TODAY'S TOP STORY: Independent festival promoter Bestival Group has admitted that it is facing "financial challenges", but says that it is currently seeking a new partner in order to overcome the current issues and ensure its Bestival and Camp Bestival events can go ahead in 2019. This follows media reports that a company that loaned the festival business £1.6 million last year has filed legal papers confirming its intent to put the Bestival Group into administration... [READ MORE]
Available to premium subscribers, CMU Trends digs deeper into the inner workings of the music business, explaining how things work and reviewing all the recent trends.
As the draft new copyright directive in Europe reaches its final stages, the safe harbour reforms it contains remain very much in the spotlight. But what is the safe harbour and why does it need reforming? CMU Trends explains. [READ MORE]
This three part CMU Trends guide provides a beginner's guide to music copyright and the music rights business. In it, we cover ownership, controls and licensing, and review key trends in streaming, physical, sync and public performance. [READ MORE]
TOP STORIES Bestival admits "financial challenges" as money-lender threatens administration
LEGAL Elton John settles with The Sun over libellous dog bite story, and ramps up his Universal Music alliance
LABELS & PUBLISHERS Sony files paperwork with European Commission over EMI deals
MEDIA Billboard acquires Amplify
ARTIST NEWS Chas & Dave's Chas Hodges dies
RELEASES Posthumous Chris Cornell compilation featuring new music to be released
ONE LINERS Joe Strummer, EMMA, Liam Payne, more
AND FINALLY... Gary Barlow insists he's "the only one who is any fun" in Take That
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Based in our Berlin office, Domino Recording Company is seeking a full time Product Manager to run artist campaigns for the German market.

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One Little Indian Records is looking for Head of Radio/TV. You will oversee the National Radio/TV for our roster. You will initiate, coordinate and implement the promotional strategy for artists on our roster.

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Fabric is looking for a savvy and experienced marketing person with an expert touch on digital. The successful candidate will work alongside the Booking & Promotions Team and lead the fabric communications requirement.

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This role provides a unique opportunity to assist the BIMM Artist Development, Events, Guests and Careers teams. The position will involve assisting with day to day administration as well as getting involved with hosting masterclasses and assisting at the external BIMM events.

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The University of Manchester Students’ Union and Manchester Academy is looking for two enthusiastic Operations Managers. Our Operations Managers make sure all our clients, visitors and customers receive an excellent service experience, whilst ensuring the safe and legal operation of the venues.

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Kilimanjaro Live have a vacancy for a Promoter Assistant. The role requires a high level of accuracy and attention to detail, a great work ethic and good language and spreadsheet skills. It would likely suit someone who is looking for progression from their first or second admin role.

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Warp Records has an exciting opportunity for a UK Promotions Co-ordinator, to be based in their London office. The full-time role is part of the UK team, supporting creative and effective campaigns for the label’s roster of ground-breaking artists.

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Secretly Distribution seeks a full time Digital Marketing Co-ordinator based in our London office. This individual will work closely with our international and digital teams in a wide reaching role that will focus on sales and marketing in multiple territories outside of the US.

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This is an exciting opportunity for a hard-working, enthusiastic individual to join a sociable, dynamic and successful agency as a Junior Booking Agent Assistant to work on the Steve Aoki, Cheat Codes and Martin Jensen team.

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Based in our London office, Domino Recording Company is seeking a full time Digital Marketing Manager. The Digital Marketing Manager is our central conduit for all digital marketing and advertising initiatives.

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Warp Publishing, an independent music publishing company with offices in London and Los Angeles, is looking for a Royalties & Copyright Manager, with a strong focus on data analysis and reporting, to be based in the North London office.

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The University of Manchester Students’ Union and Manchester Academy is looking for two Assistant Technical Managers to help make our events shine. You'll need a keen eye for details and the ability to work effectively with a wide range of stakeholders to deliver first class events.

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The Music Publishers Association Group of Companies is recruiting a Chief Executive Officer to run its three companies – the MPA, the MCPS and PMLL. This is one of the most important positions in the UK music industry and comes at a time of great opportunity and significant change.

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Kobalt is looking for someone to be responsible for the day to day management of the UK AWAL Label Management team. You’ll be looking after a small roster of the higher profile clients while also managing the label managers.

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Kobalt is looking for an Income Tracking Analyst. This is a completely new role where you would be responsible for implementing and maintaining efficient royalty tracking and analysis processes for income receipts from Collective Management Organisations (CMOs) around the world.

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BNDR Music is seeking a Product Manager. Duties include, compiling and implementing artist marketing campaigns, plugging artists at radio, liaising with online and national PRs, and working closely with A&Rs and the Label Manager to schedule release roll outs.

