UK WILL adopt something like the ‘agent of change’ principle
Live Events / April 2016
UK

PLANNING Live events sector     The “toilet circuit” network of small music venues and indeed other larger venues in the UK has claimed an important victory after ministers agreed to introduce legislation which will protect established music venues and clubs from property developers and incoming residents. Planning rules favouring complaints from residents in new developments over the noise levels from an established music venue nearby have been cited by clubs forced to close their doors.Now the British government is introducing new legislation giving local authorities the powers to better protect live music venues against redevelopment pressures. Its not a full ‘agent of change’ approach – but its an important step forwards. Its too late for some though: venues including The Cockpit in Leeds and the Sheffield Boardwalk, where Ed Sheeran and Arctic Monkeys played formative shows, have shut whilst in London an estimated 40% of music venues have closed over the past decade. A UK Music study of Bristol’s live scene found that 50% of the city’s music venues were affected by development, noise or planning issues.  These issues pose a direct threat to the future of Bristol’s vibrant ecosystem which generated £123 towards the local economy in 2015 and supported…

Souper Groove volunteer’s death not unlawful
Health & Safety , Live Events / April 2016
USA

HEALTH & SAFETY Live events sector     A volunteer’s death at a music festival has been ruled accidental, and not the result of any actions by police, a Monmouth County grand jury has ruled. Timothy Harden, 38, was pronounced dead at Jersey Shore Medical University Medical Center after an altercation with security and law enforcement officers at the Souper Groove Music Festival at the Priedaine New Jersey Latvian Society in Howell on September 5th of last year 2015. His family had filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the Howell Township Police Department, the Latvian Society and the security agencies following his death, claiming that Harden died of “excessive force.” According to a release from Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni, an investigation found that Harden, who was working as a volunteer at the music festival, had been acting erratically, and audience members had suspected he was under the influence of illegal substances. When approached to a security guard, Harden punched him the face in an “unprovoked attack.” A toxicology test revealed that Harden had cocaine, alcohol and marijuana in his system at the time of death, “The cause of Harden’s death was determined to be as a result of drug-induced excited…

Labour’s UK Licensing Act has ‘failed’
Licensing , Live Events / April 2016
UK

LICENSING Live events sector     A new report has been published that says the Licensing Act 2003, implemented in 2005, has done little to push forwarded its much heralded aims of promoting a new ‘continental’ style drinking culture in England and Wales, and instead and the Guardian opines that New Labour’s ambition to create a “continental cafe style of drinking culture” through the introduction of 24-hour licensing has failed, and was unlikely to ever succeed. Indeed the Act has put significant strain on local authorities abd the police and the Police. Police Professional says that later opening hours for licensed premises have ‘handicapped’ police and local authorities, and had no impact on rates of crime, disorder and overall alcohol consumption and that the Act was “likely to undermine rather than protect the public welfare”.   The Report, published by the Institute of Alcohol Studies. examines the Act’s effects 10 years after it came into force on 24 November 2005. The study found that the legislation has failed to lead to a relaxed continental drinking culture or to a more diverse drinking culture. Instead, it says that it has meant people drink more at home before going out and stay out…

Promoter ordered to make refunds in EXO Shanghai fiasco
Consumers , Live Events / April 2016
China

CONSUMER Live events sector     Shanghai’s arts and culture administration has ordered the Chinese promoter of a planned concert by K-Pop boyband EXO to provide a full refund to fans (so called EXO-Ls) after a concert advertised to last three hours finished after just 30 minutes. The promoter had also promised that all nine members of EXO would perform at least 10 songs ina three hour show. However, one key band member, Lay, was absent, and the 5 song concert lasted barely half an hour, reports allkpop.  Lay was apparently being filmed fo ra movie role. The band has existed as a 12, 11,10 and now 9 piece combination of Korean and Chinese members. In late 2014 two members of the band, Luhan and Kris (Wu Yi Fan) filed separate lawsuit against SM Entertainment asking to nullify their contracts with SME.   Many fans had reportedly paid up to ¥10,000 (approximately US$1,500) for front-row seats, with regular tickets fetching between¥4,000 and ¥6,000 yuan ($600–$900). Although refunds will be given, EXO-Ls will have to travel to an office block in Shanghai to collect their money, regardless of where they live. http://www.allkpop.com/article/2016/03/exo-ls-angered-for-being-misled-about-exos-concert-in-china   http://koalasplayground.com/2014/10/09/luhan-of-exo-files-same-lawsuit-as-former-member-kris-to-nullify-contract-with-sm-entertainment/

Ticket fraudster gets 6 years in prison
Criminal Law , Live Events / April 2016
UK

CRIMINAL Live events sector     Terence Butts (63) has been convicted of fraudulent trading and converting or transferring criminal property at Southwark Crown Court and sentenced to 6 years in prison. Butts, 63, and accountant Nimal Fonseka (78), were alleged to have sold £2m worth of non existent tickets to potential customers for occasions including the V Festival and the 2008 Beijing Olympics. But they only provided £280,000 worth of tickets – just 14% of what they had sold – claiming that their key supplier ‘Peter’s Tickets’ had let them down.  Butts sold 15,000 through his company Durban Vienna Ltd and his websites included summerfestivals.com and tickets4venues.com.  Butts would tell customers that he could not supply tickets, telling them to reclaim the funds paid from their credit card provider. It was estimated B+S Card Services lost £1.2 million.  Foneska was found not guilty on the same two charges. Security expert Reg Walker from iridium Consultancy told Live UK that Butts was ‘top of the ticket fraud tree’ but added that he had made the police aware of his actions as far back as 2008. http://www.standard.co.uk/news/tickets-to-games-on-offer-from-swindling-websites-6866912.html

Dangerous Glastonbury flying stunt ends in fine
Health & Safety , Live Events / March 2016
UK

HEALTH & SAFETY / AVIATION Live events sector     A paraglider gatecrasher has been fined for flying into the 2015 Glastonbury Festival. David Hoare, 59, used a paramotor and launched himself from a hill overlooking the site. He landed in the Sacred Space arena which was full of attendees on the Saturday night of last year’s festival. Security guards saw his canopy and heard the noise from his smaller propeller engine and removed him and the equipment. Hoare, of Somerton, Somerset, was prosecuted by the Civil Aviation Authority for flying into restricted airspace on June 27th 2015. Magistrates in Weston-Super-Mare, Somerset, heard that this was the second offence of the same nature committed by Hoare. He was previously fined £250 with £100 costs in November 2011 after trying to fly into Glastonbury in 2010. For the new offence Magistrates fined Hoare £400 and ordered him to pay £160 CAA prosecution costs. The CAA said: “We are determined to take action whenever necessary to protect members of the public, including prosecuting those responsible for flying into restricted airspace” adding “Although a paramotor is not classified as an aircraft, and as such the person flying it does not require a licence,…

