What Else? Grammy Cruise, Leiweke, Intensifying SXSW, Ultra Disaster, Live Nation…

If Coachella can float, so can the Grammys?  For those that thought they’d seen it all on the musical high seas, get ready for the Grammy Cruise.  According to USA Today, Norwegian Cruise Line and the Recording Academy will create the Grammy-theme floater; the ship itself is still under construction but will set sail in 2014.

Amidst the ratcheting frollic of SXSW, the biggest news is emanating from Los Angeles.  Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG) isn’t on the block anymore, thanks to a dearth of satisfactory bids.  And longtime leader Tim Leiweke is out after 16 years, all of which raises more questions than answers.

Back in Austin, just a shake a stick and enjoy: more superstars and luminaries continue to pop up in this playground, with Dave Grohl and his ‘Sound City Players‘ kicking a nice set on Thursday night.  During a packed keynote address earlier in the day, Grohl talked about his early trek towards Nirvana via DC, and encouraged attendees to find their independently-crafted voices.

Meanwhile, other giants dangling around include Prince, Justin Timberlake, and the Smashing Pumpkins (slated for a Saturday performance).  And for those that walk among us, Amanda Palmer has been busy dishing crowdfunding gems, with David Lowery bouncing around the panel floors as well.  Others gracing Austin include Clive Davis, Steve Nicks, Chuck D, and Bootsy Collins, amongst many others.

And of course, there’s the requisite and lingering debate over what you’re actually doing here.  We’re still getting responses to our earlier riff on SXSW productivity, or lack thereof, with most agreeing that very little is getting done on the Austin parade grounds.  But it’s damn fun.

Down in Miami, there’s been a major accident during setup at Ultra Music Festival.  Apparently a massive LED screen became dislodged and seriously injured two workers, with a third and fourth also affected.  Right now, the massive show looks like it will go on.

Somebody clean this up!  Live Nation now has a new chairman, albeit non-executive.  Greg Maffei, currently President and CEO at Liberty Media and an existing Live Nation Board member, will take the slot.  Liberty owns a 27 percent stake; Live Nation continues to struggle under massive debt, rolling mega-losses, and bloated compensation packages.

 

More ahead!

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