Belgian live industry go to court over the Sabam rate hike
Belgium
EU
USA

COMPETITION  / COPYRIGHT Live events sector, collection societies   The live sector in Belgian including the Rock Werchter, Pukkelpop and Night Of The Proms, festivals and tour promoter GraciaLive are heading to court with the  country’s performing rights organisation Sabam over the new royalty rates introduced at the start of the year by the PRO. Sabam justified the recent changes to the live event tariffs to bring Belgium more in line with royalties charged elsewhere in Europe.  Jan Vereecke of Night Of The Proms promoter PSE told HLN: “Sabam has unilaterally decided to increase its tariffs by 30%. It says this is based on what is charged by societies in neighbouring countries, but the rate increase is a simple abuse of monopoly”, adding “Actually, the whole system is outdated. Sabam takes a percentage of our ticket sales. But the shows of today are different than ten years ago, as staging, large screens, fireworks and such like become more common. These production elements increase the costs of the show, and therefore the cost of the ticket, and Sabam gets to skim more off the top. That is wrong”.   And in the USA, the ongoing issues around a planned move to ‘100%…

Fyre Festival failure prompts legal challenges
Contract , Live Events / June 2017
USA

CONTRACT Live events sector     Why anyone thought the partnership of rapper, a young technology ‘serial entrepreneur’, neither of whom had organised a festival before, and an unbelievable Instagram video featuring models Bella Hadid, Hailey Baldwin and Emily Ratajkowski sailing on a luxury yacht and posing on beautiful beaches would result in a mind blowing festival is anyone’s guess. Spending thousands of dollars on ‘artists passes’ is an equally misguided approach to the festival scene. The fact that the elite few who made the trip to the disastrous Fyre Festival had paid anything between $1,200 to over $100,000 to the two-weekend event on Great Exuma Island in the Bahamas for the promised “once-in-a-lifetime” musical experience with beach cabanas and gourmet cuisine was almost certainly a recipe for a lawsuit. Especially when festival-goers then complained of delayed and cancelled flights, being stranded for hours without food, water or shelter, luggage being “unceremoniously dumped from shipping containers” and allegedly left for thieves to to rifle through, and a so called luxury village which consisted of refugee tents, rubbish piled high and burst water pipes.    Now a new lawsuit also alleges Fyre’s organisers warned musicians and celebrities not to attend the…

Winsconsin to let minors attend festivals
Licensing , Live Events / June 2017
USA

LICENSING Live events sector   Wisconsin Governor. Scott Walker has signed a new bill which will allow minors to attend music festivals where alcohol is being served.  Under current law, minors may not be on the premises of a site that has been issued an alcohol license unless they are accompanied by a parent or guardian. However, a number of venues are exempt from the law, including bowling alleys, movie theatres and sports stadiums. In a statement, Governor Walker said adding music festivals to the list “just made sense.”  Under the new law, minors will be allowed to attend a music festival where alcohol is served on private property as long as attendance is expected to exceed more than 2,500 people which will mirror state laws already in place for festivals on public property, such as Summerfest in Milwaukee. Assembly Bill 194 adds music festivals to the list of exceptions, and was authored by Representative Rob Summerfield (R – Bloomer) and Senator Terry Moulton (R – Chippewa Falls). The Bill passed the Assembly on a voice vote, and was concurred by the Senate on a voice vote. It is Act 7. http://urbanmilwaukee.com/pressrelease/governor-walker-signs-music-festival-bill-into-law/ http://www.fox9.com/news/256718883-story

Italian ticketers hit with €1.7m in fines
Competition , Live Events / May 2017
Italy

COMPETITION Live events sector   The Italian Competition Authority (AGCM) has levied fines totalling €1.7 million on five ticket agencies for breaching consumer rights legislation AGCM’s investigation dates back to October, when consumer group Altroconsumo asked the quango to look into allegations primary seller TicketOne was passing tickets directly to the secondary market. It found that while TicketOne, owned by Germany’s CTS Eventim, is “contractually bound to adopt anti-touting measures, [it] did not take appropriate steps to prevent bulk buying through specialist software, nor has it tried to limit multiple purchases or set up a system of ex-post controls to cancel them”.   For violating article 20(2) of the Italian Consumer Code, TicketOne has been fined €1m. Additionally, four secondary ticketing sites – Viagogo, MyWayTicket, Live Nation’s Seatwave and eBay/StubHub’s Ticketbis – have been hit with a collective €700,000 fine for their failure to provide complete ticket information to customers “concerning several essential elements which potential buyers need to make their transactional decisions”. “In particular, the traders would not provide adequate information concerning the ticket features, including their face value, the row and the seat, as well as consumer rights in case of the event’s cancellation,” reads a statement from AGCM….

Isle of Wight festival sale in the spotlight
Competition , Live Events / May 2017
UK

COMPETITION Live events sector   The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority is to investigate the recently announced acquisition of  the Isle of Wight Festival by Live Nation. The CMA said  it was: “considering, pursuant to section 22 of the [2002 Enterprise] Act”, whether the merger of Isle of Wight Festival Ltd and Live Nation/Denis Desmond’s LN-Gaiety Holdings Ltd “has resulted or may be expected to result in a substantial lessening of competition in any market or markets in the United Kingdom”. The live music major has expanded its UK festivals portfolio considerably in recent years, mainly via LN-Gaiety, its joint venture with Irish music industry veteran Denis Desmond, who now heads up Live Nation’s UK operation. LNE owns festivals including Creamfields, Dowlnload and Wireless in the UK and subsidiary Festival Republic runs the Reading, Leeds and Lattitude festivals and over 85 festivas worldwide.    LNE describes itself as “the largest live entertainment company, operates concert promotions, venue operations, sponsorship, ticketing solutions The CMA says the two companies are currently prohibited from taking any actions which may “lead to the integration of the Isle of Wight Festival business with the Live Nation business” or “transfer the ownership or control of the Live Nation…

Lords move to strengthen ticket re-sale transparency
Consumers , Live Events / May 2017
UK

CONSUMER Live events sector   In the UK, the House of Lords has passed an amendment that anti-touting campaigners say will strengthen the position of consumers who use secondary ticketing sites. Whilst the UK government now supports the recommendations made in the Waterson report, an independent review which recommended no new legislation against secondary ticketing but did suggest proper enforcement of the existing Consumer Rights Act (CRA) 2015, the new amendment to the Digital Economy Bill is opposed by the government Despite the opposition, the Lords voted 180–157 in favour of the amendment, which would require sites such Seatwave, Get Me In!, StubHub and Viagogo to provide the ticket reference or booking number, as well as any specific condition attached to the resale of the ticket. Under the current legislation, secondary sites are already obliged to list the original face value, seat/row numbers and any usage restrictions.   Conservative peer Lord Moynihan, a former sports minister and Olympic rowing coxswain, said: “We do not want to ban the [secondary] market, although noble Lords did so for the Olympic Games in London 2012. Similarly, this is not about a cap on resale prices. It is perfectly within the conclusions [of], and the…

