TODAY'S TOP STORY: The UK's Competition & Markets Authority confirmed on Friday that it has begun legal proceedings against the always controversial secondary ticketing website Viagogo. The British regulator joins its counterparts in Australia and New Zealand in going legal over the ticket resale site's infamously anti-consumer practices... [READ MORE]
TOP STORIES Competition & Markets Authority begins legal action against Viagogo
LEGAL Stefani and Live Nation attempt to have injury case dismissed
MEDIA Chris Evans to quit Radio 2 for Virgin
BBC announces Ariana Grande special
RELEASES Neneh Cherry announces new Four Tet-produced album
GIGS & FESTIVALS Frightened Rabbit to perform at charity event
ONE LINERS Childish Gambino, The Coral, Mabel, more
AND FINALLY... U2 halt Berlin show after Bono suffers "complete loss of voice"
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Competition & Markets Authority begins legal action against Viagogo
The UK's Competition & Markets Authority confirmed on Friday that it has begun legal proceedings against the always controversial secondary ticketing website Viagogo. The British regulator joins its counterparts in Australia and New Zealand in going legal over the ticket resale site's infamously anti-consumer practices.

The CMA announced plans last November to crack down on all the major secondary ticketing sites in the UK. In April it said that eBay's StubHub and Live Nation's GetMeIn! and Seatwave had subsequently committed to update their policies and practices to bring them in line with UK law. But champion rule-breaker Viagogo - which employs a "fuck you" policy to regulators as well as its customers - had predictably not complied.

CMA bosses indicated then that legal action would follow. And on Friday they confirmed legal proceedings had now been filed with the High Court.

The regulator's CEO Andrea Coscelli said: "People who buy tickets on websites like Viagogo must be given all the information they are entitled to. It's imperative they know key facts, including what seat they will get and whether there is a risk they might not actually get into the event, before parting with their hard-earned money".

"This applies to Viagogo as much as it does to any other secondary ticketing website", he added. "Unfortunately, while other businesses have agreed to overhaul their sites to ensure they respect the law, Viagogo has not. We will now be pursuing action through the courts to ensure that they comply with the law".

The CMA also published a list of the ways in which it thinks Viagogo may be in breach of UK consumer right rules.

This includes the lack of information about seat number, seller, the face value of a touted ticket and the risk of that ticket being cancelled by a promoter. Plus misleading information about ticket availability designed to pressure customers into buying with haste, sellers listing tickets they don't actually have, and the hurdles customers must jump over to benefit from Viagogo's much promised money-back guarantee.

The regulator then stated: "The CMA is now seeking a court order to bring these practices to an end. Given the importance of ensuring its concerns are addressed promptly, the CMA is also seeking an interim enforcement order from the court that, if successful, will put a stop to some practices in the period up until the full trial".

News of the legal action against Viagogo comes as Parliament's culture select committee prepares to put the spotlight back on the secondary ticketing market.

Last time that happened, of course, Viagogo was a no show, it employing a "fuck you" policy to concerned politicians as well as regulators and its customers. Word has it the company will actually send a representative this time. It remains to be seen if he simply answers "fuck you" to every question. Presumably not. Although he'll probably find plenty of waffley ways to imply "fuck you" instead.

The CMA's lawsuit also comes amid reports that Viagogo is moving many of its London-based staff to New York. Which might mean the company recognises that its time is slowly running out in Europe where increased regulation and regular bad press is making it harder to profit from a ticket resale business that in no small part relies on customer ignorance.

Needless to say, those who have been campaigning for better regulation of the ticket resale market welcomed the news of the CMA lawsuit. Adam Webb of the FanFair Alliance told reporters: "FanFair Alliance warmly welcomes today's announcement by the Competition & Markets Authority, as will the countless consumer victims of Viagogo. Hopefully it spells the endgame to this site's misleading and abhorrent practices".

Meanwhile Sharon Hodgson MP, a long-time critic of secondary ticketing, and especially of the tactics employed by Viagogo, said: "The news that the CMA have launched legal action against Viagogo is extremely welcome. This has been long overdue, and I know that both campaigners and fans, as well as the music, sport and entertainment industries, will join me in applauding this announcement".

She added: "For too long fans have been exposed to the risk of ending up with a ticket that did not get them into an event when buying through Viagogo. Perhaps Viagogo will now realise that consumer protection legislation passed by Parliament is not a minor inconvenience to be ignored and that they can be held accountable through the courts".


Stefani and Live Nation attempt to have injury case dismissed
Gwen Stefani and Live Nation have argued that they cannot be held liable for injuries sustained by a woman at a 2016 show in North Carolina.

Lisa Stricklin sued last year seeking damages for leg injuries which occurred after Stefani called on audience members to come forward and fill empty seats during the 2016 concert at the outdoor PNC Music Pavilion venue.

The defendants are seeking a summary judgement in their favour. Stefani argues that her call for fans to move forward are protected under free speech rights in America's First Amendment. Meanwhile, Live Nation, the venue operator, says that it should never have been included in the lawsuit in the first place.

