FRIDAY 13 MARCH 2015
TODAY'S TOP STORY: Web-blocking in the UK extended a little further earlier this week with websites listing web-block circumventing proxies the latest target. As much previously reported, web-blocking has become an anti-piracy tactic of choice for the content industries in those countries where such measures are available, whether through court injunction or government agency. Web-blocks... [READ MORE]
 
TODAY'S APPROVED: Two big nights combine forces tonight... Superfreq turns 21 and Wiggle thirteen! Superfreq founder Mr C, of The Shamen and The End fame, will be flying over from LA to DJ alongside Superfreq partner in crime David Scuba and long term resident Xo Chic. Meanwhile, Terry Francis and Nathan Coles will be doing the damage on the dancefloor for Wigglists down in E9. Banish those... [READ MORE]
   
BEEF OF THE WEEK: As the music industry changes, and some traditionally lucrative revenue streams have gone into decline, there has been a school of thought that ultimately brands might fill the gap left in musicians' finances. Long gone are the days when Bill Hicks could happily stand on stage and tell us that any artist who took money from advertisers could count themselves "off the artistic... [READ MORE]
TOP STORIES Web-blocks extend to proxy list sites
JUMP | ONLINE
LEGAL PIPCU shuts down file-sharing karaoke site
JUMP | ONLINE
DEALS Kasabian extend Sony/ATV deal
JUMP | ONLINE
LABELS & PUBLISHERS Sony boss shares his thoughts on freemium: "In general, free is death"
JUMP | ONLINE
LIVE BUSINESS A Greener Festival Awards to take year off to restructure
JUMP | ONLINE
BRANDS & MERCH Live Nation announces global brand alliance with Smirnoff
JUMP | ONLINE
MEDIA Radio 1 again forced to deny ageism claims
JUMP | ONLINE
RELEASES Artwork designers announced for this year's Secret 7" project
Jaakko Eino Kalevi announces spelling-focussed debut album
JUMP | ONLINE
ONE LINERS Blur gigs, Active Child songs, Azealia Banks videos, and other marvellous things
JUMP | ONLINE
AND FINALLY... CMU Beef Of The Week #246: Beef v Music
JUMP | ONLINE
 
Click JUMP to skip direct to a section of this email or ONLINE to read and share stories on the CMU website (JUMP option may not work in all email readers). For regular updates from Team CMU follow us on Twitter, Facebook or Tumblr.
 
 
BELIEVE DIGITAL - UK SALES MANAGER (LONDON)
Believe Digital is looking for a sales manager to join its label management team in the UK. A deep knowledge of the independent music industry and key labels, as well as the experience and knowledge to sign content is essential as Believe continues to drive its label acquisition strategy in the UK and internationally.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
DOMINO - DIGITAL CO-ORDINATOR (LONDON)
Domino Recording Co. is looking for an enthusiastic, tech-conscious individual to join the digital department of the label. This full-time position will be based in the London office and will assist the day-to-day work of the department, supporting the content, marketing, sales and operations functions.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
THE ROUNDHOUSE - HEAD OF MUSIC (LONDON)
The main purpose of this role is to create and lead the Roundhouse's internationally renowned music programme. The Head of Music leads on nurturing and maintaining our relationships with promoters and leading players in the music industry and developing the Roundhouse's own music programme, including opportunities for 11-25 year olds. As a member of the Senior Management Team, the successful candidate joins a strong and proactive team that ensures the organisation and all its activities flourish.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
MGR TOURING - ASSISTANT (LONDON)
Bright, well organised, numerate assistant required to support our small team of experts in steering international touring artistes through the maze of withholding taxes in UK, Europe and beyond. Based in NW London within offices of MGR Weston Kay chartered accountants the role initially involves admin, planning and research with some basic bookkeeping, but with training and guidance from the rest of the team we would expect this to expand to include more technical and client facing work.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
IBIZA ROCKS - COMMERCIAL MANAGER/PROMOTER (IBIZA)
We are looking for an ambitious, creative and self-motivated person with a fresh perspective to drive and develop our on island marketing, promotion and sales strategies across our range of events in Ibiza this summer. They should have a passion for events and proven experience in promoting and selling them.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
JUNO RECORDS - MARKETING AND SOCIAL MEDIA ASSISTANT (LONDON)
Juno, the world's largest online dance music and DJ and studio equipment store, is looking for an enthusiastic marketing and social media assistant to help expand its fast-growing marketing and social media activity, on and offline.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
UNLIMITED I&C - FREELANCE EVENTS CO-ORDINATOR (LONDON)
UnLimited I&C is looking for a freelance events coordinator. This person will help plan and deliver conference-style events, handling pre-event administration, including speaker and venue liaison. They will also need to be on site during the event to help with delivery.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
CREATIVE BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT AT NEW MUSIC COMPANY (LONDON)
A fantastic role within an innovative new music house has become available to the suitable candidate. The company is the new start up of two respected independent record labels.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
 