Lords push on with establishing the ‘agent of change’ principle into UK law
Licensing , Live Events / May 2017
UK

LICENSING Live events sector   Cross-sector trade group UK Music has welcomed new recommendations made by a House Of Lords Select Committee a call to extend the the ‘agent of change’ principle to revisions of the Licensing Law. The Committee that has been reviewing the licensing rules that impact on concerts and venues and said that the 2012 Live Music Act, which aimed to simplify the licensing process for smaller gigs, was working well. They also said that the appointment of ‘night czars’ in cities to focus on the local night-time economy were a positive move.   Extending the agent of change principle was a key recommendation. The UK government already has proposals to boost ‘agent of change’ protections to safeguard music venues from new property developments under the National Planning Policy Framework.   The Lords’ Committee has also proposed that the ‘late night levy’  which can be imposed by local authorities on late night licensed premises  should be abolished on the basis that it is a burden on pubs and clubs, and was not  contributing to local policing costs as had been originally intended.   For UK Music Jo Dipple said: “UK Music asks government to take forward the Lords suggestion that a…

British DJ sentenced to prison after including the Muslim call to prayer in Tunisian show
Live Events / May 2017
UK

BLASPHEMY Live events sector   A court in Tunisia has sentenced a British DJ Dax J to one  year in jail after he played a dance remix of the Muslim call to prayer during a set at the Orbit Festival  last weekend. The UK DJ and producer was found guilty of public indecency and offending public morality after footage of him playing the track in a Nabeul club emerged on social media. The club, El Guitone, was shut down and its owner taken into custody. However, charges against the owner and the promoter were dismissed (although they may be re-instated on apeal). The owners had been arrested for “violation against good morals and public outrage against modesty.”  Nabeul governor Mnaouar Ouertan said that the government would “not allow attacks against religious feelings and the sacred.”  London-born and Berlin-based Dax J had fled Tunisia before the matter went to court. He has already apologised for including the remix of the Adhan in his set, insisting that “it was never my intention to upset or cause offence to anybody”. The promoters of Orbit apologised over the inclusion of the Adhan in Dax J’s set earlier this week, adding that the DJ “did not realise…

Love Parade organisers will face criminal charges over 2010 deaths
Germany

HEALTH & SAFETY Live events sector   A German court has ruled that the organisers of the “Love Parade” techno-festival will stand trial in connection with the deaths of 21 people in a crowd crush ithat took place in in 2010. More than 500 others were injured in the crush. The disaster on the 24th July 2010 was the result of  a crush in a tunnel that served as the sole entrance to Love Parade. Over a million people attended the dance music festival, which was held at a former goods yard in Duisburg, with a capacity of around 250,000. The event, which began in 1989, was permanently cancelled by organisers. Ten people will now face criminal charges for the disaster in Duisburg after the court in Duesseldorf overturned the previous decision to drop the charges of negligent manslaughter, now holding that the case could be “proven with sufficient probability”, based on the available evidence. Four event organisers and six municipal employees will be tried. All had previously denied wrongdoing. In a statement, the regional appeals court said the results of an investigation suggested that “breaches of the duty of care with which the accused are charged were the cause of the deaths and injuries”…

Australian law makers look to ban bots, whilst in the UK, Viagogo are a no show
Consumers , Live Events / April 2017
Australia

CONSUMER Live events sector     Lawmakers in Australia are also considering a nationwide ban on the software used by ticket touts to buy up large quantities of tickets for in-demand events from primary ticketing sites, using so called ‘bots’. In 2016 President Obama signed banning the use of ticket tout bots, while the UK government has now said it supports inserting a similar specific bots ban into Digital Economy Bill. In Australia, where touting (scalping) has traditionally been legislated for on a state by state basis, the Federal Senate has approved a motion introduced by independent senator Nick Xenophon calling on the country’s government to also ban bots. He is quoted by MusicFeeds as saying: “Genuine Australian fans are being unfairly deprived of tickets because ticket scalpers are using automated systems to buy a bulk of tickets when they are released. They’re then on-selling them for massive amounts to those that missed out. It’s a clear cornering of a market that hurts consumers”. In early March, Australian consumer watch organisation Choice revealed ticket sellers were inflating prices by up to 500 percent. It also dismissed current consumer laws as inconsistent and ineffective. Xenophon’s motion was not backed by the Australian government,…

Ontario opens public consultation on ticket touting bots, but Virginia wants a free market
Consumers , Live Events / April 2017
Canada
USA

CONSUMER Live events sector   Ontario has launched a public consultation on plans to introduce new laws banning the use of ticket tout bots. The Canadian province’s Attorney General Yasir Naqvi had announced the intention to introduce new legislation last October and moves to outlaw the use of such software were reinforced after tickets for Canadian rock band The Tragically Hip’s farewell tour quickly found their way to secondary sites at massive mark-ups, on the news that frontman Gord Downie had been diagnosed with terminal brain cancer. Ontarians with a view on secondary ticketing matters can fill out the consultation survey. And in advance of the UK’s move to regulate secondary ticketing and ban the use of bots to harvest tickets, the FanFair Alliance welcomed Prime Minister Theresa May’s “heartening” intervention on the secondary ticketing market. May was responding to Conservative MP Nigel Adams, who is leading the bid to make illegal the misuse of bot technology by ticket touts. “Does the Prime Minister agree that, when tickets to a teenage cancer charity gig by Ed Sheeran are being resold on the Viagogo ticket website for more than £1,000, with none of that money going to the charity… it is unfair…

UK government to act on touting
Consumers , Live Events / April 2017
UK

CONSUMER Live events sector   In the wake of an outcry over touts re-selling tickets for Ed Sheerhan’s Teenage Cancer Trust charity show at the Royal Albert Hall and Adele’s O2 concerts, UK ticket touts who use computer ‘bots’ to mine for concert tickets before selling them for massive profits, and blocking fans from seeing their favourite artists except at huge mark ups, will face unlimited fines. National Trading Standards will also be handed a ringfenced pot of money to fund efforts to stop fans being ripped off or shut out of the most in-demand events. As well as criminalising bots, United Kingdom ministers at the DCMS will accept in full the recommendations of a review by Professor Michael Waterson, who published proposals to tackle rogue ticket traders last year. These include demanding that ticket firms to step up their own efforts to prevent the use of bots and to report any attacks on their systems by touts trying to harvest tickets. Culture minister Matt Hancock said: “This profiteering is simply not fair, so we are acting to put fans first and improve the chances of seeing our favourite musicians and sports stars at a reasonable price” adding “Ticket sellers…

Alabama joins Virginia on the trail of the free market ticket
Consumers , Live Events / April 2017
USA

