FRIDAY 22 APRIL 2016
TODAY'S TOP STORY: Tributes filled the internet overnight for Prince, following his sudden death yesterday. The legendary musician's passing was confirmed by a publicist yesterday afternoon UK time, after an initial report by TMZ. His body was reportedly found in a lift at his Minnesota home. No cause of death has yet been announced, with an investigation ongoing and post-mortem... [READ MORE]
 
TODAY'S APPROVED: Ah, The Social. Many a happy time I've spent in there, thanks to its cool minimalist feel downstairs and legendary all dayers. Tomorrow evening sees Michael Barrett and Martin Veal playing the very best in funk, disco, rap and reggae at their Big Boss Groove night down in that basement. It's in a great central location and entry is free, so get down early to this one... [READ MORE]
 
BEEF OF THE WEEK: So, here's a fun story. Someone announced this week that Limp Bizkit would be playing a secret show at a petrol station in Dayton, Ohio. And because nothing about Limp Bizkit ever seems unusual, people believed it. In fact, despite repeated warnings that no such show would be taking place, many still turned up on Wednesday. Notwithstanding the fact... [READ MORE]
 
CMU PODCAST: CMU's Andy Malt and Chris Cooke review the week in music and the music business, including Warner Music and the indie labels' opposition to Sony/ATV becoming wholly owned by Sony Corp, ATP's latest cancellation, the continued question over YouTube's position in hell, and the man taking Kanye West to court over a tweet. The CMU Podcast will be online later today... [LISTEN HERE]
TOP STORIES Prince dies
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LABELS & PUBLISHERS Indie publishers add to criticism of Sony/ATV deal
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LIVE BUSINESS Wireless pledges an operational overhaul in bid to placate locals
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MANAGEMENT & FUNDING PRS announces bands to benefit from speedy touring fund
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THE GREAT ESCAPE CMU@TGE Previews: Getting more from YouTube
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OBITUARIES Prince 1958-2016
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ARTIST NEWS Johnny Marr autobiography due in November
Viet Cong announce new name
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ONE LINERS Katy B, Kyary Pamyu Pamyu, M83, more
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AND FINALLY... CMU Beef Of The Week #302: Limp Bizkit fans v Petrol
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ROBOMAGIC - OFFICE ASSISTANT (LONDON)
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A guide to upcoming events from and involving CMU, including seminars, masterclasses and conference sessions from CMU Insights and workshops from CMU:DIY, plus other events where CMU journalists are speaking or moderating.
 
22 Apr 2016 CMU Insights @ Wide Days 2016
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27 Apr 2016 CMU Insights @ Music Connected 2016
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6 May 2016 CMU Insights @ Canadian Music Week 2016
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19-20 May 2016 CMU Insights @ The Great Escape 2016
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21 May 2016 CMU:DIY x The Great Escape 2016
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kicks off 6 Jun 2016 CMU Insights Seminars Programme: How The Music Business Works
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6 Jun 2016 CMU Insights Seminar: Making Money From Music
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13 Jun 2016 CMU Insights Seminar: How Music Rights Work
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15 Jun 2016 CMU Masterclass: Music Business Explained - For Brands
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20 Jun 2016 CMU Insights Seminar: How Music Licensing Works
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27 Jun 2016 CMU Insights Seminar: The Music Rights Sector
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4 Jul 2016 CMU Insights Seminar: Merch, Live & Brands
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6 Jul 2016 CMU Masterclass: Navigating The Digital Market
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11 Jul 2016 CMU Insights Seminar: Building A Fanbase - Social Media Tools
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18 Jul 2016 CMU Insights Seminar: Building A Fanbase - Music Media
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25 Jul 2016 CMU Insights Seminar: Building A Fan-Orientated Business
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Prince dies
Tributes filled the internet overnight for Prince, following his sudden death yesterday. The legendary musician's passing was confirmed by a publicist yesterday afternoon UK time, after an initial report by TMZ. His body was reportedly found in a lift at his Minnesota home. No cause of death has yet been announced, with an investigation ongoing and post-mortem due to take place later today.

