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…

Insane Clown Posse battle with the FBI back on
Live Events / October 2015
USA

DISCRIMINATION Performers     Insane Clown Posse have scored a court win in their ongoing litigation against the FBI, after the appeals court reinstated their U.S. legal action which was dismissed last year. Rappers Insane Clown Posse, aka hip hop duo Violent J and Shggy 2 Dope, filed a lawsuit against the US Justice Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation in 2014, over a report which labelled their fans as ‘gang members’ and  announced that they had gained support for their legal action against the FBI from civil rights organisation the American Civil Liberties Union and law firm Miller Canfield.   The band’s fans, known as ‘Juggalos’, were referenced in the FBI’s ‘National Gang Threat Assessment: Emerging Trends’ report in 2011, which said: “The Juggalos, a loosely-organised hybrid gang, are rapidly expanding into many US communities. Although recognised as a gang in only four states, many Juggalo subsets exhibit gang-like behaviour and engage in criminal activity and violence – law enforcement officials in at least 21 states have identified criminal Juggalo subsets”. The case was dismissed after the US Department Of Justice argued that the FBI cannot be held responsible for how information in any of its reports is used…

Hugo Boss £1.2 million fine a timely reminder of health & safety penalties
Health & Safety , Live Events / October 2015
UK

HEALTH & SAFETY Live events sector   Designer clothing company Hugo Boss has been fined £1.2m after the death of a young boy who was crushed by a mirror at its Bicester Village store. Austen Harrison, four, suffered fatal head injuries at the Oxfordshire outlet store in June 2013. Austen, from Crawley, West Sussex, had been playing with the steel-framed fitting-room mirror, described as being balanced upright like a “domino piece”, when it toppled on to him while his father tried on a suit. The ‘pop up’ store had been quickly converted from its previous user to house the Hugo Boss outlet. Monthly health and safety checks were not undertaken. Oxford Crown Court heard the 2,1 metre high 19 stone mirror had “negligently been left free-standing without any fixings”. An inquest at Oxford Coroners’s Court had earlier found that the mirror should have been fixed to a reinforced wall.  The Company had previously admitted offences under the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974 and the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999. Judge Peter Ross said  “it would have been obvious to the untrained eye” that the mirror posed a risk, and that “it was nothing short of…

Wine Bar fined £100,000 after liquid nitrogen drink destroyed a customer’s stomach
Health & Safety , Live Events / October 2015
UK

HEALTH & SAFETY Live events sector   A wine bar has been fined £100,000 after a woman drank a cocktail containing liquid nitrogen which caused so much damage she had to have her stomach removed. Gaby Scanlon, of Heysham, Lancashire, had been celebrating her 18th birthday in 2012 with friends at Oscar’s Wine Bar in Lancaster when she was given a free a Nitro-Jagermeister shot. As soon as she swallowed her drink she felt an explosion in her stomach  and a smoke like vapour came out of her nose. Ms Scanlon said she  felt her stomach expand.  The court heard Ms Scanlon was left close to death after drinking the drink which usually cost £3.95 shot. She was taken to Lancaster Royal Infirmary, where a CT scan found a large perforation in her stomach. Ms Scanlon, now 20, spent three weeks in hospital, undergoing surgery to remove her stomach and connect her oesophagus directly to her small bowel. Her solicitors told the court the experience, on 4 October 2012, had “completely changed” her life. She now suffers from “episodes of agonising pain”, has to avoid some foods and can no longer enjoy eating, they said. The Bar, which had opened…

Drone fine is welcome news for event safety
Health & Safety , Live Events / October 2015
UK

HEALTH & SAFETY Live events sector     The danger of drones falling out of the sky (and things falling from drones) has recently begun to trouble event organisers – including sports events, outdoor music events and festivals. Now Nottingham based Nigel Wilson, 42, has been convicted flying unmanned devices over built-up public places, or without direct sight of the aircraft, which is prohibited under sections 166 and 167 of the Air Navigation Order 2009. Wilson flew drones over Liverpool’s Anfield Stadium during a match in September 2014, flying so close to the ground that police horses were “startled” and officers struggled to control them, according to a police statement. He also flew drones over Arsenal’s Emirates stadium in North London, Derby County’s iPro stadium, and Manchester City’s Etihad stadium, all on busy match days. After the Manchester incident, on the 18th October 2014 Wilson was arrested by Greater Manchester police. Wilson was bailed, but then arrested again by Metropolitan Police, who were carrying out an investigation with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), after it emerged he had also been flying drones over London landmarks including Buckingham Palace, the Shard, HMS Belfast and the Houses of Parliament. Westminster Magistrates Court…

Tennessee tries to ban handguns are popular events
Licensing , Live Events / October 2015
USA

LICENSING Live events sector     Americans shoot Americans and most Americans seem to accept this,  as the right to ‘bear arms’ (and thus allow these shootings of the innocent) trumps all. President Obama has expressed his frustration at this, and the appalling statistics on gun deaths in the USA need no more comment. There are the odd glimmers of hope and common sense. With some lack of clarity over whether those legally allowed to carry handguns can take them into sporting and entertainment events in public parks and other recreational facilities, a new bill in Tennessee aims to allow public concert venues and professional sports stadiums owned by local municipalities to be able to maintain a ban on guns at events. The measure would create an exemption to the “guns in parks” law for ticketed events at public parks and any site used by a professional sports team for training or games.  The Tennessean reports that State Senate Majority Leader Lee Harris, D-Memphis, said: “Allowing guns in areas with large crowds where alcohol is consumed is a recipe for disaster, and creates a grave danger for law enforcement officers, who might not be able to distinguish friendlies with a gun…

