The Quietus - A new rock music and pop culture website


Olympics Won't Pay Musicians
The Quietus , June 27th, 2012 06:59

Artists should play for "exposure"

Add your comment »

As some of you may be aware, the Quietus HQ is situated directly opposite the Olympic Stadium. In the past year, we've seen it go from being a big white dish surrounded by mud to a big white dish surrounded by the ephemera of a major sporting event - media buildings in shipping containers, a huge long white building (the rumour is this is to shield visitors from seeing our office, which is in an old garage) for people to collect their expensive tickets, and most recently, a gigantic McDonalds emerging in the distance. The whole thing stinks of a vast pile of cash being sunken into the polluted land of the former industrial sites of the Lower Lea Valley.

Yet musicians involved with the Olympics have been told that they might not receive a penny for performing at the Games opening and closing ceremonies, or at the many events in the Park in the duration.

Musicians told Corporate Watch that the London 2012 Organising Committee were asking musicians to play "for the exposure". One musician said that "they said they were really keen for us to play on major stages at different events. We replied quoting our normal fees. After months of meetings they offered us a raft of gigs but said it was [London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games] LOCOG's policy not to pay any musicians for performing. They should stop trying to capitalise on the image of the Olympics and pay a fair rate for our services."

They also report that "A LOCOG email seen by Corporate Watch says the policy not to pay musicians is being implemented 'across the board'. A LOCOG spokesperson said he did not think there was a set policy, but that as far as he knew artists would not be paid and would be doing it for the publicity."

The Quietus has considered setting up a massive PA on the office roof and blasting 'Union Carbide (Bhopal Version)' by the Revolting Cocks at the Stadium-covering thingum. We wouldn't charge a penny:

If you love our features, news and reviews, please support what we do with a one-off or regular donation. Year-on-year, our corporate advertising is down by around 90% - a figure that threatens to sink The Quietus. Hit this link to find out more and keep on Black Sky Thinking.

Jun 27, 2012 11:21am

do this.

Reply to this Admin

Jun 27, 2012 11:22am

I do actually like the Olynmpics - the sport bit. The rest of it - not so much.

Reply to this Admin

Jun 27, 2012 12:15pm

Excellent idea. Tho as your choice of song suggests you already know, probably more pressing is the fact that LOCOG (via your old friend Jeremy Hunt!) didn't just line up Dow sponsorship, but continually states that Dow has no responsibility for apology or restitution to the tens of thousands of dead and chronically ill in Bhopal. With our tax money, in our name.

Reply to this Admin

Anne McGrath
Jun 27, 2012 12:55pm

Then musicians simply say they won't perform. Simples !

Reply to this Admin

Jun 27, 2012 12:55pm

In reply to though:

You forget about the sport bit though. To me it's all fast food and adverts tugging at the heartstrings of mums.

Reply to this Admin

Jun 27, 2012 1:18pm

i hope you have a PRS license to be playing music that loud in a public area...

Reply to this Admin

Jun 27, 2012 1:29pm

Considering this Olympics shite got millions poured into it on a premise of "regeneration", they don't seem keen on anyone else getting paid, do they?

Reply to this Admin

Jun 27, 2012 1:51pm

Do Blur & Underworld, Jimmy Page etc really NEED the exposure? ;)

I presume THEY are getting paid, as they're the ones promoting the Limpics and a bunch of largely unknown athletes.

It would be nice if they showed some solidarity with their fellow musicians & refuse to play unless ALL musicians at least get the going rate.

Reply to this Admin

Sean Thomas Stewart
Jun 27, 2012 2:00pm

In reply to DIL23:

Wait, isn't playing for exposure the going rate anyways? How else are they going to attract lucrative marketing tie-ins?

Reply to this Admin

Jul 26, 2012 11:34am

I would love to see the consequence of such a genuine and fair exposure!!!

Reply to this Admin