MONDAY 2 JULY 2018 COMPLETEMUSICUPDATE.COM
TODAY'S TOP STORY: The Workers Beer Company has carried the can - a beer can, presumably - after a flood of complaints filled the social networks this weekend about bar queues at two music events promoted by Festival Republic in London's Finsbury Park... [READ MORE]
TOP STORIES Workers Beer Company apologises after complaints over queues at Festival Republic shows in Finsbury Park
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LEGAL Fyre Festival bankruptcy trustee wants McFarland lawyer to stay on the case
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LIVE BUSINESS Kilimanjaro buys Belladrum
James Barton's Superstruct buys into Sonar
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ARTIST NEWS Lewis Hamilton refuses to say if he's on the new Christina Aguilera album
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RELEASES Alice In Chains announce new album, release new single
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GIGS & FESTIVALS Morrissey postpones UK and European tour
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AND FINALLY... One Direction will reform one day maybe, says Liam Payne
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COOKING VINYL - OFFICE SPACE TO RENT (WEST LONDON)
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FMLY - AGENT'S ASSISTANT (BRIGHTON)
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Workers Beer Company apologises after complaints over queues at Festival Republic shows in Finsbury Park
The Workers Beer Company has carried the can - a beer can, presumably - after a flood of complaints filled the social networks this weekend about bar queues at two music events promoted by Festival Republic in London's Finsbury Park.

The Live Nation company was promoting two days of music on the North London site, one headlined by Liam Gallagher and the other by Queens Of The Stone Age. Ticket buyers galore complained about the bar queues - all the worse given the high temperatures on the day - with some saying they missed sets while queuing for drinks.

The bars were run by the Workers Beer Company, an organisation that raises money for charities and the trade union movement by providing bars for festivals and other major events. The people working at the bars donate their wages to a charitable or union organisation of their choice.

In a statement posted to the Festival Republic website, the bars firm stated that: "Since 1986, Workers Beer Company have been at the heart of huge festivals serving millions. We have successfully sold millions of drinks to millions of people over those 33 years. Our serving staff are drawn from local grassroots organisations raising funds for their local campaigns and projects".

It went on: "Here in Finsbury Park on Friday and Saturday there was unprecedented failure of up to 40% of our staff to turn up. As a consequence people had to wait an unnecessarily long time to be served. For this we unreservedly apologise to the audience".

Keen to ensure no blame was apportioned to the headline acts or their promoter, the Beer Company added: "So that it's clear, neither Liam Gallagher nor Queens Of The Stone Age should bear responsibility. They both delivered awesome gigs to awesome fans, that deserved better service from our bar operation. This is also the case for Festival Republic who have no responsibility for us letting down the audience and we have already apologised to them".

That said, while few were blaming the acts, not everyone on the social networks was entirely placated by the Workers Beer Company statement. Some angry ticket buyers claimed that beer queues weren't the only logistical issues on the day, and that they felt it was unfair of Festival Republic to make its bar supplier apologise on its behalf.

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Fyre Festival bankruptcy trustee wants McFarland lawyer to stay on the case
The trustee overseeing the bankruptcy of the Fyre Festival company has requested that the lawyer representing its co-founder Billy McFarland be forced to continue working for his client until at least certain documents' have been handed over.

McFarland, of course, has faced a flurry of litigation as well as criminal charges of fraud ever since his supposedly luxurious music festival in the Bahamas collapsed just as ticket buyers were arriving.

He was due to be sentenced last month over the fraud charges, which relate to him misleading investors about the Fyre event and a talent app it was designed to launch. However, sentencing was postponed after new charges were filed accusing McFarland of fraudulently selling non-existent VIP tickets to a series of real events to rich kids on the database built for the Fyre Festival. He denies those new allegations.

But it was in the wake of the new charges that attorney Tallen Todorovich requested to be removed from McFarland's bankruptcy case.

According to Law 360, the lawyer stated that: "Mr McFarland has indicated that any and all funds he once had available to pay the law firm ... are either frozen or no longer available due to his second arrest. Therefore, Frye Festival is unable to pay the fees agreed upon with my firm".

But the trustee appointed when the Fyre company was forced into bankruptcy last year, Gregory Messer, says that he is still waiting for some crucial documentation to allow him to proceed. To that end, he reckons that Todorovich should not be released from McFarland's case until those documents have been handed over.