Beyoncé faces police backlash after controversial Superbowl performance
USA

HEALTH & SAFETY / CENSORSHIP Live events sector     Beyoncé is facing protest from the police as well as sports fans as well after her controversial halftime performance at Super Bowl 50. Beyoncé’s  show featured outfits resembling Black Panther and Black Power regalia.  The performance, viewed by more than 112 million people, also featured an unmistakeable ‘X’ formation (believed to commemorate the legacy of Malcolm X) and was soon followed by the equally controversial video for ‘Formation’. Immediately after the show, New York Mets enthusiastically announced that Beyoncé was scheduled for an upcoming performance at Citi Field, but many Mets vented their anger in social media, with angry fans demanding Citi Field cancel her event. Now, a number of police unions are speaking out against the singer, with some urging all-out boycotts. Police unions in Miami, Nashville, New York, and Tampa, Florida are taking the lead. Miami police union president Javier Ortiz said “Beyoncé used this year’s Super Bowl to divide Americans by promoting the Black Panthers, and her anti-police message shows how she does not support law enforcement”. The Tampa Police Benevolent Association expressed ‘disgust’ at both the half time performance and the ‘Formation’ video and urged “all law enforcement officers to boycott the purchase of Beyoncé’s…

Coachella targets Hoodchella
Live Events , Trade Mark / March 2016
USA

TRADE MARK Live events sector     Coachella Music Festival LLC has taken action against the underground music festival Hoodchella, now on its second edition, with a trademark suit in California federal court which claims that Hoodchella deliberately abuses the famous Coachella brand. Coachella and its producer, Goldenvoice LLC, claim that Kamil al-Ahdali, the operator and advertiser of Hoodchella, knowingly infringed and unfairly profited from common law rights and six registered trademarks by advertising a competing music festival called Hoodchella. The complaint alleges that al-Ahdali is harming and confusing both Coachella and the public by promoting a comparable event in the same market, and that the Hoodchella name infringes their trade marks, creates unfair competition and dilutes the Coachella brand.  The lawsuit seeks $100,000 and immediate abandonment of the “Hoodchella” name. http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/coachella-sues-hoodchella-over-festival-name-20160130

Ticketing URL launches new scheme to counter domain squatting
Live Events , Trade Mark / March 2016
UK

TRADE MARK Live events sector, Internet     IQ magazine reports that Accent Media, the company which owns the .tickets generic top-level domain (gTLD), has unveiled a new initiative which it hopes will prevent ‘cybersquatting’ on .tickets URLs by non-ticketing-related websites. Under the new system, someone wanting to register a .tickets web address will be entered into the public database at domains.watch, where interested parties can then lodge an objection (subject to payment of a fee). “We wanted to gear our registry towards genuine rights holders and felt this was a great way to do it,” Accent Media CEO Gary Fisher told Domain Incite. “We want rights holders around the world, whether they be sports teams, travel companies, entertainers and their agents or stadia, to be aware of when people have applied for their names – hence the need to make it a public website. We’ve already had rights holders including Disney successfully challenge applicants and secure their names. We think it’s a better model than the TMCH [Trademark Clearinghouse], which was massively gamed.”   Registering for a .tickets URL can be done in one of two ways: fast-track and standard. The former, for organisations whose trademarks match their company name, is…

New code changes would ‘destroy the music scene in Philly’
Licensing , Live Events / March 2016
USA

LICENSING Live events sector     A Philadelphia city council member’s bill that would require music venues to obtain contact information of performers, as well as create a registry of event promoters, has been met with opposition. Billboard reports that Democrat Councilman Mark Squilla is attempting to amend a section of the “Special Assembly Occupancies” code to further regulate the application process for various entertainment-minded events and increase certain fees. He says the primary goal of the bill is to close a loophole in current legislation that has allowed venues to operate without a special assembly license (SAOL). However, opponents believe there are elements of the proposal that amount to an unnecessary invasion of privacy. The bill would require venues to gather full names, addresses and phone numbers of “all performance acts” scheduled for a promoted or special event. A “performance act” is defined in the bill as “any person or group of persons engaged in the act of singing, disc jockeying, rapping, dancing, playing musical instruments, and/or acting for an audience or group of patrons.” The designation also applies to the presentation of streaming or recorded audio/video, whether or not it has been properly licensed. In addition to acquiring artist or performer…

Australia’s  ‘lock out’ laws start to hurt live music
Licensing , Live Events / March 2016
Australia

LICENSING Live events sector     There has been a 40 per cent drop in live music revenue in Sydney’s lockout zone since the laws were introduced, according to new figures from the Australasian Performing Rights Association (APRA) with APRA’s figures also showing a 19 per cent drop in patrons at nightclubs in the areas of the city affected by the legislation. The lockout laws have been the subject of intense debate over the last fortnight, with Premier Mike Baird saying it would take a lot to change his mind about the rules. He cited a 40 per cent drop in the assault rate in Kings Cross as proof the legislation was fulfilling its purpose — to curb alcohol-fuelled violence. And the live music industry has lamented Queensland’s equally contentious lockout laws and their exemption for casinos, saying “what’s good for the goose should be good for the gander”. The measures include a statewide 2am last drinks call from July 1, with venues in nightclub precincts able to serve alcohol until 3am if they impose a 1am lockout. However, the rules don’t apply to casinos – which generate nearly $100 million in state revenue each year. Attorney-General Yvette D’Ath claims casinos are “in a different business”…

Police voice licensing worries over Brighton’s ‘Russian rock festival’
Licensing , Live Events / March 2016
UK

LICENSING Live events sector     Brighton newspaper The Argus has published a warning over a Russian rock music festival that had been been advertised in the seaside City. The Argus reports that the police and council are investigating the purported event, which is being advertised to take place above the cliffs at Ovingdean. Sussex Police have said neither they nor Brighton and Hove City Council have been contacted regarding licensing or safety and have so far not been able to get in touch with the organisers.. The Eastwood Festival is being advertised as a two day Russian rock music festival with tickets being sold for £200 each. Sussex Police has urged festival goers hold off purchasing tickets “until the validity of the event can be confirmed and relevant licences have been granted.” Chief Inspector Chris Veale of Sussex Police is quoted as saying, “Until we are able to ascertain the validity of both this website and the event we would ask residents who are thinking of attending to exercise caution and take our advice into account before providing your bank details for payment. “We will continue to attempt to make contact with event organisers and land owners and will provide more information as and when…

Petition launched to support secondary ticketing
Consumers , Live Events / March 2016
UK

