Saturday, 31 October 2015

Nightclub tragedy in Bucharest leaves 27 dead

Twenty-seven people - mostly teenagers and young people - have been killed after fire broke out at a nightclub in Bucharest, officials say. The blaze took hold at the Colectiv club on Friday night (30th October), causing a stampede for the two small exits - one of which was reportedly closed or blocked. Emergency response chief Raed Arafat said 155 people were being treated in hospitals in the Romanian capital. The fire is believed to have been caused by fireworks that were let off inside the club. The pyrotechnics were reportedly part of a show by a heavy metal band, and ignited polystyrene decor in the club.

The Great White tragedy in the USA in 2003 left 100 dead and 200 injured at the Station Nightclub after pyrotechnics set of by the band in the club ignited flammable sound proofing. The fatalities and injuries were caused by smoke inhalation and crushing. This was followed in 2004 in a similar incident at a nightclub in Argentina when 194 people died at the República Cromañónnight club  when rock group Callejeros were playing and a pyrotechnic flare was set off and ignited foam in the ceiling. In 2008 in Thailand again pyrotechnics set of by a band on stage at the Satntika nightclub caused a fire and left 66 people dead. In 2009 in Perm in Russia, 156 died after fireworks set the ceiling alight - and also the same year and just after Perm there was a near miss in Scotland - indoor fireworks set fire to the plastic netting hung across the roof in the Luna nightclub in Edinburgh. And what do people learn? Nothing it seems. When I used to teach undergraduates, I would go through all of these tragedies - and point out that if a band or venue let off fireworks and/or the fire exits are locked, blocked or chained shut - its time to leave. 

The owner of the Station Nightclub in the USA and Great White's tour manager both received prison sentences for manslaughter. Michael Derderian, the club owner ,received four years and Dan Biechele, the tour manager, four years with a further eleven years suspended. Derderian's brother and club co-owner Jeffrey received 500 community service and the brother were fined $1.06 million for failing to have proper insurance. A massive civil claim followed and defendants included the club, the band, the local fire department, those who sold the fireproofing, Clear Channel who helped promote the show, a local TV station, the Local Town Authority and the State. In Russia, a court in the central Russian city of Perm has sentenced a prominent nightclub owner to nine years and 10 months in jail over a deadly fire in December 2009.  Anatoly Zak and four former associates in his Khromaya Loshad (Lame Horse) nightclub were found guilty of manslaughter. The four were sentenced to prison terms of between four and six years. Two former officials from the local fire-safety directorate were found guilty of negligence and sentenced to four and five years in jail. In Thailand, the Southern Bangkok Criminal Court found two people, club owner Wisuk Setsawat,  and Boonchu Laorinath, the light and sound company's owner, guilty of negligence in 2011. Wisuth and Boonchoo were given three-year jail terms. Boonchoo was also ordered to pay Bt8.5 million in compensation to five plaintiffs, relatives of the victims. After the Luna near miss, Sheriff Graeme Warner slammed the "unbelievable attitude" of the DJ, Jason Cormack, who let of the pyrotechnics saying it was fortunate nobody had died and that setting off fireworks indoors was like handing a child a gun and being surprised when someone was injured. and

Friday, 30 October 2015

UK Festival Awards 2015 – The Shortlists

The UK Festival Awards has revealed the shortlists for the vast majority of its categories, which include Best Major, Medium Sized and Small Festivals; Headline Performance of the Year; Best Non-Music Festival; Best Hospitality; The Grass Roots Festival Award; and many more.

The UK Festival Awards will be held on November 26 at The Roundhouse in Camden. Preceding the Awards in the day time will be the UK Festival Conference, whose full listings were curated by Festival Insights and were announced last week. Find them here.
The following categories were decided by the online public vote:

Best Major Festival
British Summer Time Hyde Park
Isle of Wight Festival
Reading & Leeds
T In The Park
V Festival
Victorious Festival

Best Medium Sized Festival
Beat Herder
Beautiful Days
Bloodstock Open Air
Camp Bestival
End Of The Road Festival
Green Man
Kendal Calling
We are FSTVL
Y Not Festival

Best Small Festival
Eden Festival
Festival Number 6
Garage Nation Festival
Larmer Tree Festival
Lost Village Festival
Southampton Soundclash Festival
The Secret Festival
The Social Festival
Truck Festival

Best New Festival
Breaking Bands Festival
Common People
Forgotten Fields
Garage Nation
Lindisfarne Festival
Lost Village
Robin Hood Folk Festival
Southampton Soundclash Festival
Together The People
Wild Life Festival

Best Dance Festival
Beat Herder
Brownstock Festival
Electric Daisy Carnival (EDC) UK
Field Manoeuvres
Lost Village Festival
Retro Trax
We are FSTVL
Wild Life Festival

Best Metropolitan Festival
Blackpool Music Festival
Dot to Dot
Live at Leeds
Liverpool Calling
Liverpool Music Week
Liverpool Sound City
Macmillan Fest
MADE Birmingham
Slam Dunk Festival

Best Family Festival
Beautiful Days
British Summer Time Hyde Park
Camp Bestival
Eden Festival
Isle of Wight Festival
Kendal Calling
Victorious Festival
Y Not Festival

The Grass Roots Festival Award
Barn on the Farm
Beautiful Days
Bloodstock Open Air
Eden Festival
Green Man
Lost Village
The Secret Festival
Y Not Festival

Best Toilets
Isle of Wight Festival
Kendal Calling
Reading & Leeds
V Festival
Y Not Festival

Best Overseas Festival
Annie Mac Presents: Lost & Found Festival (Malta)
Benicassim (Spain)
Creamfields Ibiza (Spain)
Electric Picnic (Ireland)
Hideout Festival (Croatia)
Ibiza Rocks (Spain)
Lollapalooza Berlin (Germany)
Pohoda Festival (Slovakia)
Snowbombing (Austria)
Sziget Festival (Hungary)

