MONDAY 15 AUGUST 2022 COMPLETEMUSICUPDATE.COM
TODAY'S TOP STORY: As the live entertainment, night-time and hospitality industries in the UK attempt to recover from all the shutdowns and restrictions that occurred during the COVID pandemic, surging energy prices are now creating a "matter of existential emergency" for businesses in those sectors. Or so say five organisations that together represent venues, clubs, pubs, bars, hotels, restaurants, and other night-time and hospitality businesses... [READ MORE]

TOP STORIES UK night-time and hospitality sectors call for urgent action over surging energy costs
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LEGAL Singer objects to Mariah Carey's Queen Of Christmas trademark bid
AEG and Live Nation settle trademark dispute over New Year's event in Coachella
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DEALS TaP Music signs Mabel
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LIVE BUSINESS Man dies after stage collapses as strong winds hit Spanish music festival
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ARTIST NEWS Nadine Shah to making acting debut in production of 'A Midsummer Night's Dream'
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AND FINALLY... The Mars Volta happy to lose some fans over new material
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ERASED TAPES - LABEL & PRODUCTION MANAGER (LONDON)
Erased Tapes is currently seeking an experienced Label & Production Manager to manage our label team. The chosen candidate will oversee daily label operations and maintain close relationships with our international manufacturers, designers, distributors, and retail partners to ensure the smooth and timely delivery of our releases.

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ERASED TAPES - MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER (LONDON)
Erased Tapes is currently seeking a dedicated and highly organised Marketing & Communications Manager to join our label team. The chosen candidate will oversee marketing campaigns for our releases, including managing social media and web channels, marketing strategy, organising events, and liaising with global PR firms.

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THE ROUNDHOUSE - MARKETING MANAGER (LONDON, HYBRID)
Roundhouse is seeking a Marketing Manager who will lead on two key areas: devising and implementing dynamic, data-driven marketing activity to maximise ticket sales across our live music programme and to develop a new B2B marketing strategy that will generate new business for our internationally-recognised space for hire and commercial events arm.

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GHOSTWRITER CONSULTANCY & EVENTS - VENUE'S GENERAL BUSINESS MANAGER (BRISTOL)
Ghostwriter Consultancy & Events are currently recruiting for a Venue's General Business Manager to join our expanding team. The successful candidate will be responsible for the delivery of the live music program, commercial development and operational oversight.

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UK night-time and hospitality sectors call for urgent action over surging energy costs
As the live entertainment, night-time and hospitality industries in the UK attempt to recover from all the shutdowns and restrictions that occurred during the COVID pandemic, surging energy prices are now creating a "matter of existential emergency" for businesses in those sectors. Or so say five organisations that together represent venues, clubs, pubs, bars, hotels, restaurants, and other night-time and hospitality businesses.

The Night-Time Industries Association, Music Venue Trust, British Institute Of Innkeeping, British Beer And Pub Association and UK Hospitality have penned an open letter to the UK government explaining that urgent support is needed as the entertainment, night-time and hospitality industries tackle the current surge in energy prices, on top of all the other challenges created by the COVID shutdowns and cost of living crisis.

They write: "Pubs, restaurants, music venues, nightclubs, hotels and wider hospitality have reached the point where the conditions for trading are so prohibitive that many venues are already reducing the hours they open their doors. Others are confronted with the threat of permanent closure. With chronic challenges in the supply chain, labour shortages, interest rates and inflation, rocketing energy prices have become a matter of existential emergency for businesses in our sector".

"Hospitality operators face average annual bill increases in the region of at least 300%, putting at risk businesses and jobs", they go on. "It is also increasingly clear that a significant number of energy providers have withdrawn service provision from the hospitality market altogether".

"The primary purpose of a free market for energy supply to businesses is to create competition, which leads to improved services, competitive rates, resilient suppliers, and the ability to invest in long term and sustainable solutions to energy demand", they continue. "In the hospitality sector, there is unequivocal evidence that this primary purpose is failing".

"On Friday", they note, "the government saw fit to declare a drought, in the face of inarguable evidence that weather conditions had caused a threat to the nation. The energy crisis is no less of a threat and deserves similar attention. Not all businesses will be able to survive this onslaught, and those that can will be closely considering how they can keep their costs down just to stay afloat".

The letter then concludes: "Hospitality provides 10% of jobs and 5% of GDP. It can be a powerful driver of economic recovery and growth for the nation, but it urgently needs a kick start. Business and consumer confidence is suffering, and we urgently need the government and the leadership contenders to outline a support package for the sector. We urge you not to allow the stasis of party politics to stifle the urgent delivery of action on energy".

That 'political stasis' is key here, of course. Because it pretty much feels like the UK has no functioning government just now, following the entirely predictable and long-drawn-out downfall of the big old Bullshitter In Chief - 'Boris' Johnson - and the current tedious bid by both Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss to succeed him as UK Prime Minister.

