TODAY'S TOP STORY: Live Nation has reportedly formally challenged the Royal Parks organisation over its decision to renew its deal with AEG regarding the rights to stage concerts in London's Hyde Park. According to Billboard, Live Nation has raised various issues with the bidding process employed by Royal Parks, it having also bid for the Hyde Park rights earlier this year... [READ MORE]
TOP STORIES Live Nation challenges Royal Parks decision to renew AEG's Hyde Park deal
DEALS Concord acquires Victory Records
LIVE BUSINESS Wheels & Fins festival to go into liquidation
MEDIA Jon Ola Sand to stand down as Eurovision boss
RELEASES Becky Hill releases career-spanning compilation
Jaakko Eino Kalevi announces new mini-album
ONE LINERS National Album Day, Event Safety Managers Association, Beatport, more
AND FINALLY... Lil Nas X collaboration offer brings an end to Fiona Apple (not quite) feud
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Live Nation challenges Royal Parks decision to renew AEG's Hyde Park deal
Live Nation has reportedly formally challenged the Royal Parks organisation over its decision to renew its deal with AEG regarding the rights to stage concerts in London's Hyde Park. According to Billboard, Live Nation has raised various issues with the bidding process employed by Royal Parks, it having also bid for the Hyde Park rights earlier this year.

AEG originally won the rights to stage a series of summer shows in the central London park back in 2012, presenting its first British Summer Time programme there the following year. Prior to that Live Nation produced concerts and festivals in Hyde Park, including the Wireless and Calling festivals, and an assortment of other shows.

In the latter years of Live Nation organising the Hyde Park concerts there were increasing complaints from local residents regarding noise levels, crowd sizes and the number and kind of shows being presented. Ultimately Live Nation pulled out of talks to renew its agreement with Royal Parks in 2012, saying that increased licensing limitations and a "flawed" tendering process made staging shows there unattractive and ultimately unfeasible.

In an interview at the time, Live Nation's then COO John Probyn said: "Royal Parks has ignored everything else and gone for the money and we're really good at walking away when something makes no sense. Hyde Park is the most expensive venue in the country and the stakeholders just don't want events in there. I've kept saying that it's a fantastic site, and in its heyday it was, but for the last four years it's been a nightmare. We have no desire to be involved with a loss-leading project, or to work with someone who doesn't understand what we're doing".

AEG subsequently took on the site, investing heavily in a new set up that sought to tackle the concerns of local residents but without hindering the experience of those in the audience. Billboard reckons that those investments made the British Summer Time project an expensive and loss-making endeavour in the earlier years, despite Barclaycard's headline sponsorship. However, the venture has bedded in and become more stable for AEG.

Meanwhile, elsewhere in London, the number of summer festivals has increased over the years, with Victoria Park, Finsbury Park, Brockwell Park and Gunnersbury Park all now used for such events. Having lost access to its original Hyde Park home, Live Nation's Wireless ultimately ended up at Finsbury Park, resulting in a repeated back and forth with local resident groups who oppose having the event in their neighbourhood.

Local residents have objected to any increase in the numbers of festivals being staged elsewhere too, meaning securing city centre locations for such events has become ever more tricky. And AEG again made it even trickier for its rivals when it did a deal to launch All Points East in Victoria Park, forcing Broadwick Live's Field Day and the Lovebox event promoted by Live Nation's MAMA to find new locations.

This year Field Day moved to The Drumsheds, a new complex in North London operated by its owner Broadwick Live, while Lovebox last year went west to Gunnersbury Park. But moving events risks losing audience, especially if ticket sales have traditionally been topped up by locals, or if new sites are in less familiar locations away from the capital's more efficient tube and train lines. Plus promoters invest in bespoke infrastructure for each new site, meaning new production costs are incurred with every move.

That might be why Live Nation was interested in regaining control of the festival programme in Hyde Park when the Royal Parks organisation but the summer events contract back up for tender in March, despite all the issues the company raised in the years running up to 2012. Quite how its pitch compared to AEG's "pretty much more of the same" proposal obviously isn't known, but - Billboard's sources say - Live Nation believes that the Royal Park's procurement process was again flawed, hence the legal action.

