The Corporate Gig: $$$ for Musicians

With CD sales continuing to tank for all concerned, artists are continually looking for ways to earn money. That may mean touring more, licensing songs for commercial use or–and this can be tricky–playing a corporate gig.

There are many companies willing to shell out much shekels to have a high-profile act entertain at a function for clients and/or employees.  

Examples:  When RIM was flush with cash, they staged a private show at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto featuring Van Halen and the Tragically Hip.

Sting:  A master of private gigs, ranging from dictators to tech giant Oracle. 

Bob Dylan:  Yep.  Him, too.

Other performers playing private corporate shows include Tom Petty, Christina Aguilera, Elton John, John Mayer, Dave Matthews, Modest Mouse (Microsoft hired them), Third Eye Blind (they need the money), Aerosmith, Black Eyed Peas and–wait for it–Metallica.

While some critics and fans may brand these forays into the corporate world as selling out, to the bands it’s just another gig.  And if someone dangled a million bucks in front of you for a short set, wouldn’t you do it?  

Hell, I would.  Although I’d probably draw the line at dictators.

Read more here.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

4 thoughts on “The Corporate Gig: $$$ for Musicians

  • January 3, 2012 at 5:00 pm
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    It's really no different than hiring a band for a private function like a wedding, just on a much larger scale.

    Reply
  • January 3, 2012 at 5:13 pm
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    I agree the corporate gigs offer unique opportunities for artists.

    We build that feature into The SampleBank as a way to bridge corporate clients who ah…want to get jiggy with it but are uncertain which bands would reflect properly on their brand/event.

    ummm, as far as we know no dictators.have signed up! Yet?

    Reply
  • January 3, 2012 at 5:20 pm
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    My dad saw the Foo Fighters at a private corporate gig. He said it was an awesome show with tons of energy and Dave Grohl had lots of fun with the crowd. I was jealous!

    Reply
  • January 4, 2012 at 1:23 am
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    Microsoft LOVES Magneta Lane and has hired them to play private functions as well as record internal product videos.

    Reply

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