Nirvana Received Massive Concert Payment After Pearl Jam Rejection


UB Spectrum have up a new article about students from the University of Buffalo getting Nirvana to perform at Alumni Arena in 1993 after other bands like Pearl Jam turned them down, and how much they were paid.

Most ’93 UUAB staff The Spectrum spoke with didn’t want to take credit for the idea of bringing Nirvana to campus, and credited Kathleen Duffy, UUAB’s music coordinator at the time. Duffy, who died in 2017, said in The Spectrum’s concert coverage that UUAB –– a former division of Sub-Board I –– “didn’t really do major stuff” until she joined the year before.

So she took it upon herself to make her first show a large one. She said she called booking agents and asked for Cypress Hill, Pearl Jam and Nirvana, among others. Whether through Duffy’s timing or pure luck as some suggested, Nirvana’s agents were the first to bite.

UUAB’s first bid for Nirvana was $45,000 and was turned down by agents, and a deal for what would now be $78,000 due to inflation was agreed to.

The article also states:

The concert was roughly the equivalent of today’s Student Association booking modern Billboard chart-toppers like Kendrick Lamar or Drake, whose booking fees max out at roughly $1 million, for 12 percent of their booking value.

  • Mike Tremayne

    I don’t usually get too much into these things, but that title is a bit deceptive. You would actually be more accurate to say “Nirvana Received Massive Concert Payment After Nirvana Rejection.” They mention reaching out to multiple bands, but never actually say they were rejected. In fact, if you look at tour histories, the day of the show, Pearl Jam were on the other side of the country, in California, having started their tour in support of the release of Vs., 3 weeks earlier. While we don’t know here when the offer went out to Pearl Jam management, you can’t hold it against them for not flying all the way across the country for a single show on a single night, just to have to fly back to California for a show the next night, or to expect them to alter their whole US tour just to make sure they were able to go to a show in Amherst, New York. In Nirvana’s case, they were already on the east coast for a tour.

    • TheTruth

      Makes for better click-bait….which is what this site is built on. Every single, single, single, single, single article this site posts is deceptive.

  • Brian Hunt

    That math makes no sense.