TODAY'S TOP STORY: London's Brixton Academy is to remain closed for another three months as investigations continue into the crowd crush that occurred during an Asake show at the venue last month during which two people died. The decision to remain closed was made and announced at the end of last week by the venue's operators the Academy Music Group... [READ MORE]

TOP STORIES Brixton Academy to remain closed for another three months following fatal crowd crush
LEGAL BMG sued by Gap Band heirs over Uptown Funk royalties
X Factor finalist Katie Waissel discusses her decision to study law in order to sue Syco
MEDIA Tom Robinson urges artists and music fans to communicate their appreciation for the local BBC Introducing shows
BBC announces new Radio 3 Controller
EDUCATION & EVENTS Wasserman Music announces Music Mudder 2023 to raise money for Nordoff Robbins
ARTIST NEWS Disney announces new U2 documentary
AND FINALLY... Kate Bush is "this generation's Kate Bush", says Caroline Polachek
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Brixton Academy to remain closed for another three months following fatal crowd crush
London's Brixton Academy is to remain closed for another three months as investigations continue into the crowd crush that occurred during an Asake show at the venue last month during which two people died. The decision to remain closed was made and announced at the end of last week by the venue's operators the Academy Music Group.

Lambeth Council temporarily suspended the venue's licence for one month following the fatal incident on 15 Dec, which resulted in the deaths of concert goer Rebecca Ikumelo and security contractor Gaby Hutchinson. The local authority's licensing subcommittee is due to discuss the incident in more detail later today.

At the time of the licence suspension, Councillor Fred Cowell stated: "In the view of the licensing subcommittee, given the severity of events of 15 Dec, the risks to public safety as a consequence of, in particular, serious disorder rising from a lack of crowd control at the front doors of the venue remain high if the venue were able to operate as before".

AMG had actually already suspended operations at the venue for one month before the licensing subcommittee made its initial decision last month, with management there in part anticipating what the committee's viewpoint would be. The new decision to keep the venue closed for another three months is also likely in part based on the expected outcome of today's meeting.

A spokesperson for AMG said that the company "recognises the gravity of the events which occurred on the night of 15 Dec 2022 and expresses its sincere condolences to the families of those who died during the tragic incident and its genuine concerns for anyone affected by it".

"The licence holder is committed to understanding what happened", they added, and is "co-operating with the various investigations that are under way including providing full cooperation to the police in the conduct of their inquiries".

A show by American band Wallows due to take place at the Brixton Academy this week has already been moved to the Hammersmith Apollo.


BMG sued by Gap Band heirs over Uptown Funk royalties
The heirs of Robert and Ronnie Wilson - two thirds of The Gap Band - have sued BMG over allegations they are owed royalties stemming from the cut of Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars song 'Uptown Funk' that they received back in 2015.

As you may remember, the five writers of The Gap Band's 1979 song 'Oops Upside Your Head' - including Robert and Ronnie Wilson - were given co-writer credits on 'Uptown Funk' in 2015, following the latter track's release in late 2014.

That move acknowledged the similarities between the two songs, and was made in the wake of the ruling in the big 'Blurred Lines' song-theft legal battle, after which the music industry became more nervous about the copyright implications of new songs being heavily influenced by old songs.

As well as the credits, each of the 'Oops Upside Your Head' writers also got 3.4% of the 'Uptown Funk' copyright. That was negotiated via a deal between the publishers of 'Uptown Funk' and the then publisher of 'Oops Upside Your Head', Minder Music.

Shortly after that deal Minder Music was acquired by BMG, hence it's involvement in the new legal battle. The heirs of Robert and Ronnie Wilson reckon that they are not getting the royalties being generated by their respective shares of 'Uptown Funk'. Both have also exercised the termination right under US copyright law to reclaim their shares of the 'Oops Upside Your Head' copyright, which complicates things further.

The lawsuit filed with the courts in New York last week states: "This case is yet another chapter in a long-running series of disputes involving the smash musical composition and sound recording 'Uptown Funk', originally credited to Bruno Mars and Mark Ronson".

