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There was a time in music where you would be able to book an artist at a small venue or club for a few thousand dollars, a VIP section and a few bottles, for a while now the price has went up. Over the years companies have understood the influence hip-hop has on their fans and like any good business they have been taking advantage of that. Artist’s booking fees have went up, venue prices have went up and independent concert promoters have not been able to keep up. When a venue costs $5,000 minimum for 4 hours, an artist’s booking fee cost $6,000 minimum not including flights, hotels, rider requests, and transportation (add another $5,000) how can any person with a regular job and some party promotions here and there finance that? Concert promoters who can spend over $16,000 on a show rarely make that money back, especially when your venue only holds 500 people and tickets are $15-$20 collecting revenue of $10,000 maximum.

The pricing of a show is not the only cause for the regular concert promoter demise. Corporations have been having a field day with throwing shows for fans for free. Hennessy, Bacardi, Doritos, Red Bull, Scion AV, Fader Fort and others have been throwing some of the best shows with artists for free as a gift to the fans and potential new customers. Where does a show given by major corporations providing free access, open bar and sometimes gift bags leave a promoter who only has tickets for purchase to offer you? Although there are festivals and concerts worth paying for, a person who cannot afford traveling to the show and paying $75 plus for a ticket would rather wait for a free show to arrive.


Festivals such as SXSW have been losing their connection with the independent hip-hop crowd because they have been embracing the bigger companies becoming the new promoters. With SXSW main purpose being an outlet for isolated and local artists, it has become an issue where independent hip-hop artists and all artists in general seem to still be missing out. In 2012 Kanye West, 50 Cent, Eminem, 2 Chainz, and Jay Z were all performers during the music festival. Undoubtedly it overshadowed every smaller artist who was out there pouring their souls in the festival they felt could potentially give them their big break. Apparently business is business and what can bring in money will be done whether the main purpose is still the focus or not.

Every smaller promoter who once booked a venue in Austin, Texas to give local artists an opportunity to shine are starting to turn their heads as well and asking for a lending hand from companies to sponsor their shows to be able to book bigger acts. Not to ignore the smaller acts but to compete with the bigger shows going on and to stop barely breaking even. On the very much positive side, the fans are benefiting the most by being able to see artists they never dreamed they will be able to see for free.