Class action filed in SFX share buy back debacle
Live Events / October 2015
USA

EXCHANGE AC Live events sector     A US law firm has filed a class action lawsuit against EDM promoter SFX on behalf of anyone who bought shares in the company between the 25th February and 17th August of this year. Abbey Spanier LLP, which specialises in class actions, alleges that SFX and its CEO Robert Sillerman made “materially false and misleading statements” in the first half of this year in relation to the latter’s much publicised plan to buy-back all the shares he doesn’t currently control in the business, taking the EDM powerhouse back into private ownership. Sillerman floated SFX in 2013 at a price of $13 per share, and indeed his buy-back plan, initially at $4.75 per share, was not well received by investors. A committee of independent directors at SFX approved the proposal after Sillerman improved his offer to $5.25 per share (which was then well above the share price of $3.13). However the SFX share price subsequently dropped, at one point hitting a low of just $1.94 cents: last month Sillerman admitted that he couldn’t raise enough finance to go through with the proposed deal and also had to make a public apology after SFX subsidiary…

Employees time travelling to work CAN be working time
Employment Law , Live Events / October 2015
EU
Spain

EMPLOYMENT LAW Live events sector     The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) has decided that time spent travelling to and from work for non-office based employees must now be classed as working time in a decision that may have a significant impact under the Working Time Regulations and arguably could impact on minimum wages in the UK. The case centred on a Spanish company, Tyco, whose employees were required to travel between client premises installing and maintaining security equipment.  The employees then became home based after the closure of their office.  A dispute arose about whether the time spent travelling at the start and the end of their working day should be classed as ‘working time’. Previously under the Working Time Regulations it was considered that working time did not include travel to and from work. The company  argued that this remained the same even with the change to a home base, but employees disagreed, saying theior travel should be classed as working time. These journeys varied greatly, with occasions of up to 100km of travel,  and the employees wanted to be paid for this additional ‘time’. The Spanish Courts sought clarification on the term ‘working time’ in…

Koko triumphs in historic planning battle
Live Events / October 2015
UK

PLANNING Live events sector     A historic Camden nightspot has triumphed in a High Court battle to block plans to convert a neighbouring pub into flats after a judge ruled that councillors’ attention had not been drawn to the potential heritage impact of the development. Koko, located at 1A Camden High Street, appealed to the High Court after plans to turn the Hope and Anchor pub into eight flats were approved. The club and live venue’s owners, Obar Camden Ltd, emerged victorious after the court ruled councillors had been “significantly misled” by planning officers. The Hope & Anchor’s owner, Vidacraft Ltd, also planned to build a three-storey extension and either shops or estate agent’s offices on the ground floor. Camden Council had granted permission for the project on January 6th, but the ruling has now been quashed. Koko began life as The Camden Theatre and was opened on Boxing Day 1900. In 1909 the theatre was renamed The Camden Hippodrome and was a variety theatre where Charlie Chaplin regularly performed. The venue became a cinema in 1913 and in 1928 ‘Novelty Nights’ were introduced on Fridays with up to seven live acts appearing before a film was shown. In 1933…

New South Korean licensing law puts venues at risk, and Prohibition era state laws ban alcohol at US event
Licensing , Live Events / September 2015
South Korea

LICENSING Live events sector     The South Korean Ministry of Food and Drug Safety was warned that venues risk being shut of they don’t apply for the correct licence. One high profile example is the Night & Music club in Hongdae and many other venues in that neighbourhood have an uncertain future due to a revised law that takes effect on February 19th, 2016. The new regulations include a clause on establishments which are registered as “ordinary restaurants”and which will ban customers from singing and dancing as well as the venue using a sound system. Previously, the law stated that restaurants can cook and sell food along with alcohol, but did not specifically state that singing or dancing was prohibited. To host singing and dancing, such establishments will have to register as “bars” under the new law, which is a more lengthy process with more restrictions on location,  and attracts a 30% uplift in tax. “The existing law did not include details on how to penalize those who violate business license regulations,” a ministry official said. “With the revision, local authorities will be able to better carry out the law and crack down on violators.” Under the revised law, a first-time violator will…

Stub-hub bring anti-trust suit against US basketball team
Competition , Live Events / September 2015
USA

COMPETITION / ANTI-TRUST Live events sector     In what could prove to be a landmark case in the sports ticket marketplace, StubHub filed a lawsuit against the Golden State Warriors and Ticketmaster in the northern district of California accusing the two of conspiring to create an illegal resale market. The U.S. basketball team have an alliance with Live Nation’s Ticketmaster, which is both the primary ticket seller for the team, and operates the Warriors’ official season ticket resale platform. In a Californian law suit, secondary re-seller StubHub, owned by e-Bay, has argued that this violates competition law, because Warriors fans can only buy tickets – whether through primary channels or on the resale market – via the Live Nation subsidiary. StubHub maintains that the Warriors and Ticketmaster have cancelled or threatened to cancel season-ticket packages if fans resell their tickets over secondary exchanges that compete with Ticketmaster’s. In response the Golden State Warriors said that its ticketing partnership in no way violated anti-trust rules because if customers didn’t want to buy tickets via a Ticketmaster platform, they could always go watch another basketball team play. According to Law 360, the Warriors wrote in their recent submission “Even a seller of a highly…

Stafford Borough Council fined £20,000 after Tallescope collapse
Health & Safety , Live Events / August 2015
UK

HEALTH & SAFETY Live events sector   Stafford Borough Council has been fined £20,000 after an incident at a theatre in which a worker suffered fractured bone in his back. Stafford Magistrates’ Court heard that two employees at the Stafford Gatehouse Theatre were using a tallescope (a telescopic aluminium manually operated work platform, used for one-person spot access) to undertake high level work to stage curtains and projector. One of the workers, Mark Elkin, 33, was in the caged working platform at the top of the tallescope, approximately 4.5 metres high, as his colleague manoeuvred it around the stage to relocate it when the apparatus overturned. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE), prosecuting, told the court the incident on 16 July 2014 should never have happened and the court was told that applicable guidelines had been contravened on many previous occasions. The court heard no suitable risk assessment had been carried out for the use of the tallescope at the theatre. If it had, the manufacturer’s instructions on a warning label on the apparatus stating it should not be rolled with men or materials on platform should have been highlighted. Mr Elkin suffered a fracture at the base of the…