"It is with profound sadness that I am confirming that the legendary, iconic performer, Prince Rogers Nelson, has died at his Paisley Park residence this morning at the age of 57", his publicist said yesterday. "There are no further details as to the cause of death at this time".

Last Friday, an aeroplane on which Prince was travelling home after a show in Atlanta made an emergency landing in Moline, Illinois, where he was taken to hospital. A rep for the musician later told TMZ that he had been suffering with flu for a number of days, but was treated and discharged within three hours. Days later, the musician held an impromptu public performance at his home, seemingly to show that he was in good health.

There were, of course, countless tributes paid by fans, collaborators, musicians, celebrities, journalists, music industry execs and other public figures in the wake of the news yesterday, including one from US president Barrack Obama.

Obama said in a statement: "Today, the world lost a creative icon. Michelle and I join millions of fans from around the world in mourning the sudden death of Prince. Few artists have influenced the sound and trajectory of popular music more distinctly, or touched quite so many people with their talent".

He added: "As one of the most gifted and prolific musicians of our time, Prince did it all. Funk. R&B. Rock and roll. He was a virtuoso instrumentalist, a brilliant bandleader, and an electrifying performer. 'A strong spirit transcends rules', Prince once said - and nobody's spirit was stronger, bolder, or more creative. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, his band, and all who loved him".

As well as his prolific musical creativity, Prince's navigation of the music business was also varied and idiosyncratic. He had a long but tumultuous relationship with Warner Bros Records - leading to the musician changing his name to an unpronounceable symbol in protest against his record deal in the 90s - though more recently he returned to the label for a campaign of reissues.

The label's CEO Cameron Strang said in a statement last night: "Today, we lost one of the most revolutionary talents of our time. Prince's untimely passing is deeply shocking, reminding us that unique artists who chart their own course and move culture are precious few and irreplaceable".

"He leapt onto the scene in 1978 and it didn't take the world long to realise that pop music had changed forever", Strang continued. "He played the studio like an instrument and shattered the definition of live performance. He defined a new kind of superstardom, with a transformative impact not just on music, but on video, film, and style".

"Prince was the epitome of cool and mystery - an inspirational soul who created his own universe by bringing together different genres, races and cultures with a purity of sound and spirit unlike any other. His visionary gifts as a songwriter, vocalist, musician, performer and producer placed him in a league all his own".

He concluded: "We are honoured to have had Prince as a member of the Warner Bros Records family during two eras of his astonishing career. We express our deepest condolences to everyone who loved him and join his family, friends and legion of fans in mourning his loss".

It is not yet clear who will now take on the musician's estate, and therefore manage the very particular controls Prince placed upon his music. He was famously strict about keeping much of his work off much of the internet - his publisher's case against a woman who uploaded a video of her baby dancing to one of his songs in 2007 is still ongoing, and he went so far as to have six second clips of his performances removed from Vine. Last year he then pulled all of his music off streaming services other than Tidal (before releasing one single on Spotify).

In 2010, he stated: "The internet's completely over. I don't see why I should give my new music to iTunes or anyone else. They won't pay me an advance for it and then they get angry when they can't get it. The internet's like MTV. At one time MTV was hip and suddenly it became outdated. Anyway, all these computers and digital gadgets are no good. They just fill your head with numbers and that can't be good for you".

More recently Prince did begin using social media, perhaps returning slightly more to the view of his 1996 internet-focussed song 'My Computer'. However, what processes he put in place, if any, to ensure that his views on how is music is distributed online are upheld after his death will no doubt become clear in the relatively near future.

Creatively, Prince had been in the midst of a very active period in the last two years. In 2014, he played a series of low-key shows, announced at short notice, with his new band 3rdeyegirl. He released one album with the band, and three other solo records in 2014 and 2015, coming after a gap of three years, the longest period without an album release of his nearly 40 year career.

This year Prince had been touring solo for the first time, under the banner One Man And A Piano. At one such show last month he announced that he was writing his autobiography, due for publication next year. It's not clear how much of that was written at the time of his death, though he previously suggested the book was in its early stages.

