It’s the start of a new week and here I am staying consistent with providing you the GDD™ Morning Update. Diplo turns author with his new book, Radiohead (finally) announces 2012 tour dates, Hospital Records celebrates it’s 15th anniversary with compilation, and why the music industry is singing a happy tune after the jump!
Diplo Turns Author with ‘128 Beats Per Minute’
Say what you like about Diplo, but he’s certainly not boring. The straight-shooting DJ gets up to some enviable adventures, and he’s chronicled some of the best in 128 Beats Per Minute, his ‘visual guide to music, culture, and everything in between’.
The book tracks Diplo’s travels from his hometown Philadelphia to the reggae enclaves of Jamaica to Tel Aviv’s underground scene and plenty more. Each chapter comes with playlists and err, Tweets, from the man himself, alongside the photography of Shane McCauley. Naturally, there’s a foreword from fashion doyen and Diplo believer Alexander Wang. While it looks like this will be more about striking imagery than long passages from the pen of Diplo, you can colour us intrigued. The book’s not out until April 2012, so you can start saving your pennies.
Radiohead Announce US Tour
02-27 Miami, FL – American Airlines Arena
02-29 Tampa, FL – St. Pete Times Forum
03-01 Atlanta, GA – Philips Arena
03-05 Dallas, TX – American Airlines Center
03-07 Austin, TX – Frank Erwin Center
03-09 St. Louis, MO – Scottrade Center
03-11 Kansas City, MO – Sprint Center
03-13 Broomfield, CO – 1st Bank Center
03-15 Glendale, AZ – Jobing.com Arena
Hospital Records Turns 15 with Compilation
Drum & bass label Hospital Records are set to release a compilation celebrating 15 years of operation.
Based in South London, Hospital is one of the most long-standing and prominent imprints in drum & bass. Founded by producer Tony Colman (AKA London Elektricity) and Chris Goss, the label has played host to over 200 releases, many of which come from artists—High Contrast and Danny Byrd, for example—who have been on the roster for a decade or more. The forthcoming compilation features one mixed and one unmixed disc. The former packs in 15 previously unreleased tracks by as many different artists. The second presents a “History of Hospital,” selected and mixed by Cyantific.
01. High Contrast – If We Ever VIP
02. Rusko – Everyday Netsky VIP
03. Logistics – Closer
04. Reso – Voices From A Distant Star
05. Adele – Rolling In The Deep (Nu:Tone remix)
06. Danny Byrd feat. MC Risky – B.R.I.S.T.O.L.
07. Camo & Krooked – Reminisce
08. S.P.Y – Untold Future
09. London Elektricity – Song In The Key Of Knife VIP
10. TC – New Frontier
11. Fred V & Grafix – Find My Way
12. Blokhe4d & Gridlok – Dumptruck 1
13. Muffler – 4 Years
14. Royalston – Late Nights
15. N3gus – Swag Bag
CD2: Mixed by Cyantific
01. High Contrast – Return Of Forever / High Contrast – Globale Love (Calibre remix) – Danny Byrd Ill Behaviour
02. Logistics – Together
03. High Contrast – Global Love
04. Cyantific – Disconnected
05. Logistics – Call Me Back
06. Logistics – Winter Blues
07. Camo+Krooked – Climax
08. Nu:Tone feat. Natalie Williams – System (Matrix+Futurebound remix)
09. Cyantific & Logistics – Flashback / Cyantific & Tactile – Without Sound
10. High Contrast – Kiss Kiss Bang Bang
11. Logistics – Summer Sun
12. London Elektricity – Out Of This World (DKay remix)
13. Q-Project – Slowly But Surely
14. London Elektricity – The Strangest Secret In The World
15. London Elektricity – Billion Dollar Gravy
16. High Contrast – Twilights Last Gleaming / Logistics – Red Sky At Night
17. Logistics – Toy Town
18. Danny Byrd – Changes (Calibre remix)
19. Nu:Tone – Missing Link
20. Danny Byrd feat. Brookes Bros – Gold Rush
21. Cyantific – Ghetto Blaster
22. Cyantific – Don’t Follow / Syncopix – 8-Bit Blues
24. Netsky – Secret Agent
25. High Contrast – Tutti Frutti
26. Icicle – So Close
27. Apex feat. Ayah – Space Between – Logistics – Inside My Soul
28. London Elektricity – Wishing Well (Danny Byrd remix)
29. High Contrast – Basement Track
30. High Contrast – If We Ever / Danny Byrd – Shock Out / Cyantific – Little Green Men
Hospital Records will release 15 Years Of Hospital Records on November 28th, 2011.
