TODAY'S TOP STORY: The boss of indie label repping digital rights agency Merlin was scathing yesterday about the news that Sony's The Orchard had acquired European independent music distributors Phonofile and Finetunes. Merlin's Charles Caldas framed the acquisition as another "land-grab of independent rights" by a major record company via a "faux-indie imprint"... [READ MORE]
TODAY'S CMU APPROVED: Two tips this week because this is my column and you can't tell me what to do. There are a couple of things happening close to my heart and I don't want to have to choose. So we've got Dan Curtin at the Hoxton Basement, plus it's Egg's birthday weekend. [READ MORE]
BEEF OF THE WEEK: Putting on a festival is a major undertaking, both financially and logistically. Because of this, it's inevitable that these events sometimes fall apart, either before or after the show. But few have ever collapsed quite so spectacularly as last week's Fyre Festival. It was billed as a luxury event, based on a remote island in the Bahamas once owned by Pablo Escobar, aka Great Exuma. [READ MORE]
LATEST CMU PODCAST: CMU's Andy Malt and Chris Cooke review key events in music and the music business from the last week, including the latest stats from the IFPI that reveal that global record industry revenues grew 5.9% in 2016 (despite flippin YouTube), and how new legislation to combat ticket touting just skated into UK law before Parliament broke up for a pointless election. The CMU Podcast is sponsored by 7digital. [READ MORE]
LATEST CMU TRENDS: The International Federation Of The Phonographic Industry last week published its annual stats report, rounding up the financial performance of the global record industry in 2016. Revenues were up 5.9% worldwide, fuelled by the streaming boom. Reviewing the figures, CMU Trends provides three reasons to be optimistic, and three reasons for pessimism. [READ MORE]
TOP STORIES Merlin hits out as The Orchard acquires Finetunes and Phonofile
LEGAL BBC hits out at Cliff Richard's legal spend on police raid privacy case
LIVE BUSINESS Websites will be "blacked out" in campaign against sexual assault at festivals
MEDIA iHeartMedia repeats debts warning as it publishes disappointing financials
THE GREAT ESCAPE CMU surveys UK music journalists ahead of Great Escape Media Conference
CMU@TGE Top Ten Questions: How do you make money out of music media in 2017?
ARTIST NEWS Rich people still rich
GIGS & FESTIVALS Earache Records to host Glastonbury punk and metal stage
ONE LINERS Kobalt, Ed Sheeran, Niall Horan, more
AND FINALLY... Beef Of The Week #353: Fyre Festival v Fyre Festival
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6 May 2017 CMU Insights @ SPOT+
16 May 2017 CMU:DIY x Urban Development: Getting A Gig
18 May 2017 CMU Insights @ The Great Escape - The Media Conference
18 May 2017 CMU Insights @ The Great Escape - The Drugs Conference
19 May 2017 CMU Insights @ The Great Escape - The Export Conference
19 May 2017 CMU Insights @ The Great Escape - The Royalties Conference
20 Jun 2017 CMU:DIY x Urban Development: Where Labels & Publishers Fit In

Merlin hits out as The Orchard acquires Finetunes and Phonofile
The boss of indie label repping digital rights agency Merlin was scathing yesterday about the news that Sony's The Orchard had acquired European independent music distributors Phonofile and Finetunes. Merlin's Charles Caldas framed the acquisition as another "land-grab of independent rights" by a major record company via a "faux-indie imprint".

Norway's Phonofile and Germany's Finetunes formally came together under one parent company - SendR - at the start of last year. At the time the two music distributors described the move as "one of the most significant mergers in the history of the independent digital distribution market", adding that the two businesses would now actively collaborate.

Under this week's deal with SendR, Phonofile and Finetunes will now become wholly owned subsidiaries of The Orchard. This, the official announcement of the deal insisted, will give indie labels distributed by the two European companies "access to The Orchard's enhanced services in over 25 territories worldwide, offering physical sales and distribution, global digital marketing, playlist promotion, interactive marketing, digital advertising, sync licensing, video services, neighbouring rights collections, and artist royalty processing".

