Ticket re-seller faces fraud allegations
Fraud , Live Events / November 2016
USA

FRAUD Live events sector   42 year old Traci Monti, who allegedly raised more than US$5 million from investors to buy and sell tickets on the secondary ticketing market, has been charged with seven counts of wire fraud – each of which is punishable by up to 20 years in prison – and two counts of money laundering, each of which carries a maximum sentence of ten years. It is alleged Monti ispent the money on a house and car, and had been arrested by Chicago police. According to the indictment by the US attorney for the northern district of Illinois and the Chicago offices of the FBI and Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Monti, who was once Joan Jett’s publicist,  told investors she had “business relationships with multiple primary market sources, such as event promoters and venues, through which she purportedly purchased tickets at face value”. The indictment alleges these relationships didn’t exist, and that in reality Monti used the victims’ funds to fund her lifestyle and to make “ponzi-type payments to other investors”.   Monti pleaded not guilty in the arraignment. A pre-trial status hearing is set for the 9th of November.   In 2012, Monti faced a legal action…

Shea promoter’s estate brings action against new Beatles film
Copyright , Live Events / October 2016
USA

COPYRIGHT Film & TV, live events sector   The estate of Sid Bernstein, who promoted the Beatles’ famed August 1965 concert at Shea Stadium in New York, is 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 the footage is…

APA take on Gersh over ‘poaching’ of agent
Competition , Contract , Live Events / October 2016
USA

CONTRACT / COMPETITION Live events sector   Two US booking agencies are battling it out in the Superior Court of Los Angeles over the alleged poaching of Beverly Hills-based agent Garrett Smith.  The Agency for the Performing Arts (APA), whose clients includes Paul Oakenfold, 50 Cent, The Proclaimers and Scorpions, is seeking damages for interference with contractual relations, interference with prospective economic advantage and unfair competition from the Gersh Agency, of which Smith is now an employee, despite being under contract with APA until September 2017. APA is also suing Smith himself for breach of contract, breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing, breach of fiduciary duty, breach of the duty of loyalty and unfair competition.   The APA complaint alleges that Gersh “hired Smith despite being specifically advised by plaintiff [APA] that plaintiff was entitled to Smith’s exclusive services for the duration of the employment agreement” and “Defendant knew of the economic relationship between plaintiff and Smith, and intended to disrupt and interfere with that relationship”   http://www.iq-mag.net/2016/09/us-agencies-war-poaching-claims-garrett-smith/#.V9J3TZgrKM9

SFX faces two decisions in the bankruptcy court
Competition , Contract , Internet , Live Events / October 2016
USA

CONTRACT / COMPETITION Live events sector, online   A US bankruptcy judge has allowed Viagogo to proceed with a legal action against SFX Entertainment. modifying the “automatic stay” applied to SFX. Under Chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code, creditors are usually barred from collecting debts from the debtor. and allowing the secondary ticketing platform to “assert and prosecute any and all counterclaims” against SFX. Having reviewed the request, Judge Mary F Walrath determined “sufficient cause exists to approve the motion”.  Viagogo is seeking “in excess” of US$1.6 million from SFX, which went into administration on 1 February, for allegedly failing to adhere to the terms if a five-year, $75m sponsorship agreement signed by the two companies in 2014. The deal granted Viagogo exclusive ticket resale rights some 50 SFX-promoted events and SFX agreed to “deliver exclusive marketing and ticketing rights with respect to a number of designated ‘major’ SFX events.   In other SFX news, an Italian EDM record label is requesting a probe into how third parties might be artificially influencing SFX’s digital music charts. Art & Music Recording (AMR) has requested the Delaware judge overseeing SFX’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy case order the company to reveal what it knows about…

Print at home’ ticket fees ruled illegal in Germany
Consumers , Live Events / October 2016
Germany

CONSUMER Live events sector   A German court has delivered a preliminary ruling that fees for ‘print at home’ tickets should not be allowed, in a case brought against ticketing firm CTS Eventim by consumer rights group Verbraucherzentrale NRW. In their press release, Verbraucherzentrale NRW said that the ruling, could pave the way for similar action against other ticketing agencies which charge similar fees. The court said that if a fee was charged, then the provider was contractually bound to send out actual tickets. CTS Eventim charged customers a €2.50 fee for printing tickets at home through their “print @ home” and “ticketdirect” options. The decision is not (as yet) legally binding, The district court of Bermen found that services charges on self-printed tickets, better known here as print-at-home tickets, are “inadmissible,” or unzulässig in German and that CTS Eventim cannot charge such fees to their customers. The court ruled that the company can only charge ticket fees on “postage costs.” CTS Eventim has told IQ that it intends to appeal the ruling, which has yet to be reatifed by the higher court. http://www.completemusicupdate.com/article/german-court-rules-print-at-home-ticket-fees-illegal/

London nightclub Fabric to close permanently after licence revoked
Licensing , Live Events / October 2016
UK

LICENSING Live events sector   One of Britain’s best known nightclubs, Fabric, has been forced to close permanently after its licence was revoked following the drug-related deaths of two people. After deliberation that lasted into the early hours of Wednesday morning, the local council decided that searches by security staff at the London venue had been “inadequate and in breach of the licence”. “People entering the club were inadequately searched,” Islington Borough Council’s decision read adding that covert police operations suggested people were openly buying and taking illegal drugs on the premises and that staff should have been aware of this: “Staff intervention and security was grossly inadequate in light of the overwhelming evidence that it was abundantly obvious that patrons in the club were on drugs and manifesting symptoms showing that they were” …. This included sweating, glazed red eyes and staring into space, and people asking for help.” The Metropolitan Police had asked the council to shut down the 2,500-capacity nightclub after the deaths of two teenagers in the space of nine weeks. One died after collapsing outside the club in August, while another died in late June. In documents provided to the council, superintendent Stuart Ryan wrote: “If the…

Is Hackney using underhand methods to close down the night-time industries?
Licensing , Live Events / October 2016
UK

LICENSING / PRIVACY Live events sector     Thousands of clubbers have had their names shared secretly with the Metropolitan Police. The 200-capacity Studio Spaces was granted an alcohol licence by Hackney Council in January 2014, on the condition that director Yuval Hen supply the Metropolitan police and the council with a list of everyone attending events of 40 people or more 48 hours in advance. The Hackney Gazette reports that Hen initially complied, but later became aware that he was the only licensee in the area having to hand over names. He has since relaunched the venue as a ‘co-working space’. Hen told IQ magazine “The conditions killed us. We got lots of cancellations from people saying, ‘We don’t want to give you the guest list.’ It’s a nightmare – we can’t run a business like that with only 40 people allowed inside.” Hackney Council tells the Islington Gazette that the ruling was made to ensure the venue didn’t exceed its 24 permitted events of over 40 people. Nappter Tandy, who runs promoter Turf Series, has put on shows at Studio Spaces and says he was unaware guestlists were being sent to police saying “It’s extremely disappointing councils like Hackney…

