Monday, 31 July 2017

Bieber cancels final fourteen dates on World Tour

Justin Bieber has cancelled the final 14 dates of his 16 month long 'Purpose' tour which saw the star perform more than 150 shows in 40 countries across six continents. The fnal dates, which were spread across four months and included shows in East Rutherford, N.J., Hong Kong and Singapore, citing only “unforeseen circumstances.” A spkespersn said “Justin loves his fans and hates to disappoint them ..... however, after careful consideration he has decided he will not be performing any further dates. Tickets will be refunded at point of purchase.” Last week, Mr. Bieber had been barred from performing in mainland China because of past “bad behavior.

Bieber then hit the news after he bumped into a photographer as he left a church service. The singer was leaving the Saban Theatre in Los Angeles in his pick-up truck when he hit a 57-year-old photographer. Bieber got out of his truck to help the injured man, and paparazzi scrambled around the vehicle to get pictures of the accident. Maurice Lamond later said ""Hour before my birthday hits, I get ran over by Justin Bieber. Isn't that something? He's a good kid, though. I think the truck was a little bit too big for him, though, because there's no way he could see over the front — it was the slope it was on. But like I said, he got out, he was compassionate, he's a good kid, accidents happen." Police say no one was cited or arrested at the scene and there appeared to be no criminal activity involved.

Final day of Y-Not washed out

The final day of the UK's Y-Not festival in Derbyshire has been cancelled after heavy rainfall turned the site into a mud bath. Some sets on previous days were also cancelled. Promoters said "Unfortunately we've had to take the difficult decision to cancel Sunday due to the adverse weather conditions across the weekend, after consulting all the relevant authorities. The safety of our guests, performers and crew is our primary concern and the potential risk was too severe for Sunday to go ahead". The statement added: "We are very sorry for the disappointment and disruption caused to everyone who was looking forward to the final day of the festival. We understand that people will have questions about refunds. We will be giving all our guests further information about this over the coming days". The festival having was acquired by Global's Broadwick Live venture last year and this year featured headliners Two Door Cinema Club, Happy Mondays, Jake Bugg, Stereophonics, Feeder and Clean Bandit amongst others.

There were complaints that the organisers were not prepared for expected heavy rain and fans took to social media to demand refunds and complain about the organisation of the event. Y-Not Festival said it would be meeting insurers to discuss refunds.  Image BBC



22,000 evacuated after Tomorrowland stage firein Spain

22,000 attendees were evacuated from Tomorrowland Barcelona after a fire broke out on stage. Reports say all attendees were quickly evacuated from the city’s Parc de Can Zam and that no serious injuries had been reported. Writing on their Facebook page, UNITE With Tomorrowland said: “Tonight, July 29th 2017, the UNITE Barcelona stage caught fire due to a technical malfunction. “Thanks to the professional intervention of the authorities all 22.000 visitors were evacuated safely and without reports of injuries. Authorities will follow up and continue the investigation with the local Spanish organizer of UNITE.” The show involved live DJs and a live stream from the 'mother' Tomorrowland in Belgium onto video walls. 

Tomorrowland's UNITE festival in Taiwan was also cancelled ebcause of typhoon warnings, with the local authority cancelling all outdoor shows. UNITE shows in Dubai, Israel, Germany and South Korea went ahead.

Thursday, 20 July 2017

PPL and PRS for Music launch Music Recognition Technology pilot

PPL and PRS for Music have launched a pilot designed to evaluate the use of Music Recognition Technology (MRT) in identifying music publicly performed by DJs in clubs, bars, pubs and hotels licensed by PPL and PRS. It is hoped that the pilot, carried out by MRT provider DJ Monitor, will result in the accurate identification of music performance information, which when collected from a wide variety of licensed premises can be incorporated into a ‘best practice’ policy for distributing royalties to PPL and PRS members.  Participating venues will monitor music played by DJs using an MRT device and send the data to a secure database to be matched, analysed and reported back to PPL and PRS for Music. The pilot, which started in late 2016, has since been rolled out to venues across the UK including iconic nightclubs such as Ministry of Sound and Fabric and major club chain, The Deltic Group. It will run throughout 2017 with potential to be extended further.

Monday, 17 July 2017


RFID specialist Intellitix has hired Carlo Chiarello as its new CEO. Chiarello has a background in developing high-growth global tech companies and  joins the firm from the Lazaridis Institute (LI) at Wilfred Laurier University, which offers support and advice to Canadian tech start-ups. He previously spent over a decade at Blackberry, launching 50 smartphones globally and scaling many aspects of the business. Chiarello steps into the shoes of former CEO and founder Serge Grimaux, who remains with the company as chairman of the board and will continue with international business development.

The General Manager of the Sheffield Arena, Rob O'Shea, has announced that he is leaving the venue to focus on his event promotions company, Manifesto Events. Former deputy general manager Joe Waldron steps up to replace O'Shea.

Jason Carter, the former BBC Introducing boss recently appointed to head up Amazon’s Prime Live Events, has stepped down. Carter who joined Amazon in May as director of Prime Live Events for Amazon Tickets, is taking a career break for personal reasons, an Amazon spokesperson told IQ. 

Really Useful Theatres Group has appointed Vanessa Andreis to the newly created role of commercial partnerships director.

Warner Music Group has appointed Jeff Bronikowski as SVP, Global Business Development/Head Of New Technology & Innovation, and promoted racy Gardner to SVP Global Business Development & Strategy.

