FRIDAY 4 MAY 2018 COMPLETEMUSICUPDATE.COM
TODAY'S TOP STORY: Jay-Z is due to appear in court next where he is being forced to testify as to why he shouldn't be forced to testify. The court appearance relates to a Securities & Exchange Commission investigation into a company called Iconix Brand Group Inc, which has had an interest in the rapper's Rocawear fashion brand since 2007... [READ MORE]
Available to premium subscribers, CMU Trends digs deeper into the inner workings of the music business, explaining how things work and reviewing all the recent trends.
   
SPOTIFY - PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE
As Spotify finally lists on the New York Stock Exchange, CMU Trends reviews Spotify's business to date, considers what its SEC filing might tell us about its current direction, and speculates what a Spotify of the future might look like. [READ MORE]
   
CHINA, AI AND MUSIC EDUCATION - SETTING THE AGENDA
As CMU Insights publishes agendas for each of the conferences that it will present at The Great Escape later this year, CMU Trends outlines the background to each theme being explored: music education, AI and the Chinese music market. [READ MORE]
   
AI - THE NEXT REVOLUTION IN MUSIC?
Midem recently published a brand new white paper from our consultancy unit CMU Insights reviewing the potential impact various AI technologies will have on the music industry in the next decade. CMU Trends presents some highlights. [READ MORE]
TOP STORIES Jay-Z to testify as to why he shouldn't testify about Rocawear business partner
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LEGAL RIAA and Cloudflare reach agreement over theoretical MP3Skull actions
Justin Timberlake added to soft drink false advertising lawsuit
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LABELS & PUBLISHERS After 23 years, Earache finally gets around to updating its website
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BRANDS & MERCH Adidas rejects calls to drop Kanye West
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MEDIA Uncensored Playlist uses music streaming services to sidestep media censorship
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RELEASES Christina Aguilera releases new Kanye West-produced single, Accelerate
Protomartyr to release new EP with Kelley Deal
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ONE LINERS Guns N Roses, LSD, Rihanna, more
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AND FINALLY... Beef Of The Week #402: Police v Illegal raves
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COOKING VINYL - OFFICE SPACE TO RENT (WEST LONDON)
Cooking Vinyl is pleased to offer a newly refurbished office space in Acton, West London. Ideal to share with other likeminded creatives in a hot desk environment, or alternatively to rent the space as a whole, comfortably fitting 30+ desks.

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STREAMING STARTUP - MARKETING EXECUTIVE (LONDON)
We are a new music streaming platform aimed at the world of independent music set for launch later in 2018 and are looking for a Marketing Executive to join our team.

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KOBALT MUSIC GROUP - EVENT MARKETING MANAGER (LONDON)
Joining a growing, global marketing team in our first ever events focused role, you will help us create a better music industry as well as bring it into the digital age by taking complete ownership of Kobalt and AWAL’s UK and Europe events schedule supporting emerging artists from all over the world.

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NUCLEAR BLAST - SOCIAL MEDIA COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER (LONDON)
Nuclear Blast is looking for a young, dynamic and creative Social Media Communications Manager to handle online promotion and new media for its rapidly diversifying roster.

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KOBALT MUSIC GROUP - RELEASE MANAGER (CATALOGUE) (LONDON)
As part of Kobalt’s significant expansion of AWAL - our recorded music division - the Release Manager (Catalogue) will support the growing operations team by ensuring accurate and timely build of all catalogue acquisition releases for digital and physical distribution.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
MELODIC RECORDS - LABEL ASSISTANT/PRESS OFFICER (MANCHESTER)
Melodic Records / Melodic European Labels is looking to hire a Label Assistant & Press Officer to work at our office in Manchester city centre.

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ATTITUDE IS EVERYTHING - ARTIST DEVELOPMENT MANAGER (LONDON)
Attitude Is Everything is excited to announce an opportunity to join our growing team and lead on a new area of work for our organisation.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
PITCH & SYNC - SENIOR MUSIC SUPERVISOR (LONDON)
Pitch & Sync is looking for a dynamic and inspiring Senior Music Supervisor who will join its growing music synchronisation business operating across advertising and brand sectors.