CONSUMER Live events sector   Lawmakers in Alabama are moving towards passing a new rule that would give consumers a statutory right to resell any tickets they have bought, which in turn would limit the tactics artists and promoters can employ to try to fight back against scalping (ticket touting). There are parallels between the proposals made by Alabama representative Paul Lee and the previously reported measures put forward in Virginia by delegate Dave Albo:  Virginia’s House Of Delegates has now passed the Ticket Resale Rights Act, which prohibits concert promoters from denying someone admission to an event because they have bought their ticket from a tout (scalper). The new legislation also seeks to stop the use of ticket controls designed to limit touting, such as locking a ticket to the credit card used to buy it. Under the Ticket Resale Rights Act, concert promoters  in Virginia wouldn’t be allowed to cancel a touted ticket in that way, whatever the terms and conditions of the ticket may say. Doing so could result in a fine of up to US $5,000.   The Alabama state-level laws would stop event organisers from cancelling tickets that have been resold, or forcing customers to resell their…

Live Nation fined for unfair AC/DC refund procedures
Consumers , Live Events / April 2017
Spain

CONSUMER Live events sector   The Spanish city of Seville has fined Live Nation 15,000 euros over the way it handled refunds in relation to an AC/DC concert in May 2016. Readers will remember the ‘Rock or Bust’ tour was interrupted and then substantially re-arranged when vocalist Brian Johnson was forced to pull out of live shows after being warned that he risked “total hearing loss” – and he was replaced by Guns ‘n’ Roses frontman Axl Rose. Those who had brought tickets for the show were offered  the option of a refund if they didn’t want to attend the rearranged date with Rose. However, according to Spanish consumer rights group Facua, Live Nation then set a deadline on refund applications within a three day window, so many consumers wishing to cancel their tickets could not do so. At the time many fans were appalled at Rose being even suggested as a replacement, although Rose went on to get good reviews for his performances from fans and critics alike, and he turned up on time for shows. In its formal complaint to Seville’s Economy And Commerce Department, Facua said that whilst Live Nation didn’t initially set a deadline for refund applications, it…

GWVR – the German Collection Society for promoters – publishes its first tariffs
Copyright , Live Events / April 2017
Germany

COPYRIGHT Live events sector     Some years ago, the German Association of Concert Promoters (BDV) applied to the German Patent & Trade Mark Office to set up a new collection society to collect revenues it has succsssfully argued are due to its members and due as compensation for the ‘neighbouring right’ under Section 81 of the German Copyright Act and arising from recordings made at live events. In 2014, the new royalty collecting society for promoters was approved by the German Patent and Trade Mark Office (DPMA) in Hamburg, after 10 years of lobbying by BDV.  At the time BDV President, lawyer Jens Michow, said that the new Society, Verwertungsgsgesellschaft fur Wahrnehmung von Veranstalterrecheten (GWVR) had plans to negotiate with broadcasters, record labels and other users of live recordings to set tariffs to compensate event promoters.  (GWVR, in English, The Collection Society for the Neighbouring Right) is a subsidiary of BDV. Michow said “after a protracted and difficult approval procedure with the GWVR, this mans that promoters are not merely dependent on the fleeting success of their concerts, but can also participate in longer-term rewards from the events they promote.” The GWVR will set tariffs, administer the rights procedures and collect…

Falls Festival crowd crush lawsuit reaches court
Health & Safety , Live Events / April 2017
Australia

HEALTH & SAFETY Live events sector   A class-action lawsuit has just been filed against the organisers of Falls Festival following the  crowd crush that took place at the Lorne edition  of the 2016/17 event in Australia, which left approximately 80 people injured – some very seriously. The Industry Observer reports that the incident occurred as festival-goers were leaving a set by local trio DMA’S to catch international act London Grammar, with the crowd’ surge towards the seemingly inadequate exits caused audience members to be crushed against the barriers or beneath the resulting stampede. Pres reports in December 2016 said “Festival-goers were crushed, left gasping for air and unconscious during a chaotic crowd stampede at the Falls Festival in Lorne on Victoria’s south-west coast” A representative for the lawyers acting for the claimants stated “The allegation is that if proper care and attention had been taken to configuring the area where the acts were taking place, and the scheduling of the successive acts this stampede would not have occurred, that this was entirely avoidable” adding “That’s the basis of this action – predominantly in negligence of the organisers. 65 participants are seeking damages in the case. Falls co-producer Jessica Ducrou responded with a…

Italian band Soviet Soviet deported from US en route to SXSW
Immigration , Live Events / April 2017
Italy
USA

IMMIGRATION Live events sector      Tighter visa restrictions on performers for South by Southwest showcase performances entering the USA first surfaced when Italian band Soviet Soviet posted a lengthy statement on Facebook on Friday after being refused entry en route to their (unpaid) show. The band say that they were handcuffed and detained overnight after being deemed illegal immigrants because border officials said they had incorrect travel documentation. The band had been travelling on the visa waiver programme ESTA, which allows citizens of nearly 40 countries to travel to the US for 90 days on business or leisure without requiring a visa. However, travellers must not earn money in the US during their stay.  Apart from SXSW, the band had a number of other promotional performances scheduled, including a showcase at Seattle radio station KEXP – but not for payment, and the band said “We knew that if we were to receive any compensation we would have had to apply for work visas. This was not the case and the people we spoke to for information told us we would be fine. The point is that the control agents – who did a quick check on the concerts we informed them of –…

Spain cuts rate of VAT on cultural events
Live Events , Taxation / April 2017
Spain

TAXATION Live events sector   Spain’s minister for education, culture and sport, Íñigo Méndez de Vigo, has announced a cut in the rate of cultural value-added tax (VAT) to 10%. The reduction confirms a manifesto promise by Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s People’s Party, which last September pledged to reduce VAT for live entertainment, or “cultural shows” (espectáculos culturales) which has stood at a record 21% since September 2012, when Rajoy increased the tax, which previously stood at 8%. The tax hike has been catastrophic for the Spanish live industry where revenues from ticket sales fell 27.51% between 1 September 2012 and summer 2013, and the country’s live music industry has only just recently recovered to its pre-2011 levels. https://www.iq-mag.net/2017/03/cultural-vat-cut-10-percent-spain/#.WNt1xzvyuM9

DCMS Minister highlights potential s696 abuses to the London Mayor
Licensing , Live Events / April 2017
UK

LICENSING Live events sector   In a slightly unusual move, Conservative DCMS minister Matt Hancock has written to London’s Labour Mayor Sadiq Khan raising his concerns over the Metropolitan Police’s somewhat controversial ‘risk assessment’ form 696, claiming it can be used to “single out” certain music genres. The form, which is only used in London, requests that names, stage names, private addresses, and phone numbers of all promoters, DJs and artists be listed for an event that “predominantly features DJs or MCs performing to a recorded backing track” – so hiphop, rap and grime then! In June 2009 the Parliamentary Culture, Media and Sport Committee said that the Promotion and Event Assessment Form (form 696) went “beyond the Act and its guidance to impose unreasonable conditions on events and recommends that it should be scrapped.” At the time Feargal Sharkey, then head of UK Music, was a vocal critic. The original form asked for details of ethnic groups likely to attend the performance, but that section was removed in 2008. Now Hancock has now said: “It is clear that the way in which the form is being used can single out certain genres of music and may be deterring the staging of…