According to Law 360, the company argues that it could not have anticipated that Stefani would tell people to move forward. When she did, staff asked her to retract her comments, a request she complied with. It adds that security and ushering staff at the venue was ample, something it says Stricklin has actually agreed was the case.

Stefani's call for a summary judgment in her favour says: "As protected speech that does not fall under one of the exceptions to the First Amendment, Ms Stefani cannot be held liable in tort. To hold otherwise would create a dangerous precedent that chills the flow of protected speech".

In addition to this, the legal claim argues that she should not be ordered to pay any damages, because she did not know that her instruction would place any concertgoers in danger.

Her legal team also cite a case against Ozzy Osbourne, in which a couple claimed that his music contributed to the suicide of their son. That case was dismissed after it was ruled that Osbourne could not be held liable for his speech.

Stricklin, who was sitting in reserved seats at the show, says that she was injured after fans responded to Stefani's call to move forward, pushing through barriers and trampling her. She accuses the musician and Live Nation of negligence and is seeking more than $5 million in damages.


Chris Evans to quit Radio 2 for Virgin
Chris Evans announced on his BBC Radio 2 breakfast show this morning that he will leave the station at the end of the year. "Some of us are mountain climbers [but] if you get to the top of your favourite mountain and you stay there, you become an observer", he told listeners. "I want to keep climbing".

That big climb he's about to make, it turns out, is a clamber over to the breakfast slot on Virgin Radio. Evans previously presented the same slot on the original Virgin Radio (which later became Absolute Radio) after quitting BBC Radio 1 in 1997. He ended up buying the station on that occasion, selling it a couple of years later and then getting fired by its new operators in 2001. So it'll be interesting to see what happens this time around as he joins the new version of Virgin Radio, operated by News UK on the digital radio platform.

"In many ways Virgin Radio is my spiritual home", Evans said in a statment. "I see nothing but exciting and groundbreaking opportunities ahead. In a medium that is changing so quickly on a daily basis, the potential for growth is unprecedented. Our plan is: to give it all we've got, see where we can get to and have the most possible fun along the way. It makes me smile every time I think about it".

A fews years after his high profile fallouts with both Radio 1 and the original Virgin Radio, Evans joined Radio 2 in 2005, originally presenting a Saturday afternoon show. He took over drive time in 2006, before replacing Terry Wogan on breakfast in 2010.

"I have absolutely loved every single moment of my time at Radio 2", said Evans in a further statement. "The last thirteen years have flashed by in what seems like the blink of an eye. I have learnt so much from so many people to whom I will be eternally grateful".

"As Sir Terry said before me, there's never a right time to leave something you love but there might be a wrong time if you hang on too long", he continued. "I honestly think 'The Breakfast Show' is currently as positive, useful, sunny and inclusive as it has ever been. In fine shape for its next custodian. Whoever that turns out to be, I wish them all the very best, they are in for an absolute blast".

BBC Director General Tony Hall bid Evans farewell, saying: "Chris has been an absolutely first-class presenter of 'The Breakfast Show'. He has brought both warmth and a genuine insight into what listeners want. He has given 100% to each of his BBC projects, including raising millions of pounds for Children In Need. I'd like to thank him for all his efforts over the years and wish him all the best for the future".

As Evans says, he leaves the Radio 2 breakfast show in pretty good shape. With just over nine million weekly listeners, according to the last RAJAR figures, it remains the UK's most listened to radio show. Although he's about half a million down on his first RAJAR numbers eight years ago, so there's room for improvement for whoever succeeds him.

Evans' final show will air on 21 Dec this year. Names being touted as possible replacements include Zoe Ball, Sara Cox, Simon Mayo, Mark Goodier, Mr Tumble, Matt LeBlanc, BBC-favourite Nigel Farage, soon-to-be-job-seeker Theresa May, Napalm-Death-champion Ed Miliband, your mum, my dad and the ghost of Terry Wogan. Well, some of them.


BBC announces Ariana Grande special
BBC One is set to air a special performance by Ariana Grande this autumn. 'Ariana Grande At The BBC' will be recorded this Friday and will see the star perform a selection of her songs as well as speaking to Davina McCall about her life and career. Hopefully McCall will manage not to grope Grande.

"Since I've been asked to do this show I have been worried that someone is going to call up and tell me they've made a mistake and chosen the wrong presenter, because this seems just too good to be true", says McCall. "Ariana Grande is such an incredible talent. She's very funny and incredibly kind and has achieved so much already in her career! I'm really excited about talking to her and, of course, hearing some of her amazing music".

BBC Music's Head Of TV Commissioning Jan Younghusband adds: "We are so delighted to have Ariana back on the BBC, she is an outstanding new talent so loved by audiences in the UK".

The exact transmission date for the show is yet to be announced. It follows previous 'At The BBC' type programmes of a similar format featuring Adele, Michael Bublé, Harry Styles, Sam Smith and U2.

If you actually want to see some music on the TV this week though, BBC One will air Kylie Minogue's headline set from Radio 2 Live In Hyde Park this Sunday at 10.30pm. Further performances from that event will be broadcast on Radio 2, the iPlayer, the BBC website and that red button.


