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Jo Dipple joins Live Nation

Former chief executive of UK Music Jo Dipple has joined Live Nation as senior vice president public affairs in an international role which also includes Ticketmaster.

Dipple stood down from UK Music in June after eight years at the organisation.

In her time at UK Music, Dipple led a successful judicial review against the UK government which blocked damaging legislation that would have disadvantaged artists and rights-holders.

She helped pass the Live Music Act, established an industry-wide apprenticeship scheme, built up new music business economic data and launched pan-industry diversity initiatives.

“Jo has remarkable credentials in the music industry, with an unrivalled level of expertise in her field.”

Dipple came to UK Music from 10 Downing Street where she acted as strategic advisor to the British Prime Minister. She was a special adviser at the Treasury and worked on two winning general election campaigns. Prior to her public role, she represented regional and national newspapers at Trinity Mirror Plc and edited the “Dear Jo” page of the Daily Mirror.

John Reid, President, Concerts for Live Nation Europe said: “Jo has remarkable credentials in the music industry, with an unrivalled level of expertise in her field. It is great to have her join the business at a time where live entertainment continues to go from strength to strength, helping us to grow our brand across the world.”
Commenting on her appointment, Dipple said: “I am joining a hugely talented team of people, all of whom are passionate about fan and artist satisfaction across the world. I look forward to contributing to its continued success.”

Dipple was succeeded at UK Music by Labour MP Michael Dugher.


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UK Music announces new chief executive

Labour MP Michael Dugher has been named the new chief executive of UK Music, replacing Jo Dipple, who announced her intention to stand down earlier this year.

Dugher (pictured), who will resign as member of parliament for Barnsley East ahead of June’s general election, was sacked as shadow culture secretary in January 2016 after a falling out with party leader Jeremy Corbyn. In parliament, he was known for his advocacy on behalf Britain’s live industry, championing small venues and supporting legislation to curb the secondary ticketing sector.

The MP says he’s “thrilled” to join the music-industry trade body. “I have engaged with the organisation for several years and have seen it go from strength to strength thanks to its board, chairman Andy Heath and previous CEOs Feargal Sharkey and Jo Dipple,” he comments. “There is a great team at UK Music who do brilliant work, and I’m really looking forward to working with them.

“British music is a world-beating industry which brings huge economic benefits for our country. I am determined to work with all the individual members of UK Music […] to ensure our industry is protected during the Brexit process and that we continue to thrive. Safeguarding intellectual property, protecting venues, promoting new opportunities and broadening diversity in the sector are all central to our work at UK Music.

“I am determined to work with all the individual members of UK Music to ensure our industry is protected during the Brexit process and that we continue to thrive”

“Music has been a lifelong passion for me and I’m looking forward to helping make a real difference as UK Music’s new chief executive.”

Andy Heath MBE, UK Music’s chairman, adds: “Michael is a first-class and dynamic choice with a proven track record as a powerful supporter of British music – both the artists and the commercial organisations. He knows the business and politics inside out.

He also pays tribute to Dipple, who “has been a tireless champion for the music sector and has built an organisation which is now a powerful unified voice for the industry”.

Dugher will take up his new position in mid-May.

 


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Article 50: Botching Brexit means “return to punk”

British prime minister Theresa May will today trigger article 50 of the Treaty on European Union, setting in motion the process of Britain’s exit from the EU.

Industry figures and associations, both in the UK and internationally, quizzed by IQ in the run-up to last June’s referendum overwhelmingly expressed a wish to remain in the union, but most were sanguine on British music’s prospects following the 52–48 vote to leave.

Jo Dipple, the chief executive of industry group UK Music, today underlined the importance of putting the music and creative industries first in the two years of negotiation that will follow the triggering of article 50, saying Britain’s new-found independence could be positive for music if negotiators get a good deal for the UK.

“Navigating towards our EU exit in April 2019 will be hard, and government must use its strongest hand to steer,” she comments. “Globally successful, British music offers potent soft power and a ready-made diplomatic language.

