TODAY'S TOP STORY: The UK's weeks-long heatwave came to an abrupt end this weekend with heavy rain, thunderstorms and high winds. This meant that after a string of festival weekends where the main issue was keeping everyone hydrated, a number of events around the UK were called off because of the wind and rain. The most notable was the final day of this year's Camp Bestival, which was cancelled due to safety concerns... [READ MORE]
TOP STORIES Final day of Camp Bestival cancelled due to severe weather

Instrumental announces data deal with Official Charts Company
Concord acquires Fania

LIVE BUSINESS House Of Lords warns of lack of clarity on post-Brexit touring
MEDIA Shareholders back Disney's Fox purchase
ARTIST NEWS John Maus's brother and bandmate Joe dies on tour
Researchers say Paul McCartney "misremembers" writing Beatles song
AND FINALLY... Justin Bieber's lyrics analysed for Shawn Mendes beef
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Final day of Camp Bestival cancelled due to severe weather
The UK's weeks-long heatwave came to an abrupt end this weekend with heavy rain, thunderstorms and high winds. This meant that after a string of festival weekends where the main issue was keeping everyone hydrated, a number of events around the UK were called off because of the wind and rain. The most notable was the final day of this year's Camp Bestival, which was cancelled due to safety concerns.

The first three days of the festival went off as planned, with headline sets from Orbital, Clean Bandit and Rick Astley. However, on Sunday morning, it was announced that high winds would mean a delay in getting the event's various arenas opened. Delays continued as the situation was assessed further and ultimately the entire final day of the event was cancelled.

In a statement, organisers said: "We are utterly devastated and heartbroken to say that we have been advised by our safety teams that we can not re-open arenas again today due to the severe weather and the forecasting of continual high winds and rain today".

"We have had the best three days in Camp Bestival's history", they continued. "It's been our greatest ever show with all our favourite performers, shows, stages and artists which we have thoroughly enjoyed sharing with you all. You are by far the best festival audience and we love you dearly. This has been such a tough decision, but the safety of all you guys, the families, kids, and our working staff has to be of paramount importance".

While the festival itself stopped, it was announced that the campsites would remain open until 2pm on Monday, with traders continuing to operate in these areas. Some people did choose to stay, although flooding in parts of the campsites and the poor conditions in general meant that others had already begun to leave before the cancellation was even announced.

A ticket refund policy will be published "as soon as possible", said organisers.


Instrumental announces data deal with Official Charts Company
Instrumental, the start-up which showcased its data-driven talent scouting platform at CMU's AI Conference at The Great Escape this year, last week announced a new deal with The Official Charts Company. The new alliance will, reckons the firm, "enrich its data set and enhance emerging talent discovery for its UK subscribers".

The company already pulls in and crunches data from various sources to - it brags in its sales pitch - "deliver real time intelligence on emerging artists to A&R and talent scouting teams in the music and entertainment industry". It will now include official sales and streaming data as collected by chart compilers the OCC into that mix.

Says Instrumental CEO Conrad Withey: "Our sole purpose is to identify exciting new artists on a daily basis for our customers qualified by data science across the best possible data set. Integrating the OCC allows us to add another level of credibility to those results through verified sales and streaming information across all digital platforms and physical outlets. This deal will expand our data science leadership and ensure Instrumental remains the most comprehensive talent discovery tool in the industry".

OCC boss Martin Talbot adds: "The Official Charts survey generates the most comprehensive consumption data the music industry has at its disposal and we are delighted to finalise this agreement with Instrumental, to help power their impressive new service".


Concord acquires Fania
US-based Concord Music has announced that it has acquired Latin-orientated music company Fania Records And Publishing. Previously owned by the Miami-based Codgio Entertainment, Fania controls around 19,000 master recordings and a songs catalogue of around 800 works across a wide range of genres.

"Concord has made a very significant commitment to the acquisition and management of key Latin catalogues", says Concord's Chief Business Development Officer Steven Salm. "To have the opportunity to add a crown jewel of Latin music like Fania, with its incredible roster of artists and songwriters, excites all of us at Concord".

The firm's CEO Scott Pascucci adds: "We are huge fans of Fania and its extraordinary musical legacy. As investors, the acquisition makes sense because of the growth in streaming and the demographic shifts in consumption - and we want to be at the forefront of investing in that shift. But, more importantly, we love the music and couldn't pass on the opportunity to bring [it] to future generations around the world".

Among the recordings in the Fania catalogue is Pete Rodriguez's 'I Like It Like That', which is currently earning good money thanks to a sample used in Carbi B's 'I Like It'.