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ONE LITTLE INDIAN - DIGITAL MARKETING MANAGER (LONDON)
One Little Indian is seeking a Digital Marketing Manager to develop and manage the digital campaign strategy for the record label and its diverse roster.

For more information and to apply click here.
CMU Insights will present three full-day confernces as part of The Great Escape's convention programme this May. Get your tickets here.
   
CMU INSIGHTS PRESENTS THE EDUCATION CONFERENCE
Wednesday 16 May | Dukes at Komedia, Brighton
This full-day conference will put the spotlight on music education, and discuss how business and entrepreneurial skills could and should be integrated into the music curriculum. [READ MORE]
   
CMU INSIGHTS PRESENTS THE AI CONFERENCE
Thursday 17 May | Dukes at Komedia, Brighton
This full-day conference will look at how big data and AI will impact on music, including audio-recognition, fan-messaging, data-driven recommendations and music composition tools. [READ MORE]
   
CMU INSIGHTS PRESENTS THE CHINA CONFERENCE
Friday 18 May | Dukes at Komedia, Brighton
The full day conference will provide a beginner's guide to the Chinese music market, looking at copyright, streaming services, media and social media, and the touring circuit. [READ MORE]

Jay-Z to testify as to why he shouldn't testify about Rocawear business partner
Jay-Z is due to appear in court next where he is being forced to testify as to why he shouldn't be forced to testify. The court appearance relates to a Securities & Exchange Commission investigation into a company called Iconix Brand Group Inc, which has had an interest in the rapper's Rocawear fashion brand since 2007.

The SEC is investigating allegations that Iconix may have broken financial reporting rules. It has been trying to subpoena Jay-Z - aka Shawn Carter, for subpoena purposes - since last November, seeking to force the rapper to provide testimony about his partnerships with Iconix as part of its ongoing investigation.

So far Carter has been doing a good job of avoiding that task, pissing off SEC officials in the process. The US government regulator said this week: "Carter failed to appear as required by the subpoenas and, through his counsel, Carter has declined to provide any additional dates on which he will agree to appear for investigative testimony". To that end, the SEC has asked US District Judge Paul Gardephe to order Carter to answer its questions.

Carter's people counter that how Iconix chooses to report its finances to investors is nothing to do with their client, who therefore has no information to share that will help with the SEC's investigation.

One rep stated yesterday: "We are aware that the SEC is seeking information on Iconix's financial reporting. Mr Carter had no role in that reporting or Iconix's other actions as a public company. Mr Carter is a private citizen who should not be involved in this matter".

For its part, the SEC said that its efforts to subpoena Carter do not mean it is suggesting he or his staff have violated any securities laws, however it feels he might have useful information to help them understand the inner workings of the Iconix business.

Plus it would give an otherwise dry investigation a little celebrity sparkle. Although they didn't say that bit. Instead they said that forcing Carter to testify is "appropriate where the information sought from the witness is relevant to the investigation".

Fully aware that Carter isn't keen to testify before the SEC, Gardephe instead ordered the rapper to testify before his court next Tuesday, where he will have the opportunity to testify as to why he shouldn't be forced to testify. It will be quite the testimony. Which may or may not result in a testimony. Fun times!

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RIAA and Cloudflare reach agreement over theoretical MP3Skull actions
The Recording Industry Association Of America has reached an agreement with internet services firm Cloudflare over what action both parties will take if defunct piracy site MP3Skull ever resurfaces and tries to utilise the net company's platform.

Back in 2016, the RIAA successfully sued MP3Skull, partly because the piracy set-up failed to defend itself against the copyright infringement lawsuit that had been filed by the American record companies. The court awarded the record industry $22 million in damages and the rights to seize and block the copyright infringing service's domains.

The chances of the labels ever seeing any of those damages seemed slim, but the domain blocking order was a useful tool for the RIAA in its ongoing bid to block access to unlicensed sources of music content. And it used that tool to seize or block various domains linked to MP3Skull. The piracy site initially responded by doing the domain hop thing.

As part of that activity, the RIAA demanded that Cloudflare - a provider of so called reverse proxy services, among other things - block certain domains that the labels said were [a] linked to MP3Skull and [b] navigating traffic through the Cloudflare system.

Although Cloudflare is an entirely legitimate business, it has had various run ins with the copyright industries over what it should or shouldn't do when allegedly (or undeniably) copyright infringing websites use its services.