   
AEI MEDIA - ACCOUNTS ADMINISTRATOR (LONDON)
The main responsibilities of the role are to manage the day-to-day running of the finance department and assist with month-end tasks, working closely alongside the Finance Manager to ensure accurate and efficient processing and procedure compliance.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
BELIEVE RECORDINGS - UK LABEL MANAGER (LONDON)
Believe Recordings UK is recruiting a Label Manager who will be responsible for managing artist campaigns within the roster. They will be the primary liaison between all departments and teams involved in Believe Recordings artist campaigns.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
SOUNDREEF - CONTENT MARKETING ASSISTANT (LONDON)
A passionate and creative Content Marketing Assistant is required to join an innovative, fast-growing music business. The Content Marketing Assistant will be joining a VC funded company that has experienced substantial growth and success since its 2011 launch. The company administers royalties for a very large catalogue of musical works and licenses music in over 20 countries in the world.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
UNLIMITED I&C - WEBSITE EDITOR (LONDON)
UnLimited I&C is looking for a part-time Website Editor to edit and manage the website of Creative Skills For Life, a social venture and campaigning organisation which aims to enable people living with life-limiting and life-threatening conditions to come together and explore their creative potential as a catalyst for healing and personal development.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
BIBLIOTHEQUE MUSIC - MUSIC SUPERVISOR (LONDON)
We are looking for an enthusiastic motivated Music Supervisor to help increase our capacity and develop new opportunities. The role will focus on marketing the catalogues to all relevant sectors of media and corporate industries, establishing and developing solid relationships, conducting searches, and taking the lead with all client-facing activity. The position has excellent career prospects going forward with scope for autonomy, innovation and growth.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
 
CMU Jobs is a proven way to recruit the best music business talent for roles across the industry at all levels, from graduate to senior management. To book an ad contact Sam on 020 7099 9060 or email ads@unlimitedmedia.co.uk
 

Web-blocks extend to proxy list sites
Web-blocking in the UK extended a little further earlier this week with websites listing web-block circumventing proxies the latest target.

As much previously reported, web-blocking has become an anti-piracy tactic of choice for the content industries in those countries where such measures are available, whether through court injunction or government agency. Web-blocks force internet service providers to block access to specific websites that exist primarily to enable copyright infringement, like The Pirate Bay.

But as soon as the ISPs start blocking the URLs of such sites, so that users see anti-piracy messages instead, so called proxies appear that enable users to get round the blockades and continue accessing unlicensed music and movies. So the content industries had to start getting web-block orders for the proxies too.

Every time one proxy is blocked another quickly springs up, and users keen for a freebie content fix can check in on web pages providing links to all the latest proxies, so getting around the blockades need not take more than a couple of clicks.

So, somewhat unsurprisingly, the content industries are now targeting those web pages too, presumably citing legal precedent set when the courts ruled against those sites that helped users find the latest illegal streams of movies and telly shows once the content owners started issuing takedown notices against YouTube et al.

According to Torrentfreak, among the proxy lists targeted by a recent web-block injunction were piratebayproxy.co.uk, piratebayproxylist.com and ukbay.org. The operator of the latter isn't very impressed with the development, telling Torrentfreak: "The new blocks are unbelievable and totally unreasonable. To block a site that simply links to another site just shows the level of censorship we are allowing ISPs to get away with".