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We are looking for a Marketing Coordinator to implement marketing campaigns to generate sales for new tours and events via various platforms including press, radio, TV, digital and print.

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We are looking for a dynamic, talented individual to work as part of a hard-working team. You will be required to assist the agents and directors with admin tasks for the acts we represent.

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We are looking for a Programming Assistant to join the programming team at The O2 and provide them with business support information paying particular attention to the analysis of key sales information, the reporting of ticket figures and the production of venue hire contracts.

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Bestival admits "financial challenges" as money-lender threatens administration
Independent festival promoter Bestival Group has admitted that it is facing "financial challenges", but says that it is currently seeking a new partner in order to overcome the current issues and ensure its Bestival and Camp Bestival events can go ahead in 2019. This follows media reports that a company that loaned the festival business £1.6 million last year has filed legal papers confirming its intent to put the Bestival Group into administration.

According to The Sunday Times, it's billionaire loans tycoon James Benamor who has filed administration notices at the High Court in relation to the Bestival companies. His business the Richmond Group was behind the loan firm Amigo that IPO-ed on the London Stock Exchange earlier this year. Though it was another Benamor-created entity, Richmond Group Debt Capital, that loaned money to the Bestival Group in February 2017.

The main Bestival event was launched on the Isle Of Wight by Rob and Josie da Bank all the way back in 2004, it spinning off from their Sunday Best record label and club night. The more family orientated Camp Bestival was then added in 2008 in Dorset, with Bestival itself being shifted to the same site as its sister event in 2017.

This year's Camp Bestival took place on one of the few wash-out weekends of an otherwise splendid summer, with extreme weather resulting in the final day of the event being cancelled. Earlier this month, the festival posted an update on its website regarding refunds in relation to that cancellation, thanking ticket-buyers for their patience and saying "we anticipate being able to pay out very shortly ... the bureaucratic process is almost complete".

In a new post on the Camp Bestival website responding to the Sunday Times news story, event organisers said yesterday: "We can confirm the Bestival Group has had some financial challenges of late but the process we are in allows a new partner to come on board with the financial commitments required to deliver Camp Bestival 2019 in its finest form".

Presumably aware that this weekend's news had caused some to speculate about whether the financial issues would impact on the 2019 Bestival festivals - tickets for Camp Bestival 2019 are already on sale - the statement went on: "As we stand currently, there is every intention to make this show happen, and move forward into a new era. Thanks and love to all our wonderful Camp Bestival community for all your support".

Meanwhile, in a Q&A that accompanies the statement, the festival firm said that the current financial challenges were not a direct result of the cancellation of the final day of this year's Camp Bestival, although "it was not a positive factor for the business". On the outstanding refunds it added: "We are hoping for an update on the refund process ASAP once we have a clear response and timeline from all agents involved".

It's no secret that running independent music festivals is a tricky business, with successful events often making only nominal profits, unless you go fully into the big brand sponsorship game, which has never been part of the Bestival ethos.

Those financial pressures are also why so many successful independent events ultimately sell out to one of the major players in live music, where economies of scale help maximise profitability and solid cash flow makes it easier to deal with wash out years. Though Bestival has always been proud of its independence, and fans of indie festivals will be hoping it can navigate the current challenges and retain that status at the other end.


Elton John settles with The Sun over libellous dog bite story, and ramps up his Universal Music alliance
Elton John and his husband David Furnish have accepted "significant" damages from newspaper firm News UK over a defamatory story published in The Sun On Sunday earlier this year which alleged that their dog had inflicted "Freddy Krueger-like" injuries on a child who had been playing at the musician's home.

The front page Sun story said that a five year old girl had been injured during a play date with the musician's children at his Berkshire home. It also suggested that neither John nor Furnish had shown much interest in the girls' recovery after the incident.

However, lawyers for John and Furnish said that the girl's injuries had not in fact been serious and that they had inquired about the girl's welfare several times. The Sun's story, the lawyers argued, was therefore "false and seriously defamatory".

According to the BBC, one lawyer working for the couple, Jenny Afia, told the court that, contrary to the Sun's report, "the truth is that the injuries were not serious, and the claimants, far from ignoring the incident, made several inquiries about the girl's welfare to her father and nanny. Each time it was confirmed the girl was fine".

Afia then added that News UK had now withdrawn its allegations and agreed to settle with her clients. "I am pleased to say that the newspaper has now accepted unequivocally that this allegation was false and seriously defamatory", she said. "As a result, it has agreed now to apologise to Sir Elton John and David Furnish, and to pay significant damages as well as to reimburse their legal costs".