“Getting the post EU-framework right for music means more jobs, … bigger export strength, more diplomatic power and more tax revenue”

“Because the UK is the best at music per head, we define our country as being the best too. Ed Sheeran broke the Spotify streaming record; Adele’s 25 sold more copies in just its first week than the other best-selling album of 2015, Taylor Swift’s 1989, sold all year in the US; Stormzy’s album Gang Signs & Prayer was self-released but still managed to hit №1 on the official UK chart.

“The PM committed to offering a unique sector deal to the creative industries. This is the right approach for a sector growing at three times the rate of the rest of the economy [and] which supports one in 11 jobs. We are the future now.

“Ministers need to listen to the creative sector when it talks of the opportunities and challenges ahead. Leaving the EU can’t make our music any less good. It might, though, make the framework for its success a lot stronger. Some of the specifics we highlighted in our own industrial strategy included maintaining and strengthening the current copyright structure, and ensuring ease of movement for musicians and crews when touring Europe.

“Getting the post EU-framework right for music means more jobs, more young people in apprenticeships, bigger export strength, more diplomatic power and more tax revenue flowing in from every city, nation and region. Getting it wrong probably means a return to punk rock.”

 


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UK Live Music Group concerned over rates rise

The UK Live Music Group has written to the British chancellor of the exchequer, Philip Hammond, to express its concern about the anticipated upcoming increase in business rates.

The letter – written by outgoing UK Music chief executive Jo Dipple on behalf of the UK Live Music Group, which includes representatives of ILMC, the Concert Promoters Association, Music Venue Trust, the National Arenas Association, the Agents’ Association and more – calls for this Wednesday’s budget to make provision for music venues, which could be among the hardest hit by any rise in property taxes.

The full text of Dipple’s letter is reproduced below.

 


Dear Chancellor,

I am writing to you in advance of the Spring Budget which you will deliver on Wednesday 8th March. This follows concerns expressed at a recent meeting of the UK Live Music Group in relation to the imminent business rates revaluation and the potential negative impact on the live music sector of these changes.

We ask that you use the opportunity of your budget next week to put measures in place to mitigate the worst excesses of the valuation in order to avoid a detrimental impact on culture and creativity in our communities.

UK Music is the umbrella body representing the collective interests of the UK’s commercial music, from songwriters and composers to artists and musicians, studio producers, music managers, music publishers, major and independent record labels, music licensing companies and the live music sector.

UK Music exists to represent the UK’s commercial music sector, drive economic growth and promote benefits of music to British society. A full list of UK Music members can be found in the annex. The music industry is worth £4.1 billion to the economy and generated exports of £2.2 billion over the past four years, out-performing much of the rest of the UK economy.

Live music is worth almost a £1 billion to the economy and employs 25, 150 people. The sector’s exports, via music tourism, have produced year-on-year growth of 35%. Venues act as important centres for cultural activity in our towns and communities. 24 million people attended gigs and concerts during 2015. 10 of the top 11 arenas in England will see increases to their business rates. Over half of these increases will be in excess of 45%.

“In London, grassroots music venues are facing business rate revaluations of up to 200%”

The geographical disparity of the hardest hit venues ranges from the north-west, north-east, west Midlands, east Midlands and London, so the idea that the rating revaluation is a fiscally neutral rebalancing act from south to north to reflect property inflation is not borne out in reality for arenas. Whilst we understand that the intention of the revaluation is fiscal neutrality, it is evident that some sectors in the economy will be harder hit than others.

Grassroots music venues act as important hubs for local music talent and offer a means by which musicians and performers can cultivate and nurture their creativity. In the last 10 years the sector has come under substantial external threats, resulting in a decline of 35% in the total number of grassroots music venues trading in the UK. In London, grassroots music venues are facing business rate revaluations of up to 200%. Considering transitional and other reliefs this could still see rises between 35% to 55% and may require £3 being added to every ticket or £150 on every hire. Music fans will undoubtedly suffer, either through having to pay more or having fewer venues to attend due to closures. Recent positives measures from the government to eliminate challenges for grassroots music venues will be undermined by significant business rate increases.

