FRIDAY 14 DECEMBER 2018 COMPLETEMUSICUPDATE.COM
TODAY'S TOP STORY: Further discussions on a final draft of the new European Copyright Directive this week failed to reach agreement, which means that the whole matter will now be pushed back into 2019. Further discussions are now scheduled in for 3 Jan... [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.
   
CMU TRENDS GUIDE TO MUSIC MARKETING
This five part guide provides an overview of how new artists go about building a fanbase and the basics of label-led album marketing campaigns. Keep track of the sections published so far online and look out for additional chapters going live very soon. [READ MORE]
   
CMU TRENDS GUIDE TO MUSIC RIGHTS
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 Article thirteen talks to push into new year as music industry expresses concern about latest compromise
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LEGAL American tech sector lays into article thirteen in US/EU trade talks submission
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LIVE BUSINESS Live Nation partners with Elvis Presley Enterprises to stage shows at Graceland
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RELEASES Avril Lavigne announces new album release date
Matmos announce plastic album
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GIGS & FESTIVALS Aldous Harding announces UK shows
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ONE LINERS Ariana Grande, Janelle Monáe, Aphex Twin, more
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AND FINALLY... Beef Of The Week #434: Neil Young v Barclaycard
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CMU Insights is our training and consultancy business providing training courses, conference sessions and research reports for music companies.
   
MAKING MONEY FROM MUSIC COPYRIGHT SEMINARS
Monday evenings in Feb 2019
These three seminars together provide a user-friendly guide to how music copyright works and how music rights make money, including ownership, licensing and key revenue streams. [READ MORE]
   
MUSIC MARKETING & FAN ENGAGEMENT SEMINARS
Monday evenings in Mar 2019
These three seminars provide an overview of how to build a fanbase for new artists and new music, reviewing key tools and tactics, and explaining how music marketing is evolving. [READ MORE]
Check out all the latest job opportunities with CMU Jobs. To advertise your job opportunities here email advertising@unlimitedmedia.co.uk or call 020 7099 9060.
   
GRECO-ROMAN & RANSOM NOTE - LABEL ASSISTANT (LONDON)
Two left of centre record labels seek an assistant to co-ordinate all aspects of the record release cycle across five sub labels. Training will be provided but twelve months' prior experience in a music company necessary.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
ROYAL ALBERT HALL - HEAD OF PROGRAMMING (LONDON)
The Royal Albert Hall is seeking an experienced and motivated Head Of Programming to strategically develop and produce the diverse range of programming at the Hall.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
JUNO - MUSIC BUYER & PRODUCT RESEARCHER (LONDON)
Juno is one of the world's largest online music and equipment stores. We are looking for a music buyer and product researcher to develop our vinyl range, and identify new business opportunities.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
OUTPOST - MUSIC PR ACCOUNT DIRECTOR (LONDON)
Outpost is looking for an exceptional Music PR Account Director with a minimum of three years music PR experience. This role will position you at a senior level at Outpost and give you the opportunity to contribute to the overall business in a significant way.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
NINJA TUNE - BUSINESS AFFAIRS ASSISTANT (LONDON)
Ninja Tune are hiring for a full-time business affairs administration position within the record label and publishing company, based in its London office.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
KOBALT MUSIC GROUP - DIGITAL MARKETING MANAGER (LONDON)
Kobalt is looking for a Digital Marketing Manager to join its recordings division AWAL and work with its growing roster of emerging and already established talent from all over the world.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
BOUTIQUE MUSIC PUBLISHING COMPANY - NEW BUSINESS ROLE (LONDON)
This boutique music publishing company is looking for a motivated and energetic new business person to join on a two/three day a week basis.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
PHILHARMONIA ORCHESTRA - DIGITAL MARKETING MANAGER (LONDON)
The Philharmonia Orchestra is looking to appoint a Digital Marketing Manager. This is a new role, designed to drive ticket sales and audience growth across the Orchestra’s exciting live programme, utilising digital channels.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
PHILHARMONIA ORCHESTRA - CONTENT PRODUCER, EDUCATION & ENGAGEMENT (LONDON)
The Philharmonia is looking to develop its online learning profile and offer for young people, students and teachers, building on its significant reputation and existing catalogue in this field. As such, we are recruiting a new role to work across the Digital and Education teams to research, develop and produce content.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
DREAMLAND - EVENTS MARKETING MANAGER (MARGATE)
The role of Events Marketing Manager is a pivotal and crucial role to the success of Dreamland Margate. This is a really exciting opportunity for an event marketer to join a growing business.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
BELIEVE - DIGITAL CONTENT INTERN (LONDON)
Believe has an exciting new opportunity for an eager creative to join as the Digital Content Intern to work across the digital marketing and video team. The candidate will be creating assets to support Believe's artist and label campaigns and also its YouTube channel clients.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
INGROOVES MUSIC GROUP - MANAGER, DIGITAL ACCOUNTS (LONDON)
The position of Manager, Digital Accounts at INgrooves is responsible for generating revenue growth at key accounts in the digital music industry outside of the Americas. You will work closely with label representatives, marketing information and various data sources to ensure maximum visibility for our key projects.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
SENTRIC MUSIC - SYNCHRONISATION EXECUTIVE (LIVERPOOL)
Sentric Music is looking for a Synchronisation Executive to join its Music Services Team. Based in the creative area of the Baltic Triangle in Liverpool, the Synchronisation Executive will be part of our growing Sync Team consisting of fifteen creatives in the UK and US.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
NINJA TUNE - SENIOR PRODUCT MANAGER (LONDON)
Ninja Tune is looking for an experienced product manager working across our main imprints Ninja Tune and Counter Records. You will manage record release campaigns from beginning to end working closely with the A&R, production, marketing, digital, social media and international teams.