A legal rep for News UK said: "The defendant offers its apology to the claimants and is pleased that the matter has been amicably resolved".

Elsewhere in Elton John news, his company Rocket Entertainment - headed up by the aforementioned Furnish - has renewed and expanded its alliance with Universal Music which will work with the musician on his recordings, songs and merchandise, and some other bits and pieces on the side. In fact, the new partnership is almost as extensive as the press release issued to announce it, that came in at 1709 words, not including the accompanying background info on John and the various Universal Music businesses.

Here are some of our favourite words from that essay: "significant", "extraordinary", "multi-faceted", "unrivalled", "timeless", "collaborative", "perfect partners", "perfect tandem", "nurturing artistry", "restless creativity", "constantly pushing the limits", "leverage", "forefront", "projected", "style elements", "broad-based global media and entertainment company", "crossroads of music and fashion" and "the superstar's DNA". Feel free to jumble those up into any combination you like.


Sony files paperwork with European Commission over EMI deals
The European Commission has confirmed that it has now been formally notified of Sony Corp's bid to take complete ownership of EMI Music Publishing. The EC has now set 26 Oct as a provisional deadline to rule on the proposed acquisition, though it may at that point simply announce a more detailed investigation into the deal.

Sony Corp, of course, led a consortium to buy the old EMI Music Publishing business in 2012, appointing its own music publisher, Sony/ATV, to administrate the EMI rights. Earlier this year it announced its intent to buy out all but one of the other investors involved in the 2012 deal. It then subsequently confirmed that a separate arrangement had been agreed with the Michael Jackson estate, which also had a stake in the EMI catalogue.

Those transactions would therefore make EMI Music Publishing a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sony Corp, which would presumably properly merge it with Sony/ATV. Once the entertainment conglom's global music publishing business is a combined wholly-owned entity, it could more closely align Sony/ATV with the Sony Music record company. Especially once long-term Sony/ATV boss Marty Bandier has stood down next year.

The transactions are opposed by the independent music community in Europe. And pan-European indie music trade body IMPALA reasserted that opposition as soon as it was confirmed Sony had now formally filed its paperwork with competition regulators in the European Union. Those regulators must now investigate the deals and decide whether they create competition law concerns.

IMPALA boss Helen Smith told reporters: "This transaction would disrupt competition and harm consumers in an already overly concentrated music market. Given recent precedents set by the European Commission, we believe Sony's take over will face stiff opposition".

With that in mind, IMPALA reckons Sony's EMI deals will require a more detailed second phase investigation by EU competition regulators.

Citing music acquisitions elsewhere in the Sony empire, especially by its label services business The Orchard, Smith added: "Sony's power will be a particular concern in European countries where the EU already concluded in 2012 that Sony would control too much repertoire. The European Commission will be concerned about competition and higher consumer prices, as well as Sony's recent moves to grab market share in the digital distribution market".

"The only solution is to block the deal now", Smith concluded. "This is necessary to avoid long term harm for consumers as well as other players in the music sector, from writers to streaming services, independent publishers, collecting societies and record companies. It also goes against key European objectives in terms of cultural diversity and SMEs and cuts across the EU's digital single market strategy".

It remains to be seen how Sony seeks to counter the issues raised by IMPALA and others. It will likely argue that its power in Europe is limited because the collecting societies, rather than the publishers, license song rights in most scenarios, especially with non-Anglo-American repertoire. It may also ultimately offer to sell off some of its catalogue in order to smooth the way for approval.


Billboard acquires Amplify
American music industry trade magazine Billboard has acquired US-based Amplify, an online media operation focused on the live side of the business. As part of the deal, founder Dave Brooks will head up Billboard's live industry coverage.

"I started Amplify because I wanted to tell stories about the live music business in a new and exciting way", says Brooks. "We built an amazing audience, and now, with this sale, Amplify and Billboard will come together to create the most impactful platform in touring and live entertainment".

Billboard's VP Content, Ross Scarano, adds: "We are extremely excited to acquire Amplify. Dave Brooks is a true entrepreneur who knows the live entertainment world inside out and we are THRILLED to be able to provide Billboard's readers with more in-depth coverage of the touring industry".

Brooks has actually been Billboard's Senior Correspondent for live entertainment coverage since February last year. He will now work full time at the publication.


Approved: Ouri
Producer and multi-instrumentalist Ouri returns this week with new EP 'We Share Our Blood', her first for Ghostly International. It's also her first solo release since 2017 debut album 'Superficial', and it finds her still firmly at the top of her game.

