NewsSeptember 26, 2023 1:20 PM ET5,784 views

Live Nation eliminates merch cuts, offers $1500 per show to bands under "On the Road Again" program

Willie Nelson Live Nation

Live Nation has announced a new initiative called "On the Road Again" inspired by singer-songwriter Willie Nelson. This program aims to provide assistance to artists and their road crews, while tackling the escalating costs associated with touring.

Under the "On the Road Again" program, all acts performing at Live Nation-owned and operated clubs will receive a cash stipend of $1,500 per show to cover travel expenses.  Furthermore, Live Nation's clubs will no longer impose fees on merchandise sales, allowing artists to retain 100% of their earnings from merchandise. 

Willie Nelson said in a statement:

"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."

The decision to waive merch fees follows the precedent set by Ineffable Music Group, who took the lead in January by eliminating such fees for their 10+ venues.

Additionally, the program includes financial bonuses for local promoters involved in the shows, as well as tour representatives and venue crew members who have worked over 500 hours in 2023. Live Nation will allocate $5 million to Crew Nation, a fund established during the pandemic to assist crew members facing unexpected hardships.

Michael Rapino, President and CEO of Live Nation told Billboard:

"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. Like Willie says, this is all about making it a little easier for thousands of artists to continue doing what they love: going out and playing for their fans."

Some independent venues and promoters though remain worried about being squeezed out by Live Nation, creating a market in which they can't compete. 

Concert promoter Mike Ziemer of Third String Entertainment says:

 

Writer David Anthony calls it a win but remains cautious:

The list of Live Nation venues in which the program will take effect is as follows: 

ARIZONA
The Van Buren (Phoenix, AZ)

CALIFORNIA
House of Blues (Anaheim, CA)
The Parish at House of Blues (Anaheim, CA)
Belasco (Los Angeles, CA)
The Wiltern (Los Angeles, CA)
The Echo (Los Angeles, CA)
Echoplex (Los Angeles, CA)
Riverside Municipal Auditorium (Riverside, CA)
Ace of Spades (Sacramento, CA)
Observatory OC (Santa Ana, CA)
Constellation Room (Santa Ana, CA)
Observatory SD (San Diego, CA)
Voodoo Room at House of Blues (San Diego, CA)
House of Blues (San Diego, CA)
The Fillmore (San Francisco, CA)

CANADA
Midway Music Hall (Edmonton, AB)
Commodore Ballroom (Vancouver, BC)
Danforth Music Hall (Toronto, ON)
Kee to Bala (Bala, ON)
History (Toronto, ON)
Opera House (Toronto, ON)
Velvet Underground (Toronto, ON)

COLORADO
Summit (Denver, CO)
Moon Room at Summit (Denver, CO)
Marquis (Denver, CO)

CONNECTICUT
The Dome at Oakdale (Wallingford, CT)

FLORIDA
House of Blues (Lake Buena Vista, FL)

GEORGIA
Tabernacle (Atlanta, GA)
Buckhead Theatre (Atlanta, GA)

ILLINOIS
House of Blues (Chicago, IL)

INDIANA
Egyptian Room (Indianapolis, IN)
Deluxe (Indianapolis, IN)

KENTUCKY
Mercury Ballroom (Louisville, KY)

LOUISIANA
Parish at House of Blues (New Orleans, LA)
House of Blues (New Orleans, LA)
The Fillmore New Orleans (New Orleans, LA)

MARYLAND
The Fillmore Silver Spring (Silver Spring, MD)

MASSACHUSETTS
Citizens House of Blues (Boston, MA)

MICHIGAN
Shelter (Detroit, MI)
St. Andrew's Hall (Detroit, MI)
The Fillmore Detroit (Detroit, MI)
GLC Live at 20 Monroe (Grand Rapids, MI)

MINNESOTA
Varsity Theater (Minneapolis, MN)
The Fillmore Minneapolis (Minneapolis, MN)
Uptown Theater (Minneapolis, MN)

MISSOURI
Blue Note (Columbia, MO)
Rose Music Hall (Columbia, MO)
Rose Park (Columbia, MO)

NEVADA
House of Blues (Las Vegas, NV)

