TODAY'S TOP STORY: A whole new chapter in the long-running Fyre Festival saga began last week when the trustee who was appointed after the Fyre company fell into bankruptcy began legal proceedings to try to recover fees paid to artists who were scheduled to played the failed event in 2017... [READ MORE]
TOP STORIES Fyre Festival bankruptcy trustee seeks to recover fees paid to artists
LEGAL R Kelly requests to be allowed out of solitary confinement, prosecutors say he's not in solitary confinement
DEALS Universal announces publishing alliance with KondZilla creator
LIVE BUSINESS Kilimanjaro responds to Ed Sheeran fans left out of pocket by fan-to-fan resale system
MANAGEMENT & FUNDING Music Managers Forum appoints new GM
MEDIA Global launches "old skool anthems" station Capital Xtra Reloaded
ONE LINERS Katy Perry, Charli XCX, Emeli Sandé
AND FINALLY... Trent Reznor nominated for country music award, via Lil Nas X
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Hospital Records is hiring a full-time Promotions Manager to join the Hospital Records team in its south London office, to manage all promotional activity for the label’s releases, event brands, and festivals Hospitality In The Park (UK) and Hospitality On The Beach (Croatia).

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Fyre Festival bankruptcy trustee seeks to recover fees paid to artists
A whole new chapter in the long-running Fyre Festival saga began last week when the trustee who was appointed after the Fyre company fell into bankruptcy began legal proceedings to try to recover fees paid to artists who were scheduled to played the failed event in 2017.

A plethora of companies which received upfront monies from the Fyre Festival and its founder Billy McFarland were named as defendants on lawsuits filed with the US courts last week. That includes booking agencies like CAA, UTA, ICM and Nue Agency, which negotiated fees for various artists who were booked by McFarland and his team.

The Fyre Festival, of course, was promoted by a flurry of influencers as a prestigious luxurious event in the Bahamas. But in the end it fell apart just as things were getting started, when it became clear that the team behind it all had failed to put in place the required infrastructure for even a very basic festival. A stack of lawsuits were filed in the wake of the event's collapse, while McFarland himself was ultimately jailed for fraud.

Trustee Greg Messer is seeking to recover monies for the victims of that fraud, which include ticketholders, creditors and the people and companies which invested money into McFarland's scam believing it to be a legitimate venture.

In addition to the booking agencies, lawsuits were filed last week against other suppliers to the festival which received some or all of their payments upfront. That includes some of those influencers who supplied the hype in return for a big pile of cash, among them Kendall Jenner and model Emily Ratajkowski.

The legal papers also accuse Jenner and Ratajkowski of demonstrating a "clear lack of good faith" because they did not disclose to their followers on Instagram that they'd been paid mega-bucks ($275,000 and $300,000 respectively) to big up McFarland's party. Not only that, the lawsuits add, "nor did they inform their fans and followers that they ultimately decided not to attend the festival because of problems with the [event] of which they ... were uniquely aware".

On the music side, Messer is trying to get back fees paid to the likes of Pusha T, Tyga, Migos, Skepta and headliners Blink 182, who - the lawsuit claims - received $500,000.

Of course, generally speaking for festivals - especially new unproven festivals - it's industry standard for artists and their agents to demand that fees are paid upfront. And those upfront payments are non-refundable if a festival does not go ahead. After all, artists have a finite number of days each year when they can perform, and once they are committed to the subsequently cancelled event, they are turning down other revenue generating opportunities.

However, Messer is arguing that because those fees were paid out of monies that McFarland had fraudulently acquired from his investors, they should be returned in this instance. The fees, his legal filing adds, amounted to an "unfair expense of Fyre Festival's defrauded investors, creditors and ticketholders".

It remains to be seen how that argument fairs in court. Though one other agency which had artists booked to play Fyre is seemingly negotiating with Messer on a possible settlement, and to that end was not a defendant on last week's lawsuits. That agency is Paradigm.

According to Billboard, another legal filing confirmed that those settlement talks are ongoing, with both sides keen to avoid litigation. It remains to be seen if anything can be agreed.


R Kelly requests to be allowed out of solitary confinement, prosecutors say he's not in solitary confinement
R Kelly's attorney has asked the judge overseeing his case in Chicago to order that his client be taken out of solitary confinement. Prosecutors have countered by pointing out he's sharing a cell with someone else.

