We were at the Asian music industry powwow Music Matters in Singapore in May this year. We’ve been a little critical of MM in the past, but in 2012, the team stepped it up many notches. The keynotes were mostly great, there were fantastic additions like mentoring sessions for local musicians and the live component was massively improved. We still wish there would be less of the selling on stage (Facebook, Youtube, we’re looking at you with your boring, scripted monologues) and we still believe that the panel format is a hopelessly inefficient format that gives little to the audience – I mean 7 people chatting Asia live music for 50 minutes – nothing of interest there – but overall, it was a very fulfilling few days.
The highlight for us was Cindy Gallop – former chair of the advertising agency BBH, she now runs a start up called IfWeRanTheWorld, which focuses on microactions to help brands make a statement while making the world a better place. The video of her speech is below – we urge you to take 10 minutes to watch it.
The poor Chinese Ministry of Culture. They get it in the neck every time a promoter doesn’t pay up or can’t sell any tickets. The latest in the Bob Dylan saga featured in the Guardian yesterday, in which the spokesman for the Taiwanese promoter/ agency Broker Brother’s Herald (BBH) claim that the Ministry of Culture deemed the artist too controversial. You can read the Guardian article HERE.
We don’t have any inside information, but this claim doesn’t sit very well with the 3 month running saga that we’ve followed quite closely. When we first announced that Dylan was meant to be touring (HERE), we noted that BBH had promised a massive guarantee for the entire 5 date run. Our initial sources put that figure at close to US$2m. At the same time, there were questions raised about BBH’s cash flow. They had guaranteed this astronomical amount in order to flip the shows to individual promoters for a vastly inflated fee (HERE). At the same time, it was rumored that the local promoters weren’t biting, particularly in China.
And so, predictably enough, we receive word that BBH have put the blame squarely at the feet of the Ministry of Culture. A great excuse to get out of the guarantee, but another blow to the credibility of the Chinese touring market, and let’s face it, likely a big nail in any ambitions of mainland touring BBH had…