Live Nation to Drop Merch Cuts, Pay $1,500 Stipend to Club Acts
The Willie Nelson-inspired program is expected to save artists tens of millions of dollars annually
Published Sep 26, 2023Live Nation — the world's concert promoter behemoth — has announced a new program to help artists cut down on the current massive costs of being a touring musician. Named after the Willie Nelson classic, the On the Road Again program is expected to save artists tens of millions of dollars annually.
"Touring is important to artists so whatever we can do to help other artists, I think we should do it. This program will impact thousands of artists this year and help make touring a little bit easier," Nelson, who provided "On the Road Again" as the program's anthem, said in a statement.
Starting today (and with no set expiration date), both headlining and support acts playing Live Nation-owned club venues will be granted a $1,500 stipend for travel expenses per show on top of their nightly performance compensation. Its venues will also no longer be taking merch cuts, allowing artists to keep 100 percent of the profits from their sales.
"Touring is a crucial part of an artist's livelihood, and we understand travel costs take one of the biggest bites out of artists' nightly profits," reads a press release from Live Nation. "By helping with these core expenses, we aim to make it easier for artists on the road so they can keep performing to their fans in more cities across the country."
The program also reportedly included financial bonuses for local promoters, tour representatives and venue crew members, as well as a $5 million donation to the Crew Nation fund created during the pandemic to support crew across the industry.
All benefits from On the Road Again are said to be provided through each venue's existing earnings, with no increases for consumers. The Canadian venues owned and operated by Live Nation participating in the program include Edmonton's Midway Music Hall and Vancouver's Commodore Ballroom on the West Coast, the Kee to Bala, and Toronto's Danforth Music Hall, History, Opera House and Velvet Underground.