Confirming the deal, Finetunes founder Oke Göttlich said: "We feel confident that our labels will be best positioned for a healthy and prosperous future alongside The Orchard, which is dedicated to serving independents on a global level".

Meanwhile The Orchard's top guy Brad Navin added: "We're honoured to welcome Finetunes and Phonofile to The Orchard family. Their addition greatly enhances our local representation in two of Europe's key digital entertainment markets. Both teams are extremely knowledgeable and passionate, and they do an excellent job representing some of the most prestigious and important independent labels in Germany and the Nordics respectively. In joining together, we believe we have an exciting opportunity to provide even greater levels of service and global reach to our local clients".

The Orchard also began its life as an independent company, but gained Sony Music as a shareholder via its merger with rival IODA in 2012. The music major then took complete ownership of the music services firm in 2015.

All of the major record companies provide distribution and marketing services to independent labels and self-releasing artists, whether through distribution deals done between individual acts and the majors' frontline labels, or through label services units like Sony's Red Essential, Universal's Caroline or Warner's ADA. And for Sony there is also The Orchard, which operates much more as an autonomous entity.

This isn't a particularly new phenomenon, and occurred in the CD age too, the argument being that it is a nifty way for artists to get the benefits of a major record company's global infrastructure, while retaining more control over their recordings business, and/or getting to work day-to-day with an independent record company.

Some in the indie label community don't like the increased influence such arrangements give to the major music corporations. That increased influence arguably has a more tangible value in the digital age, because when negotiating streaming deals a rights owner's negotiating power is often linked to its market share, especially when it comes to securing kickbacks like equity. The majors usually include the indie labels they and their subsidiaries distribute in their claimed market share to boost their negotiating positions. However, critics argue, the kickbacks are not then shared with the distributed labels or their artists.

The aforementioned Caldas has been vocal before (including in this CMU interview in 2015) about the role market share plays when negotiating streaming deals. And about the tactics employed by the majors to increase their market share figures, including relying on total rather than streaming market share stats (something that skews against the indies) and counting the recordings they distribute on behalf of other rights owners.

Commenting on this week's Finetunes/Phonofile acquisition by The Orchard, Caldas added: "This is not positive news for the indie labels and artists affected by this deal. Merlin has long been vocal about our concerns that the majors, via their faux-indie imprints, are land-grabbing independents rights in order to bolster their market shares and use the value of those indie artists to extract disproportionate value from the market in their negotiations with digital services. That value flows only one way, and it is not to the indie labels and their artists who actually create that value".


BBC hits out at Cliff Richard's legal spend on police raid privacy case
Cliff Richard has been needlessly throwing big wads of cash at a money pit of lawyers for nearly three years now, claims the BBC, which is bothering itself over the fact it might be left saddling the bill for the popstar's costly cackle of attorneys.

As previously reported, Richard is suing the BBC and South Yorkshire Police over the former's coverage of the latter's investigation into claims of sexual abuse that were made against the singer in 2014. The star objected in particular to the broadcaster's filming of a police raid on one of his properties in Berkshire.

No charges were made in relation to the allegations of historical sexual assault, with the Crown Prosecution Service dropping the case because of insufficient evidence. Meanwhile Richard went legal claiming that the BBC's coverage of the case, facilitated by South Yorkshire Police, breached his privacy rights and, in doing so, inflicted "profound and long-lasting" damage on the singer's reputation.

The case is ongoing, with the BBC denying any wrongdoing. If the broadcaster loses the case it will likely have to pay the singer both damages and legal costs. But, said legal reps for the Beeb in a preliminary hearing in the High Court this week, those legal costs are running out of control, with the singer having already spent £525,437 on the civil case, in addition to £369,414 spent on solicitors who dealt with the legalities around the police raid.

