FESTIVAL NEWS: Massive Attack At Coachella & Online Petition Started To Keep King Biscuit Name At Festival

(CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — Massive Attack will make their first US appearance in more than eight years when they perform on the mainstage for the seventh annual Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival at the Empire Polo Field in Indio, California.

"We are playing Coachella, dusk till dark, before Tool on the Sunday night. It’s going to be a blast," announced Robert Del Naja on the band’s website forum (www.massiveattack.co.uk/collected). Continuing his comment on the band’s plans for the summer, "the main bulk of the tour will be June-September in Europe, USA, Middle East, Africa and Japan with recording and mixing in-between."

Also recently confirmed for this year’s Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival: Daft Punk, appearing live for the first time in six years, Ted Leo/Pharmacists and Eagles of Death Metal. These acts join the already announced line-up of Depeche Mode, Tool, Franz Ferdinand, Yeah, Yeah Yeahs, Bloc Party and many, many more. – CelebrityAccess Staff Writers

Online Petition Started To Keep King Biscuit Name At Festival

LITTLE ROCK, AK (AP) — Fans of a Helena-West Helena music festival are singing the blues over plans to drop the "King Biscuit" name because sponsors cannot afford to pay $20,000 to the New York company that holds the trademark.

The King Biscuit Blues Festival is billed as the largest free blues festival in the South. The fall festival typically draws 100,000 people to Helena-West Helena, where historians say the nation first heard the blues.

"If we make any money it's seed money for the next year. We haven't ever made $20,000. It's not a reasonable number," said Wayne Andrews, the executive director of Sonny Boy Blues Society. The group, a charitable organization, has organized the Helena festival since 1986.

The society has launched an online petition hoping King Biscuit will reign in the Delta again this year. But Kevin Cain, the president of New York City-based King Biscuit Entertainment, which owns the trademark said the petition won't change his mind.

"The petition wouldn't affect my decision as to the usage of the name," he said. "It keeps our name in the limelight so I can't say that I'm bothered by it."

Cain said he felt it was gracious of his company to let the Sonny Boy Blues Society buy the "King Biscuit" name.

"We thought we were asking for a small token of what they made," Cain said.

A King Biscuit license holder said festival organizers are at fault for not sharing more information with New York-based King Biscuit Entertainment.

"The issue isn't about the blues festival. It's about fiscal responsibility," said John Elkington, whose Performa Entertainment Inc. has a licensing agreement with King Biscuit Entertainment to use the name for restaurants and a separate festival in Memphis, Tenn.

"Open your books, show us how much you make, and allow us to then see if we can give you logo rights for $1 a year, or something like that," Elkington said.

The festival used the King Biscuit name for free until 2005, when talks to set a fair price between event organizers and King Biscuit Entertainment fell through. The company has owned the trademark since it launched the radio program "King Biscuit Flower Hour" in 1973.

Andrews says he respects that King Biscuit Entertainment owns the trademark, but says the company should respect that Helena is forever linked to the name. "King Biscuit Time," sponsored initially by King Biscuit Flour, has been carried on KFFA-AM in Helena-West Helena since Nov. 21, 1941. The show is the nation's longest continuously running blues program.

"The King Biscuit name has been around since 1941. We recognize that heritage with the festival. Why not be part of that and be the savior of the name?" Andrews said.

But King Biscuit Entertainment president Kevin Cain said that while the company has spent millions of dollars promoting the trademark, the festival hasn't spent any.

Elkington said if the Sonny Boy Blues Society could prove that they make no money on the festival, King Biscuit Entertainment wouldn't have a problem with the name being on the festival.

Helena native Jay Sheffield, who co-owns seven Huey's restaurants in Memphis, said the King Biscuit legacy belongs to Helena-West Helena regardless of who owns the trademark.

"The name King Biscuit is always a name that we considered ours. It was part of everyday life. I don't know about the legalities, but the heritage of the name lies in Helena, Arkansas," Sheffield said.

Sheffield also suggests that those in the blues business donate money to help pay for the name.

Andrews says he hopes the petition, drafted by bluesman L.W. "Junior" Jackson and signed by 2,200 people as of Thursday, will help reopen negotiations.

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