MONDAY 27 JUNE 2022 COMPLETEMUSICUPDATE.COM
TODAY'S TOP STORY: Often controversial ticket resale website Viagogo has been fined 23.5 million euros in Italy for breaking the country's rules on secondary ticketing, and has been given seven days to remove illegal listings from its site... [READ MORE]

TOP STORIES Viagogo fined 23.5 million euros for breaking Italian anti-touting laws
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EDUCATION & EVENTS Industry cautiously welcomes government's new music education plan for England
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ARTIST NEWS Lizzo and Live Nation pledge a million to reproductive rights organisations after Roe v Wade over-turned
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RELEASES New book explores the the relationship between UK cities and club culture
Neil Young announces concert film and album

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GIGS & FESTIVALS Pet Shop Boys announce 2023 UK tour following Glastonbury show
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AWARDS Lil Nas X says BET beef dates back to 2021
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AND FINALLY... Pop stars read CBeebies Bedtime Stories from Glastonbury
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Viagogo fined 23.5 million euros for breaking Italian anti-touting laws
Often controversial ticket resale website Viagogo has been fined 23.5 million euros in Italy for breaking the country's rules on secondary ticketing, and has been given seven days to remove illegal listings from its site.

Italy is one of the countries that has introduced pretty strict rules about the resale of tickets. Only sellers authorised by a show's promoter can sell tickets in the country. Individual ticket buyers can then re-sell tickets for shows they cannot attend, but only at face value or less.

Viagogo was previously fined 3.7 million euros in 2020 for carrying listings for touted tickets that broke the rules in Italy. It appealed that fine arguing that it was a mere internet intermediary and shouldn't be held liable if its users broke Italian laws when posting tickets for sale.

However, despite that argument having worked in the past in some countries, including Italy, last year an Italian court ruled that Viagogo was liable for the illegal listings it carried and the fine was confirmed.

The new bigger fine was confirmed at a meeting last week of Italian internet regulator AGCOM and follows an investigation by Italy's financial crime enforcement agency the Guardia Di Finanza. That investigation found that touted tickets for 131 Italian events were on sale on the Viagogo site at up to six or seven times their face value.

Anti-touting campaigners have welcomed this latest fine in Italy. Sam Shemtob of FEAT - which is campaigning for stronger regulation of ticket touting across Europe, said: "This is a substantial fine for Viagogo, and a clear requirement to remove illegal listings within seven days".

"What is especially encouraging is the extensive investigation carried out by Italy's financial crime enforcement agency working closely with the Italian regulator AGCOM", he added. "Legislation across Europe - at both a national and EU basis - is catching up with ticket scalping. If other enforcement authorities follow Italy's example, the hope of a functional ticket resale market, with scalping largely relegated to the history books, could become a reality".

Meanwhile, Adam Webb from the UK anti-touting campaign FanFair also noted the fine against Viagogo in Australia which was recently upheld in court, stating: "Following the $7 million fine levied by Australian regulators, this is another body blow to Viagogo's tarnished and outdated business model. No matter where they operate, this company shows an almost pathological inability to obey the law".

A Viagogo spokesperson told Billboard that, while the company "respects the decision of the AGCOM", it was nevertheless surprised by the fine.

They added that Italy's Council Of State have asked the European Union courts to confirm whether or not the country's rules restricting the resale of tickets are compatible with EU law. With that in mind, "Viagogo trusts that these pending proceedings will confirm it is not responsible for the allegations raised by the AGCOM and all fines will be annulled".

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Industry cautiously welcomes government's new music education plan for England
The UK government this weekend published its new national plan for music education in England, which, it says, sets out a vision "to enable all children and young people in England to learn to sing, play an instrument and create music together", and to "progress their musical interests and talents, including professionally".

Ministers opened a consultation on music education in February 2020, aiming to "refresh" a previous national plan that was published in 2011. Music educators and the music industry hoped that that refresh might deal with various issues and concerns that have been raised about music education in English schools over the last decade.

Most of those issues and concerns began with creative subjects in general being deprioritised in the English curriculum, inevitably resulting in less funding being allocated to music, including music classes, instrument tuition and extra curricular music activities. The new plan has been cautiously welcomed by groups representing music educators and the music industry.