Sydney’s ‘lock out’ laws take a knock
Licensing , Live Events / October 2016
Australia

LICENSING Live events sector   The Supreme Court of New South Wales has ruled that Sydney venues are exempt from New South Wales’s controversial ‘lock-out laws’ which were introduced by the New South Wales (NSW) government in 2014 and require that music venues, nightclubs, bars and hotels lock their doors at 1.30am and not serve drinks past 3.00 in a bid to curb alcohol-related violence. The legislation has been attacked by a number of prominent Australians as illogical and damaging to the music industry. This case was brought by the owners of the Smoking Panda bar who persuaded the Court that  the New South Wales Justice Department lacked the authority to subject to the city to the 1.30 curfew. The bar now joins tourist areas and hotels which are already exempt from the lock-outs, The Smoking Panda’s exemption was cancelled after an investigation found some bar patrons were not hotel guests.   In addition to live music venues, Supreme Court judge Natalie Adams also ruled that strip clubs should be exempt, stating the laws are “not a proper exercise of the regulation-making power conferred upon the governor [of New South Wales]”. Lock-out laws continue to apply to other establishments. The…

Sydney’s late night industry not impressed by independent review
Licensing , Live Events / October 2016
Australia

LICENSING Live events sector     The independent report into Sydney’s controversial ‘Lock Out’ laws by former High Court judge Ian Callinan has recommended a two-year trial in which the 1.30am lockout and 3am last drinks measures are relaxed for live entertainment venues. Easing those restrictions by half-an-hour could help restore the vibrancy and lost employment opportunities in the precincts affected by the laws Callinan said in his report. The previous O’Farrell government introduced the laws in 2014, following a series of fatal one-punch attacks and other violence.   NSW state premier Mike Baird said he was pleased the review had confirmed the laws had reduced alcohol-related violence in the CBD and Kings Cross area. He said the government would consult with Mr Callinan and the industry to clarify a clear definition of live entertainment venues, including whether it should include recorded music or DJs. Opponents of the lockout laws had hoped the Report would prove their claim that the measures passed by the New South Wales government in 2014 had pretty much killed Sydney’s nightlife. The laws were originally passed in an effort to end alcohol-fuelled violence in Sydney’s key nightlife areas, such as Kings Cross. Callinan acknowledged the adverse effect the…

Techno’s beating heart is a place of high culture in German law
Live Events / October 2016
Germany

PLANNING Live events sector   While British institutions of power seem to work towards suppressing the country’s nightlife, German authorities are taking the opposite approach. According to German publication Der Spiegel, Berghain has won a legal case that defines its activity as “high culture” – with the Brandenburg court ruling that Berghain, the 1,600-capacity Berlin nightclub widely regarded as the world capital of techno, is a place of cultural significance and thus entitled to be tax as a site of high culture. The court battle stemmed from Berghain being threatened by greater taxation. German law taxes institutions classed as ‘entertainment’ at a rate of 19 per cent, while institutions seen as sites of ‘high culture’ are taxed at seven per cent. Tax officials argued that Berghain is “ruled by entertainment, not by culture” since it’s a place where people dance, have fun and take drugs, while the nightspot countered that as a site of musical performances it should be afforded the same standing as classical music halls. In the past Berghain (pictured) would pay tax of 7% on its earnings – the same rate as museums, theatre and concert venues. The German fiscal court in Cottbus ruled in favour of Berghain,…

Mayor to implement ‘agent of change’ principle in London Plan
Live Events / October 2016
UK

PLANNING Live events sector   London Mayor Sadiq Khan has said he plans to introduce the ‘agent of change’ principle into the next London Plan to protect London’s cultural heritage and vibrant night life from the actions of developers building residential homes near existing cultural venues. The move comes after more than 25,000 people signed a petition to save Mayfair’s historic Curzon cinema from being shut down over a soundproofing dispute. Developers 38 Curzon Ltd, who are converting office space above the cinema into luxury flats, have complained of noise from films shown velow. Reports say the developers want the 82-year-old cinema to foot the £500,000 bill for soundproofing work. But the the Curzon said it cannot afford and that as the building is a listed building iut would “never obtain approval for as the auditorium and surrounding walls” The deadlock has resulted in a court “action for forfeiture”, meaning the cinema faces surrendering its lease and vacating the building. Khan told the London Evening Standard: “I intend to protect venues like the Curzon Mayfair by introducing an ‘Agent of Change’ rule into the next London Plan. That would mean developers building flats near existing venues will need to ensure that residents are not…

Love Parade litigation re-commenced
Health & Safety , Live Events / October 2016
Germany

HEALTH & SAFETY Live events sector     Three people injured at the tragic  2010 Love Parade have commenced new civil proceedings in Germany against those involved in organising the tragic 2010 festival. There have been over unsuccessful 30 civil cases brought against festival promoter Lopavent, the city of Duisburg and the state of North Rhine-Westphalia since 2010. In April this year a court that no one would stand trial over the disaster, which left 21 dead and over 500 were injured. 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 was permanently cancelled by organisers. German public broadcaster WDR reports that one woman, who suffered concussion, is seeking €73,000 in damages, with two more seeking between €34,000 and €56,000 each. Lawyer Bärbel Schönhof who is representing the first woman, a 51-year-old from Duisburg, says despite the failure of earlier lawsuits she is confident of a victory, “because I am of the view that [the] irresponsible behaviour of…

Live Nation faces claims from injured fans
Health & Safety , Live Events / October 2016
USA

HEALTH & SAFETY Live events sector   Fourteen fans and three workers are suing promoter Live Nation and performers Snoop Dogg and Wiz Khalifa over injuries sustained after a fence collapsed at a concert. A total of 42 people were injured in the incident at the BB&T Pavilion amphitheatre in New Jersey on August 5. The lawsuit provides a list of injuries which included six concussions, one fractured vertebrae, a fractured collarbone, two head wounds closed with staples, broken bones in the wrist and foot, and numerous lacerations, contusions and recurring head and neck pain. Attorney Robert J. Mongeluzzi said on behalf of the victims he represents: “Our clients, and many others who attended the concert, were seriously injured because of the negligent conduct of the defendants who failed miserably in their duty to protect the audience and workers from harm”. Another attorney acting for victims, Steven G. Wigrizer,  said: “Every plaintiff has asked us to do all we can to help prevent a re-occurrence through the litigation. Pure luck – not thoughtful planning by Live Nation or anyone else – is the only reason nobody died in that terrifying incident.”. The claimants allege that there was “a clearly hazardous stage configuration within…

Australian Greens prompt review of drug laws
Licensing , Live Events / October 2016
Australia

