Monday, 26 December 2016


Singer George Michael has died at his home at the age of 53 from heart failure. The star, launched his career with Andrew Ridgeley in Wham! in the 1980s and had huge success as a solo performer, Michael's publicist said he"passed away peacefully" on Christmas Day in Goring, Oxfordshire. Former Wham! bandmate Ridgeley said he was "heartbroken at the loss of my beloved friend". Despite long term bouts of depression, lurid tabloid headlines and a well publicised battle with drugs, Michael remained a major talent, an outstanding performer and a superb songwriter. Michael spent most of 1987 writing and recording his first solo album, Faith, which was released in the autumn of that year. It went to the top of both the UK and US charts going on to sell more than 25 million copies and winning a Grammy in 1989. Michael refused to promote his second album, Listen Without Prejudice Vol. 1 and no videos were made to back up the single releases. A much more introspective work than Faith, the album was aimed at a more adult audience. While playing a concert in Rio in 1991 he met Anselmo Feleppa, the man who would become his partner. Their relationship was to be short-lived as Feleppa died of a brain haemorrhage in 1993. In November 1994, Michael released the single, Jesus to a Child, a tribute to Feleppa. It went straight to No 1 in the UK. The single featured on the Older album, which had been three years in the making when it was released in 1996 after a long legal battle with his then record  label, Sony. Michael also entered a long term relationship with businessman Kenny Goss which ended a decade later. He released Patience in 2004, and in 2006 he set off on his first live tour for 15 years and became the first artist to perform at the newly reopened Wembley Stadium. Amongst the many awards, Michael was voted Best British Male at the Brit Awards and won the title Songwriter of the Year for the third time at the Ivor Novello awards in 1996. 

The Status Quo guitarist Rick Parfitt has died aged 68. The veteran rocker passed away in Spain, following a huge heart attack earlier in the year.  The band’s statement on their website reveals that he died in hospital from an infection, having been admitted to hospital. He was suffering complications to a shoulder injury incurred by a previous fall. Status Quo are about to celebrate their 50th anniversary. In half a century, the band has notched up a record-breaking 65 UK chart hits, sold more than 120 million records, created its own beer and spent 415 weeks in the chart.

Craig Gill, the drummer with the Inspiral Carpets, has died suddenly aged just 44. Part of the 'Madchester' scene the band had 11 top 40 albums and 3 top 5 albums between 1990 and 1994. Liam Gallagher was one of the first to post a tribute on social media. He leaves a widow Rose and three young children. 

Greg Lake, frontman of King Crimson and Emerson, Lake & Palmer, has died at the age of 69. The legendary music veteran was renowned as one of the forefathers of prog-rock, made famous for his string of adventurous albums and tracks such as ‘Court of the Crimson King’ and ’21st Century Schizoid Man’. He passed away following “a long and stubborn battle with cancer”.

Cash Askew, aged just 22, has died in the Ghost Ship blaze. An Oakland resident, Cash was well known for her band Them Are Us Too, an emerging goth duo who launched their first album with Dais Record. Another victim of the blaze was Chelsea Dolan, a San Francisco resident, who  performed under the stage name Cherushii. She was also a volunteer DJ at the local KALX community radio station. Her mother, Colleen Dolan, wrote in a tribute on Facebook, “Chelsea Faith has always been an extraordinary person, full of exuberant joy. Her personality, intelligence, clothes, music, and kindness were legendary.” Two other the victims of the fire were also due to perform that night - Obsidian Blade (Joey Casio) and DJ Nackt (Johnny Igaz). 

Bob Krasnow, the record executive  best known for building Blue Thumb, has died in Florida. He was 81. Krasnow worked at Warner Bros  Records for nine years before being moved over to chairman and CEO of Elektra from 1983 to 1994, making the label an industry leader, ushering in its second golden era with signings ranging from Metallica, Motley Crue, Simply Red The, Cure, Anita Baker, Teddy Pendergrass and Natalie Cole. The T.J. Martell Foundation named him Cancer Research Man of the Year in 1984 and 1989; he received the Ellis Island Medal of Honor in 1992.

Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Metal Hammer parent folds

More than 70 people have been laid off following the collapse of South Lanarkshire-based rock music media firm Team Rock Ltd, the parent company for Classic Rock, Metal Hammer, Prog, the Golden Gods Awards and the Classic Rock Awards. Administrators were called in after the firm got into financial difficulties. A total of 27 staff in High Blantyre and 46 in London have been made redundant. A further seven staff - including four in High Blantyre - will be retained "in the short term" to assist the administrators. Administrators from FRP Advisory said the business had traded at a loss “for a significant period of time, with consequent constraints on the cash position”. The administrators added: “Cost-cutting measures were implemented and despite the best efforts of the directors to seek additional investment or a purchaser for the business, no deal could be completed, leaving the company with no viable option other than to enter administration and to immediately cease trading."
The future of the titles remains unclear.

Friday, 16 December 2016

Bestival to move to the mainland

Bestival organisers have said they are moving the festival from the Isle of Wight to Dorset. The four-day event is to be held at the Lulworth Estate in September on the same site as Camp Bestival (pictured right), the family event which takes place in July. Organiser Rob da Bank said the decision was down to the "boring economics of getting people on to the island". Bestival has been held at Robin Hill Country Park, near Newport, annually since 2003.

