THURSDAY 11 MAY 2017 COMPLETEMUSICUPDATE.COM
TODAY'S TOP STORY: The litigation has been mounting ever since the Ja Rule-backed Fyre Festival in the Bahamas collapsed into chaos just as it was about to kick off. The latest class action against the event's organisers, published by Pitchfork, has been filed in the New York courts and, in addition to the breach of contract and misrep allegations made in the other lawsuits, also lists alleged violations of New York State's business laws. Oh yes, and the "unjust enrichment"... [READ MORE]
TODAY'S CMU APPROVED: Having produced music as Illreme for over a decade, and acted as one third of hip hop outfit Baleine 3000, Jun Kamoda released an EP 'Clay', under his own name last year through New York's Mister Saturday Night Records. Now he's set to put out his first release for UK label Black Acre, 'Blind Disco'. [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 spectacular collapse of Ja Rule's Fyre Festival and the many-layered fallout from it, Eminem's song-theft lawsuit against New Zealand's ruling National Party getting to court, and the launch of the CMU Insights @ The Great Escape programme. 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 "Unjust enrichment" included in Fyre Festival lawsuit seven
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DEALS Amanda Mair signs to Despotz
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LIVE BUSINESS Ticketmaster launches Front Gate Tickets in the UK
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DIGITAL & D2F SERVICES eMusic announces relaunch
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THE GREAT ESCAPE CMU@TGE Top Ten Questions: What are the pros and cons of direct licensing your performing rights in live?
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RELEASES The National announce new album and UK tour
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GIGS & FESTIVALS London Grammar announce UK tour
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AWARDS Oram Awards to recognise female innovators in sound
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ONE LINERS Warner Music, Ellen Allien, Swet Shop Boys, more
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AND FINALLY... UK Eurovision singer not worried about Brexit backlash
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MEXICAN SUMMER/ANTHOLOGY - JUNIOR PROJECT MANAGER (LONDON)
Mexican Summer and Anthology are looking for a junior project manager for our London based office to assist the Director of International Marketing.

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TICKET ARENA/EVENT GENIUS - CLIENT SERVICES MANAGER (LEEDS)
Ticket Arena is looking for an experienced Client Services Director to oversee our organisation’s ongoing operations and procedures. You will be a key member of the companies leadership responsible for the efficiency and progress of the business.

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KILIMANJARO LIVE - VIP SALES & EVENTS MANAGER (LONDON)
Promoter Kilimanjaro Live is looking to recruit a Sales and Event Manager to oversee its in house VIP packages. We are looking for a manager to help drive sales, develop proposals and oversee the running of hospitality packages at our events.

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4AD - JUNIOR DIGITAL ASSET MANAGER (LONDON)
4AD is seeking a junior to oversee management of digital assets, social media, and general label coordination across departments, reporting to the Label Manager.

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"Unjust enrichment" included in Fyre Festival lawsuit seven
You know what it's like, you sit down to write your lawsuit against Ja Rule and his best bud Billy McFarland over the whole Fyre Festival debacle, all ready to talk "breach of contract" and "negligent misrepresentation", and then - with that disastrous luxury island party on your mind - you suddenly have a yearning for a mediocre cheese sandwich. But when you return from the kitchen, six other people have got their litigation already filed. How the hell do you make your lawsuit stand out? What've you got that's in anyway original? I know, "unjust enrichment". Boom, sorted! Yes, Fyre Festival lawsuit number seven has been filed.

The litigation has been mounting ever since the Ja Rule-backed luxury festival in the Bahamas collapsed into chaos just as it was about to kick off. The latest class action against the event's organisers, published by Pitchfork, has been filed in the New York courts and, in addition to the breach of contract and misrep allegations made in the other lawsuits, also lists alleged violations of New York State's business laws. Oh yes, and the "unjust enrichment".

A stand-out allegation in the new lawsuit, filed on behalf of ticketholders Sean Daly and Edward Ivey, is that the Fyre Festival continued to encourage its rich kid punters to upgrade to VIP packages and to put more money onto their Fyre Bands, a cashless payment system, even after it had become clear to management that the event wasn't going to go ahead. The new legal filing also reckons that artists and certain key employees were told the event was being cancelled before thousands of uninformed festival-goers set off for the island of Great Exuma.

The new legal filing also lists five promises that it says Fyre Festival communications made that were, it argues, untrue. This includes that the event would take place on a private island; that the island was previously owned by infamous drug lord Pablo Escobar; that food and beverages would be provided, including VIP food packages and upgrades; that the living quarters would be fully furnished permanent structures; and that the event would be attended by celebrities and that top-level musical talent would be performing. It's not clear if, on that last point, the lawyers are pointing out that no artists showed up, or whether they are questioning whether or not the acts that had been booked to play were "top-level".

