WEDNESDAY 3 MAY 2017 COMPLETEMUSICUPDATE.COM
TODAY'S TOP STORY: The Ja Rule-backed Fyre Festival may have been a traumatic experience for those who attended, but it's proving to be the most entertaining of events for everyone else. And it could all prove pretty lucrative for the lawyers too, as a second class action in relation to the aborted island extravaganza was filed yesterday... [READ MORE]
TODAY'S CMU APPROVED: Following the release of Archivist's debut EP in 2013, songwriter Ed Begley returned last year with the first of a series of singles from new EP 'Memo'. Joined by a newly expanded band featuring musicians who have previously performed with Blur, Questlove, The Invisible and Ghostpoet, among others, the melancholic mood of those earlier songs is transported into a punchier, more electronic sound. [READ MORE]
 
LATEST CMU PODCAST: CMU's Andy Malt and Chris Cooke review key events in music and the music business from the last week, including the latest stats from the IFPI that reveal that global record industry revenues grew 5.9% in 2016 (despite flippin YouTube), and how new legislation to combat ticket touting just skated into UK law before Parliament broke up for a pointless election. The CMU Podcast is sponsored by 7digital. [READ MORE]
 
LATEST CMU TRENDS: The International Federation Of The Phonographic Industry last week published its annual stats report, rounding up the financial performance of the global record industry in 2016. Revenues were up 5.9% worldwide, fuelled by the streaming boom. Reviewing the figures, CMU Trends provides three reasons to be optimistic, and three reasons for pessimism. CMU Trends articles are available to premium subscribers. [READ MORE]
TOP STORIES Second class action filed over Ja Rule's Fyre Festival
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LEGAL The Eagles sue Hotel California
Australian courts block various Kickass-linked piracy sites
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DEALS Becky Hill signs to Sony/ATV
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INDUSTRY PEOPLE New President at Entertainment Agents' Association
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ARTIST NEWS Grandaddy bassist Kevin Garcia dies
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RELEASES Harry Styles releases campfire song Sweet Creature
Radiohead announce 20th anniversary OK Computer reissue
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ONE LINERS Kele Okereke, Thea Gilmore, Boy Better Know, more
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AND FINALLY... Gary Lineker denies Glastonbury crisp copulation claim
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Second class action filed over Ja Rule's Fyre Festival
The Ja Rule-backed Fyre Festival may have been a traumatic experience for those who attended, but it's proving to be the most entertaining of events for everyone else. And it could all prove pretty lucrative for the lawyers too, as a second class action in relation to the aborted island extravaganza was filed yesterday.

As previously reported, the Fyre Festival, due to take place on the island of Great Exuma in the Bahamas, was promoted as a luxury experience with tickets priced at up to $12,000.

The brainchild of Ja Rule and computer programmer Billy McFarland, and promoted by an assortment of influencers on the social networks, Fyre was an ambitious endeavour that crashed spectacularly. As soon as festival-goers started arriving, it became clear organisers hadn't managed to build the required infrastructure for a basic music festival, let alone the luxury experience that had been sold to ticket-buyers.

The whole thing quickly became a PR disaster as early arrivals to the festival island started posting a steady stream of photos of the unfolding shambles to the same social networks that had been so deftly employed to promote the event. Meanwhile others stuck on aeroplanes that had been chartered by Fyre Media to get festival-goers to Great Exuma, but which were going nowhere, posted footage of airline staff announcing that the party was off.

Press statements were quickly issued apologising profusely for the debacle but promising that Fyre Festival 2018 would deliver the goods, while the tourist board for the Bahamas hit out at the negative portrayal of Great Exuma as some sort of remote hell hole surrounded by shark infested waters.

Celebrity lawyer Mark Geragos was the first to chase the metaphorical ambulance seen speeding away from Great Exuma, quickly filing a lawsuit on behalf of one festival-goer seeking $5 million in damages for "alleged fraud, breach of contract, breach of covenant of good faith and negligent misrepresentation". It's a class action that Geragos reckons could ultimately involve over 150 people and seek a minimum of $100 million in damages.

A second class action was filed in relation to the event in the LA County Superior Court yesterday, with John Girardi representing Chelsea Chinery, Shannon McAuliffe and Desiree Flores. This case accuses the Fyre Festival of breach of contract, negligent misrepresentation and fraud, and hits out at the way the event was marketed in addition to the shitstorm that occurred once festival-goers arrived on site.

