CMU Daily - on the inside Tuesday 27th March
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- EMI settle with Bertelsmann over Napster
- Snoop tour cancelled
- Mrs Weiland faces possible arson charges
- Eminem and Kim agree not to bitch
- BMI to name Bee Gees as icons
- Reznor on album theme
- The Edge donates guitar to charity
- Mark E Smith forms new band
- Scottish acts contribute to Scottish album
- Arcade Fire cancel tour dates
- Bowie announces initial High Line line-up
- Beastie Boys headline Sonar
- More V additions
- Saw Doctors headline acoustic fest
- Indie boys lined up to DJ at Gatecrasher 07
- Tobago Elton ban fails
- DJ Food compo, Big Chill night
- Machine Head dates
- Imagine tops Smooth Radio song poll
- EA and Nettwerk launch new joint venture
- Universal partner with TRACE
- Napster UK launch web radio show with Channel 4
- Bonnaroo land purchase price revealed
- O'Brien launches agency
- Radio Times to list on demand programmes
- YouTube winners announced
- British Press Award winners
- Callea talks sexuality
- Jacko in wacko plan shocker
- Winehouse cancelled gigs due to tooth trouble


So, that was an interesting quote from US artist manager Jeff Rabhan that we lifted out of the Wall Street Journal for yesterday's CMU Daily. Responding to the latest round of depressing sales stats from the US record industry - CD sales are down 20%, and album sales are down 10% even when you take digital sales on board - Rabhan said: "I look at a CD as part of the marketing of an artist, more than as an income stream. It's the vehicle that drives the tour, the merchandise, building the brand, and that's it. There's no money". Which brings us back to that interesting topic we've touched on before - but which gets reported a lot less than all the other challenges faced by the 21st century record industry (P2P, DRM, slumping sales and all that) - that topic being the shifting balance of power between labels and management.

In a way the bit of Rabhan's quote that says CDs are now more of a marketing tool for artists, rather than a revenue stream, is not the most interesting part. On one level you could argue CD releases have long been primarily a marketing tool for most artists given that, once the advance has been spent, many singers and bands don't see much from their labels in terms of hard cash for quite some time, if at all - everyone knows artist fortunes are really built from touring, merchandising, personal appearances, and if you're so talented from your songwriting, and in more recent times by allying yourself with brands eager to feed off your "cool".

What is interesting is that Rabhan says the CD is "part of the marketing of the artist". I suspect Rabhan wasn't actually putting any stressed intonation on the "part" bit, but if you think about it, that's key. Despite the slumping sales, the downsizing, the occasional liquidations, the all round doom and gloom, I still believe most of the record labels will survive - finding new ways to recoup their investment and profit from the sale of recorded material from the artists they sign (whether the recorded material that makes the money is albums, or singles, or subscription podcasts, or streamed behind the scenes exclusives, or TV programme formats) or may be by insisting on a cut of other artist revenues (live, publishing, merchandise) to justify their initial investment. The big challenge, though, might be finding good enough artists to work with.

While the CD, and the promotional and media buzz that surrounds a CD's release, is the primary marketing tool for artists (especially new artists), the labels will still be essential for the majority of quality bands (especially newer quality bands), because they, the labels, have the knowledge, the infrastructure, the money and the power to manufacture, release, distribute and market CDs. But what if the CD becomes one small part of a wider marketing initiative? Will the labels be the people to coordinate the wider marketing initiative? Do they really have the expertise in house to do that? If not, why would artists and their managers not go elsewhere for that marketing support, cutting the power and influence the labels have on launching and re-launching artists?

Of course, many labels will argue that they provide much more to their artists than just a marketing platform - in particular creative development and up front money. It's true some labels are good at helping their artists hone and develop their music - though many managers would probably question just how important that creative support really is. And while labels do provide up front cash, an increasing number of managers are pointing to and investigating alternative sources of investment.

So, it may not be piracy that threatens the record labels, but the shifting balance of power in the wider music industry, whereby management rely less and less on the labels to launch their artists to the wider world. It won't be that they can't sell artists, it's that they won't be able to sign them in the first place.

Can labels protect themselves? I suspect they can. Gaining a hold over the main digital media platforms which will probably replace the CD as a primary marketing channel is one way - a strategy Universal in particular seem to be pursuing. Expanding the marketing expertise within their workforce another - something that may well happen if and when new expansion takes place at the record companies after the current downsizing. And by developing proper consumer brands for their labels so that simple association with a label will ensure public awareness and credibility for the artists they sign - something the majors seem to be slowly grasping, and no doubt one of the reasons for the recent restoration of some of the legendary record labels of the 20th century, most recently SonyBMG UK's relaunch of Epic UK.

