So What’s in the Grammy Gift Bag?

It’s Grammy Week in Los Angeles, which means everyone is running around to various parties, events and showcases. I ran into Melissa McCarty outside a Sunset Boulevard recording studio last night as she was waiting to get into one of these things.

I tried to set up a couple of meetings with music biz people while I’m here, but their answers were all the same. “Can’t. Busy.  Grammy Week.  Later.”

Despite your personal feelings towards the Grammys–they veer from okay to meh to WTF–they are definitely still a Big Deal here in LA.  And because the Grammys is a made-for-TV event, it’s critical that the producers and organizers attract the biggest talent they can to both the ceremony and the broadcast.

And how do they do that?  The old fashioned way:  bribery.

Grammy presenters all get a fantastic gift bag.  Anyone who wants to get their stuff in the bag has to offer up something worth at least $50 and spend a minimum of $2,000 per gift category.  They must send no fewer than 170 samples including 20 press samples.

Let’s take a look inside this year’s bag, shall we?  There’s at least $20K worth of stuff inside including

  • Defiant whisky ($50-ish)
  • MiP, the smart phone-controlled robot ($119)
  • Kohler Moxie Showerhead Wireless Speakers ($199)
  • A house call from an acupuncturist to the stars ($500)
  • A stay at Imanta, a resort in Ocean Casa, Punta de Mita, Mexico ($3,300)

There’s also the gift lounge, a buffet of swag that the artists can pick’n’choose as they see fit.

  • Assorted sunglasses ($150 and beyond)
  • Max Martin shoes ($550)
  • A Bluetooth gramophone.  No, really.  ($350)
  • A selection of Gibson guitars ($1,100)
  • A “best of Las Vegas” package ($5,000)

Read more at Billboard and at Digiday.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ 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.

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