|FRIDAY 21 AUGUST 2020||COMPLETEMUSICUPDATE.COM|
|TODAY'S TOP STORY: An English court has declined to force AEG to share internal communications with its rival Live Nation in an ongoing dispute over who has the rights to stage large-scale music events in London's Hyde Park... [READ MORE]|
Live Nation can't force AEG to hand over emails in Hyde Park concerts dispute
It's AEG that currently has the deal with the Royal Parks organisation to stage summer events in Hyde Park, which it does under the British Summer Time brand it launched in 2013. However, prior to that Live Nation ran all the festivals in the park, including the Wireless and Calling events.
In the latter years of Live Nation's stint running the Hyde Park shows there were regular run ins with local residents over crowds and noise. That, and frustrations with Royal Parks, meant the live giant pulled out of the bidding when its deal to run the Hyde Park programme came up for renewal in 2012.
AEG then got the gig, investing heavily in the infrastructure it sets up in the park in a bid to tackle the complaints of local residents. It's thought that meant the whole British Summer Time venture was loss-making in the first few years, but then the initial investment started to pay off.
Needless to say, when its deal with Royal Parks ended in 2019, AEG was keen to get another stint so the pay off could continue. However, by that point Live Nation was interested again, meaning in 2019 the two live music firms bid against each other for the rights to run shows in Hyde Park from 2020 to 2025 (though not 2020, as it turned out).
AEG won that battle meaning the British Summer Time programme would continue. But then, last September, it emerged that Live Nation had formally challenged the decision.
At the time we knew that Live Nation was arguing that the procurement process undertaken by Royal Parks was flawed. Thanks to this week's court hearing on the dispute, we now know a little more about the firm's grievances.
Among other things, Live Nation alleges that the Royal Parks allowed AEG to make "material changes" to its bid after it had submitted its proposals. And not only that, but the changes were informally communicated to Royal Parks, rather than submitted via its bidding portal, which is the process that should have been employed to ensure complete transparency.
One material change relates to the involvement of AEG exec Jim King, who had played a key role in running British Summer Time since its launch in 2013. Live Nation claims that King had stepped down from the project, having just a consulting role, but that he was then put back in charge of the festival after AEG had submitted its bid. Around about the same time AEG announced the launch of a new European festivals division to be headed up by King.
King's increased role being added to AEG's bid post-submission was, Live Nation argues, a material change. And to better understand what happened, it wanted the court to force AEG to hand over communications that occurred between it and King during the bidding process. However, London's High Court yesterday declined to do so.
According to Law360, judge Nerys Jefford noted that: "The inference that Live Nation draws from [the assumed] chronology is that Mr King's involvement, not merely in the bid but in the contract if awarded to AEG, was material, and that his identification as the person to perform the role of events director was material, and that there was correspondingly a material change in AEG's bid".
But, she added, the documents Live Nation wanted access to - while clearly useful for its case - aren't actually relevant in deciding whether or not AEG altering King's role in its bid after submission constituted a "material change" that should cause concern.
Which means Live Nation will have to proceed with its case against Royal Parks without seeing emails and text messages sent between AEG and King. And so, the dispute continues.
Sync licensing platform allies with JioSaavn-run label
Confirming the deal, SyncFloor CEO Kirt Debique said: "India has one of the most dynamic and exciting music scenes in the world, and there is a wealth of artists and songs to discover. Artist Originals has a great selection of trendsetting tracks that reflect this energy and contribute vitally to the music available in our marketplaces. We're glad we can help more production professionals explore these tracks and find the perfect song to fit their creative".
Meanwhile Hiba Irshad at JioSaavn added: "Since [its] launch in 2017, Artist Originals has grown tremendously, empowering a number of South Asian artists and bringing their music to a global audience. Our partnership with SyncFloor enables us to scale our ability to sync their music into major media properties. This visibility also creates additional avenues for emerging artists to scale and be discovered".
Round Hill Music signs 4 Horsemen Music
For the uninitiated, the four horsemen of 4 Horsemen Music are Marti Frederiksen, Zac Maloy, Blair Daly and Scott Stevens. And they are, in case you wondered, "amazing writers, especially in the rock category, and the four of them together make a killer go-to songwriting unit, with production chops to boot". Or that's what Round Hill boss Josh Gruss reckons.
"It’s a pleasure to have these fine gentlemen of songwriting prowess join the family at Round Hill Music", Gruss goes on, noting that he is already in business with Frederiksen via a Nashville-based studio complex they run together. He then adds: "To weave [this team] in with all the great artists we have at our record labels will surely result in great synergy".
Hurrah for great synergy!