LICENSING Live events sector   The Green Party in Australia has prompted a rewiew of  drug laws after successfully passing a motion through the Senate calling for the introduction of pill testing and an end to the use of sniffer dogs at music festivals.  The motion passed without objection from either major party, and calls for an number of harm reduction measures, including “needle and syringe programs”, “supervised injecting rooms” and “pill testing”. “We know that [dogs] frighten people into taking their drugs in one hit and are contributing to overdoses rather than preventing them,” Greens leader Richard Di Natalie wrote in The Guardian earlier this year, adding that “a government’s responsibility is to keep our young people safe.” Comment in Austrlia says that any meaningful change will require the cooperation of the state governments – but that this remains unlikely. NSW Premier Mike Baird has previously dismissed the concept of pill testing as “ridiculous”, while Tasmanian Police Minister Rene Hidding called it “quality assurance for drug pushers” – despite the fact that Tasmania’s police association came out in support of just such a proposal.   http://junkee.com/senate-passed-motion-calling-pill-testing-removal-festival-sniffer-dogs/84381   https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/mar/02/richard-di-natale-we-need-to-reclaim-our-courage-and-vision-on-drugs-policy

Belgian promoters react with fury to planned tariff rise
Copyright , Live Events / September 2016
Belgium

COPYRIGHT Live events sector   Belgian promoters have reacted with fury to an increase in festival tariffs announced by local performance rights organisation (PRO) Sabam (Société d’Auteurs Belge/Belgische Auteurs Maatschappij) which is planned for 1 January 2017. The rates shake-up will primarily affect larger festivals, which currently benefit from a discount in Sabam’s standard tariff of 6% on box-office receipts. The lowest rate is currently 2.5%, for festivals with box office that exceeds €3.2 million. Flemish-language paper De Morgen says this will rise to around 3.5%   Live Nation Belgium’s Herman Schueremans, promoter of Rock Werchter and TW Classic, calls Sabam “unreasonable” and says the Sabam wants to “kill the goose that lays the golden egg” with the end of the current licence discount. Schueremans pointed to the UK’s tariff of 3% of gross box-office receipts.  In turn, the UK the Association of Independent Festivals has recently suggested a reduction in the UK Tariff LP for live events (which is also under review by PRS for Music) to reflect the unique position of multi stage and multi artist outdoor events and that that PRS for Music do not taking in consideration that many festivals are actually multi-arts events or that not…

Solfest survives police licence challenge
Licensing , Live Events / September 2016
UK

LICENSING Live events sector     Solfest which takes place near Silloth in Cumbria (August 26-28) will go ahead despite a request from the Police to revoke the event’s licence, saying organisers had failed to provide a detailed event management plan in enough time. In a report to Allerdale Council’s licensing panel members, Superintendent Gary Slater said “It is the submission of Cumbria Constabulary that the event organisers are unable to satisfy the event safety group or the constabulary that they have the plans, capacity and capability to maintain public safety, protect children from harm, prevent crime and disorder and prevent public nuisance.” The Panel has the power to revoke the festival’s licence and stop it going ahead. It can also modify the licence’s conditions, remove the premises’ supervisor, suspend the licence for three months or exclude a licensable activity from the licence. Allerdale Council have allowed the event to continue but have sent the Festival’s organising committee a written warning.   However, one of London’s biggest nightclubs has closed its doors for the foreseeable future. It comes after two teenagers died of suspected drug overdoses in the last nine weeks. Fabric in Farringdon initially announced it was closing for the weekend…

Sydney’s ‘lock out’ laws take a knock
Licensing , Live Events / September 2016
Australia

LICENSING Live events sector     The Supreme Court of New South Wales has ruled that Sydney venues are exempt from New South Wales’s controversial ‘lock-out laws’ which were introduced by the New South Wales (NSW) government in 2014 and require that music venues, nightclubs, bars and hotels lock their doors at 1.30am and not serve drinks past 3.00 in a bid to curb alcohol-related violence. The legislation has been attacked by a number of prominent Australians as illogical and damaging to the music industry. This case was brought by the owners of the Smoking Panda bar who persuaded the Court that  the New South Wales Justice Department lacked the authority to subject to the city to the 1.30 curfew. The bar now joins tourist areas and hotels which are already exempt from the lock-outs, The Smoking Panda’s exemption was cancelled after an investigation found some bar patrons were not hotel guests.   In addition to live music venues, Supreme Court judge Natalie Adams also ruled strip clubs should be exempt, stating the laws are “not a proper exercise of the regulation-making power conferred upon the governor [of New South Wales]”. Lock-out laws continue to apply to other establishments. The…

Is Hackney using underhand methods to close down the night-time industries?
Licensing , Live Events / September 2016
UK

LICENSING / PRIVACY Live events sector     Thousands of clubbers have had their names shared secretly with the Metropolitan Police. The 200-capacity Studio Spaces was granted an alcohol licence by Hackney Council in January 2014, on the condition that director Yuval Hen supply the Metropolitan police and the council with a list of everyone attending events of 40 people or more 48 hours in advance. The Hackney Gazette reports that Hen initially complied, but later became aware that he was the only licensee in the area having to hand over names. He has since relaunched the venue as a ‘co-working space’. Hen told IQ magazine “The conditions killed us. We got lots of cancellations from people saying, ‘We don’t want to give you the guest list.’ It’s a nightmare – we can’t run a business like that with only 40 people allowed inside.” Hackney Council tells the Islington Gazette that the ruling was made to ensure the venue didn’t exceed its 24 permitted events of over 40 people. Nappter Tandy, who runs promoter Turf Series, has put on shows at Studio Spaces and says he was unaware guestlists were being sent to police saying “It’s extremely disappointing councils like Hackney…

Live Nation faces claims from injured fans
Health & Safety , Live Events / September 2016
USA

HEALTH & SAFETY Live events sector     Fourteen fans and three workers are suing promoter Live Nation and performers Snoop Dogg and Wiz Khalifa over injuries sustained after a fence collapsed at a concert. A total of 42 people were injured in the incident at the BB&T Pavilion amphitheatre in New Jersey on August 5. The lawsuit provides a list of injuries which included six concussions, one fractured vertebrae, a fractured collarbone, two head wounds closed with staples, broken bones in the wrist and foot, and numerous lacerations, contusions and recurring head and neck pain. Attorney Robert J. Mongeluzzi said on behalf of the victims he represents: “Our clients, and many others who attended the concert, were seriously injured because of the negligent conduct of the defendants who failed miserably in their duty to protect the audience and workers from harm”. Another attorney acting for victims, Steven G. Wigrizer, said: “Every plaintiff has asked us to do all we can to help prevent a re-occurrence through the litigation. Pure luck – not thoughtful planning by Live Nation or anyone else – is the only reason nobody died in that terrifying incident.”. The claimants allege that there was “a clearly hazardous stage configuration…