Ah yes, the 'c' word. How dare the law censor your free speech right to not pay for the latest Ariana Grande record? "UKBay is not even a Pirate Bay proxy", he went on. "It simply provides links to proxies. If they continue blocking sites that link to sites that link to sites, there'll be nothing left". Hmm, when it comes to sites linking to unlicensed content, I'm pretty sure that's the point.

Though, of course, all this web-blocking is still heavily restricted while good old Google makes it so easy to find the latest proxies. And that's the fight that's still brewing.

PIPCU shuts down file-sharing karaoke site
The City Of London Police's IP Crime Unit (PIPCU to its closest friends) shut down a copyright infringing karaoke website earlier this week following a complaint by PRS For Music.

KaraokeWorld was a BitTorrent site with a specific focus on accessing unlicensed karaoke tunes, because who doesn't like a copyright infringing sing song from time to time? The service had a commercial element, with VIP memberships on offer from £5 to £90, which will have heightened the case for taking criminal rather than civil action against the operation. A 46 year old man believed to be the operator of the website was arrested as part of the shutdown.

Confirming the action, PIPCU Detective Chief Inspector Danny Medlycott told reporters: "The public needs to be aware that by accessing sites like this, they are putting money directly in the hands of criminals, which often then funds other serious organised crime, as well as putting their own financial and personal details at risk of being compromised and used for other fraudulent scams. These websites are stealing from the creative industries that employ thousands of people and PIPCU will continue to work closely with our partners to tackle the criminals behind these sites and bring them to justice".

Meanwhile PRS's piracy man Simon Bourn welcomed PIPCU's action, saying: "The livelihoods of songwriters represented by PRS For Music, both within the UK and internationally, and of all those who contribute to our rich and diverse creative community, are underpinned by fair licensing and the protection of copyright".

He went on: "PRS For Music's Anti-Piracy Unit is committed to actively pursuing those who use our songwriters and composers' repertoire without permission, particularly the operation of online music services without the necessary licensing. The unit's dedication in this case, involving careful investigative support which it provided to the police, ensured that an unlicensed UK-based BitTorrent music service for karaoke was located and closed down".

Kasabian extend Sony/ATV deal
Kasabian have extended their publishing deal with Sony/ATV, as has the band's centre of sarcastic wackiness Serge Pizzorno, with his contract covering work outside the band too.

The company's UK MD Guy Moot says: "We are proud to have signed this new deal with Kasabian. Serge has an incredible catalogue of songs with so much more still to come and he should be rightfully acknowledged as one of the best contemporary British songwriters around".

Pizzorno added: "I am delighted to continue my longstanding relationship with Guy and his team. Their support over the years has been invaluable and allowed me to grow as a songwriter and an artist".

Sony boss shares his thoughts on freemium: "In general, free is death"
So everyone's joining in with the good old freemium debate at the moment aren't they?

For the record, my Great Aunt Marge thinks that ultimately Spotify Freemium will need to reduce either its content or functionality to allow the emergence of a mid-market subscription service, though she concedes that YouTube poses a challenge here, and the removal of some of the video site's playlisting tools might be necessary for it all to work. Which is interesting. Though I'm pretty sure she stole at least some of that off Mark Mulligan.

But anyway, what does Sony Music chief overseer Doug Morris think about all this? That's the question my Great Aunt Marge was most eager to ask when we had our monthly streaming-chat-and-scones-get-together the other day.

All talk of late has been about Universal Music boss man Lucian Grainge having a rethink about what kind of freemium services he should be licensing, but what about Morris, who was leading Universal when free-to-access music platforms first emerged before taking over the reins at the Sony record company?

Well, good news, Hits Daily Double has only gone and asked the man himself. "Basically, I equate 'free' with the decline of the music business", he said. "Why should anyone pay for anything if they can get it for free? In certain instances, it's worth a discussion. But in general, free is death".

So, a bit negative towards freemium then. But don't worry Spotifyers, you're not the problem here. "The biggest culprit is YouTube, with their links to free sites", he went on. "This has to be curbed if we're going to have a successful business". And if you're not sure what he means by 'links to free sites', well, me neither.