Thursday, 15 December 2016


Live Nation has named Lisa Licht as chief marketing officer (CMO) of its US Concerts division. Licht will command one centralised marketing team which will drive digital marketing, creative, social media, email and promotional marketing as well as corporate marketing functions such as research and insights, strategic partnerships and corporate branding.

John Mulder and Ruben Brouwer will take over the running of Mojo Concerts on 1 January 2017, following the surprise resignation in September of former CEO Wilbert Mutsaers. Brouwer  has been at Mojo, Live Nation’s Dutch subsidiary, since 2008,as a lawyer and now as part of its management team. Former director Mulder left Mojo in 2011 to start his own promotion business, but had remained involved with the company on a freelance basis.

United Talent Agency (UTA)’s London office has hired its first two digital executives. Michael Ohene-Djan joins from Facebook’s UK office, and Jamie Leeming, comes from Capitol Records, and they will create and implement digital marketing strategies for UTA’s clients, with a particular emphasis on music.

Booking agents Isla Angus, Sarah Besnard and Sinan Ors have joined ATC Live. Angus and Besnard join from Earth Agency, bringing with them a roster of artists that include Sleaford Mods, Austra, Dan Deacon, Cass McCombs and Girl Band. Ors joins us from UTA bringing his roster of electronic-leaning artists including Romare, Clap! Clap! and Daedelus.

Music entrepreneur Rob Walker, best known as the former manager of Pharrell Williams and The Neptunes, has joined United Talent Agency (UTA)’s New York office as an agent.

Rumours say that Sony Music UK and Ireland CEO & Chairman Jason Iley will name David Dollimore as the new President of the RCA Label Group in the coming days.

Rolling Stone Executive Editor Nathan Brackett has joined Amazon Music as Head Of Editorial. The move comes just weeks after Amazon launched its Amazon Music Unlimited product in the US – including a tempting discount price plan for Amazon Prime members. Bracket joined Rolling Stone in 1996 as Associate Editor, before stepping up to Senior Editor in 2001.

Reed Smith LLP has hired James Sully as a partner in the firm’s global Entertainment & Media Industry Group. Sully moves from Sheridans after a decade with the London firm -  he was a partner and head of the music division. Reed Smith’s Entertainment & Media Industry Group has also welcomed two other partners in recent months: Jess Drabkin, who joined in New York from Grubman Shire & Meiselas and Leif Reinstein, who joined in Los Angeles from Rosenfeld, Meyer & Susman.

Lewis Carnie and Paul Rodgers have been promoted at the BBC to Head of Radio 2 and Head of Radio 6 respectively. The duo both step up from their previous roles at Head of Programmes at Radio 2 and 6 Music. The news comes in the wake of former Controller of BBC Radio 2 and 6 Music, Bob Shennan, being elevated to Director of BBC Radio and Music. Carnie and Rodgers will report directly to Shennan. Jan Younghusband, Commissioning Editor BBC Music, will will move from the BBC’s Content division into Radio and Music on Monday – which Shennan says will allow him to create a single Music Commissioning team responsible for all TV, radio and online commissioning.

Caroline International, UMG’s London-based global label services company, has appointed Ministry Of Sound Marketing Director Nicola Spokes as their UK Label Head.

Sony executive Ole Obermann has officially joined Warner Music Group as Chief Digital Officer and Executive VP, Business Development.

On the wake of news that WMG saw total revenues of $3.25bn in the 12 months to end of September, increasing 9.4% year on year, Warner Bros. Records has elevated three key executives under CEO and Chairman Cameron Strang. Peter Gray becomes General Manager and Executive Vice President, Promotion & Media. Larry Mattera is elevated to General Manager and Executive Vice President, Commerce & Marketing. And Chief Financial Officer Hildi Snodgrass expands her role to include Executive Vice President, Operations.

Eleven Seven Music Group (ESMG) has appointed SVP of Promotions and Marketing, Steve Kline, to the position of Chief Operating Officer at the label group – while announcing a raft of new hirings. John Di Maio joins the ESMG team as its new VP of Radio Promotion and Marketing, A.J Kasen has been appointed VP of A&R, Angela Burke has joined as VP of media relations, Omar Rana joins the digital marketing department as SVP along with John Rosenfelder who has been appointed VP of digital strategy and analytics, and Perry Schwartz rounds out the new additions as the manager of streaming and playlists, formerly of Music Choice.

Universal Music Group's UK-based Decca has hired widely respected publishing exec Natasha Baldwin to launch a music publishing division dedicated to expanding opportunities for neo-classical composers to write for television, film and video games. Baldwin joins Universal Music Group as Senior Vice President, Head of Decca Publishing from Imagem Music where she was Group President, Creative & Marketing.

Thursday, 8 December 2016

Ghost Ship blaze leaves 36 dead in Oakland

The Ghost Ship before the blaze
(from the Ghost Ship website) 
A devastating warehouse fire which killed at least 36 people in Oakland, California, has painful echoes with the 2003 'Great White' disaster in Rhode Island where 100 people died and the more recent Colectiv nightclub fire in Bucharest - and is California's deadliest structure fire in California since the 1906 earthquake and fire that killed hundreds in San Francisco.