Since being arrested in July and refused bail, Kelly has been held away from the general prison population mainly for his own safety - due to both his celebrity status and the fact he has been accused of sexual crimes against children.

However, says his attorney Steve Greenberg, the rules of the unit where he is being kept mean Kelly has "no meaningful interaction with other humans" and he is also barred from watching TV or going outside. Greenberg adds that the room where Kelly is allowed to meet with his legal team in the unit is also inadequate.

However, in response to Greenberg's motion, prosecution attorney Angel Krull denied that Kelly is in fact being held in solitary confinement at all. She said the he has actually had several cellmates during his time in prison, even though he initially refused to take one. Adding that Kelly has "displayed a poor attitude", she claimed that he "appears to want special treatment because of his celebrity status".

Greenberg countered that the cellmate Kelly was initially told to share his cell with was taken out of the general prison population for being found with a makeshift knife. "I think it's an oxymoron to say, 'we're holding someone in solitary for their protection' and then give them a dangerous roommate", he said.

The judge is yet to make a ruling on this, although Kelly's team is apparently hopeful that a move into the general prison population will be granted. At a status hearing later this week, Greenberg is also expected to again request that Kelly be granted bail and be allowed to leave prison entirely while awaiting trial on an assortment of sexual abuse charges.


Universal announces publishing alliance with KondZilla creator
Universal Music Publishing has announced an alliance with Konrad Dantas, the man behind the KondZilla YouTube channel and an assortment of spin-off businesses.

Through his various music and audio-visual projects, Dantas has been credited with bringing an assortment of Brazilian artists to mainstream attention. His KondZilla brand is linked in particular to the so called funk ostentação genre that emerged in Sao Paulo in the late 2000s. Universal will now administrate the publishing rights of Dantas's business.

Confirming the deal, the MD of UMPG Brazil, Marcelo Falcão, declared that: "Konrad Dantas is a true force of nature. His passion and commitment to his dream were much bigger than the difficult circumstances he was born and raised in, and he has since created an empire that shared Brazilian funk music throughout the world".

Dantas himself added: "I'm very happy to be part of the UMPG family, one of the world's leading music publishing companies that will certainly contribute to KondZilla's Publishing growth in the world".


Kilimanjaro responds to Ed Sheeran fans left out of pocket by fan-to-fan resale system
Kilimanjaro Live has responded after some Ed Sheeran fans recently complained of being left out of pocket when trying to resell tickets through its officially sanctioned channels.

The promoter has, of course, been working hard to tackle the touts on Sheeran's tours over the last couple of years, convincing most secondary sites not to list tickets for his shows while also attempting to cancel any that appear on outlier Viagogo. Fans who found themselves with surplus tickets were, however, permitted to use specific fan-to-fan ticket exchanges - where tickets are resold at face value, plus a 10% resale fee.

It is this approved resale system that some fans say has now left them out of pocket, because restrictions prevent them from discounting the tickets they are reselling or waiving the 10% mark up. These are both things a reseller might want to do if they have spare tickets to a show that has not sold out, because otherwise, fans will obviously opt for tickets from a primary ticket seller with no 10% mark-up. As a result, the reseller is left losing the full amount they paid for their ticket, rather than just some of it.

A spokesperson for Kilimanjaro told The Guardian: "From the outset we have tried to find a way to be fair to fans, to facilitate the ethical resale of tickets and to leave as many fans as happy as possible whilst preventing the daily horror stories of them being ripped off by ticket touts profiting from the panic to get a ticket to see Ed. We have undoubtedly had a huge impact here".

"Whilst we understand the frustration of someone who is unable to resell and wants to drop the price accordingly to give themselves a better chance of recouping some of their money, unfortunately this throws up more questions than answers", they went on, saying that they did not want people who had bought full price tickets to feel ripped off by last minute discounts on the official resale platform.

"An Ed Sheeran ticket on this tour costs around £85 to £90", they added, "and that's a price point that we have set all along - and one that industry stats suggest as being of really good value for the size of venue on this tour".

It's not the first time efforts to tackle ticket touting have negatively impacted on genuine fans. Insisting ticket holders present the credit card that bought the tickets seemed like a good idea for stopping the touts, until fans showed up who had had tickets bought for them by a friend or a parent who wasn't coming to the show, or who couldn't attend at the last minute.

