Music | June 19, 2020 7:00 am

Live Nation Asks Artists to Take a Pay Cut in 2021

"We are in unprecedented times," the company explained.

Live Nation on a smartphone
Photo Illustration: Igor Golovniov/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

As we all know, musicians everywhere are currently enduring a massive financial hardship due to the coronavirus pandemic; with festivals canceled and venues closed for the foreseeable future, it looks like the earliest we’ll see live music again is 2021. But when that happens, some musicians will reportedly face yet another financial burden: as Rolling Stone reports, Live Nation is asking artists to take a pay cut.

The publication obtained a memo from Live Nation to its talent partners, noting, “Most of the new policies shift financial burdens to artists: For example, the company wants to decrease the monetary guarantees promised to artists before an event by 20% across the board. Live Nation also says that if a concert is cancelled due to poor ticket sales, it will give artists 25% of the guarantee (as opposed to the 100% that promoters are currently expected to pay). Moreover, if an artist cancels a performance in breach of the agreement, the artist will pay the promoter two times the artist’s fee — a type of penalty that, as Billboard notes, is unheard of in the live music industry.”

“The global pandemic has changed the world in recent months and with it the dynamics of the music industry,” Live Nation wrote in the memo. “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.”

“We are fully aware of the significance of these changes, and we did not make these changes without serious consideration,” the company added. “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.”

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