Thread: Live Nation Wants Artists to Take Pay Cuts and Cancelation Burdens for Shows in 2021

jszfunk - 6/29/2020 at 12:34 PM 89/

cyclone88 - 6/29/2020 at 01:17 PM

Live Nation Memo to Talent Agencies

The global pandemic has changed the world in recent months and with it the dynamics of the music industry. We are in unprecedented times and must adequately account for the shift in market demand, the exponential rise of certain costs and the overall increase of uncertainty that materially affects our mission. In order for us to move forward, we must make certain changes to our agreements with the artists. The principle changes for 2021 are outlined below.

Artist Guarantees: Artist guarantees will be adjusted downward 20% from 2020 levels.

Ticket Prices: Ticket prices are set by the promoter, at the promoter’s sole discretion, and are subject to change.

Payment Terms: Artists will receive a deposit of 10% one month before the festival, contingent on an executed agreement and fulfillment of marketing responsibilities. The balance, minus standard deductions for taxes and production costs, will be paid after the performance.

Minimum Marketing Requirements: All artists will be required to assist in marketing of the festival through minimum social media posting requirements outlined in artist offer.

Streaming requirements: All artists will be required to allow their performance to be filmed by the festival for use in a live television broadcast, a live webcast, on-demand streaming, and/or live satellite radio broadcast.

Billing: All decisions regarding “festival billing” are at the sole discretion of the promoter.

Merchandise: Purchaser will retain 30 % of Artist merchandise sales and send 70% to the artist within two weeks following the Festival.

Airfare and Accommodations: These expenses will be the responsibility of the artist.

Sponsorship: The promoter controls all sponsorship at the festival without any restrictions, and artists may not promote brands onstage or in its productions.

Radius Clause. Violation of a radius clause without the festival’s prior authorization in writing will, at the festival’s sole discretion, result in either a reduction of the artist fee or the removal of the artist from the event, with any pre-event deposits returned to the festival immediately.

Insurance: The artist is required to maintain its own cancellation insurance as the promoter is not responsible for the artist fee in the event of a cancellation of the festival due to weather or a force majeure.

Cancellation by Artist: If an artist cancels its performance in breach of the agreement, the artist will pay the promoter two times the artist’s fee.

Cancellation Due to Poor Sales. If a show is cancelled due to poor ticket sales, the artist will receive 25% of the guarantee.

Force Majeure: If the artist’s performance is canceled due to an event of force majeure – including a pandemic similar to Covid-19 – the promoter will not pay the artist its fee. The artist is responsible for obtaining any cancellation insurance for its performance.

Inability to Use Full Capacity of the Venue: If the promoter – either because of orders of the venue or any governmental entity – is not permitted to use the full capacity of the venue, then the promoter may terminate the agreement, and artist will refund any money previously paid.

We are fully aware of the significance of these changes, and we did not make these changes without serious consideration. We appreciate you – and all artists – understanding the need for us to make these changes in order to allow the festival business to continue not only for the artists and the producers, but also for the fans.

cyclone88 - 6/29/2020 at 01:50 PM

Assuming this is addressing events in the US, this isn't shocking - or terrible - for artists. As w/many other "arts" industries, this is just an acceleration of a trend. Writers, filmmakers, visual artists have had to assume many tasks formerly offered by the publisher, distributor, gallery such as marketing like crazy some w/quotas of SM posts. And some of it - like who establishes billing & pays for accommodations - isn't new. The big silent question is "what does the artist get in streaming revenue?"

The easy answer for musicians is don't sign w/Live Nation until the US actually is climbing upward out of the pandemic unless they have a lot of money to throw away. Musicians aren't going to find insurers. If the promoter can't find one, the band certainly isn't at a premium that's remotely recoupable. No one can guarantee a venue is going to be available at full capacity; that's a government/public health decision. Cancellation clauses by artists are as varied as the artists themselves; this one-size-fits-all 25% cancellation fee penalizes the lesser known band whose cancellation probably has zero effect on a festival's ticket sales. Force majeure clauses vary from state to state.

Musicians shouldn't give their merchandise $$ to anyone. If the festival is selling a tee shirt promoting the festival & lists the band, the band should get a tiny percentage of that sale. If the band has Live Nation staff selling CDs (anyone do that anymore?), they should pay a stocking fee unrelated to the value of the CD.

Let's face it. Covid19 isn't over. On July 1, the UK & EU are planning to ban US visitors because we haven't gotten Covid19 under control. Only 2 states reported a decline in cases last week. Of course, they don't want us and large venues in the US aren't looking for concerts even if their state allows it. No one w/any common sense should think Covid19 is "over." We're exactly where we were in March - no vaccine & no treatment. We have 3 things we didn't have before - 1) we know people of all ages, including teens & 20s, get sick, are hospitalized, & die, 2) there's probably enough equipment to handle hotspots, and 3) staying home keeps cases down. That's it.

Basically, musicians - like plenty of other professions - are screwed for the near term. Why sign a contract like this? And bands shouldn't sign any contract w/o a lawyer or business manager reading & negotiating.

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