In the blurb accompanying the plan, the government says that, among other things, "tens of thousands of pupils will be given the chance to learn a musical instrument thanks to new capital funding worth £25 million for schools to purchase musical instruments and equipment".

The plan also asks schools to provide at least one hour per week of music curriculum for students from age five to fourteen; to designate a music lead or head of department; and to write and publish a 'Music Development Plan' including information on how music is staffed and funded.

On top of all that, the government says it will make £79 million available every year to the music education hubs programme, which exists to support music education, tuition and activities in and around schools in England.

Among those welcoming the new plan was the Incorporated Society Of Musicians, which said it still needed to scrutinise the detail of what is included in the new document, but added that the top line proposals are mainly positive.

Its CEO Deborah Annetts said: "The refreshed National Plan has been years in the works and we're glad that it has been released today. The ISM will take time to review the document forensically and listen to the views of teachers. However, on first reading there looks to be much we can welcome and that our members will be pleased to see included within it. The plan states that music should be a key part of the school curriculum, which is something that we are very pleased with".

However, there is more to be done, Annetts added. "We believe that the plan would be improved if music teachers, parents and other experts had the opportunity to feed in their views on the contents of the plan through official consultation", she said, before adding: "To really grow music in schools, we need urgent reform to accountability measures and greater funding for music in schools".

Nevertheless, she concluded, "the ISM would like to thank the members of the expert panel and government officials who have clearly worked incredibly hard on the plan we have in front of us today".

Meanwhile UK Music chief Jamie Njoku-Goodwin said: "The new National Plan For Music Education, and commitment of capital investment, is very welcome. Music can transform lives - so it is vital that music education does not become the preserve of a privileged few and is available to everyone, regardless of their background. Continued investment in music education is vital if we want to unlock the huge creative potential of young people and level up opportunities across the country".

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It's the weekly CMU Digest
With so much going on all the bloody time, we know it can be hard to keep up with all the music business news that we feature here in the CMU Daily. So, if you are super busy and just need to know the basics of what's happening, don't forget the CMU Digest, which we publish on our website every Sunday. It provides concise summaries of the five key music business developments of the last week that you need to be aware of.

Yesterday's Digest covered Four Tet reaching a settlement with Domino on streaming royalties; two former MegaUpload execs pleading guilty to various charges in New Zealand in relation to the long defunct file transfer platform; Ed Sheeran getting his legal fees covered following the judgement in the 'Shape Of You' song-theft case; IMPALA's comments on the ever evolving fair artist remuneration debate; and Sony insisting that a dispute over the Jimi Hendrix Experience recordings should be heard in the New York courts, not in London.

You can check out the Digest here.

Lizzo and Live Nation pledge a million to reproductive rights organisations after Roe v Wade over-turned
Lizzo and Live Nation together pledged $1 million to reproductive healthcare organisation Planned Parenthood and abortion rights organisations in the US this weekend following the American Supreme Court's decision to overturn the 1973 Roe v Wade judgement.

That 1973 judgement ruled that the US constitution protected a pregnant woman's right to choose to have an abortion up to a certain point in her pregnancy, and in doing so overruled laws that restricted or banned abortion in various US states.

The current Supreme Court deciding to overturn that judgement - and in doing so rejecting nearly 50 years of legal precedent in the US - means that abortion can once again be restricted or banned at a state level, with severe restrictions or outright bans now anticipated in up to a half of US states.

The judgement - and the appointment by former President Donald Trump of three conservative judges in recent years that allowed the shift in position on this issue within the court - has been very controversial, of course. And many in the music community have criticised both the Supreme Court decision and moves within many US states to now enforce or introduce draconian anti-abortion laws.

That includes Lizzo, who stated on Twitter on Saturday: "I'm pledging $500k from my upcoming tour to Planned Parenthood and Abortion Rights. Live Nation agreed to match - to make it one million dollars".

She also told fans: "Black women and women of colour have historically had disproportionately less access to family planning resources - this is a great loss but not a new one. Go to lizzolovesyou.com to donate, sign the Bans Off My Body petition and sign up to volunteer and take action".