But don't worry, people. Jimmy Iovine's going to fix everything. "If there's a subscription model that gives people what they want, it'll work. I believe Jimmy Iovine will do well with Apple Beats; he knows how to market things brilliantly. He'll make it sexy enough to have a real chance. They've got 850 million credit cards and $160 billion in the bank - that's a good start".

And Spotify's great too, remember. "Daniel Ek from Spotify deserves a tremendous amount of credit for pushing the rock up the hill. Everybody's trying to find the magic key to open that box. But no one's done it yet. I hope they both win. We're counting on it".

So now you know. Shall we all now agree to not mention the word 'freemium' for at least a week? And yes, that includes all of you heading to Austin.

A Greener Festival Awards to take year off to restructure
A Greener Festival has confirmed that it will not be running its awards programme this year so to "take a year out to restructure" the initiative.

As previously reported, the AGF Awards are a kite-mark type scheme, whereby festivals are assessed according to their green credentials. Events that fulfil various environmental criteria are given awards at different levels, depending on their achievements.

Confirming that the awards would now be taking a year off, AGF co-founder Claire O'Neill said yesterday: "After eight consecutive years of delivering the Greener Festival Awards globally, we have really noticed how event sustainability has matured and moved into the mainstream. The fact that audiences want environmentally conscious events - and that sustainable practices are often money saving - means that the sustainable events industry has really grown up".

She went on: "AGF are using 2015 to reconfigure the awards format and assessment processes to reflect this maturity. 2015 seemed a apt time to take a breather as Yourope - the 80 event strong European festivals association - have re-launched their Green N Clean Award for their member events, and the industry now has a number of other certification routes for sustainable events".

Other AFG activities, such as the Festival Wood and the Green Events & Innovations Conference, will continue, plus the organisation's new look website is set to become "a comprehensive knowledge hub for green events and individuals".

Live Nation announces global brand alliance with Smirnoff
Well, I don't know about you, but I always like to wash down my MDMA with a shot of vodka, so it makes perfect sense that Smirnoff would want to plonk its branding all over 26 EDM festivals owned or co-owned by Live Nation.

And amongst the lucky dance music events set to have Smirnoff splashed around the place are the US-based Electric Daisy Carnival, HARD and Wonderland events, and UK festivals like Creamfields, Wireless, Latitude and Reading. Hmm, I guess the deal isn't specifically EDM-focused on this side of the Atlantic.

Nevertheless, Matt Bruhn, Global Brand Director for the vodka brand, told Billboard: "Smirnoff as a brand is all about inclusivity, enjoying life and having a great time, so we saw a natural fit in the electronic music genre and lifestyle. What we're trying to do is not just advertise our way to success but act our way to success".

And those of you playing brand-partnership-quote bingo should enjoy this second quote from Bruhn too. "This long-term partnership with Live Nation will amplify our global vision around our passion for music and always making the fan experience a top priority. Together we have the opportunity to enhance this experience even further through tearing down the barriers between fans and artists".

For his part, Live Nation's President Of Media & Sponsorships Russell Wallach contributed some quality quoting action too, explaining that "Live Nation has the biggest and most diverse festival platform in the world. We are focused on finding partners that want to enhance the fan experience on-site and create compelling content for the fans not there".

You know, all this talk of "enhanced experiences" makes me wonder... are the kids mainly swallowing their MDMA these days, or is snorting the consumption method de jour?

If it's the latter, well, I wouldn't recommend then snorting the vodka. Believe me, that's an initiation task you'd rather avoid. But hey, I'm certain that Live Nation did its research, and if the kids were mainly snorting their drugs in 2015 it would be Kleenex not Smirnoff badging all the festivals this summer.

Radio 1 again forced to deny ageism claims
BBC Radio 1 has again been forced to issue a statement to say that Madonna's age played no part in its decision to not include her latest single, 'Living For Love', on its playlist. Rather, the station thinks it's a bit shit and its core audience doesn't even know who she is. I'm paraphrasing slightly.