Best Headline Performance
Björk at Wilderness Festival
The Flaming Lips at Liverpool Sound City
Fleetwood Mac at Isle of Wight Festival
Florence and the Machine at Glastonbury
Grace Jones at Festival Number 6
Jon Hopkins at Bloc
Jungle at Secret Garden Party
Missy Elliot at Bestival
Muse at Download
Sufjan Stevens at End of the Road Festival
Taylor Swift at British Summer Time Hyde Park
The Libertines at Reading & Leeds

Anthem Of The Summer
Bring Me The Horizon – Throne
James Bay – Hold Back the River
Jamie xx – Loud Places
Kendrick Lamar – King Kunta
Lionel Ritchie – Dancing on the Ceiling
Mark Ronson – Uptown Funk
Patti Smith – Gloria
Skepta – Shutdown
Spring King – City
The Weeknd – Can’t Feel My Face
The following categories were decided by panels of industry experts:

Best Line-Up
British Summer Time Hyde Park
Common People
Festival Number 6
Field Day
Isle Of Wight Festival
Kendal Calling
Liverpool Music Week
The Social Festival

The Extra Festival Award
Bearded Theory
Festival Number 6
Liverpool International Music Festival
Lost Village
Standon Calling
The Big Feastival
Wild Life Festival

Best Festival For Emerging Talent (NEW)
Barn on the Farm
Bloodstock Open Air
Breakout Festival
Cambridge Folk Festival
Live at Leeds
LIVE in Barnsley
Liverpool International Music Festival
Liverpool Sound City
Reading & Leeds

Best Use Of New Technology
Belladrum Tartan Heart (for the Rapidscan Box Office app)
Download (for RFID Cashless Dog Tags)
Latitude (for its live digital coverage)
Liverpool Sound City (for the Gigmit live music service)
Port Elliot Festival (for Loowatt)
Glastonbury Festival (for the Arcadia Spectacular biofuel flame system)
Reading Festival (for the CoLocator service)
Snowbombing (for RFID Cashless wristbands)
Wild Life Festival (for The Terminal Stage)

Best Hospitality (NEW)
British Summer Time Hyde Park
Camp Bestival
Festival Number 6
Fusion Festival
Glastonbury Festival
Wilderness Festival

Best Non-Music Festival (NEW)
Base Camp Festival
Eroica Britannia
Innocent Un-Plugged
Insomnia Gaming Festival
Manchester International Festival
NASS Festival
Taste of London
The Good Life Experience
Wildfire Adventure Camp

Promoter Of The Year
Amust4Music (Bloodstock)
Andy George, Jaymo & Ben Atkins (Lost Village)
Andy Marsh & Ian Evans (Victorious)
Count of Ten (Y-Not, Tramlines, Truck, Brownstock)
Damien Sanders, Big Kev & Team (Fusion)
Fiona Stewart & Team (Green Man)
From the Fields (Kendal Calling, Forgotten Fields)
John Giddings (Isle Of Wight / Solo Agency)
Scott Barton (Creamfields)
SJM Concerts (Wild Life Festival)

Outstanding Contribution Award
Winner: Peter Gabriel

Nordic CMOs join ICE

PRS for Music have announced that the Koda (Denmark), TONO (Norway) and Teosto (Finland) performing rights societies are integrating their copyright data and services with the ICE.  ICE’s mandate is to hold a single multi-territory, multi-rights entry for a copyright work.  The decision was taken by the societies to set up the 'Polaris Nordic initiative' to offer their members a more efficient and cost-effective service. 

PRS set up "Extensive tariff review "

Already reviewing the Tariff LP rate for concerts, live events and festivals, PRS for Music have announced an extensive review of more tariffs with the stated aim to "simplify, streamline and consolidate more than 40 public performance licensing tariffs as part of a Public Performance Tariff Simplification programme" although detractors will be looking to see if hidden rate increases are included in conclusions.

The programme will involve a series of customer consultations across the public performance licensing tariffs PRS operate who say "responses will help inform and shape a set of tariffs that are simple to understand, operate and fit for purpose."

Rob Kirkham, PRS for Music Head of Business Development, said: “The purpose of the simplification programme is to create tariffs that are easy to understand and use. By reviewing public performance tariffs across a number of sectors, our aim is that customers can continue to utilise and enjoy PRS for Music’s repertoire in a simpler and more efficient way. The consultations will provide opportunities to engage with our customers offering them open lines of communication with us, as PRS seeks to ensure that we continue to operate modern and appropriate licensing schemes.” 

The first set of consultations launched as part of the review included:

- Fitness and Dance (Tariffs J, GP, O and DS). These apply to the use of music at Proprietary Clubs, Swimming Pools, Dance Tuition Schools and for General Purposes.

- Universities and Higher Education institutions (Tariff UC). These apply to the public performance of music outside the teaching syllabus at premises for students or staff.

Truss collapse leaves one dead in China

The 'Queen of Mandopop', Jolin Tsai's latest show has suffered has been cancelled after a fatality. The concert, part of the 2015 Play World Tour was halted after the show's lighting trusses collapsed in China leaving 10 injured, at least one seriously, and 1 dead. The accident happened on Thursday afternoon at the Guangxi Stadium in Nanning, the news website reported. Firefighters, rescue workers and police pulled 14 people free caught under equipment, the report said. Police are investigating the accident.

Thursday, 29 October 2015

New Welfare Guide Launched by the Events Industry Forum

A comprehensive new guide to welfare at events has been published by the Events Industry Forum.

The new guide, which has been written by welfare specialist Penny Mellor, draws on the experiences of a wide range of welfare organisations to provide a set of guidelines for providing welfare services at events, such as concerts and festivals. It also contains guidance for event organisers about providing welfare services as well as downloadable forms that can be used by those providing these services (e.g. lost property etc.)

