After a decade of all-star shows in London, Apple has pulled the plug on its annual free Apple Music Festival (originally known as the iTunes Festival.) The event, which featured everyone from One Direction to Lady Gaga, Oasis, Tony Bennett, Adele, Ed Sheeran, Paramore, Coldplay, Kendrick Lamar, Beck and, last year, Elton John, Britney Spears, Chance the Rapper and Alicia Keys, was rebranded in 2015 as the Apple Music Festival.
Music Business Worldwide confirmed the news and speculated that Apple may have changed directions because it is increasingly focused on creating more original content and music specials. Beginning in 2007, Apple started giving tickets away to Apple Music and iTunes users, with events broadcast for free on Apple devices. The shows initially took place at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London, before moving to KOKO in Camden and finally landing at The Roundhouse beginning in 2009.
In 2014 the event took place in the U.S. for the first and only time, spreading out over five days during the South by Southwest festival and broadcasting from the Moody Theater in Austin, Texas for sets from Soundgarden, Keith Urban, Willie Nelson, Pitbull, Zell, G.R.L. and Imagine Dragons, among others. A spokesperson for Apple Music could not be reached for comment at press time.
SOURCE: Billboard, Gil Kaufman