House Of Lords warns of lack of clarity on post-Brexit touring
The European Union Committee in the UK's House Of Lords has published a report warning that the live music industry does not have enough information on how Brexit will affect touring in Europe. And that's both UK artists heading to the continent and musicians from elsewhere in the EU coming here. The report states "the cultural sector urgently needs more clarity on free movement post-Brexit".

"The cultural sector relies on highly talented individuals, yet often pays salaries that are less than the UK median", the report says. "Bringing EU cultural workers under the same restrictions as third country nationals could therefore prove detrimental to the sector, because existing visa rules require a minimum salary in excess of what many cultural organisations can offer. As a result, the UK may struggle to attract talent".

The Committee then recommends the introduction of a 'touring visa' which would also improve access to the EU for British performers and their backstage crew post-Brexit. Currently musicians in the UK can move around other EU countries freely, making touring across the entire region relatively frictionless. However, non-EU artists face much tougher restrictions, which can differ greatly from country to country. These restrictions are often costly and time consuming.

Welcoming the report, UK Music's Director Of Government And Public Affairs Tom Kiehl says: "UK artists and musicians currently build fanbases and get vital employment opportunities by touring the EU, yet there is a real risk that new restrictions on freedom of movement will make this more difficult".

"Since the EU referendum two years ago, the UK music industry has been united in its calls for reciprocal arrangements to be achieved to allow UK performers to continue to tour the EU with ease", he goes on. "The government must now take forward the House Of Lords' sensible recommendations for a 'touring visa' for musicians to guarantee UK performers can continue to benefit from EU touring post-Brexit".

The House Of Lords report follows an interview in the Radio Times last week where WOMAD Festival Director Chris Smith said the current political climate in Britain is already having a negative impact on his event, which brings in many artists from outside the EU. He told the magazine that he is increasingly finding that artists decline to come to the UK to play because of the complex visa process.

"The saddest thing is always the number of artists struggling to get visas to come and perform", said Smith of his event. "What we're seeing this year is unexpected and even more depressing, which is artists saying [they're] just not going to tackle the immigration system, saying it's too difficult and too expensive, and it's humiliating. Artists have accepted our invitation and then looked into the visa process and have told us, 'sorry we're just not going to do this'. That's a situation we should be ashamed of".

"African artists can get as far as, say, Paris or Rome quite easily", he added. However, "we've had situations where, say, an African artist has been due to come who plays a particularly rare instrument, and we'll be asked, 'can't you find someone in the UK who plays that instrument?', which is absurd".

Smith added that the continued chaos of Brexit was also putting off artists from visiting the UK. "It's always, 'Brexit - what is happening?' People can't understand what we are doing", he said. "It certainly isn't painting the UK in a good light internationally".


Shareholders back Disney's Fox purchase
Shareholders last week approved Disney's acquisition of 21st Century Fox to create a new entertainment industry powerhouse.

The Walt Disney Company announced late last year that it had agreed to buy most of the Rupert Murdoch-controlled 21st Century Fox in a deal worth $52.4 billion. Much of Fox's US-based movie and television assets, plus its stake in the Sky TV business in Europe, are part of the deal.

It doesn't include Murdoch's media business News Corp - which owns newspapers and radio stations in the UK - and which was spun off from the movie and TV empire back in 2013. A handful of Fox's news assets - including the infamous Fox News - are also not part of the deal, which will see Fox's shareholders own 25% of the combined Disney/Fox business.

Shareholder approval for Disney's big buy was expected. So there were no surprises when stockholders from both companies signed off on the arrangement late last week. The deal is still subject to regulator approval in some countries, although the American competition regulator has already OKed the arrangement.

Disney and Fox hope that by combining their businesses they can better compete with newer online rivals like Netflix and Amazon.


Approved: Ishmael Ensemble
Having expanded last year from multi-instrumentalist Pete Cunningham's solo project - Ishmael - into a six piece group, Ishmael Ensemble have begun releasing music that will make up their debut album, 'Severn Songs'. The first in a series of seven-inch releases features two tracks, 'The Chapel' and 'Full Circle'.

All the songs that will eventually make up the album are inspired by Cunningham's hometown of Bristol and the surrounding area. The two newly released jazz and electronic-influenced instrumentals conjure broad scenes of bustle and calm.

Watch the video for 'Full Circle' here.

Stay up to date with all of the artists featured in the CMU Approved column by subscribing to our Spotify playlist.