For more information and to apply click here.

Article thirteen talks to push into new year as music industry expresses concern about latest compromise
Further discussions on a final draft of the new European Copyright Directive this week failed to reach agreement, which means that the whole matter will now be pushed back into 2019. Further discussions are now scheduled in for 3 Jan.

The two most controversial elements of the copyright reforms - the news industry supported article eleven and music industry backed article thirteen - remain the key sticking points. Both pitch copyright owners against the tech sector, and Google in particular, and all sides continue to lobby very hard indeed.

It's more than two years now since the European Commission published its first draft of the new copyright directive, which seeks to update copyright regimes across the EU so that they work more effectively in the digital age.

This year the EU Council and the European Parliament both agreed their own amended versions of that directive, and now the three institutions - Commission, Council and Parliament - are locked in talks to agree a single final version, what is known as the trilogue phase. There were further talks this week.

Article thirteen, of course, seeks to reform the copyright safe harbour which says that internet companies cannot be held financially liable for any copyright infringement undertaken by their customers on their platforms, providing they offer some kind of takedown system for rights owners.

The music industry argues that user-upload platforms like YouTube have exploited the safe harbour to force record companies, music publishers and collecting societies into accepting mediocre licensing deals, which means that the Google site pays much lower royalties than the other music streaming services it competes with.

To that end, article thirteen seeks to increase the liabilities of user-upload platforms. YouTube, of course, has been going to great lengths to reduce the impact of article thirteen, arguing that in its current form the proposed new liabilities will force it to dramatically alter its service in Europe, preventing grassroots creators from uploading any videos at all.

The music industry counters that YouTube and Google are deliberately misrepresenting what article thirteen says, and simply don't want to have to pay royalties to music makers more in line with their competitors like Spotify and Apple Music.

Both the revised versions of the directive, and especially Parliament's version, beef up the safe harbour reforms that were contained in the Commission's original draft.

Which is why YouTube has gone into overdrive with its campaigning recently, hoping that it can water down article thirteen in the very final trilogue phase. The nature of that campaigning has been criticised by many, certainly within the music community, but also by politicians in Brussels and Strasbourg too.

