TODAY'S TOP STORY: The biggest live music companies and booking agencies in the world came together yesterday to issue a joint response to the ongoing coronavirus crisis, recommending that all large-scale events due to take place this month now be postponed... [READ MORE]
TOP STORIES Biggest live music promoters and agents unite to advise cancellation of large-scale events as COVID-19 crisis grows
LEGAL Alan Parsons' lawsuit against former business partner allowed to continue
DEALS Bo Ningen sign to Alcopop! Records
ENTERTAINMENT RETAIL Entertainment retailers welcome business rates relief, but want wider-ranging support
RELEASES Ride to release classical rework of This Is Not A Safe Space album
Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith announces new album exploring "appreciation for electricity"
ONE LINERS Burt Bacharach, Cool Thing Records, The Killers, more
AND FINALLY... The internet means Live Aid could never happen again, says Bob Geldof
Check out all the latest job opportunities with CMU Jobs. To advertise your job opportunities here email [email protected] or call 020 7099 9060.
[PIAS] champions and supports the best independent music in the world across its unrivalled international network. Established in 1982, we operate sixteen global offices - all leveraging local relationships to influence local gatekeepers. The company is looking for a UK Marketing Assistant.

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Independent label 3tone Records is seeking a Publishing & Licensing Manager, which is a brand-new role here at 3tone. You will work closely with our two Directors to build 3tone Publishing from scratch, helping to secure new business opportunities through the company's growing number of artists.

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Independent label 3tone Records is recruiting for a brand new role, a Creative Manager who will work very closely with its Marketing Team and Directors. You will be the creative lead at 3tone Records, creating outstanding visuals for an eclectic range of artists, developing ideas from conception and delivering them to a deadline.

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Believe is seeking a Royalties Manager, tasked with managing the creation of royalty statements, reviewing payable balances and coordinating communication with internal and external teams.

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Raymond Gubbay Ltd, a division of Sony Music and the UK's leading commercial promoter of popular classical music, dance and light trail events, is seeking to appoint a full time, enthusiastic Event Administrator to join its busy Events Department.

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The Columbo Group is seeking a Promotions Manager to work on our newest venue, The Blues Kitchen in Manchester. With responsibilities ranging from marketing and social media management, to artist booking and diary management.

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Academy Music Group is seeking a Deputy General Manager to assist in all aspects of the operation of the building in relation to events staged at O2 Academy Brixton.

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The Columbo Group is looking for a paid marketing intern to join our events team. The scheme is focused around events/promotions. It is largely a marketing scheme, where you will learn how to market events effectively, and how the different venues Columbo owns operate.

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RSL is the UK's leading provider of music industry qualifications. The company is recruiting for a Business Development Executive to work on increasing its customer base both in the UK and overseas. Music education is changing and this is an opportunity to be at the forefront of promoting industry relevant skills to a wider audience.

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As Creative Programme Officer at Help Musicians UK, you will play a key role in the innovation and delivery of our impactful programmes for musicians, ensuring we can continue to make a meaningful difference to the lives and careers of musicians for the next 100 years and beyond.

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Ninja Tune and Just Isn't Music are hiring a Sync Creative. The applicant will have at least five years experience in actively procuring placements in UK for advertising, film and TV.

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Independent DVD and CD distributor Wienerworld is looking for a Marketing/Admin Assistant who will be responsible for increasing our artist, press, PR and social media presence, implementing and running digital and traditional marketing campaigns, as well as assisting in various administrative office duties.

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Adelphoi Music works with brands and agencies to create music and sound concepts for moving images. They are on the lookout for a remarkable individual to join the team in generating new business opportunities for music composition, music licensing, recording projects and artist partnerships, and to lead new business for the UK and beyond.

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Independent label 3tone Records is looking for an enthusiastic and adaptable Marketing Assistant to join their Bristol office. You'd be assisting the Marketing department in co-ordinating social media plans, researching, executing effective advertising, creating compelling assets and liaising with external teams to serve a growing roster of genre-spanning artists.