Each of the tracks on the EP has its own distinct mood - within an overriding sonic world - her knack for sharply defined beats underpinning and pushing forward each piece of music. On lead single 'Escape', that percussion emerges from a fog of synths, snapping the track into focus, before it becomes enveloped again once its story has been told.

"As I continue to create music, I want the whole experience to be even more raw", says Ouri. "No one else is included for this one; from writing to mastering, the process is direct from me to the listener".

Watch the video for 'Escape' here.

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

Chas & Dave's Chas Hodges dies
Chas Hodges of Chas & Dave died on Saturday, it has been confirmed via the duo's website. He was 74 and had been receiving treatment for cancer.

"It is with tremendous sadness that we announce the passing of our very own Chas Hodges", reads a statement. "Despite receiving successful treatment for oesophageal cancer recently, Chas suffered organ failure and passed away peacefully in his sleep in the early hours of Saturday 22 Sep. We would like to thank our fans for their fantastic support and goodwill at this difficult time".

Hodges was diagnosed with cancer last year, but returned to performing months later. Though in August the duo were forced to cancel upcoming shows - including an appearance at The Libertines' Sharabang event earlier this month - due to Hodges' ongoing treatment.

Originally an accomplished session musician, often working alongside Dave Peacock on projects, Hodges began developing Chas & Dave's 'rockney' style when he began to feel a "fraud' singing songs with an American accent.

They released their debut single as a duo, 'Old Dog And Me', in 1975, subsequently enjoying their biggest successes in the 1980s. Their hits from that era include: 'Snooker Loopy', 'Ain't No Pleasing You', 'Rabbit' and the Tottenham Hotspur FA Cup Final song 'Ossie's Dream (Spurs Are On their Way To Wembley)'.

The duo officially split in 2009, following their death of Peacock's wife, Sue, who had worked behind their scenes throughout their career. However, they reformed for a farewell tour in 2010, and subsequently continued to perform until recently.

The final Chas & Dave album, 'A Little Bit Of Us' - their first for five years - was released earlier this year. A new compilation, 'Chas & Dave Gold', is also set for release this Friday.


Posthumous Chris Cornell compilation featuring new music to be released
A new Chris Cornell retrospective compilation is set for release later this year, it has been announced. 'Chris Cornell' will feature tracks from his bands Soundgarden, Temple Of The Dog and Audioslave, as well as solo material, including previously unreleased song 'When Bad Does Good'.

"Since Chris's sudden passing I have put all my efforts and energy into sharing his music and legacy with his fans from all over the world", says Cornell's wife Vicky.

"I felt we needed to create a special collection to represent all of him", she adds. "The friend, husband and father, the risk taker and innovator, the poet and artist. His soaring vocals found their way into the hearts and souls of so many. His voice was his vision and his words were his peace. This album is for his fans".

As well as the seventeen-track compilation, out on 16 Nov, there will be a 64 track boxset, featuring a total of eleven previously unreleased tracks. Watch the lyric video for 'When Bad Does Good' here.


Joe Strummer, EMMA, Liam Payne, more

Other notable announcements and developments today...

• Warner/Chappell has signed a new deal to control the songs catalogue of Clash frontman Joe Strummer. The news comes ahead of the release of a new compilation - 'Joe Strummer 001' - this Friday. "I am excited to know that we will be representing Joe's incredible music at Warner/Chappell", says the firm's MD Mike Smith. "It's an honour to be entrusted with his legacy".

• The recently formed European Music Managers Alliance has announced that Per Kviman and Virpi Immonen have been elected as the organisation's first Chair and Vice-Chair. They also respectively head up MMF Sweden and MMF Finland.

• Liam Payne has released the video for the title track of his new EP, 'First Time', featuring French Montana.

• The Black Eyed Peas have released the video for new single 'Big Love'. Their new album, 'Masters Of The Sun', is out on 12 Oct.

• AlunaGeorge have released new single 'Superior Emotion', featuring Cautious Clay. The track is taken from a new EP, 'Champagne Eyes', which is due out on 5 Oct.

• The Struts have released the video for new single, 'Primadonna Like Me', which features a little cameo from Alice Cooper.

• Petit Noir has released new track, 'Beach', featuring Danny Brown and Nukubi Nukubi.

• Three Trapped Tigers' Matt Calvert has released new track, 'Mute Heart'. It's taken from his debut solo album, 'Typewritten', which is out on 12 Oct.

• Highasakite have released new single, 'I Call Bullshit'. They're also set to play Omeara in London on 20 Nov, with UK and Ireland dates to follow in February and March next year.