Hard Rock cleared in Akoi incident
Health & Safety , Live Events / September 2016
USA

HEALTH & SAFETY Live events sector   A jury has rejected a concert-goer’s claim for $10.7 million in damages against Hard Rock Hotel after she was injured at a Steve Aoki show when the DJ leapt into an inflatable raft in the crowd. Brittany Hickman, then in her mid twenties, allegedly suffered a concussion and a broken neck when she became trapped under the inflatable raft during a performance at Hard Rock in San Diego in 2012. According to Courtroom View Network, Hickman’s attorneys said Hard Rock should have known Aoki would leap into the crowd and should have taken steps to protect the audience. Hard Rock argued it was given no warning Aoki would perform the stunt, and claimed Hickman’s injuries weren’t as severe as she alleged. Her attorneys presented multiple expert witnesses who testified that the impact left her with a traumatic brain injury requiring a lifetime of costly medical care, but during his closing argument on behalf of the hotel Ernest Weiss of Klinedinst PC dismissed those experts as hired guns brought in to secure a large verdict. Hickman’s attorney John Gomez told the jury that her concussion left her with an impaired memory, slowed mental processing, migraines and vertigo….

Hard Music California leaves three dead in 2016
Health & Safety , Live Events / September 2016
USA

HEALTH & SAFETY / LIABILITY Live events sector   The Hard Music Summer Festival in California has left three people dead. The festival, in its ninth year, takes place at the Auto Club Speedway in San Bernardino County, about 50 miles east of Los Angeles. The music festival experienced two tragic deaths last year in 2015  Some 325 arrests were made at this year’s festival and Sheriff’s officials told KTLA that drugs including marijuana and methamphetamine were confiscated by the police. Reports say that the festival organisers have made attempts to create a safer environment for concert-goers, This year attendees were able to seek medical attention while at the festival if they had taken drugs without legal consequences. Water was readily available and shade was provided if people needed a break from the hot California sun. Temperatures reached the high ninties reports say. Organisers issued a statement saying ““We were deeply saddened to learn about the deaths of three people who attended the festival this weekend. While the causes of the deaths have not yet been determined, we ask everyone to keep them in their prayers. Our sincerest thoughts and condolences are with their family and friends.”   The three…

London local authorities battle over plans for more common concerts
Licensing , Live Events / August 2016
UK

LICENSING Live events sector     IQ reports that two London councils are at loggerheads over plans hold more concerts and large-scale live events on Clapham Common. The the 220-acre park is managed and maintained by Lambeth Council, but the South half of the Park lies in neighbouring Wandsworth, and the latter council has voiced “serious concerns” over a new events strategy proposed by Lambeth that paves the way for the borough to hold up to eight shows a year on Clapham Common, as well as eight each in four other ‘event zones’ (Streatham, North Lambeth, Brixton and Norwood). Lambeth has also approved the increase in maximum sound levels on the common and three other parks. The new music noise level (MNL) will be 75dB L(A), with a maximum low-frequency music noise level (LFMNL) of 90 dB L(C). Wandsworth Council’s environment spokesman, Councillor Jonathan Cook, criticised Lambeth for “burying” the recommendations “some 300 pages into a 520-page” report and says more “noisy music festivals and other loud events” will negatively affect those living near the Common. Mr Cook said: “Instead of trying to conceal the level of opposition that exists to these proposals and trying to sneak them through without the public’s…

Ban on audience pyrotechnics moves closer in the UK
Licensing , Live Events / August 2016
UK

LICENSING Live events sector   MPs have supported a law banning flares and fireworks from UK music concerts and festivals. Conservative MP Nigel Adams put forward the amendment to the Police and Crime Bill, which would make it illegal for concert-goers to carry pyrotechnics including flares, fireworks and smoke bombs into a venue. Flares have been banned at sporting events since 1985. It is a criminal offence to enter or attempt to enter a football ground while in possession of a flare, smoke bomb or firework, punishable by up to three months in prison. The same penalties would now apply to concerts. Football fans in breach of the law have also found themselves banned from football grounds for up to six years. Currently, it is not illegal for fans to bring smoke bombs, flares and fireworks into a concert venue unless it can be proved they intend to cause harm to other people. UK Music, Live Nation and the Association of Independent Festivals (AIF) have all supported the move, with Bestival co-founder Rob da Bank saying “there are increasingly more incidents and the time is right for the Government to act and support organisers in minimising risk” and  UK Music CEO Jo Dipple said “Safety…

Appeal of Mason’s outdoor entertainment law is on the way
Licensing , Live Events / August 2016
USA

LICENSING Live events sector   Residents opposed to music concerts at Marty’s Driving Range in Mason plan to appeal the Board of Selectmen’s denial of a new special town meeting to reconsider a recently approved zoning amendment that will allow the driving range to bring back outdoor entertainment. The move has split the town, which voted 240 to 165 in favour of the move at a special town meeting to amend the town’s zoning regulations to allow by special exception seasonal outdoor entertainment use up to three times a week from Memorial Day Weekend through Columbus Day Weekend, ending no later than 11 p.m. on holidays and weekends and 10 p.m. on weekdays. 39 percent of the town’s 1,028 registered voters cast a vote.   Initially there were no provisions in town ordinances regarding outdoor entertainment, so the Range’s owners consulted with police about appropriate times. When some residents expressed concerns about the noise and parking, town officials told the venue to stopm and apply for a variance.   At an initial re-hearing of the already approved zoning amendment, attorney Peter J. Nicosia who represents opponents of the re-zoning reportedly said the zoning amendment was too vague, with no limits on sound or light….

Utsick faces substantial jail term
Criminal Law , Live Events / August 2016
USA

CRIMINAL LAW Live events sector   Jack Utsick, the former concert promoter who was charged with defrauding an estimated 3,300 investors out of nearly US$300 million, faces up to 20 years in prison after pleading guilty to a mail fraud charge. Many who lost substantial sums were former airline pilots, Utsick’s own former profession. Prosecutors say that that Utsick, 73, who appeared in court in Miami, operated his promotion company, Worldwide Entertainment, as a “ponzi scheme”, repaying older investors with money from newer ones. Worldwide promoted tours by arena-filling artists such as The Rolling Stones, Fleetwood Mac, Elton John, The Pretenders, Aerosmith and Fleetwood Mac before being placed into administration amid mounting debts in 2006. A subsequent investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) discovered that Utsick had in reality lost money on most tours. Utsick departed for Brazil after the company failed, but was extradited to the US in 2014 after a protracted court battle, and since then has been in custody. Utsick will be sentenced on 23 August and has been ordered to repay $169m to Worldwide’s investors. http://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/crime/article52742440.html http://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/crime/article83118357.html

Former SFX directors to face criminal charges?
Criminal Law , Live Events / August 2016
USA

