Dave Grohl & Eddie Vedder Lose Big Money Concert Deal

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Pearl Jam, Foo Fighters, and other major rock artists may be hit hard by new Live Nation policies shifting the financial burdens to artists amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Live Nation with lower money payment guarantees to artists by 20%, and if a show is canceled due to bad ticket sales, artists will no longer get 100% of their guarantee, but 25% instead. Pearl Jam fans reacted on the Ten Club board, especially as the band had issues in the past with Ticketmaster, now owned by Live Nation, though the band was partnering with Live Nation on their now delayed 2020 tour.

Matts3221 posted, “Also I love Pearl Jam but this is going to hurt so many up and coming artist and those that play small ( 500-1000 ) venues operated by Live Nation.

I really feel for new bands trying to get out to tour, when touring and merch is were all the money is made now.”

Weston1283 responded, “Correct me If I’m wrong, but what I took from it (from a consumer standpoint) was:

1) Bands should only play venues they are 100% sure they can sell out, and raise the price of tickets to help cover their own insurance (which they must now provide) and to do whatever it takes to avoid having to cancel due to ticket sales

So basically we will see smaller venues and a significant increase in cost to the consumer.”

Poncier wrote, “Though after reading through the memo, it appears these new rules apply to festivals, its not made clear in the opening paragraph, but most of the bullet points contain the word “festival” and it concludes with:

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.”

Pjl44 said, “There is no shortage of bullshit in there but I’m not convinced higher ticket prices are a given. I don’t think anyone knows what demand will be once venues open again. It’s a total crapshoot and that will ultimately drive everything from ticket prices to the size of a venue a band will play. I have a really hard time believing people will pay more to see a band play the same sized venue they would have pre-covid.

It’s a total shot in the dark, but my guess is if you’re paying a higher ticket price you’re seeing a band in a room that’s typically small for them. I’d be totally fine with that.”

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.