Donald Trump Met With Boos From Fans At Game 5 Of World Series

On Friday, it was announced that President Donald Trump would not be participating in any ceremonial activities during the World Series “in order to make the fan experience as positive as possible,” per MLB commissioner Rob Manfred.

That, course, didn’t mean that he would not be making an appearance at the games. Well, it seems that even that decision was out the question for the sold-out crowd fans gathered at Game 5 the World Series between the Houston Astros and the Washington Nationals.

Donald Trump Met With Boos From Fans At Game 5 Of World Series

Gef Burke – Pool/Getty s

The president, who was in attendance with his wife Melania and other Republican lawmakers such as Sen. Lindsey Graham, sat in the Washington Suite after arriving at Nationals Park after the game’s first inning. 

As is the routine the Washington Nationals, a salute to veterans took place after the third inning with the crowd cheering for the veterans who appeared on the jumbotron before them. The tune quickly changed, however when Trump and his party were displayed on the screen as fans erupted in a concerted boo the commander-in-chief.

Chants “lock him up” were also heard in pockets the crowd as well shortly after the next inning got underway.

T-Pain Explains the Real Reason Why Artists Cancel Their Tours

T-Pain is refusing to lie about the reasons behind his recent tour cancellation.

Rapper T-Pain is being more than forthcoming on why he’s canceling next month’s 1UP DLC Tour: The reason for the cancellation, according to T-Pain, is simple: poor ticket sales.

T-Pain, whose real name is Faheem Rasheed Najm and who was the winner of the opening season of “Masked Singer,” insisted in an Instagram post that poor ticket sales are always the reason why artists cancel or postpone a concert tour.  Unlike him, he says that “Most artists lie.”

He went on to say that this is not only wrong but “fucked up.”

He further indicated that some of his people advised him to lie about the reason for his tour’s cancellation. They told him to say that he “needed some time, alone or with his family.”  They told him to tell his fans anything but the truth, which was that they “fucked up.”

But this is exactly what T-Pain did tell his fans: “We fucked up.” He also promised that he is “going to keep it real with y’all.”

Part of the problem with the 1UP DLC Tour, according to T-pain, was that his team did not make tickets for the tour available until September, even though it was to start in November.

He says that “some corners got cut,” and that he was not as “hands-on” as he should have been with the tour because of his busy schedule.  He may have also been a little complacent, too, considering that his previous tour “sold out every city.”

When he finally realized that tickets were not selling, T-Pain decided himself to cancel the tour, because he felt that it would have looked bad if he were performing in near-empty venues. It simply wouldn’t have been entertaining to his fans.

U.S. Department of Justice Urged by Senators to Investigate Live Nation, Ticketmaster

Two Democratic U.S. Senators are asking the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) antitrust division to investigate online ticket markets, which they insist “are not working for American consumers.”

The two specifically targeted Live Nation and its wholly-owned subsidiary, Ticketmaster.

Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut sent a letter to Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim, who runs the DOJ’s antitrust division, asking him to not only investigate anti-competitive practices in online ticketing but to also potentially extend the consent decree that allowed Live Nation to merge with Ticketmaster pending completion of a probationary period.

The merger occurred in 2010, and under the consent decree Live Nation, which is a major concert promoter, cannot refrain from doing with business with those who do not contract ticketing services from Ticketmaster. Nor can Live Nation retaliate against those who sign with Ticketmaster competitors.

The consent decree is set to expire in July of 2020.

The two senators further criticized the effectiveness of the consent decree.  In their letter to the DOJ, they insinuated that Live Nation had “flouted its conditions.” They also said that the deal had left the company’s “dominance virtually unchallenged.”

While the DOJ has never accused Live Nation of any type of wrongdoing in regards to the consent decree, they have reportedly investigated the company in response to a number of complaints that have been made by the company’s competitors.

Unless the DOJ formally charges Live Nation with being in violation of the consent decree, it’s unclear if the decree will be extended.

It’s also unclear at the moment how much weight the letter from the senators will have, as the two are not exactly beloved by the Trump Administration. But many have applauded their efforts. This includes Ticketmaster competitor StubHub as well as NetChoice, which is a trade association that promotes free enterprise on the Internet.

So far, Live Nation has refused to issue a comment in response to the letter.

Dutch Regulators Force Ticketmaster to Refund Fees on Canceled Events

Ticketmaster Netherlands has announced that it has adopted a new policy that will provide refunds on ticket service fees to events that were postponed or canceled.