The BBC's lawyers argue that those costs are "disproportionate" for a case of this kind. Gavin Millar QC, acting for the BBC, said in a written submission to the judge overseeing the legal battle: "Though not without its legal complexities, this case cannot have required extensive factual investigations on behalf of the claimant: the broadcasts are in the public domain. On any view ... the claimant's incurred costs to date are grossly unreasonable and disproportionate".

The judge should record his client's "strong disapproval" of Richard's legal spend at this point, Millar added.

Richard was not expected to attend the preliminary hearing. Unless any settlement can be reached, the case will now proceed to a full court hearing.


Websites will be "blacked out" in campaign against sexual assault at festivals
The websites of more than 25 festivals will be "blacked out" for 24 hours on Monday as part of a campaign to raise awareness about sexual assault at music events, and measures being taken to combat such incidents.

Instigated by the Association Of Independent Festivals, the Safer Spaces campaign is promoting three key messages, they being "zero tolerance to sexual assault", "hands off unless consent" and "don't be a bystander". While the official websites of participating festivals are blacked out, said events will be promoting those messages via their various social media channels.

More than 60 members of AIF have also signed up to a charter of best practice committing to ensure both staff and volunteers are trained to deal with incidents of sexual violence, to take a victim-led approach to sexual assault incidents, and to provide confidential welfare services for victims.

Commenting on the campaign, AIF's Renae Brown said: "This campaign is building upon the positive measures that are already being taken by our members. We are reiterating that we have a zero tolerance towards any form of sexual harassment or assault at our events".

The campaign is being supported and informed by a number of other organisations, on which Brown added: "Our members already take very seriously their responsibilities as event organisers, and by taking guidance from Rape Crisis England & Wales, Girls Against, Safe Gigs For Women and the White Ribbon Campaign we are aiming to tackle these issues in both a sensitive and impactful way - pushing awareness of sexual safety to the fore, while ensuring all those working onsite are properly trained, and that UK festivals continue to provide the safest, securest and most enjoyable environment for their customers".


iHeartMedia repeats debts warning as it publishes disappointing financials
Management at American broadcaster iHeartMedia, also owners of the iHeartRadio streaming service, have again put out a warning that the company may cease to be a going concern within the year unless ongoing efforts to restructure its mega-debts are successful.

iHeartMedia initially raised concerns about its "ability to continue as a going concern" last month, struggling as it is to restructure the $20 billion of debt taken on during a $24 billion private equity buyout of the media firm in 2008.

The company has now reported that revenues were down and losses up year-on-year for the first quarter of 2017, though the slip in revenues is mainly the impact of currency fluctuations impacting on the group's global outdoor advertising business Clear Channel. Investment types had expected the somewhat disappointing quarterly financials, though some analysts are questioning why the firm's expenses were higher that anticipated.

However, the immediate future of the company is more down to whether or not iHeart's owners and top guard can restructure those debts. There have been no significant developments on that front, hence the company reiterating its previous statement that "there is substantial doubt as to our ability to continue as a going concern for a period of twelve months following 4 May 2017".

There is some debate over whether or not the outcome of all this will be so called chapter eleven bankruptcy, or not. Some reckon that, while the firm's money lenders have so far refused to play ball on the debt restructuring, they are mainly standing their ground for a better deal, and will eventually agree to new terms, chapter eleven not being a desirable outcome for anyone really. We’ll see, I guess.


CMU surveys UK music journalists ahead of Great Escape Media Conference
CMU Insights is currently surveying the music journalists of Great Britain, and will reveal the results as part of the Media Conference at The Great Escape later this month.

It's nearly eight years since CMU last surveyed the people who write about and champion music through newspapers, magazines, websites and blogs around the UK. This time the survey looks at the state of music media and music journalism in 2017, as well as questioning editors, writers and reviewers about the ways artists, labels, promoters and PR agencies connect with them when promoting their releases and events.