The warehouse was the home and work space for the Satya Yuga artists’ collective, and known as the Ghost Ship, and was on the evening of the fire hosting an unlicensed concert promoted by house label 100% Silk. Among the victims of the fire were three artists scheduled to perform: Cherushii (Chelsea Faith), Obsidian Blade (Joey Casio) and DJ Nackt (Johnny Igaz). Among the 36 people who died were two UC Berkeley undergraduates, two alumni and one woman who volunteered at KALX, the campus radio station.

SFX becomes a debt free LifeStyle

SFX Entertainment has emerged from bankruptcy ahead of schedule – and with a new name of LifeStyle Inc.  SFX was  originally slated to exit the chapter 11 (administration) process in early 2017 but became officially solvent once more last Friday (2 December). The newly debt-free LifeStyle is run by CEO Randy Phillips, formerly of AEG Live and Global Entertainment.

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Artist and Manager Awards - the winners

The fifth edition of the Artist and Manager Awards, jointly presented by the Music Managers Forum (MMF) and Featured Artists Coalition (FAC), saw South London rapper Loyle Carner named best emerging live act at the ceremony held at the Troxy in East London. Carner took home the Dice live award, which recognises the best up-and-coming live act in the UK and Republic of Ireland, chosen by a panel of 100 promoters, venues, journalists and broadcasters. Previous winners include Wolf Alice and Little Simz. Other winners included Peter Rudge (The Who, The Rolling Stones, Duran Duran), who was presented with the Peter Grant award by agent and Isle of Wight Festival promoter John Giddings in recognition of his more than four decades in management; Adele manager Jonathan Dickins, who won the artist award; Zita McHugh, who collected the writer/producer manager of the year gong; Years and Years were named best breakthrough artist, Stormzy’s manager, Tobe Unwuka, was recognised as breakthrough manager and the 1975 won artist of the year. IE Music’s David Enthoven (Tyrannosaurus Rex, King Crimson, Roxy Music and, latterly and most recently Robbie Williams) was posthumously awarded the industry champion prize, while Young Turks founder Caius Pawson was given the entrepreneur award.

UK Festival Awards - the winners

On a glittering night at the UK Festival Awards 2016 at the London Roundhouse, Creamfields picked up best major festival, Kendal Calling picked up best medium sized festival (pictured right) and Wildfire Adventure Camp the worthy winners of best small festival. Cambridge Folk Festival won the Greener Festival Award at the 2016 UK Festival Awards and Eddie Barcan, who was the Festival's programmer and manager for 23 consecutive sold out events (pictured right), picked up the Award,  The team from Coda got agency of the year, AEG Live were promoters of the year, Bearded Theory the best family friendly festival, Latitude got best toilets, Dick Tee got the outstanding contribution to festivals award and Liverpool Music Week the best metropolitan festival (you can see all of the winners here all hosted by BBC Radio One /. 6 Music DJ Mary Anne Hobbs .

Saturday, 26 November 2016

Germany invests in music

The German government has approved €8.2 million in new funding for pop, rock and jazz music. The figure – part of the €660m recently earmarked for cultural projects from 2017 – will be divided among Initiative Musik, the Live Musik Kommission (LiveKomm), the German Rock Music Association (Deutsche Rockmusik Stiftung), Musicboard Berlin and showcase festivals Reeperbahn, Pop-Kultur, c/o pop and jazzahead!, all of which will see an increase in funding, with export office Initiative Musik’s budget nearly doubled.

Friday, 25 November 2016

Culture Committee calls for a ban on ticketing 'bots'

The Culture, Media and Sport Committee has written to the UK's Secretary of State for Culture, media & Sport Culture, Karen Bradley MP, asking her to ban the use of 'bots' - software programmes used by touts to harvest tickets for resale in the secondary market. The letter also raises concerns about the operation of the event ticketing market following last week’s evidence session on ticket abuse for the Committee, citing “inappropriately close relationships” between those selling tickets on the primary market and the resellers on the secondary market which was recently exposed in Italy, where the boss of Live Nation had to admit that the promoter did directly provide tickets to the resale website Viagogo.

Committee chairman Damian Collins MPsaid "The answers we got from witnesses representing the ticket sellers and resellers went from complacent to evasive” adding “Their failure to provide the most basic assurances about what they’re doing to tackle known large scale touts and fraudsters operating on their own sites - we had an example on screen in front of a Member in the session - have led us to believe there may be much bigger problems in this market than we originally thought.” Witesses included Paul Peak, who is head of legal, Europe StubHub, and Ticketmaster UK chairman Chris Edmonds 

The Committee is tabling an amendment to the Digital Economy Bill to ban the use of ‘bots’ which take tickets out of the Market before real fans can buy them, and said that the Competition And Markets Authority will report on whether ticket companies are complying with consumer law, and has called for an HMRC investigation, as Collins said the submissions to the evidence session indicated there was a significant level of under-reporting of income by known touts trading on secondary sites. Digital culture minister Matt Hancock MP had previously said that in his view the use of bots is prohibited by the Computer Misuse Act 1990, but Collins concludes that Act “does not seem to allow sufficient provision or clarity in this area, and as such there is a strong case for new legislation here to prevent individuals manipulating online ticketing systems”.

