The Quietus - A new rock music and pop culture website


Live Nation Launches Scheme To Offset Costs For Touring Artists
Christian Eede , September 27th, 2023 14:26

The promoting giant will cover travel and merch costs for artists playing select Live Nation venues, but it's feared that the scheme could hurt independent venues

Live Nation Entertainment has announced a new scheme called On The Road Again, which will provide travel allowances for touring artists who perform at select North American club venues owned by the promoting giant.

77 Live Nation venues across the continent will participate in the scheme, which will also see artists not hit with fees related to selling merchandise at gigs. The company says On The Road Again, which takes its name from a Willie Nelson song, will be rolled out for "the next few months" at least, and it will provide artists with $1,500 in "gas and travel cash." It's not known exactly how long the scheme will be in place for.

All of the stadiums and amphitheatres in Live Nation's portfolio are excluded, with the company concluding that artists playing larger venues do not need additional support. It's feared, however, that the scheme could affect independent and small-to-mid-sized promoters and venues who cannot offer such perks.

Issuing a statement about On The Road Again, the National Independent Venue Association (NIVA) said: "Temporary measures may appear to help artists in the short run but actually can squeeze out independent venues which provide the lifeblood of many artists on thin margins. Independent venues and promoters are investing in and elevating up-and-coming artists every day, and NIVA is supporting those efforts nationally. The initiative announced yesterday may seem like a move to follow the lead of some independent venues. It is not that.

"Instead, it appears to be a calculated attempt to use a publicly-traded conglomerate's immeasurable resources to divert artists from independent venues and further consolidate control over the live entertainment sector. Such tactics threaten the vitality of small and medium-sized venues under 3,000 capacity, many of which still struggle to keep their doors open.

"Independent stages, where the majority of artists, musicians, and comedians start their careers, are small businesses and nonprofits. They are continually facing rising costs, increased deceptive ticketing practices in the resale market, and ongoing challenges following the global pandemic. Our stages are critical to the live entertainment ecosystem and local economies, and they must survive.

"The economics of touring must drastically improve for artists and independent venues. There has to be a better way. NIVA will continue to support artists and empower independent venues as we collectively find it."

Find out more about On The Road Again here.