Sunday, 24 January 2016

Myrtle Beach looks for tax revenues

Pollstar reports that the promoters for Myrtle Beach’s Carolina Country Music Fest are asking city officials for $100,000 in accommodations tax revenue to advertise and promote its next festival this spring. The Sun News of Myrtle Beach says that festival representative Sheila Fletcher requested the money during a special Myrtle Beach City Council workshop Tuesday, saying that the festival has already sold 6,000 tickets for this year’s event, which will feature Tim McGraw, Keith Urban and Florida Georgia Line as headlining acts.


Dale Griffin, drummer for Mott The Hoople, has died aged 67. He was a founder member of the group, best known for classic tracks "Roll Away The Stone" and "All The Young Dudes". The band, who made eight albums during their five-and-a-half year existence, reformed to mark their 40th anniversary in 2009 - but Griffin was too ill with Alzheimer's to take part. Dale is survived by his long term partner Jean Smith.

Giorgio Gomelsky has died, aged 81. One of the prime architects of the British blues boom in the early sixties Giorgo owned the Crawdaddy club in London where the Rolling Stones were the house band and was key in their construction and early career, and having missed out managing the Stones, he moved on to manage the Yardbirds although he persuaded a young Eric Clapton to leave the band.

Glenn Frey, founding member and guitarist with US rock band The Eagles, has died aged 67 from complications related to rheumatoid arthritis, colitis and pneumonia. He sang lead vocals on many Eagles hits such as "Take It Easy", "Tequila Sunrise", "Already Gone", "Lyin' Eyes" and "Heartache Tonight." Frey, who also played keyboards and piano in The Eagles, wrote or co-wrote many of the group's best-known songs, including "Hotel California" and "Desperado" - both penned with bandmate Don Henley.

Dallas Taylor, drummer with Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, has died aged 66. He played at Woodstock, appeared on seven top-selling albums but died Sunday in a Los Angeles hospital. Having spent many years as an alcoholic, Taylor's health forced him to largely exit the music business following a liver transplant. Hwent on to become an addiction counsellor specializing in interventions and in reuniting alcoholics and addicts with their families and he continued to treat musicians and other celebrities with addiction problems. He is survived by his wife Patti McGovern-Taylor , and his son Dallas, daughters Sharlotte and Lisa, and five grandchildren. He had several earlier marriages.

Rene Angelil, the husband and former manager of Celine Dion, has aged 73. He had been battling throat cancer. Angelil managed Dion’s career for over three decades, famously remortgaging his house to fund the release of the singer’s debut album – ‘La Voix Du Bon Dieu’ – in 1981.

James Stewart 'Jimmy' Bain, the Scottish bassist most famous for playing with Rainbow and Dio with Ronnie James Dio, has died aged 68. Since 2013, Bain has been a member of LAST IN LINE, also featuring his fellow ex-DIO bandmates Vivian Campbell and Vinny Appice along with singer Andrew Freeman.

Friday, 22 January 2016


At least 10 employees of Capitol Music Group (CMG) have been laid off, including executives across multiple departments. Among those let go were vp of promotion Howard Petruziello, vp of video promotion Wanda Coriano, marketing director Matt Kroepel, vp of sync and brand partnerships Alisann Blood, vp of publicity Juliana Plotkin and publicity manager Shane Wepprich. Additional staff was reportedly laid off from the New York office of CMG as the company continues to shift its resources and manpower to its Hollywood headquarters. 

Independent publisher and record label ABKCO, which controls catalogues from The Rolling Stones, Sam Cooke and more, has a new COO, Alisa Coleman, who steps up from her previous role as Senior EVP at the New York-based company.

Martin Bandier has signed a contract extension to remain as Chairman and CEO of Sony/ATV Music Publishing.

T in the Park has made a series of management appointments as part of a re-structure of the festival’s operational team. The festival's former police event commander Colin Brown has been named security manager, and former road police inspector Ian Martin will take on the role of traffic manager. APL Events have been appointed to look after site management, when the festival returns to Strathallan Castle from July 8-10.

Primary Talent have appointed Paul McQueen as one of its agents. McQueen was previously based in Glasgow and worked for Elastic Agency, but will be relocating to London to join Primary's team.

Warner/Chappell Music has announced that Chuck Gamble has been appointed Vice President, Catalogue Promotions.

Steve Waxman has been named a Vice President of Warner Music Canada by company President Steve Kane.