Confirming its donation as the promoter of Lizzo's upcoming tour, Live Nation stated: "We stand with women - we are partnering with artists on support, including matching Lizzo's donation to Planned Parenthood and Abortion Rights".

In addition to that, the live giant added: "We are covering travel expenses for our employees who need access to women's healthcare services outside their home state. We are supporting community activism and will cover bail expenses if any of our employees are arrested for protesting peacefully".

And, it concluded: "Our Live Nation Women team is working on initiatives to support voter registration and turnout".

Elsewhere, Rage Against The Machine announced that they would donate monies raised from Wisconsin and Illinois dates on their upcoming tour to reproductive rights organisations in those states.

They wrote on social media: "We are disgusted by the repeal of Roe v Wade and the devastating impact it will have on tens of millions of people. Over half of the country (26 states) is likely to ban or seriously restrict abortion very soon, if not immediately, which will have a disproportionate impact on poor, working class and undocumented black, indigenous and other people of colour communities".

"Like the many women who have organised sophisticated railroads of resistance to challenge these attacks on our collective reproductive freedom", they added, "we must continue to resist".

On stage protests against the overturning of Roe v Wade were also a frequent feature of sets at the Glastonbury Festival over the weekend, with artists including Billie Eilish, Kendrick Lamar, Lorde, Years & Years and many more speaking out. Olivia Rodrigo also brought Lily Allen on stage to perform a version of the British singer's song 'Fuck You', dedicated to the US Supreme Court.

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New book explores the the relationship between UK cities and club culture
A new book that explores the impact and nature of clubbing culture in towns and cities around the UK will be formally published next month, with an event in Glasgow set to to discuss the topics it covers.

Called 'Out Of Space', according to its author Jim Ottewill the book "explores the relationship between our cities and club culture, how it has evolved and the future. A key question I've asked artists, DJs, promoters and club owners is whether a place can still influence the sound that comes from it. Or has the internet and online world blown up any of these distinctions?"

The book looks at clubbing culture in cities like Glasgow, Manchester and Sheffield, but also perhaps less obvious places like Coalville and Todmorden. It's formally published on 7 Jul, but is already available via the Velocity Press website.

The event at Rubadub in Glasgow on 14 Jul will see Ottewill in conversation with Sub Club's Mike Grieve, Night Fever's Mairi MacKenzie, Soundhaus's Lynn Macdonald and Monox's Dan Lurinsky. Similar events are planned later in the year in Liverpool, London, Sheffield and Bristol.

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Neil Young announces concert film and album
Neil Young's 2019 European tour, with Promise Of The Real as his backing band, is featured in an upcoming concert movie and accompanying album called 'Noise & Flowers'.

The film and album feature performances from various shows on the nine city tour, and include the songs 'Helpless', 'Rockin In The Free World', 'Winterlong', 'Alabama' and 'I've Been Waiting For You', plus the rarely performed 'On The Beach'.

The tour followed the death of Young's long-time manager Elliot Roberts, something the musician noted when writing about the film and album on his blog last week.

"Promise Of The Real and I had a tour planned of Europe", he recalled. "[Wife Darryl Hannah] and I were in the bus, on our way to New York to catch a plane to Europe when we got the call. After returning to the funeral for our beloved Elliot, we got on a plane and left for the tour".

"During the tour, we had a poster of Elliot on a road case, right where he always stood during all shows", he added. "Everyone who was with us felt that this tour was amazing for its great vibe. The Real and I delivered for Elliot".

One track from the release, a performance of 'From Hank To Hendrix', is already online.

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Pet Shop Boys announce 2023 UK tour following Glastonbury show
Following their rapturously received headline set on Glastonbury's Other Stage last night, the Pet Shop Boys have announced new UK dates for their Dreamland greatest hits show in 2023.

During the two hour performance last night, the Pet Shop Boys brought out Years & Years' Olly Alexander to play their 2019 single 'Dreamland'. This followed Alexander covering the duo's song 'It's A Sin' in his own set earlier in the day.