Approved: Marie Davidson
Two years after her brilliant 'Adieux Au Dancefloor', Marie Davidson is back with a newly signed Ninja Tune deal and an "egotistical" new album, 'Working Class Woman'.

The new record explores her state of mind during a year spent living in Berlin, including the ups and the downs of relocating from Montreal, and trying to find a place in the city's rich club culture.

"It comes from my brain, through my own experiences", she says. "The suffering and the humour, the fun and the darkness to be Marie Davidson. It's an egotistical album - and I'm okay with that".

Tackling the ups first, the album's first single, 'So Right', encapsulates the euphoria that music can elicit. It's a great lead in to another excellent album from the producer.

'Working Class Woman' is out on 5 Oct. Listen to 'So Right' here.

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

Neneh Cherry announces new Four Tet-produced album
Neneh Cherry has announced a new album, 'Broken Politics', which will be released in October. It's her second LP produced by Kieran Hebden, aka Four Tet, who also worked on 2014's 'Black Project'.

"That last album was much angrier and forceful, whereas this one is quieter and more reflective", says Cherry. "I haven't always been so good at getting things out so quickly, and it still took a while - but that's okay".

She's also released a new single, 'Shot Gun Shack', of which she says: "I don't even remember who said it, but I was like, 'Shotgun shack! That's a cool term'. It's about gun culture - the notion of war zones and the tragedies that guns bring there".

'Broken Politics' is out on 19 Oct. Listen to 'Shot Gun Shack' here.


Frightened Rabbit to perform at charity event
The remaining members of Frightened Rabbit are to play their first show since the death of frontman Scott Hutchison. The band will perform in Glasgow as part of the Sleep In The Park charity event, raising money to combat homelessness in Scotland.

Drummer and brother of Scott, Grant Hutchison, told the BBC: "We had agreed to play Sleep In The Park before Scott passed and we felt that since it was something for such a great cause that we should stick to our decision and honour Scott in the best way we know - to play the songs he wrote and continue spreading his message of kindness whilst supporting Social Bite and the amazing work they do".

Scott Hutchison's body was found near the Forth Road Bridge in May this year, shortly after his family had reported him missing.

Organised by Unique Events and the aforementioned Social Bite, Sleep In The Park will see around 12,000 people sleep in parks in Glasgow, Aberdeen, Dundee and Edinburgh on 8 Dec. Amy Macdonald and KT Tunstall are set to perform in each city on the night, with other acts also lined up to perform. More information on the event here.


Childish Gambino, The Coral, Mabel, more

Other notable announcements and developments today...

• Childish Gambino has released the video for 'Feels Like Summer'.

• The Coral have released new single, 'Reaching Out For A Friend'. "The song is about looking for something in common with someone, rather than looking for something to fall out about", says frontman James Skelly. "But really, the melody came before any thought for the lyrics. It is pure melody, that song".

• Mabel has released new single 'One Shot'. She's also confirmed UK tour dates for November and December, finishing up at Brixton Academy on 12 Dec.

• Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs is back with new single, 'Body Move'.

• Tommy Genesis has released new single '100 Bad'.

• Check out our weekly Spotify playlist of new music featured in the CMU Daily - updated every Friday.


U2 halt Berlin show after Bono suffers "complete loss of voice"
The moment we've waited decades for finally arrived this weekend. Bono was hit by a "complete loss of voice". He's confident that it'll return though.

U2 were five songs into a performance in Berlin on Saturday night when Bonzo's voice failed him. He attempted to finish 'Beautiful Day' in a sub-Mark E Smith style that was actually quite appealing. However, eventually he just gave up and rocked back and forth while the rest of the band carried on, seemingly oblivious to the fact that he'd stopped singing.

Once his bandmates had finally shut up, he croaked: "I'm so sorry... I was ready to sing for you, but something has happened and I think we can't go on. It's not right for you. I'm sure this is not a big problem but I'm gonna have to do something".

I'm not sure the audience could make out a word of what he was saying, but when he suggested a "ten to fifteen minute break" they all cheered. Maybe they all needed the loo and thought Bobo had just seen the strained looks on their faces. Whatever, they got plenty of time to do whatever they needed to do, because the band never returned, instead calling the whole show off.

"We're so sorry for tonight's cancellation", said the band in a statement. "Bono was in great form and great voice prior to the show and we were all looking forward to the second night in Berlin, but after a few songs, he suffered a complete loss of voice. We don't know what has happened and we're taking medical advice".

Bongo himself later added that all was well and the croak was temporary: "I've seen a great doctor and with his care I'll be back to full voice for the rest of the tour. So happy and relieved that anything serious has been ruled out. My relief is tempered by the knowledge that the Berlin audience were so inconvenienced. There was an amazing atmosphere in the house, it was going to be one of those unforgettable nights, but not for this reason".

The show has now been rescheduled for 13 Nov, so those "inconvenienced" attendees can console themselves with the knowledge that they've got four and a half bonus songs in the bank.


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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