This is thought to be the first time that guidance on welfare services has been made available and it is hoped that it will lead to greater consistency in the approach to the provision of these essential services.

The provision of good welfare services is critical at many events as they provide support for dealing with a wide range of issues, from drug problems, welfare and distress to lost people and property.

welfareThe new Welfare Guide is being published alongside the Purple Guide and will be provided to subscribers at no extra cost. The work to create the guide was funded by a grant from the Events Industry Forum raised through subscriptions to the Purple Guide. ‘The Purple Guide to Health, Safety and Welfare at Music and Other Events’ was originally published by the Health & Safety Executive, but taken over by EIF in 2014 with their support. It is considered to be the main reference source to health and safety by the events industry and is used widely by licensing authorities, enforcement agencies as well as event organisers.
EIF has made a commitment that all funds raised from subscriptions to the Guide, after costs, will be reinvested in support for the UK events industry and has recently announced that it is making a further £8,000 of grants available for industry projects. 

Details of the new guide can be found at

New venue launched in Melbourne

Melbourne has a new venue, with W4 occupying a vacant warehouse on Coverlid Place. It's Melbourne’s newest hub for live music, and both W4 and W4 Parlour spaces are licensed until 5am. W4 is the latest project from The Luminosity Group whose other events include the  Future Music Festival, Mercury Lounge and Trak Lounge. The venue sits below infamous (open-late) nightclub and live-music spot Roxanne, and opposite Charltons Entertainment Complex, a spot renowned for karaoke sessions and billiard wars. The space holds a comfortable 350 guests in the main bandroom. An additional 200 fit into W4 Parlour, a more intimate upstairs performance room.

STAR launch secondary ticketing code

Following on from Which?'s criticism of five of the leading secondary ticketing sites including StubHub and Viagogo for flouting the provisions of the newly passed Consumer Rights Act, the Society Of Ticket Agents And Retailers (STAR) has announced plans to develop a code of practice for the secondary ticketing market in the UK, with a view to inviting ticket resale firms that sign up to the new rules to become members of the organisation. The ticketing body, which provides a code of practice for primary ticketing agents in a bid to ensure protection for consumers, has yet to say what the code will say, but CMU opine that "It will likely include various consumer guarantees already contained in the terms and conditions of sites like StubHub, Viagogo and Seatwave, but might go further. Proposals already on the table include ensuring that resales are governed by UK law, and providing some sort of seating information."

STAR CEO Jonathan Brown said: "Customers deserve clear information about where they can buy tickets safely. STAR recognises that the UK ticketing industry has rapidly changed in recent years and today's consumers expect greater levels of choice and protection. They need to know how and where they can buy tickets safely, whether they choose to buy them from the primary or secondary sectors. To increase clarity for ticket buyers, STAR will therefore develop standards of best practice to which we hope resale businesses that take consumer protection seriously will subscribe".


Glasgow-born singer-songwriter Jim Diamond, who had hits including "I Should Have Known Better, has died aged 64." He first entered the UK singles charts in 1982 with the song I Won't Let You Down - recorded with his band Ph.D and also had success with "Hi-Ho Silver", the theme tune for ITV series Boon. His family said they were "deeply shocked by his sudden death". Dave Stark said "Totally gutted to learn of Jim Diamond's sudden passing" adding  "Such a lovely guy, small of stature but with an enormous heart and an amazing voice".

Amy Zaret, a 25-year veteran of Warner Bros. Records who most recently served as the company's SVP of sales, has passed away following a recent cancer diagnosis. Zaret was based in Los Angeles. 

Joe Moss, manager of Johnny Marr and the Smiths, has died, after a struggle with cancer, at the age of 72. He was described in a statement on Marr’s website as “a patron of the famed Twisted Wheel, and an instigator of the pioneering store Eighth Day”.  He is survived by his wife Sarah and his children David, Rachel, Ivan, Stella and Edie.

Vic Firth, the acclaimed percussionist has died in Boston, Mass. aged 85.

Former MTV producer Peter Dougherty, who created the show 'Yo! MTV Raps', has died after suffering a heart attack. He was 59.

Former Urban Cookie Collective vocalist and the voice of Goldie's 'Inner City Life', Diane Charlemagne, has died, it was announced yesterday. She had been receiving treatment for cancer.

Guy Beart, the warm voiced French singer-songwriter, and father of actress Emmanuelle Beart, has died aged 85. In January this year he gave his last show at the Paris Olympia, 58 years after his first performance there.

Eddie Hardin, the gifted pianist and vocalist who was a core member of the Spencer Davies Group after Steve Winwood's departure, has died aged 66. Despite battles with drug abuse and alcoholism in the 70s, he continued to make music and released several solo albums including Wizards Convention.

Camera Obscura keyboard player Carey Lander has died, the band has announced in a statement. She had been receiving treatment for osteosarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer diagnosed in 2011. The band have said that they will continue to promote the campaign to raise money for the Sarcoma UK charity, which has so far raised over £60,000.

Promoter Paul King, one of the original four 'Pauls' who founded Outlaw has passed away. Paul had a mixed career, and Outlaw whose acts included Tears for Fears and Level 42 eventually went bankrupt. Paul also had a brush with the law back in 2001 when he was involved with Soba International, who had big plans to take a zeolite-based hangover cure (which had been hugely successful in South Africa) worldwide. Having set up a 'mirror' company and raised nearly half a million pounds from investors, King was later convicted of fraud in the High Court and was declared bankrupt at Slough County Court in 2001.

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Deezer cancels IPO

Streaming service Deezer, which was due to float on Friday in Paris, and was looking to raise over 300 million euros (with a one billion euro valuation) to finance new marketing and expansion initiatives in an increasingly competitive marketplace, where the French firm competes head-on with the better financed Spotify and Apple Music, has pulled its IPO. "Market conditions" were blamed for the sudden change in plan. Chairman of the Deezer board, Didier Bench, admitted that the slump in Pandora's share price in the US last week was a particular concern as were Netflix's recent results. 