• Helena Deland has released new track 'Lean On You'. It'll appear on new EP 'From The Series Of Songs 'Altogether Unaccompanied' Vol III and IV', out on 19 Oct.

• Estrons have released the video for new single, 'Body'. Their debut album, 'You Say I'm Too Much, I Say You're Not Enough', is out next month.

• Wovoka Gentle have released new single '1000 Opera Singers Working In Starbucks'. They'll headline the ICA in London on 8 Nov.

• Many Voices Speak has released the video for new single 'Tank Town'. She plays her debut UK show at London's Servant Jazz Quarters tonight.

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


Gary Barlow insists he's "the only one who is any fun" in Take That
If you manage to make your way backstage at one of the upcoming Take That 30th anniversary shows, don't expect a party.

Not unless you're so desperate for a drink that you're willing to hang out with Gary Barlow, that is. Gary's the party man in Take That, you see. When not on stage, he wears a baseball cap and t-shirt bearing the moniker 'Take That Party Man' just to prove it. Probably.

"I'm the only one [in Take That] who is any fun", mugs Barlow at The Mirror. "Stick with me. I am the last one standing".

Sure, Gary. I've just, er, I think I left my, er, thing in the, er, over there.

If you were in any doubt about Barlow's status as the wild man of pop, bandmate Howard Donald confirms that he once "had seventeen glasses of wine in one night".

I'm not sure why Donald was sitting there counting how many glasses of wine Barlow was drinking. Maybe this legendary wine binge is just something Barlow himself goes around bragging about and Donald's never thought to question the boast.

It's hard to know what that "seventeen glasses" brag really means though, isn't it? If you're going by standard wine glasses, it suggests Barlow was on his way to downing three bottles all on his own, while screaming "WHERE ARE ALL MY PARTY ANIMALS AT?!" into the backstage void.

But they could have been thimble-sized helpings. At least when James Tussle at my school insisted that his cousin had been caught drink driving after consuming 73 pints of lager, there was an actual proper measurable quantity to gauge that claim on. Though, to this day I suspect that might not have been entirely accurate. We will never know for sure.

With the exact quantity of wine Barlow is able to drink remaining ambiguous, even if we believe the claims he and his bandmates have made, we need another measure of alcohol tolerance. Like, say, how many Gary Barlows are there to one Liam Gallagher?

"I would like a drink with Liam for sure - show him a thing or two", shouts Barlow, as things all start to turn a bit 'Withnail & I'.

Alright, how does he rate against Take That's 90s rivals Boyzone, who are Irish after all, and are therefore obliged by the rules of stereotype to be particularly boozy.

"We've only ever had one night out with Boyzone and it was in Paris", Barlow says. "They can drink. They are Irish. Oh my God. I remember one of them having fights with people and we were like 'what is going on here?' They are hardcore".

You heard it here first, Ronan Keating is harder than Liam Gallagher.

Anyway, amazingly, all this pointless banter is meant to be promoting something. Take That have a new album, 'Odyssey', and tour dates coming up. Both will see them performing new versions of songs from their back catalogue.

For a bit of a taste of what to expect, they've released a new version of fan-favourite 'Pray', all slowed down and made super tedious. If it's a sign of what's to come, Take That fans might need to drink like they're members of Boyzone to get through the shows.

Tickets for the tour go on general sale this Friday. Support will come from Rick Astley, showing that all his efforts to make his new music sound like a less good version of latter day Take That songs has paid off. Here are all the many dates:

15 Apr: Sheffield, FlyDSA Arena
16 Apr: Sheffield, FlyDSA Arena
18 Apr: Glasgow, Hydro
19 Apr: Glasgow, Hydro
20 Apr: Glasgow, Hydro
22 Apr: Manchester Arena
23 Apr: Manchester Arena
25 Apr: Manchester Arena
26 Apr: Manchester Arena
27 Apr: Manchester Arena
29 Apr: Dublin, 3Arena
2 May: London, O2 Arena
3 May: London, O2 Arena
4 May: London, O2 Arena
5 May: London, O2 Arena
7 May: London, O2 Arena
8 May: London, O2 Arena
12 May: Birmingham Arena
13 May: Birmingham Arena
14 May: Birmingham Arena
17 May: Birmingham Arena
18 May: Birmingham Arena
23 May: Milton Keynes, Stadium MK
25 May: Southampton, St Mary's Stadium
28 May: Bristol, Ashton Gate Stadium
30 May: Norwich, Carrow Road Stadium
1 Jun: Middlesborough, Riverside Stadium
4 Jun: Huddersfield, John Smith's Stadium


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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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.
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