One possible solution to this latest issue would be to simply allow people to opt to swallow the admin fee on the resold tickets, meaning they'd have parity with the primary sites, but other fans wouldn't see discounted tickets going on sale. Though while primary sites are still selling tickets, would fans ever be looking to ethical resale sites unless tickets there were cheaper?

Another option would be to allow returns or to authorise box offices to buy back tickets. Though the live music industry has always resisted making that a default policy, in many ways providing the original justification for the secondary ticketing websites.


Music Managers Forum appoints new GM
The UK's Music Managers Forum has appointed Jayne Stynes as its new General Manager, starting today.

Stynes previously worked at Eleven Management. She also recently completed one year of a PhD programme at the University Of Glasgow, exploring the significance of gender-focused initiatives in the UK music and wider creative industries. She will continue work on that research on a part time basis from next year.

Confirming the new hire, MMF CEO Annabella Coldrick said: "This is a fantastic appointment for the MMF. Over recent years we have undergone a period of rapid expansion, both in terms of membership numbers, our associate programme and in the range of activities and initiatives we support. Jayne's depth of experience will enable us to carry on delivering the maximum possible support to our ever-growing community".

Stynes herself added: "The MMF is an organisation I have looked to continuously throughout my career to date, from attending training days to drawing on the wealth of information inside their detailed guides. I am excited to be joining such a compelling, dynamic organisation and look forward to working alongside Annabella and the entire MMF team, the board, associates and most especially the members".


Global launches "old skool anthems" station Capital Xtra Reloaded
Global has announced yet another new radio station. Deviating from last week's trend (two is a trend, right?) of launching new stations under the Heart brand, it has now announced new Captial Xtra offshoot, Capital Xtra Reloaded. The offshoot of an offshoot will play old school anthems from way, way, way, way, way, way, way, way, way, way, way, way, way, way, way back in the early 2000s.

The station is actually promising to play "the greatest old skool anthems of all time", and the playlist does stretch back further than the early 2000s occasionally, but when I tuned in just now they were playing a track from 2011. It's quite possible the whole thing is designed as a comment on our short attention spans in the age of social media but oh look a video of a kitten.

Giving nothing away about this ulterior motive, Capital Xtra's Deputy Managing Editor Al Smith says: "This is a hugely exciting time for Capital Xtra as we launch a brand-new station dedicated to the biggest old skool anthems of all time, playing classic after classic, non-stop, 24/7. It's the perfect time to expand the Capital Xtra brand as we celebrate record audience figures, with 1.9 million listeners now tuning in every week".

The new station is available on DAB, smart speakers and online.


Setlist: Tencent, Tents, Baby Shark
CMU's Andy Malt and Chris Cooke review key events in music and the music business from the last seven days, including China's competition regulator investigating Tencent’s exclusivity deals with the major labels, a proposed tax on tents at festivals and a lawsuit claiming that Baby Shark is a rip-off. Setlist is sponsored by 7digital.

Listen to Setlist here when it goes live soon, and sign up to receive new episodes for free automatically each week through any of these services...

Acast | Apple Podcasts | audioBoom | CastBox | Deezer | Google Play | iHeart | Mixcloud | RSS | SoundCloud | Spotify | Spreaker | Stitcher | TuneIn



Anathema have signed a new record deal with Mascot Label Group. Says frontman Danny Cavanagh: "We are all extremely excited to announce our new contract with Mascot Label Group. This is the beginning of a new adventure for us and we are looking forward to a wonderful partnership with Mascot in the coming years". The band will play space exploration convention Space Rocks at IndigO2 in London on 21 Sep.



Katy Perry has released the video for recent single 'Small Talk'.

Charli XCX has released a new track with Haim, produced by AG Cook and titled 'Warm'. "It's a really beautiful song and the idea actually came about because AG sent me this demo of him singing just a melody, no lyrics, but it was so beautiful and I sat with it for ages and just played it over and over again", she says. "Danielle, Este and Alana came over to our studio house and they wrote their part, we were in LA when we did that and I'm just very happy we got to collaborate".

Emeli Sandé has released new single 'You Are Not Alone'. Her new album, 'Real Life', is out on 13 Sep.

Skream has released new single 'Song For Oliva'. He will be touring the UK and Ireland in November and December, finishing with a show at Village Underground in London on 20 Dec.