Friday, 23 October 2015

France's live music's audience and revenues grow

For the second year in a row, France's live industry has experienced a growth in both attendance and revenues. Over 25.3 million people attended concerts in 2014, up 8% compared to the previous year, while box office revenues reached €746m, up 3%, according to figures unveiled in Paris at the MaMA conference by live music trade body the CNV.

Thursday, 22 October 2015

The BBC is good for UK Music - so says the BBC's research

The British Broadcasting Corporation has "made a significant positive contribution to the £3.8 billion that the UK music industry generated in the UK economy in 2013" according to accountancy firm KPMG.  KPMG has been looking at the impact of the BBC in response to the UK government's recent green paper on the future of the Corporation. One of the areas that the BBC Trust-commissioned research considered was music, with the conclusion that "the scale of the BBC's music-related activity suggests that its economic impact in this area could be significant":  "BBC radio was the first to provide airtime for the majority of London Grammar's tracks", the research notes. "Of seventeen songs played on UK radio, fifteen were played first on the BBC. In their record label's view, the BBC was likely to have played a role in the estimated £4.3 million that album sales of London Grammar's 'If You Wait' generated to the UK economy" as well as identifying that "The BBC was the first to play Sam Smith singles, on Radio 1, in 2012 and 2013, and Ed Sheeran had his first ever UK radio play on Radio 1Xtra. Radio 1 playlisted two Clean Bandit singles and supported three before any commercial radio station had played Clean Bandit's music. And the BBC's support for emerging artists like Andreya Triana and Shaun Escoffery has boosted their careers and their contribution to the music industry".

Local residents call for urgent changes to Notting Hill Carnival

The London Evening Standard reports that residents of Notting Hill have demanded drastic changes to the carnival after a “terrifying” surge in crime at this year’s parade. More than 100 people attended a public meeting to put their concerns to police, council chiefs and organisers. Eleven people were stabbed at the August bank holiday event and 407 arrests were made — the highest number in a decade. More than 40 blades were seized. Met Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe warned last month  that budget cuts mean Scotland Yard will not be able to guarantee the safety of revellers at next year’s parade. Policing the iconic event cost £6.5 million in 2015.

Image: David Sedlecký

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Select Security folds

Select Security, The Northern Ireland based security company headed by Andrew McQuillan, has closed with problems attributed to "cash-flow reasons." The company said the only standing debts were to HMRC and the owner's family. McQuillan told the Belfast Telegraph he has been left penniless and was devastated at losing his business. Some 300 staff, along with its numerous security contracts, are being transferred to other companies. Select has provided security on several series of Game Of Thrones, as well as the BBC drama production Line Of Duty. Earlier this year the company announced it was creating 40 new jobs at Pinewood Studios in England for senior management, security officers, and location assistants.

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Boris Johnson backs plan for 'night mayor' to oversee capital's nighttime economy

London Mayor Boris Johnson has promised to protect live music venues in the capital following a large number of closures in recent years. A new report, titled London's Grassroots Music Venues Rescue Plan, found that the number of grassroots music venues has decreased by 35 per cent since 2007, with just 88 remaining. Responding to the report, Johnson now vows to introduce new measures to help "safeguard and revive" live music in London. The threat to the remaining venues from rising rents, licensing restrictions, noise complaints and housing development has prompted fears for the long-term future of the UK’s £3.8 billion music industry.The report recommends that developers, not venues themselves, will be responsible for problems (such as noise complaints) that might arise between new residents and a longstanding venue and an Amsterdam-style “night mayor” would bring together businesses, residents, local authorities, transport and police to maximise the sector’s potential.   "From the Rolling Stones to David Bowie, the Clash to Oasis and Ed Sheeran to Adele, grassroots music venues have played a key role in enabling some of the biggest names in music to develop as artists and to build audiences. They are the incubators for the stars that go on to pack stadiums in London and across the world," Johnson told City AM.

And smaller music venues should apply for more arts funding to help keep their doors open, Culture Minister Ed Vaizey said at the Music Venue Day conference in London: "A vibrant music venue which is breaking new acts has just as much right to be considered a cultural venue as a local or regional theatre", he said, according to the BBC.

Q the Winners

The Q Awards are out ... at a quiet and alcohol free ceremony - where flying pigs accompanied bears not shitting in the woods. And the winners are

Best New Act: James Bay
Best Track: The Libertines – Gunga Din
Best Album: Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds – Chasing Yesterday
Best Video: Florence And The Machine – Ship To Wreck
Best Live Act: Royal Blood
Best Solo Artist: Ed Sheeran
Best Act In The World Today: Foals

Classic Album: Soul II Soul – Club Classics Vol. One
Classic Single: Queen - Bohemian Rhapsody
Q Hero: Mark Ronson
Q Icon: Duran Duran
Innovation In Sound: Gary Numan
Gibson Les Paul Award: Tony Iommi
Outstanding Contribution To Music: New Order

Apple, Spotify and YouTube add to the rush of streaming news

Apple Music has 6.5m paying subscribers, according to Apple CEO Tim Cook. Whilst that’s 200,000 more than Deezer’s total subscriber base (although around half of those are inactive), its a massive 13.5m behind Spotify’s official paying subs tally of 20m (and a total of 75M users). But its not all good news for Apple, after the three month trial period it seems around 40% of users have since left the service after their 'freebie' expired. Another 8.5m people are currently trying out Apple Music’s three-month taster, according to Cook.

It’s been two-and-a-half years since Spotify first brought its music-streaming service to Asia, and the company is moving close to entering two important markets in the region: Japan, where music streaming is beginning to show promise, and Indonesia, the world’s fourth largest country with a population of over 250 million.

