Breaking Biz

The titans of live music and social media are testing a meaner, leaner concerts-promotion tool

According to The Verge, Facebook is developing a feature that will allow artists, managers and promoter to better manage tour-related Facebook events. If an artist is, say, on a multi-date trek, the title gives as an example, there’ll be separate Facebook events relating to those shows (plus extra events for meet-and-greets and club dates). Through the new feature, those shows will be grouped together and managed more efficiently. Red Light Management, which manages bands like Dave Matthews Band and Alabama Shakes, is also testing the feature with Facebook.

Indestructible septuagenarian Iggy Pop has signed a new global licensing deal

He’s just turned 70, but he’s still got a lust for life. Iggy Pop has signed a new global licensing deal for his music and he’s been made a Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters (Ordre des Arts et des Lettres) by the French government. The award,  the country’s highest cultural honour given to those who’ve made a “significant contribution to the enrichment of the French cultural inheritance,” was presented  by the French Consul General Clement Leclerc in Miami last week.  In a big week for Igg, Artist Legacy Group, a joint venture with Sony Music, will represent the rocker for a new, “global brand management initiative.”

Creative types, find your inner force this Star Wars Day

The new $12 million, cutting-edge SAE Sydney campus is opening its doors to for an “info night” on May 4. The SAE’s expert academic team will be on hand to show-off the facility’s toys, which include a Neve Custom Series 75 console, multi-purpose film studios, cyclorama sound stages, a green screen studio and post-production edit suites. Entry is for two hours from 6:00pm. Pitched as Sydney’s largest dedicated creative media education institute, the SAE is located at 39 Regent Street, Chippendale next to Central Station. Click here for more info.

Splendour in the Grass has launched a fundraising initiative

No-doubt inspired by Patti Smith’s generosity, Splendour in the Grass has launched a fundraising initiative to assist with the flood recovery efforts in northern New South Wales. From Tuesday (May 2) to Friday (May 5), 50 special “Flood Relief Gold Passes” for this year’s Splendour will be released for sale via auction on The XX, Queens Of The Stone Age and LCD Soundsystem are headliners for the July 21-23 fest.

Entries are open for Britain’s Mercury Prize Albums Of The Year

The shortlist will be revealed at a launch event on July 27, 2017 and the big prize will be dished out at a ceremony on the night of September 14. Only albums recorded by British or Irish artists are eligible for the big prize, which was won last year by grime artist Skepta. Organizers are taking submissions until May 19. Read more here:


Kerry Turman found dead

The bass player with Motown vocal group The Temptations, was found dead in his hotel room after performance in Missouri. He was 59. According to the AP, Coroner John Clifton says an initial autopsy indicates Turman died of natural causes, though a full report is some weeks away. Turman was a member of Roy Ayers band in the ‘70s and joined The Temptations in the ‘80s. The group is best known for a string of U.S. No. 1 songs from the ‘60s and ‘70s, including “My Girl,” “Papa Was A Rollin’ Stone” and “Just My Imagination”.

Movers & Shakers 

Jack White has signed a global, multi-year agreement

It’s with Universal Music Publishing Group to cover his entire song catalogue, including his works with The White Stripes, The Raconteurs, The Dead Weather, solo songs, collaborations and future projects.

Through the new arrangement, UMPG will work with White and his Third String Tunes and Peppermint Stripe Music publishing companies to “develop creative and commercial outlets” for his new projects and existing songs. UMPG says the pact marks the first time a single publisher will administer rights around the world for the American artist’s catalog.

Keith Hauprich is now BMG’s most senior legal and business affairs exec in North America

NYC-based Hauprich is promoted from Deputy General Counsel to General Counsel & Senior Vice President, Business & Legal Affairs, North America, reporting to Zach Katz, BMG U.S. President, Repertoire & Marketing.

Hauprich is credited with driving a bunch of key deals with AMC Networks, Activision/Blizzard Studios, Hasbro Studios, Netflix and others, and he led the music company in its copyright battle against the ISP Cox Communications. In that case, BMG won a US$25 million jury verdict and more than US$8.5 million in costs and disbursements. Hauprich formerly served as general counsel for Cherry Lane Music Publishing Company, Inc., prior to BMG’s acquisition in April 2010.

