Music Biz Headlines, July 8, 2021

Dan Mangan (pictured) facilitates do-it-yourself concerts via Side Door, The Horseshoe Tavern is bringing back live shows, and the Calgary Stampede announces covid vaccine rules. Also in the headlines are Stratford, Kim Mitchell, Gowan, Boots and Hearts, Sony, Roblox, Hipgnosis, Bandcamp, Viagogo, John Fogerty, Morrissey, Shamrock Capital, Queen, queercore, Dua Lipa, John McLaughlin, and Sinead O’Connor.

Music Biz Headlines, July 8, 2021

By Kerry Doole


Canadian startup Side Door aims to democratize the concert business

“I want to see 100,000 artists who people have barely or never heard of making $100,000 a year,” says Dan Mangan, musician and co-founder of Side Door, a Halifax-based online hub that facilitates do-it-yourself concerts. “The idea is to develop a global, thriving middle class of artists who are not beholden to the industry gatekeepers in order to have a viable career.” – Brad Wheeler, The Globe and Mail

Toronto Summer Music is going virtual again this year, but the concerts will be as real as the musicians can make them

We aren’t out of the pandemic woods yet. And in the face of ongoing government restrictions, Toronto Summer Music, like many of its sister festivals, has decided yet again to go virtual. Taking as its theme New Horizons, the annual classical music celebration will present an online program of more than two dozen concerts over three weeks, stretching from July 15 to Aug. 1, under the artistic direction of TSO concertmaster Jonathan Crow. – William Littler, The Toronto Star


Tents spring up in Stratford as live theatre comes back to life across Canada

I’ll be in Stratford for the next two months so I can observe and write about the reopening of this cultural city that is home to the Stratford Festival, North America’s largest not-for-profit theatre company, and also a disproportionately high portion of Canada’s artistic talent in live theatre and music. –JK Nestruck, The Globe and Mail

Horseshoe Tavern to bring back in-person concerts starting in July

If all goes according to plan, the iconic Toronto venue will reopen its doors to fans in a couple of weeks. – Richard Trapunski, NOW

Calgary Stampede to be first major Canadian event to ask attendees for proof of Covid-19 vaccination

The Stampede’s Nashville North will require proof of vaccination, or a Covid-19 rapid test, before revellers are allowed to enter the site known for its live country music and large crowds. As the Stampede makes final preparations for an opening at the end of this week, the 10-day rodeo, exhibition and midway is a critical public test of Alberta’s reopening plan. – Kelly Cryderman, Globe and Mail

Kim Mitchell knows you're tired of hearing "Patio Lanterns"

"Thank you to the fans for digging the tune. And those who don't, man I don't blame you." – Calum Slingerland, Exclaim!


Moonlight desires, granted: Behind the greatest soundtrack moment in recent Canadian film history

In the one-shot scene in Nicole Dorsey’s dreamy debut feature Black Conflux, the camera whips around 360 degrees to the swirl of lights and the atmospheric pop of Gowan’s Moonlight Desires: It’s one of the those winning matches of film and soundtrack, as perfect as Stealers Wheel’s Stuck in the Middle With You in Quentin Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs or Simple Minds’ Don’t You (Forget About Me) in John Hughes’s The Breakfast Club. – Brad Wheeler,The Globe and Mail

Our Lady Peace, Brett Kissel join concert series

Country singer Kissel and alternative rockers Our Lady Peace are among the Canadian acts set to headline a five-weekend Ontario summer concert series that includes strict  safety guidelines. The organizers of the outdoor Boots and Hearts music festival revealed the first round of lineups for its Endless Summer Series, a “medium-scale” run of mini-festival events throughout August that will only sell concert passes in groups of four. – CP


Sony Music inks strategic partnership with Roblox

Roblox, which went public in March having reached a $45B company valuation, has been making a lot of noise in the music business in recent months. The kids’ gaming phenomenon secured an eight-figure investment from Warner Music Group as part of a $520M funding round in January. Now, the company, whose Average Daily Active Users (DAUs) rose to 43M in May, has inked a strategic partnership with SME. – MBW


How Bandcamp could really fix the music business

A thought: has streaming become the place to address consumers and the likes of Bandcamp the places to engage fans? i.e., fans and fandom inherently matter less on streaming because it/they are a minority. – Mark Mulligan, MIDIA

