|TUESDAY 12 FEBRUARY 2019||COMPLETEMUSICUPDATE.COM|
|TODAY'S TOP STORY: More details have been revealed today about this year's TGE Conference, including the CMU+TGE programme that this year will put the focus on music education, digital dollars and music marketing. The TGE Conference, of course, sits at the heart of The Great Escape showcase festival, taking place in Brighton each May... [READ MORE]|
40 speakers and three research reports confirmed for CMU conference programme at The Great Escape 2019
Among today's announcements are the first 40 speakers, information about the TGE In Conversation series and confirmation of three new pieces of research from CMU Insights that will be unveiled during the event.
The Music Education Conference takes place on Wednesday 8 May, building on the debates that occurred at TGE 2018 on how music educators and the music industry can be more closely aligned. CMU Insights will present the first phase of its 'Redefining Music Education' research, while topics covered on the day will include whether the music curriculum needs a wider definition of music making and how educators and employers can better support each other's work.
Confirmed speakers for the education strand include Bridget Whyte from Music Mark, Marie Bessant from OCR, Matt Griffiths from Youth Music, Max Wheeler from Charanga, Pamela McCormick from Urban Development and Sam Nicholls from Music Leeds.
The Digital Dollars Conference on Thursday 9 May will review the deals, the processes and the networks behind the streaming business. It will look at the evolution of music distribution, at the case for user-centric royalty distribution, and at how data initiatives and copyright reform are impacting on the way digital music works. Plus, MMF will publish the latest of its 'Digital Dollar' guides putting the spotlight on songwriter royalties.
Confirmed speakers for the digital dollars strand include Alex Branson from Empire, Annabella Coldrick from the Music Managers Forum, Becky Brook from JAAK, Chris Meehan from Sentric Music, Dorothee Imhoff from FUGA and Molly Neuman from Songtrust.
The Music Marketing Conference is sponsored by BPI and takes place on Friday 10 May. CMU Insights will present new research on how music marketing is evolving, while on-stage discussions will look at the music marketing toolkit; the role of playlists, content and data; how campaigns for both new releases and catalogue are changing; and how all of an artist's business partners can better collaborate on marketing activity.
Confirmed speakers for the music marketing strand include Andy Varley from Insanity Group, Jackie Wilgar from Live Nation, Malena Wolfer from Believe, Tim Fraser-Harding from Warner Music and Timothy Armoo from Fanbytes. Plus the day will finale with a one-on-one In Conversation with Cassandra Gracey, President of Sony Music's 4th Floor Creative division.
The CMU+TGE programme sits alongside a whole host of other sessions, parties and events for music industry delegates at TGE, with the Partner Panels programme, all the activity at AIM House, and whole load more. Plus this year all the key conference activity will take place under one roof at the TGE Conference's new home at Jury's Inn Waterfront.
Full delegates passes get you in to all this and priority access to the TGE festival. Conference-only passes are also available, as are standalone tickets for the Music Education Conference on 8 May.
In other TGE news, Believe last week announced that it is organising a bike ride from London to Brighton for any delegates interested in getting to the festival the eco-friendly way, while also raising money for Julie's Bicycle, the charity which helps the creative industries become more environmentally sustainable. More information here.
Artists and songwriters urge EU to bring Copyright Directive to "a successful conclusion"
Among the signatories were groups representing artists, songwriters and song right collecting societies across Europe.
Until last week the music industry had done a good job of speaking as one when campaigning for the directive, and especially for the safe harbour reforming article thirteen that aims to increase the liabilities of user-upload sites like YouTube.
Then on Thursday trade bodies repping record labels and music publishers announced they were unhappy with the direction the directive had taken in recent weeks and now wanted the whole project to be abandoned.
Groups speaking for artists and songwriters quickly issued their own statement saying that they still supported the directive and wanted the EU to proceed with the final negotiations. The UK's Council Of Music Makers said that the labels and publishers had in part changed their position because of amendments to articles fourteen to sixteen, which will increase the rights of artist and songwriters, mainly against their music industry partners.
Then IMPALA, speaking for the indie label community, which had joined the Thursday call for the directive to be called off, said that it still hoped a final version of the directive could address the issues its members have with the most recent edits, which have mainly occurred within the EU Council.
Yesterday's statement was signed by GESAC and CISAC, which speak for the song right collecting societies; ECSA, which brings together songwriters and composers across Europe; and global artist and musician groupings FIM and IAO.
It also argued that further changes still need to be made at the final stage - aka the trilogue phase - as Commission, Parliament and Council merge the versions of the directive they have each respectively compiled. But, the statement insisted, the directive was still a crucial way to fix problems in the digital music market.
The letter - also signed by reps for the news, media and film industries - told negotiators in the EU that "we urge you to work constructively to improve and to adopt the copyright directive ... at this week's trilogue meetings".
It then said that the version of the directive agreed by the EU Council on Friday was "a crucial step towards the directive's adoption, even though further improvements are needed to make the text truly meaningful for the cultural and creative sectors".
Going over some old ground, the letter continued: "This directive has been long sought to create a necessary level playing field for all creative sectors in the European digital single market, whilst giving consumers better access to more content in a secure environment. Without the directive, creators will be left with no guarantee of obtaining a fair remuneration online and our sectors will be subject to great legal uncertainty regarding future practices".
Therefore, the statement concluded, work on completing the directive must continue. Whatever other players in the music community may say. "Failing to adopt the directive", the letter declared, "would mean missing a historic opportunity, be extremely detrimental to European culture, and also represent a fundamental failure for European policymaking".
