Business News CMU Digest

CMU Digest 23.10.22: Astroworld, Live Nation, Festicket, Green Events Code, Pinterest

By | Published on Sunday 23 October 2022

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The key stories from the last week in the music business…

The families of two Astroworld victims settled their lawsuits against Live Nation and its Scoremore subsidiary. Axel Acosta and Brianna Rodriguez both died as a result of the crowd surge that occurred last November during Travis Scott’s headline set at the festival he founded. Their families – along with the families of the other eight people who died – sued Scott and the festival’s promoters. There were also hundreds more lawsuits filed by those injured or otherwise affected by the tragedy, with all that litigation combined seeking billions of dollars in damages. The terms of the settlements involving the Acosta and Rodriguez families are not yet known, although sources close to Scott said that his team was not involved in those deals. [READ MORE]

Artist groups in the US backed a new campaign calling for another review of the 2010 merger of Live Nation and Ticketmaster. That deal was approved by the US Department Of Justice subject to a ten year consent decree regulating, to an extent, how Live Nation and Ticketmaster interact with each other within one business. Live Nation has been accused of not complying with that consent decree at various points since 2010, something it strongly denies. A previous DoJ investigation found a small number of incidents when Live Nation had arguably broken the rules. As a result, the consent decree was extended by five years. A new campaign instigated by the American Economic Liberties Project – and backed by various organisations including the Artist Rights Alliance and the Future Of Music Coalition – calls for a new investigation and ultimately a reversal of the 2010 merger. [READ MORE]

Administrators confirmed that collapsed ticketing company Festicket did not hold monies it collected on behalf of its promoter clients in trust. Since it became clear that Festicket was heading into administration, a number of the promoters that used its services have said monies from ticket sales – minus Festicket’s fees – should have been held in trust and therefore kept separate from the ticketing firm’s own accounts. That would mean that money would be protected from any collapse of the Festicket company. However, administrators, in a new report filed with Companies House, said that – while they were aware some promoters were under the impression that that was how ticket monies would be managed – “our understanding is that the company did not segregate or ring-fence any assets for the benefit of specific parties”. As a result, the administrators reckon that promoters are only likely to see 10-30% of what they are owed. [READ MORE]

More than 500 festivals and outdoor events across the UK backed a new Green Events Code. Put together via the Vision 2025 initiative, the code sets out standards, targets and practices for making events as environmentally sustainable as possible. The overall aim of those signing up to the code is to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions of their operations by at least 50% by 2030. There are also some specific targets around fossil fuel consumption, onsite dairy and meat consumption, and single plastic use. The code also aims to promote some consistency across the industry and at the different UK local authorities regarding sustainability rules and practices. [READ MORE]

Pinterest announced deals with Warner, BMG and indie label repping Merlin to add commercially released music to its Idea Pins tool. Previously Pinterest users could include library music in any short video clips they upload via the Idea Pins function, which was added to the image sharing platform last year. However, under the new deals, audio clips of music released by participating labels will also be available. Commenting on those deals, Pinterest Chief Content Officer Malik Ducard said: “Music plays a vital role in elevating storytelling and empowering storytellers, creators, and Pinners who inspire the world every day on Pinterest”. Music clips from Warner, BMG and Merlin-allied indie labels will “elevate the content and inspiration created on Pinterest”, he added. [READ MORE]

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