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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
GUEST,Tom Bliss Fees (concert admission prices) (133* d) RE: Fees (concert admission prices) 26 Oct 10

I fear that once again people are forgetting the massive divergence of systems, values, sizes, profiles and other factors that fall loosely under the title 'Concert Admission Prices.'

An artist approached by a promoter to perform at a venue is absolutely not being impertinent or exclusive in setting out, honestly, the terms under which he's prepared to consider the transaction. If it then emerges that this particular venue chooses to operate in a way which precludes the performance from taking place, then that may be unfortunate for the venue, but it is no reflection on the performer. And if the artist is setting his price too high and fails to get enough work, then that's his look-out and his look-out alone.

Take this example:

Supposing I ran a small bar and asked the Rolling Stones to perform there. Chances are they'd not even reply, but if they did and by some miracle decided they'd like to give it a go, they might quite reasonably say - go on then, but you'll have to give us 10,000 - or, if you can only seat 100, then make it 100 quid a pop and we'll take a risk on the door.

Who would call that impertinent or exclusive?

This is effectively all that these artists are doing - setting a price that their market can stand, for which they are prepared to give up a night in front of the telly and all that goes with it.

Now, if I habitually only charge 1 on the door of my bar, and think my regulars won't pay 100, I can either decide to say no thanks, or take a risk that some richer folks will turn up and pay - and trust me there's plenty who would pay a lot more to see the Stones in a tiny bar.

If the artist is on a flat fee, then of course it is up to the promoter to decide the door price - but the people we're talking about work on a percentage, in which case the door price is absolutely crucial to the viability or otherwise of the deal. And they have no moral or other duty to accept a booking with a low door price because some people feel that 'folk' gigs should not cost a lot of money.

Would we expect Springsteen or Turfel to play for a door price of 3 in a 50 seater room? Of course not.

Now bear in mind that there is no ring fence round the 'folk' world. It has permeable boundaries and is not immune to the economics of the wider entertainment industry. Many 'folk' artists play clubs, theatres, arts centres, village halls and festivals - in the UK and elsewhere, and in all these situations they will be radically different terms.

They have every right to decide what they are prepared to accept - and if they get it wrong and wind up having to give up music and go do an MA in Landscape Architecture or something [gin + big wink] then that's merely poor judgement on their part, not impertinence.


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