Neither Live Nation nor AEG has commented on any of this, but a spokesperson for the Royal Parks told Billboard: "We are confident we have run the procurement process in accordance with the law. It would be inappropriate to comment while matters are ongoing".


Concord acquires Victory Records
Concord Music Group has further expanded its recordings business by acquiring US-based independent label Victory Records. The Another Victory publishing company is also included as part of the deal.

Launched in 1989, the rock and punk focused Victory Records has been owned and run by its sometimes vocal founder Tony Brummel for 30 years. The new deal includes 4500 master recordings, plus the rights in about 3500 compositions.

"Concord is a market leader across rock genres in both new releases and catalogue", boasts the firm's Chief Business Development Officer Steven Salm. "Tony's dedication to Victory and the development of talent within these rock genres of metal, emo and hardcore as a true independent operator is incredibly admirable and he's made a very significant impact in that world".

On the deal and moving forward, he adds: "Tony and I have gotten to know each other over the years and all of us at Concord very much look forward to being the next creative managers of the Victory masters and publishing catalogues as well as insuring all of the artists that have been part of Victory feel very much at home at Concord".

For his part, Brummel says: "I have had the pleasure of knowing Steve Salm and the Concord team for a few years now. My dealings with Steve and Concord have been nothing but enjoyable. Concord has a great team, infrastructure and the financial backing and support to do great things with the music and entertainment assets that they represent".

"Victory and Another Victory's great catalogue of music and songs will be in caring and fantastic hands going forward", he reckons. "We've had a great run and with Concord it will only continue. My team at Victory will be remaining intact as we embark, going forward, on our new and existing business journeys".

Victory's upcoming releases include new Like Torches album 'Love And Losses' on 1 Nov. Here's their latest single, 'The Guilt Of Surviving'.


Wheels & Fins festival to go into liquidation
A month after its last minute cancellation, Kent's Wheels & Fins festival has announced that it is going into liquidation.

Efforts had been made to rescue the company behind the event after poor ticket sales forced organisers to pull this year's edition just days before it was due to take place. However, attempts to raise new investment to cover losses and allow the festival to return in the future were unsuccessful.

"Over the past weeks ... we have worked tirelessly, meeting with new investors and legal representatives to try and salvage Wheels & Fins, but it is with an unbelievable amount of sadness that we must inform you that the festival will be going into liquidation shortly", say organisers in a statement. "We have tried everything to avoid this outcome but have been unable to find a solution - to say we are devastated is an understatement".

"We have poured our hearts, souls and personal finances into the event as well as leaning heavily on private investors and friends", they continue. "The pressure of trying to deliver an independent festival which Kent could be proud of has been immense. However, there is no avoiding the reality of our situation - poor ticket sales mean that Wheels & Fins is no longer financially viable nor attractive to an investor".

The collapse of the company means that ticketholders will not directly receive the refunds it had been hoped could be secured for them. "This is the worst part for us", say the organisers. "Being unable to refund our audience, the people who have stuck by us and supported the festival, is a very painful experience for us, both as people and event organisers".

Creditors will receive notice from the official receivers in due course.


Jon Ola Sand to stand down as Eurovision boss
The European Broadcasting Union has announced that Jon Ola Sand will step down as Executive Supervisor of the Eurovision Song Contest after the 2020 edition of the show. He has been in the role since 2011.

"The past decade at the European Broadcasting Union has been fantastic and exciting, but it will also be good to come home", the Norwegian exec says of his time with the Switzerland-based EBU. "I have been involved with the Eurovision Song Contest for over 20 years. First as Head Of Delegation for Norway, then as Executive Producer in Oslo in 2010 and I have been privileged to have been the captain of the ship in Geneva for the past nine years".

