|WEDNESDAY 17 JULY 2019||COMPLETEMUSICUPDATE.COM|
|TODAY'S TOP STORY: The planning board of the town of Vernon in New York state has again ruled against the organisers of Woodstock 50. At a hearing yesterday, it declined to overturn a previous decision to refuse the event a licence to be staged at the town's Vernon Downs casino and race track. Shortly afterwards a Virgin company that has been supporting the Woodstock team in recent weeks announced it had now stood down from the project... [READ MORE]|
Woodstock 50 again fails to secure licence for August event
Preparations for the 50th anniversary celebrations of the original Woodstock festival have proven dramatic, of course. Along the way the event has lost a financial backer, a production partner and a venue. Which is why organisers have been seeking very late-in-the-day approval from the town of Vernon to move the festival to the Vernon Downs site.
Officials in the town first turned down Woodstock 50's licence application last week. Speaking to local media, an attorney representing the town council said that not only was the licence application submitted way past the usual deadline for securing permission for events of this size, but it didn't even deal with all of the local authorities' concerns.
The biggest of which was what 80,000 audience members would do at the end of each day of the festival, given Vernon Downs couldn't accommodate a camp site.
The Woodstock company has now appealed that ruling twice. After the planning board again ruled against them yesterday, it told reporters: "Woodstock 50 is disappointed that the town of Vernon has passed up the opportunity to hold the historic 50th anniversary festival by denying our robust and thoughtful proposal".
It went on: "We regret that those in Vernon who supported Woodstock have been deprived of the once-in-a-lifetime chance to be part of the rebirth of a cultural peace movement that changed the world in 1969 and is what the world needs now".
Throughout most of the dramas that have occurred so far, the Woodstock team – and especially its highest profile member Michael Lang - have remained bullish that the 50th anniversary event would still go ahead from 16 to 18 Aug. Though this week their comments have seemed less confident. That said, they are yet to formally cancel the event and there was talk yesterday of a further appeal in Vernon.
But either way, a Virgin business which has been advising the Woodstock company in recent weeks - following the loss of its backer, production partner and venue - has confirmed it is no longer involved in trying to rescue the August festival.
A spokesperson for Virgin Produced said: "Given that the attempt to secure permits with the town of Vernon, NY and related state agencies has been finally denied, Virgin Produced has concluded its advisory mandate and terminated its services agreement. Virgin Produced, and its CEO Jason Felts, wish Woodstock all the best in its future endeavours".
The there mentioned Felts then said in a statement: "Woodstock will always be remembered as an iconic moment in history. Despite our formidable effort to assist Michael Lang and the Woodstock 50 ownership in resurrecting their NY festival, it has become apparent that time has expired. It is imperative to us to produce an event at the highest level; in which all artists and consumers deserve. Without a venue and related permits secured, there is simply no time left to do so".
We now await confirmation on the Woodstock company's next move.
R Kelly denied bail following latest sexual abuse charges
Kelly continues to deny all the allegations of abuse and yesterday formally pleaded not guilty to the latest charges. Prosecutors urged the court to deny Kelly bail on the basis he was both dangerous and a flight risk. His lawyers denied that their client was a danger, stressing that the alleged crimes all took place more than a decade ago. But the judge hearing the case nevertheless ruled that Kelly should remain in jail for the time being.
Elsewhere, the New York Times has reported that the woman at the heart of an earlier criminal case against Kelly is now cooperating with prosecutors. She was the alleged victim in the only previous criminal case that was pursued against Kelly. She refused to testify when that case reached court in 2008 and the musician was acquitted.
Earlier this week celebrity attorney Michael Avenatti claimed that Kelly paid $2 million to the victim in that trial in order to ensure that neither she nor her family spoke about the case. The lawyer stated that "R Kelly bought his acquittal".
The women was a minor at the time of the alleged incident and is now in her 30s. To what extent she is cooperating with prosecutors this time in relation to the new charges against Kelly is not yet clear.
Blink 182 management removed from negligence case over Ohio show Management company the James Grant Group – rebranded as YM&U last year – has successfully had itself removed from a lawsuit in relation to injuries suffered by a security guard at a Blink 182 concert in Ohio back in 2016.
Kevin Darago was working at the Blossom Music Centre in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio when Blink 182 played there three years ago. He was injured when a fan crowd-surfing in the mosh pit kicked him in the left eye, causing vision loss.
He then sued Blink 182, their promoter Live Nation and management outfit James Grant for negligence, on the basis they together failed to ensure his safety while working at the show. In particular, Darago pointed out that the venue's own policy that bans crowd surfing had not been enforced.
According to Law 360, the management firm countered that, while it was involved in the booking of the show, it didn't have any control over the running of the concert or the venue. Not only that, but it doesn't have any on-the-ground operations in the state of Ohio. To that end it sought to have itself removed from the litigation.
And the judge hearing the case has now done just that. "There is nothing in the record to establish that James Grant had any control over the venue or any involvement with the actual performance by Blink 182", she wrote.