CONSUMER Live events sector     A new pro-secondary ticketing campaign has been launched in the UK, calling on the government to ensure the secondary ticketing market is protected from suggested reforms. The UK government is currently reviewing the secondary ticketing market as a result of commitments made in last year’s Consumer Rights Act. Professor Michael Waterson is leading the review, and numerous promoters and artists including Elton John and Mumford & Sons are calling for tighter regulation of the resale market. Professor Waterson will lead “an independent, consultative and evidence based review of consumer protection measures in the online ticket resale market. As required by the Consumer Rights Act 2015, this independently chaired review on secondary ticketing will report its findings before 26 May 2016.” The new online petition says “as fans who regularly attend live events, we urge [Waterson] to support our right to resell tickets without restrictions being imposed by event organisers” adding “Event organisers are lobbying hard to make it easier to cancel or void tickets that have been offered for resale without their permission” and “But we believe that fans should be free to resell tickets that they have purchased wherever they want”. The petition continues with “Further…

Russian legislators shy away from live industry regulation – for now
Consumers , Licensing , Live Events / March 2016
Russia

CONSUMER / LICENSING Live events sector     Billboard reports that Russian legislators have backed down from new regulations proposed for the live industry following criticism from a number of high-profile artists. Two months ago, legislators embraced a proposal from several major promoters and producers for a self regulating organisation of promoters. However a number of music producers and promoters behind the initiative said there is still a need for reform in the segment. “Ideas are proposed to be discussed,” Iosif Prigozhin, a prominent producer who was among the original proponents of the new regulations, told Billboard. “And regulations should be adopted in such a form that they will satisfy everyone.” “But the industry still needs some reforms and adjustment,” he went on to say, adding that the proposed regulations were not aimed at hurting artists but were expected to clean the segment of unscrupulous and unprofessional players. In January 2016 in anticipation of the new regulations,  a new organisation Soyukontsert was formed. Founder members include SAV Entertainment, PMI and NCA. At the time Soyukonsert saidf iyt would   – Create  an emergency fund to cover expenses for cancelled shows – Form a disciplinary commission that will assess professional standards for the live sector…

Why can’t New Yorker get tickets? Attorney General plans to act on scalping
Consumers , Live Events / March 2016
USA

CONSUMER Live event sector     A new report from New York Attorney General, Eric T Schneiderman, has put ticket touting – or scalping – back on the agenda in the US. Schneiderman’s report on secondary ticketing in New York – ‘Why Can’t New Yorkers Get Tickets’ – is based on a three year investigation, and could result in a new crackdown against online touting. The regulation of ticket reselling in the US generally sits at a state-level. Rules in New York were actually relaxed in the early days of online touting, though the use of those bots to buy up large numbers of tickets is still banned there, and much of the new report – and possibly any resulting crackdown – is focused on the continued illegal use of such technology. According to the New York Times, the new report includes various touting claims, including that as many as half the seats for many popular concerts are not offered to the general public, that a single high-tech tout bought 1,012 tickets to a U2 concert in under a minute, and that free tickets that had been distributed for an appearance by Pope Francis in the city were resold for thousands of…

Backstreet Boys in China ‘scam’ results in $1.56 million claim
Contract , Live Events / March 2016
China

CONTRACT Live events sector     Chinese promoter Guangzhou Love Life Culture Development Ltd is taking legal action to reclaim the money it says it paid over to Belinda International Entertainment Group. Guangzhou says it paid over $2.2 million to promote a series of shows by the veteran boy band Backstreet Boys in China, with Belinda, which was said to be based in Flushing, Queens, but the offer “turned out to be a fraud.” The suit states that the defendants were never at any time “ready, able or in a position” to provide the Backstreet Boys for performances.  It is alleged that Belinda was operated by a person named Kam Yan Leung, who promised to get the group to play dates in China, Macau and Hong Kong. However, it turned out that Yeung had “no relationship with the band”. When Guangzhou realised the “subterfuge” and demanded a refund, Leung only returned $640,000. Guangzhou is now suing for the balance of $1.56 million.   http://blog.wenn.com/all-news/backstreet-boys-at-center-of-concert-promoter-lawsuit/

Burning Man must pay Nevada state entertainment tax
Live Events , Taxation / March 2016
USA

TAXATION Live events sector     Burning Man tickets will be subject to a live entertainment tax for the first time. The Nevada state Department of Taxation have notified organizers of the iconic Black Rock desert event that as more than 15,000 tickets were sold for the event it qualified it for the tax, the Reno Gazette-Journal reporst that Burning Man,  is required to register for the tax before tickets go on sale. Burning Man attracts 80,000 visitors. “The activities that take place during Burning Man constitute live entertainment, whether or not those activities are provided by patrons of the event. Because Black Rock City is located on public land and access to the area during the event is limited to those who have purchased tickets, it meets the definition of a facility,” wrote Nevada Department of Taxation Executive Director Deonne Contine. “Because Burning Man collects the taxable receipts from those attending the event, Burning Man is the taxpayer and responsible for paying (Live Entertainment Taxes) to the State of Nevada.” Burning Man  had written to the Department of Taxation saying that the festival should be exempt from the amended tax on live entertainment. Burning Man attorney Ray Allen said the 9…

Live Nation cleared in anti-trust law suit
Competition , Live Events / March 2016
USA

COMPETITION Live events sector     A US appellate court has affirmed the dismissal of an anti-competition lawsuit against Live Nation Entertainment by Seth Hurtwitz-owned indie promoter It’s My Party (IMP). The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals has confirmed the February 2015 ruling that dismissed all claims made by IMP, which alleged that Live Nation (LN) engaged in monopolistic (anti-trust) policies in violation of the Sherman Act by coercing artists to only appear at venues it owned and operated. Judge J. Harvie Wilkinson III said that Maryland-based IMP misleadingly contrasted its own and Live Nation’s operations nationwide, as opposed to locally, to support its claim that LN was monopolising the concert-promotion market. Judge Wilkinson said “According to IMP, promoters compete nationally for contracts to promote performances anywhere in the country” and  “By defining the market as national, IMP could more easily construe LN’s nationwide network of promoters and venues as evidence of market power. In contrast, IMP could portray itself as a modest regional outfit whose resources pale in comparison.” and “If instead the market were defined locally and narrowed to just the Washington–Baltimore area, then IMP would appear more evenly matched against LN’s regional capacity. Unfortunately for plaintiff, its market definitions are blind…

Australian drug experts plan pill testing at festivals
Health & Safety , Live Events / March 2016
Australia

