Music Biz Headlines, April 8, 2020

Skratch Bastid (pictured) comes up with a quarantine playlist, music clubs now eligible for a government credit program, and a host of Covid-19-themed stories. Others in the headlines include Wild Strawberries, The Tragically Hip, Tom Wright, Apple Music, UMG, Warner Records, Pink, Kurt Cobain, The Grammy Museum, and Bill Withers.

Music Biz Headlines, April 8, 2020

By Kerry Doole

Bars, cannabis sector eligible for $40B credit program from government bank

Devastated bars and lounges, as well as the country’s hard-hit cannabis sector, will now have access to $40 billion in new credit being made available via the government’s business bank during the Covid-19 crisis, its CEO said on Sunday. – Colin Perkel, CP

Freelance artists await more information on how online art-making and royalties may affect emergency benefit eligibility

Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) on Monday, many self-employed artists and musicians across the country continued to wait for news as to what kind of financial relief would be available to them amid the Covid-19 pandemic – and when it might come. – J. Kelly Nestruck, The Globe and Mail

Skratch Bastid talks isolation and makes us a quarantine playlist

On April 9, the DJ and Juno-nominated producer (for Buck 65’s Situation) will participate in Pioneers, the new Instagram interview series from Starting From Scratch where the DJ interviews other “groundbreakers that helped shape our Canadian DJ culture.” He also makes us a playlist. –  Karen Bliss, Complex Canada


Wild Strawberries in the calm of rural Wilmot Township

Haysville, ON, is far from the bright lights and sounds of the music biz, but it is now home to the Juno-nominated pop band. – Nancy Silcox, New Hamburg Independent

Tragically Hip's Bobcaygeon played for Pinecrest Nursing Home in that town

Tragically Hip guitarist Paul Langlois joined the Sunday evening singalong for the long-term care facility where 22 people have died of Covid-19. – Radheyan Simonpillai, NOW

Vancouver Opera names Tom Wright its general director

He has provided interim leadership since November 1, 2019, Wright had previously worked 13 seasons as Vancouver Opera’s director of artistic planning. Before that, he was director of artistic planning for Arizona Opera and the director of production at Calgary Opera. – Janet Smith, Georgia Straight 


The concert industry faces up to a $9 billion loss from pandemic

Concerts and festivals across the globe continue to be postponed or cancelled due to the novel coronavirus pandemic. No one sees an end in sight, and that means the concert industry is going to see a huge decline in revenue. The research firm and trade publication Pollstar released a projected report which showed that revenue for the industry could be down as much as $9 billion in 2020. – Olivia Perreault, Ticketnews


Can the music business survive coronavirus?

The UK industry is the most successful in the world after America, but labels, venues, studios, artists and road crews are all under threat as the pandemic brings everything to a halt. Helen Brown talks to those affected and asks how we protect this jewel in the crown. – The Independent

Apple Music launches a $50M advance fund for indie labels hit by Covid-19 impact

The advance fund is available for independent labels and distributors, to support the indie sector with vital cashflow during the uncertainty of global Covid-19 lockdown. – Tim Ingham, MBW

Why Warner Records is still releasing big albums amid Covid-19 lockdown

As artists postpone releases amid a market slowdown, one major record label is finding success sticking to its original plans. “Music is very of the moment — it captures a time,” says Warner Records COO Tom Corson. – Tim Ingham, MBW

Judge dismisses lawsuit over Universal Music Group vault fire

A judge has dismissed a class action lawsuit against Universal Music Group (UMG) originally brought by several artists and estates over a 2008 vault fire. Soundgarden, Hole, Steve Earle and the estates of Tom Petty and Tupac Shakur filed a lawsuit demanding damages in excess of $100 million. – Press Association 

Pink details 'rollercoaster' Coronavirus symptoms as her son, 3, says he's 'feeling better'

Pink is opening up about her health after recently revealing she tested positive for the novel coronavirus (Covid-19). During an Instagram Live chat with her friend and author Jen Pastiloff on Saturday, the “Beautiful Trauma” singer was briefly joined by her 3-year-old son Jameson, who said he was now “feeling better” after showing symptoms of Covid-19. – Eric Todisco, People


The six-decade odyssey of Kurt Cobain’s ‘Unplugged’ cardigan

The long journey of the $137,500 sweater worn by Nirvana’s frontman.  – Brenna Ehrlich, Rolling Stone

The Grammy Museum goes virtual

"While we're practicing social distancing, nothing can bring us together like the power of music," Michael Sticka, President of the Grammy Museum, said. "Our doors may be closed, our mission is not," Sticka said. "So the Grammy Museum was able to, almost within a 48-hour period, pivot and create a digital museum. The museum will also be surfacing content which has never been released before… And it's entirely free." – ABC


Been there, done that, still figuring it out: Interview with industry veteran Allan McGowan

Manager, agent, promoter, editor, journalist, producer, illustrator – there's hardly a field in the entertainment world, Allan hasn't worked in. He's credited as one of the first agents to work out multi-date touring circuits, a given in today's live entertainment business. – Gideon Gottfried Pollstar

Bill Withers: The Poet Laureate of rural Afro-America

What gave Withers’ music its distinctive flavour was his background. The 20th century had many brilliant songwriters who were raised black and urban, white and rural or white and urban, but Withers was one of very few who were raised black and rural. – Geoffrey Himes, Paste

On Instagram Live, hip-hop/R&B hitmakers wage good-natured battle during coronavirus lockdown, and fans go wild

As the world implodes from coronavirus and no one’s left the house in a month, music fans in staggering numbers have found comfort by tuning in to Instagram Live and watching Gen X hip-hop/R&B producers playing their hits from their laptops and ragging on each other in the comments section. – August Brown, Los Angeles Times

Big Boi

Big Boi


CNE Bandshell Gets Big Boi, Sloan, Big Wreck And More For Throwback Summer Concerts

The headliners tie together the Toronto waterfront series' '90s and 2000s revival theme, while contemporary acts like MacKenzie Porter, Ruby Waters, Tynomi Banks and more will keep things current.

Toronto's CNE Bandshell concert series is leaning into big nostalgia this summer, with major '90s and 2000s acts headlining the throwback-themed lineup.

OutKast rapper Big Boi, Canadian-American rock band Big Wreck, and east coasters Sloan are leading the summer music programming at the Canadian National Exhibition, a major entertainment fair that takes over the Exhibition Place grounds every August.

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