Caroline, Universal’s US-based label and artist services division, has promoted Matt Sawin to the position of SVP, Marketing & Commercial Development.

Nick Huggett, who signed Adele to XL back in 2006 and introduced her to manager Jonathan Dickins, is moving on to pastures new. According to Record of the Day, Huggett, who has been director of A&R at Island Records U.K. since 2009, is joining Miles Leonard’s Warner Music U.K. label Parlophone.

Universal’s VP, Digital Business Developmen, Pat Shah,  has joined Spotify as the streaming service’s Head Of Original Content Licensing. At UMG he worked on complex licensing transactions with Google Play, YouTube, Samsung, Tidal, and Vevo, among others.

Tom Connaughton, Head of Vevo’s Content and Programming department in the UK, will re-locate to New York to head up the video platform’s Global Content and Programming team.

SESAC, Inc. has announced that Alexander Wolf has been appointed President of SESAC International – the collection’s society’s ex-US unit based in London.

Sports marketing agency Synergy has appointed music, marketing and entertainment exec Arnon Woolfson to head up a new division specialising in creating entertainment strategies, partnerships and campaigns.

RFID cashless payment specialist Intellitix has made a series of new appointments as it expands its team.   Gavin Barnard, who has eight years experience in digital and live events, joins as UK director of partnerships, while new UK director of business development Gareth Deakin joins after four years as head of business development at Sony Music Entertainment. Isabelle Chevallier, Intellitix’s European head of business development, will oversee European sales. She brings 15 years of experience working within the European music scene and was previously general manager of business affairs and development at Sony Music Entertainment France.

Two of Twitter’s top executives — media head Katie Jacobs Stanton and product head Kevin Weil — are departing the company, according to sources close to the situation. Head of engineering Alex Roetter and Brian Schipper, head of HR are also leaving as is Jason Toff, who had been in charge at Vine, Twitter's video streaming service, who moves to Google.

Thursday, 21 January 2016

Music piracy on the rise again

MBW reports that the amount of music downloaded on illegal piracy sites grew by 16.5% in the second half of 2015 compared to the year’s opening six months. That’s according to leading content protection and market analytics company MUSO, which tracked web activity on 576 sites which were ‘wholly dedicated to music piracy or contained significant music content’.

Across these sites, MUSO analysed over 2 billion visitor traffic hits globally. The research, exclusively provided to MBW, comes from MUSO’s ‘2015 Global Music Piracy Insights’ Study. Interestingly, the company found that music was particularly hit hard: the amount of online visitor traffic across piracy-enabling torrent sites covering all media types dropped by 20% throughout the course of 2015.

Monday, 18 January 2016

SFX raises $20 million

Following news of a default on a loan repayment and that the company was  "considering bankruptcy,debt restructuring and asset sales", SFX Entertainment's financial saga moved on with the announcement of new financing. The troubled EDM promoter revealed it has raised $20 million "for itself and certain of its operating subsidiaries, obtaining capital for its working and general corporate purposes." Those were the only details released. More information will be given in an SEC filing that had not been released by midday Friday.

More on Billboard here

Live Nation upgrades US concert security

Live Nation has announced that it has upgraded security at the all US concerts and events in the wake of the Bataclan terrorist attacks in Paris in November.

More than a dozen arenas have announced new security measures made at Live Nation's request which will include screening fans with metal detectors and limiting what type of bags fans can be brought into concerts and events: The specific requirements for all non NHL/NBA venues are as follows 

- Bags no larger than 13.62-inch by 15.25-inch are permitted and all backs should be clear or see-through

- Everyone must pass through a walk-through metal detector.

- Installation of camera systems with a command centre monitoring capability.

- Cultural training for staff with an emphasis on appropriate handling of ethnic & religious sensitivities.

- Pre-event inspections by bomb detection K9 units.

Most sports team home venues had already adopted these measures.

