U.K.-based artist-to-fan ticketing service Songkick has announced that it will close its doors on October 31st. After a long-running lawsuit with Ticketmaster/Live Nation, the company has essentially been put out of business by its ultra-powerful market competition. In a press release, Songkick CEO Matt Jones made clear that the company is being blocked from doing business by Ticketmaster/Live Nation, and that, while Songkick is now being forced to close its doors, the legal battle will rage on.Songkick worked with artists to sell tickets directly to fans before they went on sale on major ticketing platforms like Ticketmaster/Live Nation. The giant ticketing conglomerate seemingly did everything they could to block the upstart company from making an impactful entry into the U.S. ticketing industry. Eventually, Songkick filed a lawsuit against Ticketmaster/Live Nation, claiming antitrust violations and anticompetitive practices, a suit that Jones insists “will continue unabated.” The other side of Songkick’s business—a concert discovery app and calendar—recently split off from Songkick and was purchased by Warner Music Group. That brand will “continue uninterrupted under the WMG umbrella.”Ticketmaster Will Now Be Selling Their Tickets Through SpotifyIn other somewhat-related though possibly coincidental news, Songkick competitor Bandsintown has announced a partnership with Facebook that will allow them to scan Bandsintown once a day to auto-generate Facebook events for any new tour dates. Songkick also has their own Concerts app on Facebook and has a similar app called Tourbox that works with Spotify, Bandcamp, and Hype Machine. It seems that Songkick is fighting this uphill battle on all fronts.See below for the full statement from Songkick CEO Matt Jones.Before I say anything, let me say thank you.Thank you to the artists and managers who entrusted us with their tickets and audience; to the agents, labels, promoters and venues that partnered with us to make artists’ visions into realities; and to the many – always committed and now nearly all former – employees of CrowdSurge and Songkick who worked tirelessly over the last 10 years with nothing short of a remarkable passion to better the live experience for artists and fans.With that said, I’m sad to write that on October 31, Songkick will bow to pressure from Live Nation and Ticketmaster and complete the shutdown of all ticketing operations (including the design and maintenance of artist webpages) we began earlier this year when Ticketmaster and Live Nation effectively blocked our US ticketing business. Songkick’s concert discovery app, which was sold to Warner Music Group in July, will continue uninterrupted under the WMG umbrella.Our antitrust, trade secret misappropriation and hacking lawsuit against Live Nation and Ticketmaster will continue unabated, with trial currently scheduled to begin in the second week of November, just a month from now. Many of you receiving this note have helped us immensely as we prepare for our day in court, and even as we shutter our business, we will remain focused on pursuing a legal victory and making the live music industry better for artists and fans.If you are an artist, promoter or venue for whom we have sold tickets to a show occurring on a future date, you will be contacted individually over the following three business days to arrange for payment. All outstanding amounts will be paid in full.If you are an artist, promoter or venue currently using our services to sell tickets, list shows, store customer data or power parts or all of your website, these services will become unavailable on October 27. On behalf of myself and all of my colleagues, it’s been a pleasure to work with you. Once again: thank you, for everything.All the best,MJ
By Stephanie SchupskaUniversity of GeorgiaThe holidays are known as a time for giving. But giving doesn’t just mean buying a child the most sought-after toy of the season. Sharon Gibson uses the holidays to teach her children how to give back to their community.“We need to be ensuring a season of giving instead of getting,” said Gibson, a multicultural specialist with the University of Georgia College of Family and Consumer Sciences. “What we want to instill in our children is that service and giving of oneself should be a part of daily life.”She’s passing on her message with more than just words.When Gibson’s children were small, they didn’t spend Thanksgiving Day in front of the television, kitchen stove or dining room table. They spent it behind a steaming pan of turkey or dressing at a soup kitchen, spoons in hands, ready to serve.Gibson says this type of service lets parents talk to their children about things besides Christmas lists and what they’d like to do over the holidays.“The greatest gift that a parent can give a child is time together doing something for others,” she said. “Time spent serving community good provides parents with opportunities to discuss many issues important to the family.”Opportunities to give aren’t limited to soup kitchens. If you’re looking for a way to give back to your community, Gibson offers this list of organizations that tend to have programs for the holidays.• Religious groups: “Churches, mosques, temples, very often those organizations have a network to facilitate giving,” she said. “These are good places to start.”• Department of Family and Children Services offices “are found in each county,” she said. “They often have organizations that come to them for help.”• Civic groups, such as Rotary, Kiwanis and Civitan clubs, often need volunteer help with their holiday programs.• Toys for Tots, Toys for Teens and the Salvation Army: “They tell you to bring a new item or something that’s ‘gently used,’” she said. “When giving used toys, make sure that they’re nice, not missing pieces and not broken. For example, don’t give puzzles that are missing pieces or cars with broken wheels.”• Bill funds: “Sometimes there are funds set up for paying people’s bills,” she said. “These are ideal for making monetary contributions.”• Food banks or homeless shelters: “Ask them what kind of items they need this time of year,” Gibson said. “You don’t want to take perishables, and you want to make sure what you’re giving is what you yourself would use.”The last time she gave to a homeless shelter, Gibson was surprised by the items she didn’t consider. While she did think of blankets and toiletries such as deodorant, soap and toothpaste, she didn’t consider a backpack.She now suggests filling backpacks with “those things that an individual can use throughout the year” like first aid kits, pens and paper, undergarments and personal items.And, remember, homeless people aren’t just adults. Gibson suggests buying diapers and baby food for women’s shelters.“There are approximately 2 million homeless people in the United States,” Gibson said. “It’s men, women and children, and it’s not just an urban issue.”Gibson defines “homeless” as a person or parent and child with no place to live, or a person living temporarily with friends or relatives. “For all purposes, that person is homeless,” she said. “Think about that this time of year.”Giving, she said, shouldn’t be limited to the holidays. “The holiday season is just two months out of the year. There are 10 other months when these people need our care.”
Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York An unidentified man who was found dead in a wooded area of Massapequa appears to be a victim of foul play, Nassau County police said.The body was found in the Massapequa Preserve near Seaview Avenue and Ocean Avenue at 2:07 p.m. Thursday, police said.The body was taken to the Nassau County Medical Examiner’s office, where an autopsy will be conducted to determine the victim’s identity and cause of death, which investigators said appears to be suspicious.Homicide Squad detectives are continuing the investigation and ask anyone with information on the discovery to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-244-TIPS. All callers will remain anonymous.