Finland allows refunds for dreadful shows
Consumers , Live Events / August 2015
Finland

CONSUMER Live events sector   A tribunal in Finland has ruled that under-par concerts by established artistes should result in a refund of at least an element of the ticket price by the promoter. The Finnish Consumer Disputes Board is the result of a complaint following a 2013 Chuck Berry concert in Helsinki when the 88-year-old singer was sick and didn’t perform up to par. Berry apologised on stage for his condition during the show. The Board said that the event organizer should refund 50% of the ticket price. Board chairman Paul Stahlberg told Finnish broadcaster YLE that illness was a justifiable reason to ask for a refund, though a lack of sobriety may not be. “It’s not at all unusual at rock festivals that some artists are high, and that doesn’t even necessarily affect the quality of their performances,” he said. Its not a matter of taste though:  “Anyone seeking a ruling like this is always spurred by a subjective opinion, but that’s not enough to get a refund,” Stahlberg noted. “What is significant is a generally agreed view that the concert was a failure, as it was in the Chuck Berry case.”   The ruling opens the possibility…

Japan lifts dancing ban
Licensing , Live Events / August 2015
Japan

LICENSING Live events sector   Japan has amended a controversial law which has been in place for 67 years. The statute, officially termed “the Entertainment Business Control Law” or fueiho forbade dancing after midnight in clubs, bars and most venues unless they had an appropriate (and still ery limited) . The remarkably old fashioned and only sporadically enforced regulation had recently come under scrutiny, as the police had been more vigilant in applying the provisions – to great concern. The law was originally implemeted in 1948 during the US occupation to prevent clubs using music as a cover for prostitution. However the death of a student in an Osaka club in 2010 helped initiate a new wave of enforcement by police. By 2012, “no dancing” signs started appearing at many of the well-known clubs in Tokyo’s Roppongi and Shinjuku districts, as well as Shinsaibashi in Osaka, significantly impacting nightlife business throughout the country.  in 2013, Academy-award winning composer Ryuichi Sakamoto launched the Let’s Dance Petition Committee, which collected over 150,000 signatures in support of changing the law and many say the award of the 2022 Olympic Games to Jame prompted change. However the re-written statute states that dance clubs must maintain lighting above…

Travis County Judge looks at noise control in Austin
Licensing , Live Events / August 2015
USA

LICENSING Live events sector     The Austin Monitor tells us that Travis County Judge Sarah Eckhardt has dismissed concerns that a plan to reform outdoor concert regulations in the county could potentially violate state law. The Travis County Commissioners Court is currently looking ar streamline the permitting process for mass gatherings which would implement a tougher stance against loud music after certain nightime hours on unincorporated lands. The Texas Mass Gatherings Act of 1989 gives county judges authority over the permitting process. Critics of the plan – including promoters of some of the festivals that would be affected – argue that Texas counties have no authority to regulate sound levels beyond what state law allows – although the Texas Penal Code defines “unreasonable noise” as anything over 85 decibels, or somewhere between a blender and a garbage disposal. However Judge Eckhardt told the Austin Monitor that the plan before the court simply sets a baseline expectation of when events must pull the plug on amplified music. The proposed change would set that baseline at 10 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays and at midnight on Fridays and Saturdays. However, Eckhardt stressed that permit applicants who wish to extend this period won’t necessarily be denied: “If…

Evolve finds new insurer to meet drugs challenge
Licensing , Live Events / August 2015
Canada

LICENSING Live events sector     The Evolve Festival in Antigonish, Nova Scotia has been saved after its drug harm reduction policy involving free drug test kits led to the near cancellation of  the event. According to CBC News, Evolve recently became the first festival in the territory to announce the presence of drug-testing – organisers said they expected drugs to be present, and that they wanted to make users safer by making them aware of what they were taking. Anyone concerned about whatever they are taking could hand a small sample to festival officials, who would then use a two-part litmus test to test for MDMA, speed, and LSD. Unfortunately the drugs testing plan prompted the event’s underwriters who provided liability insurance to pull out, leaving festival producer Jonas Colter in a tough spot – no insurance – no event: The difficulty was put t rest when a new underwriter was found who would provide cover. Consequence of Sound make the point: “In other words, in order to ensure that ticket buyers actually had an event to attend, Evolve considered canceling plans to protect them from dangerous substances”. http://consequenceofsound.net/2015/07/evolve-festival-nearly-forced-to-cancel-for-offering-drug-testing-kits-to-attendees/

Britain’s planning rules are ruining its music industry. Here’s how
Licensing , Live Events / August 2015
UK

LICENSING. PLANNING Live events sector   This update by Shain Shapiro. In early July, The Troubadour, an independent pub in London’s Earl’s Court district, was put up for sale. Its owners, Simon and Susie Thornhill, told the Evening Standard that the closure of their rear terrace, prompted by noise complaints and a subsequent enforcement action by Kensington & Chelsea council, had reduced their takings, making the business unviable. The Troubadour is one of the more storied venues in London. It has hosted live music since 1954; as recently as 2011, Bob Dylan and Keith Richards played there. But with Earl’s Court now being redeveloped into housing and a new town centre, it was the last such venue in the area. Its current challenges are disappointing. When discussing the problems faced by live music venues today, the debate tends to focus more on the micro side of things – individual cases, like that of the Troubadour – than the macro, in the form of a larger, more worrying problem threatening all our cultural spaces, including venues. This problem is the way our planning laws are often used to undermine and deprioritise the creative industries. The Troubadour’s fate notwithstanding, we need to understand…

When claimants stand up for copyright, defendants can get sent down
Copyright , Live Events / July 2015
UK

