EXODUS's GARY HOLT Slams LIVE NATION For Wanting Artists To Take Pay Cuts And Cancelation Burdens For Shows In 2021

June 19, 2020

EXODUS's Gary Holt and ANTHRAX's Scott Ian are among the musicians who have slammed conceret giant Live Nation for reportedly planning to make significant changes to its policies regarding concert tours and festivals when touring is expected to resume in 2021.

According to a Live Nation memo circulated to talent agencies and first obtained by Rolling Stone, the company plans to decrease guarantees to artists by 20%; to give artists 25% of the guarantee — rather than the current standard of 100% — if a concert is canceled due to poor ticket sales; and perhaps most significantly, if an artist cancels a performance in breach of the contract, it will pay the promoter double the artist fee. As Billboard notes, this is a type of penalty that is unheard of in the live 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," Live Nation said in the memo. "In order for us to move forward, we must make certain changes to our agreements with the artists."

Holt took to his Instagram on Thursday to share a Rolling Stone article outlining the planned Live Nation changes, and he included the following message: "So live nation has decided life has been hard on them, so now they’re gonna pay artist 20 percent less, only pay 25% when a promoter cancels, versus the usual 100%, but if you cancel they want double your guarantee back. And 30% of your merch to go with it. This could be the final nail in the rock and metal coffin. That lost 20 percent now comes out of a bands merch, which they take a bigger cut of. Satan forbid you have to cancel a show due to illness. Swipe to see how much these people made last year and see if your heart bleeds for their lost revenue."

ANTHRAX guitarist Scott Ian chimed in, writing: "And you know the A-list/festival headline acts won't take the cuts because without them there's no festival. The middle-class gets screwed."

Responded Holt: "BINGO!!!! Headliners will get paid, we get pissed on, and will be expected to say thank you for the piss stream"

Former MACHINE HEAD and current VIO-LENCE guitarist Phil Demmel also weighed in on the discussion, writing: "Dumb question but do we have to play their venues?"

Live Nation owns Ticketmaster, which processes its sales and is facing legal action over unpaid refunds for events affected by coronavirus.

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