Thursday, 31 December 2015


Stump, with Mick Lynch on the left
We are very sorry to hear of the death of Mick Lynch – the charismatic former frontman of quirky indie band beloved of John Peel, Stump. The band rose to underground prominence with 'Quirk Out' which highlighted Mick’s onstage charisma and natural charm. A simply lovely man from Cork.

Lemmy (R) at Glastonbury 2015 (Nick Cordes)
Ian “Lemmy” Kilmister, founding member and singer in the British heavy metal band Motörhead, has died at the age of 70 shortly after learning he had been diagnosed with cancer. The band announced on their Facebook page that Lemmy learned of the disease on Boxing Day, and was at home when he died and said “There is no easy way to say this … our mighty, noble friend Lemmy passed away today after a short battle with an extremely aggressive cancer. He had learned of the disease on 26 December, and was at home, sitting in front of his favourite video game from The Rainbow which had recently made it’s way down the street, with his family." They asked fans to have a drink or two and play Lemmy's music LOUD in his honour.

Monday, 21 December 2015

PRS for Music and Soundcloud - war is over

PRS for Music has written to its membership informing them that it has settled the recently launched legal action against the online music platform, which is widely used by PRS members. The licence covers the use of PRS for Music repertoire from SoundCloud’s launch, and extends to. cover SoundCloud in its plans to introduce subscription and advertising supported platforms across Europe in 2016. 

Robert Ashcroft, Chief Executive of PRS for Music said: “On behalf of our members, I am pleased that we have been able to reach a settlement with SoundCloud without extended legal proceedings. This ends over five years of discussions on the licensing requirements for the platform, resulting in a licence under which our members are fairly rewarded for the use of their music." adding "The safe harbours in current legislation still present ambiguity, and obstruct the efficient licensing of online services, but our agreement with SoundCloud is a step in the right direction towards a more level playing field for the online marketplace."

The letter from Karen Buse, Executive Director, Membership and International, reads: 

I wrote to you earlier this year to explain our action against the online music streaming service SoundCloud. After five years of unsuccessful licensing negotiations, we believed that we had no alternative but to start legal proceedings against them. However, we have since, through intense discussion and negotiation, managed to reach an agreement.

The agreement covers the use of repertoire controlled by PRS for Music since the service launched and is an important step in our quest to achieve a level playing field in the licensing of online services so that songwriters, composers and their music publishers can be paid properly for the use of their music online.

We believe this agreement to be the best outcome because it sets us on the path towards receiving proper reporting from SoundCloud of their use of your repertoire, enables royalties to be paid and also avoids the cost of legal proceedings.

Receiving enough accurate data on music uploaded to the platform remains a challenge but SoundCloud have committed to working with us to improve the quality of their reporting over time. We are conscious of the value that many of you derive from using SoundCloud and are pleased to have reached this landmark agreement. Whilst it is only one step along the road to a fully functioning online market, it is an important one. I would like to thank SoundCloud for breaking with the past and agreeing to work with us; a move which we feel is in not only your, but all rightsholders’, interests.

We expect you have questions about what this means for you. To help answer these, we’ve put together some frequently asked questions which can be viewed here.
Yours sincerely,
Karen Buse

Executive Director, Membership and International
PRS for Music

Will Live Nation pick up SFX?

It seems SFX's money-lenders are  hoping that Live Nation will acquire the flagging EDM powerhouse. The debt pile of around $300 million is now nearly ten times the market cap valuation of the company after it's share price collapsed and SFX recently confirmed it had asked its bankers to investigate a possible restructuring of its debts with talk that Cream founder James Barton - currently a Live Nation executive - was in talks to join the company. It is thought that Live Nation was among the companies to express an interest in SFX's assets when the latter's directors were accepting bids earlier this year although Reuters say Live Nation might just cehrry pick off SFX's most successful festival brands and buy them individually instead - although ab SFX buy would make it a dominant force in the dance music sector. 