HEALTH & SAFETY Live events sector     The Australian drug expert who pioneered the nation’s first legal injecting centre has vowed to break the law in New South Wales and roll out pill testing at Sydney’s forthcoming music festivals. The president of the Australian Drug Law Reform Foundation, Dr Alex Wodak, has joined forces with emergency medical specialist David Caldicott and they have announced that a privately funded drug testing “trial” will commence with or without the blessing of a NSW government.   The NSW government has repeatedly blocked the proposal in favour of a hard line, law enforcement strategy but Fairfax Media revealed that the NSW government has sought a secret briefing on how such a concept might occur, receiving a detailed,18-page research dossier “We are going to do this,” said Dr Wodak. “Doctors, analysts who know how to operate the [testing] machines and peer interviewers who can translate the scientific results and explain to people why the drug they bought is talcum powder or highly toxic. The idea is to save lives. I am prepared to break the law to save young people’s lives.” Dr Caldicott said: “It’s very straight forward. We want to run a trial at a…

Raiding the Rock Vault claim results in request for a court declaration
Copyright , Live Events / February 2016
USA

COPYRIGHT Live events sector   Record producer David Kershenbaum alleged threats to shut down a Las Vegas show – which removed him as director – has resulted in a law suit from the show’s producer, Rock Vault. Kershenbaum was a co-director and co-writer of Rock Vault Tours’ show “Raiding the Rock Vault” staged at the Tropicana Las Vegas. Rock Vault says it had to ask him to “disengage from his duties in connection to “Raiding the Rock Vault.” It says he has no role in the show now playing at the Tropicana, nor in a new show, to be called “Raiding the Country Vault.” However Kershenbaum says he is co-owner of the copyrights for “Raiding the Rock Vaults.” He claims the shows infringe on his copyrights, and sent a cease and desist letter to Rock Vault, threatening to sue to stop the show and the second show unless Rock Vault brought out his interest in the copyrights, with the sum of $1 million reportedly claimed. Rock Vault says that “In light of Kershenbaum’s threat to seek an injunction to enjoin further performances of Raiding the Rock Vault and to prevent Rock Vault from launching its new show, “Raiding the Country…

Police arrest suspected Bieber ticket frausdster in Northern Ireland
Criminal Law , Live Events / February 2016
UK

CRIMINAL Ticketing     Police in Northern Ireland have arrested a man over an alleged online ticketing scam. It’s claimed that an unnamed man was selling counterfeit tickets to upcoming Adele and Justin Bieber concerts, the former in Belfast and the latter in Dublin. It is thought that the fake tickets were being advertised on listings site Gumtree. Police in the Northern Irish town of Strabane arrested the suspect, who was subsequently released on bail pending further enquiries. Commenting on the investigation, Detective Inspector Lindsey Kitson told reporters: “As part of this ongoing investigation we want to ensure that we identify as many people as possible who may have been victims of this fraud”. The officer added: “We believe tickets for the Justin Bieber and Adele concerts were offered in a group of four from the Gumtree website and a subsequent face to face transaction took place involving the exchange of money for fake tickets. I want to hear from anyone who has bought tickets for these concerts from a man after seeing an offer on Gumtree”. http://www.completemusicupdate.com/article/northern-ireland-police-arrest-suspected-adele-and-bieber-ticket-fraudster/ 

Wood Dale Police ‘were aware’ of dangers of fast approaching festival storm
Health & Safety , Live Events / February 2016
USA

HEALTH & SAFETY Live events sector     New allegations have been made in the USA against the local police in Wood Dale, Illinois, after the death of one festival goer and injuries caused to nearly two dozen more at a suburban festival near Chicago which it is now said could have been prevented had the festival site been evacuated by the police ahead of a major storm. Thirty-five-year-old Steven Nincic was killed when a tent collapsed at Prairie Fest on 2 August 2015. According to police communications obtained by the Chicago Tribune, Wood Dale Police Department was aware of the storm but decided against evacuating attendees to a nearby school, with which it had a “tentative agreement” to use the building for shelter.   A lawsuit on behalf of the victims – which also includes an 81-year-old woman, Lorraine Nocek, whose family claim later died of her injuries – states that the festival’s organisers shouldn’t have gathered visitors together under a poorly secured tent in the storm. The tent was supplied by a firm called Classic Party Rentals. “[Classic Party Rentals] supplied tents, tables and various equipment,” says the victims’ lawyer, Michael Progar, “but they obviously didn’t organise anything.” Classic Party Rentals…

Glastonbury admits sewage discharge
Environmental Law , Live Events / February 2016
UK

ENVIRONMENTAL LAW Live events sector     The Glastonbury Festival has admitted causing a drop in water quality in a stream close to the festival’s site, after a sewage tank sprung a leak during the 2014 event. CMU Daily reports that Michael Eavis and the Festival’s Operations Director, Christopher Edwards, both appeared in court in Yeovil after a prosecution was brought against the event by the Environment Agency. Accepting that “significant” harm had been caused, the Festival challenged the levels of damage claimed by the Environment Agency – and in particular the death of protected brown trout. Representing the festival, Kerry Gwyther said an environmental report found the stream had a history of being of a “poor quality”. Of the 42 dead fish, 39 were recorded downstream and only 10 of these were brown trout, he said.They also disputed that a fine of up to £300,000 should be levied, based on the Festival’s turnover of £37 million that year, saying that the festival’s profit was actually £84,000 before tax. The Festival donates a large proportion of its annual profit to charity with three lead charities, Greenpeace, WaterAid and Oxfam all receiving six figure sums. In a statement, the Festival acknowledged the…

T-in-the-Park facing licencing scrutiny after 2015 mistakes
Licensing , Live Events / February 2016
UK

LICENSING Live events sector     The Scotsman says that senior officials at Perth & Kinross Council have warned they will not allow T in the Park to be staged again at the Strathallan Estate unless there is an overhaul of the event.   The Scotsman says that “a damning dossier” has revealed “the full scale of problems, including traffic congestion, concerns over crowd safety inside the arena and campsite security, and disruption to residents.” The council report said confidence in promoters DF Concerts had been “undermined”. Environment director Barbara Renton told the Scotsman that although the council had taken a “can do approach” to major events, it was appropriate for T in the Park to be treated differently “until DF can demonstrate their capability to effectively manage this event in future.” Festival director Geoff Ellis, initially declared the event had a “great first year at Strathallan,” but later apologised for “challenges that we know impacted upon the weekend.” The council has now reported a string of “organisational blunders” which are alleged to include last-minute changes to the event’s layout, infrastructure, transport plans and security arrangements, as well as repeated breaches of the event’s planning permission. Plans were said to have been…