Max Richter is the first signing to Decca Publishing

The German composer has inked a long-term, global deal with Universal’s new publishing company, which launched last December under the leadership of its U.K. based headNatasha Baldwin. Richter’s signing to Decca Publishing will complement his recording projects on Universal Music’s Deutsche Grammophon label, whose recent releases include his 8-and-a-half-hour long SLEEP album (which sold more than 100,000 copies) and his new album, Three Worlds: music from Woolf Works. Richter’s work can be heard in Martin Scorsese’s Shutter Island, the Oscar-winning sci-fi film Arrival, HBO’s The Leftovers and across many films, series and plays. At launch, Decca Publishing pledged to work with Universal Music Publishing Classical on “appropriate projects” and synchronisation opportunities involving their respective composers and repertoire.

Chart Geek

Amy Shark can take some comfort in the knowledge it took an all-time blockbuster from Ed Sheeran to beat her to No. 1. 

Shark makes her mark on the ARIA Albums Chart for the first time with Night Think, which opens at No. 2 this week, just behind Sheeran’s Divide, which has topped the survey for eight weeks. Shark is due a No. 1. Her ‘Adore’ missed out to Flume’s ‘Never Be Like You’ for top spot on the most recent Triple J Hottest 100 poll. Also this week, Sheeran extends his record-breaking chart reign into a 15th week on the ARIA Singles Chart with ‘Shape of You’.

In the U.K., British dance-pop trio Clean Bandit snatch a third No. 1 with ‘Symphony’ (Atlantic/Warner Music), featuring Zara Larsson, and in doing so denying Sheeran a 15th week at the summit. Sheeran’s Divide overhauled the midweek leader, Steps’ Tears on the Dancefloor (Steps Music), to grab another albums chart title.

Crossing Borders

Big names announced for Singapore Grand Prix music programme

Ariana Grande, The Chainsmokers, OneRepublic and Duran Duran are among the performers behind the wheel of the 2017 Singapore Grand Prix music programme. Concerts will take place over three days from September 15. For the likes of Ariana Grande and Chainsmokers, the GP show will mark their first in the city-state.

The Big Stage

Trial ordered over Love Parade Festival crush

A German appeals court has ordered a trial over the tragic crush at the 2010 Love Parade Festival in Duisburg, reversing a decision from a lower court last year. Ten people indicted over the disaster must stand trial, according to an appeals court in Dusseldorf, which said there is a “sufficient probability” of convictions.  Twenty-one people died and more than 500 were injured when they were crushed in a packed tunnel which served as the only access point to the outdoor techno fest.  The Duisburg state court last year declared there was not a sufficient case to bring to trial, but the appeals court has overruled that decision and now 10 event organizers and city workers will be held to account.

Live Nation’s buyout of the famed Isle of Wight festival has hit a snag

Britain’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is investigating whether the deal would lead to a “substantial lessening of competition”. The ever-acquisitive LN announced in March its purchase of a controlling stake in the festival through LN-Gaiety Holdings, its U.K. joint venture with impresarios Denis Desmond’s Gaiety Investments. Isle of Wight has origins dating back to 1968 and has been a regular event since Solo Music Agency owner John Giddings revived it in 2002. LN owns more than 85 festival brands worldwide, including Australia’s Splendour in the Grass and Falls fests, and the U.K.’s Reading, Leeds, Wireless and T in in the Park.

Disneyland Paris has a plan to keep the older kids happy…a one-day EDM festival. The theme park will throw open its gates to 10,000 party-goers this July 8 for the inaugural edition of Electroland. Steve Aoki and Aussie duo NERVO lead the bill. If you ever wanted to cut shapes with Donald Duck, now’s your chance.

Organisers of Fyfe Festival, a legitimate contender for the title “shittiest festival experience ever,” are planning to give it another crack in 2018

The first-time fest in the Bahamas filled up your news feeds over the weekend as thousands of wealthy young party-goers shared their horror stories from the now-infamous disaster zone. Festival co-owners Billy McFarland and rapper Ja Rule now say attendees, who forked out up to US$12,000 for the non-event, will receive “free VIP passes to next year’s festival”. Quite how the pair will lure performers or the public back to a brand which is both toxic, a source of mirth and rooted with incompetence, remains to be seen.  Our favourite tale comes from event planner Chloe Gordon, who bailed before everything burned. Wannabe promoters everywhere, take heed.

Final word

Skinny white kids with guitars, step aside. Hip-hop is the undisputed champion of the U.S. singles chart right now. On the latest Billboard Hot 100, “rap” songs make up half the tally, a feat not seen for four years. Kendrick Lamar is ruling with “Humble,” the No. 1 song on the weekly survey and one of five hip-hop tracks in the top 10. According to the trade mag, rap songs are defined as those that qualify for Billboard’s Hot Rap Songs chart. And for the record, Lamar’s album DAMN. is the leader of the Billboard 200 right now.