Adele fights back against the ticket touts

Last week Sir Elton John branded ticket resale websites “disgraceful” for selling tickets to his gigs at inflated prices, joining other big name such as Mumford & Sons, Prince and Coldplay, who have all recently attacked the resale “rip-off”. Adele is now taking much publicised action to fight off the touts on her latest dates. The Observer has also revealed that Justin Bieber fans wanting tickets for his October 2016 London O2 dates are being asked on Get Me In to hand over as much as £1,825 for seats with a face value of just £50. That figure includes a £285 cut taken by Get Me In.

The Observer has monitored the main sites in the UK (Seatwave, Viagogo, Get Me In and StubHub) and has found all four carry listings that appeared to be in breach of the Consumer Rights Act 2015, which requires anyone who resells an event ticket via a secondary market website to provide details of the seat row and number, as well as the face value and information about any restrictions amid fresh claims that many sites are flouting the law and supporting “industrial-scale touting”.  A spokesman for Viagogo told the Observer: “We make the sellers’ obligations regarding the listing of certain ticket information very clear at several points on our website. However it is possible that the seller doesn’t always have confirmation of the row and seat number at the time of listing.” Ticketmaster, which owns Get Me In and Seatwave, said the sites “work with those selling tickets on our sites to ensure that they understand their obligations to comply with their legal duties, including the requirement to list all available ticket details”. It added: “However, we are also concerned that some sellers may not list all the information, for fear of potential cancellation or blacklisting by event organisers.”

MBW reported that Adele's offical policy is that “The resale of tickets will not be tolerated” and in the pre-sale tickets to the star’s 36-date 2016 European tour this has been largely successful for the 57,000 tickets sold for 14-date UK and Ireland leg of the tour by independent ticketing operator SongKick. Just over 1,000 of these tickets had been listed for re-sale on sites such as Stubhub, Viagogo, GetMeIn! and Seatwave – so approximately 1.9% of the ‘first wave’ of Adele tickets ended up on secondary ticketing sites – much lower than the  average arena gig which sees closer to 20% on er-sale sites. Adele's management inisted on pre-registration and also monitored sales for suspicious activity from some 18,000 'likely or known touts'. Adele’s manager, Jonathan Dickins at September, told MBW “Until a law is passed in the UK that outlaws ticket resale profiteering you cannot stop it completely”. In the USA Adele went with a ticketless method for her now sold out North American tour, which means that fans who did manage to purchase tickets will not receive physical tickets. Instead, they will have to present their credit card and ID when they arrive at the venue on the day of their gig, and they will then be granted entry - if it matches. However demand for tickets is enourmous:  according to Billboard, over 10 million fans went online to try and buy one of the 750,000 tickets available, with four million New Yorkers reportedly online at the same time, with fan's furious with Tickemaster's failing online system.

In the UK, Sharon Hodgson MP had said the new changes to the law “are being utterly flouted by the major platforms, and the government needs to wake up to this scandal, which is affecting people all around the country and damaging our creative industries”. The number of tickets on sale for inflated prices shows the need for tough new laws to crack down on rip-off ticket sales, said Hodgson. She spoke out after Adele fans warned they were struggling to buy tickets for the singer’s tour, the first for four years, which follows the release of her new album, 25. Hodgson is Co-chair of the all-party parliamentary group (APPG) on ticket abuse.

Sunday, 20 December 2015

Cowell faces US trip claim

Simon Cowell is being sued by a woman who fell over wires during a making of America’s Got Talent. D’Arcy Gurr was attending the taping of America’s Got Talent when she says she tripped over wires, claiming the studio was overcrowded, which made it more dangerous to navigate. The incident happened as the show was being filmed at the Los Angeles County Fair. Gurr is suing NBC, prodicers of the show and the fairground, along with Simon Cowell for US $5 milllion.  Cowell is also an executive producer of the programme,

Wednesday, 16 December 2015

AC/DC first concert for London's Olympic Stadium

AC/DC will be the first band to perform a major concert at the former Olympic Stadium in London’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. The concert, scheduled for the 4th June, will be the first major event in the Stadium after the transformation works are finished. The Stadium has been undergoing work since 2013 to turn it into a year-round, multi-use venue. The work includes installing the largest roof of its kind in the world, a community track, innovative retractable seating, spectator and hospitality facilities and external landscaping.