The UK's Music Managers Fourm has five new members for its borad who will each serve for three years: These first five appointments are Claire Southwick from Primitive Management, Ellie Giles from Various Artists, Paul Crockford from Paul Crockford Management, Steven Braines from The Weird & Wonderful and Tom Burris from ie:music. The new set up is in part designed to enable a more diverse board to better represent the organisation's membership with the rotating board desged to reflect a growing membership which has grown considerably in recent years. MMF CEO Annabella Coldrick commented: "The constant challenge for all trade bodies is to balance continuity with relevancy - to ensure you can deliver the services and lobbying demanded by your existing membership, while providing the pathways and encouragement for a new generation to get involved". The AGM also approved a new group called the MMF Custodians, which will consist of industry veterans who will be available to advise the organisation. Those board members who stood down under the new rotation system are among the first members of this new committee, which includes Carol Crabtree (Solar Management), Gary McClarnan (Sparklestreet), Ian McAndrew (Wildlife Entertainment), Scott Rodger (Quest Management) and Tim Clarke (ie:music). Elsewhere, Diane Wagg of Deluxxe Management was re-elected as Chair of the MMF, while Paul Craig from Nostromo Management was elected to the new role of Vice Chair. Meanwhile Stephen Budd stood down as co-Chair, but will remain on the board.

Reed Smith LLP has hired Ingrid Silver as a partner in the firm's growing global Entertainment & Media Industry Group. Based in London, Silver joins after nearly 12 years at the UKMEA Media and Entertainment division of global law firm Dentons. (MBW)

Pandora's Tim Westergren is set to step down as the company's CEO. That's according to Recode, which reports the exec will likely stay in the position until a replacement is found. Westergren, Pandora's co-founder, succeeded Brian McAndrews as the firm's CEO in March last year.

Universal Music Group has appointed experienced digital music entrepreneur Tuhin Roy to a newly-created position - VP of New Digital Business. Roy will operate out of Santa Monica and will work closely with digital music startups in the early stage of growth. Universal's Capitol Music Group has appointed renowned hip-hop and R&B producer Dion 'No I.D' Wilson as Executive Vice President. His remit will include A&R and production, and he will report into CMG President Ashley Newton. He was previously at Def Jam

Soundtrack & Score, the Universal Music division set up a year ago to "maximise the artistic and commercial impact of music in film and TV", has a brand new Managing Director, Ross Sellwood.

And Universal Music Publishing has promoted Kevin Cady to Head of Finance for the Americas and Senior Vice President of Global Business Strategy, where he will be tasked with driving strategic growth. Cady joined UMPG in 2005. 

Interscope Geffen A&M has promoted Gary Kelly to EVP and Chief Revenue Officer. He will lead functions including revenue and digital marketing. His team will also oversee playlisting activities including a newly-created position for a Director of Playlisting. 

Warner Music is giving a new lease of life to Sire Records in its 50th year. The company has hired ex-Island, Arista and RCA A&R star Rani Hancock as President of the label, where co-founder Seymour Stein is Chairman. 

MBW reports that SoundCloud's outgoing Chief Content Officer, Stephen Bryan, is joining Lyor Cohen at YouTube. Bryan closed licensing deals with all three major labels during his three years at SoundCloud.  The Berlin-based SoundCloud has laid off 173 staff, while announcing that it was shuttering both its London and San Francisco offices. This, said co-founder Alexander Ljung, was in a bid to gain "control of SoundCloud's independent future" while steering the firm back on a "path to profitability".

The UK's Association of Independent Music (AIM) has elected Transgressive Records co-founder Tim Dellow to the position of Chairperson. A Management Group has also been formed, featuring reps from Beggars, Because, Secretly Group and Ninja Tune.

SVP of A&R and Marketing at UK indie Because Music, Jane Third, is stepping down after ten years to join [PIAS] as Global Chief Creative Officer. As part of her new role, which begins in October, Third will run her own label through [PIAS]'s Co-op division (MBW). 

The acting headd of Epic Records, Sylvia Rhone, has promoted Sandra Afloarei to SVP of Top 40 radio promotions. The news comes after Todd Glassman, Epic's EVP of Promotions, left the company last week after four years at the Sony venture.

Bråvalla cancelled after sexual assault reports

The 2018 edition of Sweden's Bråvalla festival has been cancelled, following numerous allegations and reports of rape and sexual assault at the 2016 and 2017 editions. In the aftermath of the cancellation, Swedish comedian Emma Knyckare announced plans to hold a women-only music festival next year tweeting  "What do you think about putting together a really cool festival where only non-men are welcome until ALL men have learned how to behave?"

Thursday, 6 July 2017

Green day cancellation poses questions for safety

The July 4th Green Day show in Scotland, which was cancelled 40 minutes before doors opened, with promoters blaming adverse weather conditions, has raised some interesting questions, not least as Glasgow City Council, which owns the venue, have now distanced itself from the decision.

Shortly before doors were due to open at Bellahouston Park in Glasgow, promoter PCL Presents issued a statement, saying: "After many months of hard work and preparation, and after seven days of production and site crew working tirelessly around the clock on site, adverse weather conditions overnight and throughout the morning, during the band's scheduled load-in, led to issues on stage. A meeting between the on-site health and safety, event management, the artists' representatives and promoters concluded that it would be unsafe in the timescale to proceed with the event".

Later, in their own statement, the band said: "The local safety council, production crew, and concert organisers have deemed the stage unsafe for the fans and everyone involved. We are very distraught about this as we are in Glasgow now and were very much looking forward to this show as one of the highlights of our tour" adding  "We have been playing in extreme weather conditions throughout this European tour, and the last thing we want to do is see a show cancelled. We love our Scottish fans and we don't care if it's raining fucking sideways, although the safety of our fans and our crew is always our top priority".

Glasgow City Council, said in a short statement that it had nothing to do with the show being cancelled: "The decision to cancel the Green Day event was taken by the promoters and management of the band, not Glasgow City Council".

As the dust settled on the last minute cancellation, questions began to be asked about why the weather had been such a factor in the cancellation, as on the day of the show the weather had improved. Admidst accusations that PCL Presents had been ill prepared for for the show, director Paul Cardow was forced to issue a statement saying “What can I say but sorry for all inconvenience”, but he denied that the company had misled fans over the cause of the cancellation, adding “The torrential rain at the band’s load in made the situation impossible.”