YouTube, world’s biggest video site is readying a slate of programming that will only be available to people who join its upcoming subscription services. YouTube will announce some of that programming, which it is helping to fund, at an event at its studio/event space in Los Angeles next Wednesday, October 21. YouTube will continue to operate a free, ad-supported version of the site, and has said that all of the videos that appear on the free site will be available on the new paywall protected subscription service.

Monday, 19 October 2015

Turbowolf and Catfish join the MEGs

Record industry trade group the BPI  has announced a new list of artists who will benefit from the latest round of grants from the Music Export Growth Scheme, which is backed by UK Trade & Investment and which aims to help UK-based independent labels, publishers and management firms to expand the international reach of their acts: and these are: Catfish And The Bottlemen, Crystal Fighters, Denai Moore, Ephemerals, Kero Kero Bonito, Lower Than Atlantis, Martin Harley, Max McElligot, Moulettes, Petite Noir, The Bohicas, The Twilight Sad and Turbowolf, plus songwriters Greig Watts, Georgie Dennis and Christopher Wortley.

New research points to Edingburgh's "inaudibility policy" as the cause for the decline in live music

A new report published by Edinburgh University has found that 44% of musicians in the Scottish capital have had problems related to the city's strict noise restrictions in the last twelve months. As a result, council leaders have pledged to review rules stating that all live music in the city must be "inaudible" to nearby homes. The Edinburgh Live Music Census also found that live music is worth £40 million to the local economy, with music fans spending on average £1,120 each a year on nights out in the city's venues. But this, say researchers, is being hindered by the local council's current strict rules on noise, which are acting as a "handbrake" on the development of the city's live music scene - and some venues have stopped putting on live music altogether. The local authority's rules and 10 year old draconian "inaudibility policy" mean that just one noise complaint will trigger an investigation into a venue and its licence.

Sillerman launches new bid for SFX

Robert FX Sillerman  has submitted a new proposal to buy back all of the shares in the company he doesn't currently control and take the business back into private ownership. This is Sillerman's second attempt to achieve this goal - and at a substantial discount to his initial offer of $5.25 a share which failed when the SFX owner could not secure financial backing for his offer as SFX's share price slumped.

Sillerman's new proposal is to buy out all other shareholders at $3.25 a share, still a substantial premium on the current share price. Some shareholders will also be invited to roll over their current equity into the private company Sillerman hopes to create. The proposal is subject to the approval of SFX's special committee of independent directors, and key shareholders. In a letter filed with the US Securities And Exchange Commission, the SFX boss writes: "I am prepared to move expeditiously towards the negotiation and execution of definitive agreements for my proposed acquisition transaction. No further diligence review or analysis is required".

Saturday, 17 October 2015

AFO Conference 13-15 November - First Sessions Anounced

The first sessions are announced for the annual gathering of festival organisers, event managers, artists, agents, suppliers & industry experts.
Now in it's 29th year and open to all in the industry, AFO Conference is a full weekend of learning, networking, sharing, and celebrating the end of the season and provides an unbeatable opportunity to catch up with colleagues and make new contacts, away from the festival site.

"If you have anything to do with festivals you really should not miss this" Steve Heap, General Secretary of the AFO & Chairman of the Event Industry Forum (EIF).

First Sessions Announced
  • Festival Story - a music & arts festival case study
  • Stewards - recruiting, training & retaining a great team
  • Cashless Festivals
  • NCASS Connect - save time, money and hassle when booking your caterers
  • The latest on rates, the Purple Guide & PRS
  • Agents and Advancing
  • Festivals & Sustainability
  • Pricing your festival - how much should a ticket really cost?
  • The Wow factor - how to make your site stand out
plus social marketing, financial round table drop ins and more!

With One2Ones to save you £100s, showcases, networking dinner and more! Plus enjoy some of the best new music with Friday & Saturday Showcases and acoustic breaks throughout the days.

Live UK Music Business Awards 2015

Glastonbury picked up two awards for Best Large Festival and Best Headline performance at a festival (for Lionel Richie) at the Live UK Music Business Awards at London’s Radisson Blu Portman Hotel on Thursday 15th October. Wembley received the award for Best Venue Teamwork – Stadium, Barclaycard Arena, Birmingham, won the Arena category and the Royal Albert Hall was awarded the Theatre Concert prize. United Talent Agency’s Natasha Bent, who represents acts such as Foals and Chvrches, was named Agent of the Year and Wildlife Entertainment’s Murray Curnow and Ian McAndrew won Artist Manager of the Year for their work with Royal Blood.

And those winners are:

Outstanding Contribution -  Status Quo

Best Venue Teamwork – Stadium: Wembley Stadium

Best Venue Teamwork – Arena: Barclaycard Arena, Birmingham

Best Venue Teamwork – Theatre Concert: Royal Albert Hall, London

Best Venue Teamwork – Arts Centre: The Junction, Cambridge

Best Venue Teamwork – Campus: UEA, Norwich

Best Venue Teamwork – Major Club: The Leadmill, Sheffield

Best Venue Teamwork – Club: The Brudenell Social Club, Leeds

Artist Manager of the Year: Murray Curnow & Ian McAndrew, Wildlife Entertainment

Agent of the Year -  Natasha Bent, United Talent Agency

Best Festival (cap. 40,000+) -  Glastonbury

Best Festival (cap. 15,000-39,999) - Green Man

Best Festival (cap. under 15,000) - Wickham Festival

National Promoter of the Year -  Kilimanjaro Live

Regional Promoter of the Year -  DF Concerts (Scotland)

Indie Promoter of the Year -  Tom Baker, Eat Your Own Ears (London)

Greatest Brand Impact -  Jack Daniel’s

Best Festival Performance - Lionel Richie, Glastonbury

Breakthrough Artist -  Catfish And The Bottlemen

Spectacle of the Year (Best Production) -  Ed Sheeran tour

Tour Manager of the Year -  Ivan Kushlick, Captain Kush Productions (Kings Of Leon)