Mobile snappers evicted from NEC
Contract , Live Events / February 2016
UK

CONTRACT Live events sector   Pollstar reports that twenty-three people were escorted out of Birmingham’s Barclaycard Arena after not complying with a phone ban during a gig by popular comedian Kevin Hart. Many comedians like to keep their ‘live show’ material secret so each audience gets a new show, and Hart had requested no pictures/videos to be taken and this was communicated to the audience before the show in various ways. The NEC Group, which owns the Barclaycard Arena, told the Birmingham Mail that “for Kevin Hart’s show the usage of mobile phones, cameras and recording devices were strictly prohibited in the arena bowl. This was at the request of both the artiste and touring production who hired the venue for their event.” Gig-goers were also informed that they wouldn’t be subject to a refund if caught using the banned devices. The newspaper highlights the fact that Hart finished his show by asking his fans “to light up the arena with the torches of their phones for a picture.” On its website the NEC added “The venue made every effort to ensure that the message was clearly communicated to customers via all avenues available, prior to the show and onsite. The security measures…

SFX settle class action
Contract , Live Events / February 2016
Canada

CONTRACT Live events sector   SFX Entertainment has settled one of the two outstanding lawsuits against it. Last August, Paolo Moreno, who claimed he was behind the original idea for SFX, filed a class action lawsuit against the firm’s CEO Robert Sillerman alleging fraud and breach of contract. Moreno, along with two other men, claimed Sillerman had cut him out of the business once it began to take off. Documents obtained by Mixmag, show the class action lawsuit has now been dismissed. The EDM promoter still faces a separate lawsuit seeking compensation for allegedly misleading investors in Sillerman’s bid to take the company private. The lawsuit refers to the acquisition proposal as a “sham process” designed to make the firm attractive to a third-party purchaser and maintain the share price before it was caught by its liquidity problems. SFX recently secured $20 million in new financing, later revealed to have come from Canadian private equity firm Catalyst Capital Group. SFX stock slid 12.01% to $0.10 yesterday valuing the company at least than $10 million. http://www.musicweek.com/news/read/sfx-settles-class-action-lawsuit/063940

Could the ‘agent of change’ principle finally become UK law?
Live Events / January 2016
UK

PLANNING Live events Sector   The live music sector has welcomed amendments to the UK’s Planning Bill which would introduce the ‘agent of change’ principle into UK law on a statutory basis. The amendments are planned to be debated this week as part of the Public Bill Committee consideration of the Housing And Planning Bill in the House of Commons.   When Labour’s Michael Dugher  became shadow culture secretary, one of the first issues he raised was the plight of small music venues. Of the 430 that traded in London between 2007 and 2015, only 245 remain open. At the Music Trust’s Venue Day 2015, Dugher, renowned for his love of karaoke, warned: “There is a real crisis at the moment and that’s why we need a national strategy to support small music venues before many more shut.”   The agent of change principle ensures that a new development must shoulder responsibility for compliance when situated near an existing music venue. Similarly, if a music venue opens in a residential area, it too would be responsible for complying with residential requirements.   Jo Dipple, CEO, UK Music, said: “Grassroots music venues are under threat. They are closing. These venues are…

Live sector call for action over threats to festivals and small venues
Live Events , Taxation / January 2016
UK

TAXATION / PLANNING Live events sector   The UK festival industry has been given more time to prepare its case on how business rates are assessed against agricultural land that hosts music events. Music Weeek reports that a Live Nation led coalition of 720 interested parties, including the Association Of Independent Festivals (AIF), UK Music, The Agents’ Association, The Concert Promoters Association and The Association Of Festival Organisers, has called for an immediate halt to the rating of festival sites for business rates by the Valuation Office Agency until a clear policy is established. “We do not consider that festivals and events sites should now be rateable as they are essentially temporary and ancillary uses of agricultural land,” it said in a letter to MPs.  The proposed changes including backdating the rate bill for five years, and could put the future of some festivals at risk as rural landowners take stick of financial risks. Last week’s Spending Review by Chancellor George Osborne did not include an announcement on the Business Rates Review, which will now revert to March 2016. AIF general manager Paul Reed said events and festival organisers are hoping the Government will use the extra time to take action on business…

Burning Man laments Nevada’s new entertainment tax
Live Events , Taxation / January 2016
USA

TAXATION Live events sector   Organizers of the Burning Man festival are challenging a Nevada state tax which they say could cost them nearly $3 million if enforced. The 25-year-old annual arts festival now attracts  80,000 participants to the Black Rock Desert 100 miles north of Reno.   The Reno Gazette-Journal reports (http://tinyurl.com/nrfm3hq) that Burning Man  have written to the state Department of Taxation on Friday saying that the festival should be exempt from the recently amended tax on live entertainment. Burning Man attorney Ray Allen said the 9 percent tax would translate into a tax bill of about $2.8 million. He said the tax is known by some as the “Burning Man tax” and the festival’s website says “Some seem to view Burning Man as the ‘golden goose’ they can turn to when they want money for other projects.”   In June, the Legislature approved a revised version of the live entertainment tax, which originally came into law in 2004 as a way for the state to gain revenue from Las Vegas’s robust live entertainment industry. The revised version became effective on October 1st. Business Insider reports that certain events — including school, sporting, racing and nonprofit events attended…

Adele snub prompts New Jersey tax rethink
Live Events , Taxation / January 2016
USA

TAXATION Live events sector     A New Jersey state lawmaker has used that the fact Adele is snubbing of New Jersey as a reason to pass his proposal to “give tax breaks to A-list stars”. Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean says the fact that the singer’s upcoming tour bypasses New Jersey in favor of New York and Philadelphia proves the need for the state legislature to pass his bill. It would exempt performers who play at least four nights in Atlantic City from having to pay state income taxes on all shows in New Jersey that year. If enacted the Bill would exempt artists from state taxes not only on their Atlantic City performances but also on shows at New Jersey venues including arenas in Camden, Trenton, Holmdel and Newark.   Adele is scheduled to stage six performances in New York City and two in Philadelphia.   Nicknamed the “Britney bill” for Kean’s references to multi-night engagements that pop star Britney Spears has done in Las Vegas, the bill has yet to pass through the Legislature. Senator Kean said “New Jersey gets nothing from Adele performing eight shows in neighbouring New York and Pennsylvania” adding “New Jersey will continue…

Tax boost for Broadway
Live Events , Taxation / January 2016
USA

TAXATION Live events sector     Under wider tax legislation that has now passed through the House and Senate, Broadway and live theater productions can now benefit from the same advantages that have long been afforded to TV and film productions. Live theater and concert productions can now get up to $15 million in tax credits if they spend at least 75 percent of their budgets in the U.S. The new rule would apply for productions starting after Dec. 31st 2015. The change has been championed by U.S. Senator Charles Schumer, Senator Roy Blunt of Missour and and stars including Neil Patrick Harris and Bryan Cranston. Schumer, who has been working on the tax break for four years, said the change would create “thousands and thousands” more jobs for actors and backstage workers, and produce more shows nationwide, helping hotel, restaurant and taxi industries. He noted that other countries also grant live theater similar breaks, especially in London, which has been luring away American production.   The tax law change, part of a bill that President Obama is expected to sign, would provide an incentive for investors in live theatrical productions by accelerating deductions and by ending the practice of requiring…