Auckland's Echo cancelled

The Promoters of the cancelled Auckland Echo Festival have gone into liquidation as fans wait for ticket refunds. Echo Festival, which had big-name international acts like Jamie XX, Disclosure and The Flaming Lips on the bill, was to be held on January 11th and 12th at Vector Arena and its surrounds. It replaced the three-day McLaren Valley Music and Arts Festival, which was forced to move after promoters failed to get resource consent for its original Bay of Plenty venue. 

And after the 2016 edition wa cancelled, Australia's  popular Soundwave music festival will not be going ahead in 2017, after its boss broke the news on social media. Arash “AJ” Maddah made the sudden announcement on Twitter, saying there will be “definitely no” 2017 edition of the Soundwave festival. In an official statement sent to TMN overnight (17.12.15), Soundwave Festival's ticket agent Eventopia has said AJ Maddah is responsible for ticket refunds saying "We regret to inform customers of the cancellation of Soundwave Festival 2016 due to poor ticket sales, as advised by the Promoter this afternoon."

More here and here.

Integro Doodson snap up RTIB

Robertson Taylor and its sister firms within Entertainment Insurance Partners (EIP) has been sold to Integro Insurance Brokers, the New York-based competitor, in a deal for an undisclosed sum. The management team at EIP, led by chief executive John Silcock, will move with the company to its new owners.

Monday, 14 December 2015

Swift tastes the Apple

Apple Music have announced Sunday that a concert film of Taylor Swift’s 1989 world tour will be available exclusively on the company's music streaming service beginning December 20th.  Directed by Jonas Akerlund, The 1989 World Tour LIVE Concert Film will feature Swift’s entire concert at ANZ Stadium in Sydney, Australia, on November 28th. The film will also include never-before-seen footage from backstage and tour rehearsals, and the special guests who appeared on stage with Swift during the tour.

Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Fraudsters claim to rep Aerosmith and Pearl Jam

Fraudsters have attempted to scam promoters by posing as representatives of Aerosmith and Pearl Jam in a fake email scam. The would-be fraudsters claim to be from International Talent Booking (ITB) and they sent out circulars saying they are representing and booking a Pearl Jam and Down tours for 2015, and more recently an Aerosmith tour for 2016.

In response, ITB has issued a warning to promoters, urging them to disregard the emails, which claim to be from ITB agent Lucy Dickins. “They have stolen our logo and address from the internet and are posing as ITB to scam money off unsuspecting promoters, going to the extent of sending fake riders and contracts and attempting to collect deposits,” said the firm in a statement.

The agent for both Pearl Jam and Aerosmith is Rod MacSween, and for Down is Mike Dewdney, both at ITB.

ITB can be called on 0207 6376979 (ask for Diana in Rod MacSween’s office):  the company’s website is at

Could the 'agent of change' principle finally become law?

Michael Dugher
The live music sector has welcomed amendments to the UK's Planning Bill which would introduce the 'agent of change' principle into UK law on a statutory basis. The amendments are planned to be debated this week as part of the Public Bill Committee consideration of the Housing And Planning Bill in the House of Commons. 

When Labour's Michael Dugher  became shadow culture secretary, one of the first issues he raised was the plight of small music venues. Of the 430 that traded in London between 2007 and 2015, only 245 remain open. At the Music Trust's Venue Day 2015, Dugher, renowned for his love of karaoke, warned: "There is a real crisis at the moment and that's why we need a national strategy to support small music venues before many more shut." 

