TUESDAY 29 SEPTEMBER 2020 COMPLETEMUSICUPDATE.COM
TODAY'S TOP STORY: Representatives of the UK events industry will today stage a protest outside Parliament in London over the UK government's latest COVID support measures, which it's generally agreed do little for those working in the event, live music and night-time sectors... [READ MORE]
TOP STORIES Event and music industries increasingly vocal over UK's latest COVID measures and schemes
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LEGAL Judge proposes jury hearing for the big Epic v Apple bust up
Donald Trump's TikTok ban probably ignores exemptions in national security laws, judge concludes

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LABELS & PUBLISHERS Highvibes partners with Songtrust for African publishing royalty collection
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MANAGEMENT & FUNDING TaP Music launches new not-for-profit division to support educational and diversity initiatives
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ARTIST NEWS DJ Rebekah launches campaign against sexual harassment and assault in dance music industry
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ONE LINERS Mogwai, BTS, Pendulum, more
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AND FINALLY... Lennon and McCartney wrote some songs that "weren't very good", but you haven't heard them
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JUNO RECORDS - DJ & STUDIO EQUIPMENT SERVICE AND SUPPORT ASSISTANT (LONDON)
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SENTRIC MUSIC - COPYRIGHT ADMINISTRATION, NEIGHBOURING RIGHTS (LIVERPOOL)
Sentric Music is looking for a Copyright Administrator to assist its artists and catalogue owners with the administration of their recording copyrights.

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MUSIC MANAGEMENT COMPANY - ARTIST & MANAGEMENT PA (LONDON)
A London-based established artist management company has a position available for an enthusiastic and organised candidate. Suitable candidates must have a minimum of two years' similar experience in the music or entertainment industry.

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MATERIAL - RECORD LABEL MANAGER (LONDON)
Material is focused on building outstanding artists and music brands, mainly in the electronic space. To aid in the expansion of our growing roster of artists and brands we are seeking an exceptional Record Label Manager to manage the day-to-day activity as well as ongoing strategy of our record labels and associated artists.

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Event and music industries increasingly vocal over UK's latest COVID measures and schemes
Representatives of the UK events industry will today stage a protest outside Parliament in London over the UK government's latest COVID support measures, which it's generally agreed do little for those working in the event, live music and night-time sectors.

The protest preempts a day of activity around the world tomorrow under the #WeMakeEvents banner that seeks to put the spotlight on the terrible position the events industry now finds itself in as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. There have been various protests and activities using the #WeMakeEvents hashtag since last month, though the sector continues to edge closer to collapse.

UK Chancellor Of The Exchequer Rishi Sunak last week announced various new schemes that will replace the programmes that previously provided financial support for those negatively impacted by the original COVID shutdown.

However, unlike those previous programmes, the new schemes are based on the assumption that people and companies are slowly getting back to normal after that original shutdown, but are not yet back to full capacity and therefore need some further government subsidy.

But ongoing and recently expanded restrictions designed to slow the spread of the coronavirus mean many in the events, live music and night-time sectors are still in full-on shutdown. And those event, live music and night-time businesses that have re-opened are generally nowhere near the level of operations where the new support schemes kick in.

Under the flagship Job Support Scheme an employee needs to be working at least 33% of their usual hours and their employer needs to cover at least 55% of their usual salary. Meanwhile, financial support for freelancers will be capped at 20% of their usual average income, again assuming a significant portion of those freelancers' usual work has resumed.

Responding to the announcement last week, organisers of the #WeMakeEvents campaign in the UK stated: "With the increased restrictions that have been announced, it looks unlikely that we will be able to return to work in a financially viable way within the next six months".

"This means that the majority of businesses in our sector will not be able to generate sufficient revenue to support their contribution towards employees' salaries, nor will they be able to contract in the huge self-employed community within the industry".