Nigel Adams MP, a Conservative, has tabled an amendment Bill that would address part of the problem by criminalising the use of “bots” to buy tickets for resale. The offence, based on legislation introduced in New York, would carry a maximum prison sentence of 51 weeks, a fine of up to £5,000, or both

The much-anticipated independent review of the UK’s secondary ticketing market, commissioned by the British government in October 2015, divided the live sectori with its call for greater enforcement of the Consumer Rights Act 2015 but no recommendation for any new legislation. Some provisions of the Act remain largely ignored, despite the Government introducing amendments to create greater transparency around secondary sales in 2015. The Act stipulates that consumers must be made aware of the original face value of tickets for secondary sale, any restrictions on the ticket and, where appropriate, standing or seating information. However, consumer group Which? had previously uncovered numerous examples where consumers were not provided with this information on al four of the main secondary ticketing sites, Viagogo, StubHub, Seatwave and Get Me In!

The CMS Committee says an investigation is needed into "far-ranging and disturbing factors in the market", including alleged collusion between primary ticketers and touts.

Thursday, 24 November 2016

Rider's off after India's money change

Riders Music Festival, a new music and food festival for India’s biker community, has become the first victim of the chaos surrounding prime minister Narendra Modi’s decision to demonetise all R500 and R1,000 banknotes. The festival has been postponed due to “the current economic environment in the country due to demonetisation”, a statement says.

T off for 2017

“Continued restrictions” on the T in the Park festival site at Strathallan Castle mean the event will be not go ahead in 2017 – its first cancellation in 23 years. In a statement to press, the two parties behind the festival – promoter DF Concerts and commercial partner Tennnt’s Lager – blamed T in the Park’s enforced move from its previous site, in a disused airfield in Balado, Kinross-shire, for the 2017 event’s postponement, as well as problems at the new site - not least the protected Osprey's nest that had huge cost for the organisers and local objections , saying they “need to take stock and take a year out to try to resolve the issues, so that we can once again deliver the kind of camping festival you are used to and deserve.”

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Live Nation embroiled in secondary ticketing scandal in Italy

Live Nation has become embroiled in a ticketing scandal in Italy, after the promoter admitted directly providing tickets to the resale website Viagogo. An undercover report on the TV show Le Iene, which featured an anonymous employee who explained how tickets made their way onto such sites, prompted MD of Live Nation Italy, Roberto De Luca, to make the admission that the company carried on the practice, with De Luca saying ""I want to be clear that, to your question if Live Nation issued tickets on secondary sites and I answered no… in fact we issue some tickets. A very limited number of tickets on other sites, in this case [on] Viagogo" 

Italy’s culture minister, Dario Franceschini, has now tabled an amendment to the 2017 Budget legislation which, if passed, would provide for fines of €30,000–€180,000 for the sale of tickets by anyone but the event’s promoter or authorised resellers. Franceschini called touting an “intolerable phenomenon”, and said “recent events show that self-regulation” – such as that advocated by Prof Waterson in the UK – “is not enough: we need legislative action.” The Italian promoters’ association Assomusica supported the move saying “Our association has always been at the forefront of [putting an end to] touts making money from spoiling cultural events, which promote art and socialisation.” Live Nation have withdrawn from membership of Assomusica.

Kanye cancels US dates

Kanye West has cancelled the remaining 21 shows on his current US concert tour: “The remaining dates on the Saint Pablo Tour have been cancelled,” said a spokesperson for concert promoter Live Nation. “Tickets will be fully refunded at point of purchase.” The cancellation comes in the wake of a series of recent rants in which West declared himself a Donald Trump supporter and criticised a long list of celebrities including Jay Z, Beyoncé, Hillary Clinton and Mark Zuckerberg. West reportedly abandoned a Sacramento performance at the weekend after he had performed just three songs. Press reports say he is suffering from exhaustion but the BBC reported that West has been taken to hospital following an emergency services call. A police spokesperson told the BBC they had received a "disturbance call" on Monday afternoon, but did not name the singer. NBC News said officers had been responding to a "medical welfare call" and the decision to hospitalise West was for his own health and safety, citing "multiple authorities familiar with the case".


WME-IMG has named Mark Shapiro and Ioris Francini as co-presidents. As co-presidents of WME-IMG Shapiro and Francini will “oversee the company’s media, events, fashion, licensing, global partnerships, original content, IMG College, IMG Academy, Miss Universe Organization, Professional Bull Riders and Frieze businesses, in addition to the company’s new China subsidiary“.

Multination mass media conglomerate NBC Universal has announced a major push into live entertainment with the hiring of former Disney Theatrical Group executive Carol Nygren.

Former Chairman and CEO of Universal Music Group International (UMGI), Max Hole CBE, has been appointed as Non-Executive Chairman of Metropolis.

Leading booking agent Natasha Bent has joined Coda Music Agency. Bent had been with The Agency Group since 2006 and was promoted to vice-president in 2014. The firm was acquired by UTA last year.  

Amy Lamé has been unveiled as London’s first ever Night Czar. The American-born performer, writer and presenter’s appointment was confirmed  by Mayor Sadiq Khan at The 100 Club on Oxford Street.