They are the first ticket agency in the country to adopt such a policy, and they did so after both a Dutch consumer affairs association and a government regulatory agency requested them and others to modify the policy.

When fans in The Netherlands — and most other countries — buy a ticket to an event such as a concert, ticketing agencies like Ticketmaster add a bevy of surcharges.  These fees range anywhere from 2-10 euros and are mostly tolerated by consumers.  But until now, they were nonrefundable regardless of whether the event happened or not.

Last month, the Dutch Consumers Association, which is also known as the Consumentenbond, demanded that ticket agencies change their service fee policy. They indicated that there was no good legal reason not to refund the service fee along with the price of the actual ticket when a scheduled event fails to take place.

The Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM), which is a government organization that protects consumer rights, agreed with Consumentenbond.

At the moment, the Live Nation-owned Ticketmaster is the largest ticket agency in the country. But Eventim, which is the second-largest agency, is said believed to be quickly narrowing the gap.  While Eventim has yet to change its service fee policy, the ACM is asking that it and other ticket agencies in the country follow the policy as well.

The price of seeing concerts in the Netherlands has been getting higher, irrespective of service fees. Not only did the price of concert tickets rise 3% this past year, but value-added taxes (VAT) on concert tickets rose as well, from 6% to 9%.

Ice Cube Reflects On The Days John Singleton Stalked Him Until He Agreed To Act

Ice Cube began his career as a rapper from Crenshaw who’s well known for his come up in N.W.A. alongside Dr. Dre and Eazy E. Ice’s career catapulted into even more success when he starred in John Singleton’s 1991 film Boyz n the Hood, a job he didn’t ever see himself doing but was brought to life thanks to John’s persistent ways. On a recent visit to The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon Ice detailed further on how he secured his first role.

Ice Cube Reflects On The Days John Singleton Stalked Him Until He Agreed To Act
Stephen Shugerman/Getty s

“I never even thought about it at first,” Ice said about acting. “John Singleton, rest in peace, he discovered me for real. He was an intern at the Arsenio Hall show and he came up to me, I was backstage, and said ‘you Ice Cube…Imma put you in a movie.” Ice didn’t take John too seriously since he was just a junior at University. A year later John and Ice ran into each other at a Public Enemy concert when the famed director was then a senior – still wanting to put Ice in a movie. 

Another year later, Ice’s manager hit him up about a movie opportunity but he was still hesitant since he wasn’t an actor. The “Friday” rapper attended the audition anyway and across from his was John. “He’s like ‘I told you!'”

Watch the full story below.

It's Happening: Khalid Reveals Details of El Paso Benefit Concert

Khalid that he’d like to hold a benefit concert in El Paso.  Now that the logistics and details are ironed out, the show has been made official.

On September 1st, Khalid will be part of A Night for Suncity, which will feature performances both from him and from supporting artists (the supporting artists will be revealed in the near future).

The concert will take place in the Don Haskins Center, and revenue from ticket and merchandise sales will be donated to the El Paso Shooting Victims’ Fund and the El Paso Community Foundation. The event is being sponsored by The Great Khalid Foundation and The Right Hand Foundation.

Tickets will be available to preorder on August 14th.

Though Khalid was born in Georgia, he spent his junior and senior years of high school in El Paso, and he considers the western-Texas city to be his hometown.

Though Khalid’s willingness to hold a charity concert is impressive in its own right, it’s made that much more special when his busy schedule is considered.

Khalid’s Free Spirit World Tour kicked off in May.  Khalid’s calendar is booked through December, during which time he’ll stop all over North America, Europe, and Oceania.  Even so, he’s found time to help others.

The Right Hand Foundation provides multiple forms of community support, with an emphasis on aiding single mothers.  The Great Khalid Foundation also provides community support, albeit with an emphasis on giving children the resources and tools they need to reach their full potential in adulthood.

At just 21 years of age, Khalid is already making a positive difference in many lives, and it’ll be interesting to see all the good that he’s able to do in the coming decades.

Ticketing Marketplace TickPick Raises a Whopping $40 Million

No-fee ticketing company TickPick was founded back in 2011, but received no institutional funding — until now.

Guess it’s never too late to attract insane funding levels and become a unicorn.  After eight years tinkering with its model, ticketing company TickPick has snagged a $40 million investment from PWP Growth Equity.