(via Resident Advisor)
Paying $175 for the right to cram into Orlando’s Citrus Bowl Park with 50,000 other people for two days straight might not sound that appealing to some. But throw in nonstop live music on a slew of open-air stages and people will turn up in droves, even in a state with one of the highest jobless rates in the country. That’s the thinking behind Los Angeles-based entertainment giant Live Nation’s latest endeavor in the music-festival business. The company’s Orlando Calling festival, which will host more than 50 music acts, including headliners the Killers and Bob Seger, on Nov. 12 and 13, is one of eight new festivals it launched this year as a way to boost its profits in a down economy. Says Alan Ridgeway, Live Nation’s CEO for international operations: “Festivals are one of the big growth areas of our business.”
Music festivals are a rare bright spot in the struggling music industry. The festival business has grown from almost nothing a few decades ago to roughly $1.36 billion in Britain, one of the world’s largest festival markets. In the U.S., where music fans are acquiring a similar taste for outdoor paloozas, live-music revenues have nearly doubled over the past decade, to $4.6 billion last year, fueled in part by the growth in festivals. That has shifted the music industry’s focus from recorded albums to live performances. After a decade of dwindling sales of recorded music, caused in part by free Internet downloads from music-sharing start-ups like Napster, live entertainment is the industry’s new cash cow — one that can’t be infinitely reproduced. According to trade group IFPI, global sales of recorded music have plummeted more than 40% in the past 10 years, to $16 billion in 2010. Ticket sales for live music in Britain, meanwhile, have nearly quadrupled over the same period, to $2.4 billion. In the digital age, people “yearn for actual experiences, like concerts, and they’re willing to pay a premium price for them,” says Nick George, a media analyst at PricewaterhouseCoopers.
The festival boom could mean big changes for the music industry and its customers. Digital media, which lend themselves to endless replication and piracy, have driven down the value of recorded music over the past decade. But live shows, which are by definition a limited number of one-off events, promise to continue turning profits for years to come. That’s good news not just for big media conglomerates like Sony and Warner, which have been fishing for ways to redefine their music divisions in the digital age; it could also help boost the incomes of struggling musicians, especially independents who rely on even the smallest gigs to make a living. For music fans, festivals mean more access to live music in bulk and the chance to discover new bands in the flesh rather than through computer screens or on the radio.
Festivals haven’t always held this kind of appeal in the music industry. A decade ago, many musicians viewed live performances as at times tedious marketing plugs for their latest albums. Nowadays the opposite is true. Artists are finding that touring is the way to make “the big money,” says Douglas Arthur, a music-industry analyst with New York City investment bank Evercore Partners. 2008 marked the first year artists in Britain made more money from live performances than from recorded-music sales, according to PRS for Music. Rave reviews of appearances at high-profile festivals can help acts sell records. And by pooling artists’ audiences, festivals allow them to broaden their fan bases.
Corporate executives are seeing dollar signs too. For media-savvy companies, festivals have become a form of “experiential” media, interactive events through which they can market their brands. Unlike giveaways or ads, enjoyable experiences give brands “long-term engagement with a captive audience,” says Bryan Duffy, a marketing executive at New York City consulting firm MKTG Inc.