New Spanish decision might offer support for direct licensing
Spain

COPYRIGHT Music publishing, live events sector     A Spanish court has ruled against collection society SGAE in favour of a venue which had negotiated to pay performance royalties directly to artists. The ruling, by Judge Pedro Macías in the commercial court of Badajoz in Extremadura, centres on two shows by veteran Spanish rock group Asfalto and comedian Pablo Carbonell at Badajoz’s 325 capacity Sala Mercantil in 2010. When SGAE (Sociedad General de Autores y Editores) noted that the usual fees for the concerts had not been paid, it announced its intention to collect, only to be told that  “the artists had reached a private agreement between them” and the Mercantil, according the venues legal team, OpenLaw. Judge Macías’s affirmed the composers “exclusive rights to the exploitation of the work, without any limitations other than those established by law”    “The owners of these rights are the authors, so they are the ones who should be able decide what to do with them,” comments OpenLaw’s Andrés Marín. “If a composer and performer negotiate directly with a third party and agree to give away or even collect their copyrights directly, the SGAE has no right to try to collect, or recover, the rights the…

Agent of change comes closer still
Live Events / March 2017
UK

PLANNING Live events sector   As part of a wider review of UK housing, the Government has proposed new measures to boost the ‘agent of change’ protections to safeguard music venues from new property developments, which have been welcomed by UK Music, the Music Venue Trust and the Musicians’ Union. The ‘agent of change’ principal puts the responsibility for matters such as soundproofing new homes with the developer when they choose to develop or re-develop residential accommodation near to a venue, rather than on the venue itself. In proposals announced yesterday, the government said that it would amend the National Planning Policy Framework to emphasise the consideration of existing venues in planning policies and decisions, in an attempt to avoid future noise complaints. The problem was highlighted in the case between between the Ministry Of Sound nigh club in London’s Elephant & Castle and property company Oakmayne, which wanted to build a new block of flats opposite the club – and the Club was concerned that that complaints from new residents could impact on the venue’s licence and future ability to trade. Following a lengthy legal battle, the club and property firm reached a settlement brokered by then London Mayor Boris…

Battle for SOS 4.8 set to run
Contract , Live Events , Trade Mark / March 2017
Spain

TRADE MARK / CONTRACT Live events sector     Legal Music, the promoter of the successful Spanish festival SOS 4.8, has accused the Murcian government of illegally laying claim to the name of the event, and indeed the event itself, which it is says it is “sole and rightful owner” which has featured a host if international artistes over the last nine years including Pulp, Morrissey, The National, PJ Harvey, Franz Ferdinand, The Flaming Lips, Mogwai, The XX, Bloc Party, M83, Pet Shop Boys, Damon Albarn and Phoenix. In December 2016, Legal Music announced the April 2017 edition of SOS 4.8 would not go ahead following the withdrawal of funding from the Autonomous Community of Murcia (Comunidad Autónoma de la Región de Murcia, Carm), and the promoter accused the authority of violating its sponsorship agreement with the festival. It then emerged that Carm had trademarked the SOS 4.8 name in 2008, apparently without informing Legal Music, and Carm then said the festival would go ahead with or without Legal Music’s participation, and that Murcia would “not yield to any kind of threats” from Legal Music”  adding that Carm was “the sponsor of SOS 4.8 and the owner of the brand”. In turn…

Thirteen face charges over Manilla festival deaths
Health & Safety , Live Events / March 2017

HEALTH & SAFETY Live events sector   Thirteen people are facing criminal charges over the deaths of five people at last May’s Closeup Forever Summer festival in Manilla in the Philippines. During the event was ongoing, five people were found unconscious in separate locations on the concert grounds on the 22nd May 2016. They were Ariel Leal (22), Lance Garcia (36), Ken Migawa (18), Bianca Fontejon (18) and Eric Anthony Miller (33 and an American citizen). The victims had all collapsed at the festival and died later in hospital, and local reports said that they had ingested a cocktail of alcohol and drugs – erports said the five had taken ‘green amore’, a potentially lethal mix of MDMA and shabu, or methamphetamine. Following an eight-month investigation, the Philippines’ National Bureau of Investigation (NIB) has asked for negligent homicide charges to be brought against 13 executives of promoter Closeup, its parent company, Unilever Philippines, and several security companies. The charges will alleges the defendants “had the ability to prevent the unwanted incidents but failed to do so”. The NBI complaint, filed with the Department of Justice, says the companies – Unilever, Closeup, Activations Advertising, Hypehouse Production Corp. and Delirium Manpower Services – should have put in…

Viagogo faces fresh legal actions for ticket re-sales
Consumers , Contract , Live Events / March 2017
Italy
Switzerland
UK

CONSUMER / CONTRACT Live events sector   Hot on the heels of news that Viagogo were selling tickets for Ed Sheerhan’s Teenage Cancer Trust charity concert at the the Royal Albert Hall at vastly inflated prices, the now Geneva based secondary ticketing platform is facing fresh legal action from a coalition of Spanish promoters, “adding to its ever-growing collection of lawsuits”. The second lawsuit of 2017 follows the outcry over the speculative selling of tickets for a postponed show by Joaquín Sabina in A Coruña (Corunna), Spain, next July, and in a joint statement, the promoters of Sabina’s Lo niego todo (I deny everything) tour, TheProject, Get In and Riff Producciones, and his management company, Berry Producciones, say they are “outraged” and intend to bring legal action action against Viagogo for the fraudulent listing of “tickets that do not exist”.   A spokesperson told IQ magazine that the parties’ lawyers are currently in the process of filing the action and that the lawsuit mirrors one filed by SIAE in late January, in Italy in which the Italian collection society alleged Viagogo listed tickets for a Vasco Rossi show in Modena before they went on sale on the primary market in a move that dragged Live…

Irish MP launches anti touting Bill
Competition , Consumers , Live Events / February 2017
Ireland
Italy

CONSUMER / COMPETITION Live events sector   Two months after Italy’s landmark legislation which criminalised ticket touting in Italy, an Irish MP has introduced a similar bill – the Prohibition of Above-Cost Ticket Touting Bill 2016 – for consideration by the Oireachtas in the Republic of Ireland. The ,move comes after the widespread re-sale of tickets for U2’s Joshua Tree tour, and the bill is authored by Noel Rock TD and seeks to outlaw above-face value resale in the Irish republic and would, if passed, “render it unlawful for any unauthorised person to sell or offer for sale tickets for major sporting, musical or theatrical events for a price in excess of the officially designated price [face value]”.   The bill has won the backing of a number of other members of Oireachtas, including Stephen Donnelly TD, who has separately contacted the Irish Competition and Consumer Protection to ask for an “investigation into potentially illegal activity” by ticket touts. Rock said: “I have been inundated with people contacting me regarding examples of ticket touting following the sale of U2 concert tickets ” adding “This will be one of the biggest concerts of the year and consumers are now being asked to pay a…

Italy moves to crimimalise touting
Consumers , Live Events / January 2017
Italy
UK