Says CMU Business Editor Chris Cooke: "Our music PR courses are among the most popular of the CMU Insights seminars we offer, so we regularly check in with editors and journalists on an informal basis to inform what we teach. But it's great to cast the net a little bit wider once again to provide those in the music community with PR or publicity roles with the best possible insights on what the journalists they are contacting think".

Music journalists have until next Wednesday at 5pm to answer the survey. The CMU Insights team will then crunch all the figures, presenting the key findings during CMU's Media Conference at TGE on Thursday 18 May. More detailed findings will then be subsequently published in CMU Trends and be shared at other CMU Insights events.

CMU Insights has already contacted hundreds of music media people about the research. But any other music journalists, editors and bloggers interested in contributing can contact for more information.


CMU@TGE Top Ten Questions: How do you make money out of music media in 2017?
In the run up to this year's CMU Insights @ The Great Escape conference, we are going through the top ten questions we will be answering during this year's programme. Today: How do you make money out of music media in 2017?

If you think it's a challenge making money out of music in the digital age, trying making money out of music journalism. Just like the music business, the media sector has also struggled to deal with the shift to digital, but unlike artists music journalists don't generally have a live or merch side to fall back on, nor a rapidly growing online subscriptions business to replace lost legacy income streams.

You could argue that in the social media age, where everyone is a publisher - and in the streaming era where people can check out a new album for themselves for free without relying on a critic to describe it to them - do we even need so much music journalism?

Yet music-based editorial content - whether news, reviews, interviews or other features - is still hugely popular. Indeed, most music media and most music journalists are talking to much bigger audiences online than they ever did in print. And the music industry still recognises the role media platforms play in building an audience for their artists and music.

The challenge for music media owners is how to turn that online audience into revenue. Music magazines traditionally had two sources of income: cover price and advertising. However, publishers - especially of consumer-facing titles - have found it really hard to persuade people to pay to access content online. In the advertising space, media owners face two massive new competitors for the online ad spend of big brands: search engines and social networks. And Google and Facebook don't have the cost of generating a steady stream of new content every day of the week.

So how do you make money out of music media in 2017? It's probably all about brands: either providing services or partnership opportunities to consumer brands, or media owners exploiting their own brands and building products or events around them. But what does any of that mean for future of music journalism? Or the future of music PR, for that matter.

We'll be debating all these issues in The Media Conference at The Great Escape later this month. We'll look at how four successful media brands - DJ Mag, Vice, GRM Daily and DIY - are generating revenue, and will discuss how both music journalism and music PR are evolving.

There will be plenty of food for thought for anyone working in or with the music media, whether generating content or looking for coverage. And for those in the record industry, things might look quite rosy in your sector by comparison!


Vigsy's Club Tips: Artefacts 001 and Egg Birthday Weekender
Two tips this week because this is my column and you can't tell me what to do. There are a couple of things happening close to my heart and I don't want to have to choose. So we've got Dan Curtin at the Hoxton Basement, plus it's Egg's birthday weekend.

Artefacts 001 with Dan Curtin Live & Truly Madly
The very first in the Artefacts series sees one of techno and house music's seminal artists Dan Curtin headline. Putting on a first-time exclusive live performance of his classic Peacefrog material and from his own Metamorphic label material, this could be totally amazing. Curtin is one of the reasons I got into electronic music - check out this 1994 Peacefrog techno classic (still got that album on CD).

Friday 5 May, Hoxton Basement. 12-18 Hoxton Street, N1 6NG, 11.30pm-6am, £15-£17.50. More info here.

Egg Birthday Weekender
This Kings Cross club continues to go from strength to strength and celebrates its birthday this weekend with two massive nights - Erick Morillo on Friday, and then Green Velvet on Saturday. Wow. As if that weren't enough, there are plenty more great names on the bill over the two nights, including Roog, Enrico Sangiuliano and Tobi Neumann.

Friday 5 May and Saturday 6 May, Egg London, 200 York Way, Kings Cross, London, N7 9AP, 11pm-7am, £10-20. More info here.