A number of the lawsuits already filed in relation to the Fyre Festival have been class actions open to any ticketholders to join. Which means yet more stress for all those Fyre punters: which class action to join? A colleague of celebrity lawyer Mark Geragos who filed the first lawsuit has said 300 ticketholders have now signed up to join that class, though that might actually mean even more people as there were multi-person tickets on sale. The Daly/Ivey-led class action is late to the party but, hey, it's got "unjust enrichment" on its list of claims. Good times.

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Amanda Mair signs to Despotz
Amanda Mair has signed a new record deal with Despotz Records, meaning she can finally get on with following up last year's standalone single, 'Wednesday'.

"After plenty of meetings with Amanda Mair through the past year we definitely feel like we've found each other", says Despotz's Carl-Marcus Gidlöf. "Amanda's got just what we're looking for in an artist and the new material has both a commercial sound and a darker twist that really suits the Despotz family. We'll be able to build something big here with our international network and strong presence on the digital and physical market. We at Despotz Records are very happy that Amanda has chosen to include us in her team".

Mair adds: "After doing a lot of work myself for a while it feels great to start working with such a good team as Despotz Records to back me up. They're very aware about the personal creative expression and I'm so excited to get my music out and start building it together with Despotz. And above all, to meet you listeners and audience!"

The label plans to release a handful of singles and an EP later this year, while Mair gets to work on new material for release in 2018.

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Ticketmaster launches Front Gate Tickets in the UK
Ticketmaster has launched its white label festival ticketing platform Front Gate Tickets in the UK.

Previously co-owned by AEG and C3 Presents, Front Gate was acquired by Ticketmaster in 2015, after parent company Live Nation took a controlling stake in C3. The ticketing firm has continued to operate as a standalone operation under both ownerships Stateside, and now begins its expansion out of the US, where it already provides ticketing technology to numerous festivals.

"The UK is known for its rich and diverse music scene, and we are THRILLED to be announcing the launch of Front Gate Tickets in such an important market for our business", says Sarah Slater, Director Of Business For Music at Ticketmaster. "It's important to have the right ticketing platform for the right client - and with Front Gate tailored specifically to festivals, welcoming them to the Ticketmaster family was an easy decision. With the success it's had in North America we are confident our customers will enjoy the Front Gate experience, and our clients will view this as an opportunity to reach a wider audience".

Front Gate President Maura Gibson adds: "Front Gate is overjoyed to expand into the UK market. We couldn't be happier to bring our services to some of the most established festivals in the world and to offer technology which allows the reduction of friction and enhancement of the fan experience".

Live Nation's Latitude will be the first UK festival to use the system.

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eMusic announces relaunch
Digital music service eMusic has announced a big revamp, which also serves as a handy reminder that eMusic is still a thing.

The early-days subscription download service originally sold itself as an indie music-only platform, where by charging a monthly subscription it was able to sell downloads cheaper than elsewhere. But things started to unravel when the majors came on board, forcing a new pricing structure on the service. Pre-empting this move, several larger indies, including Beggars and Domino, pulled their catalogues.

eMusic then went through various changes, in a bid to revive the download service, which by then was also seeing its subscribers shift over to the streaming platforms. It eventually merged with an ebook company, before being sold to digital locker service TriPlay in 2015.

Although the relaunched version of eMusic is being touted as a major revamp, it's more a case of the company getting back to its roots. Ownership of music purchased through the site is being pushed as a major selling point, and it has returned to a focus on independent music. Users will now also be able to stream the music they buy, thanks to TriPlay's existing technology.

"TriPlay's cloud platform and application development expertise enabled eMusic to evolve from a beloved, discount music outlet to a true value-add digital music service with features and applications focused on super-serving the serious music collector", says TriPlay CEO Tamir Koch. "The music collector market remains strong and we now offer a holistic music service with multiple value propositions that benefit the user as well as the artist, with a business model that ensures artists receive fair pay for their hard work and creativity, while enabling the company to be profitable".

He continues: "The all-new eMusic appeals to passionate, knowledgeable music fans who are driven by discovery and take great pride in their music collections. eMusic members have spent countless hours growing and curating their private music libraries and see value in the power of their personal cloud through eMusic. In fact, when eMusic members listen to music, 80% of the time they are listening to their own music collections. We are proud to give our members an easy, convenient and affordable platform that allows them to expand their collections and access their music form anywhere - all at a very fair price".

Following this revamp, eMusic is also planning to add hi-res audio downloads, as well as launching apps for smart TV, watches and other net-connected devices.