SFX has confirmed Randy Philips as the group's new CEO and President. The former AEG Live chief executive will take charge of the re-organized SFX Entertainment and Phillips will also be part of a five-man executive board of directors, which will also include Andrew Axelrod, Douglas Forsyth and Nils Larsen, all representatives from the company's various debtors, as well as Charles Ciongoli, who will serve until Phillips appoints an independent director. Ciongoli will be appointed as executive vice president and chief financial officer; Alan Walter as senior vice president; and Jason Barr as senior vice president, general counsel and company secretary. Court documents did not reveal when the new management structure would take effect.

William Morris Endeavor (WME) has hired Michael Ma, formerly vice-president of the National Basketball Association (NBA), to head its new WME-IMG China subsidiary. WME-IMG China was formed with private-equity backing in June to facilitate the booking agency group’s “new forays into Chinese sports and entertainment”.

Simon Presswell has been let go as CEO of Eventim UK after ten months in the job. A spokesman for Eventim UK, the British arm of European ticketing giant CTS Eventim, confirmed to IQ the company had dispensed with Presswell’s services but declined to comment further. Presswell was previously managing director of rival Ticketmaster UK.

The Royal Albert Hall has appointed Craig Hassall as its new chief executive. Hassall, currently CEO of Opera Australia, succeeds Chris Cotton, who retires in March.

Southbank Centre CEO Alan Bishop has announced that he is to retire next year after eight years in the role  Bishop, who will remain in post until his successor has been appointed, has worked with artistic director Jude Kelly to bring thousands of world class performers across art, music, literature, dance and performance to the London venue during his tenure.

Muse tour director and Cato Music founder Glen Rowe has been appointed MD of Backstage Academy, the Yorkshire-based live industry centre of excellence for future generations of touring pros.

Lucy Wood, formerly a promoter at London-based Eat Your Own Ears, has joined Festival Republic as Latitude Festival’s music talent buyer. Wood  replaces Natasha Haddad, who is leaving the company after three years to “spend more time in the USA”, says the company.

Universal Music Group's former Global Head Of e-commerce, Russel Coultart, is joining direct-to-fan specialist Music Glue in London as Head of Business Development.

Hamish Dodds, President and CEO of Hard Rock Cafe International, Inc will leave the company in early 2017 to pursue new opportunities.

Sean Atkins is stepping down from his role as president at Viacom's MTV after just one year. He is said to be consulting on a transition through to January in an advisory role, with VH1 and Logo President Chris McCarthy expanding his role to MTV as well.

Ferdy Unger-Hamilton will take charge of Columbia Records UK after nearly eight years as President of UMG's Polydor. In addition, Unger-Hamilton will soon launch an as-yet-unnamed joint venture in partnership with Sony Music UK, endorsed by the major's London-based boss Jason Iley.

Natasha Mann, Olivia Nunn and Guillermo Ramos are all stepping up at Island Records UK to become Directors at the Universal label. Ramos is stepping up to Marketing Director after three years as Senior Marketing Manager. Mann and Nunn are also being promoted to Marketing Director from their existing positions as Heads of Marketing.

Clayton Jin has been appointed as Managing Director of Warner Music Korea. He will report to Calvin Wong, Warner Music Group’s President for South East Asia, Hong Kong and Korea.

London independent Cooking Vinyl has promoted Rob Collins to Managing Director. Collins, who has been with the company since January 1999, will report into company boss Martin Goldschmidt in his new role. Meanwhile, Chris Farrow, who was previously Marketing Manager, has been elevated to Head of UK Marketing and Product Management.

UK distributor and label services company Horus Music has promoted Trupti Kudalkar to a key position in its Mumbai, India office. Kudalkar moves up from her existing role as Business Development Manager for Horus Music India to become the Asian and Australasia Director for Horus Music.

Entertainment One (eOne) has appointed music industry executive Ted May to the newly-created role of Director, UK Music. May comes from Universal Music UK where he was Senior International Marketing Manager

Warner/Chappell Music (WCM) has promoted Monica Lee to President, Asia-Pacific. In the new position, Lee will oversee the publisher’s operations across the region. She will continue to be based in Hong Kong and report to Jon Platt, Chairman & CEO, WCM

German promoter Koko & DTK Entertainment, best known for the Rock am See festival, has announced plans to close its headquarters in the city of Constance (Konstanz) following the resignation of two of its managing directors, Dieter Bös and Armin Nissel. Their  departure leaves Marc Oßwald as the sole MD. The Constance HQ will be closed on 31 January 2017, although Koko’s offices in Freiburg and Tübingen will remain open.

Universal Music Group (UMG) has launched a joint venture with Todd Moscowitz's Cold Heat Records, based in New York. The latest move spells uncertainty for 300 Entertainment – the Google-backed label Moscowitz launched in 2013 with Lyor Cohen, who was recently named Global Head Of Music at YouTube.

MBW reports that Alex Branson, the respected British exec who built INgrooves Music Group’s international presence, has left the company.

Friday, 11 November 2016


Canadian singer, songwriter and poet Leonard Cohen has died aged 82. The news was announced on his official Facebook page, but no details about the cause of death were given. "It is with profound sorrow we report that legendary poet, songwriter and artist, Leonard Cohen has passed away," the statement said. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau led tributes to the singer, who was known for hits including Hallelujah and Dance Me to the End of Love. The Montreal-born singer's other hits included Suzanne, Bird on the Wire and I'm Your Man and he released his 14th album, You Want It Darker, just last month.
He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2008.

