UK minister says don’t buy tickets from ViaGogo, “they are the worst”

If you don’t know by now that online ticket re-sellers are dodgy – ticket re-sellers are dodgy. Now UK Officials are warning against them after they break advertising rules.

One of the biggest digital ticket sellers ViaGogo has been breaking advertising rules and earned the disapproval of a top UK official. UK Digital Minister Margot James has spoken out against them on BBC Radio 5 live, saying: “Don’t choose ViaGogo – they are the worst.”

ViaGogo was found to be in breach of National Trading Standards in the UK and the Advertising Standards Authority have been in contact. The ticket re-sellers were found to be breaching the rules of clearly stating additional fees. The ASA took action in March against ViaGogo and 3 other ticket sellers after which ViaGogo said they agreed to make compulsory fees clear by the 26th of May. They’ve now found that they haven’t.

The ASA say: “ViaGogo continues to mislead consumers by not being upfront and clear about additional booking fees and delivery charges that are added at the end of the booking process.” The ASA then sent the case over to the National Trading Standards who will take enforcement action on the issue. A spokesperson said: “We have now launched an investigation into ViaGogo, which will look at all legal options to bring them into compliance with the law.” Penalties for breaching the ASA can include fines and in extreme circumstances lead to closures.

The Advertising Standards Agency requires all of the major secondary ticketing sites to be upfront and clear with any additional fees that may occur in the transaction. Many ticket-buyers have been caught out in recent years by extra charges on top of their tickets, such as ‘administration fees’, which can amount to over 4 times the price of the tickets themselves.

One unlucky mother bought the last 4 tickets for an Ed Sheeran show for her daughter and friends on ViaGogo. The site said the total would amount to £263 which she happily paid for only to find out after the transaction that extra fees incurred brought the cost up to a ridiculous £1,421.

Coachella starts early with Google Home speakers

One of the world’s biggest, monumental festivals is almost upon us again and Google are providing the hype before the date arrives.

Coachella is just days away and to get you in the mood for a week of festivities, amazing music, and fun in the valley Google have some fun additions for their Home Speakers. Google Home and Google Assistant are the perfect accompaniment for Coachella this year.

With your Google Home, Mini, Max or your phone’s Google Assistant you can say “Hey Google, talk to Coachella” and then:

  • Discover new artists: You know your must-see artists for the weekend, but this year’s lineup is flush with amazing acts that you may not be familiar with. This new feature allows you to discover new artists playing the festival, and gives you exclusive playlists to get you up to speed with the 2018 lineup.
  • Create your festival schedule: Once the artists’ set times are announced, you’ll be able to ask the Google Assistant what time your favorite artists are playing, then add them straight to the Coachooser app.
  • Get answers to festival FAQs: You can get performance times, travel info, what’s allowed into the festival and all that jazz.
  • Get the backstage experience: Whether you’re tuning in at home or in person at Coachella, you can listen to backstage interviews with some of your favourite artists once the festival begins.
  • Test your Coachella knowledge: Which artist got a surprise celeb kiss on stage during a 2015 headlining performance? Play trivia to test your knowledge of memorable Coachella moments and performances, and get excited for what may happen this year.

When you get to Coachella the fun from Google doesn’t end. Google have transformed some of the Ferris wheel gondolas into Pixel photo booths with transforming, colourful backdrops for taking the greatest selfies whilst you’re soaring above the festival.

Coachella’s YouTube channel will be live-streaming some of the biggest acts coming to the Californian festival including Beyoncé, The Weeknd, ODESZA, Post Malone, The War on Drugs, Kygo, Chromeo, Alan Walker, BØRNS, alt-j and many more. You can even watch in virtual reality with the VR180 livestream so it’s like you’re actually there at the festival.

“Whether you’re packing your bags for Indio or tuning in from your couch, we’ve got you covered.”

Independent artists give tips on booking your own tour, and surviving it

These days making it as an independent artist is totally achievable but that doesn’t mean it’s always easy – here are some tips for going on tour from artists who’ve done it themselves.