"The time has come to make the final effort to improve the text and reach an agreement at the trilogue", it went on. "It is time to show that the European Union cares for its citizens, creators, values and cultural diversity and can stand up to protect them. We trust that your thoughtful political judgment and sense of fairness will prevail to bring this legislative process to a successful conclusion".
That was quite a rallying speech at the end, wasn't it? It remains to be seen how EU law-makers now proceed, what last minute interventions are attempted by YouTube, and whether recent divisions in the music community ultimately empower the tech lobby. Should be an interesting week.
Suzanne Smith steps down as Managing Director of PPL and PRS joint venture
Smith has been with the company since its inception in 2017. The JV was set up to facilitate a simpler single licence for businesses which play recorded music in public. It means those businesses can cover the recording rights (repped by PPL) and song rights (repped by PRS) in one licence. As MD, Smith oversaw the launch of that new licensing system and the new joint venture that administrates it all.
Announcing her departure, PPL CEO Peter Leathem said: "Suzanne, with her drive and energy, has been invaluable in building the foundations of PPL PRS Ltd over the last two years. We are grateful to her for the commitment and dedication she has shown to this initiative to simplify access to the licences businesses need when they play or perform music and wish her every success in the future".
PRS For Music Chief Executive Robert Ashcroft added: "We are indebted to Suzanne for her leadership both before and after the launch of the business and look forward to building on the foundations she has created, to communicating the value that music brings to businesses and to growing the royalty revenues on which our respective memberships depend".
PPL COO Christine Geissmar will take Smith's place on an interim basis, until a permanent replacement is appointed.
A Greener Festival announces first international awards
Whereas the main AGF scheme awards certificates to numerous festivals which achieve certain levels of sustainability, these awards will pick out individual events that particularly excel in a number of specific different areas. Although the awards will still be based on the formal assessment of festival operations that AGF undertakes each year.
"The significance of the International Greener Festival Awards is that, for the first time, we are crowning the top winner as the greenest festival in the world", says AGF co-founder Claire O'Neill. "We will also shout about the festivals with the best transport, waste, power and innovation [in a bid to make] the whole industry greener. The purpose is to accelerate positive change by shining a light on the best ideas us humans are coming up with to solve our collective conundrums".
Awards will be given for green transport, catering, sanitation and recycling efforts, as well as for communicating green initiatives and ideas to customers.
Over 40 festivals from seventeen countries and four continents are being considered for the prizes, including Boomtown Fair and British Summer Time in the UK, Primavera Sound in Spain, Roskilde Festival in Denmark and Øya Festival in Norway.
Quincy Jones announces Michael Jackson classic album orchestral performance
Jones will host a night on 23 Jun, two days before the tenth anniversary of Jackson's death, where three of the albums he produced with the star - 'Off The Wall', 'Thriller' and 'Bad' - will be performed by an orchestra.
In between the performance of each album, previously unseen footage of the recording of each LP will be screened for the audience. The night will also begin with an introduction from Jones, who will also conduct the orchestra, along with Jules Buckley. Various unnamed special guests are also promised to appear on stage.
The event follows last year's 'Quincy Jones - A Life In Song' show. Tickets for this latest event exploring Jones's back catalogue are set to go on sale this Friday.
Nile Rodgers announced as 2019 Meltdown curator
"To be able to curate and produce nine days of live music for the city of London, the UK and music enthusiasts visiting from all over the world is truly a dream come true", says the funk man. "Anyone who knows my career knows that funk, disco, jazz, soul, classical, pop, new wave, R&B, fusion, punk rock, afrobeat, electronic and dance music all play a role and you can expect that to be reflected in the performances we are planning".
There aren't many people Nile Rodgers hasn't performed with or produced, so there's definitely potential for his Meltdown line-up to be very exciting indeed. You'll have to wait for the acts to be announced though. The event itself will run to 3-11 Aug.
St Vincent, Field Music, Deathcrush, more
Other notable announcements and developments today...
• Having taken home the Best Rock Song prize for 'Masseduction' at the Grammys - and performed the song with Dua Lipa at the event - St Vincent has released a new video for the track.
• Field Music have released the video for 'Henna Tattoo'. The track is taken from new album 'Fade Into The Daw', which is out on 19 Apr.
• Deathcrush have released the video for their new single 'Ego'. The track is taken from their upcoming album 'Megazone'.
• Vök have released new song 'In The Dark', the title track from their new album, out on 1 Mar.
• Astræa has released an acoustic version of her latest single, 'Anybody Out There'. She is set to play St James's Church in Piccadilly on 21 Mar.
• Check out our weekly Spotify playlist of new music featured in the CMU Daily - updated every Friday.
Seth Rogen and The Lonely Island working on Fyre Festival-inspired comedy film
"I don't want to divulge all the details but we're figuring it out right now", The Lonely Island's Jorma Taccone says. "You've seen the docs, right? It's crazy. This is something that Akiva [Schaffer, TLI] and Seth cooked up, and we're figuring it all out right now".
While it seems that the recent Netflix and Hulu documentaries on Fyre Festival have influenced the development of the story, the idea actually pre-dates the disastrous event.
As it all unravelled in April 2017, Rogen tweeted: "This seems like a good time to mention the movie we are making with The Lonely Island about a music festival that goes HORRIBLY WRONG".
"For real, thinking about suing Fyre Festival for stealing our idea", The Lonely Island replied at the time. Although now perhaps the tables have turned.