Indie publishers add to criticism of Sony/ATV deal
Following the news that both Warner Music and indie labels trade group IMPALA have expressed concern over Sony's plan to take complete ownership of its Sony/ATV music publishing business, yesterday a group representing independent music publishers also criticised the move which will give Sony Corp outright ownership of the world's biggest music publishing company.

As previously reported, Sony is buying the Michael Jackson Estate out of the Sony/ATV joint venture that began in the 1990s. Sony/ATV also controls the catalogue of EMI Music Publishing, which a Sony-led consortium bought in 2012. With Sony also owning the second biggest record company in the world, rivals are now saying that the Sony/ATV deal will give the entertainment conglom too much dominance in the music rights sector.

According to Bloomberg, Warner Music reps have already spoken to competition regulators within the European Commission about the deal, while IMPALA said that - given concerns already expressed by the EC when Sony led the EMI Music Publishing purchase a few years back - officials there will surely have to demand some remedies this time - most likely the forced sale of some of its repertoire - in order to green light the Sony/Jackson Estate deal.

Now the International Music Publishers Forum is also criticising the transaction. Its President, Pierre Mossiat, said yesterday: "IMPF intends to complain to the European Commission over the acquisition which needs to be carefully considered not only on the grounds of the distortion of the market it will cause, and in particular to independent music publishers, but also in the long run, the risk of reduced consumer choice and increased prices".

Wireless pledges an operational overhaul in bid to placate locals
Organisers of London's Wireless Festival have announced a stack of operational changes ahead of this year's planned event. The announcement follows mounting criticism from residents who live near Finsbury Park - which has hosted Wireless since 2014 - and who are calling on the local council to deny the Live Nation event a licence this year.

Arguing that the Wireless festival causes unacceptable loss of amenity and increases in traffic and noise, and that there were security failings at last year's event, Friends Of Finsbury Park said last month: "We are not against Wireless Festival, but its sheer size and scale is totally inappropriate for Finsbury Park. We are happy to see events staged which don't involve the closure of one third of the park in high summer, are more inclusive of the local community, and benefit the park itself".

With that campaign seemingly gaining momentum, Melvin Benn, boss of Live Nation's Festival Republic business, which has now taken over responsibility for Wireless, has made moves to try to placate locals and the local authority by promising a restructuring of the event's operational and security teams for 2016. Festival industry veteran Benn has some experience in placating locals and councils with concerns about music events, so Live Nation will be hoping he is the man to successfully address the Wireless problems.

Benn said yesterday: "We have been working closely with local police and Haringey Council, as well as festival-goers, on a full site improvement plan for Wireless Festival 2016. Our new security strategy will solve issues from last year's event, which includes the restructuring and management of key areas, specifically site structure and security. This is a new year for Wireless Festival, and we're confident it's going to be better than ever".

A statement from Festival Republic said the new Wireless operational team "includes specialist security teams and new security positions; including security co-ordinator and offsite security roles, adding to the overall site improvement plan". Meanwhile it noted that the Live Nation subsidiary "specialises in the production of large scale festivals, with Benn also responsible for the production behind Reading and Leeds, Latitude and V Festival, amongst others".

Wireless isn't the only event staged by a Live Nation business to be promising an operational revamp following teething problems at a newish site. As much previously reported, DF Concerts' T In The Park is also hoping new systems and staff will overcome opposition from locals to it using the Strathallan Estate in Perthshire.

PRS announces bands to benefit from speedy touring fund
Hey fans of speedy funding schemes, do you want to know which speedy artists got some speedy goodies from the PRS For Music Foundation's most recent speedy Flash Funding initiative?

As previously reported, the Foundation's Flash Funding project is a scheme that offers support for new artists with a one-week turnaround from application to decision. Each edition of the initiative has different partners and a specific theme, and this time it was Wigwam Acoustics and the Musicians' Union getting involved, offering four acts bespoke on-stage monitoring systems worth up to £10,000, plus advice and training on touring, promotional support and an additional £375 for touring costs.

And the successful speedy applications were...

