In a completely unexpected move by a major American corporation, bands are going to be less fucked while touring than normal — as long as they play certain venues, that is. Earlier today, Live Nation announced that it was launching a Willie Nelson-inspired program called “On the Road Again” that the company says will help developing artists and the crews the rely on.
According to a report on Billboard, the program currently has no end date listed and should save “tens of millions per year” for artists that take advantage of it. Bands that participate in the program will get help paying for their travel while also enabling them to maximize their merch profits.
Nelson, who lent the title to his biggest hit for the program, expressed how important traveling and playing live shows really is to an up and coming artist.
“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.”
As of right now, any bands or artists playing one of Live Nation’s owned and operated venues will receive a $1,500 stipend to cover gas and travel expenses in addition to their nightly pay. That goes for everyone on the bill — headliners and support acts alike.
Additionally, merch cuts will be abolished at each of their locations as well. That means one of the biggest sticking points for artists is going away at those locations. While this is a welcome change, they’re actually the second company to make such a move, with Ineffable Music Group (yeah, I don’t know who they are either) killing merch cuts at the more than 10 locations they own.
But what about the promoters? Well, since you asked, the program will also give promoters, tour reps, and venue crew members that have worked more than 500 hours in 2023 some form of financial bonus. The program is also providing $5 million to Crew Nation, a fund that originally sought to support crews during the pandemic.
In a statement provided to Billboard, Live Nation President and CEO Michael Rapino added that the company wanted to make touring a central part of being in a band these days.
“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.”
For a list of all participating locations, check out the graphic below:
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