What the 'issues on stage' were remains to be seen - the tweet (pictured) is one person's take on this. Another tweeter posted "If @PCLPresents can't run a gig in Glasgow when it rains, should they really be running gigs at all? #greenday".

Monday, 3 July 2017

Adele cancels final two Wembley shows after voice fails

Adele at Glastonbury  2016 by Sarah Neve
Adele has cancelled the last two sell-out shows of her world tour due to take place at London's Wembley Stadium this weekend past after damaging her vocal cords. The 29-year-old singer said doctors dvised her not to perform. She had already performed two nights to crowds at Wembley, but said that she had been struggling vocally. "To say I'm heartbroken would be an understatement," Adele, said on her Twitter page. In her post, the 29-year-old said her first two Wembley shows this week had been "the biggest and best shows of my life", but that she had struggled vocally.

Fyre promoter arrested

Reports say that the promoter behind a failed Fyre Festival was arrested Friday in New York on a wire fraud charge. Billy McFarland was charged with scheming to defraud investors in his company, Fyre Media, and Fyre Festival that was supposed to take place on the island of Exuma in the Bahamas over two weekends in April and May.

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Eventbrite snaps up Ticketfly

Eventbrite has confirmed its acquisition of US ticketing firm Ticketfly for $200 million. The deal "brings together Eventbrite's momentum in music, global scale, and expertise in event technology with Ticketfly's marketing excellence and strong track record of success in music" and "The whole is greater than the sum of its parts"  said Eventbrite CEO Julia Hartz announcing the deal, "and we see immense alignment and opportunity with this union". 

Saturday, 3 June 2017

Rock am Ring festival evacuated in terror alert

Germany's Rock am Ring, has been evacuated over a "terrorist threat", the organisers have announced. Fans waiting for German rock giants Rammstein streamed out of the Nuerburg arena after organisers asked them to leave in a "calm and controlled" way. "Due to a terrorist threat the police have advised us to interrupt the festival," they said. The organisers said in a Facebook post they hoped the festival would resume on Saturday.

"Because of the last attack on a concert in Manchester, the security concept for Rock am Ring was modified in advance and the number of security officers was significantly increased to around 1,200. ... Since a threat could not be ruled out, all necessary measures were taken immediately," Koblenz police said in a statement.

Concord snaps up Imagen

Concord Bicycle Music's has completed a buyout of Imagem Music at a price thought to exceed €450m (or just over US$500m). The Imagem deal brings Concord  an additional 250,000-plus copyrights, meaning Concord's publishing division will control in excess of 380,000 works (now including songs by Phil Collins, Mark Ronson and Daft Punk) - along with substantial catalogue of recorded music copyrights that Concord has snapped up in recent years. After merging with The Bicycle Music Company and raising $100m in 2015, Concord acquired Fearless Records and Wind-Up Records while signing a worldwide JV with US indie Razor & Tie. In addition, it's bought the likes of Americana/folk/blues specialist HighTone Records and the recorded music assets of Bandit Records - while securing major artist licensing deals with R.E.M and others.

Wednesday, 31 May 2017


German promoter and festival organiser FKP Scorpio has appointed veteran artist manager Freddie de Wall to the newly created position of chief operating officer (COO). De Wall was most recently co-owner and managing director of Hamburg-based management firm Heinrich & de Wall. He began his career as a road manager and booker with now-defunct concert promoter Sunrise, then spent two decades in the label business, working at Phonogram, WEA Records, Metronome, BMG (where he rose to become MD of BMG Denmark) and Edel Music.

Venue management specialist VMS Live has made two new appointments to its promotions division as it plans to expand its outdoor events concept, Inner City Live.  The company has brought in former Live Nation promoter Isla Miskelly as commercial manager to work alongside commercial director Carl Bathgate and promoter/booker Joff Hall. Also joining the team as promoters’ assistant is Sarah-Louise Jones, who was most recently events management assistant for the 1,200-capacity William Aston Hall, based at Wrexham Glyndwr University. 

UK Music has appointed Michael Dugher as the organisations new chief executive of the UK music industry's cross sector trade association.  Dugher is a British Labour politician who was elected as the Member of Parliament for Barnsley East at the 2010 general election.  he replaces outgoing chief executive Jo Dipple. and will take up the role in May 2017

Spotify has appointed the Director of IFPI’s European Regional Office, Olivia Regnier, as Legal Director, EU Regulatory Affairs. Regnier leaves behind 20 years at the recorded music trade body.

Mark Robinson, the former General Counsel at BMG has been named head of business and legal affairs at 300 Entertainment. In his new role, he will be reunited with several colleagues with whom he worked during a decade as vp/senior counsel at Warner Music Group, including former WMG evp and current 300 co-founder/CEO Kevin Liles.

Jon Webster, is stepping down from the Music Managers Forum (MMF) after nearly a decade with the organisation, most recently as President. Amongst other projects, he'll be writing a book about his time at Virgin Records.

The UK's recordedmusic trade group the BPI appoints Intellectual property specialist and solicitor Zain Ali to its legal team.  

BMG has appointed German media lawyer Ama Walton as SVP Business & Legal Affairs and General Counsel Europe. The exec previously worked at Constantin Film. And BMG has promoted Keith Hauprich to General Counsel & Senior Vice President, Business & Legal Affairs, North America. Hauprich moves up from his role as Deputy General Counsel. 

After serving as Kobalt President since 2012, Richard Sanders is leaving the firm next month. 

TIDAL has lost another CEO, aS Jay Z's firm confirm that former SoundCloud executuve Jeff Toig has left the business. “As part of Tidal’s continued expansion this year we will be announcing a new CEO in the coming weeks,” TIDAL said in a statement. “We wish former CEO, Jeffrey Toig, all the best in his future endeavors.”

