Live Nation announce cuts to artist fees as gigs return; artists called them out and now they’re backtracking

Live Nation felt the anger of artists earlier this month after announcing they’d cut their fees whilst expecting them to perform as usual.

It’s going to be a difficult transition as we return to some level of normality after months of shutdowns, particularly in the events industry. Live Nation’s solution to their loss of income was to take it from the artists – a move that has understandably had a huge backlash on them.

Their “exploitative” plan was to cut artists fees by 20% whilst pushing them to face the risks of performing because they need income. They also had terms in place that meant artists would receive no fee in the event of more cancellations due to a second spike or further social distancing rules.

A bunch of artists took their complaints to Congress saying that Live Nation were exercising “monopolistic behaviour” in their terms for artists returning to play concerts. Live Nation’s announcements also said that if the artist cancelled a performance they would owe the promoter 200% of their original fee, regardless of reasoning.

Live Nation’s founder and co-president has clarified some of the terms they had proposed and gone back on the most controversial. Charles Attal said that the latter point where artists would be required to pay promoters 200% of their fee upon cancellation has been wiped from their contracts.

In regards to the 20% reduction in artist fees, Attal explains that their is space for artists fees to be increased based on the success of festivals. They’re hoping at Live Nation that the success of festivals next year will in fact mean that artists ultimately earn more than they did in 2019 – though this of course is hugely subject to chance.

Of course it’s hard to predict what the future holds for COVID, lockdown, and how we will be able to re-open industries and gatherings. It could all change at any moment again so Live Nation say they’re keeping their discussions “fluid” and will hopefully keep an ear to what artists are saying about any proposed policies.

Head of Social Media and Marketing, RouteNote

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