Monthly Archives: October 2012

Hurricane Sandy takes its toll on live sector

Hurricane Sandy has left the the US live industry counting the financial cost of one of the US’s biggest storms ever, as gigs scheduled to take place in New York, and other towns and cities hit by Sandy were cancelled. But the extent of the impact the storm won’t be clear until the scale of damage to venues and public transport infrastructure is clear, and the time scales for restoring power to the large areas currently without electricity are known. It will also take some time for air travel across the US to get back to normal after the shut down of airports down the East Coast. Asked about the impact of the then approaching storm, AEG Live President Randy Phillips told Billboard yesterday “A major weather occurrence like Sandy is, obviously, disruptive both in the daily lives of the communities we work in and the clients we tour. It will have an impact on our budgets and earnings – if even in the short term, since we average a couple of hundred shows a week in those markets that have had to hunker down while the storm passes through”. Paul Bassman of entertainment insurance firm Doodson also confirmed to Billboard that he’d had many clients calling in the last 48 hours about their cover for storm-caused cancellations, although not every venue and promoter will be covered for storm-related losses, and while most artist contracts will not require fees be paid when extreme weather causes cancellations, any promoter canning or postponing events will incur losses.

8 Million on the East Coast remain without power and, more tragically, at least 46 people have died.


Rokumentti – Finland’s film festival looks to the end of the World

The Mayan calendar suggests that this December will be the World’s last month – its the end of the World as we know it!

Since the beginning of times, people have proclaimed the end of the world. Wasn’t everything supposed to end in the nuclear war, with ozone depletion, with super volcanoes; with global warming? Or the sky falling down on us? Does anyone even care any more when everything seems to lead to the  end of all? Well, perhaps we should.

We live in the most sophisticated and progressive era in the history of humankind, in a time where all the knowledge and every commodity is merely one click away. And yet, at this very moment the rainforests are being cut down, nuclear waste is being produced and people are being raped, tortured and killed. The Rokumentti Film Festival in Joensuu, Finland,  (November 14th – 18th) will be screening ten special themed films as part of the festival to address these concerns. But, after watching the ten Rokumentti theme films of 2012 will you be inspired? Or will you be  forced to ask: Would it be better to just let it burn?

However, let’s celebrate at Rokumentti first! There is time for the world to end afterwards.

The Earth 0.0.0000 – 18.11.2012 – Rest in Peace The funeral service was attended by closest friends.

Films to be screened  include Joe Berlinger’s Crude (USA 2010) looking at the real price of oil, Paul Crowder and Murray Lerner’s Amazing Journey: The Story of The Who (2007), Marshall Curry and Sam Cullman’s If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front (USA 2011) arsons, arrests, agents, car chases – everyday events in environmental work,  Michael Madsen’s Into Eternity  (2009), Roger Sargent’s The Libertines – There Are No Innocent Bystanders (UK 2011), Kevin McDonald’s  Marley (USA, UK 2012), the definite story of the superstar of reggae, Eve Wood’s Pulp: The Beat Is The Law – Fanfare For The Common People (UK 2011) looking at the rise of Pulp and the history of the Sheffield music scene and Aki Kaurismäki’s Calamari Union (Finland 1985), the Finnish film classic.

Rokumentti Rock Film Festival in Joensuu, Finland is like a blaze of light that wakes up the city to a new life. As the days grow shorter and darker in November, and there seems to be no escape from the cold and rainy weather, Rokumentti offers five days of auditory, visual and perhaps even physical delights. This year Rokumentti takes place from 14th to 18th November.

Power back at Benicassim

Hot Press reports that Vince Power’s All Music Live Ltd  has struck a deal to buy back Spain’s Benicassim festival from the administrators of his former company, Music Festival PLC, with Hot Press quoting Power as saying ““I’m delighted that we have entered into an agreement to acquire the shares of Benicassim Ltd that has secured the future of the festival”.

Benicassim is based in the Valencian coastal town of the same name and  has a capacity of 50,000, In 2012 it was headlined this year by Bob Dylan, The Stone Roses and New Order.


The Association of Independent Music has celebrated the very best that independent music has to offer at the second annual AIM Independent Music Awards. Hosted by BBC Radio broadcasters Huw Stephens and Steve Lamacq, with live performances from Frankie and the Heartstrings, Big Deal and Land Observations, the Awards, held at the Brewery in Clerkenwell, has established itself as the event of the year for independent music talent.