COPYRIGHT Live events sector   Phonographic Performance Limited v Fletcher is an extempore ruling by Mr Justice Arnold, sitting in the Chancery Division, England and Wales, last Monday; being extempore it isn’t available on BAILII but it was noted in brief on the subscription-only Lawtel service. It’s one of those rulings that reflects on the sad end which some defendants face when they just keep carrying on infringing, ignoring every cue to stop. In these proceedings Phonographic Performance Limited (PPL), a UK music licensing company, applied to commit Fletcher for contempt of court, following his breach of an order prohibiting him from playing sound recordings without a licence at a nightclub. Fletcher himself was the premises licence holder of a night club. Despite PPL’s warning, Fletcher did not take out a licence to play music the rights to which were administered by it.  PPL then applied for judgment in default for copyright infringement, securing an injunction that ordered Fletcher not to play PPL’s songs in public without a licence. At this point Fletcher agreed to pay the outstanding licence fees by monthly instalments — but then he defaulted on payment. Subsequently allowed to make weekly instalments, he paid them late. PPL…

Swift accused of hypocrisy by photographer after Apple dispute ends
Copyright , Live Events / July 2015
USA

COPYRIGHT Live events sector     Having managed to reverse Apple Music’s ‘no royalties’ policy for the first three month launch period, Taylor Swift has come under fire from freelance photographer Jason Sheldon, who points out that photo waivers for the pop star’s concerts stipulate that a photographer can use their images from the show only once and only within the published report on that performance – meaning that whilst the copyright owner, they can’t sell their images to other editorial outlets, nor can they sell prints of the image in any way – and to add insult to injury – they have to sign over ‘publicity’ and non commercial right on a royalty free basis to Swift. For the life of copyright. “You say in your letter to Apple that ‘Three months is a long time to go unpaid,’” Sheldon writes. “But you seem happy to restrict us to being paid once, and never being able to earn from our work ever again, while granting you the rights to exploit our work for your benefit for all eternity…”   http://consequenceofsound.net/2015/06/concert-photographer-calls-out-taylor-swift-for-hypocritical-apple-open-letter   And another complaint here, this one signed by another photographer Matthew Parri Thomas after Swift’s Hyde Park show…

BUMA kickback scheme spark angry response from managers
Copyright , Live Events / July 2015
Netherlands

COPYRIGHT Live events sector     Dutch collection society BUMA’s recent practice of rewarding the country’s biggest promoters with a kickback for ‘helping’ to collect the levy on live music concerts to reward songwriters and music publishers has come under fire after a number of tour accountants for acts 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 into account usually collection society commissions which are generally accepted. BUMA apparently set up the practice around 1999 after forcing through a rate riise for the use of music to 7% of Box Office net of VAT  – but was offering a 25% kickback of that levy to some promoters and venues in the Netherlands. Two managers, Paul Crockford who manages Mark Knopfler, and Brian Message of ATC who manages Nick Cave & the Bad Seed,  both made arrangements with their artistes’ publishers and UK music collection society PRS for Music to make direct collections from promoters. Message also manages P J Harvey and Radiohead and Crockford also manages Level 42. Whilst many managers are asking for ‘transparency’, the UK’s Music Managers Forum…

Musicians Union take ‘agent of change’ principle to government
Licensing , Live Events / July 2015
UK

LICENSING Live events sector     The Musicians’ Union has begun lobbying the UK Parliament and government over the so called ‘agent of change’ principle which is meant to ensure that property developers who wish to build or convert properties into residential addresses next to existing live music venues should have to take legal and financial responsibility to provide whatever sound proofing is necessary to ensure the venue and future residents can co-exist. Recent noise complaints have forced a number of UK venues to close, often brought by people who moved to the area knowing there was a music venue located there. London Mayor Boris Johnson brokered a deal to protect the Ministry of Sound in in South London from a proposed development, but many  grassroots music venues rarely have the time, resources or budget required to battle developers, residents or to pay for costly sound proofing to be put in. The ‘agent of change’ principle already exists in Australia and was recently introduced in San Francisco. In Australia, under the ‘agent of change’ doctrine, residential developers building city centre apartments are obliged by law to soundproof their developments themselves: The Musicians Union’s General Secretary John Smith said: “Music venues…

PRS extend live music consultation
Copyright , Live Events / July 2015
UK

COPYRIGHT Live events sector   PRS for Music have extended the consultation to review the terms of it’s Popular Music Concert Tariff (Tariff LP). Tariff LP is applied to ticketed live popular music events such as concerts and festivals.  Currently promoters pay 3% of Box Office receipts (after VAT)  to the PRS for songwriters. The extension has been granted following the Concert Promoters Association’s (CPA) stated interest in conducting its own research in response to PRS for Music’s consultation documentation which was announced on April 13. The extension will help the CPA respond more comprehensively to the tariff review and the PRS welcomed the CPA’s commitment to engaging in this process. The extension is also supported by a number of industry bodies in the live sector.  Tariff LP was originally agreed in 1988, though was last reviewed as recently as 2010/11, when the PRS decided to keep the system as it was. The deadline for the consultation’s completion has now been extended until 30 September.

Billboard Awards and Akoi stage leaps both lead to lawsuits after fans injured
Live Events / June 2015
USA

NEGLIGENCE / PERSONAL INJURY Live events sector     A failed jump from the main stage of the 2013 Billboard Music Awards to a nearby catwalk has landed Latin superstar Miguel and Billboard Music Awards with a personal injury lawsuit in Clark County, USA.  Audience member Cindy Tsai has accused Miguel and Billboard Music Awards of negligence for the singer’s leap from the main stage during his performance on May 19, 2013, at the MGM Grand Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. Instead of successfully leaping over several audience members and landing on the catwalk several feet away, the claim says Miguel missed and landed on Tsai and another audience member.   Tsai says she was a guest in the pit area located next to the stage and next to the catwalk and alleges that  the singer “recklessly, carelessly, negligently and violently” slammed into her, “striking her head and crushing her into the side of the catwalk and injuring” her. Tsai accuses Miguel and other defendants of negligence and negligent hiring, training and supervision.  She seeks general and special damages, lost wages due to her “impaired and diminished earning capacity,” attorney’s fees and legal costs. Also named as defendants are…