Music promoters form new self regulating body in Russia
Licensing , Live Events / January 2016
Russia

LICENSING Live events sector   In response to new legislation in Russia, promoters have combined to form a self-monitoring organisation with the aim of improving the sector’s operations. The new organisation is named “Soyukontsert” and founder members include SAV Entertainment, PMI and NCA. The proposed new regulations outline greater responsibility for promoters around customer care and will make the industry more professional and efficient, reports Billboard.   Amongst it’s activities Soyukonsert will   – Create  an emergency fund to cover expenses for cancelled shows – Form a disciplinary commission that will assess professional standards for the live sector   – Liaise with local authorities to avoid cancellations of show   “The creation of a self-regulating organization is a natural step as the live entertainment industry moves towards greater professionalism,” said Dmitry Bogachev, head of Stage Entertainment. “Similar professional organisations exist in many countries. And, similarly to them, we shouldn’t restrict ourselves to formal regulation of relations with consumers.”   Legislators are expected to adopt the new regulations early in 2016.   http://www.billboard.com/biz/articles/news/touring/6812741/russian-live-industry-looks-to-band-together-and-self-regulate

Fabric fights off strict licensing conditions
Licensing , Live Events / January 2016
UK

LICENSING Live events sector   CMU Daily reports that London night club Fabric has successfully appealed a number of new licensing conditions placed on the venue by Islington Council late last year. Fabric had faced losing its licence after a review of its operations was launched by the local authority last year. The review followed complaints by police, mainly in relation to alleged drug incidents, and claims that there had been a “wholly unacceptable number of deaths and near death incidents at the venue”. although the club managed to keep its licence, it had to agree to a number of strict new security measures, including sniffer dogs and ID scans althogh the owners said they would appeal the Local Authority ruling, saying at the time: “We need to see their written reasons but we fundamentally disagree on a number of key points. We are on the same page in lots of ways, we just have fundamental differences on how to operate that”.   As the conditions were appealed, most of the new security measures were never implemented, although ID scanning was trialled for a short period.   http://www.completemusicupdate.com/article/fabric-wins-appeal-over-proposed-new-security-measures/

New South Wales bans private sniffer dogs
Licensing , Live Events / January 2016
Australia

LICENSING Live events sector   Event organisers and club owners down under who are trying to keep illicit drugs out of their venues have been prevented from using hiring private sniffer dogs – to search for either narcotics or terrorist threats. A change to the law means that only official NSW Police sniffer dogs can be used for drug detection purposes.   Alpha K9 Security owner Madeleine Mortiss, said she understood the legislation had been amended to prevent guard dogs from being used in crowds, but had also put detection dogs into the same category.   http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/nsw/private-sniffer-dogs-banned-from-events-clubs-under-law-change/story-fni0cx12-1227642931362

PRS live music consultation prompts a range of responses
UK

COPYRIGHT Live events sector, music publishing   The music publishing sector’s collecting society PRS For Music has confirmed that it has received 111 direct responses to its consultation on the way the organisation licenses live events – the so called ‘Tariff LP’ (Popular Music Concerts Tariff’). Concert and festival promoters, as well as their trade bodies such as the Concert Promoters Association (CPA) and the Association of Independent Festivals (AIF), clubs and other venues submitted their views, along with the PRS membership (which comprise songwriters and music publishers). There was some disquiet about the way PRS for Music attempted to structure responses, and indeed how a body seeking to increase a rate could be allowed to run an ‘independent’ consultation. The current rate is 3% of gross box office, but PRS for Music would like to expand this to secondary ticketing, sponsorship and ancillary income. The PRs reviewed the rate just 5 years ago, and were again criticised not only for yet another review, but also for launching the review in the busy summer season, leaving the live events sector little time to respond, although the deadline was later extended at the request of the CPA.  The Report can be found…

Nickleback insurance claim disputed
Insurance , Live Events / January 2016
USA

INSURANCE Live events Sector   Nickelback frontman Chad Kroeger is reportedly being sued for failing to disclose the pre-existing throat condition which forced the group to cancel a string of concerts. The band cancelled more than 60 shows earlier this year when Kroeger had a cyst surgically removed from his vocal cords and the cancellations were put in place to allow Kroeger an “extended period of vocal rest”   This resulted in a $13 million claim to cover losses for the cancelled concerts but TMZ reports that  documents from insurers argue the singer had the condition prior to taking out his policy but never disclosed this. Lloyd’s of London is now suing to cancel the policy, according to the report.   At the time the band said “Most of all, we are sorry to miss our fans out on the road this fall, but Chad’s health, healing and full recovery are what is most important right now,” read a statement issued by the band in August.   http://www.billboard.com/articles/news/6805339/nickelback-sued-insurance-claim

Glastonbury faces sewage charges
Environmental Law , Live Events / January 2016
UK

ENVIRONMENTAL LAW Live events sector   Local press reports says that the Glastonbury Festival is being prosecuted after failures in the way the event deals with the thousands of gallons of human urine and excrement. The charges stem from the 2014 Festival, the first year the majority of the toilets on the site were specially-built long drop toilets, which collected the waste in huge underground concrete tanks.  Organiser Michael Eavis had earlier that year said the Festival had plans to store human waste on site and convert this to fertiliser for farmland (although not for Worthy Farm itself).   It is understood the charges relate to the numbers of people urinating into hedgerows, with the Environment Agency closely monitoring the pollution levels in the stream that flows through the Worthy Farm site.   Operations Director Christopher Edwards appeared before Magistrates in Yeovil to represent the company, and faced a charge that on or before June 29, 2014 at the Glastonbury Festival, ‘otherwise that under, and to the extent authorised by an environmental permit, caused or knowingly permitted a water discharge activity or groundwater activity, namely the discharge of human sewage derived from the Glastonbury Music Festival’, breaching the  Environmental Permitting…

Adele fights back against the ticket touts
Consumers , Live Events / January 2016
UK

CONSUMER Live events sector   Last week Sir Elton John branded ticket resale websites “disgraceful” for selling tickets to his gigs at inflated prices, joining other big name such as Mumford & Sons, Prince and Coldplay, who have all recently attacked the resale “rip-off”. Adele is now taking much publicised action to fight off the touts on her latest dates. The Observer has also revealed that Justin Bieber fans wanting tickets for his October 2016 London O2 dates are being asked on Get Me In to hand over as much as £1,825 for seats with a face value of just £50. That figure includes a £285 cut taken by Get Me In. The Observer has monitored the main sites in the UK (Seatwave, Viagogo, Get Me In and StubHub) and has found all four carry listings that appeared to be in breach of the Consumer Rights Act 2015, which requires anyone who resells an event ticket via a secondary market website to provide details of the seat row and number, as well as the face value and information about any restrictions amid fresh claims that many sites are flouting the law and supporting “industrial-scale touting”.  A spokesman for Viagogo told the…

