Minimum wage doubles at Dallas’ House of Blues, Echo Lounge through Live Nation program
Editor’s note: This story is part of an ongoing series for Arts Access examining the health and well-being of our North Texas arts economy.
Staffers at House of Blues and the Echo Lounge and Music Hall are getting a pay increase. Live Nation is raising the minimum wage at its venues through its On the Road Again program for behind-the-scenes workers.
Minimum wage for staffers at Live Nation club venues will start at $20 per hour, while supervisor roles will start at $25 per hour. These increases will affect more than 5,000 crew members who cover many different roles including box office attendants, production crew, artist hospitality, guest services, ushers and parking attendants.
This initiative is part of Live Nation’s Willie Nelson-inspired program, which supports touring musicians by giving them travel stipends and eliminating merchandising fees. The minimum wage increase will affect participating club venues across North America, including House of Blues and the Echo Lounge and Music Hall in Dallas.
“Shows wouldn’t happen without the unsung heroes who work in the background to help support artists and fans,” Michael Rapino, Live Nation Entertainment, CEO and president said. “In addition to developing artists, clubs also help industry professionals learn the ropes, and many of our promoters and venue managers worked their way up from smaller venues.”
A company spokesperson said minimum wage at Live Nation club venues had been “in line or above state and federal levels” before the increase. The minimum wage in Texas is currently $7.25 per hour, which means Live Nation has more than doubled pay wages.
This move comes after Live Nation, which is the biggest entertainment company in the world, launched On The Road Again in September. Originally, the program supported developing artists and touring acts by helping with core expenses and making traveling easier for them. Headlining and supporting acts who perform at these club venues are now given a $1,500 stipend for gas and travel expenses per show on top of nightly performance compensation. The program also eliminated merchandise selling fees, which means acts are receiving 100 percent of profits from merchandise sales.
“The live music industry is on track for years of growth and offers a great career path, and by increasing minimum wages, we’re helping staff get an even stronger start as they begin their journey in live,” Rapino said.
Live Nation is currently facing a class-action lawsuit. Filed in August, the suit accuses the company of lying to investors by failing to disclose anticompetitive company operations.
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