Archive for April, 2009

April 30, 2009

Time Magazine Names Eavis in Top 100

Well congratulations must first be offered to Michael Eavis for finally being recognised for his great achievement of creating the iconic Glastonbury music festival.  39 years of anguish and energy have gone into what became the benchmark for modern day festivals – although now its way past its influential and cultural peak.   He has encapsulated Britain’s many sub-cultures in one giant mystical valley, and allowed many people to indulge in their own ‘lost weekend’.   Although getting mentioned as one of the most influential people in the world right now misses the point – or (has missed the boat) – by maybe a decade!                                                                      Time is maybe not the vanguard of culture it assumes.   Also, featuring alongside the likes of Sarah Palin starts to question the intention, let alone drastically diminish the accolade.
Anyway I didn’t think the Americans knew much about Glastonbury? According to Emily Eavis, Bruce Springsteen didn’t even know of its existence until they asked him to play this year!

Oh well, Congrats to you anyway Mr Eavis, you captured the soul of a nation, even if you didn’t know when to quit while ahead!

April 17, 2009

Pirate Bay founders Go to Jail

News that the Swedish file sharing website ‘Pirate Bay’ has been successfully prosecuted has made headlines all over the world – it is a high profile case because the media along with the main players of the entertainment industry, Sony, EMI, Warner et al, have created hype around the case to strike paranoia into the world of internet file -sharers.   This so-called landmark case will have very little effect in the grand scheme of things.  Pirate bay is just one ship in a whole sea of uncharted and unregulated waters. Like cutting of a hydras head – another one will just grow back and replace it.

Remember Napster back in the 90s?  Napster got sued by A & M records and was ordered to close down in 2001. Napster has since reappeared as a legal website and has become fairly successful trading of its now iconic name.
There has been a whole slew of cases since Napster hit the headlines, although most of them have been directed at independent users or ISP’s for allowing the activity to occur through their networks.  Australian law has prosecuted a couple of file-sharing websites but it still hasn’t deterred the majority of users from searching elsewhere for their free content.

We now live in a culture where people expect free music – and that is irreversible – its only the last 60 years or so that music has been packaged to maximise revenue – before then people only paid to hear a live performance or to actually own the composition.  Things aren’t going to fundamentally change unless Brussels introduces reforms on ISP regulations – but then it is a matter of privacy  – which counter opposes the European law on Data protection – until then the music industry can threaten and prosecute all they like – but it won’t stop the tens of millions of file-sharers from trading.

April 9, 2009

Euro discounts off music festivals!

Everyone is entitled to worry about this economic meltdown – as we are told on an hourly basis by the apocalyptic media.   No one – or any business it seems is immune from the dreaded, over-used soundbite, ‘the credit crunch’. Organisations and Associations are drawing up contingency plans to tackle the recession head on.    Which is why the AIF (Association for Independent Festivals) is planning a PR campaign to promote the delights of an English music festival to a European market – with much of the publicity funded by the government’s web site to promote tourism – Visit Britain.

Now its not the 1.8 million pounds of funds that have been thrown at this marketing exercise that really irks – although it does seem like quite a significant amount of money subsidised for events that are already successfully marketed within the private sector.  The real issue is the fact that all festival tickets will be sold with a 20% discount to European tourists who buy off the visit Britain site – That makes it 30 pounds cheaper for Europeans to enjoy ‘Bestival or ‘Big Chill’ than the British. Why should we pay more for the same experience?  With festivals going up in price each year we could all use a little fiscal assistance.   After all we are all in this recession together – Did anyone catch the G20?

Admittedly some festivals did fall by the way side last year – but there were far too many festivals anyway selling the same experience with the same old bands.  Nearly all of the festivals involved in this PR campaign sold out well in advance last year anyway – and with more British people staying on the island this summer they’ll probably sell out even quicker. Its not that we resent anyone else sharing in our wonderful artistic culture – the more the merrier. We just want to be treated with respect and with the same considerations that are shown to others.