Breaking Biz

Ultra has bigger, global plans

TIO recently shared the news of Ultra’s expansion into Australia’s festivals market. Well, it doesn’t end there. The U.S. EDM brand has bigger, global plans.

Ultra will move into China with a two-day fest in Shanghai from Sept. 9-10, before turning its attention to new Road to Ultra events in Australia and India. The Australia leg of Road to Ultra will take place initially in Melbourne at an unspecified date in February 2018, with events in Melbourne and Sydney slated for the following year. New Delhi will host a date this September, and a second India show will take place in Mumbai next February.

The Australia leg of Road to Ultra will take place initially in Melbourne at an unspecified date in February 2018, with events in Melbourne and Sydney slated for the following year. New Delhi will host a date this September, and a second India show will take place in Mumbai next February.

While Ultra expands, Mysteryland contracts. Organisers have scrapped Mysteryland USA 2017 citing “unforeseen circumstances.”

The fourth annual EDM festival was scheduled for June 9-12 at the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts in New York, with headliners LCD Soundsystem, G-Eazy, and Major Lazer and others.

At least 12 people were hospitalised with burns after a man sprayed acid inside London’s Mangle E8 nightclub packed with Easter holiday revellers.

According to reports, some 600 people had been on site, most of whom were evacuated when emergency services arrived. Met police said the incident flared between two groups of people in the club, with a male suspect spraying the “unknown corrosive substance” on its intended victims. “It was identified by a pH paper test as a strong acidic substance,” the Met said.

Ticketmaster will celebrate its big 4-0

It’s all happening with an invite only party this Wednesday at the Meat Market in North Melbourne.  Live Nation Australasia execs Michael Coppel, Roger Field and Luke Hede will join guests at the ticketing giant’s bash, which will be hosted by author and broadcaster Jane Gazzo (Triple M). A lineup of Aussie music royalty will perform on the night and organizers promise a “supergroup” will get the ground shaking.

Patti Smith has a heart of gold

She doesn’t suffer fools gladly, but Patti Smith sure has a heart of gold. The “punk poet laureate” has donated AUS$10,000 to Rise Above The Flood charity to help those impacted by the recent flooding in northern New South Wales. Smith was in the country to perform at the annual Byron Bay Bluesfest. Peter Noble, director of the much-loved festival, says her performances “are among the greatest ever and we can now see what a wonderful human being she is as well. People including our staff have lost their possession, property and friends so we find her generosity extremely touching.”

Oakenfold raises funds for victims of Nepal earthquake

Another artist making the right noises is DJ Paul Oakenfold, who last week performed a gig at Mount Everest base camp to raise funds for victims of the 2015 Nepal earthquake. The legendary British tune-spinner described the experience as “exciting and scary” though he planned meticulously for the adventure.

“Preparation is key,” he explained. “I spent months and months preparing for this.” Oakenfold played to 300 people for four hours and streamed the whole party from his Facebook account. Oakenfold can brag that everyone in the place was sky high.

Growth, it seems, is the new black

The U.K. recorded music industry, a top-five market, reported a 5.1% gain in revenues in 2016 to AUS$1.5 billion, according to new data published by peak body the BPI. That’s the largest annual total in five years. While in Sweden – birthplace of the leading streaming music brand Spotify –consumer spend on recorded music improved by 6.2% to AUS$165 million, according to the local IFPI body.  What’s the engine behind this growth? Streaming.

 

Departures

Guitarist J. Geils, whose alternative rock outfit The J. Geils Band had the ineradicable early ‘80s hits ‘Centerfold’ and’Freeze-Frame,’ has died at 71. Geils was found dead at his home in Groton, Massachusetts, on Tuesday, April 11, with a preliminary investigation finding the artist died of natural causes, according to a police statement. The American rocker had his biggest success in his homeland, where The J. Geils Band saw 17 songs crack the Billboard Hot 100, including 10 top 40 hits and a No. 1 in ‘Centerfold,’ which spent six weeks at the summit.

The greatest guitarists on the planet have paid tribute to Allan Holdsworth, the British six-string legend who died Saturday (April 15) at the age of 70. Revered in prog-rock and fusion circles, Holdsworth was so adept at the finger-tapping style, he was once described by Eddie Van Halen as “so damned good that I can’t cop anything. I can’t understand what he’s doing.” Holdsworth played with a succession of bands in the late ‘60s and through the ‘70s before hitting on a solo career which yielded a dozen albums and a Grammy nomination. Steve Lukather tweeted that the former muso as the “legendary guitarist of our generation,” and Peter Frampton remembered a “brilliant unique guitar master player.”

Tom Coyne, the six-time Grammy-winning mastering engineer, died last Friday (April 14) at age 62 from multiple myeloma. In a prolific career that traced back to the ‘70s, Coyne worked on albums for artists across the musical spectrum, from Beyoncé to Metallica, Wu-Tang Clan, Britney Spears, Erykah Badu, Lady Gaga, and Keith Urban. In 2015 alone, he mastered four of the five biggest-selling albums of the year: Adele’s 25, Taylor Swift’s 1989, Justin Bieber’s Purpose and The Weeknd’s Beauty Behind The Madness. He earned 18 Grammy nominations and 19 career Latin Grammy nominations, including a win for Record Of The Year in 2013 for his work on Marc Anthony’s ‘Vivir Mi Vida’.

In 2015 alone, he mastered four of the five biggest-selling albums of the year: Adele’s 25, Taylor Swift’s 1989, Justin Bieber’s Purpose and The Weeknd’s Beauty Behind The Madness. He earned 18 Grammy nominations and 19 career Latin Grammy nominations, including a win for Record Of The Year in 2013 for his work on Marc Anthony’s ‘Vivir Mi Vida’.