Going on tour is a massive step for artists in lots of ways: it builds your audience, it promotes your music, it helps you to connect with fans, its fun, and it can also be a massive source of income. As DIY becomes a better and better choice for musicians without the need for giant labels to spread the word planning a tour is totally do-able if done right.

Berlin-based hip-hop producer Walter Gross takes the approach of playing, and sometimes even staying, at “non-traditional venues”. He says: “You immerse yourself in local subcultures and meet the most interesting and gracious people. It reaffirms your love for humanity.” He emphasises that no venue should necessarily be off limits as you never know what one show could do for you.

Gross says book your tour with – “A map, a calendar, and whatever contacts you’ve got”. Find out where similar artists and artists your friends with have played, other bands tours are a great reference point and explore new audiences with similar tastes to what you’re offering – it’s the best way to build your music. Gross adds: “Brevity is key – boiling your sound and package down so it’s succint and coherent. People lose interest quick.”

Contacts and friends in the industry and nearby music scenes will likely be your biggest asset and the give-and-take that comes with these connections are what creates a strong music community. LA experimental rocker Sophie Weil helps bands around LA find tour venues and gigs through her own connections. She can make a post on Facebook, “Anybody played in Eugene, Oregon?” and get help from contacts around the country. She says: “This is happening everywhere and we’re all trading.”

When you’ve found somewhere you could play or hear about potential at a venue get in contact as directly as possible and make sure that you keep chasing it up until it is secured, or you know for certain whether they can do it. You want to finalise as early as possible, no-one needs a gig cancellation last minute. Knoxville jazz guitarist Mike Baggetta advises: “If the person booking the space doesn’t write back, write again. If they still don’t write, call.”

When it comes to pay Baggetta recommends centring certain dates around one bigger gig that can help fund the rest. “It’s all about the anchor gig. Something that pays well to cover however many shows nearby that don’t. A concert series or festival may kick in hotel rooms – it’s always worth asking.” Make sure any payment is arranged and secured beforehand, or at least set down in writing so that no venues can take advantage.

Likewise with accommodation you need to make sure that it is secured in advance. See what the venues and gig organisers can offer, they might have a space or provide lodging for you but if not you need to make sure you have a place to stay – preferably somewhere that doesn’t exhaust the money you just earned from that gig. Again contacts in the biz will be a massive advantage in this respect. Weil says: “Make yourself as little of a burden as possible. I usually give them a tape or shirt, or return the favor when they come to LA.”

Most important of all is looking after yourself and your gear, especially as you’re doing things yourself. Weir adds: “Enjoy yourself, but have your wits about you and listen to your gut. If you feel unsafe in a situation, leave. If you don’t have all your ducks in a row you are gonna get burned. The cliché of the lazy musician is a thing of the past. Just stay positive when things do go wrong so you can figure out a solution.”

You can read more tips from the three artists about surviving and arranging a tour by yourself on the Spotify blog here:

Find the cheapest concert tickets with TickX

Finding the best ticket prices is going to get a lot easier with TickX who’s new funding will help them spread across Europe.

British company TickX have built a business on letting concert-goers in the UK search all available ticket sellers for the best possible prices. It’s a valuable tool in a market which has become saturated with inflated ticket prices caused by aggressive middle-men (looking at you Ticketmaster), bots and scalpers causing escalating prices to see your favourite artists.

A new series-A funding round led by the UK’s largest venture-capital firm BGF Ventures brings £3 million in new funding to TickX. They plan to use their new funds to expand their services to “even more European countries” in the coming months as well as introducing cinema tickets to their searches and expanding the team to 35 staff members.

Their £3 million investment comes after the company turned down £75,000 in funding from the ‘Dragons’ in the investment TV show Dragon’s Den. The dragons requested a higher equity than founders Steve Pearce and Sam Coley were willing to accept. It worked out well for the duo as they then earned £750k in the months following from a funding round led by 24Haymarket.

CEO and co-founder, Steve Pearce said: “Over a million event-goers last year discovered that TickX is the only place they need to go to discover experiences and buy the best tickets. Now, our focus is firmly on international expansion and leading innovation in the multi-billion pound global experience market. The new funding round from BGF Ventures and our other fantastic investors will drive us towards becoming the go-to destination for experience-lovers across the world.”