Epic Games to stage an anti-Apple competition via 'Fortnite'
Epic followed Spotify's lead last week in taking its dispute over Apple's App Store rules public. Although Epic is going much, much bigger with its public beefing. While Spotify launched a consumer-facing website to explain its Apple grievances, Epic is rallying the 'Fortnite' faithful in the hope that full-on social media outrage - along with some concurrent legal action in the American courts - might force the tech giant to relax its rules.
This all relates to the 15-30% commission that Apple charges on payments made within any apps on iOS devices, and the accompanying rules that ban app makers from offering, or even directing consumers to, alternative payment platforms. Plenty of media and entertainment companies have complained about those rules over the years, with Spotify taking the matter to the European Commission last year, asking the EU's competition law regulator to intervene.
But, whereas Spotify just stopped taking payments via its iOS app, Epic put an alternative payment option into 'Fortnite', fully knowing that doing so would result in the game being kicked out of the App Store. As soon as that happened, litigation was filed and an anti-Apple video appeared online, spoofing a famous ad campaign that the tech giant ran itself all the way back in 1984.
Ramping things up further, Epic Games told 'Fortnite' players in a blog post yesterday that: "These are the final days of the entire 'Fortnite' community’s ability to play together. Apple has blocked 'Fortnite' from the App Store, preventing players from updating to new versions. Players on iOS devices will be left behind on 'Chapter 2 - Season 3' while everyone else jumps into the 'Chapter 2 - Season 4' launch on 27 Aug"
The #FreeFortnite Cup, therefore, is a last hurrah. And a call out to all iOS-using 'Fortnite' fans to both shout very loudly and possibly consider switching over to a different bit of hardware. "If you’re left behind on iOS after the 'Chapter 2 - Season 4' launch", the blog post added, "the party continues on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC, Mac, GeForce Now, and [on Android] through both the Epic Games App and the Samsung Galaxy Store".
Prizes in the #FreeFortnite Cup include gaming or other devices made by Dell, Samsung, OnePlus, Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo. Although the small print on the blog post notes that none of those companies are officially endorsing this anti-Apple scheme, they being happy to benefit from the big bust up, but not wanting to be formally pulled into any public war of words.
Bigging up this weekend's competition one last time, Epic concluded: "All of your friends. Awesome prizes. And one bad apple. We’re droppin the #FreeFortnite Cup".
6 Music to celebrate independent music as pre-lockdown schedules returns
The station says that, on that day, "right across the schedule, from Lauren Laverne’s [breakfast] show through to Marc Riley’s [evening] show, 6 Music will shine a light on the challenges and opportunities currently facing the independent music industry, as a result of the coronavirus pandemic".
Station boss Samantha Moy adds: "The pandemic has impacted everybody in different ways and, as we return to our pre-lockdown schedule, we’ll be taking the opportunity to reflect on how COVID-19 has impacted the independent music sector and all those who work within it - from venues, to record shops, labels and artists themselves - with our State Of Independents Day".
All the tracks played by the station on 10 Sep will be from artists who independently release their music or who are signed to independent labels.
Which will be fun for us music industry geeks - as we listen super carefully for music from labels that appear to be independent, but are actually sneaky major label imprints. And around about lunchtime we'll also instigate a "what does independent even mean?" debate.
But if you want to, you can just listen to all the fine music being played. Or the promised features on how COVID has impacted on indie retailers, indie venues and club culture. Lovely stuff.
Meanwhile, over on BBC Radio 1, September will see the return of 'Live Lounge Month', where the regular 'Live Lounge' feature takes place every day (well, Monday through Thursday).
Some of that will be re-airing content from the 'Live Lounge' archives, though there'll be new diligently socially distanced performances from Anne-Marie, Arlo Parks, Biffy Clyro, Declan McKenna, Jorja Smith, Little Mix, London Grammar, Miley Cyrus and Yungblud.
Nikki Sixx leads collaborative single to raise money for addiction charity
That organisation supports programmes that provide services to people recovering from 'substance use disorders', with a stated ambition of helping to create "a world where all people in recovery from SUDs have access to the services and support they need".
The new track, called 'Maybe It's Time', will also appear in the upcoming film 'Sno Babies', which is billed as "a gripping tale about the grim realities of opioid addiction and its effects on middle class suburbia". Both the film and the fund-raising record are being put out by Better Noise.
Commenting on the record, Sixx says: "I am proud to bring together these artists to help raise funds for the Global Recovery Initiative Foundation. The opioid epidemic did not go away when the pandemic came along. Just the opposite ... those in early recovery became even more at risk than before, so it’s more important now than ever to raise awareness and support them. I really believe that united we can make a difference and save lives".
Meanwhile, Slipknot's Corey Taylor adds: "It’s a real issue… It’s affecting young people more and more every year, so it’s very, very important for all of us to pitch in and do our part, especially some of us who have lived through it ... those of us who have survived ... it’s the least I can do".