And  SoundCloud is parting ways with its Chief Content Officer as another senior figure to leaves the digital company. Stephen Bryan joined the streaming platform in 2014, moving across after serving 17 years at Warner Music Group.

Big Machine Label Group has appointed Nicola Csabai as VP, Revenue & Sales. She previously served as Director of Revenue for Interscope Records. 

The UK's Agents' Association has a new name, the Entertainment Agents' Association, and a new President, Neil Tomlinson, director of Sheffield-based The Act Store. 

Rebecca Allen has stepped up to become President of Universal's Decca Records Group UK. She will report to David Joseph and Dickon Stainer.

Interscope Geffen A&M has promoted Joie Manda from President of Urban Music to Executive Vice President. He reports into the label group's boss John Janick. 

The President of music media brand Pitchfork, Chris Kaskie, is leaving the company in July after 14 years. Conde Nast acquired the title in 2015.

Thursday, 25 May 2017


Alia Dann Swift
Alia Dann Swift. My friend. So loved. So warm and generous. So caring. A true independent spirit who added to this World, and the lives of everyone she met and touched.  Alia was the International Live Music Conference's longtime producer and had recently hung up her boots and moved to Australia where we all thought she and her partner Steve Swift would have many many more years of happiness and adventures ahead of them. She was taken ill just a couple of weeks ago whilst travelling, and was diagnosed with aggressive cancer. Steve, thankfully, managed to get Alia home. 

Alia's grace, humour, energy and finely-tuned no-nonsense approach made her such a beautiful friend and mentor who will be, as our friend and ILMC MD Greg Parmley said, deeply and entirely missed. Alia was just 57 years young.

Grandaddy bassist Kevin Garcia has died, a day after having a stroke. He was 41. In a statement on Facebook, the band said: "There are no accurate words to express what we need to. We are absolutely shattered to say that we lost our friend and bandmate Kevin Garcia early this afternoon. He succumbed to the effects of a massive stroke. We were all able to say goodbye to him and he was surrounded by his closest friends and family here in Modesto".

Trance DJ and producer Robert Miles, best known for his massive 1996 hit 'Children', has died, aged 47. According to 24 Horas, Miles - real name Roberto Concina - passed away in Ibiza yesterday evening. DJ Mag Italia added that the cause of death was an undisclosed illness. Miles' last studio album, 'Thirteen', was released in 2011.

Chris Cornell
Chris Cornell, the former Audioslave and Soundgarden lead singer, who composed and sang "You Know My Name" (the Casino Royale title song)  has died aged 52 in Detroit. A statement said  the death "sudden and unexpected" and said his wife and family were shocked by it. The statement said the family would be working closely with the medical examiner to determine the cause and asked for privacy but the medical examinr later confirmed that Chris Cornell had taken his own life following a performance with Soundgarden at the Fox Theatre. Somewhat ominously "In My Time Of Dying" was the last song of what was to be his last show. Cornell was a founder member of Soundgarden, best known for their Grammy Award-winning singles 'Black Hole Sun' and 'Spoonman'. He had a four octave vocal range and continued to make music after Soundgarden broke up in 1997 (they later reformed in 2010).  Cornell went on to form supergroup Audioslave, which he fronted alongside former Rage Against the Machine members Tom Morello, Tim Commerford and Brad Wilk, in 2001.  The image is by Christopher Simon. 

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

WME boss threatens legal action over Pemberton collapse

WME boss Marc Gieger had said that he may take legal action over the bankruptcy of the Pemberton Festival on the news that fans are unlikely to receive automatic ticket refunds. Geiger, whose agency had HAIM and Big Sean amongst a number of acts booked at the planned British Columbia event, said "I'm not going to allow this. We deal with cancelled events all the time on an artists' side, but nobody stiffs consumers. I'm the head of music for the biggest talent agency in the world who does more of this than anybody. I've never been on the phone with reporters talking about anything like this." Pointing out that event organisers had a variety of options they could have taken to avoid leaving fans carrying a loss, he added that in the larger scheme of things, this could cause festival goers losing confidence in events.

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

22 dead in Manchester suicide bomb attack

A suicide bomb attack at the end of an Ariana Grande concert at the Manchester Arena last night has left at least 22 people dead and 59 injured. Police have said that the bomb was detonated by a man who also died in the blast. Reports say that the blast occurred in the foyer area of the Manchester Arena just before 10.35pm, shortly after Grande had left the stage. Eye-witnesses interviewed by the BBC have spoken of a blast and flash of fire, causing glass to shatter and the whole building to shake.

The Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police, Ian Hopkins, said in a statement: "This has been the most horrific incident we have had to face in Greater Manchester and one that we all hoped we would never see. Families and many young people were out to enjoy a concert at the Manchester Arena and have lost their lives. Our thoughts are with those 22 victims that we now know have died, the 59 people who have been injured and their loved ones. We continue to do all we can to support them".

Take That at the Echo Arena, the debut Amazon Prime show with Blondie and London's Radio Festival were all been postponed in the aftermath of the Manchester bombing.

Monday, 22 May 2017

Fyre Festival faces Feds fraud probe

According to the New York Times, Fyre Festival, fronted by Ja Rule and Billy McFarland is now under criminal investigation by the Southern District Of New York and the FBI. The newspaper cites one source as saying that the company behind the festival was being investigated over allegations of possible mail, wire and securities fraud. The investigation is being conducted by the US Attorney's Office and is being led by a prosecutor assigned to the complex frauds and cybercrime unit.