San Francisco passes ‘agent of change’ rules
Licensing , Live Events / June 2015
USA

LICENSING Live events sector   San Francisco, which features some of the highest demand for living space of any city in the United States, has passed legislation to protect music venues against complaints from new neighbours who move into new residential spaces in mixed-use neighbourhoods. Music Times reports that many venues had spent money on insulation and other options to reduce the amount of noise escaping the building, often to little avail when their new neighbours complained or brought legal action. The new legislation passed by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors puts the onus on developers, and not the venues, to protect residents – the so called ‘agent of change‘ approach. As long as an existing venue operates under the normal noise regulations that it opened with, it can’t be held legally responsible by those living above and around for noise complaints. Instead, a resident would bring a complaint against the developer, at which point a court would decide whether they had done enough to inform the buyer of the potential for sound from the nearby concert hall.  Jocelyn Kane, executive director of the Entertainment Commission. “It’s different now from what we saw in the ’90s, with the amount of…

Legal highs to be banned by new Act in the UK
Criminal Law , Live Events / June 2015
UK

CRIMINAL LAW Live events sector     The Queen has announced the UK government’s plan to ban so-called ‘legal highs’. A new Bill announced by Her Majesty in The Queen’s Speech 2015 will ban the drugs with a blanket ban on anyone producing or supplying them. At the state opening of Parliament The Queen said that new legislation would “ban the new generation of psychoactive drugs”. The complete ban on what are known as new psychoactive substances (NPS) would mean that selling newly-created or newly-used drugs that can cause effects in mood, perception or consciousness would be illegal, with a maximum penalty of seven years imprisonment. Under the bill, police would have the power to seize and destroy NPSs, to search people, homes and vehicles for them, and to use a search warrant if necessary. Alcohol, tobacco, caffeine, food and medical products would be excluded from the offence, as would controlled drugs like ecstasy and cannabis, which remain illegal. Last week Two Lancaster University students critically ill after smoking ‘legal high’ Spice. Three more are in hospital after taking cannabis substitute which causes a string of side effects including heart palpitations and acute psychosis.   Recently the mother of a young man who…

Ticketmaster faces anti-trust action from StubHub
Competition , Live Events / May 2015
USA

COMPETITION Live events sector   In what could prove to be a landmark case in the sports ticket marketplace”, Live Nation’s Ticketmaster is being sued by eBay-owned StubHub over its official alliance with the Golden State Warriors basketball team. Ticketmaster is the primary ticket seller for the Warriors, and also operates the official season ticket resale platform, where tickets can be officially resold. The basketball team threatens to cancel any tickets it sees being touted on other secondary sites, like StubHub: reselling a ticket is usually a breach of the terms and conditions of the original purchase. The threat has apparently worked. StubHub claims that listings for Warriors tickets, which is currently the hottest ticket in the NBA, are down 80 percent in the past year. But StubHub has alleged that this amounts to anti-competitive behaviour on Ticketmaster’s part. The eBay firm says in its complaint: “If you are a Warriors fan and you want season tickets, you have one choice: buy them through Ticketmaster”. The company’s General Counsel Michelle Fang then told Bloomberg that her client was suing in the interest of Warriors’ fans, adding of Ticketmaster’s motives: “Given that they haven’t been able to win when we’ve competed on a…

Coachella faces class action over ticketing scheme
Competition , Live Events / May 2015
USA

COMPETITION Live events sector   A new class action accuses the companies behind Coachella and other music festivals of offering ticket payment plans that require would-be concert goers to forfeit everything they’ve paid toward the purchase of festival tickets if they are more than 10 days late on a single payment.  As the price of concert tickets has skyrocketed and in an effort to increase sales, festivals like Coachella and others have rolled out payment plans which allow concertgoers to make monthly payments toward the purchase of festival tickets.  Miss one payment, however, and the would-be concertgoer forfeits the tickets and all the prior payments.   According to a new lawsuit, the plaintiff and class representative purchased two tickets and a camping pass for Weekend 1 of the 2015 Coachella Music Festival for a total of $850.00, using the festival’s payment plan option.  After timely making four payments for a total of $617.90, fraudulent charges appeared on the plaintiff’s credit card, causing her bank to issue a new one.  Unbeknownst to plaintiff, the next payment on her Coachella payment plan was refused as a result of the new card number.  The plaintiff did not realize what had happened until March…

PRS for Music targets live music and festivals
Copyright , Live Events / May 2015
UK

COPYRIGHT Live events sector   PRS for Music (PRS) have launched a new eight week long Popular Music Concerts Tariff (‘Tariff LP’) Consultation to review the licensing structure for the use of music in the live music industry in the United Kingdom. Tariff LP is applied to ticketed live popular music events such as concerts and festivals. The consultation will run from 13th April to 8th June 2015. Tariff LP is a Tribunal tariff that was set in 1988 by the Performing Right Tribunal, which later became the Copyright Tribunal. Having failed to amend the Tariff in 2010 (after a much criticised review which alienated large parts of the festival sector who said the review was poorly timed as it coincided with their busy festival season in the UK) the PRS say the purpose of the 2015 consultation is to seek views on the findings of a comprehensive investigation by PRS for Music into the changes in the live music industry since 1988, “to ensure that PRS for Music is operating a tariff that is fit for the purpose of licensing live popular music events going forward.” The Consultation Paper is somewhat critical of the 1988 Performing Right Tribunal’s decision – albeit with hindsight and…