Ticketmaster face anti-trust action from SongKick
Competition , Live Events / January 2016
USA

COMPETITION / ANTI-TRUST Live events sector   Online concert-ticket retailer Songkick has accused Ticketmaster and its parent company, Live Nation, of engaging in anti-competitive behaviour by pressuring touring artists and concert venues to not work with Songkick’s service.  New York-based Songkick has filed Law suit in THE U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, saying that Live Nation is in violation of federal antitrust laws, marking the latest legal challenge to the Beverly Hills-based company. In the complaint, Songkick says Ticketmaster and Live Nation have “attempted to destroy competition in the artist presale ticketing services market.”  Songkick says Ticketmaster has used its clout in the ticketing industry to try to force the company to pay service fees for pre-sales, and intimidated concert venues to not work with Songkick and other rival ticketing services.  The complaint also says that artists have also come under pressure: the company says a “global superstar,” whose name was not revealed, was denied marketing from Ticketmaster because the musician used Songkick for pre-sales.   The company is seeking unspecified damages, including punitive damages and attorneys fees. Songkick  says it has worked with artists including Kenny Chesney, Metallica and Mumford & Sons. Just last week, Songkick said it sold 230,000…

At least 45 dead after nightclub fire in Bucharest
Health & Safety , Live Events / December 2015
Brazil
USA

HEALTH & SAFETY Live events sector   At least forty people – mostly teenagers and young people – have been killed after fire broke out at a nightclub in Bucharest, officials say. The blaze took hold at the Colectiv club on Friday night (30th October), where rock band Goodbye to Gravity were celebrating a new album with a free concert, causing a stampede for the two small exits – one of which was reportedly closed or blocked. Emergency response chief Raed Arafat said 155 people were being treated in hospitals in the Romanian capital. The fire is believed to have been caused by fireworks that were let off inside the club. The pyrotechnics were reportedly part of a show by the heavy metal band, and ignited polystyrene decor in the club. Arafat told the BBC that “the only information we have is that fireworks were used in the club and after that the tragedy happened. Of course, this is under investigation”.  Local media reports suggesting two of the band are among those seriously injured or dead. Officials say  that they fear the death toll could as yet double in number.  Arafat, said people were treated for burns, smoke inhalation and…

Radiohead stage collapse death hearing begins
Health & Safety , Live Events / December 2015
Canada
UK

HEALTH AND SAFETY Live events sector     The hearing into the death of Radiohead’s drum technician, 33 year old Scott Johnson, who was killed when the stage collapsed before a concert three years ago, has begun in Canada. Three other crew members were injured in the incident, which took place in Toronto’s Downsview Park on June 16, 2012, reports Exclaim. Live Nation Canada, Live Nation Ontario and Optex Staging and Services each face four charges under Canada’s Occupational Health and Safety Act, while an engineer, Domenic Cugliari, faces one charge of endangering a worker by negligence. All have pleaded not guilty.  The concert, which was due to have been the final show on Radiohead’s 2012 North American tour, was cancelled following the tragedy.

South Australia removes ‘entertainment consent’ provisions from licensing requirements
Licensing , Live Events / December 2015
Australia

LICENSING Live events sector     One of the more ‘curious tenets’ of South Australia’s Liquor Licensing system was officially repealed this week with the passing of a welcome new amendment by South Australian Parliament. The new amendment, part of Attorney-General John Rau’s response to a review of the Late Night Code, will remove the need for licensed venues to apply for “entertainment consent” in order to host live music and other entertainment between 11am and midnight. “Entertainment consent” meant that venues had to specify not only the days and times live music would be played, but their genre as well. The law made South Australia the only state in the country where the Liquor Licensing Commissioner presides over the kind of music played in venues. Glenelg’s Dublin Hotel was taken to court after it was discovered hosting DJs mixing tunes on the premises. It was only being licensed to host traditional Irish music.   http://www.tonedeaf.com.au/464874/one-of-australias-stupidest-music-laws-just-got-repealed.htm

Booze ban at AC/DC concert in New Zealand
Licensing , Live Events / December 2015
New Zealand

LICENSING Live events sector     AC/DC fans will restricted from drinking alcohol before the legendary rock band’s concerts in Auckland, New Zealand, in December after Waitemata Local Board voted unanimously in support of a temporary liquor ban at their board meeting on November 10th.   Board chairman Shale Chambers said even though many of the concert-goers could well be in their 60s, the police are concerned about alcohol consumption before and after the ‘Rock or Bust’ concert. Senior Sergeant Antony Wilson wrote a letter to Stephen Town, chief executive of Auckland Council, requesting the dry zone around Western Springs Stadium.   He stated that temporary liquor bans have “significantly assisted in curbing alcohol-related harm and offending in public areas”.   Chambers said there was sufficient evidence of the potential alcohol-related harm to justify the dry street ban advanced by Inspector Gary Davey at the meeting with Chambers saying that Inspector Davey “went through the levels of intoxication and alcohol related harm that was likely at this type of event,”   The temporary alcohol ban will operate for 24 hours from 6am on December 15 in the surrounding area. Consumption or possession of alcohol is prohibited during the specified times…

Will boycotts of Israel mean a ban on Jewish festivals in Spain?
Censorship , Licensing , Live Events / December 2015
Israel
Spain

LICENSING / CENSORSHIP Live events sector   A left wing lawmaker from the Spanish city of Cordoba said that a local Jewish music festival would need to be rethought if a motion she had submitted in favour of boycotting the state of Israel passed.   Europa Press reported that Amparo Pernichi, Cordoba’s alderwoman for landscape and infrastructure, had linked Israel to the music festival during a news conference earlier this month and following controversy in local media over her statements, the draft motion was rejected by the Cordoba City Council on Nov. 10.   However, a similar motion passed the same day in the northern city of Santiago de Compostela. At the November 4th news conference Pernichi, who represents the United Left party, was asked whether her draft motion would spell the end of the International Sephardi Music Festival. The festival has been held since 2002 in Cordoba, a city in southern Spain that was a major cultural hub for Jews before their expulsion from Spain in the 15th century. Spanish Jews once constituted one of the largest and most prosperous Jewish communities in the world. This period ended definitively with the Alhambra decree of 1492, as a result of…

Wilma Theatre venue management contract ends up in Court
Competition , Contract , Live Events / December 2015
USA

