NewsDecember 25, 2023 5:22 PM ET48,370 views

Slipknot and Korn received millions from U.S. government according to Rand Paul's "Festivus Report"

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Katja Ogrin

Kentucky senator Rand Paul's annual "Festivus Report" has unveiled some interesting findings regarding U.S. government federal spending. The report highlights that over $200 million was allocated to music artists and their touring companies through the Small Business Administration's Shuttered Venue Operators Grant. 

The program appears to have benefitted not only small enterprises but also well-known names in the music industry. Applicants were eligible to receive 45% of their 2019 gross revenue up to $10 million per grant.

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Some of the notable recipients identified in the report include Korn receiving $5.3 million, and Slipknot receiving $9.7 million, with an additional $1.05 million going to Slipknot's Knotfest music festival. It's noted by Paul that the $416 billion grant program was intended to aid struggling live venue operators, theatrical producers, performing arts organizations, talent representatives, and movie theaters – entities that suffered significant losses during the pandemic.

A full accounting of the programs's spending was provided by the Small Business Administration.

Paul's report states:

When local concert venues and family-owned theaters were forced to shut down during the pandemic, distributing financial relief was left to the Small Business Administration (SBA). The Shuttered Venue Operators Grant program was supposed to provide a lifeline to small entertainment business nationwide.

Sadly, but not surprisingly, SBA failed to deliver. Business Insider identified dozens of famous music artists and their touring companies that received over $200 million through the program.

So-called "small business owners," such as Post Malone, Lil Wayne, Chris Brown, and Smashing Pumpkins, received up to $10 million each. Even Nickelback received $2 million. While some may claim these funds were used to keep supporting staff, artists were not required to do so, and we have no way of determining how these blank checks were used.

These multi-millionaire musicians were cashing checks, instead of the intended recipients: America's small businesses.

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