Beyond venues, music festivals also contribute significantly to our music industry with 3.7 million people attending festivals in 2015. Festivals and events have historically benefited from an agricultural exemption to business rates. We ask that the exemption for festival and event sites is maintained to prevent further punitive measures from being imposed. In addition, any attempt to backdate business rates is completely arbitrary and unfair. This position for festivals and other outdoor events is supported by over 720 organisations, including members of those comprising the UK Live Music Group, the Events Industry Forum, the National Outdoor Events Association, Local Authority Event Organisers Group and British Visits and Events Partnership.

The Scottish government recently announced an initial rateable value cap of 12.5% for the Scottish hospitality sector following concerns expressed by industries bodies relating to rate rises. UK Music would welcome your urgent consideration to also introduce measures that would ensure the music industry and its capacity for growth is not adversely affected by the business rates revaluation.

 


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UK Music chief Jo Dipple to stand down

The chief of music industry trade body UK Music, Jo Dipple, will stand down in June 2017 after eight years at the organisation.

Dipple first joined in October 2008 as director of government relations, becoming acting CEO in November 2011, then CEO in January 2012.  Her role centred on representing the most pressing issues affecting the British music industry to national and local government.

“Jo has led the organisation to robust health. She has built an outstanding team full of talent and ambition and has made UK Music into a highly visible presence.”

Andy Heath MBE, chairman of UK Music, said: “Jo has led the organisation to robust health.  Under her leadership, UK Music successfully challenged BIS in the courts over new copyright legislation, helped introduce a Live Music Act, amended DCLG planning law, launched an anti-piracy education campaign, published Measuring Music and Wish You Were Here and prevented Government from cutting BBC music services.

“Her work in launching the UK Music Skills Academy led to a sea-change in training strategy for the sector. Seventy new apprenticeship jobs were created and there exists now a structured approach to improving entry-level access, ensuring open recruitment and driving diversity policies. Jo has built an outstanding team full of talent and ambition and has made UK Music into a highly visible presence. I have really enjoyed working with her over the course of more than eight years.”

Dipple said: “UK Music will attract the very highest candidate to take this role.  It is a unique body with an exceptional membership. I am privileged to have worked with successful industry bosses and supremely talented musicians and creators. Music is part emotion and part business and the UK gets both right over and over again. The founders of UK Music were determined to secure the very best regulatory landscape for this outstanding industry. Its members will continue to bring a practical and business-like approach to opportunities and challenges ahead.”

 


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Industry throws its support behind UK flare ban

Live Nation, Bestival and industry body UK Music have lent their support to British MP Nigel Adams’ bid to introduce controls over flares and fireworks at concerts and festivals.

Adams, the member of parliament for Selby and Ainsty in Yorkshire and chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Music, which provides a discussion forum between the UK music industry and parliamentarians, seeks to ban the carrying or use of flares, fireworks and smoke bombs by audience members at live music events.

“Safety at live music events is paramount,” comments UK Music CEO Jo Dipple. “Music fans should be protected from risks that could result in significant harm. UK Music strongly supports this legislation and applauds Nigel Adams’ successful campaign.”

“The time is right for the government to act and support organisers in minimising risk and providing a safe and enjoyable environment for everyone attending”

Bestival creator Rob da Bank adds: “As the promoter of a 50,000-capacity festival, audience safety is always at the forefront of event planning, and we would like to see our fans offered the same protection as those attending sporting events. There are increasingly more incidents and the time is right for the government to act and support organisers in minimising risk and providing a safe and enjoyable environment for everyone attending.”

There were 255 incidents involving flares and fireworks in music audiences in 2014 compared to three at football grounds in the same period.

The British government will decide today whether to accept Adams’ amendment to the Policing and Crime Bill. The motion will not seek to ban allowing artists and promoters to use pyrotechnics in their shows.

Melvin Benn, managing director of Live Nation-owned Festival Republic, says: “As we approach festival season, we are hoping to see some decisive action from the government that will keep festival fans safe from dangerous pyrotechnics this summer.”