Of course, in addition to the general COVID support schemes, the UK government has allocated £1.57 billion of sector-specific funding for the creative and heritage industries, a significant portion of which will be distributed in the weeks ahead by Arts Council England's Cultural Recovery Fund.

However, given that competition is fierce for that money, it remains to be seen how many creative businesses benefit from the Fund, and to what extent support is extended to venues, festivals and other music and night-time businesses that wouldn't usually get Arts Council support.

And even if the music industry is pleasantly surprised by the funding decisions made by ACE, that money will benefit companies and organisations, but won't necessarily trickle down to freelance music-makers and live music practitioners.

That's something noted in a new open letter from the UK Council of Music Makers, which brings together artist, songwriter, producer and manager trade groups the FAC, The Ivors Academy, MMF, MPG and the MU.

"As we look to another business quarter with no live music, and nowhere in sight for it to return in full", they write, "we urgently need support to avoid the decay of our industry, the hardship experienced by our workforce and the mass exodus of highly-skilled individuals, which will result in irreparable damage to lives, businesses and the world-class standing of the UK music industry".

The letter goes on: "Institutions that have access to the Culture Recovery Fund largely do not have the ability to provide trickle-down opportunities to individuals that make up the workforce at this time, with current restrictions in place. We must see specific support for these individuals, now, before we experience damaging industry-wide loss".

The CMM also notes the high number of freelancers in the music community who are yet to receive any government support at all, because they didn't fulfil the specific criteria of the previous programme for the self-employed. With that in mind, they state: "While the CRF is current, we urge you to allocate a portion as grants to these unsupported freelancers, available as soon as possible, while a longer-term support system is considered".

Although we await to see the actual impact of the Culture Recovery Fund, some fear that last week's announcements from Sunak - and subsequent statements from his ministerial colleagues - represent a shift in government policy.

Which is that the government is now focusing exclusively on those businesses able to return to at least a third of normal capacity while compiling with current COVID rules, with those unable to do so - including a significant portion of the events, live music and night-time sectors - basically written off.

In a lengthy new statement, the Music Venue Trust reviews all the effort and investment in recent years - within the music community, but also within local and national government - to strengthen the country's network of grassroots venues, which play such a key role in the development of new talent and new artist businesses.

And that includes very recent government initiatives to help provide some of those venues with short-term financial support to weather the COVID storm. To then just give up on that network of venues - alongside the wider live industry - is ludicrous, it argues.

MVT also again questions the recent 10pm curfew that has further hindered the live and night-time sectors, demanding that the government provide data to justify that particular COVID measure, which is widely seen as random and badly thought out.

Even if such data exists and that restriction is justified, MVT concludes: "The government cannot simply shrug its shoulders at 900 grassroots music venues being permanently lost, over 200,000 jobs being permanently lost, and over £5 billion in current and future economic activity that the country risks permanently losing because of the temporary decisions it is making".

"The government has a duty to temporarily protect the venues it is temporarily restricting", it concludes. "Music Venue Trust remains committed to working and acting together with the government to ensure that the long term viability of grassroots music venues, achieved by immense hard work in the last few years, returns after this temporary crisis".

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Judge proposes jury hearing for the big Epic v Apple bust up
The judge overseeing the ongoing legal battle between Apple and 'Fortnite' maker Epic has advised that the dispute go before a jury next year.

Noting that that dispute is "on the frontier of antitrust law" - and will almost certainly end up in an appeals court - she said that she felt that putting both sides' arguments before a jury was the best option.

Otherwise, she'll rule on the case at first instance, but that ruling will be somewhat irrelevant given the inevitable appeal, and the fact that any appeals court is much more likely to undo a ruling made by a judge at district court level than a jury.

This was discussed during a Zoom session to consider the ongoing legal battle yesterday. Epic Games accuses Apple of anti-competitive conduct - and therefore of being in breach of US antitrust laws - because of the rules it enforces on its App Store.

