV after launching a label set-up with Sony Music earlier this year.

Alex Vlassopulos, who for the past year has headed up business development at Rdio across Europe, has quit the streaming service to join rival Google Play

UK radio station XFM, owned by the Global Group, has rebranded as Radio X – and it’s getting a multi-million pound marketing campaign to let the world know. The new station has added new presenters to its line-up including Vernon Kay on mid-mornings, Johnny Vaughan at drive and Kaiser Chiefs’ frontman Ricky Wilson at weekends. Former BBC Radio 1 Breakfast host Chris Moyles (pictured), who will present on weekdays from 6.30am-10am. Long-time XFM DJ Eddy Temple-Morris has left the station and the UK radio giant announced it was handing back the West Scotland licence that has been used for Xfm Scotland since April 2014.

Friday, 4 September 2015

Stub Hub - fans don't want transparency

The Wall Street Journal reports that StubHub is dropping its all-in price structure after less than two years. The secondary ticketing site launched the transparent model in order to show users final prices from the off, without adding any fees before checkout. This move prompted a 20% drop in sales and a similar loss of market share and now the eBay-owned company has announced a return to the 'industry standard'. StubHub president Scott Cutler told WSJ that while customers may claim that they seek greater price transparency, purchasing habits simply don't reflect that desire. As it returns to adding fees of 15-17% before final purchases, StubHub will still allow users to switch to an all-in display option - it just won't be the default any more.

Live Nation NZ acquires Vector Arena

Music Week reports that Live Nation NZ and MHC Investments have been cleared to acquire Auckland’s 12,000-capacity Vector Arena in New Zealand for an undisclosed sum. Under the terms of a development agreement with Auckland Council-controlled Regional Facilities Auckland, the Arena must be returned to the council after 40 years. Live Nation NZ is 70% owned by Live Nation’s Ticketmaster NZ business, with the remaining 30% owned by MHC, an investment vehicle of promoter Michael Coppel (pictured) and Michelle Coppel. Upcoming shows at the venue include Maroon 5, Imagine Dragons and KISS.

Thursday, 3 September 2015

Universal booming!

Universal Music Group saw its recorded music revenues grow 15.2% in the first six months of 2015 fuelled by the boom in streaming income. Universal's recorded music operation (omitting publishing and merchandising) saw digital income above 50% of company revenues, outperforming physical sales and licensing combined. Revenues of  €926m for digital music were up 7.3% year-on-year at constant currency and perimeter. UMG's revenue from physical sales was €573m, down 7.4% at constant currency/perimeter) and was licensing (€348m, up 16.4% on the same basis) UMG's recorded music operation totalled  €1.85bn in the six-month period in total, up 15.2% on the €1.60bn achieved in H1 2014 in real terms - and up 3.6% at constant currency/perimeter. The groups combined revenues including merchandising and music publishing were €2.31bn in the first six months of 2015. The group revenues, boosted by the strong US dollar, were up more than €300m, or 15.4%, on the comparable figure from H1 in 2014.

SFX credit rating downgraded

With Robert Sillerman's having so far failed to take SFX back into private ownership, alongside investor unrest over that plan, some rather odd 'extra-curricular' share transactions and blocked and then unblocked payments ti  content owners from SFX subsidiary Beatport, SFX's latest bad news is recent decision by ratings agencies Moodys and Standard & Poor to downgrade the music firm's corporate credit rating. The company has said that it is having to dip into its cash reserves to a greater extent than planned, mainly because it was having to make more upfront payments in relation to its current programme of festivals.

The spate of bad news has contributed to a slump in the company's share price. Shares went to a low of 52 cents, compared to a share price of $3.70 at the start of the year, and the $5.25 per share rate Sillerman was, at one point, proposing to pay in order to regain control of his company. The company floated at a price of $13 per share in October 2013.

LA looks at EDM safety

In the wake of the deaths of two teenagers at the Live Nation promoted HARD Summer festival last month, the Los Angeles County Board Of Supervisors has formed an Electronic Music Task Force to "provide recommendations on ways to make electronic music festivals safer for attendees". 

Teenagers Tracy Nguyen and Katie Dix both died at the Hard Summer festival at the county-owned Fairplex on 1st August, and their deaths were seemingly drugs related. Dozens more festival-goers reportedly required hospital treatment. A subsequent event planned at the site owned by the County of Los Angeles was cancelled by Live Nation. With LA County considering a ban on EDM events at any venue it owns, Live Nation also cut back the capacity of another event scheduled for Halloween and committed to add free water stations, increase security and medical services, and distribute drug education literature at that two-day show.

The motion put forward to propose the new task force states that a ban on EDM events at LA Country owned facilities is still "a possibility", though First Amendment issues around such a ban will be considered first, as well as what health and safety measures could counter concerns. One of the people behind the new task force set to review dance music events in the region is LA County Supervisor Hilda Solis, who said in a statement: "I want to emphasise that our efforts around this motion, above all, are about the health and safety of those attending these events"

 A spokeswoman for the Los Angeles County Fair Association, which runs Fairplex, told reporters: "Fairplex will continue to work with Live Nation, the board of supervisors and all public agencies to ensure the continued safety of all guests. We will work together to do everything we can".

Meanwhile, troubled EDM promoter SFX has also cancelled the One Tribe festival which was due to take place near LA on 25th and 26th September. This was as a result of poor ticket sales.