TODAY'S TOP STORY: A group of Eventbrite investors going by the name of, well, the Eventbrite Investor Group, have requested that two specific law firms be approved to lead on a class action lawsuit that will accuse the ticketing firm of making misleading statements ahead of its initial public offering last September. They also want any other litigation on the same issue to be merged with their own... [READ MORE]
TOP STORIES Eventbrite investor group seeks to take lead in lawsuit over Ticketfly statements
DIGITAL & D2F SERVICES Direct-to-fan platform being built out of Drip canned before launch
MEDIA Heart Radio launches new station for club classics
RELEASES Katy Perry appears in new Taylor Swift video
Frightened Rabbit announce Midnight Organ Fight tenth anniversary covers album
GIGS & FESTIVALS Ólafur Arnalds announces Southbank Centre takeover
ONE LINERS Universal, Spotify, Glastonbury, more
AND FINALLY... Ed Sheeran's ketchup advert idea becomes a reality
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Eventbrite investor group seeks to take lead in lawsuit over Ticketfly statements
A group of Eventbrite investors going by the name of, well, the Eventbrite Investor Group, have requested that two specific law firms be approved to lead on a class action lawsuit that will accuse the ticketing firm of making misleading statements ahead of its initial public offering last September. They also want any other litigation on the same issue to be merged with their own.

At least four US law firms have announced that they are considering instigating a class action against Eventbrite on behalf its investors since the company put out disappointing financial statements in March and May this year. Particular attention has fallen on the ticketing firm's admission that integrating the Ticketfly business - which it acquired in 2017 - into the wider Eventbrite business was proving to be a challenge. Some argue that that admission contradicts what Eventbrite told potential investors before the IPO.

According to Law 360, the Eventbrite Investor Group has requested that their potential class action be led by the Rosen Law Firm and Glancy Prongay & Murray who, they told the court last week, "are experienced in the area of securities litigation and class actions, having been appointed as lead counsel or co-lead counsel in securities class actions in this district and in other courts throughout the nation".

It's proposed that any investor who bought Eventbrite shares at any point between the IPO last September and 7 Mar this year - when the company made the first of its disappointing financial statements - should be eligible to join the class action. Eventbrite's share price took a considerable hit after both the March and May statements and hasn't really recovered.

Noting that other legal action is being planned over the same issue, the Eventbrite Investor Group's legal filing also requested that the court consolidate all those cases "as they involve common questions of law and fact and consolidation would promote judicial economy".

Various Eventbrite executives and the banks that advised on and were underwriters of the IPO are also named as defendants on the investor group's lawsuit.


Direct-to-fan platform being built out of Drip canned before launch
A project aiming to launch a new direct-to-fan platform expanding on the past achievements of Drip has been canned even before said platform launched. The people behind it have said that "increasingly insurmountable odds" caused them to abandon the endeavour.

Drip was the start-up that enabled labels and artists to offer their own online subscription services. In February 2016 it announced it was shutting down but then, a few weeks later, an acquisition by crowd-funding business Kickstarter kept it running, allowing a revamp the following year that saw it reposition itself as a direct-to-fan service for all art forms, not just music.

Then last October the Drip team announced a new tie-up with the people behind Oregon-based festival and conference XOXO. They said that the collaboration was "a new project that will ultimately replace Drip, one in which Kickstarter will be taking more of a supporting role. The project, which will build on the work of the Drip team, will help independent artists and creators get discovered, find a community to support their work, and build a long-term, sustainable career".

It's that new project that was officially called off last week. XOXO announced the decision in a blog post, writing "we were building a platform with an incredibly low barrier to entry for creators and supporters, and we wanted to make a space for creators at any stage of their career, without necessarily having a large established audience".

However, they went on, "ultimately, we couldn't find a way to make the business viable. We explored a number of different options - voluntary subscriptions from users, premium features, increased fees - but the resources required to support a high number of lower-volume creators always outpaced our revenue".

Quite what this means for Drip and Kickstarter's dabbling in direct-to-fan tools beyond crowd-funding isn't clear, though the XOXO blog post says: "We're working with our friends at Kickstarter to help migrate the remaining Drip beta creators elsewhere. And then we're returning the remaining seed funding back to Kickstarter".