And Canada's Pemberton Music Festival, due to take place in July, has been declared bankrupt, with poor ticket sales and currency fluctuations being given as major factors in the failure. Ticketholders will be unsecured creditors in any queue for a refund. A statement on the festival's website states that "the 2017 Pemberton Music Festival scheduled for July 13-16, 2017 is cancelled and will not proceed as scheduled. The trustee will issue formal notice of the bankruptcy proceeding to all known creditors of PMF within five days of its appointment". Despite increasing revenue from ticket sales ~100% year on year from 2014 to 2015 – US$5.8m to $10.3m – and a further $5m in 2016, revenue to date for 2017 is just $8.23m (against expenses of $22m), and festival operating companies Pemberton Music Festival Limited Partnership and General Partner, 1115666 BC Ltd now owing creditors approximately $2.5m.

DEAG rapped for financial irregularities

Deutsche Entertainment AG (DEAG) has been criticised by Germany’s Financial Reporting Enforcement Panel (FREP) for allegedly misrepresenting its financial strength in its 2014 full-year and 2015 half-year fiscal reports. According to German business weekly WirtschaftsWoche, FREP took issue with DEAG’s 2014 financial report describing “very good presales” for its three new festivals, Rock im Revier, Rockavaria and Rock in Vienna – when, in fact, less than a month before the festivals were due to kick off, “not even half of their costs were covered by ticket sales”. The launch of the new festivals led to a €17.8m million loss in 2015, which on Friday was revised retroactively to -€26.2m as a result of FREP’s investigation. Only Rock in Vienna remains following the cancellations of Rock im Revier and Rockavaria.

More on IQ here

Thursday, 27 April 2017

iHeart struggles under debt burden

iHeartMedia has warned investors that it may be forced into administration before the end of the year, weighed down by a $350 million debt re-payment which is shortly due. The biggest radio broadcaster in the US, and owner of the iHeartRadio streaming service and Clear Channel advertising business, iHeart took on $20 billion of debt during a $24 billion private equity buyout in 2008. If it makes this year's repayment, it still has a far more significant $8.3 billion due in 2019. In a  filing with the US Securities And Exchange Commission, iHerat says: "Management anticipates that our financial statements to be issued for the three months ended 31 Mar 2017, will include disclosure indicating there will be substantial doubt as to our ability to continue as a going concern for a period of twelve months following the date the first quarter 2017 financial statements are issued".

UK moves to regulate secondary ticketing stalls

The UK Parliament has cancelled ticket touting select committee inquiry ahead of the snap General Election. Ongoing inquiries instigated by Parliament's Culture, Media & Sport Select Committee on ticket touting and the effect of Brexit on the creative industries, tourism and the Digital Single Market have also been put on hold. Chair of the committee, Damian Collins, said in a statement: "Although we are unable to complete these important inquiries, there is no bar to our successors in the next Parliament taking up the evidence received - which has been published on the committee's website - and finishing them. Given the importance of all these subjects, we hope that the new committee will do so".

In other ticketing news, Live Nation boss Michael Rapino has said that he doesn't think efforts to legislate against secondary ticketing will have much effect, saying that the industry should focus on pricing and technology issue. through its Ticketmaster business, LNE owns secondary ticketing platforms like Seatwave and Get Me In. "As long as the [ticketing] market's gigantic, you'll have sophisticated players trying to figure out how to monetise it", Rapino said at the Canadian Music Week conference "My instincts are always on the free market" adding "I just think [efforts to legislate against touting are] so unrealistic. I think some of these [efforts] are decent attempts, but I don't think overall, until you start pricing the product better, and/or have better technology to deliver the fan their ticket, that you'll start to make a difference. We're the only industry in the world that has a higher retail value the second it's sold".


Chuck Berry has died aged 90 at his home in Missouri.  Chuck Berry was one of the very last of rock and roll’s great pioneers. His career lasted more than 70 years.  With his early hits, he helped transform mid-century Rythym and Blues into the rock and roll sound we recognise today. Charles Edward Anderson "Chuck" Berry was born into a middle-class African-American family in St. Louis, Berry had an interest in music from an early age and gave his first public performance at Sumner High School. While still a high school student he was convicted of armed robbery and was sent to a reformatory, where he was held from 1944 to 1947. After his release, Berry settled into married life and worked at an automobile assembly plant. By early 1953, influenced by the guitar riffs and showmanship techniques of the blues musician T-Bone Walker, Berry began performing with the Johnnie Johnson Trio. His break came when he travelled to Chicago in May 1955 and met Muddy Waters, who suggested he contact Leonard Chess, of Chess Records. His hits included ‘Johnny B Goode’, ‘Roll Over Beethoven’ and the million-selling ‘Maybellene’. In 1986, Berry was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame by Keith Richards. He was cited for having "laid the groundwork for not only a rock and roll sound but a rock and roll stance".

Former England and Aston Villa defender Ugo Ehiogu has died at the age of 44 after suffering a cardiac arrest at Tottenham's training centre on Thursday. Ugo was also a backer of the record label Dirty Hit wich brought the world Wolf Alice and the 1975. He married his wife, Gemma, in 2005. He had two children, his son Obi Jackson and daughter Jodie.

Producer and promoter Barry Marshall-Everitt has passed away after a long fight with cancer. He leaves behind his much loved wife Bex Marshall , the British blues musician and songwriter, and three children. He was 69. 

American mastering engineer Tom Coyne, who worked on recordings by Adele, Taylor Swift, Sam Smith, Kool & The Gang and many more, has passed away.

Joseph Rascoff, the co-founder of Rascoff Zysblat Organization (RZO) and business manager to The Rolling Stones, David Bowie, Paul Simon, U2, Sting, Shania Twain and David Byrne, has passed away aged 71. The news was announced by long-time business partner Bill Zysblat, with whom Rascoff founded RZO in 1987. He died “surrounded by family”.

Robert “P-Nut” Johnson has died. Johnson, whose voice drove forward Bootsy’s Rubber Band and later Parliament-Funkadelic, had been ill for some time. Johnson contributed to many classic releases such as 'Motor Booty Affair' and 'Gloryhallastoopid' both vocally and occasionally in production. He most recently participated in the surprisingly popular 2014 Funkadelic release, 'First Ya Gotta Shake The Gate'. "An extremely talented singer who brought many smiles to the funk nation".