CONSUMER Live event sector   An amendment to Italy’s 2017 budget law that would criminalise ticket touting has been approved by the country’s Chamber of Deputies. The amendment, introduced earlier this month by culture minister Dario Franceschini, prohibits the “sale, or any other form of placement [on the secondary market], of tickets” by anyone other than the issuer, and provides for fines of between €5,000 and €180,000 for those caught doing so – both online and elsewhere. In addition, secondary ticketing sites will themselves be held responsible if found to be facilitating the illegal resale of tickets, and subject to “removal of the [tickets] or, in severe cases, the blocking of the website through which the infringement has taken place”. The amendment does allow for the sale of the personal unwanted ticket(s), which are “not sanctioned when carried out by a physical person on an occasional basis, provided there is no commercial purpose”. The amendment will still need to be approved within 30 days by the justice, culture and economic ministries, although a source close to the situation told IQ Magazine that the move will “definitely be approved by [all] parties”. The passage of the bill could, however, be complicated by the…

Italian Court Fines Secondary-Ticketing Websites for ‘Bagarinaggio 2.0’
Copyright , Live Events / January 2017
Italy

COPYRIGHT Live events sector   Italian collection society SIAE has won a court order to prevent the resale of tickets to Coldplay’s shows in Milan next July. This update by Jonathan Coote. Judge Fausto Basile at the Civil Tribunal of Rome has ordered that secondary-ticketing sites Viagogo, Seatwave and TicketBis pay €2,000 a ticket if they continue to break copyright laws re-selling Coldplay tickets. However, it has not retrospectively punished the site or its users. The case was brought by the musical copyright collecting agency SIAE (Società Italiana degli Autoried Editori, Italian Society of Authors and Publishers) and consumer agencyFederconsumatori against the sites in response to the influx of tickets appearing after the release of Coldplay tickets for a series of 2017 concerts.   The news follows a soon to be enacted addition to the recently-passed Italian Budget 2017 with the imposition of larger €5,000-180,000 fines for ‘bagarinaggio’ (ticket-touting, including online). The judge instead used Law No. 633 of 1941, for the Protection of Copyright and and Neighbouring Rights, in particular, citing articles 156, 162 and 163 which deal with court regulations in breaching performance rights. Art. 156 allows the collection of damages from any infringers of copyright but also those…

US and UK move against ticketing touts
Competition , Consumers , Live Events / January 2017
UK
USA

CONSUMER – COMPETITION Live events sector   In the USA, anti-touting legislation has primarluly been governed by state level legislation – New York recently banned the use of the so called ‘bots ‘– software that enables ticket touts to buy up large quantities of tickets from primary sites – so that using such technology could result in criminal sanctions including imprisonment. But lawmakers in Washington have been increasingly talking about ‘banning the bots’ and this has resulted in the  ‘Better Online Ticket Sales Act’ (The ‘BOTS’ Act) which means that the use of tout bots will be defined as an “unfair and deceptive practice” under the Federal Trade Commission Act, a move which will empower the FTC to pursue cases against people using such technology. The Act received Congressional approval earlier this month, and now President Obama has approved to the legislation and his office said the new US-wide measure would “prohibit the circumvention of control measures used by internet ticket sellers to ensure equitable consumer access to tickets for certain events”. Live Nation’s Ticketmaster was quick to welcome the passing of the BOTS Act saying: “On behalf of artists, venues, teams, and especially fans, Ticketmaster is pleased that the BOTS Act…

Ghost Ship fire leaves 36 dead
Health & Safety , Live Events / January 2017
USA

HEALTH & SAFETY Live events sector   A devastating warehouse fire which killed at least 36 people in Oakland, California, has painful echoes with the 2003 ‘Great White’ disaster in Rhode Island where 100 people died and the more recent Colectiv nightclub fire in Bucharest – and is California’s deadliest structure fire in California since the 1906 earthquake and fire that killed hundreds in San Francisco. The warehouse was the home and work space for the Satya Yuga artists’ collective, and known as the Ghost Ship, and was on the evening of the fire hosting an unlicensed concert promoted by house label 100% Silk. Among the victims of the fire were three artists scheduled to perform: Cherushii (Chelsea Faith), Obsidian Blade (Joey Casio) and DJ Nackt (Johnny Igaz). Among the 36 people who died were two UC Berkeley undergraduates, two alumni and one woman who volunteered at KALX, the campus radio station. Victims of the blaze included artists, musicians, activists, community organisers and other young people who had came together for the event. The search for victims and evidence in the Fruitvale District warehouse fire concluded late on Tuesday night (6th December) as crews combed through the final ten percent of the…

Clement Jones withdraws Licensing Act amendments – for now
Licensing , Live Events / January 2017
UK

LICENSING Live events sector   A recent House of Lords investigation in the United Kingdom’s Parliament has seen leading figures from across the live music industry calling for a change in live event licensing to make it easier to stage events and help the live sector thrive. At the heart of the debate was a proposed amendment to licensing law which would ensure cultural benefits to the community are considered by local authorities when they make decisions about the award of music licences. Paul Latham, chair of the UK Live Music Group, Alex Mann, live music official of the Musicians’ Union, and Mark Davyd, chief executive of the Music Venue Trust, gave evidence to a select committee proposing the introduction of a new “objective” in the decision-making process which would take account of the positive cultural impact of staging an event. At present authorities are not obliged to consider the wider benefits of music and entertainment in the community and instead focus on the negative impact of applications. These are the four licensing objectives under the 2003 Licensing Act: The prevention of crime and disorder, public safety, the prevention of public nuisance and protection of children from harm. Mr Latham, who is also…

Bono and Larry must compensate libelled promoter
Defamation , Live Events / January 2017
Brazil

DEFAMATION Live events sector   U2 vocalist Bono and drummer Larry Mullens have been ordered to pay damages to a Brazilian promoter for wrongly claiming that they were not paid for three shows in 1998. The Court of Justice of Santa Catalina ruled that the musicians must pay Franco Bruni R$1.5m (US$441,000) in “material and moral damages” for remarks made in a 2000 O Globo interview, in which Bono and Mullens alleged they had not been paid for their PopMart concerts in Brazil two years before. The Court found it was in fact collection society ECAD (Escritório Central de Arrecadação e Distribuição)  that hadn’t paid out, and that Bruni had paid the band an advance of US$8m. Bono and Mullens later retracted their remarks. Judge Joel Figueira found the newspaper, and the journalist who had written the piece, were not liable for any damages, as they simply “reproduced the comments by the band members”. The amount of compensation for which Bono and Mullens will be liable (“with due corrections”) is expected to total R$5m ($1.48m). Wikipedia reports that in 2012, fifteen ECAD officials were indicted after an investigation by the Brazilian Senate found that some at ECAD had allegedly taken money intended…

Delhi High Court rules that three Indian collection societies must cease to issue licences
Copyright , Live Events / January 2017
India