Indeed, Google's tactics have been criticised throughout the year. When Parliament was voting on its amendments, Google was accused of 'astroturf' campaigning, by funding what appear to be informal grassroots groups of concerned citizens, but which are actually representing major corporate interests. Those campaigners also employed automated moaning technology to make it appear like there was much wider public concern about the copyright reforms than there really was.

Those tactics ultimately back-fired following various media reports about Google's approach, with the Parliament ultimately voting through numerous controversial amendments that favoured the copyright owners.

More recently the web giant - which is now more openly campaigning in public - has been accused of employing pester power, by pushing doom and gloom messaging at its young userbase, the implication being that they should pass Google's concerns on to their parents, who might then want to contact their MEPs. That approach has also been criticised, and for a time it looked like this phase of Google lobbying could backfire too.

Though yesterday a consortium of companies and trade groups speaking for the music and wider copyright industries published an open letter expressing concerns about the article thirteen compromise currently being proposed by the European Commission. Those concerns seem to suggest that perhaps YouTube's last minute lobbying push is having some effect, with the open letter arguing that the current compromise will make article thirteen ineffective and could even make things worse for copyright owners.

Most strands of the music industry are signatories of the letter, including trade bodies like IFPI and IMPALA speaking for the labels; ECSA, GESAC and IMPF speaking for songwriters and publishers; and IAO speaking for artists. Meanwhile French media conglomerate Vivendi basically signed the letter three times - in its own right, via its TV and movie division Canal+, and as a member of IFPI via its Universal Music business. Trade groups for the movie, TV, news and book industries were also among the signatories.

The letter states: "As we reach the very final stages of this process, and negotiators seek to finalise a compromise text, we urge you to remember that the overall aim of the original European Commission proposal was to correct the distortion of the digital market place caused by user-upload content services, which enable users to upload content onto their sites and then profit from the availability of creative content without returning fair revenues to rightsholders, who create and invest in such content".

Returning to the good old 'value gap' term - referring to the difference in the royalties paid by YouTube compared to Spotify and Apple Music - the letter says that only the safe harbour restrictions outlined in existing drafts of the directive will "meaningfully address" this issue.

"Moreover", it says, new rules should encourage user-upload platforms to get licences from rights owners, but only "where the rightsholders are willing to do so". Which means that the copyright industries desperately don't want the outcome of all this to be a new compulsory licence granting user-upload platforms access to content at set rates.

The letter then says that "unfortunately, for a number of reasons, the text now put forward by the European Commission would need fundamental changes to achieve the directive's aim to correct the value gap". To that end, it urges all parties to consider a number of things while negotiating a final draft of article thirteen.

In particular, that "solutions that seek to qualify or mitigate the liability of online content sharing service providers (OCSSPs) should be considered with an abundance of caution to avoid the final proposal leaving rightsholders in a worse position than they are in now. Any 'mitigation measures', should they be offered to OCSSPs, must therefore be clearly formulated and conditional on OCSSPs taking robust action to ensure the unavailability of works or other subject matter on their services".

Which is a waffley way of saying that the final version of article thirteen shouldn't have so many gets outs for YouTube so to render it useless, or new obligations on rights owners to sign-post their content online, that will actually put the music and other copyright industries in a worse position than they are currently.

"While it may be appropriate for rightsholders ... to give services access to reasonably necessary identifying information concerning unauthorised works or other subject matter", the letter says, "unclear or open-ended provisions potentially obliging rightsholders to play the main role in preventing unauthorised uses of their works fail to provide the necessary legal certainty and therefore fail to provide a meaningful solution to the value gap".

And so it continues, with the ongoing shouting of "value gap!", "save music!", "think about the unintended consequences!", "it'll kill the internet!", "fucking YouTube!", all set to continue well into the new year. Happy Christmas everybody!

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American tech sector lays into article thirteen in US/EU trade talks submission
Yet more safe harbour reform? Fuck yeah, why the hell not? Because even if the music industry gets something like the reform of the copyright safe harbour that it wants in Europe - increasingly the liabilities of user-upload platforms like YouTube - what about the rest of the world? What about the biggest market for recorded music overall, the good old USA?