Says Messer: "This case was commenced nearly one year ago on July 7, 2017, and no schedules or statements have been filed, McFarland has not appeared at a meeting of creditors, and despite the firm's representations to the contrary, the trustee still has not obtained a turn over of the debtor's books and records".

Messer's motion to the court added: "While the trustee does not wish to tether the firm to this case indefinitely, the trustee believes that requiring the foregoing is fair and appropriate and should have been contemplated by the firm prior to appearing in the case and accepting the engagement".

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Kilimanjaro buys Belladrum
Live music firm Kilimanjaro Live has bought Scottish festival Belladrum, with which it has been working in a booking capacity for the last eight years.

The acquisition was confirmed last week by Kilimanjaro's parent company DEAG. The German firm is known to be keen to further grow its interests in the UK market, despite having recently sold its stake in British classical music promoter Raymond Gubbay Ltd as part of a wider equity exchange with Sony Music.

Confirming the Belladrum deal, DEAG CEO Peter Schwenkow said: "Our strategy is to focus particularly on the growing UK market in addition to Germany. Our shareholding in Scotland's well-established Belladrum Festival through our subsidiary Kilimanjaro Live Limited further improves our basis for profitable growth in this market".

He went on: "Belladrum has generated consistently positive operating results in recent years - a critical criterion for us. We also expect this acquisition to offer a positive boost for our ticket platform myticket.co.uk".

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James Barton's Superstruct buys into Sonar
US investment firm Providence Equity Partners has acquired a majority stake in the company behind the Sonar festivals, according to IQ.

Providence formed a new music-focused division last year called Superstruct. It's headed up by Cream founder and former Live Nation dance music chief James Barton and former Ingenious music investments man Paul Bedford.

The latter said last year that the aim of the new venture was to build "a federation of festival brands". Its first investments were in Hungary's Sziget festival and Spanish promoter Elrow.

Like Elrow, the company behind Sonar is also based in Barcelona, the city most closely associated with the electronic music focused festival and its spin-off activities. Though, of course, there have now been Sonar events in numerous other cities around the world including São Paulo, Reykjavik, Buenos Aires and Istanbul.

IQ says that Superstruct's deal with the Sonar company was originally agreed in March.

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Approved: New Optimism
Having given fans a fifteen year wait for their third album - 2014's superb 'Hotel Valentine' - Cibo Matto then dashed all hopes of a quicker follow-up by splitting (again) at the end of last year. There was, at least, the promise that they would both return to solo projects. Hence the duo's Miho Hatori recently announced new outfit, New Optimism.

Following standalone track 'After Hours Of Dr My-Ho' in May, she announced the first EP from New Optimism last week. The six tracker, titled 'Amazon To LeFrak', is set for release through Phantom Limb - the label launched last year by former FatCat A&R James Vella - on 27 Jul.

The first single from it, 'Jet Setters', sees Hatori push the fiercely experimental and joyously pop sides of her songwriting against each other with full force. The song comes joyfully close to completely falling apart before suddenly snapping triumphantly into sharp focus. Best of all, the sense of punch-drunk euphoria this elicits can be found all the way through the EP.

Listen to 'Jet Setters' here.

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Lewis Hamilton refuses to say if he's on the new Christina Aguilera album
Do you remember a few weeks ago when you noticed that six thousand opinion pieces had been written saying that Christina Aguilera wasn't getting the recognition she deserved for her new album? Yeah, still didn't listen to it, did you? It's alright, it's really not that amazing. I mean, it's fine, but I'm not about to write an essay about it. But, anyway, by not listening to it, you also missed Lewis Hamilton's debut as a vocalist. Or did you?

Come on, I can see how people telling you that the new Christina Aguilera album is really good might not be enough to get you to listen to it. But the possibility of hearing a Formula One driver sing must surely have got you rushing to hit play. No?

Well, whatever. On one of the songs on the album, 'Pipe', there's a vocalist credited only as XNDA. Aguilera is remaining tight-lipped about who that singer is, but has said that she's very excited for everyone to discover the identity of her "multi-talented" collaborator.

The rumour going around now is that it's Hamilton. Which makes sense, because we already know he has ambitions to be a pop star. Is he now on the road to becoming one? Well, all you have to do is ask.

Actually, it turns out that asking doesn't really help. Ahead of last week's Austria Grand Prix, he was quizzed on the matter several times, but refused to confirm or deny his involvement in the song. "My sole goal right now and focus is fully Formula One", he said, according to Reuters.