COPYRIGHT Live events sector   In a blow to three Indian music copyright collection societies, the Delhi High Court has restrained them from granting any such licence till April 24th 2017. Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva, in an interim order, restrained the Indian Performing Right Society (IPRS), the Phonographic Performance Ltd (PPL) and Novex Communications Pvt Ltd from contravening section 33 of Copyright Act,  which provides that only registered societies can grant licences in respect of copyrighted work(s).   In the order issued on the 23rd December the court ruled:   “Since the respondent 1 (Centre) and 2 (Copyright Office) have already initiated an inquiry and are taking action vis-a-vis the respondents 3 (PPL) and 4 (IPRS) and their stand is that neither of the three respondents, i.e 3, 4 and 5 (Novex) are registered in terms of section 33 of the Act, till the next date of hearing, respondents 3 to 5 are restrained from acting in contravention of section 33 of the Act..”. The  court listed the matter for a further hearing on April 24th.   In July 2015, the Delhi Organisers and Artists Society and the Mumbai based Organisers and Artists Welfare Trust said that the IPRS and PPL had been de-registered…

Culture Committee calls for a ban on ticketing ‘bots’
Consumers , Live Events / December 2016
UK

CONSUMER LAW Live events sector     The Culture, Media and Sport Committee has written to the UK’s Secretary of State for Culture, media & Sport Culture, Karen Bradley MP, asking her to ban the use of ‘bots’ – software programmes used by touts to harvest tickets for resale in the secondary market. The letter also raises concerns about the operation of the event ticketing market following last week’s evidence session on ticket abuse for the Committee, citing “inappropriately close relationships” between those selling tickets on the primary market and the resellers on the secondary market which was recently exposed in Italy, where the boss of Live Nation had to admit that the promoter did directly provide tickets to the resale website Viagogo. Committee chairman Damian Collins MPsaid “The answers we got from witnesses representing the ticket sellers and resellers went from complacent to evasive” adding “Their failure to provide the most basic assurances about what they’re doing to tackle known large scale touts and fraudsters operating on their own sites – we had an example on screen in front of a Member in the session – have led us to believe there may be much bigger problems in this…

Canadian ticket agency fined for additional fees
Consumers , Live Events / December 2016
Canada
Germany

CONSUMER Live events sector   Canadian promoter and ticket agency Evenko has been fined C$10,056 for misleadingly pricing concert tickets after Quebec’s Office of Consumer Protection (L’Office de la protection du consommateur, OPC) took action against L’Aréna des Canadiens, Inc., trading as Evenko OPC found the company failed to offer a free delivery method for tickets to shows by Charles Aznavour and Enrique Iglesias at the 21,000 capacity Centre Bell in Montreal in 2014. The OPC noted that in Quebec “it is prohibited for any merchant, manufacturer or advertiser to charge a higher price than that advertised.” According to OPC, Evenko charged $5 to email the tickets or $7 to have them posted, and offered no option for picking up tickets (for free) at the box office. In Quebec the OPC say “Traders are compelled to provide an ‘all-inclusive’ price” for tickets, “which includes all fees except taxes. For example, in the case of a concert ticket, the price must include the service charge and [any other] fees related to the delivery of the ticket.” In September the district court of Bremen, Germany, ruled that charging fees on print-at-home tickets is unlawful. In New York Live Nation/Ticketmaster is facing a claim from plaintiff…

Nightclub banned from using music without a licence
Copyright , Live Events / December 2016
UK

COPYRIGHT Live events sector     Essex nightclub Miya, which has featured in the hit ITV show The Only Way Is Essex, has been ordered to stop using music and sound recordings after a trial for copyright infringement. In an action brought by Phonographic Performance Limited and PRS for Music (PPL and PRS) the Court found that Kerry Ormes, the nightclub’s designated premises supervisor, (charged with the day-to-day management of premises under the Licensing Act 2003) was liable for authorising and procuring acts infringing copyright, namely the playing of sound recordings and musical works at the club without the requisite licences from PPL and PRS for Music. Ormes had denied liability say the licences were not her responsibility, but the court found that Ormes acted as the nightclub manager and that her responsibilities would generally include the booking of DJs and dealing with promoters. Clark awarded PPL and PRS for Music an injunction against the defendant to prevent further infringement by Ormes at any public premises, and awarded damages against Ormes personally. A costs hearing will take place in January 2017. PPL said that it had repeatedly contacted the business owner to get the correct licensing in place and only after that failed was proceedings issued in…

US radio industry accuses Global Music Rights of monopoly abuse
Competition , Live Events / December 2016
USA

COMPETITON / ANTI TRUST Live events sector   America’s newest performing rights organisation Global Music Rights (GMR) is facing a law suit brought by the US radio industry in a move to force the rights agency to submit to independent arbitration to set the rates broadcasters must pay to play the songs it represents In the US, the big two collecting societies representing the performing right in compositions (ASCAP and BMI) are regulated by so called ‘consent decrees’ which are in themselves somewhat controversial. However, there are also two other smaller performing rights organisations in the US – SESAC and the much newer Global Music Rights – which sit outside the consent decrees, arguably giving those organisations much more flexibility. And GMR has some impressive clients naming The Eagles, Pharrell Williams, Boston, Foreigner, John Lennon, Smokey Robinson, Chris Cornell, and George and Ira Gershwin amongst its performing right clients. GMR was founded by artist manager Irving Azoff in 2014. Confirming its litigation last week, the RMLC said: “GMR, a public-performance-right licensing agency, is distinguished from ASCAP and BMI, in particular, in that it is a privately-held, for-profit firm that has created a bottleneck to, and artificial monopoly over, the works…

Fabric gets a second chance with new licence conditions
Licensing , Live Events / December 2016
UK

LICENSING Live events sector   Following extensive talks with Islington Council and the Metropolitan Police, and the public outcry at the threatened permanent closure, London’s Fabric nightclub will reopen after Highbury Magistrates Court approved a new set of licensing conditions. The exact reopening date has not been decided as yet. Fabric raised a six figure sum in excess of £325,000 from donations to fund legal fees to fight the closure. Philip Kolvin QC for Fabric told the court that fabric “has always set about trying to lead the industry,” and has engaged in a “root and branch reappraisal” of its operating procedures. Fabric and the Authority have issued a joint statement detailing new conditions and these include the use of a new ID scanning system, enhanced searching procedures, physical changes to the club, and lifetime bans for anyone found in possession of drugs or attempting to buy drugs in the club.  Sniffer dogs, which police had tried to enforce at the end of 2014 need not be used by the Club.  An appeal had been planned against the August decision by Islington council’s licensing sub-committee to revoke fabric’s license following the deaths of two 18-year-old clubbers. That appeal, which was scheduled to…

Coldplay’s Indian debut overcomes legal challenge
Live Events , Taxation / December 2016
India
UK