Girardi's lawsuit alleges that, not only did so called social media influencers make promises about the Fyre Festival that organisers were in no position to deliver on, but they didn't declare that they were being paid to big up the event, breaching FTC rules. Says the legal papers, according to The Hollywood Reporter, "social media 'influencers' made no attempt to disclose to consumers that they were being compensated for promoting the Fyre Festival".

Anyone who bought tickets to the Fyre Festival is invited to join Girardi's class action, with the class being split into three groups: those who spent money on tickets but didn't actually depart for the festival before it crashed and burned; those who got stuck on aeroplanes destined for the event; and those who actually spent some time on Great Exuma.

Quite how lucrative all this litigation turns out to be presumably depends on whether the courts allow plaintiffs to go after Ja Rule and Billy McFarlane personally, in addition to the Fyre Media company which you have to think is unlikely to survive the fall out of the aborted event. Both class actions currently name the rapper and the computer programmer as co-defendants.

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The Eagles sue Hotel California
You might just think that 'Hotel California' is a song written by The Eagles, or maybe an album released by The Eagles, but you'd be wrong. It is, of course, the "essence of the band itself", and you really all ought to take note of that fact. Especially if you're running a hotel called Hotel California.

The Eagles are suing the owners of a Mexican hotel that goes by the name Hotel California, because - please remember - the name Hotel California is not just an Eagles song, or an Eagles album, but the "essence of the band itself". And those Hotel California fuckers can stop fucking with the Eagles' very essence itself, thank you very much.

To be fair to Don Henley et al, the band have seemingly gone legal over the bricks and mortar Hotel California because its owners rely heavily on the band's hit in their marketing. Said marketing implies to potential customers that the building is "associated with the Eagles and, among other things, served as the inspiration for the lyrics in 'Hotel California'", both of which are false, according to the band's lawsuit.

The decision by Hotel California Baja LLC to try to register the trademark 'Hotel California' in the US also likely prompted the band's litigation.

The hotel in question was actually originally called Hotel California when it opened in 1950, 26 years before The Eagles released their song of that name. But it then changed its name a number of times during the latter half of the 20th century before a Canadian couple bought it in 2001 and restored the Hotel California brand.

According to the legal claim, the hotel now regularly pipes 'Hotel California' and other Eagles tracks into its public areas while selling t-shits describing the building as being "legendary", all of which - The Eagles reckon - is part of ploy to convince punters it has some sort of link to the band and their song.

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Australian courts block various Kickass-linked piracy sites
After Australian copyright law was changed in 2015 to allow web-blocking for the first time, the movie industry decided to seek a web-block injunction against old favourite The Pirate Bay, while the local music business picked the then leading piracy hub KickassTorrents as its for first target for a web blockade.

Then the bloody US authorities shut KAT down and had the Polish authorities arrested the man behind it, meaning the record companies were now asking the courts for an injunction forcing Australian internet service providers to block access to a non-existent website.

However, keen to proceed, the labels altered their web-block application to cover various spin-off sites that emerged following the shutdown of KAT, and various other piracy set ups that exploited the Kickass brand. Australia's Federal Court has now granted that injunction, ordering 20 Australian net firms to block a number of KAT-related sites.

Web-blocking, of course, is a preferred anti-piracy tactic for the entertainment industry in those countries were it is available as on option.

It's generally quite easy to circumvent the blockades and access blocked websites with a simple Google search, though the music and movie industries reckon web-blocking still performs a useful deterrent and educational tool in the fight against online copyright infringement.

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Becky Hill signs to Sony/ATV
Becky Hill has done a new worldwide publishing deal around her songs with Sony/ATV, bringing her back in partnership with a major, after taking the recordings side of her music independent last year following an alliance with Warner's Parlophone label.

Guy Moot, in his dual UK and global roles at Sony/ATV, says: "We have admired Becky's talent for some time as an artist and writer. We are THRILLED we could make a deal and finally join Becky on this journey with her and her manager Alex".

Sony/ATV UK's Head Of A&R David Ventura adds: "I have always been in love with Becky's music - she is a true songwriter and her voice is unique and exceptional. We have been trying to work with her for a long time and I can say that we are all THRILLED here at Sony/ATV to be part of her adventure. Her new music is fantastic with an international appeal".