The founder of the Roland electronic musical instrument company, Ikutaro Kakehashi, has died, aged 87. Under his direction, the company had a massive influence on electronic music through equipment such as the TR-808 drum machine and TB-303 bass synthesiser. Kakehashi was also the first person to propose the standardisation of protocols between electronic instruments, which became MIDI.

British Spotify executive Chris Bevington has been named as one of four people killed as a result of a terrorist attack in Stockholm. Bevington, 41, had worked at Spotify for the past five years, most recently serving as its Director of Global Partnerships/Business Development. The father-of-two, who previously worked at Warner Music Group, was based in the Swedish capital. Spotify's Daniel Ek said "There are no words for how missed he will be or for how sad we all are to have lost him like this". 

Radio 2 presenter Brian Matthew has died, aged 88, following a period of ill-health that brought to an end to his long career with the BBC station earlier this year. In a statement, Radio 2 head Lewis Carnie said: "Brian was one of this country's most popular and best-loved presenters, delighting millions of listeners with his memories and favourite tunes on 'Sounds Of The 60s' for 27 years. On behalf of everyone at Radio 2, we send love and our best wishes to his family at this difficult time".

Guitarist John Warren Geils Jr of The J. Geils Band has died aged 71.  The musician and founder of the band was found dead at his home in Groton, Massachusetts on Tuesday April 11th. The J. Geils Band had a number of hits across the 1980s, including 'Centerfold', 'Love Stinks' and 'Freeze-Frame'. His former bandmate Peter Wolf paid tribute on Facebook, writing: "Thinking of all the times we kicked it high and rocked down the house! R.I.P Jay Geils."


Global has hired Live Nation executive Debbie Ward following a string of festival acquisitions in the UK. Ward has been appointed Commercial Director, joining a seven-strong team that will develop strategic campaigns for brands across Global’s growing portfolio of events. Other new hires are brand partnership directors Wayne Mensah, who moved from youth entertainment channel The Hook, and Amy Oldham, who also joins from Live Nation. The team will also include a brand manager and three account managers.

United Talent Agency has hired agent David Klein, who leaves rival CAA after nearly 12 years.  Based in LA, Klein will become a member of UTA’s music leadership team. He’s tasked with expanding business in the music/touring space. At CAA, Klein worked with artistes includng  OneRepublic, Tori Kelly, Lana Del Rey, Gavin DeGraw, Dua Lipa and Hailee Steinfeld. Klein joins other recent hires Bex Majors, Billy Wood, Mike Guirguis, Greg Janese, Toni Wallace and Rob Walker at the diversified agency as it continues to expand its music team. He is tasked with growing UTA’s business “in the music/touring space”, says the agency.

Ticketmaster has announced a trio of new appointments for its UK sales team. Former DHP Family, AMG and Robomagic promoter Bonita McKinney has joined its London office as a sales executive. McKinney will support the ticketing needs of promoters, venues and festivals nationwide, providing solutions and enhancing their selling power across our numerous platforms. She joins alongside Holly Watson, who has worked in a wide variety of positions in large-scale events and festivals including the Isle of Wight Festival, London 2012 Olympics and Melbourne Grand Prix and will be tasked with ensuring Ticketmaster has the best deals and promotions available for a wide range of events. Finally Jason Boardman will be based at Ticketmaster's Manchester office  and wll focus on business development for TicketWeb in the North of England, He has been employed at Ticketmaster in various roles for the past 14 years with a background in the live events industry.

Fee Schlennstedt has been named Artribute's head of booking. The veteran of the German jazz scene has reappeared in a new role following her unexpected exit from Jazzclub Unterfahrt last year.

Max Lousada has been promoted at the Warner Music Group. Lousada, currently Chairman & CEO of Warner Music UK, is officially becoming CEO, Recorded Music for Warner Music Group from October 1.  And Warner Music Group has hired Michael Steele as Director of Playlist Programming and Curation. He previously worked at ad agency Pop2Life.

Cary Sherman, Chairman and CEO of the RIAA, has announced he will step down from the position in 2018. He will be replaced by Mitch Glazier, who becomes President.

Former Pandora and Sirius royalty rate lawyer Chris Harrison has been named CEO of the Digital Media Association (DiMA) — a trade body that lobbies on behalf of companies including Google, Amazon, Apple, Pandora and Spotify.

Arif Mahmud is joining Kobalt as Vice President, Business Affairs. Based in London, Mahmud will work with Kobalt’s management team in the expansion of Kobalt Music Recordings’ and AWAL’s (Kobalt’s streaming label for independent artists) business and client base in all regions outside the U.S.

And Kobalt has hired Alison Donald as Head of Creative, UK - a role which will see her leading A&R activities in London across both publishing and recordings.

British entertainment solicitor Tony Morris has left Marriott Harrison after 22 years to join rival Swan Turton, where Pete Bott has just been promoted.

MBW reports that one of Universal Music Group's most respected and senior legal figures, Richard Constant, is retiring after more than 35 years in the biz. 

Jack Stephens has joined Spotify as Creator Partnerships Manager. Working from the streaming company’s London HQ, Stephens will report into Shane Tobin – Spotify’s Head of Creator Insights and Activations.

F Block Music Publishing has appointed former Warner/Chappell A&R Ryan Farley, who signed Madeon and Starsmith, to the newly-created position of Head of A&R.
Blair McDonald is leaving Nettwerk Music Group little over 12 years after joining the independent company, MBW has discovered. McDonald, most recently MD of Nettwerk in the UK and Europe, was hired by the business in late 2004 to establish and develop its publishing company, then named Nettwerk One Music.

Downtown Music Publishing's Roberto Neri and Carlin Music's Peter Thomas have been elected to the Board of independent publishers' commercial group IMPEL.