Like many other app makers - including, notably, Spotify - Epic doesn't like having to pay Apple a 15-30% commission on any in-app transactions that occur on iOS devices. It also objects to Apple rules that prevent app makers from including or even sign-posting alternative payment options.

As well as lawsuits and countersuits that have been filed by Epic and Apple - and the former's public-facing anti-Apple PR campaign - there is also the side issue of whether Apple can ban Epic from its App Store and developer tools while the two companies' litigation goes through the motions.

Apple banned 'Fortnite' from its App Store after Epic broke its rules by including an alternative payment option. But it would like to also instigate wider sanctions against its rival.

To date judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers has generally concluded that Apple should be allowed to withdraw Epic's apps from its store if the gaming firm has broken its rules, because Epic could just not break the rules while the legal dispute over whether those rules are anti-competitive is fought out in the courts.

However, she has so far cautioned Apple against extending sanctions to other parts of Epic's business, in particular its Unreal Engine, which is used by countless other developers.

At yesterday's hearing, according to Law360, Rogers expressed some scepticism toward both sides. Noting how Epic deliberately broke Apple's rules by adding the alternative payment option on the iOS version of 'Fortnite' before going legal over those rules, she noted: "There are plenty of people in the public who think you're heroes for what you did, but it's still not honest".

She was likewise sceptical of some of Apple's arguments - and its reasoning for why sanctions against Epic should go beyond the App Store. "I really don't think everything's going to explode because Unreal Engine is allowed to operate", she noted at one point.

Meanwhile, regarding what route this dispute should take, she told legal reps for both Apple and Epic to decide whether they'd prefer a judge or jury make a ruling at first instance.

Explaining why she proposes the jury option, she stated: "You're going to go through this whole process. It's going to cost a lot of money, time and effort, and as we've noted, these are important cases and they're on the frontier of antitrust law".

"You might as well find out what people really think and want, and take that to the court of appeal", she went on, "because I know I'm just a stepping stone for all of you, and whoever loses is going to take it up and say everything I do is wrong. I understand it. There's no hard feelings. That's the job. But I think it's important enough to understand what real people think".

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Donald Trump's TikTok ban probably ignores exemptions in national security laws, judge concludes
The judge that issued an injunction pausing Donald Trump's TikTok ban in the US did so because the laws used to justify said ban have an exemption covering "personal communications" and "information materials".

When TikTok and its Chinese owner Bytedance initially went to court in the US in a bid to overturn the executive order from Trump that bans use of the popular video sharing app, they did so based on arguments that the US President had misused the International Emergency Economic Powers Act under which the order was issued. They also argued that the ban - and the way it had been instigated - breached the US constitution.

Similar arguments were presented when they returned to court last week seeking a preliminary injunction pausing the ban - which had been due to kick in on Sunday - pending the wider litigation on the matter, as well as concurrent efforts to placate Trump's government by restructuring the TikTok Global business.

A federal judge in Washington DC issued that injunction on Sunday evening, though initially the judgement was sealed so we didn't know the thought processes behind the ruling. Although TikTok itself stated: "We're pleased that the court agreed with our legal arguments and issued an injunction preventing the implementation of the TikTok app ban".

The judgement was then unsealed yesterday, confirming that judge Carl Nichols issued the injunction because he believes TikTok has a strong argument regarding Trump's ban and the exemptions contained within the International Emergency Economic Powers Act.

Banning the use of the app would likely restrict the "personal communications" and sharing of "informational materials" by TikTok users, the judge concluded, and doing so is not allowed under the IEEPA.

The US government argued that that conclusion set a dangerous precedent, given that national security matters increasingly involve the distribution of data and content online. Nichols conceded that was potentially true, but basically said that if that's a problem, it's for Congress to address by reforming those laws.

The exemptions were included in the IEEPA for free speech reasons, with Congress having to balance national security concerns with the freedom of expression rights contained in the US Constitution's First Amendment.