BANKRUPTCY / CRIMINAL LAW Live events sector     The new management of SFX Entertainment – reported to be led by two senior creditors, investment firms Allianz and Axar Capital Management – have signalled their intention to bring charges against the company’s former directors, including ex-CEO Robert FX Sillerman. New documents, filed in the Delaware bankruptcy court, outline alternative post-bankruptcy plan for the dance music promotion group and says there may be a claim for damages for “breaches of fiduciary duty by former directors and officers of the debtors, and avoidance actions, such as fraudulent transfer claims under federal and state law”   SFX’s new management may also seek to recover “amounts reimbursed to Sillerman” during the bankruptcy process, as well as “licensing fees, employee compensation, a cash collateral release [and] certain settlement payments” and “the termination fee the company paid in connection with the termination of the merger agreement”, which relates to a failed 26 May 2015 merger between SFX Entertainment and two other companies forming part of Sillerman’s  EDM empire, SFXE Acquisition LLC and SFXE Merger Sub, Inc. The revised post-bankruptcy plan will go before US bankruptcy judge Mary F. Walrath for approval on 30 August. At the time…

New UK review of secondary ticketing leaves some disappointed
Competition , Live Events / July 2016
UK

COMPETITION Live events sector   The much-anticipated independent review of the UK’s secondary ticketing market, commissioned by the British government in October 201, has divided industry figures with its call for greater enforcement of the Consumer Rights Act (CRA) but no recommendation for any new legislation. Some provisions of the Act remain largely ignored, despite the Government introducing amendments to create greater transparency around secondary sales in 2015. The Act stipulates that consumers must be made aware of the original face value of tickets for secondary sale, any restrictions on the ticket and, where appropriate, standing or seating information. However, consumer group Which? had previously uncovered numerous examples where consumers were not provided with this information on al four of the main secondary ticketing sites, Viagogo, StubHub, Seatwave and Get Me In! In his 227 page report, Professor Waterson has rejected the need for further legislation – but called for greater enforcement of existing measures. Management of acts such as Paul McCartney, Arctic Monkeys, Mumford & Sons, Radiohead, One Direction, Ed Sheeran, Noel Gallagher, and agents from CAA, ITB, UTA, Coda, X-ray Touring and 13 Artists have added their name to the statement, which reads: “Professor Waterson exposes a dysfunctional and under-regulated ticketing…

Roc Nation face claim for cancelled Rihanna show
Contract , Live Events / July 2016
Nigeria

CONTRACT Live events sector   A Nigerian concert promoter is suing Jay Z’s company Roc Nation for allegedly failing to pay back a US$160,000 deposit for a cancelled Rihanna show in Lagos. IQ report that The Barbadian singer is said to have pulled out of a May 2013 appearance in the Nigerian capital, booked by Chris Ubosi’s Megalectrics via Roc Nation, the Jay Z-owned label and production company. According to the New York Daily News, Megalectrics and Roc Nation agreed for Rihanna to perform a 65-minute set for $425,000, for which Ubosi made three deposit payments totalling $160,000. When Rihanna announced she had to postpone, Ubosi says he agreed as long as she listed a rescheduled date in her tour diary and on social media. The new date never surfaced, and Ubosi alleges that Jay Z – real name Shawn Carter – has ignored his repeated requests for a refund. However, a representative from Roc Nation toldTMZ: “Rihanna, Roc Nation nor anyone associated personally or professionally with either party was in contact with this person. Unfortunately this person was scammed. Rihanna nor Roc Nation collected any money for this event.” http://www.iq-mag.net/2016/06/scammed-nigerian-promoter-chris-ubosi-sues-jay-z-roc-nation-rihanna/#.V1hUivkrKM9     http://www.billboard.com/articles/business/7407909/foo-fighters-lawsuit-lloyds-of-london-robertson-taylor-tour-cancellations

Foos fight insurance underwriters and broker for cancellation pay out
Contract , Live Events / July 2016
Sweden
UK
USA

CONTRACT Live events sector   Billboard reports that the Foo Fighters have accused Lloyd’s of London and insurance brokers Robertson Taylor of ‘despicable’ behaviour in a lawsuit filed in Los Angeles, alleging they have “failed to pay amounts that even they appear to recognize are due and owing” on insurance claims the band made on several shows cancelled during its 2015 world tour. The cancellations resulted firstly after Grohl broke his leg on June 12th, 2015, during a show in Sweden (a show that Grohl finished before going to hospital). The injury resulted in the cancellation of seven shows, three of which are at the core of the band’s complaint — two shows at London’s Wembley Stadium and one at Edinburgh’s BT Murrayfield Stadium. After his leg was treated, Grohl went on to perform 53 shows from the “throne” he designed (or crutches). The complaint says: “After paying certain amounts owed under the Cancellation Policy for four of the cancelled performances, [the insurers] began searching for ways to limit their payment obligations on the other three performances, including the two Wembley Stadium shows, which represented the largest potential gross income” for the band’s tour. The complaint continues,(insurance broker) “Robertson Taylor failed to…

Irish Judge says pop concerts are not ‘teetotaller conventions’
Licensing , Live Events / July 2016
Ireland

LICENSING Live events sector   An judge has rejected calls for alcohol to banned at a number of high-profile summer concerts in Ireland, saying that local residents must realise that concerts by the Stone Roses and Kodaline would not be a “teetotaller convention”, and that to consider a ban there would have to be specific incidents of alcohol-related criminal damage in the past or evidence of inadequate policing. Twenty-five residents from  the South Dublin suburb Rathfarnham had objected to the application for the alcohol licence by Events Bars and Catering for three MCD-promoted events in Marlay Park, saying there had been underage drinking, public urination and antisocial behaviour at previous concerts in the 300-acre park. But Judge Michael Coghlan in the Dublin District Court denied their objections, saying: “I was interested to hear if there was a prevalence of public-order breaches, antisocial behaviour or violent incidents and the sergeant [Michael Phelan, who is co-ordinating the policing of the events] suggests that on the Richter scale things it was well down [at previous concerts].” Five Rathfarnham residents gave evidence, highlighting problems with a Swedish House Mafia concert in Dublin’s Phoenix Park in 2012, when nine people were stabbed in a series of…

Wireless wins High Court victory against local residents’ group
Licensing , Live Events / July 2016
UK

LICENSING Live events sector   A High Court judge has dismissed a bid to have Wireless Festival removed from Finsbury Park. A local residents’ group, The Friends of Finsbury Park,  had requested a judicial review of the Local Authority’s decision to allow the festival to go ahead, arguing that that Haringey Council “does not have the power” to approve the Live Nation event for the grade II-listed public park, which is classified as Metropolitan Open Land. The group, which raised over £11,000 on crowdfunding website CrowdJustice towards its legal costs, contended the council’s decision was illegal under the Greater London (Parks and Open Spaces Act), which allows a maximum of the 10% of the park to be shut off for a private event (Wireless takes up 27%). Wireless Festival faced criticism in 2015 after serious security problems when the 45,000-capacity festival featured acts such as Drake, David Guetta, Avicii, Kendrick Lamar and Nicki Minaj in 2015. Video footage emerged showing chaotic scenes after a crowd forced open a security gate to gain access to the site during a performance by Lethal Bizzle. The Friends Of Finsbury Park group said a the time: “There were serious safety issues when hundreds of…