"Plaintiffs have monetary interests in 'Uptown Funk' owing to its incorporation of the musical composition 'Oops Upside Your Head'", it adds.

"In this instalment of the ongoing 'Uptown Funk' saga, defendant music publisher BMG Rights Management has failed and refused to pay plaintiffs or account to them for royalties they are obligated to pay plaintiffs pursuant to a written contract as co-writers of 'Uptown Funk'".

When approached for comment by Billboard, a BMG rep said they were yet to be served with any legal papers making it hard to comment on the specifics of the new lawsuit, however, "what we can say is that previous litigation attempts by the plaintiffs have been thrown out of court and we are confident of our position. We will be in a better position to state our case if and when papers are served".


X Factor finalist Katie Waissel discusses her decision to study law in order to sue Syco
Former 'X Factor' contestant Katie Waissel has spoken to The Times about her decision to study for a law degree so that she could better understand the legalities of her time on the talent show. And also take legal action against Simon Cowell's Syco Entertainment over allegations that it, as co-producer of 'X Factor', breached its duty of care to her as a participant on the programme.

Waissel appeared on the 2010 series of the UK version of 'X Factor' when the talent show was at its peak, that being the year that One Direction was created. She made it through to the quarter finals, but has since said participating in the programme ruined her life.

She has criticised the way she was treated by the show and the wider media, and accused 'X Factor' producers of failing to properly support contestants when the show was airing, as they were thrown into the limelight and became subject to constant media scrutiny.

Some former 'X Factor' finalists have, of course, built successful music or media careers off the back of their time on the show, though Waissel is not alone in criticising the programme - and its makers and music industry business partners - about the way they treated contestants during the competition and beyond. Cher Lloyd, Rebecca Ferguson and the winner of the 2010 season, Matt Cardle, are among those to have spoken out about their negative experiences.

Discussing the deals she and other contestants signed when appearing on 'X Factor' - and her subsequent decision to study law - Waissel tells the Times: "There are so many of us who have been so trapped and it's not fair, there was a huge imbalance in power. I just wanted to be able to understand [the contracts] and to protect people from being manipulated in the future".

On her decision to now pursue legal action against Syco, she adds: "I am pursuing a civil case of personal injury under negligence, which pertains to duty of care". Though, the Times notes, pursuing that litigation will initially require persuading a judge to waive the three year statute of limitations that usually applies to cases of this kind.

Waissel discusses further the contractual relationship between shows like 'X-Factor' and their contestants - who are not classified as employees and therefore do not get any of the rights that come with formal employment.

The ways things are routinely set up, she goes on, "is manipulation and coercion at its finest. Company A, who is in a position of power, seeks person B, who is vulnerable. Company A says, 'this is the biggest opportunity of your life and without it, you would be nothing'. That is the absolute pinnacle of where it's all gone wrong. It gives me goosebumps".

In addition to the legal action, Waissel has also launched an organisation called the OWHL Foundation which, she says, "will provide civil, criminal and mental health support to those in the industry who are navigating their way through, decoding what is going on. It's like a legal GP, somewhere truly independent and safe, if you are bewildered by everything".

Responding to The Times, Fremantle - the media firm which produced 'X Factor' alongside Syco - said it has "robust measures" under constant review to "ensure contestants are supported, including a dedicated welfare team made up of psychologists, doctors, welfare producers and independent legal and management advisers with no time limit on aftercare once the show has aired".


Tom Robinson urges artists and music fans to communicate their appreciation for the local BBC Introducing shows
Musician and broadcaster Tom Robinson has urged both listeners and artists who have discovered great music and/or enjoyed support from one of the local BBC Introducing shows to say so via his Fresh On The Net website.

Those programmes are currently under threat because of wider cuts to the BBC's network of local radio stations. Based on plans announced last year, the Beeb's local stations around England will start sharing regional programmes for chunks of the day, with a single show across all the stations each weekday at 10pm. Which, of course, means fewer programmes being made overall and fewer presenters and producers making them.