Hipgnosis raises another $215m via new share issue

Hipgnosis Songs Fund has a stack of fresh cash to play with. The aggressively acquisitive UK-listed firm has successfully raised £156M  via a proposed new share placing on the London Stock Exchange. That figure is slightly higher than the £150M ($210m) Hipgnosis targeted with its announcement of the share placing in June because the raise was over-subscribed, thanks to what Hipgnosis says was "significant demand from existing and new investors." – MBW


Viagogo under investigation by New South Wales Fair Trading

The ticket reseller is being investigated for ticket scalping after NSW Fair Trading received 16 complaints. In addition, they have had a further 11 complaints about cancelled concerts that have not been refunded, five for misleading consumers into thinking they are an authorized reseller and one for not adhering to age restrictions. – Paul Cashmere, Noise11

Shamrock raised $196M to loan music and entertainment rights-holders money

US-based investment firm Shamrock Capital is best known in music for buying blockbuster entertainment copyrights (including Taylor Swift’s first six albums, which it acquired for around $300M. Now, it’s offering music rights-owners an alternative to selling up. Shamrock has  now confirmed that it’s raised a new $196M  fund with which it will offer loan structures to IP owners – i.e. advancing rights-holders sums that they then repay (with interest) via future royalties. – Murray Stassen, MBW

Queen's music continues to make crazy money

Legendary British band Queen is one of the few ‘deep catalog’ acts to have truly conquered the format. Queen remain the 38th biggest artist on Spotify today, with over 37.6M monthly listeners. That’s more than Kanye West (35.8m), Beyoncé (32.6m), The Beatles (24.3m), and Jay-Z (21.6m). Indeed, according to the IFPI, Queen were the world’s fifth biggest revenue-generating recording artist of 2019, and the sixth biggest in 2018. – Tim Ingham, MBW

“We were anti-authoritarian, anti-capitalist, anti-corporate”: A brief history of queercore

From a basement idea in the ​’80s to a full-blown movement in the three decades since, this is the story of queercore: one of punk’s most vital subcultures. – Paul Travers, Kerrang

Ida Maria talks about her Dirty Money EP

Maria broke worldwide back in 2008 with her punk-pop hit debut Fortress Round My Heart and other memorable, slamming singles. She has a rare slant on songwriting shared by Britain’s Marina Diamandis—a condition known as synesthesia, wherein she doesn’t hear notes tonally, but intuits them as colors instead. – Tom Lanham, Paste


Dua Lipa sends profits soaring at Warner Music Ireland

Sales of Dua Lipa’s Future Nostalgia last year contributed to pre-tax profits at the Irish arm of music giant Warner Music almost doubling to €1.8 million. The global smash hit album was released at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic in March of last year. –The Irish Times

Britney Spears and Sinéad O’Connor: A tale of two haircuts

It was impossible not to think of O’Connor’s “Shaving My Head” chapter when news broke about another singer whose struggles with mental health have been excruciatingly public. In  O’Connor’s new memoir “Rememberings,” the chapter recalls the first time the Irish singer-songwriter-activist shaved her head. – Susanna Schrobsdorff, Time

Composer and synthesizer innovator Peter Zinovieff dies at 88

Zinovieff, a composer and inventor whose pioneering synthesizers shaped albums by Pink Floyd, David Bowie, Roxy Music and Kraftwerk, died on June 23 in Cambridge, England. He was 88. Zinovieff oversaw the design of the first commercially produced British synthesizers. – Jon Pareles, New York Times

Morrissey describes pandemic as “Con-vid”, likens government restrictions to slavery

The controversial Anglo rock star discusses the pandemic, politics, his new album, and more in a new interview with his nephew.  – CoS


John McLaughlin discusses Mahavishnu Orchestra, Liberation Time, and more

Fifty years ago, he founded that epochal band and revolutionized the jazz world. Today, he’s making music that reaches back to his roots, and his first instrument (not guitar). Learn more in this exclusive interview. – Jim Farber, JazzTimes

A CCR song hits No. 1 50 years after its release

It’s taken 50 years, but John Fogerty’s Creedence Clearwater Revival song, “Have You Ever Seen the Rain,” has hit the No. 1 spot on Billboard’s Rock Digital Song Sales Chart making it the first and only song released by Fogerty, as leader of Creedence Clearwater Revival, to reach the top spot on the charts. Just why is this happening now, 50 years later? – Buddy Iahn, The Music Universe

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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