Japan’s late night dancing ban finally waltzes away
Licensing , Live Events / July 2016
Japan

LICENSING Live events sector   For the first time since 1948, Japanese club-goers can now legally dance after midnight. Whilst the ban on post midnight dancing was rarely enforced, a 2010 crackdown as well as the the looming 2020 Olympics prompted a change in the law and now clubs can apply for a license to operate as a Night time Entertainment Restaurant Operator, meaning that a club can offer entertainment (including a DJ and music), alcohol and food until 5am – with one condition: that the place be lit to a brightness greater than 10 lux. The old law was designed to deter prostitution in clubs. http://ajournalofmusicalthings.com/japans-68-year-old-no-dancing-law-toast/ http://www.musiclawupdates.com/?p=5836

Gambia outlaws music for Ramadam
Censorship , Live Events / July 2016

CENSORSHIP Live events sector     The government of The Gambia has outlawed music for Ramadan, warning citizens against engaging in “morally obscene” activities during the holiest month in the Islamic calendar. The Gambia has been an Islamic state since December, when President Yahya Jammeh declared the Islamic Republic of The Gambia. On 2 October 2013, The Gambian Interior Ministry announced that The Gambia would leave the Commonwealth of Nations with immediate effect, ending 48 years of membership of the organisation. The Gambian Government said it “decided that The Gambia will never be a member of any neo-colonial institution and will never be a party to any institution that represents an extension of colonialism”.[15]   In a press release, The Gambia Police Force listed “music, dancing and drumming” as activities that “Allah frowns on during the Holy Month” and said Gambians should “desist from such acts, otherwise they will be eventually apprehended and face the full force of the law without compromise”. The state-owned Daily Observer welcomed the diktat as “wholly reasonable as it is sensible”, opining “the ban should be seen through the lens of guiding Muslims to the respectable, honourable path during a month that Allah dishes infinite blessings…

Spain’s Supreme Court sides with promoters over disproportionate 10% tariff
Competition , Live Events / June 2016
Ireland
Spain
UK
USA

COMPETITION Live events sector     The Supreme Court of Spain has ordered national music collection society the Sociedad General de Autores y Editores, or Society of Authors and Publishers (SGAE) to immediately abolish its “abusive” 10 per cent tariff on box-office receipts in favour of a “fair” levy to pay music copyright-holders. SGAE had appealed a ruling by the National Competition Commission (Comisión Nacional de los Mercados y la Competencia, CNMC) which held that Spain’s 10 per cent rate was excessive and unfair to Spanish concert promoters noting that much lower royalty fees were applied in other European countries – the rate in the UK is a 3% tariff applied by the PRS on box office (Tariff LP) – and also noted the 1% tariff the US. In 2014 the CNMC ruled that SGAE had committed an abuse of a dominant position, and infringed Spanish and European competition regulation. The CNMC fined SGAE with 3.1 million euros and urged the Spanish collecting society to modify the rate system for live music licensing within a period of 3 months. SGAE had failed to comply with the CNMC resolution much to the fury of Spanish concert promoters The Supreme Court dismissed SGAE’s appeal. The court noted…

CAA moves forward with action against UTA
Competition , Live Events / June 2016
USA

COMPETITION Live events sector   The Los Angeles Superior Court has issued a number of rulings in Creative Artist Agency’s (CAA) lawsuit which accuses United Talent Agency (UTA) of poaching several agents last year. While Judge Lisa Hart Cole rejected UTA’s motion to dismiss some portions of the suit, she also dismissed CAA’s claims for attorneys fees. The Judge also struck punitive damages allegations against UTA, but allowed them to go forward against agents Gregory Cavic and Gregory McKnight – two of the agents who left CAA for UTA in April 2015. However CAA will be allowed to file an amended complaint within 20 days to support their claim that Cavic and McKnight signed potential CAA clients for UTA during last year’s Sundance Film Festival, which they attended on behalf of CAA at UTA’s behest.   UTA had objected to CAA’s  “allegations of conspiracy to ‘steal clients and employees’ from CAA, as well as ‘the clandestine manner in which they carried out their plans,’” according to Variety. Calling the allegations “inflammatory,” UTA argued they were “irrelevant, false, improper or immaterial matters, which have absolutely nothing to do with this action but are prejudicial to the defendants.” The judge disagreed and ruled that rather than…

UK ticket tout jailed for fraud, whist Swiss promoters seek better regulation
Switzerland
UK

CONSUMER / CRIMINAL Live events sector     A ticket tout who sold over £400,000 worth of bogus concert and sports tickets in a 13-month period between May 2009 and June 2010 has been jailed for three-and-a-half years. John Lupton (53) of Upper Norwood, appeared at Blackfriars Crown Court where he was found guilty of two counts of fraudulent trading and one count of money laundering. He has also been banned from acting as a company director until 2026. The London Evening Standard reported that defrauded customers paid £636,000 to two of Lupton’s dummy companies, Lines Direct Ltd and Williams & Hill Ltd, but at least £435,000 worth of tickets were not supplied, When buyers requested refunds, they found that the companies had been dissolved and their bank accounts cleared. Companies House also lists three other companies of which Lupton is or was a director: Festival Ticket Store Ltd, Dracrow Ltd and Commercial Logistics and Trading Ltd. It appears that whist a director of the companies,  Lupton was not the ‘brains’ behind the operation, and investigations continue. Allison Clare, prosecuting, said there is no prospect of recovering the money as Lupton was sleeping on his mother’s settee and living off…

Lambeth Council told to think again over Club 414 redevelopment
Live Events / June 2016
UK

PLANNING The live events sector     The High Court has ordered Lambeth Council to reconsider a decision to grant planning permission to redevelop Brixton’s Club 414 into shops and flats. The club began life in 985 as a reggae club, hosting many famous acts. It switched to dance music in the 90s and is now one of the few specialist house and trance clubs left in London. Despite objections, the planning permission was granted by Lambeth council planning officers, and not councillors, under delegated powers, would lead to the closure of the club together with a flat which is the home of the club’s owner, Louise Barron, who fought the move. Both the council and the developer conceded the claim. However the council would not agree to a statement of reasons that included unlawful delegation as a reason for quashing the planning permission. The council did accept that it had failed to consider the (then emerging) Lambeth Local Plan, which was adopted just one week after the grant of permission. The Plan recognises the importance of protecting the night-time economy in Brixton and supports leisure uses where they contribute to the vitality and viability of Brixton town centre. Mr Justice Gilbart accepted…

