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.

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