Thursday, 14 January 2016

European Festival Awards 2015

The 2015 European Festival Awards ceremony at the EuroSonic convention in Groningen in the Netherlands took place last night. A gala dinner, hosted by Ben Challis and Gordon Masson, featured live performances from Dutch band Kovacs, Scotlands White and Carnival Youth from Latvia, and a special performance from the star sudded Natural Peace and Love Orchestra.  With over 800,000 votes cast by fans, the winners are:

Best New European Festival: Untold Festival (Romania)

Best Indoor Festival: Les Transardentes (Belgium)

The Green Opererations Award: Tollwood Festival (Germany)

Agent of the Year: Emma Banks (CAA)

Festival Anthem of the Year: Major Lazer with Lean On

Best Small European Festival: Happiness Festival (Germany)

Artists Favourite European Festival: Rock Werchter (Belgium)

The Health & Safety Innovation Award: Das Fest (Germany)

The Best Medium Sized European Festival: Telekom Volt (Hungary)

Promoter of the Year: Horstmann Unterbehmensgruppe (Germany)

Newcomer of the Year: Hozier

Best European Festival Line Up: Sziget (Hungary)

Best Headliner: The Prodigy

Best Major European Festival: Untold Festival (Romania)

Award for Excellence and Passion: Prof Chris Kemp (YES and MOM)

Lifetime Achievement Award: Jean Louis Brossard and Beatrice Mace

Monday, 11 January 2016



David Bowie's family have confirmed the death, aged 69, of the London-born superstar following an 18-month fight with cancer. Bowie released 25 studio LPs in his career. Many of them changed the face of rock'n'roll forever more.

David Bowie at Glastonbury 2000

RIP David Bowie. 1947-2016.

John "Brad" Bradbury, drummer with The Specials, has died at the age of 62. The ska group tweeted the news: "It is with deep regret that we say goodbye to our great friend, the world's greatest drummer, our beloved Brad. RIP." Bradbury joined The Specials in 1979, and continued with the The Special AKA, who had a top 10 hit with "Free Nelson Mandela". Bradbury took part in The Specials reunion tour in 2009. He also headed up a band called JB Allstars.

Natalie Cole, the multiple Grammy wining singer and daughter of Nat King Ciole  has died of heart failure aged 65. Natalie shot to stardom with her debut album, "Inseparable", in 1975. Subsequently she experienced the extremes of huge commercial success and debilitating periods of illness and drug addiction, and the predictable slump in her career as she battled addiction. However Cole overcame her demons and her greatest success came with her 1991 album, "Unforgettable... With Love", which paid tribute to her father with reworked versions of some of his best-known songs, including "That Sunday That Summer", "Too Young" and "Mona Lisa". In 2009 she enjoyed one of the biggest hit albums of her career with "Still Unforgettable", which won her the last of her nine Grammy Awards. The singer had recently cancelled a series of performances, including one on New Year's Eve. She is survived by her son from her first marriage, Robbie Yancy, a professional musician.

Robert Stigwood, who managed the Bee Gees at the height of their fame, produced and released Cream’s self-titled debut, and guided Eric Clapton’s successful solo career while producing musicals for the stage and screen, has died aged 81. Stigwood also produced the groundbreaking film of the Who’s rock opera "Tommy", and the iconic "Saturday Night Fever", which introduced disco music and a young John Travolta to audiences around the world, while propelling the Bee Gees to global stardom. The announcement of the Australian-born Stigwood's death was made on Facebook by Spencer Gibb, son of Bee Gees band member Robin Gibb.  “I would like to share the sad news with you all, that my godfather, and the longtime manager of my family, Robert Stigwood, has passed away,” Gibb wrote, describing Stigwood as a “creative genius with a very quick and dry wit” and saying “I would like to thank Robert for his kindness to me over the years as well as his mentorship to my family. `Stiggy’ you will be missed”. 

Friday, 8 January 2016


Henning Tögel 
German indie-promoter The Moderne Welt closing operations, two years on from passing of founder, Henning TögelThe parent company Moderne Welt Musikproduktions- und Vermarktungsgesellschaft will remain active to manage, among other things, the Henning Tögel foundation which fosters creative talent of all sorts.

Self-service ticketing platform Eventbrite has announced Joel Crouch as its first ever GM for UK and Ireland.  

Piero Giramonti and Jacqueline Saturn have been named General Managers of Caroline – the Independent Services division of Capitol Music Group (CMG) in the US. The news comes four months after reports emerged that Caroline President Dominic Pandiscia was to leave the UMG-owned organisation.

A2IM, the American Association of Independent Music, has appointed Richard James Burgess as its new CEO. Burgess moves over from his position as Chairman of the A2IM board.

Maria Eagle has been appointed Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport following Labour leader Jememy Corbyn's re-shuffle. She was previously Shadow Secretary for Defence.