BRANDS & MERCH
The Rolling Stones are opening a shop in Central London. Well someone has to, I guess. RS No.9 will be at number nine Carnaby Street. It's being run by Universal's merchandise business Bravado.
Pharrell Williams and Jay-Z have released new track 'Entrepreneur'. "The intention for [the] song was all about how tough it is to be an entrepreneur in our country to begin with", Williams tells Time. "Especially as someone of colour, there’s a lot of systemic disadvantages and purposeful blockages. How can you get a fire started, or even the hope of an ember to start a fire, when you’re starting at disadvantages with regards to healthcare, education and representation?"
Katy Perry has released an acoustic version of new song 'What Makes A Woman', from her new album 'Smile', which is out next week.
Headie One has released new single 'Ain't It Different', featuring Stormzy and AJ Tracey.
Dizzee Rascal has released new single 'LLLL', featuring Chip. His new album, 'E3 AF', is out on 9 Oct.
Migos have released the video for their track 'Need It', featuring YoungBoy.
Deftones have released new single 'Ohms', the title track of their new album, which will be out on 25 Sep. This is the best news you've had in a long time.
Aluna has released new single 'Envious', taken from her upcoming debut solo album 'Renaissance'. "I think people really need this song right now because I believe it's my best 'cry dance' song; a style I coined to describe that exquisite feeling when all your emotions are released while dancing so you cry at the same time", she says. "I feel like in these times people need that at least once a day!"
Youmeatsix have released new single 'Makemefeelalive', the first single from their still-to-be-announced seventh album.
Aminé has released new track 'Hello', featuring Luke Steele of Empire Of The Sun.
Skendo has released new track 'Ying'.
James Vincent McMorrow and Kenny Beats have released new single 'I Should Go'. "I fucking adore this song", says McMorrow. "The second I put the guitar parts together I knew it was going to be something I adored. I sat in a room with Kenny and played him what I had and I think he immediately got it; I had this feeling going into the studio that day that he was the person who could take the idea and elevate it into the space I wanted it to be. I was definitely correct".
Queen and Adam Lambert are only releasing a live album. Full of recordings of Queen performances from over the last seven years, with Lambert on vocals of course. It will be out on 2 Oct.
Oklou has released 'Galore', the title track of her new mixtape, out on 24 Sep.
Cxloe has released new single 'One And Lonely'. "I spend a majority of the year away from my partner, and it always weighs on me heavily", she says. "This song talks about the endless flights and sleepless nights away from each other and how heavy this feeling is".
Lil Dotz has released new track 'Bussdown'.
Check out our weekly Spotify playlist of new music featured in the CMU Daily - updated every Friday.
Carter USM recall wrestling Philip Schofield
For those of you out there who don't think about this moment several times every single year (I guess there are probably some of you, somewhere), here's a little reminder.
The tackle came after the duo had their performance at the pop mag's annual awards bash - of their then current single 'After The Watershed (Early Learning The Hard Way)' - cut short. That in turn happened after Carter kicked a microphone stand into the audience.
In protest over the duo not being able to finish their performance, Carter then began smashing equipment on stage. In response to that, Schofield made a sarcastic remark about the originality of artists breaking some speakers. And in response to that, Carter launched himself at the event's host, knocking him to the floor.
"I didn’t see it happen", Jim Bob tells the NME in a new interview. "I'd left the stage because I was pissed off with [Carter] after he knocked everything over. Someone from the BBC told me a microphone stand hit somebody in the audience and nearly killed a child. I thought, 'That’s the end of the band – we've killed a child!' And the label were having a meeting to decide on our future".
"Phillip Schofield has passed on lots of nice messages to us over the years, but at the time, it was quite violent", he adds. "It's not a cheeky jump on him - [Carter] probably would have got a few punches in if he could! It was on all the front pages the day after, and only became funny when we played a gig that night and the audience chanted: 'Phillip Schofield - what a wanker!' Every now and then, someone will still shout that".
The duo's last minute addition to the SHPWP line-up had been pushed for by their then new label Chrysalis. Given how it turned out, that wasn't a great start to that particular label relationship. Although their first album for the record company, '1992: The Love Album', did then go straight to number one, which repaired things somewhat.
'After The Watershed' was cut from the album's final tracklisting though. Not for fear of offending Schofield or the BBC (who, despite everything, let the band appear on 'Top Of The Pops' weeks later), but because the Rolling Stones' publisher had blocked it for quoting the band's song 'Ruby Tuesday'. But that's another story for another day.
Now, let's all remind ourselves of the days when pop music was allowed on the telly, despite presenters occasionally being wrestled to the floor as a result.