Live Nation has been the subject of a fair few negative headlines this year amid the US debate on ticketing. However, its latest move has received a warm welcome from musicians.
It’s a program called ‘On The Road Again‘ that has been launched with country icon Willie Nelson. The key promise: “Clubs will charge no merchandise selling fees, so artists keep 100% of merch profits for each show.”
This covers Live Nation’s smaller club venues in the US, and addresses a complaint that musicians have been increasingly vocal about since Covid-19 lockdowns eased.
The Featured Artist Coalition’s ‘100% Venues‘ campaign in the UK has signed up a number of venues, and led to a similar ‘#MyMerch’ campaign in the US with the Union of Musicians and Allied Workers (UMAW).
The union welcomed the news in a tweet, although one of its key organisers, musician Damon Krukowski, noted in a follow-up that the #MyMerch campaign “already has twice the number of participating venues than Live Nation just announced” and encouraged more to sign up.
Live Nation’s program has other aspects too: an extra $1.5k per show in petrol and travel cash for headliners and openers; a new $5m donation to the company’s Crew Nation relief fund; and new bonuses for tour, promoter and venue staff.