Neil Young And Crazy Horse will release new album 'Colorado' on 25 Oct. From it, this is 'Milky Way'.

Paul Epworth has released the first track from a new solo project. 'Voyager' draws on house as well as cosmic disco. "I was looking to find a hypnotic and slow-moving ambience that I imagine the journey into the cosmos would feel like, with a few surprises along the way", says the producer.

Anamanaguchi have announced that they will release new album '[USA]' on 25 Oct. From it, this is 'Lorem Ipsum (Artic Anthem)'.



James Blunt has followed up the announcement of his new album 'Once Upon A Mind' with the news that he'll be touring UK arenas in February next year. He'll also play a standalone show at London's Royal Albert Hall on 7 Apr.

Snow Patrol have announced that they will tour the UK and Ireland performing reworked versions of old tracks, as well as new material, later this year. The tour will see them play the Royal Albert Hall in London twice, on 20 Nov and 5 Dec.

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


Trent Reznor nominated for country music award, via Lil Nas X
Trent Reznor has been nominated for a Country Music Association Award after a non-country music song he wrote was sampled in a song many deem not to be a country music song. Top work. Basically Lil Nas X's 'Old Town Road' is up for the Musical Event Of The Year prize.

The big US hit of the year that broke chart records all over the place features a sample of instrumental Nine Inch Nails track '34 Ghosts IV', which got Reznor and his songwriting partner Atticus Ross songwriting credits on the record.

The actual status of 'Old Town Road' as a piece of country music has been controversial - Billboard initially listed it on its country music chart in March, before booting it off two weeks later. It never returned, despite its massive success in the main Billboard singles chart.

The slightly wishy-washy Musical Event Of The Year category at the CMAs seemingly exists to allow awards organisers to include things that don't really fit into the rest of the categories (the prize was originally, and is still occasionally, named Vocal Event Of The Year, which makes both more and less sense at the same time).

Therefore it seems the perfect category for a non-country country music song that sampled a non-country music song. It means, at least, that 'Old Town Road' can be included in the event without anyone having to say it was the 'best' anything.

Although, technically it's the remix of the track featuring Billy Ray Cyrus that is up for the prize, which possibly already placates some of the naysayers in the country music community. Certainly earlier this year, when Lil Nas X and Billy Ray Cyrus performed the song with Keith Urban at CMA Fest in Nashville, it seemed to go down well with the audience. So, it seems like a shoo-in to win the prize, even if we're not 100% sure what the prize is for.

Of course, cynics might say that CMA organisers want to exploit the 'Old Town Road' phenomenon to boost ratings for their awards show, but needed a sneaky way of doing that without annoying more conventional country music fans. Though the Musical/Vocal Event Of The Year prize is generally not handed out during the televised ceremony, and since 2014 has been revealed before the event on 'Good Morning America'.

Acknowledging the nod last week, Lil Nas X tweeted: "Thank you guys for this nomination!" Going a bit further, Reznor posted to Instagram a photograph of fellow nominees Brooks & Dunn with his and Ross's faces photoshopped on top and the caption "New world, new times..."

Reznor and Ross are not, however, capitalising on their new found success in country music. They're instead having a crack at children's songs. Kind of. They are composing the soundtrack to new Disney Pixar film 'Soul'. That's not due out until next June though, so they could definitely take a break to perform 'Old Town Road' with Lil Nas X and Billy Ray Cyrus at the CMA Awards ceremony on 13 Nov.


ANDY MALT | Editor
Andy heads up the team, overseeing the CMU Daily, website and Setlist podcast, managing social channels, reporting on artist and business stories, and writing the CMU Approved column. (except press releases, see below)
CHRIS COOKE | Co-Founder & MD
Chris provides music business coverage, writing key business news and CMU Trends. He also leads the CMU Insights and CMU Pathways consultancy units and the CMU:DIY future talent programme, as well as heading up CMU publisher 3CM UnLimited. (except press releases, see below)
SAM TAYLOR | Commercial Manager
Sam oversees the commercial side of the CMU media, leading on sales and sponsorship, and also heads up business development at CMU InsightsCMU Pathways and CMU:DIY. or call 020 7099 9060
CARO MOSES | Co-Publisher
Caro helps oversee the CMU media as a Director of 3CM UnLimited, as well as heading up the company's other two titles ThisWeek London and ThreeWeeks Edinburgh, and supporting other parts of the business.
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