"I thought it was so discriminatory and unfair", said Madonna in an interview with The Sun this week, when asked about not being played by the nation's favourite. "We've made so many advances in other areas - civil rights, gay rights - but ageism is still an area that's taboo and not talked about and dealt with".

In a statement, a spokesperson for Radio 1 responded: "Radio 1 do not ever ban artists and Madonna's track 'Living For Love' has been played on the station. The tracks are chosen on musical merit and their relevance to our young audience on a case-by-case basis, and whilst around 40% of the country's 15 to 29 year olds tune into Radio 1 each week, an artist's age is never a factor".

The station issued pretty much the same statement last month when this issue was first blown up by the anti-BBC newspapers. Except on that occasion it noted that old, old man Paul McCartney had two tracks on its playlist at that time (albeit as a guest to younger, younger artists).

  Vigsy's Club Tip: Superfreq & Wiggle present SuperWiggleFreq Joint Birthday Party at N.90
Two big nights combine forces tonight... Superfreq turns 21 and Wiggle thirteen!

Superfreq founder Mr C, of The Shamen and The End fame, will be flying over from LA to DJ alongside Superfreq partner in crime David Scuba and long term resident Xo Chic. Meanwhile, Terry Francis and Nathan Coles will be doing the damage on the dancefloor for Wigglists down in E9.

Banish those Friday the thirteenth vibes, because anyone heading down to this one should be feeling lucky.

Friday 13 Mar, N.90, 90 Main Yard, Wallis Road, London, E9 5LN, 10pm - 6am, £15+. More info here.
CLICK HERE to read and share online
 
 

Artwork designers announced for this year's Secret 7" project
The artists creating the artwork for this year's Secret 7"s project have been announced, and amongst them are names like Peter Blake, Yoko Ono, David Shrigley, Martin Parr, Paul Smith, Sam Taylor-Johnson, Modern Toss and Tatty Devine.

In total, 700 artists will each create a one-off sleeve design, into which will be popped one of seven singles by The Rolling Stones, Diana Ross & The Supremes, Underworld, The Chemical Brothers, St Vincent, Peter Gabriel or The Maccabees.

Each record and its sleeve will be available for sale for £50 (though you will know what sleeve you're buying, the music will remain a mystery until such time you can get it on a turntable). They'll be available on 4 May, following an exhibition at Somerset House from 10 Apr to 3 May.

Attendees of the exhibition will also be able to cut their own single in a vinyl-cutting booth, and there will be several events running alongside, including a screening of Chemical Brothers film 'Don't Think' followed by a Q&A with director Adam Smith on 16 Apr.

Full details of everything Secret 7"-related can be found here.

--------------------------------------------------

Jaakko Eino Kalevi announces spelling-focussed debut album
Jaakko Eino Kalevi has announced details of his debut album, also called 'Jaakko Eino Kalevi', which will be released through Domino/Weird World on 15 Jun.

"I played the 'self-titled' card this time because for many people this album will be their first encounter with my music", he says. "Also, I get my name misspelled so often that I think it's good to focus on that at this point".

If you have ever met me, I've probably enthused about Kalevi's deadpan stage chat at some point. I'm very glad to see that has now translated into his press statements.

He will also play a couple of UK shows in June - a specific album launch show at the Courtyard Theatre in London on 19 Jun, plus a Brighton show for good measure at the Green Door Store on 23 Jun.

Here's a track from the album, which you'll probably also hear at those shows I'd wager, called 'Double Talk'.

Blur gigs, Active Child songs, Azealia Banks videos, and other marvellous things

Other notable announcements and developments today...

There's a trailer for that Kurt Cobain documentary now.

• Björk has released a video for 'Lionsong', off her new album.

• Azealia Banks has done one of those interactive video things. If you're using Google Chrome, you can look at it now.

• If I wanted to hear a new Mastodon song, specifically one recorded for some 'Game Of Thrones' mixtape, I'd probably click here.

• Active Child has a new song out, called '1999'. It pre-empts his new album, 'Mercy', which is due out in June. "Fingerprints", says Pat Grossi (aka The Active Child).

• The CMU approved Kero Kero Bonito have just released a new single. It is called 'Picture This'.