TickPick was originally created as a marketplace where users could bid for tickets, but that model became viewed as outdated.  These days, TickPick focuses on being a marketplace free of hidden fees, where users know what they’re paying upfront.

That’s not to say that TickPick doesn’t profit from fees; instead, the TickPick price reflects the various fees before you hit checkout. It’s a way to combat the unpleasant surprise of tacked-on fees that may double the cost of a ticket.

The result is a transparency play designed to attract consumers based on better behavior.  That will earn the company good ticketing karma, but it’s unclear if that will be enough to take on bigger players like Ticketmaster and Stubhub.

Founders Brett Goldberg and Chris O’Brien admit the model has its challenges.  For starters, most concertgoers are conditioned to believe there will be hidden fees in the checkout process.  That makes it difficult to compete on price. In a sign of the ticket-buying times, most buyers are padding ticket prices in their heads before clicking ‘buy’.

TickPick initially focused on selling tickets directly for major festivals. and Riot fest were two early partners, and other major partners include Florida International, Georgia State, and Santa Clara universities.

TickPick’s says it’s on track to handle $200 million in transactions for 2019, which is up 60% from last year.

It’s unusual for a startup founded nearly eight years ago to pursue institutional funding, especially at these lofty valuations. TickPick’s founders say they weren’t willing to sell a significant stake in its business given their core focus on profitability.

Out of the gate, TickPick will use the new funds to hire a Chief Financial Officer and a Chief Marketing Officer.  TickPick also hopes to use artificial intelligence and machine learning to help improve its customer experience.

In Heated 'Leaving Neverland' Case, a California Judge Asks Whether Forced Arbitration Would Violate HBO's First Amendment Rights

Does sending a questionable documentary back to arbitration violate freedom of speech?

That’s the question a California federal judge has in mind.

Earlier this week, U.S. District Court Judge George H. Wu asked HBO and the Michael Jackson Estate to file a briefing.  Both parties must explain whether sending Leaving Neverland to arbitration would violate HBO’s first amendment rights.

In February, filed a costly $100 million lawsuit against the beleaguered network.  HBO allegedly violated a non-disparagement agreement first reached in 1992.  The late singer’s family claims the network signed the deal prior to airing Michael Jackson in Concert in Bucharest: The Dangerous Tour.

HBO, however, soon scored a major victory.  A federal judge rejected a motion by Jackson’s Estate to transfer the case back to an arbitrator.  Both sides fought to determine where the case would ultimately be decided.  The late singer’s estate doesn’t want the litigation carried out in open court.  The network has long argued the 1992 non-disparagement agreement never existed.  This facilitates the need for a federal court to intervene.

Judge Wu’s latest move signals his intent to side with the Michael Jackson Estate and send the case back to arbitration.

On the network’s part, HBO’s legal team wants Judge Wu to declare the possible arbitration ruling “unenforceable.”  This wouldn’t only violate its First Amendment rights, argues the network.  The ruling would also violate due process and California public policy.  If denied, HBO argues this would open the floodgates to a slew of posthumous defamation claims.

According to Jackson’s estate, arbitration doesn’t violate the network’s freedom of speech.  Should Judge Wu rule against HBO, this wouldn’t count as the government interfering with the network’s First Amendment rights.

Telling both sides the issue will be further discussed in court, Judge Wu wrote,

While the Court agrees that attempting to enforce an arbitration agreement in a contract that includes a non-disparagement clause through the filing of a lawsuit does not initially suggest the presence of state action, the initiation of the litigation itself can trigger First Amendment concerns.

It cannot be doubted that Plaintiffs’ arbitration action is seeking to recover damages based upon Defendants’ broadcasting a documentary.

A trial to deal with the First Amendment issues will take place on September 16th.

 


 

Ariana Grande Explains St. Louis Breakdown: "I’m Still Processing A Lot"

Ariana Grande has without a doubt been through a lot over the last few years. From the very tragic Manchester bombing to the death her ex-boyfriend Mac Miller and the sudden ending her engagement to Pete Davidson, the “No Tears Left To Cry” singer seemingly still has tears left to cry. Ariana was performing in St. Louis this past Saturday as part her Sweetener World Tour and began to break down as she sang “R.E.M.”

The 26-year-old singer has since shared a statement on Twitter, detailing just where she is mentally. “Tour is wild. Life is wild,” she began her statement, further expressing how thankful she is to sing to her fans every night, among other things. 