NEW YORK
Warsaw (Brooklyn, NY)
Gramercy Theatre (New York, NY)
Irving Plaza (New York, NY)

OHIO
Bogart's (Cincinnati, OH)
The Cambridge Room at House of Blues (Cleveland, OH)
House of Blues (Cleveland, OH)

NORTH CAROLINA
The Underground (Charlotte, NC)
The Fillmore Charlotte (Charlotte, NC)
The Ritz (Raleigh, NC)

PENNSYLVANIA
Brooklyn Bowl (Philadelphia, PA)
Roxian Theatre (McKees Rock, PA)
Theatre of Living Arts (Philadelphia, PA)
The Fillmore Philadelphia (Philadelphia, PA)
The Foundry at The Fillmore Philadelphia (Philadelphia, PA)

SOUTH CAROLINA
Charleston Music Hall (Charleston, SC)
Music Farm (Charleston, SC)
House of Blues (North Myrtle Beach, SC)

TEXAS
Scoot Inn (Austin, TX)
Emo's (Austin, TX)
Cambridge Room (Dallas, TX)
The Echo Lounge & Music Hall (Dallas, TX)
House of Blues (Dallas, TX)
House of Blues Bronze Peacock (Houston, TX)
House of Blues (Houston, TX)
The Aztec Theater (San Antonio, TX)

UTAH
The Depot (Salt Lake City, UT)

WISCONSIN
Majestic Theatre (Madison, WI)
High Noon Saloon (Madison, WI)

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56 comments

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anonymous 154 days ago

GOOnation

anonymous 154 days ago

"Live Nation just officially launched a campaign to knock out all their independent competitors under the guise of helping and supporting the smaller touring industry" Amazing. Livenation does this to appease the bands and now tools like Mike ziemer are pissed.

anonymous 154 days ago

^^what's up with dude's obsession with the goo goo dolls?

anonymous 154 days ago

What a whiny, self-centered b!tch that indie promoter is. This clearly helps artists, and this dude just cares about himself and his bottom line. That's fine, nothing wrong with that, but gimme a break with the victim take.

anonymous 154 days ago

yogi allgood is stoked

anonymous 154 days ago

Whether or not this happens it's a good idea. Live nation/ticketmaster has been ripping concertgoers as well as artists off for years with inflated ticket prices and taking huge cuts of merch sales.

Bortslob 154 days ago

Ticket fees just increased 400%

anonymous 154 days ago

These companies just don't give away free money. This is for show and there's gotta be some catch (outside of agreeing to do LN venue-only tours, which was already happening). The consumer will still pay for this somehow.

anonymous 154 days ago

Thanks Grampa Willie.

anonymous 154 days ago

Huge corporation throws touring bands a bone.

anonymous 154 days ago

well that's cool

anonymous 154 days ago

You'd be hard pressed to find a bigger tool than Mike Ziemer.

anonymous 154 days ago

Merch cuts is the biggest scam in music industry history.

anonymous 154 days ago

Last time Ziemer got shit on in the comments they started disappearing. Will it be more of the same?

anonymous 154 days ago

^It's because Lurks the duhboys manager and deletes shit for him.

anonymous 154 days ago

Enjoy the 200 dollar tickets

anonymous 154 days ago

concerts are dying. This is actually a ploy to keep bands touring and subsequently keep people going to shows. Tickets are too expensive and most bands these days are crap and have crap draws and many people have simply stopped going. This is desperation.

anonymous 153 days ago

"We've seen record lows in unemployment particularly — and I've focused on this my whole career — particularly for African Americans and Hispanic workers and veterans, you know, the workers without high school diplomas" - Joe Biden

anonymous 153 days ago

"I swear this guy Michael r*pino's been boosting my ego"

anonymous 153 days ago

hardcore shouldn't be profitable and shouldn't be anyone's full time job. it's for teenagers and mid 20s burnouts who sing to them

anonymous 153 days ago

Sorry Lambgoat, but I'll wait for industry expert TankTheTech to weigh in on this.

anonymous 153 days ago

How can we ensure that none of this money goes to bands like Gel, Callous Daoboys, Capra, and their like?

anonymous 153 days ago

Ziemer is in the phone with Lurk now checking IPs.