• Henry Rollins will be doing one of his spoken word tours next year, which will include two nights at the Barbican on 14 ad 16 Jan.

• Blur have announced that they will play an "exclusive one-off show for fans" on 20 Mar. Which I assume means that only people who don't like them are allowed into the Hyde Park gig. Anyway, at this show next week, they will play new album 'The Magic Whip' in full. Here's a trailer thing.

CMU Beef Of The Week #246: Beef v Music
As the music industry changes, and some traditionally lucrative revenue streams have gone into decline, there has been a school of thought that ultimately brands might fill the gap left in musicians' finances.

Long gone are the days when Bill Hicks could happily stand on stage and tell us that any artist who took money from advertisers could count themselves "off the artistic roll call". And not just because he's dead. If Bill Hicks were alive today, he'd be advertising dishwasher tablets and going on tours sponsored by Kraft cheese slices. Well, maybe. Comedy has become the new rock n roll at least twice in my lifetime and so hasn't quite had the shot to its principles that music has.

Musicians, though. Oh, they're having their music placed in adverts here and taking the brand dollar there all the time these days. And it's easy to see what each side gets out of the deal. The musician gets a pile of money to quell the nagging nausea that selling themselves out will bring. And the brand gets to pretend that it has actually absorbed some of the inherent coolness of which it has just robbed the artist.

No one will ever admit this is the deal though. They always try to dress it up with some faux mutual appreciation, which leads to Taylor Swift saying things like, "Diet Coke just 'gets me'", and alcohol brand Absolut to claim that Icona Pop are "almost the embodiment" of its new vodka and wine-based drink. I used to write a whole column about the inherent ridiculousness of these press statement, until it became too depressing to continue.

I can see how these things happen though - and I realise the irony of writing this on a website supported in part by advertising. Everyone's got to feed the monkey, and when someone turns up and offers a chunk of money that will ensure you and it will be kept in bananas for a good few months, that's a very difficult thing to turn down.

A good example of how far this has gone is the South By Southwest festival, which begins next week, and has now embraced sponsorship to such a degree that it has to have a policy on drones to stop all the brands at its trade fair flying them around the place and risking the safety of its customer base. Last year, of course, brand prominence at the event peaked with a Lady Gaga-headlined show sponsored by Doritos. The company reportedly paid her $2.5 million, in return for which she got someone to vomit on her while she stood next to a neon sign bearing the company's logo.

Of course, because no one is willing to actually state the simplicity of the cash-for-cool relationship that is behind all band-brand alliances, sometimes the brands forget that the musicians aren't just doing this because they actually love those companies so much. And so enter McDonald's.

The fast food chain is currently in something of a crisis. While it remains a multi-billion dollar international company, and owns one of the world's most recognised brands, it has seen sales fall in the last year. The issue, according to Ad Week, is the 'millennial', which I think I managed to confirm means 'people who are aged between eighteen and 35' before I had to stop reading up on the term and try to force my soul back into my body.

So the young people, basically. They're the problem. In many ways, McDonald's is like the music industry. Except that no one is downloading burgers illegally. Actually, I think the problem is probably partly down to the fact that it's now quite easy to buy burgers that have flavours. And so McDonald's ruse of trying to mask the blandness of its food with gerkins and ketchup has been scuppered.

But you can't admit that, can you? Not if you're McDonald's. So you have to instigate some cool-for-the-kids marketing nonsense, and say things like: "Our presence at SXSW will highlight our commitment to digital innovation and enhance the onsite experience for attendees. McDonald's has never been involved with SXSW in an official capacity, making this an even more exciting time for our brand".

Yeah, you can't fault McDonald's and its commitment to digital innovation. I mean look at all those... all those... Happy Meals...?

Anyway, part of this 'commitment' will be to drive in a 'Fry-Fi' (seriously) truck that will offer mobile device charging stations, wi-fi, and screens streaming images from around the event. And because that isn't really enough, the truck will also serve breakfast and lunch to anyone not aware that Austin is full of good barbequed meat. Plus, of course, there will be a McDonald's-hosted showcase.