The agent of change principle ensures that a new development must shoulder responsibility for compliance when situated near an existing music venue. Similarly, if a music venue opens in a residential area, it too would be responsible for complying with residential requirements.

Monday, 7 December 2015


John Adie, co-founder of the Two Moors chamber music festival, has died aged 69. The Two Moors Festival is the annual classical music festival based in Devon and Somerset, England that began i 2001. The festival covers the largest geographic area of any United Kingdom festival, being based in eleven towns and villages on Dartmoor and Exmoor. John's wife Penny is the Artistic Director.

Luc Bondy, the Swiss opera, theater and film director who staged productions on renowned stages across Europe and the United States, has died. He was 67.

Allen Toussaint
Allen Toussaint, the legendary songwriter, producer, arranger and performer hailed by the Grammys, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and musicians and fans worldwide as one of the most influential figures in New Orleans music, has died  while on tour in Europe after a performance in Madrid. He was 77.

Andy White, the Scottish studio session musician who played the drums on "Love Me Do" and other early tracks by The Beatles, has died in New Jersey. According to his family, the 85-year-old died following a stroke.

Ex Motorhead drummer Phil "Philthy Animal" Taylor has died at the age of 61.Taylor played in the band from 1975 to 1984 and again from 1987 to 1992. Taylor's former bandmate, guitarist "Fast" Eddie Clarke, posted the following tribute to his colleague: "My dear friend and brother passed away last night. He had been ill for sometime but that does not make it any easier when the time finally comes."

Noted songwriter P. F. Sloane has died aged 70 from pancreatic cancer. He was just in London in July last year to launch his autobiography "What's Exactly the Matter with Me?" and last album "My Beethoven". He penned classic singles like Barry McGuire's "Eve of Destruction" and Johnny Rivers' "Secret Agent Man" and wrote for the Turtles and Herman's Hermits amongst others.

Stewart Cruickshank, who was instrumental in keeping the Scottish music scene from the early-mid 60s until the present day very much alive, and was instrumental in planning & producing such great BBC Radio Scotland  programmes such as Beatstalking, Beat Patrol, Bite the Wax and so much more, has  died.

Legendary Newfoundland singer-songwriter Ron Hynes, known as the Man of a Thousand Songs, has died at the age of 64.

Michael Ahern. the concert industry veteran who produced the annual 'Tribute in Light' Twin Towers dedication, has died.

Scott Weiland, best known as the lead singer for Stone Temple Pilots and Velvet Revolver, passed away in his sleep while on a tour stop in Bloomington, Minnesota, with his band The Wildabouts.  Scott was just He is survived by two children, and his wife Jamie Wachtel.48. 

Cynthia Robinson, the trumpeter and long time member of the Family Stone has died aged 69. Appearing with Sly and the Family Stone at Woodstock, in 2006 she reformed the band without Sly with two other original members and Slyvette, her daughter with Stone. She also had another daugter, Laura from an earlier relationship. 

Alex Cooley, the legendary concert promoter who made his base in Atlanta but was a nationwide fixture, has died in Florida.


APA has promoted Run DMC  Public Enemy's  agent John Pantle to VP of their Concerts department.

Paul Kahn has been named Executive Vice President & Chief Financial Officer for Warner/Chappell Music (WCM), the music publishing arm of Warner Music Group. Kahn previously held senior roles at Viacom, EMI, Primedia and Himalaya Capital

CAA has announced that it is bolstering its music team by adding three new agents to its staff, with Adam Brill (Los Angeles), Ben Buchanan (Toronto) and Brian Hill (Nashville) joining the company.

Evan Harrison has been named as CEO of Huka Enertainment t, producer of the Pemberton Festival in British Columbia and the Tortuga Music Festival in Fort Lauderdale.  A.J. Niland, Huka's founder and previous CEO, will be Chairman and Chief Experience Officer at Huka.