Bobby Vee
Dead or Alive singer Pete Burns has died aged 57 after suffering a cardiac arrest, his management has said. A statement on Twitter said it was with "greatest sadness" that Tthey had to break the news that Burns had died suddenly. Burns had a hit with 'You Spin Me Round' in 1985 and appeared on Celebrity Big Brother in 2006.

Bobby Vee, who had hits in the 60s with 'Rubber Ball', 'The Night Has A Thousand Eyes' and 'Take Good Care of My Baby' has died at the age of 73. In 2011 he retired from his long career in music after being diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's disease. He had released more than 25 albums.

Brazilian concert promoter Bianca Freitas, the founder of Sao Paulo-based Enjoy Experiences, has passed away aged just 34. Bianca, who was hospitalised four months ago after contracting Guillain-Barré syndrome, died from pneumonia in a Sao Paolo hospital. In addition to running Enjoy Experiences, Freitas, a veteran of the Latin American live scene, produced major shows for clients including Universal Music and Editora Abril and represented the NME brand in Brazil. She was also the co-founder of On Stage Lab, which runs music industry training courses.

Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Boiler Room weekender shut down

The inaugural Ray-Ban x Boiler Room Weekender stay-away music festival at the Split Rock Resort in Lake Harmony, was reportedly shut down by police early Sunday morning (Nov. 6). The US event, which began on the Friday, was put to a stop at around 2 a.m. Sunday after Pennsylvania police arrested an attendee, according to Thump. Boiler Room issued a statement which began:

As is now well documented, our inaugural Ray-Ban x Boiler Room Weekender event was terminated early after issues with the local security and law enforcement. Following an unnecessary display of force against attendees present, we had no option but to shut down the music halfway through the second night of the festival.

More on Billboard here

Live Nation and Vivendi post strong Q3 results

Live Nation’s Q3 results saw turnover grow to more than $3bn abd president and CEO, Michael Rapino,  hailed the company’s “concerts flywheel” as it celebrated another record-breaking quarter.

Rapino told investors: “Our concerts business is our flywheel” – the persistent, margin-generating heart of the business – “attracting 28 million fans to shows globally in the quarter, which drove record results in our ticketing, advertising and on-site businesses. Our performance demonstrates how Live Nation has created the most unparallelled live platform, leveraging concert scale to drive growth across the full live ecosystem.” adding “Looking at the concerts flywheel in the third quarter, we had 16% more fans attend over 6,000 shows, growing revenue by 27% and AOI [adjusted operating income] by 38% year-on-year at a constant currency. Year to date, we have grown our fan base by 16% to 56 million [and] expect to [see] a record-setting 70 million fans attending Live Nation concerts in 2016.” Operating income from the concerts sector – or earnings before interest and taxes – grew 94% to £86.5 million.

Overall, Live Nation’s turnover grew to a record US$3.2 billion in Q3 2016 – up 21% year on year – outstripping quarters one (10% growth) and two (14%). The company also saw strong growth in ticketing (Ticketmaster) and sponsorship/advertising, which were up 14% and 11%, respectively. Within Ticketmaster, the gross transaction value (GTV) of its secondary-market platforms – such as Ticketmaster Resale, TicketsNow, Seatwave and Get Me In! – grew 33%, to more than $1bn for the three months ending 30 September.

And strong growth from its live and ticketing operations helped Vivendi increase turnover by 5.9% in the three months ending 30 September, its third-quarter (Q3) results reveal. Revenues from Vivendi Village – the subsidiary that includes the French multinational’s ticketing operations (See Tickets and Digitick), live event producer Vivendi Talents&Live and the 1,772-cap. Olympia venue in Paris – grew from €22 million in Q3 2015 to €24m; an increase of 5.8%, or 12.1% on a constant-currency basis (eliminating the effects of exchange-rate fluctuations). Vivendi’s Q3 financial report also reveals its €159m acquisition in April of a 15% stake in French retail group Fnac will serve as the basis for “increased co-operation in live events […] and in ticketing in certain countries by teaming up with Vivendi Ticketing”.  Universal Music Group (UMG) posted impressive 10.8% growth to €1.308 billion.

Saturday, 5 November 2016


Best male act 
Craig David
Best female act
Lady Leshurr
Best newcomer
Best album
Kano ‘Made In The Manor’ 
Best hip-hop act
Section Boyz
Best song
Abra Cadabra ft Krept & Konan ‘Robbery (remix)
Best video
Nadia Rose ‘Skwod’ (Directed by Reece Proctol)
Best R&B/soul
Best grime act (in association with BBC Radio 1Xtra)
Best international act
Best jazz act
Esperanza Spalding
Best gospel act
Guvna B
Best reggae act
Best African act
Wiz Kid 
Paving the way
Nicola Adams and Ms. Dynamite

Friday, 4 November 2016

US hikes up visa costs

US visa fees for foreign musicians are set to increase 42% on 23rd December. The new US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) fee schedule reveals the fee for submitting form I-129 for “non immigrant workers” – which includes artists and entertainers – is set to increase from $325 to $460.  USCIS director León Rodríguez says: “This is our first fee increase since November 2010 […] We are mindful of the effect fee increases have on many of the customers we serve. That’s why we decided against raising fees as recommended after the fiscal year 2012 and 2014 fee reviews.