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Biggest live music promoters and agents unite to advise cancellation of large-scale events as COVID-19 crisis grows
The biggest live music companies and booking agencies in the world came together yesterday to issue a joint response to the ongoing coronavirus crisis, recommending that all large-scale events due to take place this month now be postponed.

The statement from Live Nation, AEG, CAA, WME, Paradigm and UTA came as an increasing number of countries introduced measures to restrict or ban any public gatherings over a certain size in an attempt to limit and delay the spread of the coronavirus COVID-19.

Some countries that already had such restrictions in place have also reduced the capacity at which said restrictions apply. On top of that, the number of travel bans has increased, not least because of US President Donald Trump's surprise decision to ban travel to the States from within the European Union's Schengen Area.

The number of shows, tours, festivals and conferences choosing to cancel or postpone has increased greatly in the last week, of course, sometimes in response to government instigated restrictions, other times because of the concerns of artists, promoters and ticket-buyers.

However, until yesterday the major global players of the live industry hadn't issued any formal industry-wide statements regarding COVID-19, beyond investor briefings from publicly listed entities like Live Nation.

Yesterday's statement announced that the signatory companies have now formed a united taskforce to "drive strategic support and unified direction ensuring precautionary efforts and ongoing protocol are in the best interest of artists, fans, staff, and the global community".

On that taskforce are Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino, AEG CEO Dan Beckerman, AEG Presents CEO Jay Marciano, CAA Managing Partner Rob Light, WME Partner Marc Geiger, Paradigm Chair Sam Gores, Paradigm Head Of Global Music Marty Diamond and UTA Partner David Zedeck.

They then stated that "at this time, we collectively recommend large scale events through the end of March be postponed. We continue to support that small-scale events follow guidance set by their local government officials".

Assuring artists, investors and employees that the signatory companies were able to navigate the current crisis, the task-force's statement continued: "We feel fortunate to have the flexibility to reschedule concerts, festivals, and live events as needed, and look forward to connecting fans with all their favourite artists and live entertainment soon".

Although the taskforce is made up of global companies - hence its self-proclaimed 'global' status - it is, of course, somewhat US-centric and to what extent participating companies will follow their own guidance on a truly global basis remains to be seen.

Obviously the spread and extent of the virus varies greatly around the world, partly depending on when the earliest cases were diagnosed, so some regional and local nuance will definitely be required. And, as the taskforce notes, the approach taken by small-scale events will likely be different to large-scale events.

Although the taskforce's recommendation of postponement currently runs to the end of March, it's thought that policy will likely end up running very much into April - indeed some April events have already been cancelled.

Beyond that, sources say that bosses at the big live music companies currently hope that things will start to get back to normal in May, though there remain so many unknowns about how the disease will now spread it is hard to say how long the crisis will continue.

Here in the UK the government still hasn't called for any large-scale events to be cancelled, insisting that expert advice says such measures are not currently required. Although in Scotland ministers has advised that events over a 500 capacity should be called off to ensure no unnecessary strain is placed on emergency services. UK-wide measures will likely change as the spread of the virus escalates.

Beyond live events, the impact of COVID-19 is being felt across the music industry in other ways too as an increasing number of companies call off face-to-face meetings and encourage - or insist on - more home-working for their employees. Meanwhile, publicly listed music companies - and especially those in the live sector - are having to fire-fight tanking share prices as investment markets go into panic mode.

Though ultimately the biggest impact will be felt by individual artists and the smallest independent music companies who are negatively impacted by all the cancellations in the live music market, and for whom sudden extra expenditure or lost income is a significant challenge. Various trade bodies and other organisations have now issued guidance to support their members. In the UK, that includes the following:

Help Musicians
PRS Foundation


Alan Parsons' lawsuit against former business partner allowed to continue
The Florida court where musician and producer Alan Parsons sued his former business partner John Regna of WEAA has refused to dismiss the case on jurisdiction grounds. Regna had sought dismissal on the basis that his dispute with Parsons was already being fought out in European courts.