Best Record Label Partner -  Claire Coster & Nick Long, Atlantic Records

Unsung Hero: Clare Utting - United Talent Agency

Thursday, 15 October 2015

UK Government appoints Michael Waterson to review secondary ticketing

The UK government's Department Of Culture, Media & Sport has announced that Professor Michael Waterson will lead the review of the secondary ticketing market which follows from from the newly passed Consumer Rights Act - after MPs Mike Weatherley and Sharon Hodgson managed to ensure that some but not all of their concerns regarding the secondary ticketing market were enshrined in the Act- although one key proposal - that people reselling tickets online must publish their identity, was not included. That information would have allowed anti-touting promoters to more easily cancel tickets being touted as they appear on resale sites. The new legislation did provide for a review of consumer protection measures in the secondary ticketing domain. Prof Waterson, specialises in industrial economics, including the economics of retail will chair the review. Interested parties have been invited to submit evidence by 20 Nov. 

Conservative MP Philip Davies is one MP who is publicly against regulation, sharing the same view as the secondary ticketing market that that increased regulation will have little effect on touts and will simply result in less not more protection for consumers saying: "Now that a chair of the government's ticket review is in place, it is imperative that a proper review of the entire market is carried out. As an economist, Professor Waterson will know that the regulations introduced in the Consumer Rights Act have done little to bring down prices, instead harming fans by making it easier for their tickets to be cancelled" and  "The government needs to realise that needless intervention is not the answer and will only serve to drive many consumers away from safe online platforms and into the arms of street touts. Any regulations in this area therefore need to be carefully thought through and firmly guided by the available evidence".

See the call for evidence on the DCMS website here.

Pandora to pay $90m for pre-1972 recordings

Online radio provider Pandora is to pay out some $90 million to the three major record companies, Universal, Sony and Warners, along with ABKCO, as payment for use of pre-1972 recordings. In June, Sirius paid $210 million to resolve a long-running lawsuit over its broadcast of older tracks. Pandora will pay $60 million for the use of recordings through 2015, and another $30 million to cover through 2016. Last year, recording companies filed a lawsuit in New York State Supreme Court in Manhattan, accusing Pandora of violating the state’s copyright protections by using recordings of older songs without permission. The move followed the success of Flo & Eddie (The Turtles) in garnering copyright protection for sound recordings under state laws in both New York and California - although they failed to convince a judge in Florida on the same arguments.

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

i am Elton, i am

The BBC will screen a full Elton John live show later this month, exclusively on iPlayer. John's performance was recorded in June at the Eden Project in Cornwall, as part of the long-running Eden Sessions programme.

Are music venues as valuable as houses – and can we prove it?

"What if a venue was as valuable to the landowner as turning it into flats and houses? What if, when a venue was supported, those businesses and residences around it would benefit economically? Land value would increase; more traders would open."  Local pubs, restaurants, take aways, taxi firms, buses and public transport, PAYE from employees, VAT on sales, business rates, corporation tax on profits, rent ..... all add to a much bigger 'value'

More from Shain Shapiro here

Muzu dot gone

MBW reports that, the independent online music video service launched in 2008, is headed into liquidation. According to MBW sources,  the business of Muzu's owner - Our Digital Universe Ltd. - will be wound up on October 22 in its home city of Dublin. The free online music video service available in 23 countries and was fully licensed by the major labels and independents, splitting advertising revenue 50/50 with rights-holders - although some labels told MBW that they have not been paid by Muzu for "the past few months".

Saturday, 10 October 2015

The Association of Independent Festivals announces the shortlist for The Festival Congress Awards

With its flagship event The Festival Congress taking place in Cardiff next month, the Association of Independent Festivals (AIF) has today announced the shortlist for The Festival Congress Awards 2015.

The Festival Congress Awards celebrate the diverse and creative community that makes the festival landscape what it is. This year it will be hosted by Ben Challis (General Counsel to Glastonbury Festival and co-founder of A Greener Festval) and will take place on the evening of the first day of The Festival Congress (Thursday 5th of November) at Cardiff University’s Great Hall.

There are eight award categories - including ‘New Festival on the Block’, ‘Mind Blowing Spectacle’, ‘Unique Festival Arena’, ‘Live Act of the Year’, ‘Smart Marketing’, ‘Unsung Hero’ and the ‘Emmet Brown award for innovative use of technology’.
Nominees include Boomtown Fair, Block9, Bestival, La Fura dels Baus (the human net) at Wilderness, ArcTanGent, HMS Sweet Charity at Glastonbury, The Clik Clik Collectives Cabinet of Lost Secrets at Nozstock: The Hidden Valley and Shambala for being the first UK Festival to accept Bitcoin as payment.       

Paul Reed, General Manager of the AIF said: “We’re been overwhelmed by the response to nominations and are very excited about the Festival Congress awards and evening celebration this year. It is an incredibly strong and diverse shortlist and the awards are a fantastic opportunity to acknowledge s the creativity and hard work of AIF members and, of course, the wider festival community”. 

Following the ceremony, congress delegates will enjoy a festival-themed party, with a street food festival banquet, including food from Cardiff’s Hangfire SmokehouseThe Dusty Knuckles Pizza Company and Mr Croquewich.

AIF DJs including Rob da Bank (Bestival), The Head Gardner (Secret Garden Party) and Chris Tofu (Continental Drifts) will be spinning the tunes at the aftershow party, which takes place in the same venue.

Nominations are put forward and then voted for by AIF’s 55 member festivals.