In response to the RIAA's requests in relation to the MP3Skull domains, Cloudflare countered that under the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act it was wasn't required to instigate any such blockades. The RIAA went back to court to object to that argument, and the judge sided with the labels, saying that the DMCA wasn't relevant here.

There were, however, still some questions to be answered about Cloudflare's exact obligations, which mainly centred on a debate over whether or not the internet firm was in "active concert or participation" with MP3Skull by providing it with various services. But by that point MP3Skull had ceased operating anyway, so the RIAA no long wished to enforce any orders and those questions therefore went unanswered.

With that in mind, Cloudflare subsequently went back to court asking that the order against it be vacated. The RIAA then objected to that request last August, arguing that MP3Skull could pop back up at anytime, so the legal order should remain in place. Especially as, if that never did happen, the order couldn't cause any inconvenience to Cloudflare.

The court ultimately refused Cloudflare's request to rescind the order and instead urged it and the RIAA to agree a process for what might happen if MP3Skull suddenly did re-emerge. Such a process has now been agreed and was recently approved by the court.

That process sets out how the RIAA can secure an amended court order to cover any new domains being used by a back-in-business MP3Skull and what Cloudflare must do if those domains try to make use of its services. It also provides an opportunity for Cloudflare to object and a deadline for when it must take action.

However, at Cloudflare's request, the court order specifically stresses that it is not - repeat NOT - answering that question over whether or not the internet company was or would ever be in "active concert or participation" with MP3Skull.

The judge wrote: "For the sake of clarity, the court's direction to Cloudflare ... is not a finding that Cloudflare is 'in active concert or participation' with [MP3Skull]". So that's good. No one wants tricky legal questions answered.

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Justin Timberlake added to soft drink false advertising lawsuit
Remember how Justin Timberlake was going to restore MySpace to its former glory? That was fun, wasn't it? Although that business venture didn't get the pop star listed on any false advertising class action lawsuits. So, it could have been funner.

Having famously rescued MySpace, Timberlake entered into another business venture two years ago by investing in an American soft drinks company called Bai Brands and taking the nonsense job title of Chief Flavor Officer at the business. His involvement in the drinks company continues, he appearing in an advert for the brand just this week.

More fun than that, last month he was added as a defendant in a long-running legal action which accuses Bai of false advertising. Pursued by a California-based man called Kevin Branca, the lawsuit alleges that Bai promotes its drinks as being "all-natural" when in fact they contain artificial flavours.

According to gossip website The Blast, the lawsuit says Bai's products contain a synthetic chemical flavouring compound "identified as 'malic acid', which is an inexpensive synthetic chemical used in processed food products to make the taste like tangy fresh fruit".

Branca has justified adding Timberlake as a defendant on the lawsuit - alongside the business itself, its founder and parent company the Dr Pepper Snapple Group - because the musician "knowingly entered into a single agreement and/or multiple agreements to commit fraud and other unlawful acts by agreeing to promote artificially flavoured beverage products as if they were solely naturally flavoured without synthetic chemical ingredients".

Referencing an earlier ad for the drinks company in which Timberlake appeared, the lawsuit goes on: "Timberlake aided this scheme by agreeing to promote the products and their ingredients on a nationally aired commercial advertisement during the 2017 Super Bowl, which reached millions of consumers, which was an essential tool to carry out the fraudulent sales and marketing of the Bai products".

You know, it's just as well Timberlake didn't successfully restore MySpace to its former glory. There'd have probably been some kind of embarrassing user-data scandal down the line, resulting in him also being ordered to answer stern questions in US Congress alongside Mark Zuckerberg. And given that half of those Congressmen's entire knowledge of Facebook seemed to come from 'The Social Network' movie, that would have confused everyone.

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After 23 years, Earache finally gets around to updating its website
Earache Records has redesigned its website. Not something we'd normally report on, but given it's taken them 23 years to get around to it, it seems like an event that should be marked.

The metal-focussed indie label was somewhat ahead of the curve when it launched its original website in 1995. It then dropped behind said curve, eventually settling down on the vast flat surface with no curve in site for over two decades. It's quite a feat. Admirable, even.