COMPETITION / ANTI-TRUST / CONTRACT Live events industry     The previous and current owners of the Wilma Theatre in Montana are being sued in U.S. District Court by concert promoter Knitting Factory Presents who claims they’ve engaged in “anti-competitive behavior” and the induced termination of  a nine year agreement in July 2014 to exclusively manage the theater and buy talent for it with Simba Entertainment, a company owned solely by then venue owner Rick Wishcamper. Simba Entertainment was to pay Bravo $85,000 each year, plus ticket fees and a percentage of concessions and sponsorship revenue Knitting Factory Presents (also known as Bravo Entertainment) says it lost at least $609,000, and is seeking to triple those damages to an estimated $2,210,255. The previous owner, Rick Wishcamper, counters that under Knitting Factory Presents’ management, the venue saw steeply increasing losses, a “fiasco” in a critical staff position after general manager after Marcus Duckwitz resigned and his replacement had “serious alcohol issues”, alienated other staff, upset other local companies and left after just four months, and other actions that breached the contract. The current owner, Nick Checota, says Knitting Factory is free to book concerts elsewhere in Missoula besides the Wilma and his Top Hat Lounge (a competing…

3 jailed for Kendal Calling drugs offences
Live Events / December 2015
UK

CRIMINAL Live events sector   Three young men who committed drugs offences at the Kendal Calling music festival in Cumbria have been imprisoned after a trial at Carlisle Crown Court. Anthony McKibbin, 22, and Liam Dean, 21, were arrested the festival site near Penrith. Both were found in possession of illegal drugs, and further quantities of illicit substances were discovered in their car nearby. Fingerprints belonging to Joel Basnett, 19, were found on a plastic bag in the vehicle. He was detained several months later. The trio, all from Liverpool, admitted conspiracy to supply class A ecstasy along with ketamine and cannabis – both class B. In addition, McKibbin and Dean admitted a fourth count relating to class C drug BZP. Judge Peter Davies gave all three immediate custodial sentences. Basnett was sent to a young offenders’ institution for four years and eight months having also been caught trying to sell drugs at another festival. McKibbin and Dean were jailed for four and two years, respectively. Judge Davies told the three men: “Drugs spoil these festivals and ruin them for people whilst you make money out of it” adding “That is why these offences are serious.”   This year nine people were taken seriously ill after taking substances at…

Janet Jackson legal blitz shocks fans – and prompts an apology
Artists , Contract , Copyright , Live Events / November 2015
USA

COPYRIGHT / CONTRACT Artiste, live events sector     Janet Jackson’s fans have accused the singer and her team of some heavy handed tactics after they posted pictures and short video clips of her current “Unbreakable” tour on their Instagram feeds. Numerous fans have claimed that after posting pics of Jackson live in concert, they’ve received e-mails from the social-media app explaining: “a third party reported that the content violates their copyright.” One Jackson concert-goer in Los Angeles told Page Six that the morning after the concert, her Instagram account was deleted, “Without warning. Every. Single. Photo. Gone.” Another blogger reported the same issue, claiming they had, “five e-mails from Instagram . . . about the five videos I had posted . . . It seems like Miss Jackson’s [legal] team is on fire. What a shame they don’t understand the times we live in.” Jackson’s team is said to be very ‘struct’ – accredited photographers are given just 30 seconds to catch images at her concerts at the beginning of her set.   A representative for  Instagram blamed the issue on “a bug.” “We have identified a bug that resulted in the removal of accounts that shouldn’t have been removed” adding in a statement “We…

The UK’s secondary ticketing market is in the news again
Consumers , Contract , Live Events / November 2015
UK

CONSUMER / CONTRACT Live Events Sector     Secondary ticketing was again in the news, firstly with the announcement by the UK government’s Department Of Culture, Media & Sport that Professor Michael Waterson will lead the review of the secondary ticketing market which follows from the recently enacted Consumer Rights Act – after MPs Mike Weatherley and Sharon Hodgson managed to ensure that some (but not all) of their concerns regarding the secondary ticketing market were enshrined in the Act – although one key proposal – that people reselling tickets online must publish their identity, was not included. That information would have allowed anti-touting promoters to more easily cancel tickets being touted as they appear on resale sites. The new legislation did provide for a review of consumer protection measures in the secondary ticketing domain, including making it compulsory to display the face value of the tickets being sold, and information on the seating area, and any restrictions that apply. Prof Waterson, specialises in industrial economics, including the economics of retail will chair the review. Interested parties have been invited to submit evidence by 20 Nov. Speaking at the time the legislation was finalised, Conservative Peer Colin Moynihan, a former sports minister, said:…

UK consumers gain protection for digital purchases
Consumers , Contract , Live Events / November 2015
UK

CONTRACT / CONSUMER LAW Live events sector   “UK Shoppers know your rights: 30-day refund becomes law and includes digital purchases” Digital products from retailers such as Spotify and Apple’s iTunes are now covered by the newly revised Consumer Rights Act in the *United Kingdom, which introduces specific rules to protect online shoppers, including those of music and app download stores and streaming services.  Among the revised rules is users’ right to demand a replacement for faulty digital content such as films, games, apps, music and eBooks purchased. Another provision of the Act is that digital retailers will be required to offer financial compensation if users download a virus or their device becomes corrupted as a consequence of accessing a service. Consumers will also be able to challenge unfair terms and conditions or legal loopholes hidden in the small print, while all digital goods sold must be fit for purpose and “free from minor defects.” Business Minister Nick Boles said in a statement”Whether it’s downloading music or buying a fridge freezer, the Consumer Rights Act makes it easier to understand your rights” adding “These changes will also simplify the law for businesses so they can spend less time worrying about unclear and unwieldy…

Fredericksburg to review outdoors noise limits
Licensing , Live Events / November 2015
USA

LICENSING Live events sector     Fredericksburg, just west of Austin, is a weekend destination for many Texans with the country music hotspot of Luckenbach just a short drive away. But now it seems that one of the most inviting pieces of the Fredericksburg experience – live outdoor music – could be in danger. According to reports from a city council meeting, amplified outdoor music could soon be a thing of the past. It seems that complaints to city council members from residents and bed-and-breakfast owners near the town’s Main Street area have been mounting. City Manager Kent Myers said in a statement that no votes were taken at the meeting and no decisions were made, but the town’s police chief was expected to present some findings on sound complaints in the area by the end of the year. A sound ordinance is already in place in Fredericksburg. Currently outdoor amplified music is subject to nightly 11 p.m. curfew. It seems that everything is up for debate: Reports say that it’s possible that decibel level limits may be reduced or enforced, or that venues might need to change the arrangement of outdoor speakers. But outdoor events might be more seriously…