Music Biz Headlines, March 20, 2020

David Foster (pictured) puts on a show from home, Lynne Hanson describes the plight of the indie artist, Chris Taylor talks about eOne, and Gordon Lightfoot goes Solo. Also in the headlines are plenty of coronavirus themed stories, drones, Live Nation, Bandcamp, Nomadic Homes, Glastonbury, industry trends, Katy Perry, Genesis P-Orridge, David Crosby, and West Side Story.

Music Biz Headlines, March 20, 2020

By FYI Staff

Deeper than the hunt for the next roll of toilet paper: classical music treasures online

We may discover by the end of the current health crisis that YouTube is one of the greatest creations of the 21st century. There’s a wealth of classical gems available there. – John Terauds, Toronto Star

In pandemic, David Foster puts on a show from home

Victoria’s David Foster is letting online audiences into his home on a daily basis during the COVID-19 outbreak — albeit safely, via Instagram. – Mike Devlin, Times Colonist

Canadian Americana artist Lynne Hanson tells her tale of the Coronavirus Blues, one of canceled tour dates and diminished revenue prospects.

Lynne Hanson is but one of many musicians struggling in the era of coronavirus. Canceled tour dates, festival closings, and the trend away from purchasing physical music have made the careers of independent artists especially challenging. Here’s her story.– Pop Matters


Gordon Lightfoot goes Solo and self-reflective on his first studio album since 2004

Last spring, I spoke with Gordon Lightfoot at his mansion in luxury-row north Toronto. Now, songs he wrote in the early 00s can be heard on Solo. – Brad Wheeler, The Globe and Mail 

eOne Music’s Chris Taylor on new owner Hasbro, rapid expansion and why they won’t sell Death Row

When Canadian Chris Taylor talks about Entertainment One Music (also known as eOne) becoming Hasbro’s new plug-and-play music team, he sounds like a kid in a toy store. “The amount of opportunity that I was hoping would result from this deal is crystallizing now,” says the global president of the international music company, speaking from a car en route to Hasbro’s Pawtucket, R.I., headquarters. – Frank DiGiacomo, Billboard

104 Verity micro-drones tour with Celine Dion in Courage concert series

Verity’s small, very lightweight, unmanned aircraft have been used by some of the biggest entertainment names such as Drake, rock bands like Metallica, and Cirque du Soleil. If Celine’s world tour goes ahead, the drones will be there. – Haye Kesteloo, Drone DJ

Nomadic Homes plants sonic roots 

Chris Rayner’s bedroom recording project releases a fuzzed-out, nostalgia-seeped debut LP. – Jonathan Briggins,  The Coast


UK's Glastonbury Festival cancelled due to Coronavirus concerns

The live music business has taken a hammering from the outbreak of the Coronavirus this year. Now one of the world's largest and longest-running music festivals has become the latest to announce the cancellation of its 2020 edition. The UK's iconic Glastonbury Festival is officially not going ahead this year. – Murray Stassen, MBW


Endeavor, Live Nation and Sinclair face debt pressure from Coronavirus shutdowns

Endeavor, Live Nation Entertainment and Sinclair Broadcast Group are among the prominent industry firms facing new financial pressure because of their high debt loads and vulnerability from the widespread shutdown of sports leagues, concerts and other live events. – Cynthia Littleton, Variety

Bandcamp waives revenue shares to support musicians during COVID-19 outbreak

The platform will not collect their cut of sales for 24 hours on March 20 in an attempt to “put much-needed money directly into artists’ pockets.” – Pitchfork

Bandcamp, YouTube, and grassroots organizations ease financial burden for sound providers during global pandemic

Nightclubs, promoters, freelancer unions, streaming technology platforms, music companies and content platforms are starting to raise visibility and provide resources for those struggling in the light of the uncertain times ahead. – Jacqueline Schneider, Forbes

Live Nation share price plummets after Glasto and Eurovision coronavirus cancellations

Live Nation Entertainment can’t catch a break on the markets. The US-based concert giant, led by CEO & President, Michael Rapino. Had a torrid time on the New York Stock Exchange on March 18, with its share price falling 31.9% in the first three hours of trading. – Tim Ingham, MBW

Music streaming may actually be falling because of coronavirus

The isolation caused by the spread of coronavirus means people are sitting inside all day streaming music, right? Actually, maybe not. At least for the most popular songs, people in some highly affected countries are streaming far fewer songs during the pandemic than before. – Dan Kopf, Quartz


Lewis Capaldi and Stereophonics respond to criticism for playing arena gigs amid coronavirus fears

Mass gatherings are expected to be banned soon.  – Andrew Trendell, NME

The day the music died: Dallas musicians face uncertainty in a gig economy

The coronavirus pandemic’s impact on the music industry has been nothing short of cataclysmic. The ripple effect has reached A-listers and the leviathans at Live Nation and AEG, but local artists have been especially vulnerable. – Garrett Gravley, Dallas Observer

As coronavirus cancels culture, classical music rises to the occasion

Music specializes in dissolving notions of private and public. With music, this liminal space between alone and together is something of a sweet spot. In a way, it’s the original social distancing. – Washington Post


5 Music Industry trends to be aware of in 2020

While nothing is for sure, there have been clues swirling around us for the past year or two that indicate where we may be headed in the new year—and to be honest, we’re really curious to see how many of these predictions we got right from a few years back.  Sonicbids

Music biz analysts on trends to watch for

We asked some of the brightest minds in the music industry to talk through their predictions for the trends and issues that will shape 2020 and beyond. – Emma Griffiths, SynchTank

Katy Perry's $2.8m Dark Horse infringement verdict has been overturned

The verdict in the Dark Horse copyright infringement suit against Katy Perry – which would have seen her, Capitol Records and her collaborators liable for $2.8 million – was overturned in federal court in California on Tuesday (March 17) by Judge Christina A. Snyder. – MBW

In memoriam: Genesis P-Orridge tore down the boundary between art and life

The controversial figure behind Throbbing Gristle and Psychic TV set the template for whole swaths of industrial and electro music while consistently subverting it. – John Semley, NOW

David Crosby fears losing home if summer tours are cancelled

Veteran rocker David Crosby is facing the prospect of losing his home if the coronavirus pandemic forces the cancellation of his upcoming tour plans. The Crosby, Stills & Nash star has gigs lined up for much of the year from mid-May on. WENN

A first look at Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story

The director talks about reimagining the musical that riveted him as a child. – Vanity Fair

Françoise Hardy
Joost Evers / Anefo, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Françoise Hardy


Obituaries: French Pop Icon Françoise Hardy, 'Suspicious Minds' Songwriter Mark James

This week we also acknowledge the passing of broadcaster/musician Jeremy Tepper, Tejano music TV host Johnny Canales and Scottish rocker Davie Duncan.

Françoise Hardy, a French pop singer, actress, author and model, died on June 11, at age 80 after a long battle with lymphatic cancer.

A Billboard obituary terms Hardy "one of the leading lights of the French yé-yé pop movement, and an inspiration to Bob Dylan and Mick Jagger.

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