New licensing regime for Ireland?
Licensing , Live Events / May 2015
Ireland

LICENSING Live events sector     New licensing laws could be introduced in Ireland the wake of the Garth Brooks cancellation fiasco at Dublin’s Croke Park in July, 2014. The measures follow the widely publicised collapse of Brooks’ five sell-out shows, which were cancelled just 17 days before show time after Dublin City Council (DCC) would only give permission for three nights. The Gaelic Athletic Association had previously agreed with residents that a maximum of three concerts would be held each year at the venue. Brooks himself took an ‘all or nothing’ approach – and refused to perform two shows as matinees, meaning no concerts took place. The Irish Examiner reports that the issues being considered by the review group, set up in the wake of the fiasco, include the minimum time frames before an event for the submission of a licence application and the making of a decision by a planning authority on such an application, and public consultation arrangements on licence applications. A Department of Environment spokesman told Audience Magazine “From the outset the review group has been mindful of the fact that any legislative changes need to be fair and balanced to all stakeholders including promoters, venue owners, local communities. Local…

A right to guns at Festivals? Only in the US of A
USA

LICENSING, HUMAN RIGHTS Live events sector     Most festivals do their utmost to ensure their events are peaceful, trouble free and that festival goers respect each other, and don’t bring in weapons. Not so Norman, Okla, where a pro-gun group have brought a court claim in the Cleveland County Court, challenging the Norman Music Festival’s ‘no gun’ policy A lawsuit  has been filed against the City of Norman and Norman Music Alliance, who sponsors the Norman Music Festival. The injunction hearing, which could determine whether weapons are allowed at the festival, was originally set for April 28 – AFTER the festival was scheduled to take place on April 23-25. District Judge Thad Balkman, who the case was assigned to, said the hearing will be moved and the case will be heard prior to the event’s dates. Don Spencer, vice president of Oklahoma Second Amendment Association, said not allowing weapons at the music festival is in violation of state law, as it is a public event. The gun group claims the ban violates the Oklahoma Self-Defense Act, which prohibits “subjective or arbitrary” rules beyond those specified in the Act. Spencer said “If the city of Norman decided that they didn’t want minorities to be at…

Osprey outcry put T’s Strathallan home at risk
Licensing , Live Events / May 2015
UK

LICENSING Live events sector     Campaigners opposed to T In The Park taking place at the Strathallan Estate in Perthshire, which include the Woodland Trust and the RSPB, have secured what they say is a defining victory against promoters DF and the Estate owners, Jamie and Debs Roberts. Whilst the local authority is still considering arguments on both sides over whether the 80,000 capacity festival can take place from 10-12 July, the RSPB, who had already noted that ospreys traditionally nest near the Estate, have said the protected birds have returned. Under the Wildlife And Countryside Act it is a criminal offence to disturb ospreys during the breeding season. Although the ospreys’ long-term roosting spot is not on the Strathallan Estate itself, STV reports that a 2500 foot ‘buffer zone’ would be required around the nest if T went ahead there, and that would significantly cut into the planned festival site.  DF had reportedly hired experts to try to persuade the ospreys to nest in a alternative nesting space and DF contractors had been using kites, balloons and an extended cherry-picker crane near the old nest to try to divert the birds to the new site. The RSPB has dubbed…

Glastonbury ticket scammer convicted
Criminal Law , Live Events / May 2015
UK

CRIMINAL Live events sector     Christine Babb, an East Grinstead “con woman” who sold non existent Glastonbury Festival tickets to scores of music fans may be facing prison. Babb, 34, of Farm Close East Grinstead, raked in over £23,000 by claiming to be able to sell tickets to hugely popular events like Glastonbury. Such was her notoriety that Glastonbury issued an official statement warning: “Nobody called Christine Babb is either employed by Glastonbury Festival or has any tickets to sell for the Festival. PLEASE remember that you can only buy Glastonbury tickets through official sources and that this year’s Festival is entirely Sold Out.” Hammersmith Magistrates Court heard that Babb’s campaign of fraud lasted nearly a year, between August 2013 and July 2014. She admitted 29 offences of fraud by false representation. Prosecutor Tom Gill said: “This defendant told her victims that she worked in the music industry and could get discounted tickets to various events including [the] Glastonbury Festival. “There are 29 victims of this offence who paid for their tickets that they didn’t receive.” The court heard that Babb has previous convictions for ‘very similar’ scams. For the defence, Jyothi Somavarapu explained in mitigation that her client suffered…

Fishbone plead for funds to fight stage diving claim
Health & Safety , Live Events / April 2015
USA

HEALTH & SAFETY Live events sector   Angelo Moore, the front man of Fishbone, has posted a fundraising plea on fundrazr.com explaining that the band are still facing legal action from a litigant named as Kimberley Myers over a stage diving incident. These are Angelo’s words: “Kimberly Myers and Her 4 man Lawyer team THE JOKELSONS have successfully sued the Philadelphia campus, the club, our management and our booking agent and for some strange reason, have been given Yet ANOTHER opportunity to re-open the $1.4million law suit ………..AGAIN! We had legal representation but could’nt afford to keep them. Believe it or not we are barely living month to month with the money that we make from our shows which does’nt allow us any Funds to pay for a lawyer. But with your donation and support we can hire another lawyer  to face the judge and represent us one last time. This will put and end to this FaLse and unfair acusation and completley dropped once and for all. If you love Fishbone and the music that we have brought to you all these years along with the right of freedom of expression through dance. Please donate to our legal fund.” Kimberley Myers had…

Lewis County Adopts Revised Code on Music Festivals
Licensing , Live Events / March 2015
USA

LICENSING Live events sector   Lewis County Commissioners have  approved a revised County Code regarding music festivals that in effect makes a law that was previously updated in 1998 up to date, especially after officials said a planned rave in 2014 in West Lewis County skirted the permitting process and nearly 19,000 people were invited to the event. Lewis County is a county located in the U.S. state of Washington. As of the 2010 census, the population was 75,455. The county seat is Chehalis, and its largest city is Centralia. The changes to the Code included bringing the minimum number of people expected to attend the festival down from 500 to 200, and requiring the landowner or the occupant of the property on which the festival is to be held to consent to possible searches of the property during the event. David Fine, the deputy civil prosecuting attorney for the county, said the code addresses “inadequate provisions” for attendees and some residents. Those issues include ensuring roads remain open for emergency vehicles and local traffic, adequate sanitation and insurance requirements. Officials had expressed concern about several of those issues when they learned about the Epic III rave coming to West Lewis County…