No more though. The Earache website is now all shiny and new. And in order to get back in front the of the tech curve again, the label has also started messing around with the blockchain. There are those who doubt other people's claims that the blockchain is some kind of panacea for all the music industry's problems. But that was before the lyrics to Napalm Death's shortest song, 'You Suffer', were encoded into it.

This has come about because the song - which at 1.316 seconds long also holds the world record for the shortest in history - was featured in an episode of US comedy series 'Silicon Valley'. A character sets an alert to play the track whenever Bitcoin drops below a certain price. In honour of this, Earache has set up a Twitter account - @NapalmDeathBot - to tweet hourly Bitcoin price updates, as well as encoding "Napalm Death - You suffer but why" (the song's lyric) permanently into the blockchain.

Says Earache founder Digby Pearson: "Although we are positive that Napalm Death aren't going anywhere anytime soon - their Glastonbury performance for us last year proved that - we are now ensuring that the band will live on forever in the blockchain".

There is also a serious point to be made, adds a statement from the company: "In an age where information and opinions can easily be suppressed and removed from online records, blockchain technology has emerged as an unlikely tool for battling censorship, prompting student activists in China to turn to the technology in the fight against government curbs. The very nature of the tech means that all transactions become a permanent part of the blockchain and cannot ever be removed or amended".

"Using a method known as Base58, Bitcoin addresses are encoded as a string of alphanumeric text, where it's possible to append a comment which itself becomes a permanent part of the chain", it adds. "It's here that Napalm Death's thought-provoking lyrics have been enshrined for all time - a simple but poignant message to transcend the ages".

So, yes, Earache has not only managed to update its website but also become the first music company to do anything interesting with the blockchain. Congratulations! Check out the website here.

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Adidas rejects calls to drop Kanye West
Adidas is aware of the calls for it to cut its ties with Kanye West, following his controversial comments on slavery earlier this week. It won't though, because he provides the firm too much "brand heat".

A petition was launched targeting Adidas in the wake of West's controversial appearance on TMZ Live, on which he said that 400 years of slavery "sounds like a choice". At the time of writing, ove 13,000 people have signed it.

Speaking to Bloomberg, Adidas CEO Kasper Rorsted said that there had been no discussion about dropping West. However, he added, "there clearly are some comments we don't support", and reps for the company plan to raise their concerns with the rapper.

West has partnered with Adidas on his Yeezy clothing line since 2013. Rorsted said that these items bring in limited revenues for the company, but West offers considerable "brand heat" for the business at large.

With the company locked in a full-on battle with Nike to secure the dollars of US consumers, this sort of endorsement remains as important as ever. Although some might ask if principles are also quite a good look.

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Uncensored Playlist uses music streaming services to sidestep media censorship
Reporters Without Borders has gone public with an interesting project called Uncensored Playlist, which asks musicians to turn censored articles into pop songs.

The idea was sparked after the organisation noted that streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music often remain freely available in countries where media censorship online is otherwise rife. This, they realised, presented an opportunity to circumvent these barriers to information.

To launch the project, Uncensored Playlist worked with five journalists from China, Egypt, Thailand, Uzbekistan and Vietnam, who have all experienced censorship. Initially, the songs were released without any promotion, so as not to alert authorities. It proved successful, with the Vietnamese songs they created reaching the top ten in the country's streaming charts.

"We just did it", Patrik Lenhart told The Guardian, he working for PR agency DDB, which was also involved in the project. "We sneaked them on to spark people to find loopholes, to prove we could beat the censors".

Find out more about the project here, and watch a short video here.

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Vigsy's Club Tip: Craig Charles & Don Letts at Dreamland
Dreamland in Margate kicks off its annual Sunset Sessions series with a mighty line-up featuring two of 6 Music's finest - Craig Charles and Don Letts - tonight.

Headlining the amusement park's outdoor Scenic Stage, Charles will bring with him his Funk & Soul Club, while Letts will turn in an eclectic mix of old and new, such as you might hear on his 'Culture Clash' show.

The weather's thankfully looking good, so it should be a fine night to listen to some tunes as the sun goes down.

Friday, 4 May, Dreamland, 49-51 Marine Terrace, Margate, Kent, CT9 1XJ, 6.30pm-11pm, £7.50 (£15 with access to rides). More info here.