TikTok actually separately raised First Amendment issues with Trump's ban, although Nichols didn't directly consider those because the IEEPA arguments were sufficient to justify issuing the injunction. Although he did note that TikTok's other arguments raised "serious questions".

Trump has actually issued two executive orders targeting Bytedance. The first - the one due to originally come into effect earlier this month, then postponed to Sunday and now on hold - banned US citizens and companies from transacting with the Chinese company. The second - which comes into effect in November - orders the firm to offload all its US assets.

Nichols said he would only issue an injunction relating to the former at this time, as that was the issue with a pressing deadline, the judge having previously accepted TikTok's arguments that being banned from the Apple and Google app stores within the US would have an immediate negative impact on its business.

It remains to be seen if the various legal arguments considered by Nichols this weekend get full-on scrutiny down the line.

Although Bytedance's litigation against Trump's executive orders continues, the firm still hopes that the proposed restructuring of its global TikTok business - including a new alliance with US technology firm Oracle - will be enough to allay concerns in Washington, so that Trump himself calls off his executive orders. We shall see how that turns out.

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Highvibes partners with Songtrust for African publishing royalty collection
Ghana-based music distribution and rights management company Highvibes has partnered with Downtown's Songtrust to power its music publishing administration service. The two companies say that 95% of songwriters in Africa are currently unpublished, and they are hoping to change that.

"Africa is the largest market yet to be tapped into, with an immediate need for stabilisation and structuring of digital music distribution across Africa, especially when it comes to publishing administration", says Highvibes CEO, Gbolahan Mathias. "Our partnership with Songtrust provides us the ability to publish countless African music rightsholders for years to come, which has been estimated to exceed more than one million by 2030".

"It's inspiring to see how Highvibes has devoted itself to helping and educating songwriters, artists, and producers across Africa on the importance of protecting their intellectual property, and appreciating its financial value", adds Songtrust's Director Of Business Development for EMEA and APAC Mandy Aubry. "Songtrust's mission is to build a more equitable music ecosystem, and global partnerships like this are another step in the right direction".

The partnership will mean that African songwriters signed up the Highvibes' publishing service will be able to collect royalties both on the continent and globally via the Songtrust platform.

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TaP Music launches new not-for-profit division to support educational and diversity initiatives
Management firm TaP Music has announced the launch of a new not-for-profit side to the business called TaP Futures which, it says, will "encompass all of our fundraising, grant-making and youth programme activities moving forwards".

Seeking to enable more young people, especially from underprivileged and underrepresented communities, to pursue a career in music, the new initiative will "initially fund specialist partners to offer a series of music industry workshops and after-school programmes focused on performance, production and music management, targeting some of the most deprived boroughs in London".

Long-term, the initiative also seeks to support programmes that enable more diversity in the wider creative and sporting industries.

The first two beneficiaries of TaP Futures will be a project led by rapper Nines to redevelop the Church End & Roundwood Unity Centre in North West London, and Saint Gabriel's College in Lambeth, which is looking to expand its music programmes.

Says TaP Music founder Ed Millett: "The music business and many of the creative industries suffer from a lack of diversity. These often-opaque industries still favour the privileged, and those with existing contacts or money are most likely to succeed. The launch of the TaP Futures is the first step in a long commitment from us to help accelerate change both in our own internal policies and also at a grassroots level".

Co-founder Ben Mawson adds: "We are really excited to launch TaP Futures with two very different but equally important partners. We know how important it is to inspire young people while they are still imagining what their future might look like and that is as important in school as it is in a community environment. Establishing TaP Futures also ensures we can continue to build on our commitment to support our incredible artists and their vision for change - they have already achieved so much working for a range of charities and causes - we're excited to build on this moving forwards".

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Approved: Priestess
With both her debut single and her chosen name, Priestess makes a bold entrance. The project of musician Kate Fleur Young, recently released track 'Distractions' is a firm statement of intent.