TAXATION Live events sector   Coldplay’s debut show in India has been allowed to go ahead, following the failure of a legal challenge in the High Court of Bombay. Anti-corruption activists Anjali Damania and Hemant Gavande challenged a decision by the Maharashtra state government, which had waived entertainment duty on the concert: their challenge was based on the argument that the British band’s performance at the not-for-profit Global Citizen festival would not qualify as an educational or charitable activity, as required by the Bombay Entertainments Duty Act 1923. The event, at the Bandra Kurla Complex in Mumbai, also features Jay-Z, Demi Levato and a host of local acts.   Judges Manjula Chellur and MS Sonak found in favour of Global Citizen and acting advocate-general Rohit Deo, who said the festival was “an eight-hour programme, and the concert by Coldplay is just part of it. The festival is to create awareness of three subjects: gender equality, education and clean water”. Deo said that only 11,000 out of the 80,000 tickets would be sold, and 65,000 would be free to those who have demonstrated their commitment to positive social change – as with previous Global Citizen events: tickets could be won by promoting the charity’s work (by,…

Detonate Hallowe’en shut down after over crowding
Health & Safety , Live Events / December 2016
UK

HEALTH & SAFETY Live events sector   The promoter of Detonate Halloween, in Nottingham, UK, says it is “gutted” after being forced to call off the event three hours early amid claims of serious overcrowding following fence breaches at Nottingham Racecourse on the 29th October 2016. The event was ended at around 20.20, three hours early, on the advice of the festival’s health and safety officer and Nottinghamshire police, which meant cancelling or cutting short sets by Kano, New York Transit Authority, Kurupt FM, Andy C, TQD and The Prototypes and 2Shy. A sister event at the O2 Academy in Sheffield went ahead as planned. The site was said to be clear of guests by 21.00.   In a statement, promoter Detonate said “The safety issue was due to the majority of people wanting to be in one tent, which caused large queues. When some of the surrounding fence was breached and crowds surged, action had to be taken to avoid people being injured.” “Flow of people is estimated based on capacities of each area; popularity of the acts which are on at the same time in each arena; and dynamic assessments on the day. We surveyed our ticketholders in the lead…

Buenos Aires EDM ban hits Kraftwerk
Health & Safety , Live Events / December 2016
Argentina

HEALTH & SAFETY Live events sector   Following the six fatalities that occurred as a result of drug overdoses at Time Warp back in April of this year, The Mayor of Argentina’s capital Buenos Aires stopped issuing permits for major electronic music festivals.  Mayor Horacio Rodriguez Larreta  said the measure would remain in effect until the city legislature approved a new law to prevent drug abuse during such events. At the tine five people have been arrested. But the ban, for electronic music concerts “that use synthesizers or samplers as their primary instrument” has led to a difficult situation for electronic group Kraftwerk: The German based band had a show scheduled on November 23rd at Luna Park in Buenos Aires. Event organisers, promoters Move Concerts, have said that they had already received the go-ahead to start selling tickets, 70% of which have already been sold, prior to receiving the news of the recent amendment. Kraftwerk (“power plant” in German) began in 1970 by founders  Ralf Hütter and Florian Schneider by experimenting with sampling and synthesising sounds and turning them into songs. They were among the first successful pop acts to popularise electronic music and are widely considered to be innovators and pioneers of the genre,…

Director cleared of manslaughter after Fishermen’s Friend’s deaths
Health & Safety , Live Events / December 2016
UK

HEALTH & SAFETY Live events sector   The director of a door manufacturing company has been cleared of manslaughter resulting from the deaths of Fisherman’s Friends singer Trevor Grills and tour manager Paul McMullen at Guildford’s G Live venue in February 2013. Grills, 54, and McMullen, 44, were killed after a two-tonne steel door, which allowed backstage access from the outside, collapsed on them.Grills suffered critical injuries after being hit by the falling metal door at  and  McMullen, 44, from Disley in Cheshire, died at the incident. Officers said Mr McMullen suffered serious injuries to his legs and died at the scene. Police were called to the London Road venue just after 11:45 GMT on February 9th after a report that two men were trapped under a metal door in a loading bay. The 10-piece band had been due to perform at the venue later that day. In October 2016 the jury in the trial visited the venue. On the opening day of the trial, the jury was told doors manufactured by Mr David Naylor’s company had failed previously. Proesecutor Zoe Johnson QC said: “The prosecution alleges that the failure to have an anti-drop safeguard coupled with other evidence of earlier door collapses and this…

WSJ probe Bon Jovi’s China cancellation
Contract , Live Events / November 2016
China
USA

CONTRACT Live events sector   The Wall Street Journal has published an article which seemingly alleges that AEG Live used a video of Bon Jovi “performing in front of an image of the Dalai Lama” to convince Chinese censors to ban the rock act – and thus force the cancellation of a concert tour in China which was being promoted by AEG. The supposed reason?  The third party intervention by Chinese authorities would be an instance of ‘force majeure’ – forcing the cancellation of the tour which was not selling well, saving AEG some $4 million. WSJ say that whilst AEG did not offer any explanation for the cancellations at the time, it was widely reported at the time that the Chinese government withdrew permission for the tour after they became aware of a performance by the band a few years earlier in front of an image of the Dalai Lama – and WSJ say unnamed sources have said that individuals close to AEG Live ensured Chinese officials saw the videos with the intent of cutting potentially steep losses for the shows. Jay Marciano, chairman of AEG Live and chief operating officer of AEG, categorically rejected the account, telling the Journal….

Beatles’ team move to dismiss Shea Stadium copyright claims
Copyright , Live Events / November 2016
UK
USA

COPYRIGHT Live events sector, films and television   Last month we reported that estate of Sid Bernstein, who promoted the Beatles’ famed August 1965 concert at Shea Stadium in New York, was taking legal action against two of the bands’ companies, Apple Corps and Subafilms, for alleged copyright infringement over use of footage from the concert in upcoming documentary film Eight Days a Week: The Touring Years – directed by Ron Howard. The film has been produced in cooperation with both surviving Beatles Paul McCartney and Ringo Strarr, and the widows of George Harrison (Olivia) and John Lennon (Yoko Ono) and includes 30 minutes of remastered footage from Shea Stadium. It is understood that the the copyright in the film later acquired by Apple Corps, founded by The Beatles in 1968, and film-distribution outfit Subafilms. Sid Bernstein Presents has challenged that ownership of the copyright and in turn claims ownership of the concert footage, parts of which have appeared previously in the Ed Sullivan-produced film The Beatles at Shea Stadium and in the Anthology documentary series.  Billboard reports that the claim proposes several solutions, including having Sid Bernstein Presents named sole author, or joint author (with The Beatles) as well as a declaration that previous use of…

Chicago says DJs and rap are art forms
Licensing , Live Events / November 2016
USA

LICENSING Live events sector   Chicago’s small venues are breathing a sigh of relief following the decision by Cook County to officially recognise popular music and DJ performances as legitimate forms of art. Several Chicago music venues have been locked in a dispute with the county over US$200,000 worth of “crippling” back taxes after one official, Anita Richardson, said DJs, “rap music, country music and rock and roll do not fall under the definition of ‘fine art’”, which would otherwise make the exempt from Cook County’s 3% amusement tax. The Cook County Board of Commissioners has now agreed wording that would accept “the validity of live music and DJ performances as recognised artforms”  and rthis has the support of the administration, the commissioners and the local music industry and that the local athoritry won’t be acting as ‘culture police’ in the near future Last month the city of Berlin afforded a similar tax break to the Berghain nightclub, ruling the techno haven should pay the same lower 7% tax rate as a site of high culture alongside museums, theatres and classical music venues. http://www.iq-mag.net/2016/10/live-music-fine-art-cook-county/#.WAZGdeArKM9