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CMU@TGE Top Ten Questions: What are the pros and cons of direct licensing your performing rights in live?
In the run up to this year's CMU Insights @ The Great Escape conference, we are going through the top ten questions we will be answering during this year's programme. Today: what are the pros and cons of direct licensing your performing rights in live?

By convention, songwriters assign the performing rights in their songs to their collecting society, aka a performing rights organisation or PRO. So, in the UK, that means PRS.

With the exception of the US, the society is then usually granted the exclusive right to represent the performing rights in its members' songs, which means that if a third party wants to exploit the 'public performance' or 'communication to the public' controls that come with the song copyright they must get a licence from the relevant society, not the songwriter or their publisher.

That includes live performance, even when an artist is performing their own songs. So, while a venue or concert promoter has a deal with the artist, which will likely include some kind of fee, that contract doesn't grant the host of the show the rights to stage a public performance of the artist's songs. Because only the society can grant that permission. So the venue or concert promoter needs a licence from the singer-songwriter's PRO.

If the artist is playing overseas, it's more likely that the venue or concert promoter will have a live performance licence from their local PRO, which in turn has a reciprocal agreement with the songwriter's society. So the money due for the public performance on the artist's songs flows from the promoter to the local society to the songwriter's society to the songwriter (and, probably, the songwriter's publisher).

There are various reasons why the licensing of the performing rights in songs is handled this way, not least covers and co-writes. Some or all of the songs in an artist's set may have been written by someone else, and even the artist's own songs might have involved co-writers who are not part of the gig, and therefore not involved the contract between artist and promoter.

However, some artists who do predominantly or exclusively perform their own songs when playing live have questioned the efficiency of their royalties passing through two collecting societies when they play overseas, when they already personally have a direct deal with the licensee, ie the promoter.

Plus the singer-songwriter has no control over what happens at the international societies of which they are not a member. Those PROs might have their own policies on what happens to the money as it passes through the system of which the songwriter doesn't particularly approve.

To that end, some artists who perform their own songs have started licensing performing rights directly to the promoter as part of their wider deal, getting paid directly, and therefore usually quicker and without having to pay a society's fees.

In Europe, societies are obliged to offer this flexibility to their members. While, when you join a PRO, by default you grant it the exclusive right to represent your performing rights, there is the option to remove certain usages of those performing rights out of the collective licensing system. Like, for example, live performance.

On one level, doing so simplifies things. But on another level, it complicates things. So what happens when you compare the pros and the cons?

That's exactly what we'll be doing in The Royalties Conference at The Great Escape next week. We'll discuss in more detail how all this works with Adam Elfin, who represents a number of artists who have gone the direct licensing route in live. Meanwhile Marie Forte will give her take on this option, and the challenges it may or may not pose.

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Approved: Jun Kamoda
Having produced music as Illreme for over a decade, and acted as one third of hip hop outfit Baleine 3000, Jun Kamoda released an EP 'Clay', under his own name last year through New York's Mister Saturday Night Records. Now he's set to put out his first release for UK label Black Acre, 'Blind Disco'.

Carrying on in the same vein as tracks like 'Physical Graffiti' from the 'Clay' EP, lead track 'Blind Disco' is out now. A glorious collision of samples, the track is pieced together out of a variety of styles, from Afrobeat to deep house, into an enormous party track.

Listen to 'Blind Disco' here.

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

The National announce new album and UK tour
The National have announced that they will release their seventh studio album, 'Sleep Well Beast', on 8 Sep. The follow-up to 2013's 'Trouble Will Find Me', the album's release will coincide with a UK and Ireland tour, which will close with a four night run at the Hammersmith Apollo.

The first single from the new record, 'The System Only Dreams In Total Darkness', is out now. Listen to that here.

Tickets for the tour go on general sale on 19 May, with pre-sale access opening on Monday morning. More details on that here.

Tour dates:

17 Sep: Dublin, Vicar Street
18 Sep: Dublin, Vicar Street
20 Sep: Edinburgh, Usher Hall
21 Sep: Edinburgh, Usher Hall
22 Sep: Manchester, Apollo
23 Sep: Manchester, Apollo
25 Sep: London, Hammersmith Apollo
26 Sep: London, Hammersmith Apollo
27 Sep: London, Hammersmith Apollo
28 Sep: London, Hammersmith Apollo

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London Grammar announce UK tour
London Grammar have announced that they will be heading out on a tour of the UK this October. The band's new album, 'Truth Is A Beautiful Thing', is due for release on 9 Jun.

Tickets for the shows will go on general sale on 19 May. Early access will be given to fans who pre-order the new album from the band's website before 4pm on Monday.