Christina Aguilera releases new Kanye West-produced single, Accelerate
Christina Aguilera has confirmed that she will release her new album 'Liberation', her first for six years, on 15 Jun. Along with the news, she's released a new Kanye West-produced track, 'Accelerate', featuring 2 Chainz and Ty Dolla $ign.

"I've always been a huge fan of Kanye", she tells Billboard. "Outside of, you know, his controversial aspects, I just think he's a great artist and musicmaker and beatmaker. The artists that he chooses to pluck from different walks of life are so interesting".

It's probably worth noting that this interview was carried out before West pushed "his controversial aspects" quite as far as he did this week.

Other collaborators on the album include Demi Lovato, Keida and Shenseea. Watch the video for 'Accelerate' here.

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Protomartyr to release new EP with Kelley Deal
Protomartyr have announced that they will release a new EP, 'Consolation', on 15 Jun. Ahead of that - and more than just a consolation - they've released new single 'Wheel Of Fortune', featuring The Breeders' Kelley Deal.

The band previously crossed paths with Deal when they recorded and released a split single with her other project, R Ring, in 2015. The other half of that duo, Mike Montgomery, joins Deal in producing this new EP, and she contributes vocals to two of its tracks.

"Making 2015's split single 'A Half Of Seven' with R Ring was one of our favourite recording experiences", says Protomartyr's Joe Casey. "So the decision to head down to Dayton, Kentucky and spend a weekend in May recording the four songs that became the 'Consolation' EP was an easy one".

Deal adds of her experience working with the band: "For Mike and I, working on this EP with Protomartyr was a re-kindling of the tender spark that was struck upon our first encounter with them years ago in Texas. They were graciously tolerant and receptive to my production ideas on the songs and the project quickly grew beyond our private orb. We have cello from Lori Goldston, viola from Jocelyn Hach and even bass clarinet from Evan Ziporyn, and I do some singing with Joe".

"There's a lot of trust involved when an artist places their songs in your hands, and we were very mindful of that while intentionally trying to take the songs in new directions", she continues. "Candyland in Dayton, KY is home-base for R Ring recording, and it's close enough that the Proto-men could make it down to lay the tracks down"

Noting that the two outfits' last collaboration saw them appearing on flip sides of the same record, following this project, Deal concluded: "We're ready to flip the tables and have them produce and record some of our songs!"

Protomartyr begin a UK tour in Bristol tonight, finishing up at the Scala in London next Thursday. Right now, you can watch the video for 'Wheel Of Fortune' here.

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Guns N Roses, LSD, Rihanna, more

Other notable announcements and developments today...

• Get a daily news summary, our latest job ads and more via our Messenger bot. Click here to get started.

• Hey, you know that big reunion of the classic Guns N Roses line-up? Yeah, it turned out that was just a re-issue. A newly remastered version of their 1987 album 'Appetite For Destruction' is available for pre-order now. Bag yourself a limited edition boxset for just £849.99! Here's previously unreleased track, 'Shadow Of Your Love'.

• Sia, Diplo and Labrinth have formed a new group, LSD. Irresponsible drug reference there. I'm not sure why they didn't think to name themselves in homage to DSL internet technology instead. That's something everyone can enjoy. Anyway, here's a song, 'Genius'.

• Rihanna's spoken to Vogue for an in-depth new interview, in which she reveals, among other things, that she's working on a reggae album.

• Florence And The Machine will release new album 'High As Hope' on 29 Jun. Here's new single 'Hunger'.

• Princess Nokia has released the video for 'For The Night', taken from her new mixtape, 'A Girl Cried Red'.

• MØ has released a video for recent single, 'Nostalgia'. "This video is special to me cos it shows a little piece of my story", she says. "My room in my parents house where I grew up and wrote my first song, the streets where I used to bike around with my friends, the forest where I would walk around restless and dreamy, my old high school where I had my heart broken for the first time".

• Your old pal Johnny Borrell has released a new solo track, 'My World, Your Life'. "A lot of people who know a lot about music heard this track and told me it was amazing", the famously modest musician tells the NME. "So I thought I'd better put it out".

• Tirzah has announced that her debut album, 'Devotion', will be out on 10 Aug. From it, this is 'Gladly'.