Becky Hill's manager Alex Martin adds: "Becky has an incredibly exciting career ahead of her - we have only seen a fraction of what she has to offer. David and the whole team at Sony/ATV showed incredible passion and desire to work with Becky and we are excited to work with Guy, David and the whole Sony/ATV team in taking Becky to the next stage of her career".

But what does Hill herself think? Well, she says: "I'm so happy to be a part of the Sony/ATV team. Their enthusiasm and confidence in me over the years could not be matched by anyone else. I'm glad to have a strong group of people behind me with a strong belief that I can progress and improve in the job I adore".

So, the team are 50% THRILLED, 25% excited and 25% so happy. Good balance, but could probably do with a delighted. You can expect new material from Hill later this year, plus some of those tour dates people are always talking about these days.

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New President at Entertainment Agents' Association
The UK's Agents' Association has a new President and a new name. The new President is Neil Tomlinson, director of Sheffield-based The Act Store. The new name is the Entertainment Agents' Association, which is actually its old name, with the word 'entertainment' returning to reflect the trade body's representation of "reputable agents from all walks of the entertainment industry".

The rebrand also comes amidst plans to increase the profile of the trade group for booking agents, both in political circles and within the music community. According to IQ, new President Tomlinson says: "This is an exciting time to take on the role of president as we focus on moving the Entertainment Agents' Association forward to play a more visible role in lobbing government, identifying new entertainment trends and anticipating any potential barriers to trade for the benefit of our members".

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Approved: Archivist
Following the release of Archivist's debut EP in 2013, songwriter Ed Begley returned last year with the first of a series of singles from new EP 'Memo'. That EP is now due out next week.

Joined by a newly expanded band featuring musicians who have previously performed with Blur, Questlove, The Invisible and Ghostpoet, among others, the melancholic mood of those earlier songs is transported into a punchier, more electronic sound.

The new music was written in an abandoned school, which Begley at the time called home, and which serves as the setting for the video for new single 'Wild Hope'.

"I was living in this crumbling old school in Deptford, without any heating or creature comforts - save the mice - just writing the record", says Begley. "It was quite grim at times, but at the same time I found hope there. I wanted to capture the idea that hope can be found in the darkest and seemingly most hopeless of places or situations if it needs to be".

As intended, 'Wild Hope' spins the dark mood set out by the music into positivity, if you care to look for it. Catch that in a live setting at Rich Mix in London on 16 May and watch the video for the new single here.

Stay up to date with all of the artists featured in the CMU Approved column by subscribing to our Spotify playlist.

Grandaddy bassist Kevin Garcia dies
Grandaddy bassist Kevin Garcia has died, a day after having a stroke. He was 41. Garcia was hospitalised on Monday, according to a GoFundMe page set up to raise money for his medical costs, but died yesterday.

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".

They continued: "Kevin started playing with Grandaddy when he was fifteen. He was an actual angel. He navigated life with a grace, a generosity and a kindness that was utterly unique. And contagious. He is loved so deeply by so many".

Grandaddy released their fifth album - their first since reuniting in 2012 - in March this year, and have been performing in support of the record. Their next scheduled show is on 8 May in Seattle, although it is not yet clear if this will go ahead. European shows, including a performance at Latitude Festival in the UK, are set for July.

A founder member of Grandaddy with vocalist Jason Lytle and drummer Aaron Burtch in 1992, Garcia is survived by his two children, his parents, grandmother, two brothers and his wife.

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Harry Styles releases campfire song Sweet Creature
Harry Styles has dumped a new single on the world, ahead of the release of his debut solo album next week. Titled 'Sweet Creature', it's all acoustic and that.

The song was co-written by Styles with Tom Hull, aka Kid Harpoon, with additional production from Jeff Bhasker, Alex Salibian and Tyler Johnson. Not really sure why four people were needed to produce a recording that's just vocals, guitar and a few harmonies, but hey, I'm sure it would have been very different without all of them.

Listen to 'Sweet Creature' here.

By the way, tickets for Styles' autumn tour go on sale this Friday. The UK dates on said tour are as follows:

29 Oct: London, Hammersmith Apollo
30 Oct: London, Hammersmith Apollo
1 Nov: Manchester, Apollo
2 Nov: Glasgow, Armadillo

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Radiohead announce 20th anniversary OK Computer reissue
As had been speculated about widely by fans for literally a period of time, Radiohead have confirmed a reissue of their 'OK Computer' album to mark its 20th anniversary.