The BBC's Introducing scheme has always relied on its network of local radio shows to form connections with each local music community, identifying and championing new talent in each area, as well as supporting the people and organisations that make up each local music industry.

If the outcome of the current changes to BBC local radio is a smaller number of regional shows, it's feared those connections will be lost.

Robinson - who hosts one of the national BBC Introducing shows, 'The Introducing Mixtape' on 6 Music - said on Twitter last week: "If you've appreciated our network of local BBC Introducing shows across England and the Channel Islands over the past fifteen years, here's a chance to say so". He then linked to a form on the Fresh On The Net website.

Above that form is an explanation of how BBC Introducing currently works. "BBC Music Introducing is a network of radio shows across the UK supporting new and interesting music at grassroots level", it says.

"The backbone of that network consists of 32 local shows on stations across England and the Channel Islands. They're supplemented by flagship programmes in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland and on the BBC's national networks such as Radio 1, 6 Music, 1Xtra and Asian Network".

"Those 32 backbone shows air every Saturday night, supporting local artists with local airplay, interviews and sessions - often on shoestring budgets", it continues. "Their dedicated teams of enthusiasts try to provide local gigs, festival stages and outside broadcasts whenever possible - and to forward their discoveries to sister shows on local and national BBC stations for further airplay".

Not only that, but "these teams listened to an average of 4000 tracks a week last year - all of which were uploaded by the artists direct to their local show free of charge, with no need to pay a record plugger".

"Many of today's hotly-tipped names got their first airplay through BBC Introducing", it goes on, "though our job isn't just to act as scouts for the UK record industry. Introducing's crowning achievement since 2007 has been helping listeners find interesting new music and help interesting musicians find new listeners year in, year out - whether or not that music was destined for the Top 75".

Listeners and artists who want to communicate their support for the local BBC Introducing shows can do so here.


BBC announces new Radio 3 Controller
The BBC has appointed Sam Jackson - most recently EVP of Global Classics & Jazz at Universal Music - as the new Controller of BBC Radio 3, taking over from Alan Davey who is leaving the Corporation in March.

Prior to Universal, Jackson spent much of his career at commercial classical station Classic FM. In his new job he will oversee the running of the Beeb's classical station as well as the delivery of the annual BBC Proms.

He'll report into the BBC's overall Director Of Music Lorna Clarke, and will work alongside David Pickard, Director of BBC Proms, and Simon Webb, the BBC's recently appointed Head of Orchestras And Choirs.

Says Clarke: "I'm delighted that Sam will be joining us as Controller of Radio 3, leading the strategy for classical music across the BBC. Sam's track record in broadcasting, love of classical music and inspirational leadership will be crucial to the BBC's ongoing commitment to bring great music to everyone".

Jackson himself adds: "BBC Radio 3 is unlike any other station: a network delivering ambitious, unique content, with live classical music at its core. This ambition, quality and diversity must stay at the heart of everything Radio 3 and the BBC Proms deliver. I'm THRILLED to be tasked with driving both Radio 3 and the Proms forward, with the help of brilliant people across the BBC and the wider music sector".


Wasserman Music announces Music Mudder 2023 to raise money for Nordoff Robbins
The UK wing of booking agency Wasserman Music and music therapy charity Nordoff Robbins have announced details of Music Mudder 2023, a fund-raising event in September that will see teams from across the music industry take part in the Nuts Challenge, which describes itself as "a fun mud obstacle race" in the Surrey countryside.

Along the way participating teams apparently tackle the "Commando Assault, Tunnel Rats, A Bridge Too Far and a whole host of new obstacles for 2023". There's also live music and a raffle which will presumably involve less mud.

