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Festival cancelations & catalog sales lead your Weekend Notes for March 6, 2021

Matt Bailey returns with your Weekend Notes

The Country Music Association’s CMA Music Fest will not take place again in 2021 due to COVID-19. Organizers say that too many challenges will prevent the annual event taking place for the second consecutive year due to the large scale nature of the event that attracts hundreds of thousands of country music fans to Downtown Nashville.

Those who purchased four-day passes for CMA Fest 2020 and chose the rollover option, will be honored for CMA Fest 2022. Those who purchased passes through Ticketmaster or the CMA Fest Box Office will receive an email with further information about retaining your passes or requesting a full refund.

Last year’s festival was canceled at the end of March as the COVID-19 pandemic forced the world into lockdown. CMA Fest joins the growing list of festivals forced to cancel for the second year. Earlier this year, the Riverside County Health Department refused to grant Goldenvoice permits for Coachella and Stagecoach this spring due to a concern of a fall resurgence of COVID-19 cases. And, Europe’s Glastonbury and 2021 C2C: Country to Country Festival in London, Dublin and Glasgow have also been canceled or postponed to 2022 due to travel and mass gathering restrictions still in place.

For the second consecutive year, Record Store Day will release its extensive list of special titles through independent record stores via RSD Drops. The Drops will be on June 12th and July 17th at participating stores worldwide to help with social distancing guidelines still in place in most areas. Record Store Day launched RSD Drops in 2020 due to COVID-19 to support indie record stores with sales, while hopefully saving the big parties, shows, in-stores, crowds and celebrations for Record Store Day 2022.

Twitter founder Jack Dorsey’s Square, Inc. has announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire a majority ownership stake in TIDAL, the global entertainment platform helmed by rapper JAY-Z. Square is expected to pay $297 million in a mix of cash and stock for majority stake with existing artist shareholders remaining in place. The acquisition extends Square’s purpose of economic empowerment to a new vertical as it sees musicians as entrepreneurs and providing them with the tools they need to succeed.

TIDAL calls itself the only music service built by artists, for artists, and offers a premier listening experience, with superior sound quality and an extensive catalog of more than 70 million songs and 250 thousand high-quality videos. TIDAL has a global presence with listeners in more than 56 countries and relationships with more than 100 labels and distributors.

The deal also expects JAY-Z to join Square’s Board of Directors, subject to the closing of the transaction which is expected in the second quarter of this year.

Miranda Lambert will be the first female country singer to open a bar on Nashville’s Broadway. Miranda Lambert’s Casa Rosa will be located at 308 Broadway spanning 17,400 square feet of space with a mezzanine. The building is currently being renovated for an unknown opening date. The deal is with TC Restaurant Group, the company behind Jason Aldean’s Kitchen and Rooftop Bar, Luke Bryan’s Luke’s 32 Bridge Food + Drink and Florida Georgia Line’s FGL House, among others. More details are expected soon.

Lifetime and A&E have greenlit a two-night, four-hour documentary event profiling Janet Jackson to celebrate the 40th anniversary of her debut album. The documentary with the working title Janet is set to simulcast on both networks in early 2022, giving fans full unprecedented access to the music icon. Janet will be an intimate, honest and unfiltered look at her untold story which has been in production for three years. The film features exclusive access to archival footage and Jackson’s never before seen home videos, along with star-studded interviews.

Lifetime has also announced that it’s struck a two-picture deal with Reba McEntire to star in and produce. The first of the projects will be the working titled Christmas In Tune, which will be featured as a tentpole movie for the network’s annual holiday slate, It’s a Wonderful Lifetime, in 2021. Christmas in Tune will also include an original holiday song by McEntire with filming expected to begin this spring. The second film, a non holiday production, is in development for 2022 with further details to be unveiled at a later date.

The legendary GRAMMY Award-winning David Crosby is the latest musician to sell rights to his catalog. Crosby has partnered with Irving Azoff’s Iconic Artists Group to monetize his life work and preserve and expand his legacy in a digital era. Iconic has purchased Crosby’s catalogue, which includes his publishing and recorded music rights, including his solo work, as well as his work with The Byrds; Crosby & Nash; Crosby, Stills & Nash; and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. The start of the Iconic relationship coincides with the 50th anniversary of Crosby’s debut solo album, If I Could Only Remember My Name, which was released in February 1971, and Déjà Vu, the second studio album by Crosby, Stills & Nash, and their first as a quartet with Neil Young, which was released in March 1970.

The deal with Crosby comes on the heels of last week’s announcement of the launch of Iconic and its partnership with the legendary Beach Boys to purchase a controlling stake in their catalog, including sound recordings, the brand, select musical compositions, and memorabilia. As part of that deal, the Beach Boys and their heirs retain an interest in their assets to participate in the upside Iconic expects to create by actively marketing and promoting their music.

The catalog sales began late last year with Bob Dylan striking a $300+ million payout from Universal Music for his catalog. Neil Young, Fleetwood Mac’s Lindsay Buckingham, Stevie Nicks and others are among those who’ve sold all or partial rights to their catalogs in recent months.

Caryn B. Keppler, Partner at Pierro, Connor & Strauss LLC, explains to us exclusively why this phenom of catalog sales is happening.

The 36th Annual Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony returns to Cleveland, OH on October 30th. It will be held at the at the newly transformed Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse for the first time in a new multi-year partnership. The venue prioritizes everyone’s health and safety, and offers increased space and flexibility to host the Induction Ceremony in Cleveland.

Representing the diverse genre of rock and roll, this year’s Nominees include Mary J. Blige, Kate Bush, Devo, Foo Fighters, The Go-Go’s, Iron Maiden, JAY-Z, Chaka Khan, Carole King, Fela Kuti, LL Cool J, New York Dolls, Rage Against the Machine, Todd Rundgren, Tina Turner, and Dionne Warwick.

Fans can vote for their favorite Nominees now through April 30th at vote.rockhall.com with the top five artists comprising the “fans’ ballot.” Inductees will be announced in May 2021.

Earlier this week, Drake’s long-awaited sixth studio album, Certified Lover Boy (CLB), leaked on Twitch and TikTok. On March 1st, a social media account named “Drake Insider” tweeted a link to unreleased album on SoundCloud, but that Twitter account and SoundCloud info were removed shortly thereafter. However, a YouTuber named Meami ami went live on Twitch with what appears to be a possible unmastered version of the album. 19 songs were leaked, but it’s unknown if any or all will appear on the final version of CLB. The rapper has been teasing the project for the past year, and confirms it will be coming in 2021, although no release date has been cited.

And well wishes to Trisha Yearwood as she continues to recover from COVID-19. We were informed last week that she tested positive for it while husband Garth Brooks tested negative. The pair were already quarantining at home after a member of their team recently tested positive, but had to spend more time at home to recover. Brooks confirms her most recent test has come back negative.