Quite how the shift of power between labels and management will occur, if at all, is unclear, but one thing is certain, it should be interesting to watch.



The third Insomniacs Ball will take over London's seOne Club on 5 Apr, with another storming line up of bands and DJs and, this time, ballroom decor and fancy dress. Already on the bill are The Twang, Brakes, Blood Red Shoes, Fear of Flying, The Officers, Goose, These New Puritans, The Longcut, Dandy Wind, Bolt Action Five, Headland, Black Daniel, AHuman, Shakes, Shy Child and Reverend And The Makers all live, plus on the old decks the Artrocker DJs, Marsha (Xfm), Mark Beaumont (NME), Eddy Temple Morris (Xfm), No Pain In Pop, Gavin Nugent, Mekon, Riotous Rockers, Alvin C and the wonderful wonderful Infadels. Tickets are a mere £21.50, with a limited number of student tickets available for NUS card holders at just £15. VIP golden tickets which offer access to an exclusive VIP area are also available for sixty quid. Ticket type stuff can be found at, line up info will appear over the coming weeks at, and for press info you need to drop an email to



Okay, time for some folk action in the MySpace Of The Day tip today. Partly because I was reminded by the Cambridge Folk Festival item in yesterday's Daily of my growing love of folk (sign that I am getting old, clearly, although to be fair, I do still like indie, rock, pop, hip hop, electronica, and whatever else drops on my desk). And partly, to be fair, because even in the days when I wasn't much into folk, I still really loved the work of Orkney musician Ivan Drever. Who is the father of another Orcadian musician, Kris Drever, whose MySpace I'm nominating now. I would nominate Ivan too, only he doesn't actually have a MySpace page. Anyway, having loved the work of Drever senior so much, I was naturally curious to check out the work of Drever junior, and was not disappointed. There's something special for me about the sound Orkney musicians make, something haunting, heart rending and yet at the same time soothing. It's truly lovely. It's hard to check out Ivan, as finding his music for sale can be a bit of a challenge (actually, not so much - I just found quite a lot at, but here's Kris, on a MySpace page, so you can check him out. So here's an idea - do. Plus, he's got lots of upcoming live dates listed, some of which are him, some one of his bands, LAU. Yay.


The EMI Group yesterday confirmed it has reached a settlement with SonyBMG co-owners Bertelsmann with regard to that long long running legal dispute in relation to the German conglom's financial support of the original Napster company.

As previously reported, EMI was among a consortium of record labels and music publishers who argued that by providing a loan to the Napster P2P company, BMG, as it was then, helped the legendary file sharing network survive longer in the face of rising legal and financial problems, and that therefore they enabled huge amounts of additional illegal sharing of copyright music, for which they should accept some liability. BMG, whose support of Napster was part of an ultimately unsuccessful bid to develop a royalty paying legitimate version of the P2P network, claim that because the finances they gave to Napster were a loan they could not be held liable for any copyright infringement the P2P company enabled. The plaintiffs disagreed, as well as alleging that had Napster survived BMG would have gained equity in the firm in return for their loan, and that therefore BMG's relationship with the P2P company was more than just a money lender.

The long running court case continues to work its way through the courts, with an aspect of the case - whether Bertelsmann should be forced to hand over client attorney correspondence relating to their deal with Napster - before the US Appeals Court just earlier this month. However, yesterday the only major recording company still participating in the litigation, EMI, announced it had reached a settlement with Bertelsmann. Specifics of the deal, and any financial settlement, were not revealed, although Bertelsmann stressed it had not admitted any liability as part of the settlement - a crucial fact given that legal action against them from the consortium of music publishers in relation to the dispute will continue.

EMI chief Eric Nicoli told reporters yesterday: "We are pleased to have reached this agreement with Bertelsmann. We can now put this matter behind us and continue to pursue the development of new legitimate digital music business models".

As also previously reported, Universal Music, also once part of this dispute, reached a similar settlement with Bertelsmann last year as part of its acquisition of the BMG publishing company.


Despite reports yesterday that (P) Diddy would continue with his co-headline tour with Snoop Dog on his own while the visa-less Snoop tried to persuade Tony Blair to let him in the country, a spokesman announced this morning that all UK dates of the tour have been cancelled.