The Prodigy proved their enduring popularity with the masses, receiving the Best Live Act Award as voted for by visitors to New mum, Adele, was also among those honoured at the event, winning the PPL Award for Most Played Independent Act, capping what has been a momentous year for her. Rising stars Alt-J took home Independent Breakthrough of the Year recognising their huge success in the past 12 months, which has seen them become one of the UK’s most popular bands. Enter Shikari, who led the nominations, landed the coveted Independent Album of the Year accolade, beating off stiff competition from Alabama Shakes and Liars. First Aid Kit’s ‘The Lion’s Roar’ was awarded Best ‘Difficult’ Second Album.  60 Days of Static won the hardest working band award and Leefest won the Golden Welly Award for best festival.

It wasn’t just the artists having all the fun, with a wealth of the Independent sector’s behind the scenes movers and shakers also tasting glory. Black Butter Records, who scored a number 1 hit with Rudimental’s ‘Feel The Love’ earlier this year, claimed Best Small Label, Bella Union’s Simon Raymonde won Independent Entrepreneur of the Year and Ian Evans, IME Music accepted the prestigious Indie Champion Award.  The Independent Label of the Year trophy went to 4AD in recognition of their consistently strong A&R, with releases this year from Grimes, Twin Shadow, Purity Ring and Mark Lanegan Band.

As previously announced, Edwyn Collins received the Outstanding Contribution To Music award, which was presented on the night by Edwyn’s long term friend Vic Godard of Subway Sect fame and Frankie & The Heartstrings, whose debut album was produced by Edwyn. Mute Boss, Daniel Miller accepted the Pioneer Award, recognising his huge influence on the independent sector and electronic music in a career spanning three decades.


We would like to give a HUGE thank you to the festivals who donated trees to be planted in the first year of Festival Wood
Belladrum Tartan Heart Festival
Camp Bestival
Deer Shed Festival
End of the Road
Glastonbury Festival
No Direction Home Festival
And also to our green friends
Big Green Coach
Stack Cup
ID&C wristbands
Barley Arts
 The planting season for 2012 is almost coming to an end, but there is still time to donate trees and help the Festival Wood to grow!
We have over 600 trees so far and the number is growing – and the trees are growing!  If you can, please give generously to reforest the Scottish Highlands, nurturing the ecosystem by generate priceless habitat for years to come. A great festival legacy to be a part of… and even ONE TREE helps. Really they do,  and you can make individual donations – each tree costs just £5 planted.

US braces for Frankenstorm

The US East Coast is braced for the arrival of the potentially devastating Hurricane Sandy tonight (Monday), which is expected to make landfall later in the day. Dubbed  ‘Frankenstorm’, the massive hybrid weather system has an arctic jet stream wrapped around a tropical storm, and has led to tens of thousands of people being evacuated and President Barack Obama warning residents to take the storm seriously.

New York authorities ordered the evacuation of 375,000 people from low-lying coastal areas with forecasters warning of “life-threatening” storm surges of six to eleven feet in waters around New York City and northern New Jersey. Transport networks in New York including the subway have been shut down, airlines have cancelled more than 7,000 slights, public schools will be closed and  the New York Stock Exchange will be closed.  It could be the largest storm to hit the US in history and pictures from the International Space Station showed Sandy swirling and advancing on the East Coast of the USA.

Forecasters have cautioned that the massive storm was far larger and more dangerous than last year’s devastating Hurricane Irene that claimed 47 lives and caused an estimated $15 billion (£9 billion) in damage. Sandy has already killed 66 people in the Caribbean.

Wireless and Hard Rock Calling to quit Hyde Park

Live Nation has confirmed that it will not re-bid for the rights to stage festivals and concerts in London’s Hyde Park, claiming licensing restrictions put in place in recent years have hindered the company’s efforts to stage events there, and that the tender process put in place by the Royal Parks Agency for a new five-year contract to use the park for live events is “flawed”.

The move would put an end to the Wireless and Hard Rock Calling festivals, as well as Live Nation’s series of major summer concert events. The number of events in the Park is being reduced by The Royal Parks and Live Nation faced criticism after brining in tonnes of woodchip to counter flooding during the  awful English summer. Much criticised noise limits and a strict curfew were also put in place to appease local residents resulting in the plug being pulled on an overrunning Bruce Springsteen this summer.

Live Nation COO John Probyn confirmed that LN would  not promote in Hyde Park and told Access All Areas “Royal Parks has ignored everything else and gone for the money and we’re really good at walking away when something makes no sense” adding “Hyde Park is the most expensive venue in the country and the stakeholders just don’t want events in there. I’ve kept saying that it’s a fantastic site, and in its heyday it was, but for the last four years it’s been a nightmare. When you’re constantly looking to cut spend and make money elsewhere, the buck always has to stop with the ticket buyer,” he said. “We have no desire to be involved with a loss-leading project, or to work with someone who doesn’t understand what we’re doing. Other venues that don’t have the same approach or the same noise restrictions are courting us now, which is nice after 15 years of battling with local residents and the Royal Parks.”