Global trade groups like IFPI have already been lobbying on safe harbour reforms across the world. Meanwhile the American music business got very vocal about the value gap and bloody YouTube when the US Copyright Office undertook a review of the safe harbour contained in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act back in 2016. But that review is yet to report, and most safe harbour chatter of late has focused on the European Copyright Directive.

However, if the final version of article thirteen in that directive seems like a workable solution to the so called value gap, the music industry's lobbyists will quickly start calling for similar measures to be implemented into copyright systems elsewhere in the world.

Indeed, Jean-Michel Jarre, in his guise as President of CISAC - which brings together the world's song right collecting societies - has already made that call. He recently stated that: "Europe has now recognised that it is time for change: it is not acceptable for the law to shield large tech monopolies and sustain a systemic injustice for creators. There is now a message to get to the rest of the world: it is time for other governments to sit up and follow".

But, of course, any moves for safe harbour reform beyond the EU will be met with heavy resistance from the tech sector. Indeed, if you think Google and YouTube have gone OTT in their lobbying against article thirteen in Brussels and Strasbourg, imagine what it will be like when they are on home-turf campaigning against any reforms in Washington.

As an indicator of the strong arguments they will make, a recent document from America's Computer & Communications Industry Association makes for interesting reading. The tech sector trade group was responding to a call for submissions by the US Trade Representative on the latest round of talks about a possible trade agreement between the US and the EU.

The CCIA's submission mainly focuses on proposals in the European Copyright Directive, and is scathing about the more controversial elements of those copyright reforms, and the impact they might have on the tech sector in general, and US tech giants in particular. Its scathing conclusions also frequently talk about the potential impact of the reforms on all online services, even where a reform targets a specific kind of internet business, such as article thirteen, which is chiefly concerned with user-upload platforms.

On article thirteen, the CIAA states: "The proposed copyright directive disrupts settled law protecting [internet] intermediaries by weakening established protections ... and by imposing an unworkable filtering mandate on hosting providers that would require automated 'notice-and-stay-down' for a wide variety of copyrighted works. If adopted, the directive would dramatically weaken these long-standing liability protections which suggests that most modern service providers may be ineligible for its protections".

It goes on: "The decision to compel affirmative filtering of all internet content, including audio-visual works, images, and text, based on that content's copyright status, is alarming and profoundly misguided. Moreover, the directive provides no specifics for what filtering mechanisms a hosting provider must implement, effectively empowering European rightsholders to dictate US services' technology in potentially inconsistent ways across Europe. Until the [EU courts] eventually addresses the question, affected hosting providers can expect inconsistent rulings and injunctions from lower courts in different countries".

"If the final EU reform does include these provisions", it then states, "there would likely be a corresponding increase in risk for US platforms doing business in the EU, resulting in significant economic consequences for the US digital economy, which depends on the EU market. Furthermore, there is likely to be a ripple effect on the rest of the world, given the EU's international influence. By effectively revoking long-established protections upon which US services relied when entering European markets, the new directive would limit US companies' investments for the benefit of EU rightsholders, establishing a market access barrier for many US services and start-ups".

Commenting on his organisation's submission to the US Trade Representative, the CEO of CCIA, Ed Black, said earlier this week: "Europe has unfortunately used its originally well-intentioned Digital Single Market proposal to develop regulations covering tech companies in ways that will harm US internet services and also suppress their own internet sector in the future. USTR needs to be aware of the scope of protectionist measures Europe has approved, or is considering, and take steps to prevent and remedy these threats to the US tech sector. This should be a priority of US/EU trade talks".

Although the CCIA document is designed to inform any intellectual property conversations that may occur in any future trade talks between the US and the EU, the blunt language is a sign of what will be said if and when it looks like safe harbour reform has any chances of being on the legislative agenda in Washington. You can read the full submission here.

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Live Nation partner with Elvis Presley Enterprises to stage shows at Graceland
Live Nation has announced a new alliance with Elvis Presley Enterprises that will see an increased number and greater range of concerts being staged at Graceland.