As previously reported, the UK bit of the co-headline tour was put in jeopardy at the weekend when UK officials refused Snoop a visa in relation to that fracas at Heathrow airport last year, when the hip hop star was arrested on suspicion of violent disorder and affray. Despite hopes Snoop would find some way of getting in before the tour was complete, promoters accepted last night that aint likely to happen any time soon, and pulled all UK dates.

Snoop fans will have to go to Dublin if they want to see him perform - the two dates there at the weekend will go ahead as planned, Snoop not having been disorderly or affrayish at Dublin Airport. Well, not yet.


Scott Weiland's wife Mary has been arrested and may be charged with arson after she allegedly set fire to $10,000 worth of her husband's clothes on Saturday (in a trash can in their back garden, I think). The Velvet Revolver star's wife, born Mary Forsberg, was arrested at the couple's home in Burbank, California. She was subsequently released on bail at a cost of $50,000. A police spokesman told reporters: "Mrs Weiland voluntarily came to the Burbank police station, where she was interviewed by detectives. Scott Weiland arrived at the station with his attorney a short time later". It's not clear in Mr Weiland was the one to call the police in the first place.

Reports also suggest that the Weilands were involved in an incident earlier the same day at Burbank's Graciela Hotel, with sources claiming that police were called to the building because the pair had trashed one of the hotel's rooms in the course of an argument. The clothes burning seemingly happened as a result of the row. Gossip also suggests that the first incident was witnessed by the couple's children, and the fight led to them being placed in the temporary custody of family friends.


Eminem and ex-wife Kim Mathers have made a formal agreement to not publicly criticise one another for the sake of their eleven year old daughter Hailie. Appearing in court yesterday, the pair agreed that exchanging insults via the media would eventually have an adverse effect on the little girl. Eminem was not present at the hearing but addressed the court by telephone.

The case came about after Eminem filed a motion earlier this month to the Macomb County Circuit Court to prevent his ex making public comments about him. This was probably in response to Kim's February appearance on ABC's 20/20 show, on which she accused the rap star of still being addicted to drugs and neglecting his child. Two weeks later, she gave a radio interview and claimed that her ex-husband was abusive and incapable of loving women.

On the agreement, Eminem's lawyer Harvey Hauer said: "We're happy the court was able to bring this matter to a just and equitable resolution".


US royalties society BMI has announced it will recognise the Bee Gees as 'BMI Icons' at its annual Pop Awards, which take place in LA on 15 May. An "all-star musical tribute" to the Bee Gees will form the finale of the awards event, which celebrates the songwriters and publishers behind the top pop songs of the last twelve months.

Past winners of the BMI Icon prize, which aims to recognise songwriters who have had a "unique and indelible influence on generations of music makers", include Crosby, Stills & Nash, Paul Simon, Merle Haggard, Brian Wilson, James Brown, Carlos Santana and Dolly Parton.


Trent Reznor says his new Nine Inch Nails LP 'Year Zero', whilst a concept album set in the future, is actually a comment on today's political situation and global warming crisis.

Reznor says of the album: "When it came to write the words I really wanted to focus on something that was at the forefront of my consciousness which is, as an American, I'm appalled by the behaviour of our government and the direction that it has taken and the direction that it's taken everyone else in the world and its arrogance."

He continued: "I decided to write an essay about where the world might be if we continue down the path that we're on with a neo-con-esque government doing whatever it pleases, which seems to be the way it works over here [America]. There are no concepts in the story that aren't rooted in things that already are happening."


The Edge has donated his favourite guitar to a charity he helped found after Hurricane Katrina hit in the US. As previously reported, the Music Rising organisation was created after the natural disaster to raise funds to replace instruments lost or destroyed in the ensuing chaos. The U2 guitarist has donated his instrument to the organisation's Icons Of Music auction, which will sell off 200 items before the closing date of 21 Apr. Other items up for grabs include a saxophone signed by former US president Bill Clinton and an Elvis Presley recording contract.

The guitarist's U2 bandmates have also donated items to the sale, with Adam Clayton offering a bass guitar, Larry Mullen a pair of tom-tom drums and Bono a pair of sunglasses. The Edge, aka David Evans, told the AP: "I wanted to give something really significant".