Having first build his reputation via studio work with the likes of The Beatles and Pink Floyd, Parsons enjoyed success in the 1970s and 1980s through his creative partnership with the late Eric Woolfson. That collaboration used the moniker The Alan Parsons Project.

In more recent times Parsons worked on a solo basis with the American company World Entertainment Associates Of America, which is run by Regna.

Parsons pursued various projects between 2009 and 2018 with the support of Regna and his business. The two men ultimately ended their alliance in part, says Parsons, because of "Regna's erratic and intolerable behaviour".

After they stopped working together, Regna put together a live show featuring session musicians who worked with the Alan Parsons Project back in the day and then started promoting that show using variations of Parsons' brand, most recently "The Project, the original voice, original musicians of The Alan Parsons Project & Friends".

In a lawsuit filed in Florida in January, Parsons claimed that - with that venture - Regna was infringing his trademarks, breaching past contracts and participating in unfair competition in a way that has "caused and is causing Parsons many millions of dollars in actual damages".

The legal filing also insisted that the people involved in Regna's Project project were simply work-for-hire musicians who had no actual claim to the Alan Parsons Project name.

Regna's lawyers are trying to have that lawsuit dismissed. One argument for dismissal is based on jurisdiction grounds. Before he went legal in the US, Parsons sought an injunction through the Spanish courts in a bid to stop a performance of Regna's Project show in Spain.

Regna responded with his own legal action through the UK high court in London. Therefore, his attorneys argued, with this dispute already being fought in the English courts, the courts in Florida should not interfere.

Considering that argument, judge Roy B Dalton Jr at the US District Court in Orlando conceded that "for 'acts of trade-mark infringement ... consummated in a foreign country by a citizen and resident of the United States', courts must consider whether exercising jurisdiction would interfere with the sovereignty of another nation".

However, he went on, "the court is not faced solely with acts consummated internationally", because Regna's Project project has not been confined to Europe.

The judge continued: "Here there are two US defendants (Regna and WEAA) who are allegedly violating US trademarks by: running their business in the US, soliciting former musicians to play in an 'imposter band' in the US, maintaining infringing internet domains in the US, and drafting and sending emails from the US to solicit infringing bookings".

With all that in mind, "while the effects of these violations may be felt abroad, many of the violations occurred here - and unquestionably it is within a district court's jurisdiction to hear a claim between US citizens for alleged violations of federal law occurring within the United States".

So, Regna's bid to have Parsons' lawsuit dismissed has been formally knocked back by Dalton Jr. Or at least this one has. Apparently Team Regna have also raised some other procedural issues that they reckon are grounds for dismissal too. The judge is yet to rule on those.

But, for now, Parson's Stateside litigation continues.


Bo Ningen sign to Alcopop! Records
Alcopop! Records has announced that it has signed a new deal with Bo Ningen to release their fourth album, 'Sudden Fictions', later this year. The first single from the record, 'BC', is out today.

"As if we've signed Bo Ningen", jokes label boss Jack Clothier. "One of the best live acts we've ever seen ... the music coming up is just unreal", he then confirms. "We're absolutely delighted to be welcoming them to the label, and even more delighted to be sharing 'BC' with you. What a band".

Speaking about the new album, guitarist Kohhei Matsuda adds: "After years of countless bifurcation into sub-genres, music has been cut down to flakes. Music is suffocated. This album is a challenge to bridge between now and the time before the first bifurcation. To alternate the future".

Listen to 'BC' here.


Entertainment retailers welcome business rates relief, but want wider-ranging support
The entertainment retail sector has echoed the sentiments of the grassroots venue community in welcoming the UK government's announcement of a 100% cut to business rates for smaller high street enterprises, but also calling for support for those too big to qualify for that particular tax break.