The estate that surrounds the former home of Presley - these days a major tourist attraction, of course - now has two venues within it: the 2000 capacity Graceland Soundstage at the Elvis Presley's Memphis entertainment and exhibition complex and a 464 capacity theatre in the Guest House At Graceland hotel.

Since opening in 2017, those performance spaces have generally hosted mainly Elvis-themed performances. Through the Live Nation tie-up, it is hoped that a greater number of shows will be staged there involving a much wider range of acts, including both heritage artists and newer talent. According to Memphis newspaper The Commercial Appeal, between 50 and 75 shows are planned for next year, with hopes to increase that number in the future.

Confirming the new Live Nation alliance, Joel Weinshanker, Managing Partner of Graceland Holdings, said: "Graceland is already the most famous music destination in the world. And we want to make it one of the most famous destinations to see live music as well".

Meanwhile Live Nation's Ben Weeden said that he was proud to be working with "one of the singular iconic and transformational music brands on earth. We're anticipating a creative partnership that will play a role in honouring such a historic artist and the place he called home".

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Vigsy's Club Tip: Jeff Mills at Printworks
Detroit superstar Jeff Mills plays his special blend of techno at The Printworks tomorrow. Others alongside him in the cavernous main room include Marcel Dettmann, Blawan, James Ruskin and Octave One.

In the next room we have techster Surgeon and US legend DJ Stingray. There'll be a couple of live sets in there too, from Answer Code Request and Karan Gwyer.

This is an all-day techno-based fest at the South London venue which is not to be missed, kicking off at midday. The 11pm curfew is a bit of a shame, though I guess it gives you time to head on to something else after, if you're still game for more.

Saturday 15 Dec, Printworks, 1 Surrey Quays Road, London, SE16 7PJ, 12pm-11pm, £37.50. More info here.

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

Avril Lavigne announces new album release date
Avril Lavigne has announced that her new album, 'Head Above Water', will be released on 15 Feb. Following on from the title track - which was inspired by her recovery from Lyme Disease and released earlier this year - she has put out new single 'Tell Me It's Over'.

"I feel like I've really opened up on this record more than I ever have before", says Lavigne of the long player. "Each song tells a story that will hopefully inspire others to believe in themselves and stand up for what they know is right and what they truly deserve".

The new single, she adds, "is an anthem about being strong, finally putting your foot down and closing the door on a relationship that you know is wrong after time and time again of falling for their games. If someone doesn't treat you the way you deserve to be treated, don't put up with it. It's understandably so hard because in the past every time you saw them, they sucked you in and you fell right back into their web, but not anymore, starting now".

"The vocals and the lyrics are very vulnerable, which is reflective of the feelings I had in relationships like these", she goes on. "I wanted to write something classic and have been inspired by some of the timeless queens I listen to everyday at home, Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Aretha Franklin and Etta James. They represent women who stand up for women and aren't going to put up with a man's bullshit anymore".

Watch the video for 'Tell Me It's Over' here.

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Matmos announce plastic album
Matmos have announced a new album, 'Plastic Anniversary', which has been created using only samples of sounds made by plastic objects. This follows their last album, 'Ultimate Care II', which was composed entirely from the sound of a washing machine.

The anniversary of the title is that of Matmos duo Drew Daniel and MC Schmidt as a couple, while the plastic part - they say - references a different relationship: that between the world and plastic.

By using discarded plastic to make the record, they highlight the material's benefits - durability, portability and longevity - which also happen to be its negatives, in terms of its impact on the environment.

'Plastic Anniversary' is set for release on 15 Mar. Watch a trailer here.

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Aldous Harding announces UK shows
Aldous Harding has announced that she will be in the UK next spring to play a whole load of shows. And that's very good news indeed.

The musician is currently finishing work on her third album, which is being produced by John Parish, who also worked on last year's excellent 'Party'.

Here are the dates:

15 May: Brighton, Concorde 2
16 May: Cambridge, Junction 2
17 May: Leeds, Brudenell
18 May: Glasgow, CCA
19 May: Newcastle, The Cluny 2
21 May: Manchester, Gorilla
22 May: London, EartH
23 May: Bristol, Trinity

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Ariana Grande, Janelle Monáe, Aphex Twin, more

Other notable announcements and developments today...