George Mills, an investor at BGF Ventures, said: “We are both proud and excited to be backing Steve, Sam (Coley, the CTO) and the whole of the TickX team. We’ve been seriously impressed by their ambition and pace in building the company, and we’re confident that TickX will continue to expand and reach their goal of becoming the global go-to platform for discovering experiences.”

If you’re in Britain or the Irish republic you can check out TickX now and find the best deals for over 125,000 events around the UK:

Coachella 2018’s MASSIVE line-up revealed

Every act at this year’s Coachella has been revealed and includes everyone you could want from David Byrne to SZA, Tyler the Creator to ODESZA, Jamiroquai to alt-J.

Coachella has got to be one of the biggest festivals in the world, and if you don’t believe us just look at this year’s line-up. The festival is so vast that it takes place over 2 weekends with the same acts, just another chance to get the incredible Coachella experience.

This year’s line-up is incredible with artists old and new, near and far, spanning every genre imaginable. There aren’t many places in the world where you can bop along to rappers like Vince Staples and Tyler the Creator and then move on to watch the legendary electronic music pioneer Jean-Michel Jarre the day after seeing Talking Heads genius David Byrne.

Not just about music the festival also celebrates art with art installations set up by various physical artists. The music festival will take place in the Empire Polo Club in Coachella Valley in California in April. Tickets go on sale this Friday, January 5th at 12PM PST at but they will no doubt be flying out so be quick!

Here’s the line-up in alphabetical order if the poster is too overwhelmingly impressive for you:

  • 6LACK
  • A Perfect Circle
  • AC Slater
  • Alan Walker
  • Alina Baraz
  • Alison Wonderland
  • alt-J
  • Alvvays
  • Aminé
  • Angel Olsen
  • Avalon Emerson
  • B Boys
  • Bane’s World
  • Barclay Crenshaw
  • Bedouin
  • Belly
  • Benjamin Booker
  • Benjamin Clementine
  • Beyoncé
  • Big Thief
  • Black Coffee
  • blackbear
  • Bleachers
  • Boogarins
  • Buscabulla
  • Busy P
  • Cardi B
  • Carpenter Brut
  • Cash Cash
  • Cherry Glazerr
  • Chic ft. Nile Rodgers
  • Chloe x Halle
  • Chris Liebing
  • Chromeo
  • Cuco
  • Daniel Caesar
  • David Byrne
  • Declan McKenna
  • DeJ Loaf
  • Deorro
  • Detroit Love (Carl Craig, Kyle Hall, Moodymann)
  • Django Django
  • Dreams
  • Ekali
  • Elohim
  • Eminem
  • Fazerdaze
  • First Aid Kit
  • Flatbush Zombies
  • Fleet Foxes
  • French Montana
  • Giraffage
  • Greta Van Fleet
  • HAIM
  • Hannah Wants
  • Hayley Kiyoko
  • Helado Negro
  • Highly Suspect
  • HITO
  • Hundred Waters
  • Ibeyi
  • Illenium
  • Jackmaster
  • Jacob Banks
  • Jamie Jones
  • Jamiroquai
  • Japanese Breakfast
  • Jason Bentley
  • Jean-Michel Jarre
  • Jessie Ware
  • Jidenna
  • John Maus
  • Jorja Smith
  • Joseph Capriati
  • Jungle
  • Justin Martin
  • Kali Uchis
  • Kamaiyah
  • Kamasi Washington
  • Kelela
  • King Krule
  • Knox Fortune
  • Kölsch
  • Kygo
  • LANY
  • LÉON
  • Los Ángeles Azules
  • Louis the Child
  • LP
  • Maceo Plex
  • Marian Hill
  • MHD
  • Michael Mayer
  • Migos
  • Miguel
  • Mild High Club
  • Moon Boots
  • Moses Sumney
  • Motor City Drum Ensemble
  • Noname
  • Nothing But Thieves
  • Oh Sees
  • Omar-S
  • Otoboke Beaver
  • Pachanga Boys
  • Party Favor
  • Peggy Gou
  • Perfume Genius
  • Petit Biscuit
  • Portugal. The Man
  • Post Malone
  • Priests
  • Princess Nokia
  • REZZ
  • Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever
  • Ron Gallo
  • Russ
  • San Holo
  • Señor Kino
  • Sigrid
  • Sir Sly
  • Skip Marley
  • Slow Magic
  • Snail Mail
  • Snakehips
  • Soulwax
  • St. Vincent
  • Sudan Archives
  • SuperDuperKyle
  • SZA
  • Talaboman
  • Tank and the Bangas
  • Tash Sultana
  • The Black Madonna
  • The Blaze
  • The Bronx
  • The Buttertones
  • The Delirians
  • The Drums
  • The Marías
  • The Neighbourhood
  • The Regrettes
  • The War on Drugs
  • The Weeknd
  • THEY.
  • Tom Misch
  • TroyBoi
  • Tyler, the Creator
  • Vance Joy
  • Vince Staples
  • Westside Gunn + Conway
  • Whethan
  • Wizkid
  • X Japan
  • Yaeji