The Edge co-founded the organisation with producer Bob Ezrin and Gibson chairman Henry Juszkiewicz back in 2005. Explaining his reasons for getting involved in the project, Evans said: "One of the good things about globalization is it has created a single international music community, and I feel very much part of it. So this doesn't seem like it's someone else's problem. It's really our problem too".


Mark E Smith has formed a new band with the members of German electro duo Mouse On Mars, Andi Toma and Jan St Werner. The new project, entitled Von Sudenfed, will release their debut album 'Tromatic Reflexxions' on 21 May, preceded by a single, 'Fledermaus Can't Get Enough', on 7 May.

Sounds like fun. Here's the album tracklisting:

Fledermaus Can't Get Enough
The Rhinohead
Family Feud
Serious Brainskin
Speech Contamination/German Fear Of Osterreich
The Young The Faceless And The Codes
Chicken Yiamas
That Sound Wiped
Jbak Lois Lane
Dearest Friends


Belle & Sebastian, King Creosote and The Delgados are amongst the acts contributing to a long player celebrating the output of Scottish indie labels over the past thirty years. The album, entitled 'Thank You For Being You' is set for release on 19 May. Here's a full tracklisting:

Belle & Sebastian - She's Losing It
Teenage Fanclub - Fallen Leaves
Josef K - It's Kinda Funny
King Creosote - King Bubbles In Sand
The Delgados - Monica Webster
First Engines - Get Up & Use Me
The Pastels - The Viaduct
Frank Blake - Any Way The Wind Blows
The Nectarine No9 - Saint Jack
Future Pilot AKA - Eyes of Love
Bill Wells Trio - Singleton
How To Swim - Logical Man


Arcade Fire have cancelled the remainder of their European tour due to singer Win Butler's health troubles. Butler has apparently been suffering from sinus and bronchial problems for the last three months, and has been trying to continue despite the advice of doctors. Things have now come to a head, however.

In a posting on the band's official website, he explains: "I have had several doctors advise me to cancel shows weeks ago, and I have been trying to push through, but for my own health and safety I need to have sinus surgery so I can get better and start the recovery process. We are all very sad, because we were very much looking forward to playing these shows, and we could not imagine cancelling a show unless it was physically impossible to do. We apologize to the fans that have been waiting to see us, and we promise to try and come back as soon as it is humanly possible".


Speaking of Arcade Fire, they're set to appear at this year's David Bowie curated High Line festival in New York. Also on the provisional line up for the previously reported event are the likes of Air, Deerhoof, The Polyphonic Spree, Secret Machines and Ricky Gervais.

Speaking about the festival, a series of events taking place throughout May, Bowie said: "I thought it a very cool deal to be asked to curate the High Line Festival. The request was for me to choose artists and acts that I myself would go out of my way to see. Although this inaugural year will be modest in scale we've been pretty lucky in that many whom I asked have accepted. I'm also pleased that many emerging artists are participating alongside more established talents that represent a fairly wide cross section of disciplines within the arts community. I would really hope that the exposure this festival affords will help these folk get the attention they deserve".

Amen to that. More info here:


Beastie Boys have been announced as the headliners for this year's Sonar Festival. They're joined on the bill by acts such as Mogwai, Simian Mobile Disco, New Young Pony Club, Devo, and Dizzee Rascal.

The Barcelona event takes place from 14 - 16 June. For more info, see


Jarvis Cocker, The Cribs, Ocean Colour Scene, Dizzee Rascal and Beverley Knight have all just been added to the bill for this year's V Festival. They join a bill which already includes The Killers, Foo Fighters, Snow Patrol, Kasabian, Pink, The Fratellis, Paolo Nutini, Amy Winehouse and Primal Scream. As I can't believe we haven't already mentioned, this year's V Festival UK takes place from 18-19 Aug at Hylands Park, Chelmsford and Weston Park, Staffordshire.


Organisers of that there Acoustic Festival Of Britain in good old Nantwich have confirmed that the Saw Doctors will headline the Sunday of this year's event - Jethro Tull headlines Saturday. Other artists already confirmed include Jah Wobble, Chris Difford (Squeeze), Hazel O'Connor, Dead Men Walking, The Bluetones, Midge Ure and The Animals. Early bird discounted tickets are available until the end of April for the festival, which takes place on 28 and 29 Jul at Dorfold Hall Park near Nantwich, Cheshire. Info at


Organisers of the Gatecrasher Summer Soundsystem have announced the line up of indie boys who will be taking to the decks, for one night only, to try their hands at DJing as part of the annual dance festival. Babyshambler Peter Doherty, Ordinary Boy Samuel Preston, Futureheads Ross Millard and David 'Jaff' Craig, and, erm, Franz Ferdinander Paul Thomson will all DJ as part of the festival's Teenage Kicks arena - as will members of Belle & Sebastian and Shitdisco.