• Ariana Grande has released new song, 'Imagine'. It will feature on her next album, the quick follow-up to this year's 'Sweetener'.

• Janelle Monáe has released the full video for 'Crazy, Classic Life', originally part of her 'Dirty Computer' 'emotion picture'.

• Aphex Twin has released new (possibly old) track 'Mangle 11', plus two previously unreleased versions of 'Drukqs' track 'Avril 14th'. Listen here.

• Yann Tiersen has released new Anna Von Hausswolff collaboration 'Foad'. The track is taken from his upcoming new album, 'All', which is out in February.

• Octavian has released the video for 'Move Faster'.

• Snapped Ankles have released the video for 'Drink And Glide'.

• Helen Love have released a Christmas single, called 'Glitter Star'. Like all the best Christmas singles, it's a takedown of Kirtsy Allsop. The band are also set to play a festive show at The Lexington in London next week, on 22 Dec.

• Evi Vine has released the video for her latest single, 'Sabbath', featuring The Cure's Simon Gallup and Peter Yates from Fields Of The Nephilim.

• I Am Karate are back with new single 'Work It Out'.

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

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Beef Of The Week #434: Neil Young v Barclaycard
I don't think I've ever written anything about Neil Young that hasn't been an absolute joy to unravel. The man seems incapable of just doing a thing and letting it play out as expected.

Most artists get booked to play a gig and then wait around until said gig is due to happen, possibly posting a few plugs to their socials in the meantime. Neil Young gets booked to play a gig, takes issue with how the gig was announced, forces the sponsor to pull out, and ensures that a whole day of a festival is removed but not cancelled. In this particular case, anyway.

It all started so simply. Late last month it was announced that Neil Young and Bob Dylan would together co-headline a day of next year's Barclaycard British Summer Time festival which takes place in London's Hyde Park.

BST is one of those events that actually sits somewhere between a festival and a series of standalone live shows. Run over a couple of weeks in July, each day is a separate event, but they are all united under one brand. It's has been running since 2013 - always sponsored by Barclaycard - since AEG took control of live music in Hyde Park from rival Live Nation.

So that's all fine. Nothing out of the ordinary there. Now we need to talk about this website called the Neil Young Archives. Part of Young's long running campaign to achieve better quality digital music, it's a website where fans can pay to access his archive of studio and live recordings, concert films and more, all provided at a level of sound quality the man himself is happy with. Subscribers are also promised pre-sale access to all of his live shows.

However, tickets for the Hyde Park concert were put on sale without this happening, causing a load of NYA subscribers to write emails of complaint, many of which were published on the letters page of the site's virtual newspaper, The Times Contrarian. Others also pointed out that the show was sponsored by Barclaycard, the credit card subsidiary of Barclays Bank. The bank's record of funding the fossil fuel industry, some pointed out, did not seem to sit with Young's stance as an environmentalist.

So that, I think, is all the background information covered. Enter Neil Young. "You who were taken by surprise waking up to the Bob Dylan/Neil Young Hyde Park concert announcement posted on every outlet except NYA, might wonder why it was not on NYA", Young wrote in a since deleted update to the site's subscribers. "And you should. We're sorry. Like you, I had no idea the announcement was coming that day".

He continued: "I was still finessing the art for the poster and trying to make sure that all the details of the show were agreeable to me. Then, suddenly, someone jumped the gun. The tickets were put on sale and the announcement was made, all without my knowledge".

I'm still not clear what poster Young was working on, given that BST has its own distinct branding, with promotional materials for all the shows staged under that banner using the same template. Presumably it was a poster without any mention of the big bad sponsor on it. But what is clear is that, along the way, the pre-sale ticket option required for subscribers to Young's own website had been forgotten by the powers that be.