Ex Deep Purple member rocks up 20 years later to register band name as trade mark
Artists , Live Events , Trade Mark / June 2016
EU
UK

TRADE MARK Artistes, live events sector   By Emma Perot   Purple seems to be a popular colour in the world of trade marks. Recently, this Kat reported on Cadbury’s ill-fated attempt to preserve an existing colour mark. Thanks to Katfriend Plamen Ivanov, this Kat has learned of another purple trade mark dispute, this time concerning the word mark ‘Deep Purple’. Deep Purple is the name of a British rock band, formed in 1968. A former member of the band, Richard Blackmore, applied to register ‘Deep Purple’ as a word mark for certain goods and services in class 9, class 25, and class 41. As this Kat will explain, the attempt to register the mark was largely unsuccessful.   Ian Paice, one of the members of Deep Purple, opposed Blackmore’s application, based on Article 8(4) of the Community Trade Mark Regulation (now EU Trade Mark Regulation). This article provides for a relative ground of refusal for registration where an earlier proprietor of a non-registered mark has a right to prohibit use of the mark under the law of the member state. In the case of the opponent, the relevant law was the English tort of passing off.   On 17 February 2015, the Opposition Division  accepted registration…

Glastonbury fined £12,000 for sewage leak – but Festival had ‘low culpability’
UK

ENVIRONMENTAL LAW Live events sector     The Glastonbury Festival has been ordered to pay a fine of £12,000 and costs of £19,000 for the environmental incident at the 2014 Festival which saw 20,000 gallons of human waste pollute a nearby river after a steel tank used to hold sewage from the toilets sprang a leak, seeping into Whitelake river and killing 42 fish, among them 29 bullhead – a European protected species and10 protected brown trout. The BBC reported that the Judge at the trial found Festival had low culpability for incident in 2014 that led to death of 42 fish in Whitelake river and is ‘impressed’ with its response to incident. The Environment Agency claimed during a hearing that the event had grown more quickly than its ability to deal with so much waste. The Judge said the Somerset festival could have contacted the authorities more quickly following the problem in June 2014, but said it had largely dealt with it well. The court was told that Glastonbury used three very large steel tanks to store human waste from the site, which had a population of 170,000 during the 2014 event. One of the tanks sprung a leak in one…

Stars cancel concerts over LGBT laws
USA

DISCRIMINATION Live events sector     Bryan Adams has cancelled a concert in Mississippi in protest of the state’s ‘Religious Liberty’ bill. The 56-year-old singer was due to perform at the Mississippi Coast Coliseum in Biloxi on 14 April. However, in a statement posted on his social media pages, Bryan explained that he made the decision to pull the gig because he disagrees so strongly with the 1523 bill – which allows business, religiously-affiliated organisations and individuals the opportunity to deny service to lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) people, single mothers or anyone who offends their “sincerely held religious belief”. Bruce Springsteen’s decision to cancel a concert in North Carolina over an anti-LGBT law has been called a “bully tactic” by a US congressman. On 8th April, Springsteen cancelled a concert in Greensboro because of a controversial law that critics say legalises discrimination against LGBT people. Under the law, all public institutions must post signs designating that bathrooms and locker rooms are to be used only based on the biological sex reflected on their birth certificate. Springsteen issued a statement explaining that he and the E-Street Band did not want to play the gig because they “want to show solidarity for…

Aceh Province bands outdoor music concerts under an interpretation of Sharia law
General , Licensing , Live Events / May 2016
Indonesia

LICENSING Live events sector     Outdoor music concerts have been banned in a Regency in Indonesia’s conservative Aceh province on the grounds they violate Sharia law. New regulations – including a ban on women straddling motorcycles (they must ride side-saddle), unaccompanied women working or visiting night spots after 23.00 – as well and a requirement that boys and girls are taught separately at school – have been introduced in different parts of Aceh in recent years. he province, the only part of Indonesia that enforces Sharia law, also outlaws gambling, drinking and even fraternising with the opposite sex outside marriage. Muslim women must wear a hijab in public and gay sex is punishable by 100 lashes of the cane. The outdoor music ban comes after local singing sensation Ady Bergek was told he could not proceed with a concert on April 3rd because it would violate Sharia law. Bergek (whose name means unruly in the Acehnese language) is famous for his take on Dangdut, a genre that borrows from traditional Indonesian music as well as from Indian and Malaysian films. West Aceh Regent (Bupati) Teuku Alaidinsyah was quoted in Kompas saying the ban was based on a recommendation by Ulema (a body of Muslim…

Buenos Aires bans EDM events
Licensing , Live Events / May 2016
Argentina

LICENSING Live events sector   The Mayor of Argentina’s capital Buenos Aires has stopped issuing permits for major electronic music festivals in response to the death of five people who died of drugs overdoses at an event. 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. Authorities have said five people had died  as a result of drug overdoses during the Time Warp festival on April 15. Another four were taken to hospital critically ill. Witnesses said that festival-goers were often offered a variety of drugs including ecstasy pills, LSD, marijuana, poppers and cocaine. Five people have been arrested. Time Warp began in Germany in 1994 and was being held in Buenos Aires for the third year. The organiser’s German website said We are dismayed and deeply saddened by the death of five young people at Time Warp Buenos Aires. Our thoughts are with the relatives of the deceased and the five visitors who are still under medical treatment. We pray for their quick recovery. The German Time Warp companies, “Planwerk Events GmbH & Co KG“ and “cosmopop GmbH“, were not in any way…

Love Parade tragedy – criminal charges dropped
Germany

HEALTH & SAFETY Live events sector     A German court has ruled that the 10 people charged in connection with the deaths of 21 and injury of over 500 at the final Love Parade festival have “no case to answer”. The Festival, which began in 1989 as a Berlin-based free event, began travelling to different German cities each year in 2007, and was taking place in Duisburg in 2010. The event was always well attended, and though turnouts had fallen in the years prior to 2010, it was estimated by investigators that almost half a million people had attended that year on the site on a former freight rail yard. The site’s capacity, however, was 250,000 and despite the large number of people attending, crowds entering were funnelled through a single underpass (pictured), which quickly became crowded on the Saturday morning of the event – there was a surge in the crowd, which caused panic in the tunnel  -followed by a stampede. In 2014 six of the event’s organisers and four city workers were charged with negligent manslaughter and bodily harm. On conviction they faced up to five years in prison. All denied any wrongdoing. Earlier six people had…

Ticket fraudster convicted in  Burlington
Criminal Law , Live Events / May 2016
USA