Ariana Grande Explains St. Louis Breakdown: "I'm Still Processing A Lot"
Mike Coppola/Getty s 

“I feel everything very intensely and have committed to doing this tour during a time in my life when i’m still processing a lot … so sometimes i cry a lot!” she added. “I thank you for accepting my humanness. i’m not sure what i did to deserve to meet so many loving souls every night / to feel so much love, but i want you to know that it really does carry me through. i feel it and appreciate it. and all you show much.”

Wu-Tang Clan Is First Hip-Hop Act To Headline Legendary Country Music Venue

Sunday night, the Wu-Tang Clan made history as the first hip-hop act to ever headline Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium.

The venue is originally known as the Grand Ole Opry, dubbed the Mother Church Country Music and in its over a century-long history, it has never had a hip-hop act top it bill. 

“It’s just not intuitive to have necessarily a hip-hop show at the Ryman,” Nashville concert promoter and Belmont University pressor Eric Holt told NPR the venue’s history with the hip-hop genre prior to Wu-Tang’s show. “It’s going to be interesting. I mean, the energy, I think is going to be different.”

 

The venue’s former general manager, Pam Matthews went on to tell NPR that it was not for lack trying as she previously reached out to the likes 50 Cent and Insane Clown Posse to headline Ryman. 

Wu-Tang Clan Is First Hip-Hop Act To Headline Legendary Country Music Venue

Steven Ferdman/Getty s

Matthews adds that the venue’s set up, a 2300-person capacity theater with bolted down pews, could be a part hip-hop’s shying away from Ryman in the past, citing acts wanting their fans to be able to move around.

“You know, the Ryman has had to grow up too, and had to grow up into what the city is,” adds Shannon Sanders, a Grammy-winning musician and record producer in Nashville. “You know, the Wu-Tang is ready for the Ryman, but also the Ryman is ready for the Wu-Tang.”

KFC Is Now Selling Bags Of Chicken Skin

KFC’s mastered the art fried chicken, atleast in the world fast food. Colonel Sanders is still flipping birds by the buckets across the globe. The one thing that makes KFC’s fried chicken so good is the recipe they use for the chicken skin which consists a blend eleven herbs and spices. Now, for those who’ve ever solely wanted the chicken skin, you’re in luck. However, you’ll have to be in Indonesia to bank on this special fer.

KFC stores in Indonesia are now selling bags fried chicken skin as their latest menu addition. The fer is available at six locations in Indonesia —  MT Haryono, Salemba, Cideng, Kemang, Kalimalang and Kelapa Gading. A bag fried chicken skin will run you 13.636 rupees which concerts to 96 cents USD.

Indonesia isn’t the first country to introduce fried chicken skin to its menu. In the Philippines, KFC introduced Cracklings which is a snack version the chicken skin. 

In other KFC-related news, the fried chicken company recently experimented with Cheetos for their fried chicken and Cheetos sandwich. It was only available at select locations in North Carolina, Virginia, and Georgia. “Made by coating a juicy, hand-breaded Extra Crispy chicken filet with special Cheetos sauce and placing it on a toasted bun with mayo and a layer crunchy Cheetos, the Cheetos Sandwich will give you a blast craveable Cheetos in every bite,” KFC described the sandwich in a press release. 

Michael Jackson Estate Experience First Loss In "Leaving Neverland" Lawsuit

Hollywood Reporter shared an update on the plethora lawsuits currently launched by Michael Jackson’s estate since the formulation  the Leaving Neverland documentary. According to the news outlet, Michael Jackson’s Estate had sued HBO right before Leaving Neverland aired on screens. The motion was supported by the claim that the television network was breaching the non-defamation clause a 27-year old agreement wherein the network was paid to air a concert tied to Jackson’s Dangerous album. As such, the Jackson heirs wished to invoke an arbitration clause within the dated deal which would once again make it valid to snag HBO. In response, the network moved the case from the state to the federal courts and called out the deal as outdated. 

HBO stated that Michael Jackson’s Estate legal motion was a “transparent effort to bolster their publicity campaign against the documentary” by bringing back a precedent cause and tying it to posthumous disparagement. Moreover, the network assured that there were no existing valid contracts impacting Leaving Neverland. As such, HBO’s lawyers argued for a federal judge to determine the “gateway issues validity and arbitrability.” An act, Michael Jackson’s estate called “classic tautology.” In the end, the judge denied two motions set forth by Jackson’s Estate. Namely, the motion to remand the case back to the state courts and the ability to compel arbitration.