More used to doing time behind the decks, Judge Jules, Mauro Picotto, Mr Scruff, Fabio & Grooverider, Timo Maas, Andy C, Marco V, Dave Pearce, Lisa Pin-Up, K90 and Christopher Lawrence will also all play at the Soundsystem, which takes place on 27 May at Lotherton Hall, near Leeds.

Commenting on this year's event, Gatecrasher MD Simon Raine told CMU: "There has always been a unique crossover between the world's of dance and indie music and we want to celebrate this at Summer Sound System in a way that is unique and fits with the whole dance festival culture. There is some quite anarchic about members of coolest UK bands becoming DJs, you never know what musical style or sound may come up with!"

Press info on all things Gatecrasher from


Church leaders in Trinidad & Tobago have failed to have Elton John's performance at Tobago's Plymouth Jazz Festival in April stopped. As previously reported, Christian authorities in the country were concerned that the singer's headlining slot might make all the Tobago kids turn gay. The republic's House Of Assembly has dismissed their concerns, however, and the performance will go ahead.

Pastor Terrence Baynes is quoted as saying: "There are some who may not be sure of their sexuality and one has to be careful about how this can create impressions on impressionable minds".

Organiser Anthony Maharaj however, points out that Elton "is not coming here to preach about what lifestyle people should have". Well, let's hope he's not. That would be a whole lot less entertaining than 'I Guess That's Why They Call It The Blues'.


Ninja Tune release 'Solid Steel presents DJ Food and DK: Now, Listen Again!' next week which, from what I hear, is really rather good. To celebrate DJ Food and DK will play a four deck set at London's Big Chill House on 7 Apr, supported by the one and only Steinski.


The press release calls Machine Head "Bay Area metal gods", which sounds good to me. Anyway, their new album, 'The Blackening', is out this week, and they've just announced two new UK shows ahead of their set at the Download Festival. They are...

7 Jun: Glasgow Academy
8 Jun: Belfast Balmoral Hall

Press info on all things Machine Head from Roadrunner IH, I guess.


So, you expect John Lennon's 'Imagine' to come top of 'best pop song ever' polls - it happens all the time. But Chris De Burgh's 'Lady In Red' in second place? Who names 'Lady In Red' as a favourite song? I mean, I know this poll was of the over fifties, and of potential Smoooooooth Radio listeners, but still, Chris De Burgh? I mean, I'm not anti-Chris De Burgh for the sake of it (in fact, if you promise not to tell anyone, I'll admit to quite liking his 'Spanish Train' album) but 'Lady In Red'? Ah well, I suppose the baby boomers also voted Led Zep (twice), Lou Reed, The Beach Boys and even Gnarls Barkley into their top ten, so perhaps we can forgive them the De Burgh moment, and the more predictable inclusion of that Katie Melua.

Anyway, this survey of over 3000 fifty-somethings as to the best pop song ever was undertaken by the Guardian owned Smooth Radio, who are preparing to relaunch next week having acquired and re-branded the Saga Radio network, which means that, in addition to their existing outposts in London and Manchester, there will now be six Smooth stations.

Commenting on the poll, Mark Goodier who, as previously reported, will present the morning show on Smooth's revamped London station, told CMU: "From John Lennon to Led Zeppelin to Ben E King - you can't get much wider than that! They might be a nostalgic generation but they are clearly not stuck in the past and love recent music as well, which is why Smooth Radio will be the perfect station for this audience".

In case you're looking for something to pull apart this afternoon, here's the top twenty, and look, we've included the year they come from too, mainly because the press release we were sent did...