Chancellor Of The Exchequer Rishi Sunak announced on Wednesday that high street businesses with a rateable value under £51,000 would benefit from a 100% discount in the year ahead as part of various measures to help companies deal with the negative impact of the coronavirus crisis.

For the venue sector, with an increasing number of shows and tours now being cancelled, the negative impact of COVID-19 is very apparent. But as fear of contracting the virus spreads - and as more people are urged to self-isolate as a result of having symptoms linked to COVID-19 - the high street at large is starting to see a downturn in customer numbers.

Therefore the tax break Sunak announced this week is important to independent retailers too, including those selling music, video and gaming products. The Entertainment Retailer Association reckons the move could save the average indie record shop between £15,000 and £22,000 per year.

To that end, ERA boss Kim Bayley said: "ERA welcomes this move by the Chancellor to help smaller stores. Rates are a particular burden on physical retailers, increasing their costs and making it harder to compete with internet-based businesses. This has only been exacerbated by the coronavirus outbreak".

Venues and retailers with rateable values over £51,000 are also facing the same challenges, of course. Not least because 'rateable value' is based on a property's estimated open market rental value, not the scale of the business based at that property. Which means businesses of similar sizes can fall above and below the £51,000 cut off simply based on the location of their premises.

Meanwhile, some would argue, the widely documented challenges of trading on the high street in 2020 mean that even bigger retail firms - including the national chains - are less equipped to deal with a sudden downturn in business caused by something like the public's response to COVID-19.

Bayley added: "While [this week's announced rates relief] will undoubtedly help smaller stores, it does nothing for the bigger high street chains who also face multiple business challenges. We will continue to lobby government to broaden the scope of this measure to support the diversity of our high streets".


Have you checked out all the Setlist specials yet?
Next week we'll be publishing the seventh in our series of special Setlist podcasts discussing the top ten music industry legal battles of all time. Which makes now a good time to check out the rest of the series if you haven't already done so.

Our special edition podcasts give the Setlist treatment to music industry disputes, incidents and revolutions that occurred in the past, telling the full story, and providing all the background and context you need to understand what happened.

Our Top Ten Legal Battles series has already dissected the 'Blurred Lines' song-theft dispute, the 'dancing baby' fair use case, Prince's long-running feud with Warner Music, the Kraftwerk sampling case, Morrissey's libel action against the NME and those years when the record industry was suing the file-sharers. Next week we put the spotlight on good old moral rights.

Also sitting in the Setlist archives is the special series of shows that marked CMU's 20th anniversary, looking at the biggest 20 music industry news stories that happened between 1998 and 2008. Along the way you get EMI, Grooveshark, HMV, NME, Michael Jackson, the Bass Brothers, MySpace, Napster, iTunes, YouTube, Spotify, Viagogo, web-blocking, DRM, Live Nation, MegaUpload and The Pirate Bay.

You can check all the special editions to date here.

Ride to release classical rework of This Is Not A Safe Space album
Ride have announced that they will release a classical reworking of their 2019 album 'This Is Not A Safe Place'. Arranged by composer duo Pêtr Aleksänder, the new record - titled 'Clouds In The Mirror' - will be released by Wichita Recordings in May.

The idea to create a classical rework was conceived while Ride were still in the studio recording their 2019 album. Discussions with Pêtr Aleksänder - aka Tom Hobden of Noah & The Whale and producer Eliot James - developed into a plan to create a different version of the record using only the vocal tracks from the original as a guide.

"Pêtr Aleksänder took our album's vocal tracks and formed an entirely new album around them, and the results are inspired, often really beautiful, and at times, totally mental", says Ride's Andy Bell. "They have crafted a delicate web of string and synthesiser arrangements which draws you into a whole other world than our version of the album. I love what they've created".

