National / International News

Third arrest in Davison murder hunt

BBC - Thu, 2015-05-07 15:06
A 38-year-old man has been arrested by police investigating the murder of Gerard 'Jock' Davison in Belfast.

VE Day events to mark 70th anniversary

BBC - Thu, 2015-05-07 15:06
Events across the UK and the rest of Europe will commemorate the 70th anniversary of VE Day - the end of World War Two on the continent.

Why tech is getting in the way of work

BBC - Thu, 2015-05-07 15:04
Why we're getting less and less done at work

FBI sent alert before Texas shooting

BBC - Thu, 2015-05-07 14:59
The FBI had warned Texas officials several hours before a provocative cartoon contest that a suspected extremist could show up at the event.

Election 2015: The results in pictures

BBC - Thu, 2015-05-07 14:39
Images from the around the UK

No Goooaaal? Spain's Soccer Federation Suspends Season In Row Over Law

NPR News - Thu, 2015-05-07 14:33

At issue is a new law that allows poorer teams to share TV airtime and revenue more fairly. The law would break the monopoly of the league's two richest teams, Real Madrid and FC Barcelona.

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Miliband could still be PM - Labour

BBC - Thu, 2015-05-07 14:27
Labour has questioned the general election exit poll, which predicts it will be in second place with 239 seats, saying "we just don't know" if it is right.

VIDEO: Labour win first announced seat

BBC - Thu, 2015-05-07 14:23
The Labour Party have won the first seat to be announced in Houghton and Sunderland South as part of the results of the 2015 general election.

Are music festivals a bubble waiting to burst?

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2015-05-07 14:22

Forget sweltering clubs and concert halls. Summer tours for some bands are now a matter of hopping from one grassy lawn to another.

Take the indie rock band Modest Mouse. This summer they're playing at least 10 festivals in the U.S., Canada and overseas.

The number of multi-day music festivals in North America has gone from a handful to hundreds.

“We do live in a culture right now which is heavily saturated with festivals,” says Jonathan Levine, who heads of the Paradigm Talent Agency's Nashville office.“If someone has a plot of land and a checkbook, they can suddenly find themselves in the festival business.”

Levine's roster includes the Black Eyed Peas and the Grateful Dead – a band that played one of the most iconic music festivals. But a lot has changed since Woodstock.

Music festivals have gone mainstream, and they’re making hundreds of millions of dollars. Millennials, it seems, are willing to shell out for multi-day music experiences. And deep-pocketed corporate sponsors are willing to shell out to reach them.

And it's all come none too soon for musicians.

The growth in the number of music festivals over the last decade and half has coincided with a big shift in how people buy recorded music — if they buy it. And now streaming services like Spotify, Pandora and, soon, Apple's Beats are reinventing the model again.

“The whole industry, the whole — all of it — is changing so much, especially with the internet, downloads and MP3s and stuff. So, the festivals is really where it’s at,” Katelyn Shook says. Katelyn and her sister Laurie Shook are the front-women of the Shook Twins, a Portland-based indie folk pop group.

The stretch from May to September is the biggest time of year for the Shook Twins – biggest payouts, biggest crowds, biggest publicity. They plan their tours around festival dates.

“It’s so good for an up and coming band because when we go to a new territory, we don’t have to have the pressure of filling the club all by ourselves, we’re just part of this huge thing and they’re promoting it and they’re doing all the cool stuff for it,” Laurie Shook says.

The Shook Twins, Laurie and Katelyn Shook, in their van before a show in Spokane, Washington.

Jessica Robinson/Marketplace

But is there a ceiling on all this growth?

“The problem that we’ve got is that everyone is competing for the same pool of talent. And it’s not just in North America. It’s worldwide,” says Gary Bongiovanni, editor of the concert business trade publication Pollstar.

For example, Bluesfest in Australia in early April snagged Ben Harper, Hozier, David Gray, Counting Crows and a lot of other in-demand acts, Bongiovanni says. And of course, if they're in Australia, they couldn't be in the U.S. for the ever-increasing number of festivals here. In Pollstar's 2014 year-end business analysis, Bongiovanni forecast the competition for big names could lead to a “bloody market correction that weeds out weaker festivals.”

And he’s not the only one making gloomy predictions.

“There’s only so many artists that can play and anchor and headline the festivals,” Levine says. “So it’s going to be a little bit survival of the fittest. Some will thrive and others will not.”

There's another force putting restrictions on the availability of big-name acts. It's called a “radius” clause. For example, the Bonnaroo festival in Tennessee might tell a band it can’t play within 300 miles of the festival two months before or after. Larger festivals use the agreements to make sure they keep exclusive rights on the headliners – and the hype surrounding them.

Still, all of this isn’t bothering Drew Lorona too much. He's one of the founders of the fledgling Treefort Music Festival in Boise, Idaho, which just wrapped up its fourth year. Like most new festivals, it’s struggled to turn a profit. But Lorona says the urban music festival has been careful to grow slowly and put its emphasis on discovering unknown bands.

“I think the festivals that will struggle are going to be the ones that don't have that differentiation. … And that seems to be what's popping up the most – is kind of branded as like a party in the desert type of thing,” says Lorona.

And speaking of popping up, he knows of at least two new music festivals starting in Idaho this summer.

Who is £30m forward Memphis Depay?

BBC - Thu, 2015-05-07 14:18
Manchester United are acquiring the most prolific young forward Europe currently has to offer this summer. But who is he?

VIDEO: Election 2015: The story so far

BBC - Thu, 2015-05-07 14:16
Election 2015: The story of the night so far

What Happens When A Police Officer Doesn't Shoot?

NPR News - Thu, 2015-05-07 14:06

An officer's body camera captured his decision not to shoot a possibly armed suspect. He was praised for brave self-restraint, but some law enforcement officers say his reluctance was irresponsible.

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A Fish With Cancer Raises Questions About Health Of Susquehanna River

NPR News - Thu, 2015-05-07 13:53

The smallmouth bass with a malignant tumor was caught late last year near Duncannon, Pa. Officials say it's the first time such a tumor has been found in the state on that type of fish.

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VIDEO: Exit poll in virtual House of Commons

BBC - Thu, 2015-05-07 13:40
The BBC's Jeremy Vine shows how the general election exit poll predictions would play out in the form of a virtual House of Commons.

Election exit poll 'staggering'

BBC - Thu, 2015-05-07 13:37
The polls close in the most tightly-contested UK general election for a generation, with a BBC exit poll described as "staggering" by a Welsh political expert.

Exit poll predicts 58 SNP seats

BBC - Thu, 2015-05-07 13:36
An exit poll predicts the SNP could win all but one of Scotland's 59 seats in the general election.

VIDEO: The stories to watch for in Scotland

BBC - Thu, 2015-05-07 13:36
BBC Scotland's political editor Brian Taylor explains the big political stories that could unfold as Scotland's voting results are announced.

VIDEO: Moment exit poll was announced

BBC - Thu, 2015-05-07 13:34
The BBC's David Dimbleby announces the results of the exit poll after the UK's general election.

Counting under way for 18 NI seats

BBC - Thu, 2015-05-07 13:31
The polling stations close and counting is getting under way across Northern Ireland for 18 seats at Westminster.

Exit poll puts Tories close to majority

BBC - Thu, 2015-05-07 13:30
The UK's election exit poll predicts the Conservatives will be largest party in a hung parliament, with 316 seats, just short of a majority, with Labour on 239.