Former AEG president and CEO Tim Leiweke has linked up with music manager Irving Azoff to form Oak View Group, an advisory and investment firm that will help sports teams and arenas make more money from live entertainment.

Middle East-based promoter Thomas Ovesen has been named CEO of new company 117 Live. 117 Live is part of media and entertainment conglomerate the Al Ahil Holding Group (AAHG), which is opening a temporary 20,000-capacity greenfield site, prior to the 2017 launch of its new 25,000-capacity open air Amphitheatre in Dubai. 

The O2 has hired a new event sales coordinator,  Freya Gosling, following a rise in corporate bookings at its 3,000-capacity club Building Six.

SecuriGroup has announce the appointment Mark Hamilton to its Board of Directors. Mark has over 40 years’ experience  in security, safety and crowd management, having managed security for Wimbledon, Royal  Ascot, the British Formula1 Grand  Prix a Silverstone, the Abu Dhabi Formula  1 Grand Prix and the GrandNational, asd well as numerous high profile music events.

Crispin Hunt and Mark Kelly have been elected to the PPL Board to represent performers. The duo will also sit on the dedicated PPL Performer Board as Performer Directors. PPL achieved a record £161m of distributable revenue in 2014, a 6% increase on the previous year.

Independent Music Publishers e-Licensing (IMPEL) has announced Tim Ingham as non-executive director.  Tim, a former editor of UK trade magazine Music Week, is the founder of Music Business Worldwide (MBW).  IMPEL was established in 2010, enabling independent publishers to collectively license their Anglo-American mechanical digital rights on a pan-European basis. 

The head of Spotify’s European label relations, Kevin Brown, is the new Chairman of the UK’s Official Charts Company. Brown will take up the role in addition to his Spotify responsibilities and replaces BMG’s Korda Marshall, who is stepping down from the position after three years.

Just eight months after it was launched by Jay Z, Tidal has hired its third chief executive officer. Jeff Toig, former chief business officer at SoundCloud and Muve Music executive, will be joining as CEO beginning on Jan. 4, 2016.

The UK’s Music Managers Forum has appointed Annabella Coldrick as Chief Executive effective Jan 1st 2016. She joins from the Design Council. Current MMF CEO Jon Webster will assume the role of President.

Friday, 4 December 2015

Pandora's shares tank again

Pandora latest borrowing - it raised $300m from investors - has left  Wall Street unimpressed: the convertible debt offering on Wednesday (December 2) led to stock dropped by 11.5% on the NYSE yesterday. In March last year, Pandora's total market cap value soared above $7.7bn.  Today, that figure sits at $2.7bn - wiping  $5bn off a valuation that stood less than 24 months ago.

Tuesday, 1 December 2015

UK festivals gain more time to prepare for rating battle

The UK festival industry has been given more time to prepare its case on how business rates are assessed against agricultural land that hosts music events. Music Weeek reports that a Live Nation led coalition of 720 interested parties, including the Association Of Independent Festivals (AIF), UK Music, The Agents’ Association, The Concert Promoters Association and The Association Of Festival Organisers, has called for an immediate halt to the rating of festival sites for business rates by the Valuation Office Agency  until a clear policy is established. “We do not consider that festivals and events sites should now be rateable as they are essentially temporary and ancillary uses of agricultural land,” it said in a letter to MPs. 

Proposed changes including backdating the rate bill for five years could put the future of some festivals at risk as rural landowners take stick of financial risks. Last week’s Spending Review by Chancellor George Osborne did not include an announcement on the Business Rates Review, which will now revert to March 2016. AIF general manager Paul Reed said events and festival organisers are hoping the Government will use the extra time to take action on business rates for the sector.

SFX hires financial advisor to restructure debt

Fast failing EDM promoter SFX  Entertainment has retained an investment bank to restructure a debt load that many commentators believe has the electronic dance-music company teetering toward bankruptcy. Three-year-old SFX confirmed the hiring of debt advisory Moelis & Co. on Monday. Reuters initially reported the appointment.