With Young's post kind of implying that AEG was at fault here, his manager Elliot Roberts subsequently popped up to take some of the blame for the mix up. In another post on NYA, Roberts wrote: "To say we fell short of our obligations on the announcement and pre-sales for the Hyde Park show is an understatement and we disappointed a lot of people. We lost focus and the entire team at Lookout Management apologises for promises not kept to our subscribers".

So that's the premature announcement and pre-sale fuck up duly apologised for. But what about that fossil fuel supporting sponsor? Back in his original post, Young said that he had not been aware that the show had sponsorship until fans started pointing it out. "I learned that the show had a sponsor, Barclays Bank, a fossil fuel funding entity", he said. "That doesn't work for me. I believe in science. I worry about the climate crisis and am deeply concerned about its massive global ramifications and my beautiful grandchildren's future".

"At the moment, we are trying to rectify the situation and will soon update you on the status of the Hyde Park show", he assured fans. "We have been talking about requiring a different sponsor as one option".

Now, if you didn't read that statement and sarcastically think, "yeah, sure, you'll force out the sponsor", then I think your level of cynicism is dangerously low. After all, this show constituted one day in a quasi-festival that operates under one brand - taking place in a suitably branded pop-up venue - of which Barclaycard has been the very-in-your-face headline sponsor for five years. How could all that be changed for a single show to satisfy one aggrieved artist?

Although, if you didn't respond that way, it turns out that your dangerously low cynicism levels were appropriate this time. Because the next day, a new post appeared on NYA saying: "NYA is happy to announce that the Hyde Park show will proceed without Barclays as a sponsor. We are overjoyed, so happy to be playing the show without the fossil fuel backer".

Even at that point, this all seemed quite unlikely. AEG's reps hadn't responded to our various queries about what was happening on their side. Meanwhile, the British Summer Time website was still very much advertising and selling tickets for a Neil Young and Bob Dylan headlined event, which - like the full concert series - was very much sponsored by Barclaycard.

And even if they did take Barclaycard off the Young/Dylan show, it would still be listed on a website with plenty of plugs for the credit card giant.

Then on Wednesday evening, the show suddenly disappeared from that BST website. Wiped away like it had never been there at all. One of those trendy 404 pages sitting where the show had previously been plugged. "Has the whole thing been cancelled", we briefly wondered.

No, it had not, we quickly learned. Because Team AEG finally responded to our queries. And to be fair, presumably they'd not responded sooner because they were also frantically trying to work out what the hell was going on. However, a solution had been found. The Neil Young/Bob Dylan show would go ahead. Barclaycard would not be the sponsor. And to make that possible to achieve, the gig wouldn't be part of the British Summer Time festival at all.

"Neil Young has made the decision to move away from the Barclaycard presents British Summer Time concert series", came the statement. "Neil Young and Bob Dylan will play a stand-alone concert in Hyde Park on the same date, 12 Jul. All tickets will remain valid. The Barclaycard presents British Summer Time concert series remains unaffected and will continue as normal with more headliners to be announced in early 2019".

So, for one day, right in the middle of Hyde Park's Barclaycard British Summer Time festival, there will be a show that's not part of that event at all. You have to feel sorry for whoever it is that will have to go around the BST compound on that day covering up all the Barclaycard logos, and then the next day go around again uncovering them all for the 13 Jul proceedings (unless Florence Welch or The National suddenly reveal and anti-Barclays stance).

Of course, this could all have been avoided if just one person involved with the event had pointed out that - due to his frequently and publicly stated political and social views - Young would almost certainly have concerns about playing at an event sponsored by a big bank.

What were they even thinking? What possible indication could they have had that he'd be alright with this? I mean, other than the fact that he previously headlined the Barclaycard British Summer Time festival in 2014. But apart from that, what made them think a BST booking would work in 2019?

Still, at a time when many would argue that there's too much corporate sponsorship in live music, and particularly at festivals, it's quite nice to see a big brand being cast aside in favour of keeping an artist sweet. I wonder how many extra tickets they had to give to Barclays execs to smooth it all over? Or maybe they were able to compensate the sponsor with a few bags of coal.

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