The fee is per act as a whole, no matter how many people that comprises. A separate fee, which will increase the same amount, also applies to the crew, again regardless of the number of people.

The Canadian Federation of Musicians (CFM) has responded to the increase, as Billboard reports: “A fee surge of this kind adds an additional and unacceptable financial burden on our members,” said executive director Liana White.

Queen cancel remaining 2016 tour dates

Brian May, the lead guitarist and founding member of the rock band Queen, announced that the group was axing the remainder of their scheduled shows for 2016 while May grapples with an persistent medical condition.

"We’re very sad today to announce the indefinite postponement of our ‘candlelight’ concert dates this coming December. This is a decision I’ve agonised over, but in the end it has become inevitable. I managed to complete the recent Queen and Adam Lambert dates in Asia but I have been increasingly battling with a persistent illness which is destroying my energy and my will," May said in a statement posted on his official website. 

And Mariah Carey is cancelling concerts in Brazil, Argentina and Chile on her Latin America tour.  According to E! News, the singer is citing promoter negligence as the reason. 

Wednesday, 2 November 2016

Festival Congress Awards 2016

Well the 2016 Festival Congress Awards are done and dusted ...... and those amazing and talented winners are:

Mind-blowing Spectacle
Brian Eno's light Installation at Bluedot, Jodrell Bank.

Unique Festival Arena
Deer Shed Festival¹s Film Production Big Top

Live Act Of The Year
Spring King

Festival Caterer Most Likely To End Up On Instagram 
The Cheese Truck

Festival Journalist Of The Year
David Hillier (Freelancer for The Guardian, Vice etc..)

Best Smart Marketing Campaign Of The Year
End Of The Road's line-up announcement video

The Backstage Award
Artist Liaison at Blissfields

New Festival On The Block 

Act Of Independence 
MAST drugs testing piloted at Kendal Calling and Secret Garden Party

Unsung Hero
Penny Mellor- our favourite health, safety and welfare expert at festivals

The ceremony was at the Depot in Cardiff hosted by Ben Challis

Thursday, 20 October 2016

First 2016 Greener Festival Award Winners Announced at ADE Green

The first winners of the Greener Festival Award 2016 have been announced at ADE Green, part of the massive Amsterdam Dance Event.

Welcome to the Future, DGTL, Liberation Festival and Extrema Outdoors were all winning Dutch events who participated in the Award scheme in 2016, and the awards ceremony was organised with Green Events Nederland.

The one day ADE Green took place yesterday (October 19th 2016): ADE Green is a pioneering conference on sustainability, innovation, and social change looking at meaningful solutions for the future. This year, panels and workshops included a focus on sustainable management at major festivals, and series of in-depth workshops where initiatives such as the reusable festival cup and sustainable event management were explored, Green Events Nederland offered tips and tricks for a waste free festival, and other workshops included sanitation - and whether human waste is the the "new gold", and how to make the right choice of food - whether biological, local and vegetarian, as well as the impact this choice has on the environment. ADE Green returns to ADE in 2017.

To enter the award scheme, led by A Greener Festival, events submit a self assessment which is followed by an on site independent inspection, post event data gathering and a detailed report by the environmental assessor. The assessment forms the basis for the events Environmental Impact Assessment and is a important tool to help events to identify where improvements can be made, as well as celebrating the positive and successful existing actions.

Organiser of Extrema Outdoors, Marcel Mingers’ said: “We are delighted to win this award, which is a great reward for our efforts. Extrema is looking forward to an even greener future.”

A Greener Festival has assessed over 300 festivals over the last 10 years, and re-launched the Awards criteria in 2016 raising the bar and increasing the feedback and reporting available to events. This year's winners have also already added another 25 trees to AGF's Festival Wood in Scotland, a decidious re-forestation project managed by Trees for Life.

Ben Eddie, the AGF Awards Co-ordinator said "I am thrilled to have represented A Greener Festival at the sold out 4th edition of ADE Green at De Brakke Grond, the perfect platform and a new partnership. I was even more pleased  to have opportunity to meet familiar names from coordinating our UK & Europe awards for the first time this year. It was a real pleasure to present the Dutch awards to Liberation and Extrema Outdoor NL (both Commended), and DGTL and Welcome to the Future (both Highly Commended). It was an inspiring program and what better way to finish a packed day of workshops, presentations, and panels than by celebrating the successes of our first Award winners of 2016. It was also awesome too see such a mix of industry professionals, suppliers, and the next generation of festival and live event organisers and students in the same space. The future is now!”

The first results:

Welcome to the Future (HIGHLY COMMENDED)
Liberation Festival (COMMENDED)
Extrema Outdoors (COMMENDED)


Toby Leighton Pope and Steve Homer have been appointed as co-CEOs of AEG Live UK. The pair will be based at AEG’s London office, reporting directly to AEG Europe president and CEO Tom Miserendino. Pope and Homer previously spent over 15 years with rival firm Live Nation UK as senior vice presidents.