Tour dates:

18 Oct: Leeds, Academy
20 Oct: Manchester, Apollo
21 Oct: London, Hammersmith Apollo
23 Oct: Birmingham, Academy
26 Oct: Nottingham, Rock City
27 Oct: Bristol, Colston Hall
29 Oct: Newcastle, City Hall

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Oram Awards to recognise female innovators in sound
The PRS Foundation and The New BBC Radiophonic Workshop have announced The Oram Awards, to recognise talented female music creators innovating in music, sound and related technologies.

Named after one of the founding members of the original BBC Radiophonic Workshop, Daphne Oram, the ceremony will take place at Margate's Turner Contemporary art gallery on 3 Jun.

Matthew Herbert, Creative Director of The New Radiophonic Workshop, says: "One of the best aspects of the original workshop was the opportunity it gave to women in a field traditionally dominated by men. In 2017, it's frankly embarrassing to say that it's still a battle that needs to be fought. These awards and this initiative is hopefully one way for us to find the next generation of innovators out there and give them not only support but also an outlet for their work and ideas".

PRS Foundation chief exec Vanessa Reed adds: "The Oram Awards are a fantastic way to put a spotlight on the next generation of talented female music and sound innovators in the UK today whilst also recognising the important legacy of Daphne Oram. I'm very much looking forward to discovering the work of the shortlisted music creators and the impact our talent development bursaries will have on their careers".

Two winners will receive £1000 development bursaries from the PRS Foundation, while a further six will receive £500 each.

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Warner Music, Ellen Allien, Swet Shop Boys, more

Other notable announcements and developments today...

• Warner Music UK has appointed Chris Bovill and John Allison to run its creative content and production studio The Firepit, which was launched last year. They join from Channel 4's 4Creative. Also joining is Brian Murnin, who arrives from Vice Media to head up business development.

• Ellen Allien has released the video for 'Call Me', taken from her new album 'Nost', which is out tomorrow.

• Swet Shop Boys - aka Riz MC, Heems and Redinho - and have announced that they will release a new EP, 'Sufi La', on 26 May. From it, this is 'Thas My Girl'.

• Alison Moyet has released 'Reassuring Pinches', taken from her upcoming new album 'Other'. She's also added a second London Palladium date to her autumn tour.

• Rejjie Snow has released new single, 'Purple Tuesday', featuring Joey Badass and Jesse Boykins II.

• Girlpool have released the video for 'Powerplant', the title track from their new album out this week. They've also announced that they'll be touring the UK in September, including a show at Village Underground in London on 7 Sep.

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UK Eurovision singer not worried about Brexit backlash
Even getting one point in this year's Eurovision Song Contest would be a victory for the UK, says our entry's singer Lucie Jones. Although you probably shouldn't take that for the lack of confidence I just presented it as.

Asked what her ideal outcome would be by the Telegraph, Jones said: "I just don't want to come last, really. If we get no points I'll be disappointed, but anything else is going to be a win. All I've got to do is not go on and fall flat on my face, and hit a bum note".

I don't know, plenty of people who hit bum notes got through the first semi-final on Tuesday. But if Jones is being cheery about the whole thing, we'll have to go elsewhere for a bit of doubt. Look no further than Cheryl Baker, of 1981 winners Bucks Fizz (now of the Brexit-cheering Formerly Of Bucks Fizz).

"She's got a lovely voice and the song is a nice song but I don't know if it's strong enough to win", said Baker of Jones and her song on 'Good Morning Britain' earlier this week.

That's a bit of a damp reception to give the song, given that the UK does seem to have put in some effort into its Eurovision entry for once. But Baker added of Britain's chances in the Contest: "People don't like us either".

Oh yes, the good old political vote. One that may come into stronger play than ever this year as the rest of Europe sticks the boot in over Brexit. This assuming that, outside political circles, the general public of the European Broadcast Union and Australia actually care whether we leave the EU or not. We'll see, I suppose.

"It gets mentioned every year, doesn't it? The political vote", Jones went on in her Telegraph interview. "And this year maybe they've got more to talk about. But honestly, being here, the only people who want to talk to me about Brexit and Russia, and these unfortunate events, is the press. Nobody here at the arena, the other entries, the delegation... it's not something we're talking about".

"People have their ideas about things, but it's Eurovision", she added. "It's public vote and it's jury and we have no idea how it's going to go. It could go any way. There's always favourites and the favourite doesn't usually win. Anything could happen, really anything could happen, and that's the beauty of it".

The second Eurovision semi-final takes place tonight, which will decide if the final on Saturday features yodelling or not. Fingers crossed! The UK is already through to the final, of course, being one of the five countries to get an automatic place for putting up all the money.

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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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