1. John Lennon - Imagine (1971)
2. Chris De Burgh - Lady In Red (1986)
3. Led Zeppelin - Stairway To Heaven (1971)
4. Ben E King - Stand By Me (1961)
5. Gnarls Barkley - Crazy (2006)
6. Lou Reed - Perfect Day (1972)
7. The Beach Boys - Good Vibrations (1966)
8. Simon & Garfunkel - Bridge Over Troubled Water (1970)
9. Katie Melua - The Closest Thing to Crazy (2003)
10. Led Zeppelin - Whole Lotta Love (1970)
11. Louis Armstrong - What a Wonderful World (1967)
12. Elvis Presley - Suspicious Minds (1969)
13. Abba - Dancing Queen (1976)
14. Andy Williams - Moon River (1961)
15. The Beatles - Hey Jude (1968)
16. Procul Harum - Whiter Shade of Pale (1967)
17. The Beatles - I Want to Hold Your Hand (1963)
18. Lionel Richie - Hello (1984)
19. Status Quo - Rockin' All Over The World (1977)
20. The Eagles - Hotel California (1976)


Video game types Electronic Arts have announced a new joint venture with the publishing bit of Terry McBride's Nettwerk Music empire - a new hybrid record label and publishing company to be called Artwerk. See what they did there? The label will look to sign and develop new and established artists, to both or either recording or publishing deals, releasing physical and digital releases, and looking to secure deals for their artists with the film, TV and gaming industries, either sync deals or commissions. Despite Electronic Arts involvement, the new venture says it won't be only signing artists likely the create music suitable for game soundtracks, though the first signing is Junkie XL, who has already created soundtracks for two top selling EA games. Commenting on the new venture, McBride told reporters: "It is time for the music industry to shake things up, break out new bands and find new ways to expose them on a global scale".


Talking of record companies diversifying, Universal Music has announced another equity deal with a digital media platform - this time Paris based TRACE, a global TV, mobile and digital platform focused on all things urban music and culture. Universal will provide TRACE with global music and video rights to its not insubstantial urban / hip hop catalogue and will work with the network on various cross promotional projects. In return Universal will get a seat on the media firm's board (to be filled by UMG Vice Chair Nick Henny) and a minority stake in the company. Confirming the deal, Henny told reporters yesterday: "Universal's strategy is to become actively involved in all areas of media where our artists and our music are present. We researched globally and we identified TRACE as one of the leading new networks reaching the new generation of international and multicultural youth".


Napster is teaming up with Channel 4 Radio to make sessions recorded by the download platform, previously only available to its subscribers, available to a wider audience via a programme on the web radio network. Artists set to appear on the Napster Live radio show include Mika, Paolo Nutini, The Zutons, Amy Winehouse and James Morrison. The programmes will be available to stream for free via the Channel 4 Radio website.

Confirming the partnership, Napster UK's Head of Programming Ian Greeves told CMU: "Partnering with Channel 4 Radio is the perfect opportunity for Napster to showcase some of its amazing exclusive content to a new audience. Over the past two years we've recorded a number of fantastic sessions with a host of both established and up-and-coming artists. While Napster members already enjoy unlimited access to these recordings, this agreement with Channel4 Radio offers all music fans the opportunity to get a taste of the exclusive material currently available on the Napster UK service".

Nathalie Schwarz, Director of Channel 4 Radio, added: "We launched Channel 4 Radio last year determined to do music programming differently. 'NapsterLive' will help us to achieve this providing exclusive access to genuinely exciting and cutting edge music talent. Having already built a strong reputation with shows such as Tom Ravenscroft's Slash Music and The Tube, we are delighted to be working with Napster to help further establish our reputation as a leader in music programming".

Elsewhere in Napster partnership news, the US division of the digital music company has announced a partnership with AT&T that will see the phone firm offer a free year's subscription to customers (new or existing) in certain States who take up a two year wireless contract.


Details of that land purchase undertaken recently by the producers of America's Bonnaroo Festival have been published by the Nashville Tennessean. On the off chance you care, we thought we'd report on them too.

As previously reported, AC Entertainment and Superfly Presents announced in January that they were buying a bulk of the site, near Manchester, Tennessee, that hosts the annual music festival, with the intent of putting some permanent fixtures on the land to reduce productions costs, and to stage other music and entertainment festivals there as well as the Bonnaroo event.

The newspaper cites entries on the Coffee County Register Of Deeds, and reports that the two promoters paid former owner Sam McAllister $8,686,482 for the 530 acre site, which works out at $16,374 per acre, which, according to Billboard, is nearly $10,000 per acre more than land is generally selling for in the area.

That said, insiders say the property purchase was still probably a good deal for the festival's producers, given that just gross ticket sales for the annual festival were $14.7 million last year, and that's before you take in sponsorship and concession revenues. Given the scale of the event, and the savings owning the core of the festival's site should deliver, the over the odds purchase price may well be justifiable in the long term.