Police stick with ‘ban on ‘obscene’ music at the Newcomers Parade
Censorship , Live Events / March 2015
USA

CENSORSHIP Live events sector   In the U.S., local Police Chief Calder Hebert has confirmed to reporters that the St. Martinville Police Department will continue with its policy of keeping the Newcomer’s Parade as “family-friendly” as possible by removing any parade float playing “obscene” music, Hebert’s comments come just a few days after receiving a letter from the American Civil Liberties Union of Louisiana stating SMPD attempts to remove floats due to playing ‘obscene’ music would be considered unconstitutional and the letter, addressed to Hebert and SMPD, states the police department does not have the right to enforce an obscene music ban during the parade. The letter said: “First, we recognize that the Newcomer’s Club is a private organization with the right to set rules for participation in its parade. Our concern is not whether or how a private club may regulate participation in its event, but rather how police will enforce those rules,” the letter stated. The three-page letter, written by ACLU of Louisiana executive director Marjorie Esman, also cited an article published by The Teche News stating that city officials had singled out “rap” music in a January 20th St. Martinville City Council meeting. Esman said singling out…

Secondary ticketing back on the UK legislation agenda
Consumers , Live Events / March 2015
UK

CONSUMER LAW Live events sector     In a policy U-turn, the UK Government is set to regulate ticket touting, with those breaching the new laws face fines of up to £5,000. The onus on stopping mass industrial scale toutng is to be shifted onto venues, however. The move came from the UK Government who had previously rejected attempts to amend legislation. The amendment now stands a much better chance of passing into law. Recently over 80 signatories to a open letter to the Government including the managers of One Direction and Arctic Monkeys, leading booking agents and the Association of Independent Festivals called on the Government to take action against ticket abuse and mass touting.  Iron Maiden manager Rod Smallwood recently criticised the “ever-increasing plague of ‘secondary ticketing’ excess” as a “blight on live music and sports events and much to the detriment of fans”.   Under new legislation, passed by the House of Lords, people re-selling their tickets to music gigs and sports events in the secondary market will be regulated more closely. Sellers will have to provide information on how much the ticket cost, the seat number and any restrictions imposed by the venue. This will expose…

Lamb of God fan sues Live Nation over spinal injuries after gig fall
Health & Safety , Live Events / February 2015
USA

HEALTH & SAFETY Live events sector   A man is suing Live Nation over spinal injuries he sustained when he was “trampled” at a Lamb of God show in 2012. According to reports, William Tarantino claims that during a performance by the metal band at the Oakdale Theatre in Wallingford, Connecticut in November 2012, he was “violently knocked to the ground and trampled, sustaining … severe [and] painful injuries … some of which are permanent”. He accuses Live Nation, the show’s promoter, of “negligence and carelessness” by failing to “provide adequate security” to deal with what would likely be a raucous audience, based on other Lamb of God gigs. Though Tarantino’s complaint seems to describe metal audiences generally, and it’s not clear what measures he feels should have been put in place by Live Nation to avoid the sudden surge that led to his injuries. CMU Daily reported that Tarantino is seeking in excess of $75,000 in damages. Lamb of God themselves are not named on the lawsuit. Frontman Randy Blythe was arrested in the Czech Republic in 2013 on suspicions of manslaughter after a fan died falling from the stage at one of their concerts. Blythe was eventually cleared…

SIA updates on Business Licensing
Health & Safety , Live Events / February 2015
UK

HEALTH & SAFETY Live events sector   The UK’s Security Industry Authority has issued a press release saying that the Home Office is “continuing to work with the security industry and the Security Industry Authority on the development of regulation for the private security industry.” In December 2014, the Home Office said the Government expects the introduction of the statutory licensing of private security businesses to come into force as soon as possible during the next Parliamentary session, which starts in May 2015. Business licensing is subject to Ministerial and Parliamentary approval and the approval of Ministers in the devolved administrations in Scotland and Northern Ireland. However both the Conservative and Labour parties support the scheme. The Scottish Government and Department of Justice for Northern Ireland have indicated that they are supportive of a consistent, UK-wide regulatory regime.   http://www.sia.homeoffice.gov.uk/Pages/business-licensing.aspx

Canterbury: “Stop Criminalising Your Buskers, Start Supporting Them” (and Camden, you are beginning to look ridiculous!)
Licensing , Live Events / February 2015
UK

LICENSING Live events sector   As I grew up in Canterbury and indeed my father (and numerous friends) used to busk in the town centre I have decided to reproduce this entire article from the Keep Streets Live Campaign, a not-for-profit organisation which advocates for public spaces that are open to informal offerings of art and music. It aims to promote positive relationships between local authorities and street performers and to develop policies that support and sustain street culture. My father raised funds for Oxfam by playing the fiddle, dressed as a medieval musician and indeed played the crumhorn and other instruments with the Canterbury Waites! The Council introduced guidelines to regulate busking in the City and these include rules such as buskers only staying in one place for up to an hour, and stopping by 9pm and were introduced after the Government passed the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act, which gives local authorities the power to issue a community protection notice to anyone it can reasonably judge to be “having a detrimental effect, of a persistent or continuing nature, on the quality of life of those in the locality”. Douglas Rattray, the head of Safer Neighbourhoods for the…

Texas Music chief calls again for tax incentives for live music
Licensing , Live Events , Taxation / February 2015
USA