The nominees are as follows:

New festival on the block (no more than three editions)
  • ArcTanGent
  • Northbound Festival     
  • Somersault Festival
  • Breakout Festival      
  • Underneath The Stars Festival
  • Forgotten Fields Festival  
  • Garage Nation Festival           
  • Camp Wildfire        
  • Twisterella
Unique festival arena
  • Clik Clik Collectives Cabinet of Lost Secrets at Nozstock: The Hidden Valley.       
  • Room No. 7 at 2000trees
  • The Hide at Larmer Tree Festival     
  • The Hidden Hedge at Blissfields     
  • The Obelisk Stage at Deershed
  • HMS Sweet Charity at Glastonbury      
  • The Over Barn at Barn On The Farm
  • Next Generation at Village Green Festival             
  • The Travelling Barn at Fire In The Mountain
Live act of the year
  • Black Peaks          
  • Ibibio Sound Machine         
  • Songhoy Blues         
  • Palace      
  • Slamboree
  • Mr B The Gentlemen Rhymer         
  • Slaves          
  • Nothing But Thieves          
  • Kimberley Anne
  • Cleft Vs. Alpha Male Tea Party        
  • Wolf Alice
Mind blowing spectacle
  • The Larmer Tree – 25th Anniversary Site Installation      
  • Block9 – Glastonbury
  • Fireworks – Bestival            
  • La Fura dels Baus (the human net) – Wilderness
  • Boomtown’s Palace (The Main Stage)- Boomtown Fair
Best smart marketing campaign of the year
  • Boomtown Fair’s Spoof Videos           
  • Standon Calling’s 10th Anniversary Theme
  • We Are FSTVL’s Youtube Channel         
  • Bestival’s Summer of Love Campaign
Festival journalist / website of the year
  • Scott Williams of efestivals       
  • Edith Bowman – Edith Bowman’s Great British Music Festivals
  • Hannah Braid – Daisy Digital       
  • Simon Godley – God is in the TV      
  • Remfry Dedman – The Independent           
  • Noisey              
  • Festival Baby
Emmet Brown award for innovative use of technology
  • Larmer Tree Festival’s Music Controlled Balloon Lights.
  • Skiddle’s Rapidscan Box Office   
  • Natural Event’s Compost Loos
  • The Physical Network - Peer to Peer ticketing      
  • Shambala – The first UK Festival to accept Bitcoin as payment
Unsung hero
  • James Scarlett – 2000trees            
  • Davie Wilson – Larmer Tree Festival site manager
  • Alex Thomson – Press officer of Greenhouse Group (Blissfields)
  • Emma Zillmann – Kendal Calling/Forgotten Fields
  • Chris Tofu – Continental Drifts      
  • Olly Marfell – ArcTanGent
  • Jo McLoughlin – Village Green Production Manager             
  • Megan Evans – Deershed Festival
A successful Festival Congress launch last year saw the largest gathering of independent festivals ever, as over 400 delegates and speakers enjoyed a two-day event in the capital of Wales.

This year The Festival Congress takes place at Cardiff’s Wales Millennium Centre and will feature over fifty guest speakers. Speakers from Secret Garden Party, Block 9 (Glastonbury / Dismaland), Walk the Plank, On Blackehath and Crate Brewery were recently added to the programme.

For the latest list of topics and speakers go to   

The AIF Festival Congress is supported by the Major Events Unit of the Welsh Government. New ticketing service Una Tickets is sponsor and exclusive ticketing partner and BIMM are a sponsor and the lead educational partner.  For further details, including tickets, go to 

Friday, 9 October 2015

Live Nation dominates event ticket sales in Q3

Live Nation sold almost twice as many tickets as its nearest rival AEG in Q3 2015. Third on the list was Feld Entertainment followed by Mexican giant OCESA and the UK's SJM.

18,328,251  Live Nation
10,281,448  AEG Live
2,687,715   Feld Entertainment
2,272,063   OCESA / CIE (MEXICO)
2,144,865   SJM (UNITED KINGDOM)
1,466,119   Marek Lieberberg (GERMANY)
1,220,928   Zignia Live (MEXICO)
1,207,282   T4F - Time For Fun (SOUTH AMERICA)
1,123,391   Evenko (CANADA)
1,071,398   Caesars Entertainment
994,954      FKP Scorpio Konzertproduktionen (GERMANY)
981,019      Frontier Touring Company (AUSTRALIA)
927,241      Premier Productions
869,845      The Bowery Presents
842,693      MCD Productions (IRELAND)
777,474      Semmel Concerts Entertainment (GERMANY)
750,068      DG Entertainment
748,940      Another Planet Entertainment
667,684      C3 Presents
639,208      3A Entertainment (UNITED KINGDOM)

The O2 has become the first arena in the world to top the million ticket sales barrier in 2015. The London venue sold 1,235,033 tickets in the first three quarters of the year to maintain its position as the world's busiest venue, ahead of Manchester Arena (824,381 tickets sold) and The SSE Hydro (667,322) in Glasgow in second and third places respectivelly, making up an all-UK top 3 in the Pollstar ticket sales charts. 

Live Nation enjoyed a record third quarter, with revenue rising 10% to $2.76 billion, exceeding analysts' estimates of $2.44bn.  Adjusted operating income (AOI) was up 8% as more than 24 million fans attended the promoter's shows during the third quarter, traditionally the busiest period of the year. More than 48m people attended Live Nation concerts in the first nine months of 2015, up almost 3m on last year. The firm has sold over 54 million tickets for shows this year, up 8% from this point last year, while its Ticketmaster business recorded an 8% growth in global site visits. 

Full Top 100 list on Pollstar here

Wednesday, 7 October 2015


IQ reports on a potential rejig of the management team at Live Nation's UK and Ireland division, with veteran promoter Denis Desmond tipped for a top role, according to IQ magazine. The rejig follows the recent departure of long-stranding Live Nation UK COO John Probyn, who left the live music major to work on a new sports event in Birmingham. It is thought that Melvin Benn, boss of Live Nation UK subsidiary Festival Republic, will also have an extended role overseeing other festivals owned by the firm.