Google Translate goes on tour introducing multi-lingual concert shows

In an epic re-imagining of what Google Translate could be used for they’re going on a music tour around Europe.

It’s been 11 years since Google Translate first launched to help the world understand each other. An 11-year career is taking Translate on tour, exporting a Swedish band with shows being translated across 3 languages.

Google cite musical prominence from bands such as Abba, The Cardigans, producer Avicii and many more as evidence of the excellence in Swedish music. However it can be harder for foreign speaking artists to break in a very English-speaking dominated industry. Google Translate to the rescue.

The Translate Tour will see up-and-coming Swedish indie pop band Vita Bergen perform their latest single ‘Tänd Ljusen’ in 3 languages across 3 cities. Over the course of a few days Vita Bergen will visit London, Paris, and Madrid to perform in the 3 different languages.

It seems Google aren’t just trying to show off how well their translation software works, but also spread culture and show the extent of possibilities with Translate. Google will also be inviting people all around the world to tune in and watch the barrier breakdown as one Swedish band goes multi-lingual.

Google Translate tour music european translated translation concerts gig music live show
William Hellström from Vita Bergen will be performing his song in English, Spanish and French

Google updated Translate’s system last year from a phrase-based translation which translated recognisable phrases. Now using their Neural Machine Translation it reads the entire sentence so it can account for context and grammar for far more accurate translations.

Google said: “Using this updated version of Google Translate, the English, Spanish, and French translations of the song were close to flawless. The translations will also continue to improve, as the system learns from the more people using it.”

Vita Bergen’s release event will be live-streamed today at 5PM CEST.

Start buying concert tickets on YouTube with new Ticketmaster partnership

YouTube have partnered with Ticketmaster to offer tickets to gigs straight from their massive video platform.

YouTube is no longer just for watching live shows that you missed or want to reminisce over gigs you’ve seen, now you can secure your place at future concerts from the video site. A new partnership with Ticketmaster will see concert details and purchases implemented into YouTube.

YouTube say that they’ve been experimenting with ways they can offer tickets to fans on YouTube. Ticketmaster marks their first ticketing partnership and will see hundreds of artists offer tickets for their upcoming US tour dates. Tickets will show up on certain artists’ official music videos where a simple click will take you straight to Ticketmaster to buy tickets.

YouTube said: “YouTube’s massive fan base paired with Ticketmaster’s global roster of concerts and security of verified tickets means we can easily connect a fan’s discovery of music on YouTube to their ability to purchase concert tickets.”

Ticketmaster YouTube concert tickets sell ticketing video music streaming

YouTube have slipped into the music streaming sphere thanks to their music offering with video, providing a revenue source as well as a listening platform. Certain streaming services like Spotify have been advertising concert dates and tickets on their platform for a while now.

YouTube say that they are “just getting started”. Soon they will expand the feature to all artists with Ticketmaster shows in North America. They also say that they have plans to carry on and expand this feature globally.

Over 1 million people attend Ultra Music Festivals this year… again!

Ultra Worldwide have just completed their world tour for 2017 and have revealed incredible statistics about just how many people love their festivals.