Created in collaboration with producers James Mottershead and Jack Drewry, 'Distractions' opens with a foreboding acoustic guitar, leaving space for Young's voice to warm things up. Eventually, the guitar drops away, leaving a slow electronic bassline that comes on like the tide going out, before a rush of electronics and the intense peak of the song and Young's vocal performance.

She describes her sound as "the unfolding of my experience being expressed through my music". There's certainly a great deal piled into just this one song. If she's got more like this, then she could be a very special artist indeed.

Listen to 'Distractions' here.

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

DJ Rebekah launches campaign against sexual harassment and assault in dance music industry
Techno DJ Rebekah has launched a new campaign, called #ForTheMusic, seeking to call out and tackle sexual harassment and assault in the dance music industry.

The launch of the campaign follows new accusations against a number of men working in dance music in the wake of the recent death of Erick Morrillo - particularly against Morillo himself and Derrick May.

"After all the reports coming out from women who have been sexually assaulted in the industry at the hands of powerful men, it really made me analyse the scene and how it really is fucked up", says Rebekah in an Instagram post. "We have turned a blind eye, stayed silent and let things carry on how they have always been for far too long".

"After deciding I would like to mentor people to help bring them into the industry it became apparent I was unable to do this unless I stood up and tried to fight to make the industry a safer place all round", she goes on. "How can I mentor women and members of the LGBQT++ community, knowing they will face sexism, harassment and, at worst, assault and rape, and stay silent on this issue?"

"So with this I'm asking you to read and sign an open letter on change.org asking the industry to be accountable, to make changes", she concludes. "To look out for our most vulnerable, because - after 24 years in this industry - I see we have made little to no progress in ending the culture of silence".

Rebekah is calling on dance music companies to sign up to a pledge, committing to:

• Ensure that artists, employees and audiences are protected against sexual harassment.

• Guarantee employees of the industry a safe workplace.

• Demand artists and performers to end the culture of silence, be allies and to speak out when they witness sexual harassment happening.

• Hold clubs accountable for ensuring a safe space for performers, employees and audiences free from sexual harassment.

Find out more about the campaign and sign the petition here.

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COVID-19 CANCELLATIONS & POSTPONEMENTS

It's started. Mogwai have announced the cancellation of their 2021 UK tour, which had been scheduled for February next year. "The safety of fans and crew is of paramount importance, and taking into consideration all the information currently available the band deemed this could not be ensured by February", say the band in a statement.

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DEALS

Kobalt has renewed its deal with Latin singer-songwriter Ozuna. "I'm very grateful to continue working with Kobalt and look forward to continued success with them", he says.

Sony/ATV has signed country songwriter Marv Green to a worldwide publishing agreement. "Championing the songs of Marv Green is a true honour", says Sony/ATV Nashville CEO Rusty Gaston. "He has crafted timeless hits that capture the heart and soul of country music".

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APPOINTMENTS

UK festival promoter From The Fields has hired Chris McCormick to head up its brand partnerships division. He joins from BluePeg. "The addition of Chris to our team marks an exciting new era for From The Fields, allowing us to service a wider range of clients with a full complement of services from online and offline sponsorship delivery, activations, curation, marketing and production", says MD Ben Robinson.

Following four years at Island Records, Elspeth Merry has rejoined independent PR agency Inside/Out as Head Of Publicity. "I started my career in music PR at Inside/Out, so it felt natural to come back to where it all began, but this time as 'head', not intern", she says. "You could say I have come full circle; only slightly older, maybe wiser, an amazing major label experience behind me and the privilege to work with artists whose music and vision I truly believe in".

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RELEASES

That BTS just can't stop releasing albums, can they? They've got another one, called 'BE (Deluxe Edition)', out on 20 Nov. It's their second of the year! "The new album", they say, "imparts a message of healing to the world by declaring, 'Even in the face of this new normality, our life goes on'".

Kylie Minogue has released new single 'Magic'. Her new album, 'Disco', is out on 6 Nov.

