Been over a year…

It has been over a year now. My last show before Covid-19 was March 10, 2020. The rest of the years concerts and shows were canceled or postponed. I was hoping to cover over 40 shows last year.

The impact of Covid-19 on the live music industry was huge. Still is. A lot of small venues have closed permanently. Local bands have broken up. Artists try to make money live streaming. Live Nation cut cost and create new policies. Rumors about LN and Ticketmaster on testing proof before shows.

Ticketmaster has posted:

* There is absolutely no requirement from Ticketmaster mandating vaccines/testing for future events. Unfortunately, this has been widely reported and is incorrect. Ticketmaster does not have the power to set policies around safety/entry requirements, which would include vaccines and/or testing protocols. That would always be up to the discretion of the event organizer, based on their preferences and local health guidelines.
* We are exploring a number of safety features for event organizers to utilize as they look to welcome fans back to events. This includes tools from Ticketmaster’s recently announced SmartEvent suite like social distanced seating, contactless entry and more (read more info on SmartEvent here).  Again, the event organizer will determine what, if any, of these measures are implemented at their individual event, not Ticketmaster.

Question now is, what will venues policies entail? Can and will venues require proof of testing or vaccination to get into a show? Would that allow 100% capacity if the governor allows it?

Live Nation cut $200m in staff costs by layoffs and cutting CEO pay up to 50%. As of now, LN has cut future festival artiest pay by 20% and changed other booking policies seen below. I am sure this is going to carry over to venue shows, now and into the future. Once artist except this, why ever change it? Makes more money for LN.

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.

Nice right? Guaranteed pay is no longer guaranteed. Money artists now need for transportation and accommodations. For themselves and their staff. If the show is canceled from force majeure, like weather, sorry, no pay. They (and we ticket purchasers) need to buy insurance to cover that. I am sure most of us know how that works out…

So, we will see how things go this year. It is looking like shows for us start in June, at 30% capacity. Still wondering on how that works on postponed shows that sold more tickets than that.

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