Pêtr Aleksänder add: 'Reimagining Ride's album was a treat. We took a rather unusual approach: although fans of Ride in the first instance, we nevertheless resisted listening to anything other than each track's main vocal before setting to work, beginning exclusively with string and piano arrangements inspired by the main vocal".

"Focusing on the sentiment of the vocal and re-interpreting it with our own arrangements resulted in combinations of melody, harmony and emotion that would have been very hard to achieve via a more conventional songwriting/composing approach", they continue. "We even waited until the band had released the album before choosing to listen to the songs in their original state - a strange experience for us given that we knew our versions of the same songs so well by that point!"

Listen to the Pêtr Aleksänder version of 'Clouds Of Saint Marie' here.


Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith announces new album exploring "appreciation for electricity"
Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith has announced that she will release her latest album, 'The Mosaic Of Transformation', later this year through Ghostly. The first track released from the record is the ten minute 'Expanding Electricity'.

"I guess, in one sentence, this album is my expression of love and appreciation for electricity", says Smith. While writing and recording the album, she explains, she drew inspiration from a routine of daily physical movement which resulted in her discovering what she calls "a visual language ... as a reference for how frequencies can be visualised".

"The inspiration came to me in a sudden bubble of joy", she goes on. "It was accompanied by a multitude of shapes that were moving seamlessly from one into the other. My movement practice has been a constant transformation piece by piece. I made this album in the same way. Every day I would transform what I did yesterday into something else. This album has gone through about twelve different versions of itself".

'The Mosaic Of Transformation' is out on 15 May. Listen to 'Expanding Electricity' here.



Primary Wave Music Publishing has signed a new "long-term strategic partnership" with Burt Bacharach. The company will administer his songwriting catalogue and provide marketing services for his name and likeness. The deal also gives Primary Wave an option to acquire a partnership interest in his works.



Talent agency UTA has hired Sophie Roberts from 13 Artists as an agent in its music division. "I'm THRILLED to have Sophie join our ever-evolving team here at UTA", says the agency's Head Of Global Touring Neil Warnock. "She is a consummate agent, not only working on global clients but equally at home developing new talent from the ground up".

Universal-owned distribution and label services business Ingrooves has named Daniel Tivemark at its new Country Manager for Sweden, expanding its presence in the country. "We are excited to add an exceptional talent in Stockholm to our expanding operations in the Nordic region", says Ingrooves CEO Bob Roback.



Southend's Cool Thing Records has launched a new fortnightly show on Soho Radio, each edition featuring a different guest involved in the creative arts discussing their creative process, routes into employment, the music industry and more. The first show will air on 18 Mar at 1pm with film maker Dean Chalkley. More info here.



The Killers have announced that they will release new album 'Imploding The Mirage' on 29 May. The album features guest appearances from artists including Lindsey Buckingham, kd lang, Weyes Blood, War On Drugs' Adam Granduciel, Blake Mills and Lucius. Here's first single 'Caution'.

Coldplay have released the video for 'Trouble In Town', from their 'Everyday Life' album.

Ava Max as released her new single 'Kings & Queens'. Her debut album is set for release later this year.

Kehlani has released new single 'Toxic'.

Sasami has released new single 'Mess'. The track, she explains, reflects on a year spent promoting her debut album. "'Mess' is where I'm at now", she says. "I wanted to end the year of my first album campaign with one last sentence before I crack into the stone slab of my next album. This time I didn't want to provide any visual counterparts. I just want people to listen".

Mxmtoon has released new single 'Quiet Motions'. Written about spending time in solitude, she says: "The 'quiet motions' of pouring yourself a cup of tea, turning on the TV, or lighting a candle, can all be pieces of a puzzle that help you to maintain calmness throughout the chaos of the world. 'Quiet Motions' is about just that, the comfort in the alone moments".

Girlpool have released new single 'Like I'm Winning It'. The duo's Avery Tucker says the track "is about power and lust: how can the weight of someone's attention feel so heavy just because of its scarcity? This is a song about playing with that line - the line between the electricity in receiving attention and what's unattainable".