Amy Shires has released new single 'The Problem', featuring Jason Isbell. Released to coincide with International Safe Abortion Day, all proceeds from the track will be donated to reproductive justice organisation The Yellowhammer Fund.

Hayden Thorpe will release new EP 'Aerial Songs' on 16 Oct. Here's first single 'Blue Crow'.

Public Service Broadcasting's J Willgoose has announced new solo project, Late Night Final. His debut album, 'A Wonderful Hope', will be out on 11 Dec. Here's first single 'The Human Touch', featuring Teddy Hunter.

Juana Molina has announced that she will release a new live album, titled 'Anrmal', on 20 Nov. From it, this is 'Eras'.

Newly signed to Sub Pop, Kiwi Jr have released their first single for the label, 'Undecided Voters'. "We all know undecided voters", say the band. "Democracy's driftwood, the third planks in the flotsam that purple the pie chart, always on sight and never a part of the scene. Placing imminent demise neatly to one side, Kiwi Jr concentrate on the real issues: the terrible alliance between King Crab and the timezones; 3D printing causing mass sculptor redundancies; and the playlist at the Duane Reade. After all, who is it we're really voting for: Spartacus or the dead?"

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GIGS & TOURS

Pendulum will livestream a DJ set from Spitbank Fort - a 150 year old military fort in the English Channel - this Friday. Tune in a 12pm UK time on the band's YouTube channel.

Moonspell will perform to 300 people in the Pax Julia theatre in Beja, Portugal on 31 Oct. The show will also be livestreamed to the world. All the details and tickets are here.

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

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Lennon and McCartney wrote some songs that "weren't very good", but you haven't heard them
Hey Beatles fans, there are some Beatles songs out there that you haven't heard. Although that's probably for the best, because - according to Paul McCartney - they "weren't very good". Yes, even worse than 'Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da'.

McCartney's comments are part of upcoming BBC Radio 2 documentary 'John Lennon At 80', which will air this weekend, presented by Lennon's son Sean. Asked if the Lennon/McCartney songwriting duo started knocking out the hits from the moment they first began writing together, he admits that, no, they did not.

"There were a few songs that weren't very good", he says. "There were a few that were clearly [by] young songwriters who don't quite know how to do it. There was one called 'Just Fun'".

Luckily they did eventually work it out and, although they still knocked out some clangers along the way, for the most part when they worked together they also acted as sounding boards for each other, providing some quality control for the finished product. Something that, McCartney adds, continued even after they stopped working together, and indeed after Lennon's death in 1980.

"Ever since The Beatles broke up and we didn't write together or even record together, I think each one of us referenced the other", he says. "When we're writing stuff, I often do it. I'm writing something and I go, 'Oh, god, this is bloody awful'. And I think what would John say? And you go, 'Yeah, you're right. It's bloody awful. You've got to change it'. And so I'll change it".

I don't know what this says about 'The Frog Chorus'. Anyway, McCartney goes on: "I know from reports that he did similar things to that. If I'd have a record out, he'd go, 'Bloody hell… got to go in the studio. Got to try and do better than Paul'".

Of course, sometimes that same rivalry resulted in things like 'How Do You Sleep?', a scathing Lennon song about McCartney written in response to his track 'Too Many People', which in turn contained references to Lennon, Yoko Ono and the break-up of The Beatles.

But then there's 'Here Today', an imaginary conversation between the two songwriters penned by McCartney two years after Lennon's death. Although there's some disagreement between them in that too.

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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.
andy@unlimitedmedia.co.uk (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 consultancy unit and the CMU:DIY future talent programme, as well as heading up CMU publisher 3CM UnLimited.
chris@unlimitedmedia.co.uk (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 Insights and CMU:DIY.
sam@unlimitedmedia.co.uk 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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CMU:DIY is our future talent programme: supporting new music talent.

Pathways Into Music is our programme supporting music educators.



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