"Rotterdam will be my tenth Contest as Executive Supervisor and it seems a good time to pass on the baton and take on a new challenge at [Norwegian national broadcaster] NRK", he continues. "In my new role I will work to ensure that NRK continues to be a world-class public broadcaster and will be in the best possible shape for the future".

The EBU's Director Of Media, Jean Philip De Tender, adds: "Jon Ola's commitment and calm steady hand over the last decade has been invaluable to the EBU and its members. He has overseen the growth and development of the Eurovision Song Contest over the past decade and created, together with EBU members, the most advanced entertainment show in the world helping to safeguard the longevity of this much-loved show that unites audiences from across the globe".

As well as stepping down as Executive Supervisor, Sand will also leave his position as the EBU's Head Of Live Events, in which he oversees the Junior Eurovision Song Contest, Eurovision Young Musicians and Eurovision Choir competitions.


Approved: Anne Müller
A regular collaborator with Nils Frahm and Agnes Obel, among many others, cellist Anne Müller is set to release her debut album, 'Heliopause', in November.

It's named after the point at the edge of our solar system where solar wind from our own system is in balance with the interstellar wind from outside it.

Müller settled on the name after the second of NASA's two Voyager satellites reached this point last year, meaning it is no longer powered by our sun. That event occurred 41 years after launch, and saw the Voyager project entering a new phase of its mission.

Approaching the same age herself, she saw her new musical project in similar terms, as she was leaving behind the collaborations that have sustained her to date, branching out alone for the first time. "'Heliopause' marks the end of a long journey but also the start of voyages to explore strange new worlds", she says.

The first track released from the album, 'Nummer 2', begins that journey. A beautiful piece of music, it unfurls slowly, shifting through changes almost imperceptible as they are happening, gradually becoming more apparent as you head ever deeper into it.

Listen to 'Nummer 2' here.

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

Becky Hill releases career-spanning compilation
Becky Hill has released a new collection of her past singles, plus four new songs, titled 'Get To Know'. The release may or may not be clearing the way for her long-awaited debut album. I don't know, I'll let you read whatever you like into this.

"'Get To Know' is a collection of all the works I have written and featured on plus four brand new songs that gives you a taste of the music that I love to make", she says. "Starting from the age of nineteen all the way up to 25, this mini-album gives an overall look at my career so far and a hint of where my career is heading".

Here's new single 'Changing', and here's the full tracklist for the compilation:

1. Changing
2. I Could Get Used To This (with Weiss)
3. Wish You Well (with Sigala)
4. Find A Place (with MNEK)
5. Back And Forth (with MK & Jonas Blue)
6. Breakdown
7. Gecko (Overdrive) (with Oliver Heldens)
8. Afterglow (with Wilkinson)
9. Stranger
10. Piece Of Me (with MK)
11. Sunrise In The East
12. False Alarm (with Matoma)
13. I Could Get Used To This (Orchestral)


Jaakko Eino Kalevi announces new mini-album
Jaakko Eino Kalevi has announced that he will release a new mini-album, titled 'Dissolution', later this year. He's also released the title track and announced a launch show for the record, which for some reason is going to be in Cairo.

"Just as a drop of ink dissolves in a glass of water, it is said that life on Earth began in this way", says the musician of the new record, which follow's last year's 'Out Of Touch' album. "It's impossible to become that drop again. Life on Earth is a mystery - it's a story of dissolution".

The mini-album will be released on 22 Nov, with the launch party taking place at the Cairo Jazz Club the night before. Here's the video for the track.



The Beatles' 'Abbey Road' and George Michael's 'Faith' albums have just been added to the vinyl test pressing auction set to take place this Saturday ahead of this year's National Album Day on 12 Oct. There are also other things that you might actually be able to afford here.



Storm4Events' Steve Blake and StageSafe's Chris Hannam are to lead a new UK-based event safety trade body, the Event Safety Managers Association. "The competence of event safety advisors and consultants operating within the industry has become a major issue", says Blake. "The association will carry a list of its membership, their level of qualification, the experience and responsibility signified by their level of membership. Competency will be the focus".