Michael “Mickey” Curbishley has joined their TAIT as the Senior Vice President of Live Event. Curbishley joins TAIT with over 30 years of entertainment experience having most recently served as Global CEO of PRG Music. He is an entertainment executive who has managed multi-million dollar projects across concerts, touring, television, and a variety of special events. As SVP of Live Event, Curbishley will focus his efforts on customer service, generating new business, and continuing to grow TAIT’s position as a global market leader in live experience.

Michael Lynton, CEO of Sony Entertainment, today announced that Sony Music Entertainment CEO Doug Morris will move from the operational management of Sony Music Entertainment and assume the role of Chairman in April 2017.  Rob Stringer, currently Chairman and CEO of Columbia Records, will become CEO of Sony Music Entertainment.  He will have overall operational responsibility for Sony Music Entertainment globally. He will report directly to Lynton.

Jordan Weissman has joined UTA Music’s Private/Corporate Bookings division. Weissman will be based in UTA’s NYC offices. For the past four years, Weissman worked in the Music Partnerships group at Platinum Rye Entertainment, where he booked private and corporate performances and negotiated brand partnerships deals.

DHP Family has hired Ed Lilo, former head of venues and events at Vice UK, to deliver programming across its three London venues. As DHP’s new head of venue programming, London, Lilo will work with external and in-house promoters across Oslo in Hackney, The Garage in Highbury and The Borderline in Soho.

Jamie Snelgrove has joined TopTix UK as business development director. Snelgrove was most recently head of theatre revenue management at See Tickets UK, and previously worked as head of box office at Nimax Theatres and, prior to that, head of ticketing at Hub Tickets.

Eddie Barcan, the long-time festival director of the UK’s Cambridge Folk Festival, has announced his resignation from event promoter Cambridge Live. Barcan – who also programmes the Avalon stage at Glastonbury Festival – said he “put [his] heart and soul into Cambridge Folk Festival” and that leaving “has been a very difficult decision. However, due to strategic developments within Cambridge Live, the time is right for me to move on to new opportunities.” Barcan will continue his work with Glastonbury and says he’s “keen to get involved in new events and opportunities”.

ie:music, the London based artist management company, which counts Robbie Williams, Passenger, Will Young, Lily Allen, Lemar, Ladyhawke and others among its clients, has announced a number of key internal promotions. Company co-founder Tim Clark will assume the role of Chairman, following the death in August of David Enthoven. Two longtime staff members, Dan Medland and Michael Loney, have been promoted to the positions of joint Managing Director.

Digital media exec Jon Gisby has been named Vevo's Head of Europe. Based in London, he's tasked with delivering ambitious plans in content, technology and monetisation.

Well-respected music producer Chloe Pearson, a key player in the creation of Radio 1's playlists and Sound Of... poll, has left the BBC. 

Colorado booking agency Madison House has expanded into Ann Arbor, Michigan, and Nashville with the hiring of two new agents. Adam Bauer and Jordan Burger – both of whom join from Ann Arbor-based Fleming Artists – will head up the new Ann Arbor and Nashville offices, respectively, and bring with them a roster of 44 artists, including Mike + The Mechanics, Toad the Wet Sprocket, Carbon Leaf and Everyone Orchestra.

Eric Mackay has been promoted to VP of Digital for EMEA and Asia-Pacific at Warner/Chappell Music, reporting into Jon Platt

Online music video platform Vevo is on the hunt for a new Chief Revenue Officer after AustralianNic Jones,  who joined the company in 2011 as SVP, International under then-CEO Rio Caraeff, decides to relinquish the role and return home to be closer to his family.

Downtown Music Publishing has appointed Alan Goodstadt as Chief Financial Officer. In his new role based in New York, Goodstadt will oversee Downtown’s global finance and accounting operations. He will report to Downtown’s CEO, Justin Kalifowitz.

Pandora has appointed Nick Bartle as Chief Marketing Officer, effective October 3. Bartle comes to Pandora from LinkedIn, where he served as Vice President of Member Marketing and Communications for the last year.

Lyor Cohen is joining YouTube. The former Def Jam exec has been named YouTube's new Global Head of Music.

The co-founder of Spotify, Martin Lorentzon, is stepping down as Chairman of the firm, but staying on its board. Daniel Ek will become CEO & Chairman. The news comes just over a month after we learned that both Spotify's Chief Revenue Officer, Jeff Levick, and top global sales exec Jonathan Forster were also departing.

Bob Shennan, currently Controller of Radio 2, Asian Network and 6 Music and Director of BBC Music, has been promoted to Director Of Radio at the BBC. As a result, he will have daily oversight of BBC Radios 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 live as well as digital-only stations 1Xtra, 6Music, BBC Radio 4 Extra, 5 live sports extra and Asian Network, as well as the BBC Performing Groups, the BBC Proms, BBC Music and radio production. He will report to James Purnell, Director of Radio & Education. 

Kobalt has hired former BMG exec Laurent Hubert to run its newly formed B2B rights management platform division. In his new role as President, Platform and Investments, Hubert will oversee the roll-out of Kobalt’s white label technology offering to other content owners.

And Universal Music Publishing Group (UMPG) has appointed Jake Simon as Director of Creative. Reporting to David Gray, UMPG EVP/Head of West Coast A&R, Simon joins UMPG from Atlas Music Publishing, where he served as Director, Creative and handled talent development and acquisitions.