April Towers - to support European and UK dates in May, June and July.
False Advertising - to support upcoming UK dates in April and May.
Flight Brigade - to support tours and festivals across the UK.
John Joseph Brill - Liverpool - to help with upcoming UK dates.

Says the Foundation's Joseph Frankland: "Congratulations to the four successful artists receiving this latest version of Flash Funding. We received close to 100 applications in 72 hours, which is an incredible response and highlights the need for this type of support for emerging artists in the live sector. I look forward to seeing how this support will transform the live shows of April Towers, False Advertising, Flight Brigade and John Joseph Brill, and make a real impact on their careers".

CMU@TGE Previews: Getting more from YouTube
Four weeks today new music festival The Great Escape will be underway, as will CMU Insights @ The Great Escape, the conference that sits at the heart of the convention programme. Unlike most other music industry conferences, CMU@TGE focuses on just four topics, presenting a full day of content around each theme with a mixture of talks, case studies, interviews and debates.

Each day in the CMU Daily in the run up to this year's Great Escape, Business Editor Chris Cooke will preview a different session, explaining the thinking behind it. First in the line for previewing, the sessions that form the full-day strand 'What if YouTube actually is the future?', taking place on the Thursday, 19 May, in Dukes @ Komedia 2...

With YouTube so often the subject of music industry griping these days, it's easy to forget that, for many artists and labels, Google's video platform is still a key marketing channel and, for some, a useful extra revenue stream too, particularly when it comes to generating income from music exploited in user-generated content.

Which is why, with the obvious exception of GEMA, many artists, labels, publishers and collecting societies continue to use the YouTube site. And to do deals with the Google company, despite all the griping and the concurrent lobbying efforts to change copyright law so to force YouTube's hand into signing licensing deals more favourable to the music community.

But are those artists, labels, publishers and collecting societies getting the absolute most out of YouTube, its audience and its technology? Despite - and, actually, because of - the licensing issues and royalty rate disagreements, those who decide that YouTube is still an important channel for them should probably make sure that they are using the platform to its fullest effect. Which is what our CMU@TGE session 'Getting more from YouTube' is all about, with three experts set to get on stage and share their insights.

First, the spotlight will fall on Content ID, YouTube's much discussed content management set-up which enables labels - and via the Melody ID system publishers - to track and manage their recordings and songs as they are uploaded to the video site, choosing to block or monetise that content. Rebecca Lammers from Laika Network knows all the ins and outs of the system, and will be talking us through how it works - and when it works - from both a label and publisher perspective.

Then we'll look at the power of YouTube as both a marketing platform and a data platform, with Claire Mas from Communion Music Group bringing us up to speed on best practice and current trends when it comes to using YouTube for promotional purposes, and Chloé Julien from BandSquare running you through the analytics the platform offers, just to make sure everyone is tapping all the potential data that is available there.

Whatever your viewpoint on YouTube's licensing model - safe harbours, mere conduits, value gap and all - it's almost certainly true that the music industry can't just ignore the video site, especially when working with new talent, so we might as well get as much out of it as we can. And 'Getting more from YouTube' should help with that.

This session takes place at 12.15pm on Thursday 19 May in Dukes@Komedia 2 as part of a whole day focused on YouTube and video online, hosted by Brittney Bean of Tracks2. You will find a full outline of the day here, plus look out for previews of the other sessions taking place as part of the strand in upcoming editions of the CMU Daily.

TGE delegates get access to all of CMU Insights @ The Great Escape and all the other festivities that take place over the three days of the festival - passes are £230 and available here. This year tickets are also available for just the convention side of the proceedings for £100 and those can be bought here.

Prince 1958-2016
Prince was found dead at his Paisley Park, Minnesota home yesterday. He was 57.

Born Prince Rogers Nelson in 1957, he was given the stage name of his jazz musician father. He began playing music at an early age, and signed his first record deal with Warner Bros Records aged nineteen. His then manager Owen Husney managed to negotiate a deal giving the musician unprecedented creative control over his music. This resulted in 1978's 'For You', on which Prince played every instrument and produced the record himself.