Rich people still rich
It's that time of year again. The Sunday Times Rich List is upon us. Once again, it will be confirmed for all to see that rich people are still definitely rich. And definitely richer than you. Bow down to their awesome wealth, peasants!

Maybe if you'd tried a bit harder you too could have amassed a massive fortune through either luck or inheritance, or maybe a mixture of the two. Instead you just graft day in day out at a job you hate, you lazy shits. What you should have done is put some warbling down on record and then gone out on your first tour for five years. Then you could have added £40 million to your bank balance. You know, like Adele did.

Unsurprisingly, Adele remains the richest musician in the country under the age of 30. The Sunday Times reckons she's now worth £125 million. However, that only makes her joint nineteenth wealthiest musician overall, alongside Brian May. All of those above her did have quite a head start though, being either old or the beneficiaries of dead people.

As ever, the newspaper has ensured that the list is irrelevant by failing to compare like with like - some people are listed with their spouses, others like U2 as one combined entity. But it's fun to look at a list of people who you assume to be wealthy and have it confirmed that they do indeed own an entirely unnecessary amount of money. Well done everyone.

So, here's the 2017 list of Britain's richest musicians:

1. Sir Paul McCartney and Nancy Shevell (£780m)
2. Lord Lloyd-Webber (£740m)
3. U2 (£548m)
4. Elton John (£290m)
5. Mick Jagger (£250m)
6. Keith Richards (£235m)
7. Olivia and Dhani Harrison (£210m)
8. Ringo Starr (£200m)
10. Sting (£185m)
11. Eric Clapton (£170m)
11. Rod Stewart (£170m)
13. Roger Waters (£165m)
14. Tom Jones (£160m)
15. Tim Rice (£152m)
16. Robbie Williams (£150m)
17. Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne (£140m)
18. Charlie Watts (£130m)
19. Adele (£125m)
19. Brian May (£125m)


Earache Records to host Glastonbury punk and metal stage
A criticism often thrown at Glastonbury has been its lack of heavier music, which tends not to make up much, if any, of the bills across its various stages. However, this year there will be a whole punk and metal stage run by the fine folks at Earache Records.

"Glastonbury is known for its incredibly diverse line-up - we're glad to offer not just metalheads and punks, but everyone, a bangin venue to come hang, headbang and party hard with some incredible bands", says Earache founder Digby Pearson.

Shane Embury, frontman of one of the acts booked to perform, Napalm Death, adds: "I haven't been to Glastonbury since 1989. A wild weekend, I recall, where I was a babysitter for a Japanese punk band all on acid. All I can say is myself and the rest of the Napalm Death boys are very happy to finally play this prestigious event, lets hope it's a fucking mad one!"

As well as Napalm Death, grindcore band Wormrot and former Crass frontman Steve Ignorant are also confirmed for the new stage.


Kobalt, Ed Sheeran, Niall Horan, more

Other notable announcements and developments today...

• Kobalt has promoted former BMGer Laurent Hubert to the role of President, he having joined the firm last year. He replaces Richard Sanders who will depart Castle Kobalt next month. A number of other senior execs have also been promoted.

• BMG has promoted Daniel Lee to VP Creative of BMG Nashville. "This promotion is well-deserved", says EVP of the Nashville office Kos Weaver.

• The production music division of Warner/Chappell in the US has announced the recruitment of Steve Swenson to the role of Director Of Licensing.

• VMS has announced two new appointments. The live firm is bringing in Isla Miskelly as Commercial Manager, and Sarah-Louise Jones as Promoters Assistant.

• Ed Sheeran has now released the video for novelty single 'Galway Girl'. It made me want chips.

• Niall Horan of 'being Niall Horan from One Direction' fame has released a new single, 'Slow Hands'.

• Fifi Rong is back with a new single, 'The Same Road'. "There is a stark contrast between musically driven, upbeat energy and heavier lyrical content, reflecting my inner resistance of moving three steps forward and two steps back, and the determination to break through negative cycles", she says of the song.


