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Artists vs Promoters: How The Fans Suffer

May 17, 2016



There are certain times when seeing your favorite rapper on a flyer sends you into frenzy and you start planning outfits and texting your squad in the “IT IS LIT” Whatsapp group chat. You are preparing for an experience of hearing your favorite songs in loud enough to shatter glass speakers while pondering on the long but necessary trip to the bar.


Promoters sell dreams. They sell them and cash in and memories are made for the night for the patrons. What happens if the promoters sell dreams, not only to the patrons, but the artists?


Artists are the highlight of the gigs; the promoters are stationery holders. To be fair, the promoters are to be thee best of negotiators in the game. They talk a lot of facts and lots more stacks. They orchestrators in the event, they are the guys that make things happen.


For a while, issues that may arise always leave the fans affected more than the other parties. The fans suffer the most and only afforded an apology, if any.


What is the issue with artists and promoters? Are artists prima donnas with exuberant fees and demands? Are promoters grease mouths with only promises and are just profit driven scavengers?


I believe the issue is we have reached a point where live (I use this loosely) performances have become such a big commodity that artists feel they have leverage. They are wanted. Hence they act that way and understandably, they are the stars of the night but same breath, what is stopping either party from reaching amicable agreements?


Its even more embarrassing when a flyer goes out with names and the people get hyped up about the possible impeccable show only for an artist to pull out last minute citing one or other reason which in fact, is just we didn’t agree on terms this whole time.


We saw the fall out between AKA and Back To The City organizing committee. We also witnessed the dramatic string of tweets about Wizkid and his Zimbabwe disastrous no show. How about Nasty C not being able to go to Botswana on the night he was booked.

What is the issue with artists and promoters? Are artists prima donnas with exuberant fees and demands? Are promoters grease mouths with only promises and are just profit driven scavengers?

The fall out between promoters and artists is reaching grotesque levels and its not only harming the game but it is putting a doubtful mindset to event goers as now, people are waiting for a picture, tweet and DNA match that the booked artist is indeed there. These are the people that are willing to brave whatever weather to come support the artist and event. These are paying customers you are getting to be skeptical about supporting you.

Then there’s ongoing feud with international artists coming to SA, our locals feel the gravel road as opposed to the international stars given red carpet. Its high time everybody got on the same page and for the goodness of the industry, we work along.


Artists and promoters need each other, as minute as they can each claim, they need it each to sustain whatever personal goals and monetary gain from it.

Promoters need to learn to speak to artists’ representatives directly and diligently, ensure that there is no miscommunication, the artist puts across their demands and if the promoter can meet it, do so. Ensure that every approval is finalized and written down and both parties adhere to the stipulated terms.

Artists, be realistic. Agreed you a big deal but don’t come to the negotiations table with exuberant demands, have standards and stick to them. You get bigger, the fee goes up. You get wanted, the fee goes up. Not because your weed holder said you the shit now you think you can charge an arm, leg and liver. Understand your Klout; work with promoters in increasing it. Also, the 54384-man squad deep entourage is played out. Your weed holder, his friend, his dealer and his girlfriend are blocking the media personnel that stand to blow up your Klout.

At the end of the day, we are human beings with brains and understanding. Lets respect each other’s profession, assisting the other ensures favors are returned and success beckons for all. More importantly, your fans may not know your fee, they will speculate but one thing is for sure, they will rant about the artist AND event.


Written by SDOT (@SDotJR_)

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