While the Conservative Party focuses on debating all the many, many problems created by the last twelve years of Conservative government in the UK - and which member of that party and government is best positioned to fix the fuckery and quell the shitstorm - it's hard for businesses, not to mention individuals, to know where to go to lobby for urgent action and support in relation to the most pressing matters.

Optimists might be hoping that the once the new PM is appointed at least some action will be taken in relation to things like the energy crisis - such action currently being delayed either because Johnson's on-its-way-out limbo government is a particularly lame political duck, or because the Conservative Party top guard want some easy-wins for the new PM once in office, or both. But even for the optimists, that waiting game could in itself prove fatal.

Stressing the need for urgent government intervention on the energy price surge in particular, NTIA boss Michael Kill said this morning: "The government cannot continue to understate the escalating crisis within the energy sector, the contraction of energy suppliers is compromising the free markets primary purpose of generating competitive rates and service levels".

"Limited competition has resulted in energy tariffs that are already unsustainable", he went on, "and without the government's intervention, businesses who have survived the pandemic, supported by public funding, will face further uncertainty, and in many cases, permanent closure".

And MVT CEO Mark Davyd added: "After two incredibly difficult years where venues have had to fight for simple survival, it would be an extraordinary outcome to see them closed and permanently lost because of an energy market that is completely out of control and not fit for purpose. The government must act to create a genuinely functioning market for energy services that can deliver supply at a reasonable cost or step in to create an affordable supply for businesses".

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Singer objects to Mariah Carey's Queen Of Christmas trademark bid
Despite telling Zoe Ball on Radio 2 last year that the Virgin Mary is clearly the 'queen' of Christmas, Mariah Carey's company has been seeking to register the trademark 'Queen Of Christmas' in the US ever since March 2021. But that registration is being opposed by another music-maker who calls herself a 'Christmas recording artist', runs a company that specialises in Christmas music, and released an album called 'Queen Of Christmas'.

Elizabeth Chan says that - although she has never trademarked the phrase Queen Of Christmas - she has used it commercially since 2014. But - unlike Carey's company Lotion LLC - she doesn't want exclusive rights to the title.

After all, she wrote when formally opposing Lotion's trademark application: "Christmas is big enough for more than one 'Queen'". Indeed, within music, she added, couldn't 'Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)' singer Darlene Love and 'Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree' singer Brenda Lee also be considered queens of Christmas?

"This opposition proceeding is sadly necessary", she continued, "because Ms Carey's Lotion LLC company is nevertheless trying to claim sole ownership of the title and designation".

Carey's claim to the title Queen Of Christmas comes via her ever popular hit 'All I Want For Christmas Is You', of course. Though, in that Radio 2 interview last year, according to the Daily Mail, she insisted that it was other people who had regularly referred to her in that way. "That was other people, and I just want to humbly say that I don't consider myself that", she mused.

Nevertheless, Lotion Inc wants exclusive rights to the Queen Of Christmas brand within music, fragrances and alcohol products, among other things.

According to Law360, as Chan shared her objections with the US Trademark Board last week, her attorney Louis Tompros said: "This is a classic case of trademark bullying. Elizabeth has the law on her side. As someone who was given the title Queen Of Christmas long ago and has used it ever since, Elizabeth is one of the few people with the right to challenge Mariah Carey's company's registration".

St Mary, we should add, is yet to comment on Carey's trademark bid.

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AEG and Live Nation settle trademark dispute over New Year's event in Coachella
The legal battle between live giants AEG and Live Nation over a New Year's Eve event in the city of Coachella in California has been settled.

That event was originally billed as Coachella Day One 22. However, AEG's Goldenvoice subsidiary was not impressed with that branding, reckoning it implied a formal connection to its Coachella Valley Music And Arts Festival. And that, it added, infringed the trademarks it owns in relation to its famous Coachella event.

However, both Coachella Day One 22 and the Coachella Crossroads venue hosting it were run by the Twenty-Nine Palms Band of Mission Indians. And the leadership of that tribe are arguably shielded from a trademark infringement lawsuit under US federal law due to so called sovereign immunity.

So who could AEG and Goldenvoice sue? Well, Live Nation's Ticketmaster had been handling the ticketing for - and therefore helping publicise - Coachella Day One 22. So AEG went legal against its main competitor. And that litigation continued even after the offending NYE event was renamed as 'Day One 22 NYE at Coachella Crossroads'.

Live Nation attempted to have the lawsuit dismissed by arguing that the legal action was really a dispute between Goldenvoice and the Twenty-Nine Palms tribe over the name of the latter's "ancestral land", and that Goldenvoice suing Live Nation was a "transparent attempt to end-run the protections afforded to the tribe by longstanding federal law".

However, the judge overseeing the case decided that Goldenvoice's litigation against Live Nation could proceed without risking the interests and rights of Twenty-Nine Palms. As a result, out of court negotiations subsequently began, with both sides in the dispute agreeing to mediation, which began on 9 Aug and seemingly resulted in a settlement being agreed.