Beef Of The Week #353: Fyre Festival v Fyre Festival
Putting on a festival is a major undertaking, both financially and logistically. Because of this, it's inevitable that these events sometimes fall apart, either before or after the show. But few have ever collapsed quite so spectacularly as last week's Fyre Festival.

It was billed as a luxury event, based on a remote island in the Bahamas once owned by Pablo Escobar, aka Great Exuma. Attendees would be surrounded by models, fed gourmet food, put up in a deluxe campsite and treated to the finest music available to mankind. Though in the end, the line in promotional materials that this festival was "on the boundaries of impossible" turned out to be alarmingly prescient.

Attendees arrived to find what looked like disaster relief tents on an unfinished site that had been ravaged by a storm that morning. And that was only the start of it. Transport issues meant that many were stuck in airports trying to get to the festival island, while those who had made it were trapped, unable to get away. The food was not gourmet, bands booked to play cancelled, and there were rumours that the sea was full of sharks.

Basically, it was suppose to look like this ...but it actually looked like this.

Tickets cost between $450 and $12,000, which ensured that expectations were high. Still, you could have paid a lot less and still have been disappointed to be fed a cheese sandwich and then have your luggage thrown off the back of a shipping container in the dark.

Organisers Ja Rule and "tech bro" Billy McFarland were both very apologetic after being forced to pull the plug on the event hours before it was officially due to begin.

McFarland admitted that they had been "a little naïve in thinking for the first time we could do this ourselves", while speaking to Rolling Stone. He added that next year, they "will definitely start earlier" on the planning.

Yes, starting earlier. That's an idea. While McFarland was busy apologising, a former member of the festival's team, Chloe Gordon, was giving her view of the event to New York Magazine. Brought in two months before it was due to take place, she said, she found that very little had yet been done in terms of putting it together, besides booking some bands and getting a drinks sponsor.

Her job had been to liaise with the musicians, which seems to mainly have consisted of listening to them asking why they hadn't been paid their agreed fees yet. So when headliners Blink 182 pulled out at the last minute, saying that they were "not confident that we would have what we need to give you the quality of performances we always give to fans", you can probably translate "what we need" to be "some bloody money".

Gordon's account goes on to say that a meeting was eventually convened at which Fyre Festival management were told that an event could in theory still be pulled together in the six weeks they had left. However, it would cost at least $50 million and still not meet the expectations of ticketholders. Best just cut your losses and get out now, the logistics teams recommended.

At this point, Gordon says, someone from the marketing team uttered the words, "let's just do it and be legends, man". More prophetic words. So management did what anyone would do, they forged ahead, made most of their production team redundant and tried to negotiate down the fees of everyone who was left.

And sure, maybe you shouldn't damn this entire event merely on the perspective of one person who worked on the project for just four days. Luckily though, more ex-staffers have since come forward to explain where it all went wrong.

"Things like water [supply], bathrooms and other everyday structures that should have been in place six months before - none of that had been done", one person on the production team, brought in after Gordon left, told Variety. "We all said to them, 'it takes at least eight months to a year to produce a festival, you have to push the date' - we stressed that and said that over and over. And they were like 'it'll be fine, it's not that big of a deal'. They kept making it seem like we were exaggerating. It was like they didn't care".

As well as former employees bad-mouthing the festival, there's all the stuff that actually happened to help you further damn its organisation. Speaking of which, back on the festival site, those still stuck there were busy sharing their disappointment via the social networks. According to TMZ, lawyers for the event responded by firing off cease and desist letters, accusing them of spreading false information and claiming that their actions could "incite violence, rioting or civil unrest". It's not clear what good sending these letters was, given that the recipients were trapped on a remote island.

That wasn't the end of the legal action related to Fyre Festival, of course. Although it quickly began flowing back in the opposite direction. That's the problem with putting on a festival for rich kids - they can all afford lawyers.