anonymous 153 days ago

Ziemer, sit the fck down youll be fine, buddy. HOWEVER...to think a corporate behemoth like LiveNation suddenly got in their feels about smaller artists and decided to hand out some free money for nothing in return? That's laughable.

anonymous 153 days ago

Bet bands won't drop the prices of their $40 shirts that they jacked up to cover the venue fees. They'll still be taking in all the money. Bands weren't hurt by the venues cut. They instead took their $20 shirts and charged $40. Don't let these bands fool you.

anonymous 153 days ago

Terror has never paid a merch cut anyway. The venue actually gives Scott Vogel 100% of the bar profits at every show

anonymous 153 days ago

Vogel actually gets paid royalties from the VFW circuit for the enduring legacy, impact, and credibility that his name has brought to the institutions. Each VFW has been designated a historical landmark site, and there is a bronze cast of Vogel outside next to a "eternal flame of hardcore". A plaque is inscribed with the following quote: 'Sound Guy, can I get more stage dives in the monitors please'. 🙏

anonymous 153 days ago

hardcore shouldn't be profitable and shouldn't be anyone's full time job. it's for teenagers and mid 20s burnouts who sing to them ^ Taylor Young: Hold My Pepsi

anonymous 153 days ago

How has Mike Ziemer not been cancelled yet? Fat f*cking creep.

anonymous 153 days ago

I heard venues give Scott Vogel 100% of the door, bar, and all the merch sales from ALL bands that play each show. That's right, the opening bands have to pay Vogel for the opportunity to go out on tour with him

anonymous 153 days ago

Crew Nation? Sounds like PIT BEEF in the making to me!

anonymous 153 days ago

Still not buying 30 dollar f*cking t shirts, bands that refuse to diy don't deserve money. If I can bootleg your shit for less than 20 bucks it means you have no excuse. Keep it indie or fvck off hardcore is such a joke.

anonymous 153 days ago

Vogel actually gets paid royalties from the VFW circuit for the enduring legacy, impact, and credibility that his name has brought to the institutions. Each VFW has been designated a historical landmark site, and there is a bronze cast of Vogel outside next to a "eternal flame of hardcore". A plaque is inscribed with the following quote: 'Sound Guy, can I get more stage dives in the monitors please'. 🙏 Oh look the weirdo who stalks Scott Vogel is back. At least he's not accusing anyone who says anything against Turnstile of being "Turnstile Insider" (which he is by being a dickriding simp.)

anonymous 153 days ago

Mike Ziemer tries to shake down bands for merch rates but he's such a pussy.

anonymous 153 days ago

Still not buying 30 dollar f*cking t shirts, bands that refuse to diy don't deserve money. If I can bootleg your shit for less than 20 bucks it means you have no excuse. Keep it indie or fvck off hardcore is such a joke. If bands were smart they'd offer what I call a TSDF (T-Shirt Design File) & print on demand. Sell a TSDF for a nominal fee say $10 then the buyer has one made & shipped for another $20 tops. Granted the tee would cost $30 total & the artist would make only a third of that but the artist doesn't have to do any physical work (printing, packing, shipping etc) & the fan can have a unique piece of merch (design printed on any kind of tee in any color.) How much less profit are you making selling a TSDF for $10 than selling a tee for $30? You pay the cost of printing, t-shirt, mailer & postage plus fulfillment if you hire a merch company to process orders on that $30.

anonymous 153 days ago

Sol Knopff here. You donate or you get canceled. Real simple. My daughter in-law is more important than any of the losers currently in hospital. You ever meet those dying kids? They're stuck up I'll tell you that. Just sucking donations from a real celebrity musician

anonymous 153 days ago

Physical releases for music have to go. You are a weirdo for wanting to look at & hold a CD or CD booklet, cassette or cassette j-card, record or record cover. "I need something physical, tangible" cuz the world needs more paper, plastic & postage to send both right? Bands should sell their music digitally exclusively. Instant delivery of music with the highest sound quality, maximum profit which means you're more likely to make a living off your music & you eliminate the record label. Also streaming has to go. Charge $3 a month to stream your entire catalog thus make $36 a year off a fan. If you're a new band charge $1, not so new $2, say three or more releases at least $3. So what if you get a temporary subscriber? Maybe he checks out your three albums for just $3 (one month) but buys at least one of them whenever. You make far more than you'd make from Spotify or any other streaming service.