And the audience is growing. Britain, host of the famous Glastonbury and Reading festivals, now puts on more than 670 music events a year, a 73% increase since 2003. There were 2,500 to 3,000 festivals this year in Europe, according to trade magazine IQ. Festival operators have attracted a wide range of music lovers by expanding their repertoire beyond rock music and featuring nonmusical entertainment like comedy, poetry and theater. “Festivals are now attracting the types of people who would never have gone to one before,” says Dave Newton, a co-founder of online ticket agency WeGotTickets, which expects a 20% increase in festival ticket sales this year.
Bigger audiences are attracting bigger investors. Although the global festivals industry is dominated by independent operators and entrepreneurs, bigger umbrella groups like Live Nation and Music Festivals have designs on becoming festival empires. Music Festivals owner Vince Power, who runs Spain’s Benicàssim and Britain’s Hop Farm festivals, raised $10.4 million on London’s small-cap Alternative Investment Market in June to grow his festival business into a $160 million operation over the next five years. Music retailer HMV has also jumped into festivals — in 2009 it bought live-music company MAMA Group, which hosts Britain’s Great Escape and High Voltage — as a way to revive its struggling brick-and-mortar business.
Still, the road to expansion is fraught with risk. Attracting artists big enough to fill hectares of empty pastures with fans is costly and requires a certain finesse. Outfitting an empty field with temporary infrastructure robust enough to accommodate tens of thousands of fans also isn’t easy. And there’s the threat of bad weather, which can wreak havoc on events where fans are unprepared for torrential downpours and muddy fields. Last year, when ash from an Icelandic volcano grounded flights across Europe, attendance at Power’s Benicàssim festival plummeted. At Belgium’s Pukkelpop festival in August, four people died and more than 70 were injured when strong winds from a thunderstorm caused a stage to collapse. Building a fan base also takes time. Newbie operators “don’t realize that you’re probably not going to sell 50,000 tickets in the first year,” says Live Nation’s Ridgeway, and cash-flow problems can occur when events don’t sell out. Glastonbury has flirted with bankruptcy, most recently in 2008, when festival loyalists were turned off by the decision to headline the traditionally rock-oriented event with rapper Jay-Z.
Barring those pitfalls, the payoffs for well-executed festivals can be huge. Putting thousands of people in close quarters for two or three days creates an ideal sales environment for high-margin food, drink and merchandise vendors. And when the audience is big enough, corporate sponsors like Ford, Jack Daniel’s and Intel come running.
Corporate involvement has taken its toll on festival culture. What was once the playground of ’60s hippies is now a more mainstream affair, often flush with upscale amenities like babysitting services, waitstaff and rentable Winnebagos. But many of today’s festivalgoers don’t seem to mind. In fact, corporate backing can actually “make festivals seem less threatening” to mainstream audiences, says Andrew Bengry-Howell, a sociologist at the University of Southampton who co-authored a recent study on festival branding.
With money pouring in, more European festival operators are looking abroad, especially to the U.S. Surprisingly, the country that invented the concept with California’s Monterey Pop in 1967 and New York’s Woodstock in 1969 hosts only a handful of major pop events, including Tennessee’s Bonnaroo and California’s Coachella. “It’s such a huge place, and it’s underserved,” says James Barton, who runs Creamfields, a popular 13-year-old electronic-music festival near Liverpool. Bonnaroo’s 80,000 attendees this year paled in comparison with the 700,000 people who turned out for Poland’s Przystanek Woodstock in April.
Crowds like that are drawing attention to untapped markets in Eastern Europe, Latin America and parts of Asia. Already Barton has expanded his Creamfields empire from the U.K. to 11 other countries, including Argentina, Australia and Malta. Sony Music bought a majority stake in Hungarian live-events group ShowTime Budapest last year to build on “the many synergies between the recorded and live-music industries,” said Marton Brady, managing director of ShowTime Group. Ridgeway says Live Nation is looking at prospects in Australia, Dubai and Hong Kong. And Festivals Republic head Melvin Benn is eyeing China’s Guangdong province, home to over 150 universities. “One would assume that a market like that could accommodate at least one big festival,” he says. For a country with 200 million young people craving more access to pop culture, that’s an understatement.
Thanks for reading & have an excellent week,