First to offer his services was celebrity attorney Mark Geragos, who on Sunday submitted a class action lawsuit. With one attendee on board starting the ball rolling demanding $5 million in damages, Geragos estimated that he could get as many as 150 claimants to join him, with damages likely to come in at more than $100 million.

"[The] festival's lack of adequate food, water, shelter, and medical care created a dangerous and panicked situation among attendees ... that was closer to 'The Hunger Games' or 'Lord Of The Flies' than Coachella", says the lawsuit, according to Variety.

But why have one class action lawsuit when you can have two? Two days later, lawyer John Girardi submitted another one in LA, this time with three ticketholders already signed up. As well as accusing organisers of breach of contract, negligent misrepresentation and fraud, this case also alleged that promises had been made in the promotion of the event that could never have been delivered upon.

Casting the net wider, he also claimed that various 'social media influencers' who had been paid to post about Fyre had failed to declare that they were being compensated for promoting the event, breaching FTC rules. The FTC has not yet said if it plans to investigate these claims, but it has been cracking down on celebrities who push products for money without making it clear that this is what they are doing.

Oh, but hey, you know what's better than two class action lawsuits demanding multi-million dollar damages for anyone and everyone who attended the event? That's right: three. New York lawyer Eduard Korsinsky filed his legal action on Wednesday, initially on behalf of two attendees of the festival, but seeking class status and a jury trial. This one accuses organisers of negligence, fraud, misrepresentation and violating various consumer laws.

The full apology from McFarland and Ja Rule issued on the Fyre Festival website the day after the event was cancelled is included in the latest legal papers, in which they detail various failures in putting the event together - not least that they "simply weren't ready" and that the team had been "overwhelmed". A 'mea culpa', as the lawsuit calls it.

Still, before the Fyre team can deal with all that, there's a little matter of refunds, which they did get moving on pretty quickly.

"We are in the process of helping all Fyre Festival guests apply for refunds", a member of the festival's management team told Rolling Stone. "All guests who purchased tickets have been sent the appropriate form to start the refund procedure. The Fyre Festival is a dream and vision that we regrettably did not see come to life how we'd imagined in 2017, but our main priority now is rectifying the situation and helping all affected guests".

Part of that form offered customers the chance to receive a VIP pass for next year's Fyre Festival, instead of getting their money back. Scoff away, but that spokesperson claimed that "81% of guests who have filled out the refund application have said they would like to attend Fyre Festival 2018".

The question now is, where will next year's festival take place? Because it seemingly won't be on Great Exuma, or anywhere else in the Bahamas. The local tourist board didn't take too kindly to the region being presented as a shark-infested hellhole across the social networks.

While the event was collapsing, the tourism agency's boss Joy Jibrilu, put out a statement saying: "Exuma is one of the most beautiful and developed islands in The Bahamas and we in the ministry are so disappointed that there have been false claims surrounding the island. We want to ensure that all stakeholders and guests know of the development and infrastructural capacity of this island".

According to TMZ, the Bahamas Ministry Of Tourism has now "barred" Fyre Festival from returning next year. Or ever.

Whatever the if, when or where of Fyre Festival 2018, the legal fallout of 2017 will presumably keep all of us entertained - and various lawyers in neatly tailored suits - for some time to come. While you wait for the next step though, you could spend some time looking through a PowerPoint presentation pitching the festival, which leaked after it all went under.

"What if we reimagined what it means to attend a music festival?" it asked, with yet more foreshadowing words. There's also a helpful list of all the social media stars on board who the FTC might now like to investigate.

And you can also get the inside track on the company's "360° methodology ... to capture brand revenue in a unique manner". That complete methodology is to "understand brand goals", and then "ideate", "conceptualise" and finally "execute". Yes, that's it. Presumably they got stuck on the ideating and conceptualising.

Check out all 43 magnificent pages of the pitch here, and this review of its contents from various actual business people on Vice.


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 (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 (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 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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