He added that he'd already been asked about this at a previous race and was no more inclined to discuss possible pop collaborations now than then. "It's not really something I want to speak about, I'm here really to talk and focus solely on trying to win this championship and that's really where all my energy is at the moment," he said.

Asked if that meant he was denying that it was his voice on the song, he shrugged: "As I said, I'm just here to... I don't really know what to say".

Don't say it Lewis... SING IT!

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Alice In Chains announce new album, release new single
Alice In Chains last week announced that they will release their first album for five years later this summer. Titled 'Rainer Fog', it will be released through BMG on 24 Aug. As well as announcing the new album, the band have also released new single 'So Far Under'.

Of that song, the band's William DuVall says: "It's about feeling completely up against it - outnumbered, surrounded, facing seemingly unbeatable odds and being really pissed off about it. It was inspired by personal circumstances, as well as events in the wider world. But it's not as resigned to defeat as it may seem. The lyric is a cold, hard assessment of a difficult situation, but the music has a message all its own. There's still room to flip the script".

He goes on: "Every aspect of writing and recording this song will always be remembered with a lot of joy - from recording the basic tracks and the guitar solo at Studio X in Seattle to doing further overdubs at Nick Raskulinecz's studio in rural Tennessee. Everyone in the band and our studio team really stepped up and knocked it out of the park on this one. We're extremely proud of this song and the entire album".

I like the bit where it sounds like a warped tape. Despite that 'cassette revival' you keep talking about, kids in general today know nothing of warped tapes. This is almost certainly the root cause of everything that's wrong with the world today.

Anyway, listen to 'So Far Under' here.

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Morrissey postpones UK and European tour
Morrissey postponed all of his upcoming UK and European tour dates on Friday, blaming some of those pesky "logistical circumstances" for the decision to cancel the shows. Rescheduled dates have been promised though ticket monies will be refunded in the meantime.

The announcement followed the news that former Haçienda DJ Dave Haslam was planning a Love Music Hate Racism fundraiser on the same day as one of Morrissey's Manchester shows. Haslam said that his One Nation Under A Groove all-dayer was a "response to Morrissey's divisive views and his support for the far right".

Morrissey, of course, has long courted controversy with the political opinions he expresses in interviews, and even more so of late. He often claims to have been misquoted, though he has also been criticised for comments made via his own official channels. And in a recent interview with a friendly fan site he expressed solidarity with jailed EDL founder Tommy Robinson and support for a far right political party.

Prior to news of the tour postponement, Morrissey rep Peter Katsis hit out at Haslam's planned party, saying that the DJ's "agenda, stated as using music to spread peace, could not be any further from the truth. He is simply using the situation to gain some much needed attention to himself".

Responding in return to the news that Morrissey's upcoming shows, including those in Manchester, now weren't happening, Haslam himself wrote on Twitter: "I sympathise with fans who made plans to see him, we know what it's like to be let down by Morrissey".

He went on: "If dates are rescheduled, we'll be happy once again to provide an alternative event in the city. One that counters Morrissey's support for Tommy Robinson and the far-right".

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One Direction will reform one day maybe, says Liam Payne
One Direction will definitely come off 'hiatus' at some point and be a world dominating pop machine once again. Or so says Liam Payne. Sort of. I mean, he's hopeful of a reunion. Soon. One Day. Maybe. Who knows?

By which I mean Payne said "who knows?" I'd have thought if anyone knows it would be Payne himself. It's not clear 'who' he means by 'who' when he says 'who'.

"My album comes out at the end of the year and then I'm going on tour in 2019", the one time 1Der told the Daily Star last week when asked about any upcoming One Direction plans. And as if an album and a tour aren't enough, he then teased a TV project that may or may not be in the pipeline. A talent show judging type TV project.

"It's amazing that we're [all] doing our own thing", he said of his former bandmates. "And then, hopefully one day soon, we get back together and have another great time of it, who knows?"

Is this me opening a new Spice Girls-style file of non-committal, vague, ambiguous, one-day-maybe One Direction reunion commitments that aren't really reunion commitments just to fill the CMU Daily on quiet news days? Who knows?

Still, better non-stories about non-reunions than invading poor Payne's private life with a report on him splitting up with Cheryl Tweedy, right?

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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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