It does feel like the true potential of the direct-to-fan relationship is yet to be fully realised by the wider music industry and it's a shame when innovators in the space stand down. And, of course, when established platforms like PledgeMusic completely collapse. It's possible that the complexities of D2F in its various forms - compared to, say, digital distribution - make it a trickier business in which to operate as a service provider.

That said, plenty of platforms still remain - Music Glue, Bandcamp and Patreon among them - and successfully building a direct-to-fan business is possibly less about the platforms and more about how artists and their teams employ them.


Heart Radio launches new station for club classics
If you're a fan of Basement Jaxx, Daft Punk, Fatboy Slim and Armand Van Helden then, well done, you're now officially part of the Heart FM demographic. Grab yourself a wireless, Grandma. Let's get down and boogie to the some top club classics.

Global Radio has announced a new spin off from its Heart brand that will launch online and across the UK on the DAB network on Friday. Heart Dance will, and I quote, offer "an incredible blend of the best feel good dance and club classics tunes anywhere on the dial".

That Toby Anstis will front the new station's breakfast show, while Lucy Horobin will be in charge during drive time. There'll also be a 'Heart's Club Classics' show that goes out on the main Heart network as well as the new channel on Friday and Saturday evenings.

Says Heart's Managing Editor James Rea: "Heart Dance will be a brilliant addition to the Heart brand - just in time for the summer! Listeners will be able to re-live the greatest times of their life with the biggest club classic dance tunes of all time".

Meanwhile Anstis chips in: "To present the breakfast show on a brand new national radio station, playing the music I have always loved with a passion, is a dream! To top it off, we also have my good mate Lucy Horobin getting listeners home at drive time. Heart is my natural home and a place I love. I can't wait to get started, waking up the UK with some bangers from 7am on Friday live on Heart Dance!"

Just to be clear, Toby is not offering to cook you sausages for breakfast.


Approved: Ava
Composers Anna Phoebe and Aisling Brouwer are set to release 'Waves', their debut album together as Ava, next month. It's a collection of tracks that play piano and violin off each other in a very satisfying way. They began working on it in the run up to the 2016 EU referendum and that - and its unexpected result - ended up feeding into their music, neither having been born in the UK but both living here at the time.

"When Aisling and I started writing together, it was against this background of social and political turmoil", says Phoebe. "We were both trying to understand our identities within a country where we had built our lives".

"The sessions we had together were an escape from all the noise", she goes on, speaking of writing together at her home on the Kent coastline. "We would take breaks from writing and walk onto the beach, looking across the water at the outline of the French coast, discussing what it was to be European in a country where people had voted to reject Europe".

"All those mixed up emotions found their way into the music", she adds, "exploring the complex layers of identity we all have - the layers of who we are and where we fit in".

It's not an entirely despairing record though, insists Brouwer, who has nonetheless departed the UK since the referendum. It very much acknowledges the challenging times in which we live, but looks for positivity, the hope that helps people power on through the turmoil.

Focusing in on new single 'Resistance', Brouwer explains: "The string swells almost sound like cries for help. It's about letting all these feelings boil up inside of you and using this to build your strength. It's not so much about asking questions as it is about insisting on answers".

Phoebe adds: "This piece for me is about the outside turmoil - when everything is dragging you down and it's muggy and you're trying to pull yourself up out of it. When I hear Ash's piano line come in around 2.40, for me that's such a stroke of positivity shining through and is a reminder to keep going and to fight through".

'Waves' is set for release on 12 Jul. Watch the video for 'Resistance' here.

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Katy Perry appears in new Taylor Swift video
Taylor Swift has released the video for that new single 'You Need To Calm Down'. It features loads of people. Absolutely loads.

Look, here's a list: Adam Lambert, Adam Rippon, Adore Delano, A'keria Chanel Davenport, Antoni Porowski, Billy Porter, Bobby Berk, Chester Lockhart, Ciara, Delta Work, Dexter Mayfield, Ellen DeGeneres, Hannah Hart, Hayley Kiyoko, Jade Jolie, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Jonathan Van Ness, Justin Mikita, Laverne Cox, Karamo Brown, Riley Knoxx, RuPaul, Ryan Reynolds, Tan France, Tatianna, Trinity K. Bonet, Trinity The Tuck and Todrick Hall.

