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Are Headliner Booking Fees Too Much?

It’s 2015, and dance music has never been more popular. Above & Beyond is selling out Madison Square Garden, bass music is booming (perhaps a little too much for the residents near Red Rocks), and ticket prices are skyrocketing accordingly. Exciting as it is that our scene is making its way into the limelight, the exorbitant booking fees superstar DJs demand might make it difficult for EDM to stay there.

At the Noorderslag Seminar in The Netherlands, entertainment powerhouse ID&T’s founder, Duncan Stutterheim spoke on the issue. He warned that these headliner booking fees are destroying the balance of the industry, and “the most popular 10% take 90% of the pie.” While Calvin Harris’ $400,000 per show contract might be justified by his prominence in the industry, that money is not only diverted from other acts, but from the overall production of concerts as well.

And, frankly, it’s unsustainable. Stutterheim bemoaned that these “festivals are no longer a given: Global Gathering in England has cancelled the edition for 2015 and announced a return in 2016 without EDM”. The financial strain headliner booking fees place on festivals is only beginning to show, but we cannot deny our worry for EDM’s future. Do you share our fears, or are we just blowing smoke? It’s your paycheck that covers these booking fees, so let’s hear your thoughts in the comments, or reach us on Facebook or Twitter!