Tickets for the new dates are on sale now. And this is when and where those shows will be:

17 Jun: London, Wembley Arena
21 Jun: Aberdeen, P&J Live
23 Jun: Liverpool, M&S Bank Arena
24 Jun: Leeds, First Direct Arena

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Lil Nas X says BET beef dates back to 2021
Lil Nas X has said that his anger at the BET Awards pre-dates his lack of nominations for this year's event, which took place yesterday. Those comments follow the release of his new single, 'Late To Da Party', last week, which opens with a chant of "fuck BET".

The rapper has been teasing the new track for several weeks while also speaking about his issues with BET, insisting that he is actually attempting to make a comment "about the bigger problem of homophobia in the black community".

Now in a new interview with Rolling Stone, he and members of his team elaborate on that further, saying that the fall out between Nas and BET stems from his performance of his song 'Montero (Call Me By Your Name)' at last year's awards show. He says that organisers became concerned about his appearance after the release of the 'decent into hell' themed video for the song.

"My relationship with BET has been painful and strained for quite some time", he says. "It didn't start with this year's nominations like most people might think. They did let me perform on their show last year, but only after [I gave] assurances that I was not a satanist or devil worshiper, and that my performance would be appropriate for their audience".

Previously defending itself following Nas's criticisms, BET blamed its voting academy for the lack of any nominations for the rapper this year, and said that "his BET Awards 2021 performance was a highlight of our show - no one cheered louder that night than BET".

But that is not how Lil Nas X and his team remember it - saying that producers of the show reacted angrily after the rapper kissed one of his male dancers as part of his performance.

"They say that 'no one cheered louder' for me than them that night", the rapper says. "But the BET Awards team was actually very upset that I kissed my dancer onstage and vocalised their discontent with multiple members of my team immediately following the performance".

One unnamed member of that team adds: "At some point after [Nas] got off stage, one of the BET producers came up to me and before I could even open my mouth, he looked at me and said, 'That was really fucked up'".

And another team member says: "It didn't feel celebratory. The response I got back was that they felt taken advantage of. It's almost like they didn't mind sweet kind of gay 'Old Town Road' Lil Nas X, but this is too much. I think BET is doubling down on what they did wrong".

"Instead of saying, 'we got it wrong', they said, 'it's [the voting] community and they don't fuck with him,' which is bullshit", they go on. "All the accolades, the achievements Nas has had in his career, all the music people have consumed, the [voting] community doesn't fuck with him? What are you talking about?"

In response to these new criticisms, BET says that the "summation of events around Lil Nas X's 2021 BET Awards performance is simply untrue", adding: "Since last year's performance, we have been in touch to work on other projects. We are still excited about his previous performances and continue to wish him well".

Anderson .Paak was the big winner at last night's BET Awards, taking home two prizes for his collaborative project with Bruno Mars, Silk Sonic, as well as the Video Director Of The Year trophy. Kendrick Lamar also received two awards, but could not collect them in person because he was in the UK for his incredible Glastonbury headline show.

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Pop stars read CBeebies Bedtime Stories from Glastonbury
More pop stars will be reading bedtime stories this week as part of the BBC's 'CBeebies Bedtime Stories' programme, having recorded their story-telling at this weekend's Glastonbury Festival. But which pop stars? Arlo Parks, Phoebe Bridgers and Guy Garvey.

What are they reading? Well, later today viewers will get to see Parks reading 'Once Upon A Rhythm' written by James Carter and illustrated by Valerio Vidali. Then tomorrow Garvey will deliver 'A Little Bit Brave' written and illustrated by Nicola Kinnear. And on Wednesday you'll get Bridgers reading 'The Spectacular Suit', written by Kat Patrick and illustrated by Hayley Wells.

Says Parks: "It was an absolute pleasure to read a 'CBeebies Bedtime Story' from Glastonbury and bring joy and dreams to young people - what a special moment!"

Meanwhile Garvey - who has done some CBeebies story-telling before - adds: "The first time I did a 'CBeebies Bedtime Story' it was for the rest of the band's kids, I didn't have any of my own. Now I've got one and they've got more. The book I've chosen is a favourite bought for me by my best friend Pete Jobson who also has a couple of munchkins. So this is a lovely way to do something for all of them and to be doing it at the best party in the world is a super bonus".

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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.
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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.
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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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