Sabiyha has released new single 'Choorile'. The song is written about her mother, she explains: "She was quite strong willed when she was young, and whilst she didn't let me act out growing up, she encouraged me to speak up and have my own opinions. She'd ask me 'are you a leader or are you a follower?' She was quite hard about that - she didn't want me to just go along with what people were saying, and that's what has shaped the way I am".

Check out our weekly Spotify playlist of new music featured in the CMU Daily - updated every Friday.


The internet means Live Aid could never happen again, says Bob Geldof
Something like the big 1985 Live Aid concert could never happen again because the internet has stopped us all focusing on the exact same thing at the exact same time, reckons Bob Geldof. We're all just "cyber wanking into the digital void" now, instead of focussing as one on changing the world. And that, he reckons, has handed power back to politicians.

"To change economics, you must engage with the agents of change, which, like it or not, [means] you've got to talk to the politicians", he says in a new interview with CBC. "We had a huge lobby [in 1985]: 1.2 billion people, 95% of the television sets on Earth watched that concert. Politics is just numbers. They can't ignore it".

He adds that this Live Aid-instigated change did not come over night, rather it was 20 years later when politicians who had watched the benefit concert when they were younger came to power. But now, he says, "that instrument of change is no longer plausible".

"Rock and roll was the central spine of our culture for 50 years", he goes on. "The web has broken down the world into individualism and that's easy for authoritarians to use ... We've reduced ourselves. The 21st century is reductionist and it's using the great tool of reductionism, the internet".

The future might not be entirely bleak though, he adds: "Something like Live Aid can't happen now, but that doesn't stop you raging against the dying of the light. That doesn't stop you acknowledging that all generations fail and some fail more spectacularly than others".

"It doesn't mean that you can't be Greta Thunberg and stand in front of your school silently and just say 'no'", he goes on. "That's still there. The possibility to steer your world in the direction you need to live in, that's there, but it ain't this cyber wanking into the digital void".

So, hey, well done you for reading about all this in a niche publication on the internet. Of course other things have changed since 1985 which may also have had an effect on people's view of events like Live Aid. Not least a greater awareness of different world events, meaning it's hard to know which terrible thing to get a load of millionaires to entertain you in aid of.

Even Geldof recognised that in 2005 when the 20th anniversary edition of Live Aid - Live 8 - was staged to coincide with the G8 political conference. That time the event aimed to put the spotlight on the much bigger issue of global poverty, rather than raising money for and building awareness about one specific terrible event, ie the 1983-1985 famine in Ethiopia.

Then there's the fact that - if you were thinking of staging awareness or money raising events in multiple locations around the world in 2020 - well, the big things in the news at the moment are climate change and coronavirus. And neither of them really lend themselves to the idea of getting loads of people together in one place and then sending Phil Collins over the Atlantic on Concorde so he can play at more than one show in one country in one day. I mean, Concorde doesn't even fly anymore.


ANDY MALT | Editor
Andy heads up the team, overseeing the CMU Daily, website and Setlist podcast, managing social channels, reporting on artist and business stories, and writing the CMU Approved column.
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CHRIS COOKE | Co-Founder & MD
Chris provides music business coverage, writing key business news and CMU Trends. He also leads the CMU Insights and CMU Pathways consultancy units and the CMU:DIY future talent programme, as well as heading up CMU publisher 3CM UnLimited.
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SAM TAYLOR | Commercial Manager
Sam oversees the commercial side of the CMU media, leading on sales and sponsorship, and also heads up business development at CMU InsightsCMU Pathways and CMU:DIY.
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CARO MOSES | Co-Publisher
Caro helps oversee the CMU media as a Director of 3CM UnLimited, as well as heading up the company's other two titles ThisWeek London and ThreeWeeks Edinburgh, and supporting other parts of the business.
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