LICENSING / TAXATION Live events sector   The outgoing head of the Texas Music Office, Casey Monahan, has said that his successor should continue pushing for a bill similar to the move proposed in 2013 by then-Rep Mark Strama to lower taxes on bars and clubs that heavily feature live music. Strama’s bill was intended as a way to offer incentives for bar owners to feature live music. But it died because of concerns over its potential cost and how the new law would be administered. “The passage of that (bill) would be a huge boost to the live music economy in the state,” said Monahan, who confirmed earlier this week that he will replaced after 25 years of service. “Recorded music hasn’t really recovered since 2000 and we’ve got to do something to provide an incentive for people to hire live musicians, because that’s the only real way to earn an income now.” Monahan said as Austin grows that his successor and other stakeholders in the music industry have to stay vocal about their place in the local economy and cultural scene. “It’s so important for people in the industry to assert themselves in the public arena,” he said…

UK tax relief for orchestras moves a step closer
Live Events , Taxation / February 2015
UK

TAXATION Live events sector   The UK Government is to introduce new tax relief for orchestras from April 2016, following a public consultation. Chancellor George Osborne first announced the move, which mirrors similar reliefs in theatre, film, videogames and animation, in his autumn statement last year, and now has issued a consultation document outlining proposals and calls from input in their implementation. Director of the Association of British Orchestras Mark Pemberton said: “We welcome the launch of the consultation. Tax relief will make a big difference to our members’ resilience in these challenging times, helping them to continue to offer the very best in British music-making to audiences both here in the UK and abroad.   https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/orchestra-tax-relief

Licence backlash prompts council notices ‘re-think’
Licensing , Live Events / February 2015
UK

LICENSING Live events sector   Adur District Council and it’s licensing unit are facing criticism over the way it handled the application for a SJM promoted music festival. The Shoreham Herald reports that residents in Shoreham were furious to find out about plans for a large-scale music festival at Shoreham Airport ‘by word of mouth’. They felt Adur District Council should have made public notices more visible on site and said they found out ‘by chance’ only days before the deadline for comments. One local resident, Liz Coward, wrote to the paper saying that “the licensing unit provided, at best, poor advice throughout the SJM Ltd application for a music festival.” With Ms Coward detailing that she was given the wrong closing date for representations, December 4th not 5th, was told that objectors could only read out their letters at the hearing “when, in fact, they were entitled to put their case and question the applicant” and that she was also told that the application could not be refused, ‘because there was a big legal team behind the applicant who knew what they were doing’. Ms Coward aso says that the council website contained a statement that the councillors could…

ID&T fires back at Disney in the ‘Tomorrow’ trademark dispute
Live Events , Trade Mark / February 2015
EU
USA

TRADE MARK Live events sector, film & TV   When EDM festival franchise Tomorrowland launched in the US in 2013. Disney pointed out that the film compay owned the trademark in the name and wouldn’t let the EDM festival use it. Its promoters, SFX-owned ID&T, then opted for TomorrowWorld. Now the tables have turned: Disney is shopping a movie called ‘Tomorrowland: A World Beyond’ around the world but now it appears that ID&T just owns the Tomorrowland trademark in Belgium, The Netherlands and Luxembourg. So the dance music event makers are returning the favour and causing the Disney studios all kinds of issues regarding using that name for the film’s release in those markets.

T for two?
Live Events , Trade Mark / February 2015
UK

TRADE MARK Live Events sector   Drinks company Tennents is locked in a legal battle with a small music promotions company over the use of the letter T in the title of the  new event, due to be staged at Strathclyde Park this year. And The brewers, who are “founding partners” of T in the Park, say the logo for tribute band festival Tfest infringes their trademarks. In response, Tfest promoters Bookaband Ltd have said it would cost them £50,000 to alter their logo and website. Festival director John Ure said: “We don’t understand why a huge company like Tennent’s can feel we threaten them. Tennent’s don’t own the letter T. “We contacted them months ago to show them our logo and didn’t get any objection at the time. But now our website is live, we’re hit with lawyers’ letters.” Tennent’s have alleged that the Tfest mark “bear[s] a close similarity” to T in the Park and will “inevitably” mislead fans into thinking the two festivals are linked saying “To call another event Tfest is confusing at best and misleading at worst.” adding “The T in the Park name, frequently shortened to T, took a great deal of time and…

Music and sports figures rebuffed in call for ticket resale reform
Competition , Contract , Live Events / February 2015
UK

COMPETITION / CONTRACT Live events sector   Senior UK figures from the world of sport and entertainment who issued a call for new controls on websites selling event tickets have seen their bid for regulation of secondary ticketing fail after MPs voted 289 to 204 against an amendment to the Consumer Rights Bill in the House of Commons. Campaigners wanted resale websites to be required to publish the names of ticket sellers and the tickets’ face value. The renewed call came in a letter to the Independent on Sunday signed by heads of sporting and cultural bodies and entertainers’ management companies. Government ministers prefer a voluntary approach. The Department of Culture, Media and Sport has previously said a change in the law would be unnecessary. Secondary ticketing sites act as marketplaces that allow sellers to charge what they like for concerts, plays and sports events, and often earn a commission from selling on the tickets.  When tickets for a popular event go on sale, they may be snapped up in bulk either manually or using automated software in order to sell them on at a profit. The letter warns that the way the secondary ticketing market currently operates can seriously undermine efforts…

Cannibal Corpse face Russian ban
Censorship , Live Events / January 2015
Russia
USA

CENSORSHIP Live events sector   After a number of shows on Cannibal Corpse’s recent Russian tour were cancelled by local authorities, shortly before or, in one case, during their performance, one of the cities that took against the US death metal band has now banned all of their album artwork and translations of their lyrics. A district court in the city of Ufa last week ruled in favour of a complaint brought by the Prosecutor’s Office of Bashkortostan on the grounds that (according to news agency Rapsi) “Lyrics by the band Cannibal Corpse could damage the mental health of children because they contain descriptions of violence, the physical and mental abuse of people and animals, murder and suicide – all accompanied by illustrations”. Several shows on the band’s tour of Russia earlier this year were pulled by the authorities, though none on the grounds cited in the lawsuit. In a statement at the time, the band said: “In Ufa the power was turned off shortly before the show (we were told because the venue was late on rent), and in Moscow and St Petersburg we were told that we did not have the correct visas and that if we attempted…