Founded by Lucy Putman and Tom Schroeder of Wasserman Music in 2019, last year the Music Mudder event raised over £55,000 for Nordoff Robbins. Details of how to put forward teams for this year's event are available at

Says Putman: "Music Mudder is a great opportunity for colleagues from across the music industry to hang out, beat the post-festival season blues, get muddy and raise money, with a little friendly competition thrown in for good measure. We raised over £55,000 for Nordoff Robbins last year, which is an incredible achievement, but we're hoping to smash that total in 2023. Sign up now and join us for some more mud, sweat and cheers, all for a hugely worthy cause".

Meanwhile, Sandy Trappitt, Head Of Partnerships at Nordoff Robbins, adds: "We're so excited to be putting on Music Mudder in partnership with our friends at Wasserman Music for the third time. It was fantastic to see so many familiar albeit muddy faces on the course in 2022 and this year we want to go even bigger and muddier, aiming to double the number of teams taking part. All funds raised will go directly towards providing music therapy across the UK, helping people to connect and communicate through the power of music".


Setlist: Universal boss calls for "artist-centric" streaming model
CMU's Andy Malt and Chris Cooke review key events in music and the music business from the last week, including Universal Music boss Lucian Grainge's confirmation that a big old rejig of the way streaming monies are allocated to individual tracks by the digital platforms each month is a key priority for the biggest music rights company in the world, plus Dr Dre's legal run-in with US Congress member Marjorie Taylor Greene.

Listen to this episode Setlist here.

Disney announces new U2 documentary
Disney+ has announced a new U2 documentary in which viewers will see broadcaster David Letterman travel to Dublin for the first time to hang out with Bono and The Edge. And why not? Letterman will experience the Irish capital and "join the two U2 musicians for a concert performance unlike any they've done before".

Says Ayo Davis, President of Disney Branded Television: "Bono and The Edge are the force behind one of the most prolific and influential acts in the history of rock and roll, and we are honoured to bring this truly intimate look at their beginnings, friendship, and creative process to a global audience on Disney+".

Meanwhile, Letterman adds in a statement: "Recently, I won a radio contest. Winner gets to visit Dublin with Bono and The Edge (radio contest part not true, but I feel like a winner). They showed me around, introduced me to their musician friends, and performed some of their greatest songs in a small theatre. It's a great tour. Get in touch with them - I'm told there are still availabilities. I'm the luckiest man on the planet. (There are no availabilities)".

'Bono & The Edge: A Sort Of Homecoming, With Dave Letterman' will premiere on the Disney+ platform on 17 Mar, which is also St Patricks Day and the release date for U2's recently announced 'Songs Of Surrender' album on which they rework 40 tracks from their oeuvre.


Kate Bush is "this generation's Kate Bush", says Caroline Polachek
Caroline Polachek is getting tired of people dubbing her "this generation's Kate Bush", which seems fair enough.

I think we can all see how being compared to a music legend could initially seem like a nice thing, but soon become rather tedious. Plus, Polachek noted in a tweet on Friday night, surely Kate Bush is this generation's Kate Bush? Especially since the good old 'Stranger Things' boost of 2022.

"While I realise it's a huge compliment", she tweeted, "I'm endlessly fucking annoyed by being told I'm 'this generation's Kate Bush'. SHE is our generation's Kate Bush, she is an active artist who's topping the charts, and is irreplaceable. I, meanwhile, am this generation's Caroline Polachek".

So, please take note before you find yourself making any lazy musical comparisons this week.


ANDY MALT heads up our editorial operations, overseeing the CMU Dailywebsite and Setlist podcast, managing social channels, reporting on artist and business stories, and writing the CMU Approved column.
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CHRIS COOKE is co-Founder and MD of CMU - he continues to write key business news stories, and runs training, research and event projects for the CMU Insights consultancy unit and CMU:DIY future talent programme.
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SAM TAYLOR leads on the commerical side of CMU, overseeing sales, sponsorship and business development, as well as heading up training, research and event projects at our consultancy unit CMU Insights.
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CARO MOSES is Editor of CMU's sister media ThisWeek Culture and ThreeWeeks Edinburgh. Having previously also written and edited articles for CMU, she continues to advise and support our operations.
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