Kobalt has replaced Diarmuid Quinn, the recently-departed GM of the firm’s Label Services division in the US with the promotion of Ron Cerrito into the GM position, effective immediately. Cerrito moves up from his position as SVP/Promotion/Rock Formats at KLS. Quinn, who was named Kobalt Label Service's president, North America in 2013, had announced he'll be stepping down from that role at the turn of the year.

Independent publisher Imagem Music has promoted Leo Chantzaras from Senior A&R Manager to Senior International A&R Manager.

Nic Jones, has been named Chief Revenue Officer at Vevo based in San Francisco – stepping up from his previous role as EVP of International.

Two senior promoters at the UK operation of Live Nation have left the organisation. Steve Homer and Toby Leighton-Pope are believed to have exited the company last week.

The Chairman of the UK’s Concert Promoters Association, Stuart Littlewood, has stepped down after 15 years in the role. Littlewood was previously treasurer of the CPA for 12 years, bringing his total tenure to 25 years. Phil Bowdery, President Of Touring International at Live Nation, will take over from Littlewood following an election at the CPA.

Ian Hogarth, founder of fast-growing ticketing firm Songkick, has become its Chairman. Matt Jones, whose Crowdsurge merged with SK last year, is now sole CEO.

Simon Presswell has been appointed CEO of Eventim UK. Presswell was previously MD of Eventim rival Ticketmaster UK, before leaving last year.

Spotify has confirmed the appointment of George Ergatoudis in the newly-created position of Head of Content Programming for the UK. Ergatoudis joins Spotify from the BBC where he was most recently Head of Music for BBC Radio 1 and 1Xtra.

Ashley Newton has officially been named President of Universal’s Capitol Music Group – reporting into his one-time Columbia boss Steve Barnett.

Hackford Jones, the London-based entertainment PR agency founded in 2003 by Simon Jones and Jonathan Hackford, and who represent One Direction, Little Mix. comedian Jack Whitehall and TV duo Ant & Dec is being wound down as the co-owners go their separate ways.

Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Swift tops Pollstar's Worldwide Tour earners for 2015

Taylor Swift, AC/DC, One Direction, U2 and Foo Fighters make up the top five positions on Pollstar’s Top 20 Worldwide tours for 2015.  The Rolling Stones, Madonna, Paul McCartney, Garth Brooks and Ed Sheeran are also among the major earners.

Swift was the top touring artist in the world with gross ticket sales in excess of $250 million as she played to nearly 2.3 million fans.  The Top 20 Worldwide Tours alone grossed more than $2.2 billion and sold over 24 million tickets at an average ticket price of $91.74.  That represents $200 million and over 4 million tickets more than in 2014.

AC/DC came back and did the biggest tour in the band's history while Foo Fighters and Ed Sheeran made the Top 10 for the first time with record outings of their own. Although The Rolling Stones are placed 10th on the chart, the band had the highest average ticket – $174.50.  Second is Paul McCartney’s $155.76 followed by Madonna (127.55), Fleetwood Mac ($125.61), Elton John ($124.49) and U2 ($118.35).  Luke Bryan’s $55.48 average ticket price was the lowest on the chart. 

Monday, 4 January 2016

SFX suffers more setbacks as it defaults on Spotify deal and TMWRK team leaves

SFX , the troubled dance event company, has defaulted on its content agreement with Spotify, and will be refunding the $10 million licensing advance in installments by July 2016. Spotify can recoup its advance because the contract called for SFX boss Robert Sillerman to purchase $15 million in preferred stock by October 17th. Sillerman's failure to make this payment caused SFX to default on a $30 million credit agreement with Barclays Bank and other unnamed lenders, who could at any time declare all funds due immediately. SFX's share price was $0.193 as the year ended - it has fallen 33.4 percent since December 24th 2015 and is 96.3 percent below its 52-week high of $5.25.

SFX has also  parted ways with the company behind artist management firm TMWRK. SFX purchased TMWRK, home of Diplo and many other EDM artists, in 2014. Now TMWRK has agreed to pay $3.6 million to leave SFX, which will abandon the business and write down the value of its investment. 

More on Billboard here

Friday, 1 January 2016

Travi$ Scott sentenced after causing stampede

The rapper Travi$ Scott, accused of starting a stampede at Lollapalooza this summer, has pleaded guilty to reckless conduct charges. Scott, whose legal name is Jaques Webster, encouraged fans to climb over barricades during his concert. A 15-year-old girl was trampled. A judge ordered Scott to be under court supervision for one year.