John Maus's brother and bandmate Joe dies on tour
John Maus's brother and bandmate Joseph Maus has died while they were on tour in Latvia. The cause of death has not yet been announced. He was 30.

In a statement, John Maus's US label Ribbon Music said: "We regret to inform you that Joe Maus passed away on Saturday 28 Jul in Cesis, Latvia while on tour with his brother John".

"Those of us at Ribbon Music and Domino Recording Co who had the pleasure of working with Joe, a fixture in his brother's band since its inception, are heartbroken", the statement goes on. "We offer our deepest and most sincere condolences to Joe's family Robert, Sue, Kevin, Stephanie and John Maus, as well as his bandmates Luke and Jonathan, and all those suffering this tragic loss".

All remaining John Maus tour dates have been cancelled.


Researchers say Paul McCartney "misremembers" writing Beatles song
The exact authorship of various Beatles songs remains up for debate. However, we may now have an answer to whether John Lennon or Paul McCartney contributed more to at least one song, 'In My Life'. And it's all thanks to mathematics.

Mark Glickman, senior lecturer in statistics at Harvard University, and Jason Brown, Professor Of Mathematics at Dalhousie University, have created a computer model which breaks Beatles songs down into 149 different components. From this, it creates a musical fingerprint for each songwriter, which can then be used to identify each member's work across the band's oeuvre.

McCartney maintains that Lennon put lyrics over his music on 'In My Life', a track from 1965 album 'Rubber Soul'. Although Lennon reckoned McCartney was only responsible for the middle-eight and harmonies. The researchers have sided with Lennon, saying that there is only a one in 50 chance the whole composition is a Macca original.

"We wondered whether you could use data analysis techniques to try to figure out what was going on in the song to distinguish whether it was by one or the other", Glickman tells The Telegraph. "The basic idea is to convert a song into a set of different data structures that are amenable for establishing a signature of a song using a quantitative approach".

"The probability that 'In My Life' was written by McCartney is .018", he says. "Which basically means it's pretty convincingly a Lennon song. McCartney misremembers".

The division of labour between Lennon and McCartney on other Beatles songs - including 'Help!' and 'Eleanor Rigby' - remain contested. The researchers haven't yet given a definitive answer on those, but they do reckon that another 'Rubber Soul' track - 'The Word' - is actually a McCartney composition, despite being credited to Lennon.

Anyway, McCartney refuses to comment and Lennon is dead, so who knows?


Justin Bieber's lyrics analysed for Shawn Mendes beef
DJ Khaled has released a new track, 'No Brainer', which features vocals from Chance The Rapper, Migos's Quavo and one Justin Bieber. It's a partial reunion of the guest list that appeared on last year's 'I'm The One' - missing only Lil Wayne. But what people seem to be most interested in is what Bieber's lyrics on the track may or may not have to say about Shawn Mendes.

Mendes, you see, is the ex-boyfriend of Bieber's fiancée Hailey Baldwin. I mean, maybe. Mendes and Baldwin's rumoured relationship was a hot topic in gossip columns and on social media, although they regularly maintained that they were just friends. Then last month Baldwin and Bieber officially got back together, having split up in 2016, promptly getting engaged.

Anyway, now I've infected your brain with all this nonsense too, here's the latest development. On this new DJ Khaled track, Bieber sings "You stick out of the crowd, baby, it's a no-brainer / It ain't that hard to choose / Him or me, be for real, baby, it's a no-brainer".

So, obviously what he's saying there is that Hailey Baldwin is so good looking that his decision to chose her as a potential mate is pretty simple. However, she has another suitor, and she must chose between the two of them. That said, Bieber is clearly the better option, so her decision, like his, should be taken in an instant in his favour.

Of course it might also be that the lyrics are super generic and don't really mean anything at all. I mean, they sort of relate back to the track 'I'm The One', which came out over a year ago, and also sees Bieber pleading with a girl to select him over all others. So maybe it's just a continuation of a theme deemed relatable to consumers.

But the possibility of it being a genuine dig at Mendes is a better story, I guess. And there are other lines that hint at animosity between the two singers. For example, "Pop the top, drop-top, baby it's a no-brainer" is obviously a dig at Mendes's famous clumsiness when opening jars.

Anyway, the track is taken from DJ Khaled's new album 'Father Of Asahd', which came out on Friday. Here's the video for 'No Brainer'.


ANDY MALT | Editor
Andy heads up the team, overseeing the CMU bulletins and website, coordinating features and interviews, reporting on artist and business stories, and contributing to the CMU Approved column.
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