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Pop / Rock 01/02/2005

Free Fiona Protesters Crowd Outside Sony Building, Singing, Chanting, Making Headlines with 'Big Apple'

NEW YORK (www.freefiona.com) Protesters from the Free Fiona Apple Campaign, wearing matching red hats, gathered Friday [28 January] at the Sony/BMG Music headquarters at 550 Madison Avenue in Manhattan to protest the witholding of Fiona Apple's third album, "Extraordinary Machine." The album, completed in May of 2003, has been shelved due to the "lack of an obvious single," according to the album's producer, Jon Brion.

Protestors traveled from as far away as Europe to attend.

Approximately 45 protesters crowded the narrow sidewalk, chanting, singing, and giving away stickers and red hats to passers-by. With a wind chill of -12 degrees Fahrenheit (-24 Celsius), fans braved the freezing weather for over three hours to show their support. Reporters from the New York Times, Rolling Stone, SPIN, and others also dared the cold, taking pictures and interviewing campaign managers and fans.

The official campaign website, www.freefiona.com, surreptitiously announced a "surprise" for the protest. A 7-feet tall (2.1 meter) apple facsimile loomed over the crowd, as campaigners encouraged passers-by to sign their names. Stickers reading "I Signed the Big Apple" were given away, along with red hats for the signatories.

Why red hats? "Andrew Lack's office is on the 32nd floor," said Free Fiona founder Dave Muscato, "and one of the tracks on Fiona's new album is [allegedly] titled "Red, Red, Red." We want him to look out his window this afternoon and see the sidewalk crowded with red hats - just to show how serious we are about supporting our favorite singer."

"In an age of apathy, it's refreshing to know that people still care enough to stand out in the freezing cold to show what they believe in," said Ross Archibald, European Regional Campaign Manager, who flew to New York from Scotland for the protest.

For the latest news on the campaign, to participate in the Free Fiona Discussion Forum, or to sign the petition, visit the campaign website at www.freefiona.com.






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