Rob Stringer has made his first major appointment since becoming Sony Music CEO, naming Republic veteran Tom Mackay as President, Film & TV A&R.

Carmine Coppola has been named Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Sony Music Entertainment. Based in New York, he will report to Kevin Kelleher, Sony Music's Chief Operating Officer.

Sony/ATV Music Publishing has promoted Guy Henderson to President of International. The exec moves up from his previous role as EVP of International. 

Rostrum Records has named Nicole Plantin as Vice President, A&R. Plantin has spent nearly three years at Rostrum as Senior Director, Management and A&R.

Helen Alexander, most recently Director Of Operations And Business Development at Warner Bros, is Merlin's new Finance Director. She will report into Merlin chief Charles Caldas and will oversee the agency's finance, royalty and operations functions, and lead on further development work to increase the efficiencies of the organisation.

Lukasz 'Dr Luke' Gottwald is no longer running Kemosabe Records, the JV he set up with Sony in 2011. A page devoted to him on Sony's site has been taken down.

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

IFPI - Global Recorded Music Revenues Increased by 5.9% in 2016

The global recorded music market grew by 5.9% in 2016, the highest rate since IFPI began tracking the market in 1997, according to the IFPI Global Music Report 2017, released today.  Total revenues for 2016 were US$15.7 billion. 

At the end of 2016 there were 112 million users of paid music streaming subscriptions driving year-on-year streaming revenue growth of 60.4%. Digital income last year accounted for half the global recorded music industry’s annual revenue for the first time. Growth in streaming more than offset a 20.5% decline in downloads and a 7.6% decline in physical revenue.

Streaming is helping drive growth in developing music markets, with China (+20.3%), India (+26.2%) and Mexico (+23.6%) seeing strong revenue growth.

Key figures:

- Global revenue growth: +5.9%
- Digital share of global revenues: 50%
- Digital revenue growth: +17.7%
- Growth in streaming revenues: +60.4%
- Physical revenues: -7.6%

- Download revenue: -20.5%

But say the IFPI, the 'value gap' (the growing mismatch between the value that user upload services, such as YouTube, extract from music, and the revenue returned to those who are creating and investing in music) is the biggest threat to the future sustainability of the music industry.

IFPI Global Music Report 2017

Thursday, 20 April 2017

Mysteryland US cancelled

The US  edition of Mysteryland has just been cancelled. A statement on the Lifestyle promoted event's website reads: "Dear Nomads", Due to unforeseen circumstances, Mysteryland USA will no longer take place in 2017. Since 2014, we have strived to produce the best possible experience for our festival attendees, and are truly humbled by all of the love and support that you, the artists, the beautiful venue of Bethel Woods Center For The Arts and the town of Bethel have shown us as we celebrated life through music, culture and art". The 2017 event was due to take place in July, headlined by LCD Soundsystem, Major Lazer and G-Eazy. 

Friday, 31 March 2017

USA recorded music sales up as streaming soars

The USA, the world's largest recorded music market, saw double digit revenue growth in 2016. US recorded music sales last year were up 11.4% to $7.7 billion, fuelled by the streaming boom. The American streaming market grew 68% last year, and streaming services brought in marginally more cash than downloads, CDs and vinyl combined, with subscription streaming driving the growth, as revenues more than doubled year-on-year in 2016, while income from the ad-funded on-demand platforms like YouTube and Spotify Free were up 26%.

Safe As Milk cancels at the last minute

North Wales-based Safe As Milk festival, scheduled for the 21-23 April,  has been cancelled and the company behind the event has gone into administration due to poor ticket sales. The event was a partnership between Newcastle's Tusk Music and Alt.vinyl. Artists set to perform included The Butthole Surfers, Jeff Mills & Tony Allen, Omar Souleyman, Actress, Anna Meredith, Demdike Stare and The Residents.

A statement from the organisers read: "We are very sorry to announce that we have had to take the decision to cancel Safe As Milk Festival. Despite the widespread excitement about the event, we're sorry to report that ticket sales have not reached a level to make the event viable so, despite our best efforts, we have no other option but to cancel".

A creditors meeting is set for the 25 April

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

China's Music licensing revenues increase - but still low by international standards

According to the statistics released by the Music Copyright Society of China (MCSC), music industry licensing revenue amounted to RMB184 million (approx. £21 million) in 2016, an increase of 8.2% from last year. Digital licensing accounted for most of the growth and now represents 37% of the total. Revenues from broadcasting and public performances dipped. Music licensing revenues in China remain low by global standards. Draft amendments to the Chinese Copyright Law may help, with proposals for new statutory rights for sound recordings. In November 2016 the UK-China Economic and Financial Dialogue (EFD) including a commitment that “China will urge copyright owners and broadcasters to timely perform their respective obligations in accordance with the Interim Measures for Payment of Remuneration by Radio and Television Stations for Broadcasting Sound Recordings”. More here (in Chinese) and here (in English).

And in Kenya, The Music Copyright Society of Kenya has lost the licence to collect music royalties. The moved followed the decision by the board of directors of Kenya Copyright Board to approve the licensing of a new body, Music Publishers Association of Kenya Limited, to collect royalties on behalf of authors, composers and publishers from March 2017 to February 2018, effective immediately. The decision was made after the new association satisfied the requirements of Section 46 of the Copyright Act, 2001, and Regulation 15 and 16 of the Copyright Regulations 2004. The embattled MCSK will have to wait for a year to apply for new license. The organisation has been embroiled in controversy, with many artistes accusing the society of failing to distribute collected revenues and corruption over many years.

Thursday, 16 March 2017


Jason Carter, architect of the influential BBC Introducing platform for new artists, has announced his departure from the BBC after 20 years – and MBW reports that Carter will hold a senior position at Amazon, with Carter becoming Director of a new initiative at the company.

Michael Coppel has been named chairman of Live Nation of Australia and New Zealand.