The album was not a success critically or commercially. However, the next year's similarly self-contained follow-up, 'Prince', went platinum, spawning hit singles 'Why You Wanna Treat Me So Bad?' and 'I Wanna Be Your Lover'. After this, starting with 1980's 'Dirty Mind', Prince moved into what would become his trademark funk sound with explicitly sexual lyrics.

These lyrics (which he later distanced himself from after becoming a Jehovah's Witness) reached peak controversy in 1985 when the song 'Darling Nikki' reportedly prompted Tipper Gore to set up the Parents Music Resource Center, leading to 'parental advisory' stickers being slapped on records considered unsuitable for children.

The song was taken from the soundtrack of 'Purple Rain', the movie which assured the already ascendant Prince his position as a superstar. The financial boost from this also allowed him to develop his Paisley Park recording studio, where he was able to better indulge his prolific creativity - as well as the 39 studio albums he did release, it's thought that at least 26, along with other material, sit in the studio's vault.

In the 90s, he became increasingly displeased with the control that Warner Bros had over his work. In 1993, he changed his name to an unpronounceable symbol in protest against the fact that the label owned the rights to his birth name - the media then taking to referring to him as The Artist Formerly Known As Prince.

The musician then began attempting to fulfil his contractual obligations by quickly releasing new albums, often featuring previously recorded material. This led to a legal battle with the label, which accused him of saturating the market. As a result, Prince generally appeared publicly during this period with the word 'Slave' written on his face.

When his Warner contract eventually expired in 2000, he changed his name back to Prince for the next phase of his career. Though it wasn't the end of the Warner alliance. More recently he repaired his relationship with the mini-major, agreeing to extend his deals on early works with Warner outside the US, though taking control of them domestically himself.

Once outside of major label control for new material, Prince experimented with various distribution models for his records, giving away albums with newspapers and concert tickets, and selling them direct-to-fan online - opening his own digital subscription platform in 2001.

Although he was an early innovator on the internet, he became more famous for his actions to keep his music off it. Any rush to stream his back catalogue in the wake of his death is made more difficult by the fact that he worked hard to keep his music off YouTube and the like, and recently took his records off all streaming services other than Tidal.

Still working prolifically in the studio and as a live performer at the time of his death, and with an autobiography in the works, Prince will be remembered for many reasons. Though overall it will be as an artist who was truly unique in numerous ways for his entire career of almost 40 years.

 

Vigsy's Club Tip: Big Boss Groove at The Social
Ah, The Social. Many a happy time I've spent in there, thanks to its cool minimalist feel downstairs and legendary all dayers.

Tomorrow evening sees Michael Barrett and Martin Veal playing the very best in funk, disco, rap and reggae at their Big Boss Groove night down in that basement. It's in a great central location and entry is free, so get down early to this one.

Saturday 23 Apr, The Social, 5 Little Portland Street, London, W1W 7JD, 7.30pm-1am, free. More info here.

Stay up to date with all of the artists featured in the CMU Approved column in 2016 by subscribing to our Spotify playlist.
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Johnny Marr autobiography due in November
That there Johnny Marr has announced that he will publish his autobiography in November. Well, technically a PR working for his publisher did the announcing. But, you know, even the best have a little help when putting their life story down in words.

Says Marr of the book, which is called 'Set The Boy Free': "I wanted to convey a feeling of breaking free, that has been a constant throughout my life. A feeling that expresses itself as both escape and discovery. Transcendence. I found it through rock n roll and art and a journey living both in the modern world".

The autobiography is published in various formats of booky goodness on 3 Nov.

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

Viet Cong announce new name
Even the word's 'formerly known as' seem a little sad today, right? But anyway, the band formerly known as Viet Cong have announced their new name, and it's Preoccupations.

As previously reported, as Viet Cong became more popular their choice of moniker became more controversial. Admitting they had been "naive about the history of a war in a country we knew very little about", the Canadian outfit announced last September that they'd find a new band name for their next album. And know they've found it.

The band said in a statement: "After finishing our latest record and taking some time off, we are excited to announce that we will be performing and recording as Preoccupations going forward. We will be previewing new material from a forthcoming record in a series of festivals and shows in North America and Europe in the coming months".