• Check out our weekly Spotify playlist of new music featured in the CMU Daily - updated every Friday.

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Beef Of The Week #402: Police v Illegal raves
As we head into the Mayday bank holiday festivities, rural police across the country are gearing up for one of the big weekends of the year for illegal raves. Attempting to head off unscrupulous promoters and party organisers, Gwent Police have published a guide for spotting if an unlicensed party is about to take place in a field near you.

"We are aware that social networking has made it easier for organisers to spread the word of events and numbers attending could quickly grow", say the police, before explaining why they need locals to be vigilant in monitoring possible incoming raves.

"It is vital that we obtain information and intelligence at the earliest opportunity", they say. "Timely information about suspicious activity or plans to hold an illegal rave enables us plan ahead and take swift effective action".

"Organising an unlicensed event, such as an illegal rave, is an offence", they go on. "And although we do not want to stop anyone enjoying themselves - we will take robust action and do have the powers to seize equipment under Criminal Justice & Public Order Act 1994".

It has to be said, that does sound quite like they are keen to stop people from enjoying themselves. And at least one planned illegal music event has already been stopped.

Although, officers also remind illegal ravers everywhere that there is always another option: "Anyone, who wishes to hold a legal rave should obtain a regulated entertainment licence from the relevant local authority".

It's probably a bit short notice now to start writing out applications though, especially if you've used the words May Day in your planned rave name. So some people will probably still go ahead with the entire 'no licence here thank you very much' thing.

With that in mind, Gwent Police have put together a guide for how concerned citizens might spot if an illegal rave is about to take place near them. As well as being an impressive exercise in stating the bleeding obvious, the police guide also acts as quite a good to do list for anyone who fancies trying their hand at putting on an illicit get-together.

Posters or messages on social media advertising a rave
If you're looking to get into the illegal rave market, it's probably best not to write "ILLEGAL RAVE" at the top of your posters before pasting them up on the doors of the local Tesco. Equally, when setting up your social media advertising, try to avoid targeting your posts to fans of complaining to the local council or people employed by the local police force.

Locks and chains on fields and private land being cut or tampered with
Unless you own the locks or chains, I guess the key point here is that you should memorise what all locks and chains in your area look like, so that you'll immediately notice any tampering by potential incoming illegal ravers. If it's you cutting the locks, maybe bring your own locks to replace them with.

Unusual traffic activity - ie large convoys of cars on quieter/rural roads
All those scruffy looking people driving past your house, wide-eyed and looking lost? They might not all be Amazon delivery drivers.

Sound equipment and marquees or tents being set up
Bad luck to anyone having an outdoor wedding this weekend. You can probably expect the vicar to be strip-searched at some point before or during the ceremony. Get your gran to hide the pills in her handbag instead.

Power generators being hired and brought onto land/rural locations
I think the tip for illegal rave organisers here is not to hire your generators in the local area. Bringing them onto the land where you're planning to hold your party is unavoidable though. Maybe shove them into a hedge to hide them.

Flattened or disturbed hedgerows
Oh, maybe hiding generators in the hedge wasn't such a great idea. These police guys have thought of everything. Although, if your party's got to the stage where it's destroying the surrounding area, there might already be some other signs that something is going on.

Loud music and sound checks in locations where this would not be expected
Yeah, that would be one sign. Is there loud music playing in the middle of nowhere? Might be suspicious. Then again, Norma and Ned's son Terry is a bit of a tearaway and often drives around blaring some horrible racket out of his Ford Capri. It could just be him. It's so hard to tell who's suspicious and who's not. It's alright though, the police have some final guidance on this...

Anyone acting suspiciously
That's right. Anyone acting suspiciously is probably planning to whip out a soundsystem and start banging out some beats at any moment. Anyone. Now, you're most likely all lifelong urban dwellers reading this, unsure of what a suspicious person in the countryside looks like. Having grown up in some very rural countryside, I can help you with this. Basically, anyone you don't recognise is suspicious.

"Does this mean everyone you see who isn't one of your neighbours should be reported to the police?" you ask. Congratulations, you are now a fully assimilated resident of the countryside. Please divert from whatever illegal rave you were travelling to and take up residence in the nearest thatched cottage.

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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.
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