Coppel, who sold his Michael Coppel Presents business to Live Nation in April 2012, was formerly Live Nation Australasia’s president and CEO, overseeing the company’s acquisition of Splendour promoter Secret Sounds and the lease on Melbourne’s Palais Theatre.

United Talent Agency (UTA) has hired Mike “Mike G” Guirguis, Bex Majors, and Billy Wood as agents. The announcement complements UTA’s appointment of Greg Janese to lead the agency’s corporate and special events division, along with the recent announcements of Rob Walker as a music agent and Toni Wallace as head of Music Brand Partnerships.

The UK’s Association of Independent Music (AIM) has appointed Gee ‘Genia’ Davy as in-house Legal and Business Affairs Manager. Davy joins AIM from her previous position as Legal and Business Affair Manager at Cooking Vinyl.

German promoter Wizard Promotions is now being led by the son of its founder, Oliver Hoppe, as sole MD. Dad Ossy Hoppe will continue to advise the company.

Ninja Tune has brought two new people into its sync department, Isobel Palos and Rob Buckley. Palos, formerly Head Of Film & TV at Beggars, will take up the same role at Ninja and its publishing division Just Isn't Music, with the addition of advertising to her remit. Meanwhile Buckley joins from Pitch & Sync to head up the Bespoke department, working with the label and publisher's artists and composers on specific commissions.

Amazon has also hired music industry veteran Alex Luke to join its Amazon Music team. Luke is hired in a newly created leadership position, Global Head of Programming & Content Strategy, reporting directly to Steve Boom, VP of Amazon Music. Prior to Amazon, Luke was a founding member of the Silicon Valley-based venture capital firm, The Valley Fund, managing developing investments in digital media and entertainment.

SoundCloud has parted ways with its COO Marc Strigel and Finance Director Markus Harder. The news comes five weeks after the Berlin-based company filed a fiscal report for 2015 showing annual revenues up 21.6% to €21.1m ($22m), but net losses accelerating 30.9% to €51.22m ($52m).

Subsequent to the news that global licensing head Francis Keeling was out at Spotify after just nine months, one of Spotify’s longest-serving executives, lawyer Petra Hansson, has quit the company. One of the most senior legal figures at Spotify worldwide, Hansson has worked at the business’s Stockholm HQ for a decade. She was headhunted from leading Swedish law firm Mannheimer Swartling in 2007. Hansson and Keeling are the latest high-profile executives to exit Spotify in a year that  has seen a string of senior departures. They have included Chief Revenue Officer Jeff Levick, content chief Ken Parks, EMEA sales boss Jonathan Forster and label relations head Steve Savoca. Spotify UK's head of consumer marketing, ex-Columbia and V2 exec Karen Staughton, is also leaving the company this month for a new position overseas.

Silvia Montello has joined Kobalt Music Recordings as SVP, Supply Chain and Client Services. Meanwhile, Pete Dodge leaves the company after 5 years.

Twickenham Stadium has appointed Mark Lynch as its new venue director, He joins from Abu Dhabi's Yas Marna Grand Prix Circuit where he was operations director.  The stadium has a capacuty of 55,000.

Aisla Oliver and Jen Mitchell have been appointed general managers at the SMG operated Metroi Radio Arena in Leeds. Oliver has been deputy GM at the Atreena for 4 years and Mitchell joins from the Kings Place complex in London.  

Universal Music Publishing Group (UMPG) has appointed Walter Jones as VP Creative. Reporting to David Gray, UMPG EVP/Head of West Coast A&R, Jones will relocate to Los Angeles. The respected exec moves across from his previous role as Sony/ATV’s Vice President of Urban A&R.

Vevo has appointed Will Jackson to the newly created role of SVP of Strategy and Operations. He joins after nearly three years at Pandora

SoundCloud has appointed Merritt Farren as its new General Counsel.. Farren’s appointment succeeds former General Counsel Neil Miller, who left the company earlier this year after six years in the role, for a position at JAG Shaw Baker. 

Warner Music Finland has promoted Mark Fry to the position of Managing Director. The move comes as his predecessor - Niko Nordström - moves to head up Warner Music Australasia. In his new role, Fry will report to Jonas Siljemark, President, Warner Music Nordics. Fry will assume the role after serving as General Manager and Marketing Director of Warner Music Finland.

Jackson Wong has been appointed as Managing Director of Warner Music China.
He joins Warner Music Group (WMG) from film production and distribution company Oriental DreamWorks. In his new role, Wong will be based in Beijing and report to Sam Chen, WMG’s CEO of Greater China.

Australia-born independent music company Mushroom Group has promoted Chris Maund to the newly created role of Chief Operating Officer. Maund was previously Managing Director of Mushroom label Ivy League Records, as well as Director of Legal & Business Affairs for the Mushroom Group.

First Access Entertainment has named former Ultra Records A&R Oscar Scivier Vice President of A&R. In his new role, Scivier will be based between New York and Los Angeles, working across the company’s existing roster to develop music releases and sign new talent.

Independent publisher Imagem has appointed artist manager Sara Lord as Global Head of Creative Services. In her new role, she will oversee sync and market copyrights.

Tunecore Chief Creative Officer Joe Cuello has exited the distributor to become General Manager of mobile app company EscapeX. EscapeX provides creators with tools to monetise social media through advertising, subscriptions, and a patented virtual currency.

Former BMI exec Richard Conlon has joined SoundExchange as Chief External Affairs Officer. In his new role, Conlon will oversee the digital PRO’s corporate communications, industry relations and public policy efforts.

Big Machine Label Group has hired Kris Lamb, who joins from sister label Dot Records, as VP of Promotion.  Lamb replaces Big Machine’s SVP of Promotion Jack Purcell, who is understood to have left Scott Borchetta’s label after more than a decade.  And Big Machine has promoted Matthew Hargis to SVP, Promotion for BMLG Records.