And therein lies the problem. Because while McDonald's has recognised that it could do with appearing a bit cooler to young people, it failed to spot that the people who can help it with that are also among the demographic that doesn't think the fast food chain is cool. They aren't so bowled over by the company that they're willing to chip in just for the love of Big Macs.

Alt-rock duo Ex Cops revealed in a Facebook post this week that they had been approached to play the McDonald's showcase but were told that "there isn't a budget for an artist fee (unfortunately)".

The band's Brian Harding continued: "In lieu of being paid like a real artist, or anyone who is employed to do a service, McDonald's assures us that we will 'be featured on screens throughout the event, as well as POSSIBLY mentioned on McDonald's social media accounts like Facebook'".

Now, McDonald's might argue that it's not exactly cutting corners on this thing. Let's not forget that there will be free food for the audience. McDonald's food doesn't come cheap, you know. Oh wait, hang on...

Well, there's probably a venue hire cost, and all the staff in that venue are probably going to want paying. I mean, how many people work in a venue? Including bar and tech staff, maybe 30? 40? More? And those people don't get to have any fun, like that band does. They're grafting up there, doing real work. All a band does is turn up and play. Nothing else. Because as we all know, there are no financial or time costs to being a musician.

This is presumably what led McDonald's to issue a statement, responding to the Ex Cops post, claiming that it follows "the same standard protocol as other brands and sponsors" at SXSW and that any media interest in this story was the result of a "#slownewsday". I mean, imagine being so confident in your stance on something that you'd conclude it with a hashtag. What could possibly go wrong?

After all, Harding admits in his Facebook post that "it is our choice (pretty much) to fly to Austin, play shows without soundcheck, and get paid nothing to a little".

However, he adds: "I'm aware that to achieve any exposure is a Herculean task in 2015, but the Boethian Wheel is a real thing, and this will continue to exist if we, as artists, keep saying 'yes' in exchange for a taste of success. Even if smells like a shitty Fish Filet".

Speaking to Rolling Stone, he continued: "The people that have been supporting the music industry lately understand that we don't make money off albums anymore, and that's why you see so much merchandise and bands tour all the time. It's our only kind of income".

His musical partner Amalie Bruun added more bluntly: "If we're not going to get paid for our live shows, what are we going to get paid for?"

A few days later, McDonald's finally realised that the continued interest in its unwillingness to pay the only people who really matter in its campaign for some cool was not just because there was nothing else to report on. As a result, this week it backtracked completely, telling Billboard that it had planned a 20 band showcase that would see the company totally "honouring the spirit of the festival" and that "all bands performing at our showcase will be compensated".

It didn't say "fairly compensated", but it's a step forward, I guess. Ex Cops, perhaps unsurprisingly, will still not be one of the bands on that bill, but they said that they were "thrilled" at the news. Nice work employing that ubiquitous press language there guys. I assume it was intentional.

So, all's well that ends well. Well, except for all that stuff with McDonald's still sponsoring a music event. But apart from that, I think we can all sleep soundly at night again. I just hope Jessie J is OK.

 
ANDY MALT | Editor
Andy heads up the team, overseeing the CMU bulletin 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 | Co-Publisher, Business Editor & Insights Director
Chris provides music business coverage, writing key business news and analysis. Chris also leads the CMU Insights training and consultancy business, and is MD of CMU publisher UnLimited Media.
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, plus helps manage and deliver the CMU Insights training courses and consultancy services.
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 UnLimited Media 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
Send ALL press releases to musicnews@unlimitedmedia.co.uk - this is checked daily by the whole editorial team meaning your release will definitely get to the right person.

For details of the training and consultancy services offered by CMU Insights click here - Andy and Chris are also available to provide music business comment, just email them direct.

To promote your company or advertise jobs or services to the entire UK music industry via the CMU bulletin or website contact Sam on 020 7099 9060 or email ads@unlimitedmedia.co.uk
© UnLimited Media, a division of 3CM Enterprises Ltd

CMU, UnLimited Media, Kemp House, 152 City Road, London EC1V 2NX
t: 020 7099 9050 (editorial) 020 7099 9060 (sales)

publishing@unlimitedmedia.co.uk | complaints@unlimitedmedia.co.uk