Beatport has launched a new service aimed at open-format DJs - those who don't pin themselves to one specific genre - named Beatsource. "Beatsource will deliver expertly curated playlists and premium content from our label partners specifically tailored to the open-format DJ, all leveraging Beatport's world class technical infrastructure", says the company's CEO Robb McDaniels. Find out more here.



The content team at Mark Goodier's Wise Buddah have launched a new radio production company called Listen. Goodier will act as Chair of the new venture, with Adam Uytman as Director Of Content, Josh Adley as Director Of Commercial & Client Relations, and Tim Hammond as Executive Director.



Chris Slade has announced that Becca McLeish is joining him as a partner in his Cousin music PR agency. "I am beyond excited to welcome Becca to Cousin", says Slade. "She's not only one of the most effective and committed publicists I know but also a great friend. I cannot think of a better person to work alongside and take our agency to the next level".



Simply Red have released new single 'Sweet Child'. They will release their twelfth album, 'Blue Eyed Soul', on 8 Nov. "I wanted to push my voice a little harder, challenge it a little bit, give myself something to really sing to", says Mick Hucknall of the record. "At this stage of my career, I could do one of those dark reflective albums looking back on my life and all that kind of stuff that people tend to do at a certain age. But I thought sod that! I wanted to make something punchy. I want to have a good time".

Allie X has returned with new single 'Fresh Laundry'. "I wasn't ready to talk about this part of my story until now", she says of the song. "The older you get, the more reflective you become... you learn to have sympathy for yourself and see things more clearly. And as an artist you learn the correct language to do so".

Soweto Kinch has announced that he will release new album, 'The Black Peril', on 18 Nov. He'll play a launch show for the record at EartH in Hackney as part of this year's London Jazz Festival on 22 Nov.

Eli Moon has released new single 'Black Roses', taken from his upcoming debut album, 'Bodies', which is due out on 18 Oct. "'Black Roses' is me thinking about the relationship between love and freedom and whether they're mutually exclusive - whether to be in love is to be tied down and trapped, or whether to be in love is to be freed", he says. "I actually have a black rose tattooed on my arm - for me it represents life and beauty, but also darkness and pain".



Sinead Hartnett has announced that she will play London's Shepherds Bush Empire on 17 Dec. Tickets are on sale now.

Creeper have announced that they will play 229 in London, under the name Fugitives Of Heaven, on 1 Nov.

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


Lil Nas X collaboration offer brings an end to Fiona Apple (not quite) feud
Fiona Apple has accepted an offer of collaboration with Lil Nas X in lieu of payment for an uncleared sample on an old mixtape. Which is pretty good, given she was only joking about getting paid for said sample.

Last week, after discussing the issue of sampling in an interview with Vulture, she posted a video on Instagram via a fan account pointing out that Lil Nas X had sampled her song 'Every Single Time' on a track without permission. "Hey, where's my money, you cute little guy?" she asked at the end of the clip.

Some people apparently took this as confirmation that she was sending the lawyers round, prompting her to follow up with a second video, saying: "I don't think that Lil Nas X knew that it was my song or who I am", she says. "Why would he? And I don't really think I'm gonna get money. I just was being cute, playful, and it didn't come off like that, I guess ... Fucking social media".

Yeah, fucking social media. Fuck it all. Although it is at least partially responsible for this story's happy ending. But we shouldn't let that distract us from the fact that social media is awful and should never be used under any circumstances. Except for that one time when Lil Nas X tweeted: "Me and Fiona Apple should do something together for my album".

Aw, that's nice. Apple responded via another video, this time on friend Zelda Hallman's Twitter account, saying: "My friend Zelda just told me that Lil Nas X tweeted that you would like to do something with me? I would love that! This is such a good ending to this little story. I would love that. I'm not going on social media anymore, by the way, so I'll get in touch with you personally. Bye".

So that is a happy ending. Especially the bit about taking the conversation off social media. Any time someone moves away from social media it brings a tear to my eye. And Fiona Apple wasn't really even on it to start with.


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.
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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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