When buying the land, Superfly chief Jonathan Mayers told Billboard: "It's a big investment for us, but we believe in the long term of the festival and other events we can create on the property, and the fact that we're going to be able to put permanent infrastructure there. We're really excited about that".


Neil O'Brien, formerly a booking agent with The Agency Group, has announced the launch of his own agency, Neil O'Brien Entertainment, through which he will represent the likes of Goldrush, Hugh Cornwell, Joe Bonamassa, John Power, Henry Blofeld, Kate Walsh, Roddy Frame, Tina Dico and Tony Christie, as well as the Truck Festival. Should you want info, I'd email


The online version of the Radio Times will start listing what programmes are available via online TV on demand services like those run by Channel 4, Five and Living TV. They will also carry recommends of the best in user generated content that can be found on YouTube style sites. Which is all very exciting.


Talking of recommending user generated content, YouTube have announced the winners of its previously reported 'vote for the best videos' poll. It's too hard to explain who the winners are because you won't have heard of them and it's much easier for you to go and watch them than for me to try and describe them - so go see Though I can tell you that that rather fine OK Go video featuring the treadmills won the title of 'Most Creative'.


It was the Press Gazette's Press Thingimy Awards in London last night. Look, here are the winners.

Scoop Of The Year: Stephen Moyes, Daily Mirror, John Prescott Affair
Front Page The Year: Daily Mirror, John Prescott Affair
Reporter: Sheila McNulty, Financial Times
Foreign Reporter: Christina Lamb, Sunday Times
Political Journalist: Patrick Wintour, The Guardian
Sports Journalist: Ian Ridley, Mail On Sunday
Show Business Writer: Fiona Cummins, Daily Mirror
Specialist Writer: Shelia McNulty, Financial Times
Feature Writer: Michael Tierney, The Herald
Interviewer: Jan Moir, Daily Telegraph
Critic: Craig Brown, Mail On Sunday
Columnist: Polly Toynbee, The Guardian
Young Journalist: Ed Caesar, Independent
Cartoonist: Peter Brookes, The Times
Photographer: Andrew Stenning, Daily Mirror
Sports Photographer: Thom Jenkins, Guardian
Team Of The Year: Sunday Times, Cash For Honours
Supplement: Guardian Guides to...
Cudlipp Award (for excellence in popular journalism): Daily Mail
Newspaper Of The Year: The Observer


In case anyone still wondered, former Australian Idol finalist Anthony Callea has confirmed he is gay. There has been increasing speculation in the Aussie press as to Callea's sexuality, and more so recently after a traffic news reporter in Sydney, seemingly unaware that Callea had never formally announced he was gay, started openly taLking on air about knowing the former nearly-Idol's boyfriend. The whole thing was probably more of a story than it should have been because when competing on the pop reality show in 2004 Callea denied being gay to Melbourne newspaper The Age. Speaking to rival newspaper Herald-Sun this week, the singer, who has released two top ten albums in Australia since appearing on the TV show, said: "I have no issue with my sexuality now, but it's taken time to become confident with who I am and happy with who I am. I don't think it's a big issue. Who cares? If people have an issue with it, it's their issue. It shouldn't really be relevant to me being a singer and a performer". On denying he was gay in 2004, he continued: "You learn from your mistakes. I was 21, 22 at the time. I didn't want to be known as just the gay contestant from Idol".


Is it April yet? Is it? Because this sounds like a 1 Apr news story to me. According to reports, Michael Jackson is in talks to create a 50 foot robotic replica of himself, which will roam around the Nevada desert firing laser beams as part of that previously reported Vegas show the pop star is said to be planning as part of attempts to resurrect his career and make some cash.

It would apparently be designed by one Andre Van Pier, whose business partner Luckman Van Pier says that the blueprints have been drawn up and that Jackson is keen. He is quoted by the New York Daily News as saying: "Michael's looked at the sketches and likes them".

He also explained that it would be big enough for people to see from their aeroplanes as they land in the city, saying: "It would be in the desert sands. Laser beams would shoot out of it so it would be the first thing people flying in would see".


Amy Winehouse has revealed that she pulled her two Shepherds Bush Empire gigs earlier this month because she'd smashed a tooth, apparently after a drunken fall, if reports are to be believed. "I broke my big tooth. I had a massive gap in the front of my mouth", she is quoted as saying.

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