Andy Inglis: From Mini Eggs to Artists' Fees

07 Apr 2011

I have been charged with writing a second blog post.

This is it.

My first lecture on Monday (The Lie Of The Land: Sector Overview) went relatively well, largely because I curried the favour of those in attendance with chocolate, a crude but effective trick. I rambled on about the business for three hours or so, covering most bases, and promising a second lecture (Monday 11th April) which would lift the lid on marketing, promotion and customer service. The customer service part wasn’t included in the original course outline, but it is an important topic, and greatly undervalued in this country, and particularly in this city, arrogant and culturally spoiled as it is. And while marketing and promotion are interesting and important, and while I will try and do their importance justice, the conversation will no doubt turn to money, as it did on Monday past, when we chewed over an imbalance in earnings: 80% of the money made in the UK live industry is made by 5% of the participants. Aye, there’s money in them arenas.

While recounting an anecdote about my time in Norway as a festival booker in 2008, I produced a spreadsheet which listed the fees it took to secure the artists. I’d planned to have a laugh with it, reading out a few of the figures, with vague clues about the bands; “female singer songwriter, early 20s, just released first album”… but when it came to it, I was too embarrassed. Some of the figures were incredible. Some of the artists had never set foot in Norway. But it would take a five figure sum to secure their name on the bill.

€23,000 for an artist who’d never played in Norway and couldn’t sell out a 500 cap. room in London.

Someone talk me through that.

Andy

MusicTank’s Live Industry course continues Mon 11 Apr. Limited places available.

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