The only thing anyone's talking about though is that Katy Perry is in it. As in mortal enemy of Taylor Swift, Katy Perry. Actually, their beef was officially declared over last year, after various efforts by Perry to bury the hatchet. But now the truce has been used for promotional purposes, which is the only way to make sure that everyone involved means it.

Perry recently posted a picture of some cookies with "peace at last" iced on the plate, tagging Swift into the caption. Fans immediately took this to mean that they had collaborated in some way. And they had. Well done, fans.

Will Perry feature further on Swift's new album? We just don't know. But this lack of information provides me with the perfect segue into telling you that the new Taylor Swift album, 'Lover', will be out on 23 Aug. Consider yourself in the know.

Actually, there's more to this than just Perry and Swift making up. Swift has an actual cause she wants to promote, which she's now overshadowed with the Perry thing somewhat. In keeping with themes in the song and the wider video, Swift has launched a petition calling on US senators to support the Equality Act.

Recently passed by the House Of Representatives, the act would provide legal protection for LGBTQ+ people against discrimination across America. Because apparently that doesn't already exist in the US. To become actual law, it still needs to get through the Senate.

"Our country's lack of protection for its own citizens ensures that LGBTQ people must live in fear that their lives could be turned upside down by an employer or landlord who is homophobic or transphobic", says Swift. "The fact that, legally, some people are completely at the mercy of the hatred and bigotry of others is disgusting and unacceptable. Let's show our pride by demanding that, on a national level, our laws truly treat all of our citizens equally".

You can sign the petition here.

And once you've done that, watch this bloody video so that you can form an opinion on it and tell everyone about it.


Frightened Rabbit announce Midnight Organ Fight tenth anniversary covers album
Frightened Rabbit have announced a new release to mark the tenth anniversary of the band's debut album, 'The Midnight Organ Fight'. Titled 'Tiny Changes', the record will feature all of the original album's songs covered by other artists with some connection to the band and late frontman Scott Hutchison.

"We wanted to avoid the usual approach of just repressing the vinyl, or re-releasing the same record with different artwork or putting out demos that were never meant to be heard by anyone other than the band and maybe our parents", say Frightened Rabbit in a statement. "We came up with the idea of asking some pals to record their own interpretations of the songs on the album. It felt like a good way to celebrate everyone who had been a part of the last ten years of the band and we didn't have to do any work ourselves!"

"Every single person on 'Tiny Changes' has been a part of our lives and Frightened Rabbit in a special way over the last ten years", they go on. "We've shared studios, vans, bars, dressing rooms and probably even underwear with some of these people and that's why this record is so special to us".

The record, they add, is a project that Hutchison had been working on prior to his death last year. They explain: "Scott was a vital part of bringing this album together and it's something he was very excited about and worked hard to bring to life. He listened to and approved every track on there with us and he had already started preparing the artwork which you'll see on there".

"This is a celebration of a record that connected thousands of people to Scott and connected thousands of people to each other and ten years on it is still managing to do it", they conclude. "Scott would probably have put in some joke here about when the album hits puberty and starts rebelling by smoking weed and getting things pierced. We're not that funny so instead let's just raise a glass, blow out the candles and make a wish".

'Tiny Changes' is set for release on 12 Jul.

Earlier this year, marking the first anniversary of Hutchison's death, the band launched a charity, also called Tiny Changes, which aims to improve the mental health of children and young people in Scotland.


Ólafur Arnalds announces Southbank Centre takeover
Ólafur Arnalds has announced an event that he is calling Opia, which will see him and a selection of guests take over the Southbank Centre in London for one night in November. Performances will take place in all of the venue's halls, as well as other corners and corridors where something can be set up.

Opia is defined in John Koenig's 'Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows' as "the ambiguous intensity of looking someone in the eye". Choosing this name for the event, says Arnalds, reflects "the closeness of the creative community to which these artists belong".

"For this first edition of Opia I have gathered friends, collaborators and artists who inspire me in the beautiful space of Southbank Centre, in order to create an environment that encourages creative experiments, collaborative endeavours and a celebration of their art", he adds.

Other artists involved in the event, which will take place on 8 Nov, include Grandbrothers, Rhye, Poppy Ackroyd, Högni & Ensemble, Hania Rani and Josin. Tickets are set to go on sale on Thursday. More details here.



Universal Music Latin Entertainment has signed Ecko to a worldwide record deal, reports Billboard. This follows the publishing deal he did with Warner Chappell back in April.