Randy Phillips has left his position as CEO of Ashley Tabor’s Global Entertainment after just seven months. Phillips was CEO of AEG Live for 13 years before being named boss of Global Entertainment in February. Whilst leaving the CEO role at the label, publishing, artist management, promotion, live concerts, events, touring, branding, sponsorships and marketing group, Phillips is to be appointed to a new role on a ‘specific project to be announced in due course’.

Pandora appears close to a deal to buy Ticketfly, a ticketing agency that specializes in smaller venues, for around $450 million. If the acquisition goes through, it will mark a significant bet on diversification for Pandora, which until now has generated all of its revenue from its Web radio service.

Up to 30% of staff at US mechanical rights firm the Harry Fox Agency will go, according to Billboard's sources, following the company's acquisition by performing rights body SESAC.

Ticketscript has appointed Charlie Sefi as its new Director for the UK and Ireland. He joins from event discovery app YPlan, of which he was a co-founder.

MTV President Stephen Friedman has exited the broadcaster, with Discovery's Sean Atkins Taking over his role. Atkins will report to Doug Herzog, president of the Viacom Music and Entertainment Group. MTV programming co-heads Mina Lefevre (exec vp and head of scripted) and Lauren Dolgen (head of reality and exec vp series development) will report directly to Atkins.

Dave Kaplan, a 13-year veteran of The Agency Group (TAG) has left the company for rival Paradigm. TAG was acquired by United Talent Agency (UTA) last month. 

Adam Velasco (Cherry Red Records), Ben Rimmer (Believe Digital), Harry Martin (Domino Recording Co) and Vincent Clery-Melin (Kobalt Label Services) have all been elected to the Board of the Association of Independent Music (AIM). These replace the following retiring AIM Board Members: Chris Goss - Hospital Records,Doug D’Arcy - Faith & Hope Records, John Dyer - Domino Recording Co and Sharon Dean - Respect Music.7

The Music Business Association in the US has also announced three new board members: Sony Music's Bob Garbarini; Entertainment One's Michael Healy; and Big Machine's Kelly Rich.

Lisa Brown, formerly Senior Ticketing Manager at AXS, has joined The Ticket Factory, the Birmingham-based ticketing business of Midlands venue operator the NEC Group.

Management firm Three Six Zero Group yesterday announced that London-based artist manager Adrian Karvinen has joined its LA operation, bringing with him his current roster of artists Say Lou Lou, Miamigo, Crystal Fighter's singer Kyiki and young Australian producer James Malone.

The Australian arts community has applauded the removal of Attorney General George Brandis from the Arts Ministry and called on his replacement to "undo the damage" inflicted on the industry. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull appointed Senator Mitch Fifield as Minister for Communications and Minister for Arts on Sunday. It ends the controversial reign of Senator Brandis, who oversaw huge cuts to the Australia Council in favour of his own funding body. Brandis also loses responsibility for copyright and content classification, which migrates from his office to Fifield.

Notting Hill Music Group has expanded its company’s operations into Nashville through the addition of Ginny Johnson to the company’s global team. The move means that Notting Hill now operates three Transatlantic offices: in London, Los Angeles and Nashville.

The General Manager of Americana label New West Records (Ben Folds, Steve Earle), Michael Ruthig, has resigned after eight years at the company.

Keith Harris OBE is departing the UK record industry's collecting society PPL, where he has been Director Of Performer Affairs since 2006, though he will continue to consult for the rights organisation. Harris is also Stevie Wonder's European manager.

•US collecting society BMI has  announced the appointment of Jodie Thomas to the role of Executive Director, Corporate Communications And Media Relations, reporting into VP Of Corporate Comms Liz Fischer.

Warner Music Group’s Alternative Distribution Alliance (ADA) Worldwide has promoted a duo of execs in the US. David Orleans has been promoted to President of Sales and Label Management; Kenny Weagly has been promoted to President of A&R and Label Services.

Warner Bros. has appointed Larry Mattera as EVP, Commerce, Digital Marketing & Strategy, reporting to label chairman Cameron Strang. Mattera was previously SVP, Head of Global Digital Accounts at WMG.

In the US music publishing world, ‘Big’ Jon Platt, will become the CEO of Warner/Chappell Music next month, replacing Cameron Strang in the CEO role. Strang will continue in his role as Chairman & CEO of Warner Bros. Records (WBR), as well as serving as a member of the Warner Music Group Corp. Board of Directors.

Universal Music has confirmed plans to move its London HQ to Pancras Square in Kings Cross. The new base will house Universal's music publishing business and sister company See Tickets as well as all UMG labels - and very close to the new PRS for Music headquarters. 

Universal Music UK has appointed Jack Fryer to the new role of Director of Audience Research & Planning. Fryer joined Universal Music UK in October 2013 as Head of Insight, having spent two years in the same role at EMI Records.  He was previously a strategist at marketing agency FRUKT.

Universal Music Group has appointed Nicola Levy as Global Head Of Business Affairs for Digital. She will move from the firm's London office to Santa Monica. And Universal Music Publishing has announced a trio of senior executive promotions within its UK A&R team. Caroline Elleray becomes VP of A&R, Frank Tope becomes Senior Director of A&R and Mark Gale becomes Director of UK A&R / Director of International A&R.

Rob Wells, former Universal Music Group executive has joined the UK startup CrowdMix which has raised £14m ($21m) this year alone to fund the music-focused social network which is preparing to launch a public-facing service next year. Former Vodafone CEO Arun Sarin has taken a minority stake in Saavn, and will also act as a strategic advisor to the Indian streaming service.

Nonesuch Records President Bob Hurwitz has announced he is to step away from the day-to-day running of the Warner-owned label after 31 years at the helm.

BMG has promoted Keith Hauprich to Deputy General Counsel. Based in New York and reporting to Mark Robinson, SVP & General Counsel, Hauprich (pictured) has served as Vice President, Business & Legal Affairs & A/V Business Development for BMG since 2010.