On the past name issues, the band went on: "We apologise to those who were adversely affected by our former band name. This was never anticipated nor our intent. We are artists and not politicians, we understand that the name reflected pain to some individuals and we are happy to change it and move on and focus on our music".

Katy B, Kyary Pamyu Pamyu, M83, more

Other notable announcements and developments today...

• Katy B's new album 'Honey' is out today. Here's another track from it, 'Water Rising'.

• Kyary Pamyu Pamyu has released 'Sai & Co', the bonus track from her upcoming best of compilation. Watch the video here.

• Slowolf and Kimbra have released a live session video for their very good new single 'White Feathers'.

• Elle Exxe has announced that she will release her debut album, 'Love Fuelled Hate', on 10 Sep. While you wait for that, check out new single, 'Lately'.

• M83 has announced two post-Glastonbury live shows at the Ritz in Manchester on 26 Jun and ABC in Glasgow on 27 Jun.

• Fields Of The Nephilim have announced two London shows this year to mark the summer and winter solstices. They'll play The Forum on 20 Jun and Shepherds Bush Empire on 21 Dec. Here's their new single 'Prophecy'.

CMU Beef Of The Week #302: Limp Bizkit fans v Petrol
So, here's a fun story. Someone announced this week that Limp Bizkit would be playing a secret show at a petrol station in Dayton, Ohio. And because nothing about Limp Bizkit ever seems unusual, people believed it. In fact, despite repeated warnings that no such show would be taking place, many still turned up on Wednesday. Notwithstanding the fact that they were actually a year early.

Over 22,000 people were invited to a Facebook page advertising the event, stating that it was due to take place on 20 Apr 2017, with almost 4000 indicating that they would make the trip. Few seemed to notice that the listing was for next year, rather than this.

Concerned that thousands of rabid nu metal fans were about to descend on their town, Dayton Police Dept issued a warning that there was "no concert at the gas station" happening. Amazingly, this warning managed to look more fake than the show announcement. Fred Durst also warned anyone who asked him about it on Twitter that it was "NOT TRUE" that they would be playing the show (the 'organisers' of the 'show' then saying that this is what really sparked interest in it).

The petrol station itself even attempted to stave off the tide of interest in the non-gig with this amazing sign, but to no avail.

Come Wednesday night, the petrol station called the police after people began congregating outside - with more arriving as fast as law enforcers could chase them off, with up to 150 standing outside at any one time, according to local news reports. Though they mostly seemed aware that there would be no performance, the draw of seeing what would happen anyway appeared to have been enough.

"I was hoping something fun would go down", one fan told WHIO News Center 7. "I immediately knew it was a joke. It was pretty obvious".

Commenting on the havoc they had caused, one of the administrators of the original Facebook event, Andy Rowe told The Daily Beast: "I have never laughed so hard like I have these last two days, yet understood so little about why it's funny in the first place. I keep asking myself, 'Why does it seem like the whole world is bent on seeing Limp Bizkit play at this gas station?'"

Anyway, I assume we're all going to the real show next year, yes? I'll book a minibus.

 
ANDY MALT | Editor
Andy heads up the team, overseeing the CMU bulletins and website, coordinating features and interviews, reporting on artist and business stories, and contributing to the CMU Approved column.
Email andy@unlimitedmedia.co.uk (except press releases, see below)
   
CHRIS COOKE | MD & Business Editor
Chris provides music business coverage and analysis. Chris also leads the CMU Insights training and consultancy business and education programme CMU:DIY, and heads up CMU publisher 3CM UnLimited.
Email chris@unlimitedmedia.co.uk (except press releases, see below)
   
SAM TAYLOR | Commercial Manager & Insights Associate
Sam oversees the commercial side of the CMU media, leading on sales and sponsorship, and advising on CMU Insights training courses and events.
Email sam@unlimitedmedia.co.uk or call 020 7099 9060
   
CARO MOSES | Co-Publisher
Caro helps oversee the CMU media, while as a Director of 3CM UnLimited she heads up the company's other two titles ThisWeek London and ThreeWeeks Edinburgh, and supports other parts of the business.
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