anonymous 153 days ago

^status quo loser

anonymous 153 days ago

Sol Knopff here , donate to my daughter in law or ill fing kill you.

anonymous 153 days ago

^^ works at wal-mart, or digs ditches.

anonymous 153 days ago

^status quo loser ^freeloading bum streaming company simp loser who wants to make Spotify even more billions paying an artist 0.00001 cents from a listen of a 10 song album

anonymous 153 days ago

Back in the day a band would put out 2 to 4 songs from an album via radio & video & you would buy the album off at least one of those songs, you didn't get the whole fu ckin' album for free. If you didn't want to buy the album yet or at all but wanted to buy the song or two you heard on the radio or MTV you'd buy that song. Bands need to go back to that model & when they do they'll start making real money again. It will force bands to step up their game & whoever says "I'll let fans stream ALL our music" cool but know that you're telling everyone your music isn't good enough to be bought. Flip the script. If Knocked Loose had a new 12 song album coming out & made only 4 songs off it available for streaming & purchase a Knocked Loose fan is buying the album or no other 8 songs

anonymous 153 days ago

I'll pirate whatever the f*ck I want. Too bad.

anonymous 153 days ago

Streaming is bullshit. You buy five records by five bands then lend them to a friend. If he doesn't buy at least one of those records he's a freeloading bum who doesn't support artists. Spare me "I listen to ten bands for free so I can buy a record from one or two of them" yeah well first off bullshit & second kick at least a dollar to a band after listening to a ten song album they recorded in 50 hours for $2-3K you cheapskates POS. If they got your attention what's a dollar? If you checked out a different band every day for 30 days & kicked each band a dollar that's just $30, a small price to pay for supporting independent music. Free ride should be over.

anonymous 153 days ago

I'll pirate whatever the f*ck I want. Too bad. Yeah cuz you're a fuc kin bum. 'Can't pirate a 12 song album when only 3 songs from it are made available for free dumbass.

anonymous 153 days ago

^status quo loser It's status quo to want to eliminate the record label?

anonymous 153 days ago

You wouldn't say that to my face. Fight me at the Metro, Reggies, Cobra Lounge, Sub-T, or possibly even Bottom Lounge

anonymous 153 days ago

You don't have the money to buy music from every band you check out, fair enough, but when you sit there & listen to an entire album you like the band or you wouldn't give the entire album a spin (I guess "stream".) You don't wanna buy the album for $9.99 on iTunes or $12 on CD, or don't have the money to, fair enough, but you should kick at least a dollar or two to the band. But you keep making streaming company CEOs richer cuz you're too cheap to kick a buck or two to a band.

anonymous 153 days ago

You wouldn't say that to my face. Fight me at the Metro, Reggies, Cobra Lounge, Sub-T, or possibly even Bottom Lounge I would say it to your face before I spit in it then smash it if you wanna make a move. LOL @ you pretending to be from Chicago - Shane Merrill would be proud of you 😂🤡🖕

anonymous 153 days ago

Lol at the guy suggesting we go back to the whole getting ripped off on albums with two good songs bullshit again. Like when you'd hear a jam on a comp and then the rest of the album is awful? You're a dick riding nerd.

anonymous 153 days ago

There is no such thing as corporate altruism. Anyone who believes otherwise is f*cking fool, or a corporate liar.

anonymous 153 days ago

f*ck bands. I don't owe them shit. They owe me. I download all their music for free, only wear bootleg merch that I made myself instead of buying from them, and don't go to shows unless it's a festival.

anonymous 153 days ago

I don't use any kind of streaming services. I buy 100% of the music I listen to on physical copy. Even if it's an album with one song, I will buy the full album. I am a real music fan.

anonymous 153 days ago

Terror immediately signed up for this "$1500 per show on the road program" because they have never made that much money from one show in their entire career

anonymous 153 days ago

I only go to shows that are outside like The Rumble in Chicago and just stand outside the gate and watch the same show from the sidewalk but without paying a penny.

anonymous 153 days ago

I've been downloading music for free since Napster and I will never stop. I have over 7,000 albums in my library and didn't pay for one :)




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