She went on: "While it is not necessary that James Grant have been physically present in the forum to be subject to its jurisdiction, it cannot be said that the act of booking the concert in Ohio, alone, was sufficient to demonstrate that it purposefully availed itself of the forum".
The case against Blink 182 and Live Nation will continue.
Bucks Music announces sync appointments
The publisher's Head Of Creative Sync & Licensing, Jonathan Tester, said: "Robyn is a fantastic addition to our sync team. [She is] a highly experienced sync professional and a phenomenal networker. I am delighted that she will be utilising these skills to the benefit of our writers and composers".
On the sync team's new intern, he added: "Honor has been with us for a few weeks and has already become an invaluable member of the team and we all look forward to helping develop her sync career".
AFEM and CI publish music meta-data guide
It's no secret that good music rights data is necessary for a functioning digital music market. Good data ensures fans can find tracks, helps streaming services develop better recommendation tools, and means that the right artists and songwriters get paid when their music is played.
But not everyone in the music community is always providing the right data in the right format. Or, indeed, in some cases, any data at all. Hence the guide, which aims to educate the dance music community in particular - but also the music community at large - about the key data points, what to do with them, and how to avoid getting data wrong.
AFEM says that "understanding metadata is crucial to getting tracks discovered by fans and paid for by broadcasters, streaming platforms and stores". The guide aims to ensure, it adds, that "every stream, play or download is accounted for accurately" so that "creators, labels and publishers are making the most of the opportunities the digital music ecosystem has to offer".
Introducing the guide for its side, CI's Tomas Pali?nas adds: "Being in the digital music market for more than fifteen years, CI has accumulated the best knowledge and expertise in the independent music market when it comes to digital music and metadata. We are very happy to work with AFEM and share some of the best and most effective metadata management practices that will help our community and beloved dance music thrive in the digital environment".
eMusic President becomes 7digital Chair
7digital confirmed last month that it was now at risk of heading into administration after shareholders voted against proposals to issue new shares in order to raise funds. The company said at the time that it "currently believes that it still needs to raise additional funds of at least £4.5 million by 31 Jul 2019".
Confirming his appointment as non-executive Chair, Koch said yesterday that he was confident in 7digital's future, despite its recent financial problems. He also reckons that the B2B digital music firm can play a role in the big blockchain venture he has been spearheading over at eMusic.
Said Koch: "I envision blockchain as the way to align metadata within the industry, organise direct royalty payments, and create all-new economic models between fans and artists. I aim for 7digital to be at the forefront of those developments".
He added that he was sure 7digital's immediate financial issues could be overcome in the short term. "Our vision is clear", he concluded, "to establish 7digital as a business-to-business leader that will use emerging technologies to allow customers access to the largest catalogue, provide the industry with an efficient tracking and payment system, and give artists worldwide distribution and full control of their music".
Also appointed as a non-executive director to 7digital's board is David Lazarus. Confirming both appointments, 7digital's new CEO John Aalbers said: "We are very pleased to welcome both Tamir and David to the board. They each bring valuable experience that will help the company work towards delivering on 7digital's vision and executing our new company strategy".
Fresh Island festival organisers confirm party back on after fire
The first day of the proceedings was cut short after a fire in a forest next to the beach that hosts the festival forced the site to be evacuated. The hip hop centric Fresh Island festival happens in various venues around Zr?e beach on the Croatian island of Pag.
A post on the festival's Facebook page yesterday read: "The emergency services have now cleared the fire, reopened the road and deemed the route and Zrce beach to be safe. We are therefore pleased to confirm that Fresh Island will continue as planned with no further disruptions, starting with Tim Westwood's notorious after beach party at 4pm in Papaya".
Organisers added: "To ensure your safety when travelling to the festival, please ensure to keep to the roads at all times and not to enter the woodland area affected by last night's fire. Thanks again for everyone's patience and we look forward to seeing you on the beach again very soon!".
Stefflon Don was headlining the second day of the festival alongside Westwood's party.
Snow Patrol behind most played record of the 21st Century, so far
Makes you wonder whether the impending collapse of this United Kingdom into a messy miscellany of warring tribes and fragile regional states isn't such a bad thing after all. Only joking! We all love Snow Patrol round here. Love em. In fact, we're planning on making 'Chasing Cars' the national anthem of the Democratic Republic Of Hackney Marsh once the big battle of the British bullshitters is finally over. Can't wait.
"'Chasing Cars' is a song that has become a popular anthem, securing huge success across radio, in public and especially TV where its huge appeal has led to its use in many programmes and especially 'Grey's Anatomy'", says PPL boss Peter Leathem.
He's chipping in at this point because the enduring appeal of 'Chasing Cars' has been confirmed by PPL as it celebrates its 85th birthday, with the Snow Patrol track's most played status based on all the counting done by the UK's record industry collecting society.
Some big syncs, adds Leathem, "can dramatically extend the life of a record beyond its initial release, and PPL is here to collect the royalties owed to the performers and recording rightsholders of that song, whenever and wherever it is used. We congratulate Snow Patrol for writing and performing a track of such long-lasting appeal".
As do we all. I look forward to singing it every morning as we gather en masse for the daily bombing of the Heathen Principality Of Harringay.