Today, Live Nation has launched a new program that will “support developing artists and the integral teams that support them.”
Created in partnership with the legendary Willie Nelson—and inspired by one of his most famous songs—“On the Road Again” will “deliver tens of millions of dollars in extra earnings to club artists and crew” with a number of support initiatives.
The program will see all of Live Nation’s clubs provide $1,500 in gas and travel cash per show to both headliners and support acts, in addition to their standard nightly performance compensation. These clubs will also charge no merchandise selling fees, meaning artists keep 100 percent of merch profits.
The company will also thank the industry’s “Behind-The-Scenes Heroes,” by providing financial bonuses to local promoters, tour reps and venue crew members that have worked more than 500 hours in 2023.
Finally, On the Road Again is donating $5 million to Crew Nation, a global relief fund that provides assistance for live music support crews facing unforeseen hardship.
“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,” Willie Nelson said.
Live Nation Entertainment’s President and CEO, Michael Rapino added, “Delivering for live artists is always our core mission. The live music industry is continuing to grow and as it does, we want to do everything we can to support artists at all levels on their touring journey, especially the developing artists in clubs.”
According to Pollstar, small venues host about 70% of all shows across the 4,000 venues in the United States.
All of the benefits afforded by On the Road Again will come directly from the venues’ existing earnings with no price increases for concertgoers. Better yet, a number of independently owned venues have followed suit, like Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom in Denver, which has also eliminated merchandise fees.
Featured image from Live Nation.