Foos settle insurance claim
Insurance , Live Events / November 2016
USA

INSURANCE Live events sector   Foo Fighters have settled a lawsuit relating to a series of cancelled concerts during the band’s 2015 world tour. The American band were forced to cancel portions of their Sonic Highways world tour following lead singer Dave Grohl’s breaking his leg and, later, the November terrorist attacks in Paris.   The Central District Court of California has now dismissed a lawsuit by Foo Fighters which had accused London insurers of failing to cover losses incurred by concerts cancelled last year and accused the band’s own brokers of failing to adequately advise the band of the potential impact additional shows on London could have on their insurance claim” and that Robertson Taylor failed to adequately inform the band that, if it decided to add these shows to the Tour, the London Market Insurers would attempt to recharacterise the cancelled Wembley Stadium and BT Murrayfield Stadium performances” as being “rescheduled,” which would dramatically reduce the amount those insurers would owe in a claim saying their brokers sided with insurers.   The original complaint alleged “London market insurers’ inconsistent, erratic and unreasonable behaviour […] caused significant financial harm to Foo Fighters” by refusing to pay out under insurance…

Live Nation sued over US booking fees
Competition , Live Events / November 2016
USA

COMPETITION Live events sector   A New York man is suing Live Nation over its practice of charging booking fees on tickets, accusing the promoter and its ticketing companies of violating the Truth in Lending Act by “advertising one price for a ticket and then charging a higher price when people arrive at the box office”.   David Himber, of West Hempstead, had complained that the price for an advertised $49.50 ticket to Rascal Flatts’ show at the Jones Beach Theater (15,000-cap.) was actually $55.50 and his lawyer told the New York Daily News that “The advertised price is available to nobody”.   In Himber v. Live Nation Worldwide, Inc. et al, Himber is seeking to have Live Nation to refund the fees (including his $6) and pay statutory damages of $50 per ticket and $500 per purchase to all Live Nation box-office customers from the last three years.   Himber has filed three previous lawsuits in the Long Island federal court, although his lawyer Abraham Kleinman told the Daily News that his client wasn’t a prolific litigant. “Mr Himber successfully prosecuted his case against the Automobile Club of New York which displayed too much of his credit card information…

Rock am Ring organisers cleared of blame for extreme weather evacuation
Health & Safety , Live Events / November 2016
Germany

HEALTH & SAFETY Live events sector   There will be no prosecution of the organisers of the storm-hit Rock Am Ring 2016. Following a anonymous complaint The Koblenz public prosecutor, investigated the safety procedures and emergency storm plan drawn up by festival promoters Marek and Andre Lieberberg/CTS Eventim and licensing authorities and found no evidence of negligence on either part.   At the International Festival Forum in an interview with both Marek and Andre Lieberberg, the promoting father and son due suggested that the authorities had compounded an already bad situation caused by the extreme weather by making unfounded decisions and putting concert goers at further risk. The final day of Rock am Ring was called off by local authorities who revoked the licence after another lightning storm warning:  72 people were treated in hospital and some people had been injured by lightning, some seriously. In fact the last day was relatively free of bad weather, with just one heavy downpour as storms swept across Europe. In a statement, the festival asked fans to leave the site “no later than noon on Sunday” (the predicted storms were die by 13.00).   “The organisers accept the decision [of local officials] because of our…

Radiohead fatality case can progress despite slow pace
Health & Safety , Live Events / November 2016
Canada
UK

HEALTH & SAFETY Live events sector   Live Nation Canada’s moves to have charges it faces over the death of a drum technician before a Radiohead concert four years ago dismissed because of “unreasonable delay” in the case have failed. Scott Johnson, 33, from Doncaster, South Yorkshire, was killed when the stage collapsed in Downsview Park, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, on June 16, 2012.  Live Nation Canada, Live Nation Ontario and Optex Staging and Services each face four charges under the Canadian Occupational Health and Safety Act.  Engineer Dominic Cugliari faces one charge of endangering a worker by negligence. All have pleaded not guilty and the trial had begun last year after charges were brought in June 2013. The trial is not due to conclude until January 2017   According to the Toronto Star, the trial judge Justice Shaun Nakatsuru has agreed that the long period of time so far taken up by the case was acceptable because of the complexity of the evidence needed to determine “The issue of how the stage collapsed, and who is responsible for that” saying this was “complex”.   The trial is scheduled to resume on December 5th. The maximum fine against a corporation, if convicted, is $500,000…

Anti-graft law may threaten K-pop concerts
Live Events , Regulation / November 2016
South Korea

CORPORATE REGULATION Live events sector   The new “anti-graft” law (the Kim Young-ran Act) could have profound effects on live music in South Korea – something already seen in the classical music sector as conglomerates have moved to reduce or discontinue their support for concerts to avoid corruption charges – meaning symphony orchestras and concert organisers will lose the main buyers of bulk tickets, with concerts relying on corporate sponsorship for about half of ticket sales with the companies often using the tickets VIP customers as part of marketing promotions. “Orchestras are desperate for funding but it’s always difficult to find a patron. The new law will discourage companies even further from sponsoring orchestras,” said a public relations (PR) official for a renowned Korean orchestra, declining to be named adding “Companies will find it harder sending out invitation tickets and some are considering ditching sponsorship. I heard that one company has pulled out of sponsorship entirely.” Major domestic companies said they will cut their sponsorship of various cultural events as the anti-graft law mean companies cannot give out tickets to customers with one telecoms company saying “The ridiculous law will practically outlaw the sponsorship of classical concerts by big companies, taking a toll on…

SFX oppose Sillerman claims
Business , Live Events , Record Labels / November 2016
USA

BANKRUPTCY Live events sector, recorded music   SFX’s founder Robert FX Sillerman, who stood down as CEO shortly after the firm applied for Chapter Eleven bankruptcy protection, has filed a claim for monies to cover legal costs and financial guarantees he made on behalf of the business. According to Amplify, Sillerman has requested just over half a million dollars o pay the law firm he has hired to represent him in litigation where both he and SFX are co-defendants. The Company has objected to the claim. Sillerman is also seeking over $15 million in relation to guarantees he made as part of deals between SFX and both Spotify and Chicago-based promoter React Presents. Here lawyers for SFX argue that there is no evidence that Sillerman has, to date, made any payments to the beneficiaries of the guarantees, arguing that his claims against the company are contingent on such payments having been made. As well as seeking to block the claims for legal fees and other cash, SFX are also opposing several requests made by Sillerman to indemnify himself from future lawsuits in relation to his former business. It also seems that SFX Entertainment has fallen out with another high-profile brand partner –…