On Saturday, 14th October Ultra Brasil closed their second annual festival, marking the end of Ultra Worldwide’s massive 2017. The festival organisers saw a monumental year that had over 1 million people dancing across 45 events in 20 countries all around the world.

Ultra Brasil saw the culmination of Ultra Worldwide’s expanded efforts, which saw over 90,000 people come together for one festival in Rio De Janeiro’s Sambodromo. It followed the debut Ultra Mexico by just one week as well as a variety of RESISTANCE and Road To Ultra events that took place over ten days across 7 countries. Ultra dominated Latin America this year.

With such an impressive row of events out of the way Ultra wanted to show off a little of their pride in how successful the year has been. For the second year in a row Ultra Worldwide have drawn over 1 million people from around the world. Here’s a rundown of their stats for 2017:

Ultra Worldwide 2017 General

Total global attendance: 1,000,000+
Total number of events: 45
Total number of new events in 2017: 23
Country count: 20
Total number of festival event hours: 554
Total staff employed worldwide: 10,000+

Ultra Worldwide 2017 Media

Livestream hours broadcasted via UMF TV: 143
Livestream hours viewed to date: 3,000,000
Total number of artist appearances: 1,028
Total ULTRA Passport holders: 300,000+
UMF Radio country distribution: 62
UMF Radio estimated weekly listeners: 32,693,400

Spotify launch music festival in UK to replace cancelled Apple Music Festival

Just days after Apple Music’s London Festival gets shelved Spotify step in with ‘Who We Be’ festival, the streamer’s first UK live music show.

Apple’s London music festival has been cancelled after it’s annual run, but no worries as their biggest rival has jumped straight on the case. Barely half a week since Apple cancelled their Apple Music festival streamer No.1 Spotify announced Who We Be, a UK festival hosted by the streaming legends.

Who We Be will take place on the 30th of November, again in London but this time at Alexandra Palace. Performers will include a curated selection of the grime and rap scene in Britain with Grime legend Dizzee Rascal, Manchester MC Bugzy Malone, Cardi B, Giggs, J Hus, and Stefflon Don all for free.

The festival gets its name from Spotify’s popular, curated Who We Be playlist which is followed by 140,000 listeners. Lucky for those listeners, Who We Be followers get first access to tickets when they go on sale on September the 11th, next Monday.


BBC step up to replace Glastonbury as the festival takes a hiatus

The BBC are stepping up to fill the Glastonbury-shaped hole in 2018 as the festival takes a break for fallow.

Glastonbury announced earlier this year that they would be taking a break for a year to allow the festival site to recover and be reborn out of the mud, its first chance to rest since 2012. With a giant gap in live British music next year the BBC have stepped up to the plate and are planning to hold 4 giant events across the UK.

An expansion of the BBC Radio 1’s Big Weekend, they will be holding the ‘Biggest Weekend’ at locations in England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland. 175,000 tickets will be made available for the massive event which will take place next May on the bank holiday weekend, 25th-28th.

It hasn’t been revealed where in each country the festival will take place nor which acts will play, but you can bet it will be a range of massive artists. Whilst BBC’s events normally feature one or two of their popular radio platforms presenting music, the Biggest Weekend will feature concerts from Radio 1, Radio 2, Radio 3 and 6 Music.

Glastonbury after wreckage abandoned rubbish
With increasing crowds, Glastonbury’s aftermath is hard for the fields to recover from

The director of BBC Radio and Music, Bob Shennan, says this will be the BBC’s biggest music event ever, saying: “BBC Music has a strong history of bringing the nation together for some special moments, and this is the biggest single music event ever attempted by the BBC. We will be celebrating the diversity of music from four different corners of the country, bringing the best UK music to the world and the best global music to the UK.”

The festival will be covered by the BBC’s TV channels BBC2 and BBC4, as well as rolling coverage featured online on the BBC site. And speaking of TV – the festival is part of a new, larger commitment to music from the corporation who have also recently announce their first music-focused programme since Top of the Pops ended over 11 years ago. The program will broadcast 6 episodes this summer with interviews, comedy sketches and, of course, live performances.