Terms of said settlement are not known, but in a court filing last week AEG and Live Nation stated: "Please take notice that the parties attended mediation on 9 Aug 2022 and executed a binding term sheet agreement to settle this matter. A stipulated Notice Of Dismissal of all claims with prejudice will be filed no later than 19 Aug 2022".

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TaP Music signs Mabel
TaP Music has signed up Mabel to its management roster, with managers Jules Baddeley and Robin Pasricha handling things day-to-day, supported by the company's co-founders Ben Mawson and Ed Millet, and the wider TaP team around the world.

Confirming the deal, Mawson and Millett say in a joint statement: "We are so excited for the future with Mabel. She's a world class singer, brilliant songwriter, performer and a wonderful person too, our ambition over many years is to support Mabel taking things fully onto the global stage".

Meanwhile Mabel herself adds: "I'm so excited to be working with TaP management and to be a part of such a fantastic roster! I'm also incredibly grateful to my previous management for the instrumental part they played in my development. I'm now really looking forward to the future, ambitious to achieve as much as I can and am extra positive knowing I face the future with TaP by my side".

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Man dies after stage collapses as strong winds hit Spanish music festival
One person died and dozens more were injured when a stage collapsed at the Medusa festival near the Spanish city of Valencia this weekend.

The stage collapsed after high winds hit the site of the six day electronic music festival in the early hours of Saturday morning.

According to Reuters, about 40 people were ultimately seen to by medics following the stage collapse, with three reported to have serious trauma injuries in addition to the fatality. Local police told CNN that the festival-goer who was killed in the incident was a 22 year old male.

The rest of the festival was postponed and then cancelled. The strong winds had caused other damage to infrastructure around the festival site, and organisers said that - with the "adverse and unexpected weather conditions" expected to continue - they had a moral obligation to call off the event.

They added in a statement: "It is a day of mourning and respect for those affected. Our thoughts … are for each and every one of those affected, directly or indirectly, by the unfortunate, unexpected and unavoidable accident".

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Setlist: Taylor Swift says she didn't rip off players or haters
CMU's Andy Malt and Chris Cooke review key events in music and the music business from the last week, including Taylor Swift's statement to a US court as part of the long-running song-theft legal battle over her 2014 hit 'Shake It Off' in which she explains how she came up with the lyrics for her track, while also insisting there was no way she could have been exposed to the song she is accused of ripping off before creating 'Shake It Off', plus some interesting new stats comparing consumer spending in the UK on recorded music and live music - and the impact of COVID-19 on all that.

Listen to this episode of Setlist here.

Nadine Shah to making acting debut in production of 'A Midsummer Night's Dream'
Nadine Shah will appear in a new production of 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' when it opens at the new Shakespeare North Playhouse venue in Prescot, Merseyside next month.

The musician's official Twitter account declared on Friday that: "This autumn, Nadine will be making her acting debut in a production of Shakespeare's 'A Midsummer Nights Dream' directed by the incredible Matthew Dunster. All hail the Queen of the fairies!"

Shah will play Titania in the show, while David Morrissey is also in the cast playing Oberon.

The production is co-directed by Jimmy Fairhurst from Warrington-based theatre company Not Too Tame, who says: "Most people have seen a version of 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' but this is a refresh of the real bones, the warts and all of the play. It really speaks to me as a working class person - a full-tilt, full-on night out".

"We want to see how dark we can go", he adds, "like Nick Cave dark - imagine a music festival at Banksy's Dismaland bemusement park - and still maintain all the playfulness and celebration, that sense of fun, excitement and entertainment. It's anarchic, raucous, great night out theatre and we can't wait to welcome audiences into our world".

The play opens on 22 Sep - info here.

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The Mars Volta happy to lose some fans over new material
The Mars Volta are not afraid of "losing fans" if said fans don't like the musical direction they've taken on their new eponymous album, their first new album for more than a decade, the release of which was confirmed earlier this month.

In an interview with The Guardian last week, the band's Omar Rodríguez-López and Cedric Bixler-Zavala said that they have gone for a more pop-orientated sound with the new material. "I'm not bound by genre", added Rodríguez-López, "the only thing that matters is if music makes you feel something".

After Bixler-Zavala noted that he had seen some negative reactions to the new music online, Rodríguez-López continued: "Losing 'fans' is baked into what we do. I don't know a greater happiness than losing 'fans'. A true fan is someone interested in what's happening now, and then there's everyone else trying to control what you do or project on to it".

"I have an aversion to that", he went on. "That sounds like school. That sounds like the government. That sounds like the police. And unfortunately that's what a lot of people who think they're fans end up thinking like".

So, to conclude, The Mars Volta are happy to lose some fans, but only because they're not 'true fans'. And, if you're a Mars Volta fan not impressed with the new material, well, that's you told.

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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.
caro@unlimitedmedia.co.uk
 
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