Actually, the news of a mere remastered version of the album featuring a load of b-sides and a few previously unreleased tracks probably doesn't match the fever pitch that had been reached with all the speculation over what the band were about to announce. But still, it'll be a nice thing to re-buy, if you can be bothered.

The new edition, titled 'OKNOTOK 1997-2017', will include all of the b-sides from the various 'OK Computer' singles, plus three tracks previously lost in a cupboard: 'I Promise', 'Lift', and 'Man Of War'. That'll be out on 23 Jun.

As well as that, there'll be a big box set shipped out in July that features the album on vinyl, plus a load of other stuff, like artwork and a reproduction of Thom Yorke's notes from the original recording sessions.

Check out all the stuff and pre-order what you want at this website here.

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Kele Okereke, Thea Gilmore, Boy Better Know, more

Other notable announcements and developments today...

• Kele Okereke has released a new song, 'Yemaya'. He'll also play St Pancras Old Church on 22 May.

• Thea Gilmore will release new album, 'The Counterweight', on 2 Jun. New single 'New' is newly out now.

• Patten will release a new EP, 'Requiem', through Warp on 12 May. From it, this is 'Amulet'.

• Estrons have released new single 'Strobe Lights'. "'Strobe Lights' is about the competition between love and jealousy - and the fallout when one defeats the other", says vocalist Taliesyn Källström. "We sometimes do crazy things to test our love for one another, no matter how nihilistic".

• MJ Hibbett & The Validators have put together a new greatest hits playlist on Spotify, hoping to attract The Kids into listening to their music. "Hopefully if enough Young People get to like us one of them will come round and show me how to reset the clock on the cooker", says Hibbett. "I just can't work it out".

• Boy Better Know will be taking over the whole O2 Dome complex on 27 Aug. Register to get tickets here.

• Feist has announced two shows at Shepherds Bush Empire in London on 27-28 Jul. Tickets go on sale on Friday.

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Gary Lineker denies Glastonbury crisp copulation claim
Gary Lineker's attempting to worm his way out of claims that he regularly has intercourse with crisps. This despite him admitting to it at least twice last year.

With the biased mainstream media refusing to take up the story, all this was first brought to light on one of the many flags blocking the view of the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury back in 2014. "Gary Lineker shags crisps", it said.

In an interview in the new issue of OK! Magazine, Lineker tried to play down the rumours, saying: "There was a big banner at Glastonbury once saying, 'Gary Lineker shags crisps. But I honestly don't".

What is it they say about protesting too much? "They would just crumble anyway", he added, letting a glint of the truth shine through.

The story died out somewhat after the Glastonbury revelation, but was revived again last year when an unflinching citizen journalist had 'Gary Lineker shags crisps' tattooed on his arse. The viral story went that this was done while the man was drunk, but I think we all know that detail was added simply to add an extra frisson to the tale.

Lineker responded to the story at the time by saying "I'm not sure it's even possible. Goodness knows, I've tried!" This fits with a tweet some months earlier, when he said: "I really don't. Tried a couple of times but they just break".

Just because you were unsuccessful, doesn't mean you didn't do it, Gary. I mean, just because Maroon 5 are yet to write a good song doesn't mean they aren't songwriters.

Anyway, the world will be watching the flags of Glastonbury closely next month too see what new revelations come to light. And also because all those flags are in the fucking way.

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ANDY MALT | Editor
Andy heads up the team, overseeing the CMU bulletins and website, coordinating features and interviews, reporting on artist and business stories, and contributing to the CMU Approved column.
Email andy@unlimitedmedia.co.uk (except press releases, see below)
   
CHRIS COOKE | MD & Business Editor
Chris provides music business coverage and analysis. Chris also leads the CMU Insights training and consultancy business and education programme CMU:DIY, and heads up CMU publisher 3CM UnLimited.
Email chris@unlimitedmedia.co.uk (except press releases, see below)
   
SAM TAYLOR | Commercial Manager & Insights Associate
Sam oversees the commercial side of the CMU media, leading on sales and sponsorship, and advising on CMU Insights training courses and events.
Email sam@unlimitedmedia.co.uk or call 020 7099 9060
   
CARO MOSES | Co-Publisher
Caro helps oversee the CMU media, while as a Director of 3CM UnLimited she heads up the company's other two titles ThisWeek London and ThreeWeeks Edinburgh, and supports other parts of the business.
Email caro@unlimitedmedia.co.uk
 
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