The latter served as a win to HBO, but U.S. District Court Judge George H. Wu called for both parties to bring in evidence on the issue arbitration. We expect more information on this later.

LÜM Closes $1.2 Million In Seed Round Funding to 'Democratize Music'

Startup Live Undiscovered Music, aka ‘LÜM,’ has just procured $1.2 million in funding.

Lüm is spinning a social streaming platform that aims to change the way that new artists stream and promote their music.  The company also wants to transform how fans find, share and generally engage with music itself.

It’s a lofty mission to ‘democratize music,’ though now there’s some fuel to test the idea out.

According to LÜM CEO and co-founder Max Fergus, the company hopes that the platform can help artists who have previously struggled with traditional streaming models. Additionally, the company wants consumers to be able to influence music trends without any other external influencers coming into play.

“LÜM is on a mission to create a platform where artists can finally succeed outside traditional streaming models, and fans can be the sole influencers – determining what music trends hit next.”

LÜM also announced a strategic partnership with Frank Productions. Given its status as one of the largest U.S. concert promoters, Frank Productions has the potential to help LÜM find ways to better connect with live music consumers in addition to those who prefer digital content.

The company says it wants to ‘bridge the gap between live and digital music consumption’.

The LÜM Board of Directors added Frank Productions’ Director of Business Intelligence, Dan Polans, to its ranks.

LÜM says that their platform provides new artists with unlimited uploading and sharing of their digital content. It also offers collaboration tools to facilitate greater creative pair-ups.

For fans, the LÜM app removes traditional audio advertising and premium accounts entirely from the equation.  Fans can also connect directly with artists as superfans and receive exclusive content.

So will it work?   Right now, the concept is in beta.  The company is inviting emerging artists and music fans who want to help LÜM with the creation of this platform to become early testers.  After testing this spring, LÜM plans to officially release the app later this year on iOS first.

Adidas Yeezy Boost 350 V2 "Clay" Restocking In Infant & Kids Sizes

One the biggest Yeezy releases the year so far was the Adidas Yeezy Boost 350 V2 “Clay.” The shoe was part a three-sneaker pack, with each pair being region-locked. The “Clay” model was for those in North, Central, and South America and so far, it has some pretty hefty resale prices. Demand was high for the sneaker although as is usually the case with Yeezy’s, the demand was somewhat deflated. 

If you missed out on the shoe the first time, you’ll actually have a second crack at it although unfortunately, it won’t be for adult sizes. According to Sole Collector, Adidas plans to re-release the “Clay” colorway in kids and infant sizes on May 18th. Kanye West has been making a concerted effort to sell Yeezys that will fit the whole family. The fact that the smaller sizes are restocking is further pro that this effort is actually being made and not just an empty promise.

The infant sizes will cost $140 USD, while the kid’s sizes are $160 USD. You will be able to cop them on adidas.com and Yeezy Supply as May 18th.

Adidas Yeezy Boost 350 V2 "Clay" Restocking In Infant & Kids Sizes

Adidas

Adidas Yeezy Boost 350 V2 "Clay" Restocking In Infant & Kids Sizes

Adidas

Adidas Yeezy Boost 350 V2 "Clay" Restocking In Infant & Kids Sizes

Adidas

Rihanna, Bruno Mars & Janet Jackson Targeted In Million Dollar Concert Scam

Four suspects have been arrested in connection to a multi-million dollar scam after alleging to know Rihanna, Janet Jackson and Bruno Mars. According to the New York Daily News, the four men were arrested Wednesday in California after conspiring to set up a fake concert with the stars as headliners. 

The men were working to raise $19.5 million for a fake Rihanna tour. Riri’s lawyer contacted the FBI last year in July when they got wind the scam after 39-year-old Kwasi Asare’s illegal moves. An undercover cop met with Kwasi who then tried to scam him into paying a $4 million dollar investment to see Rihanna and Bruno perform at San Diego’s Petco Park.

Rihanna, Bruno Mars & Janet Jackson Targeted In Million Dollar Concert Scam
Jamie McCarthy/Getty s 

“Bruno Mars never agreed to do the Petco Park Show, nor had anyone even made him such a proposition,” the complaint states, according to the publication. Kwasi also attempted to make a deal with the undercover agent for a concert involving Janet Jackson. 

The four defendants – Kwasi, 52-year-old Mark Lamica, 47-year-old James Ganiere, and 49-year-old Kevin Carriker, are expected to appear in federal court next month.