CRIMINAL Live events sector   A New Jersey woman has pleaded guilty to ‘third-degree theft by deception’ after being caught selling tickets to a non-existent Sheryl Crow concert. Kelly Bryan admitted the charge at Burlington County Courthouse. Between December 2014 and May 2015, Bryan sold tickets to the fictitious ‘show’  through a company called KBR Promotion and Booking Agency. Police learnt of the concert and contacted the resort to begin planning public safety measures, it emerged that Crow was not booked to perform. Between 50 and 100 people were defrauded by KBR, although many who paid online have already been reimbursed.   The Burlington County Times reports that Bryan faces up to five years of probation when she is sentenced on 14 June, and will also have to pay between US$20,000 and $30,000 in restitution.   http://www.iq-mag.net/2016/04/woman-sentenced-promoting-bogus-sheryl-crow-show/#.VwZZxqQrKM9

Concert fraudster gets two years in prison
Criminal Law , Live Events / May 2016
South Korea
USA

CRIMINAL Live events     CRIMINAL: A man who defrauded people out of more than $1 million by falsely claiming he could help book a Pharrell concert for a South Korean steel company – and also by targeting women in online dating scams – has been sentenced to two years in prison in the USA. Billboard reports that Sigismond Segbefia, 29, a native of Ghana who lived in Silver Spring, Maryland at the time of the frauds, was arrested in New York and prosecuted by federal authorities in Pittsburgh because one of his biggest dating scam victims was a Pennsylvania woman he defrauded out of more than $222,000 by using the name and address of an unwitting Pittsburgh-area postal worker. Segbefia, who pleaded guilty in December, must pay nearly $1.2 million in restitution. He has agreed to be deported after serving his prison term for aggravated identity theft and wire fraud. In pleading guilty to the dating scams, Segbefia acknowledged his role in the unrelated crime of defrauding Dosko Co. out of $375,000 by pretending he could arrange to promote a show by Pharrell Williams. Nobody else has been charged in that scheme, though Assistant U.S. Attorney Gregory Melucci told Senior…

Carolina Country Music Festival gets tax boost
Live Events , Taxation / May 2016
USA

TAXATION Live events sector     The Carolina Country Music Festival will receive $75,000 in accommodation tax revenues to promote its second concert series this June. However Mayor pro-tem Mike Lowder voted against the measure to give the Carolina Country Music Fest $75,000 in accommodation tax funds, after the city agreed last month to give the group $108,000 in in-kind services to police and clean up the event. Lowder noted that groups shouldn’t be allowed to “double dip” into city coffers, especially after the council denied a local organization receiving a-tax money $2,800 in in-kind services for a St. Patrick’s Day event. The State’s accommodations tax is collected when visitors pay to stay in area hotels and at other lodging. Under state law the tax revenue is to be used for advertising and promoting tourism-related activities that increase tourist attendance. Funds can also be used for additional city resources needed to accommodate increases in tourism, like law enforcement, highway and street maintenance and beach renourishment. http://www.myrtlebeachonline.com/news/local/article70027837.html

Songkick and Live Nation – let battle commence!
Competition , Internet , Live Events / April 2016
USA

COMPETITION Live sector, internet     Songkick’s legal battle with Live Nation is heating up, with Songkick filing new court papers in connection with their claim. Interestingly, Live Nation subsidiary Ticketmaster has also confirmed a new relationship with Bandsintown – a direct Songkick rival: now Bandsintown users will be able to buy tickets for shows through Ticketmaster within the Bandsintown app – a process that will make the ticket buying experience more seamless, according to the new partners. “By building on Ticketmaster’s new capabilities, we have dramatically improved the user experience, strengthening artists’ and promoters’ ability to sell out shows” said Bandsintown CEO Fabrice Sergent. Songkick, the website and mobile service that provides tickets and personalised calendars for live music events, sued Live Nation last December, alleging that the live entertainment firm – which is a significant player in tour and festival promotion, venues, ticketing and artist management – was holding the artists it works with to ransom, especially in the US, if they decided to collaborate with the gig recommendations service (such as the likes of Songkick) on fan club pre-sales. Songkick has been increasingly moving into ticketing itself – firstly merging with direct-to-fan platform Crowdsurge, and more recently Songkick has been working…

Live music sector puts CMO ‘kickbacks’ into the spotlight
Copyright , Live Events / April 2016
EU
Germany
Netherlands
UK

COPYRIGHT Live events sector     They may not want to be in the spotlight, and the until recently practices of ‘discounts’ or ‘rebates’ offered by European Collective Management Organisations such as Buma-Stemra in Holland and GEMA in Germany to large and established live music promoters and venues were relatively unknown. But 2016 saw the topic rear up as one of the main talking points at this year’s International Live Music Conference (ILMC). The Conference held a packed main conference session dedicted to the topic and with managers for Mark Knopfler and Muse on the Stage along with representatives from two Collection Societies, and many artiste and songwriter representatives expressed their anger at the practice. Back in July 2015 Music Law Updates reported that Dutch collection society Buma’s practice of rewarding the country’s biggest promoters with a kickback for ‘helping’ to collect the levy on live music concerts (which is meant to remunerate songwriters and music publishers for the use of their works) had come under fire after a number of tour accountants for performers who pen their own material could not reconcile deductions made by promoters against revenues received by their songwriter clients from their own collection societies – even after taking…

TimeWarner red faced after copyright claim in Spain
Spain

COPYRIGHT Music publishing, live events sector   Time Warner is in trouble in Spain for using recorded music by local artists in its theme park for six years without paying a licence fee. The Supreme Court of Spain has ordered the Parque Warner Madrid resort theme park (co-owned by Time Warner and Parques Reunidos) to pay €321,450 (£250,539) in damages for playing the music of Spanish artists on loudspeakers to park visitors between 2002 to 2008. The music was played in public areas across the park, including attractions, restaurants, retail outlets and transportation without any permssions or payment of licence fees. In 2009 The Association of Management of Intellectual Rights (AGEDI) and the Association of Artists and Performers (AIE) filed a joint lawsuit demanding that Parque Warner pay licencing fees for all the music that had been paid in public at the park, as well as demanding that the park stop using all copyright music until the case was decided. In May 2010, Madrid’s Commercial Court Number 7 ruled in favour of the copyright holders, and the appeal to the Provincial Court of Madrid also found in favour of AGEDI and AIE. Parque Warner defence was founded on the argument that an annual…

AIF and the MU launch new terms for emerging talent at UK Festivals
Contract , Live Events / April 2016
UK

CONTRACT Live events sector     Fair Play for Festivals’ is a joint initiative between AIF and The Musicians Union (MU). It is a code of conduct intended for use between AIF members and emerging artists who are defined as ‘Artists without representation from agents, managers or other third parties’. It sets out a series of pragmatic guidelines for artists and festivals in various areas, including remuneration, logistics, promotion and performance details. You can Download the agreement.   http://aiforg.com/wp-content/uploads/Fair+Play+For+Festivals+Agreement.compressed.pdf