 

Movers & Shakers

Becca Gatrell, former Head of Film & Television at Universal Music Publishing, has launched Wow & Flutter, a full-service platform for songwriters that provides services including music publishing, sync and music supervision. The new, London-based venture is a worldwide joint venture with UMPG.

 

The Dotted Line

Nick & Simon sign with Warner

Dutch chart-champions Nick & Simon have signed with Warner Music Benelux (Belgium/Netherlands/Luxembourg) ahead of a new album release penciled in for the second half of 2017. The pop duo (singer-songwriters Nick Schilder and Simon Keizer) is enjoying a golden run in their homeland where they’ve topped the albums chart on six occasions over the past decade, and landed a string of hit singles.

“They are legends in the Dutch market who have topped the charts time and again,” explains Warner Music Benelux President Martin Jessurun of the new signing, which is seen as a “significant milestone” in the expansion of the music major’s roster in the Netherlands.

Tedder inks multi-faceted partnership with Downtown

Hitmaker Ryan Tedder has struck a multi-faceted partnership with NYC-based Downtown Music Publishing. Under the terms of the deal, the indie music publisher has acquired more than 170 Tedder compositions and will represent him for his new works.

Tedder’s songs covered by the agreement include his contribution to ‘Halo’ by Beyonce, ‘Rumour Has It’ and ‘Turning Tables’ by Adele, and ‘Bleeding Love’ by Leona Lewis.

Downtown will also partner with Tedder to expand his Patriot Games Publishing firm by providing global royalty collection, copyright administration, and creative marketing services to its roster of songwriters. Tedder has four Grammys in his trophy cabinet, including three Album of the Year wins for his work on Adele’s 21 and 25 and Taylor Swift’s 1989.

 

Chart Geek

Rule Britannia: Ed Sheeran is still on top in the U.S. but his reign atop the U.K. and Australian singles charts has come to an end thanks to another squeaky-clean British pop star: Harry Styles. Styles cleans up in both markets with his post-One Direction solo debut ‘Sign of the Times,’ which halts Sheeran’s ‘Shape of You’ chart streak at 13 weeks, equalling the record in Australia set by Coolio’s 1995 monster hit ‘Gangster’s Paradise’.  Only British acts have claimed the singles chart crown in the U.K. or Australia this year – Clean Bandit, Sheeran and now Styles.

Meanwhile, Starley’s ‘Call On Me’ returns to the U.K. top 30 after 22 weeks on the chart. The Sydney singer’s club track rises 32-28.

In the U.S., Sheeran’s hit ‘Shape of You’ rules the Billboard Hot 100 chart (dated April 29) for a 12th week. Consider this: ‘Shape’ is now one of only 18 No. 1s to have topped the chart for that length of time.

 

Crossing Borders

The music biz has always been about finding opportunities, and exploiting them (yes, yes. Talent has its role too). Take a bow, Steve Lillywhite.

The six-time Grammy-winning British producer and one-time Mercury Records U.K. managing director has found a new outlet for music: KFC.

Lillywhite, who has worked with such artists as U2, the Rolling Stones and Simple Minds, and was guest speaker at the 2014 Australian Music Prize ceremony is now chief executive of Jagonya Music & Sport Indonesia, a company in Jakarta that bundles CDs with fast food at KFC throughout that country.

Lillywhite’s firm, a subsidiary of KFC in Indonesia, sells 500,000 CDs each month, according to a report in the New York Times.

“My job is basically like running a record label, except this record label also happens to sell chicken,” he tells The Times.

With the market for physical soundcarriers in steep decline, it’s a finger lickin’ good piece of entrepreneurialism.

 

The Big Stage

Sick of being ripped off by dodgy ticket resale sites? Choice wants to hear from you. The consumer rights watchdog has launched an international survey of the resale market, where the activity of Viagogo, Stubhub and Ticketmaster Resale and others will come under scrutiny. “From outrageous ticket price mark-ups of up to 327% to denying refunds and selling fake tickets, the time has come to say fair’s fair and stop these resale websites ripping off consumers from Melbourne to Manchester,” says Choice head of media Tom Godfrey. The aim is to create a ticket resale market report which will be provided to regulators in each participating country to help protect consumers. Choice recently referred Viagogo and Ticketmaster Resale to the ACCC for potential breaches of Australian Consumer Law.

“From outrageous ticket price mark-ups of up to 327% to denying refunds and selling fake tickets, the time has come to say fair’s fair and stop these resale websites ripping off consumers from Melbourne to Manchester,” says Choice head of media Tom Godfrey. The aim is to create a ticket resale market report which will be provided to regulators in each participating country to help protect consumers. Choice recently referred Viagogo and Ticketmaster Resale to the ACCC for potential breaches of Australian Consumer Law.

The aim is to create a ticket resale market report which will be provided to regulators in each participating country to help protect consumers. Choice recently referred Viagogo and Ticketmaster Resale to the ACCC for potential breaches of Australian Consumer Law.

 

The Final Word

Drizzy is a billionaire, again.  Drake’s current Billboard 200 chart-topper More Life has generated more than 1 billion streams in the U.S.  since its March 18 release. For some perspective: it’s generated nearly twice the volume of streams as Ed Sheeran’s Divide, which arrived two weeks earlier. Drake has been here before. His 2016 LP

For some perspective: it’s generated nearly twice the volume of streams as Ed Sheeran’s Divide, which arrived two weeks earlier. Drake has been here before. His 2016 LP Views is the all-time leader at nearly 3.5 billion audio-streams.