Universal Music Publishing Group has made Troy Tomlinson both Chairman and CEO of its Nashville division - the first person to hold these titles. "Troy's track record in Nashville is the stuff of legend", reckons overall UMPG boss Jody Gerson. He'll officially join Universal from rival publisher Sony/ATV on 15 Jul.

Spotify has hired Jeremy Erlich as Head Of Music Strategy. See, podcast company Spotify is still doing some music stuff. And strategically too! He joins from Universal's Interscope Records where he was CFO and EVP Business Development.



Plans to launch a Glastonbury spin-off festival are "very much on the back burner", Emily Eavis has told Music Week. It had been expected that The Variety Bazaar would launch at another site in 2021, but that seemingly will not now happen. She did say back in January 2017 that "none of this is set in stone". Her father Michael then described the spin-off festival project as "the last big gamble of my life".



Robyn has released the video for 'Ever Again' from her latest album 'Honey'.

Car Seat Headrest has released a new live album, with tracks selected from recordings of every show the band played in 2016. "This isn't necessarily the best possible version of each track, but it's some of the most fun we've had on stage", says band leader Will Toledo. Here's a performance of 'Fill In The Blank'.

Yip Man has announced that he will release new album 'Pure Zen, Ken?' on 6 Sep. From it, this is recent single 'Suffer More'.



Elton John has added another UK show to his farewell tour. He'll now play the O2 Arena on 14 Dec. Tickets are set to go on sale this Friday.

Kojey Radical has announced a free show at the Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen on 25 Jun. Enter the ballot for tickets here. He's also released the video for new single 'Can't Go Back'.

(Sandy) Alex G has announced that he will play The Lexington in London on 24 Jun.

Frank Iero And The Future Violents and Laura Jane Grace And The Devouring Mothers have announced a co-headline UK tour. They'll kick things off in Glasgow on 26 Aug, and on the way take in London's Scala on 29 Aug.

Amon Amarth have announced that they will play three UK shows latter this year. Birmingham Academy on 28 Nov, Manchester Apollo on 29 Nov and Brixton Academy on 30 Nov. Support will come from Arch Enemy and Hypocrisy.

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


Ed Sheeran's ketchup advert idea becomes a reality
Earlier this month Ed Sheeran announced a partnership with Heinz which saw them launch some limited edition bottles of Tomato Ed-chup. The tie-up had begun with an Instagram post where Sheeran said he had an idea for a ketchup advert. But when the partnership was initially announced there was no ad. Where was the ad? Well, it's here now.

Back in April, Sheeran posted on Instagram: "Yo @heinz I have an idea for a TV ad, if you wanna do one. If not, I won't be offended, I could never be mad at you. Slide in my DMs or have your people call my people. Lots of love, your biggest fan".

Ed Sheeran really is a big fan of Heinz ketchup, you see. He loves it. He has a tattoo of the brand's label on his arm. That's how much he loves it. He carries bottles of it around with him, just in case he suddenly needs some unexpectedly. That's how much he loves it. He's spoken about his love for it for years, but it was only recently that he thought of a good enough reason to try to work with Heinz to promote the condiment to a wider audience.

So, what was this idea? What was this spark of creativity that had him so excited and in turn excited everyone at Heinz enough to make it a reality? Well, it's not so much an idea as it is a thing that happened. The advert is Sheeran acting out that thing that happened. And so that you definitely get what's going on, he narrates it in a voiceover.

The voiceover is actually the pitch for the advert. I don't know if Sheeran's original pitch was that the advert should be him making his pitch. I feel like he probably thought someone would take his idea, run with it, and make it into something bigger. But, hey, it's Ed Sheeran. If Ed has a half-formed idea, it's probably worth throwing it out into the public realm as is to see if people like it. Come on, you've heard his albums!

"Heinz Tomato Ketchup superfan Ed Sheeran came to us with a great idea for a Heinz advert based on his own experience", says the company. "We were THRILLED to make it happen. From one superfan to another. It has to be Ed Sheeran and Heinz".

I don't know if they're actually going to put this shit on TV. No one under the age of 90 sees TV advertising anymore, do they? So I guess there wouldn't be much point. It's on YouTube though, which is known to be the favourite video platform of ad fans and ketchup lovers. So, ketchup lovers and ketchup fence-sitters, watch this stupid advert here.


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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