Image for Sheppard On Commonwealth Games “Rip Off”: “We Are Standing Up For The Next Generation”

Sheppard On Commonwealth Games “Rip Off”: “We Are Standing Up For The Next Generation”

Written by Jackson Langford on April 13, 2018

Aussie band Sheppard have released an official statement regarding comments they made earlier this week about being offered only $6,000 to perform at the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony.

Speaking to News Corp, band member George Sheppard said they felt like they were being ripped off.

“It would have been great to play, but at the end of the day this is our job and we would have lost money,” he said. “I’m sure the organisers were paid properly, so why not the featured artists?”

The band have since taken to Facebook to say they weren’t just calling out the Commonwealth Games, and the issue isn’t exclusively about Sheppard.

“To be clear, this isn’t about the Commonwealth Games and it isn’t even about Sheppard,” the statement reads.

“Of course we could have done the event and of course it would have been good for ‘exposure’, but we think about the message we send out to young musicians by what we can or can’t accept as artists in a privileged position.

“By making this decision, we are standing up for the next generation of Australian talent – the ones creating music in their bedrooms and hoping that one day they might be able to make a living from doing what they love.”

The band also made a note of how everyone involved in the music industry deserves to be paid their worth.

“This is about taking a stand that artists matter and what we do has a value,” they said.

“As has been debated in the media, whether you’re a sound tech, a door person, the cleaner or a ticket seller, every person in the value chain deserves to get paid to create events and music that the public can enjoy.”

Read Sheppard’s full statement below. The band’s new album Watching The Sky will land in early May.

Sheppard Statement (Via Facebook)

We want to take this opportunity to address some of the coverage that has been in the media over the last couple of days. While we certainly didn’t canvas this attention, we are glad that the debate is finally being had in public about the worth of artists.

This is about taking a stand that artists matter and what we do has a value. As has been debated in the media, whether you’re a sound tech, a door person, the cleaner or a ticket seller, every person in the value chain deserves to get paid to create events and music that the public can enjoy.

We don’t think that should stop short at the artist.

To be clear, this isn’t about the Commonwealth Games and it isn’t even about Sheppard. Of course we could have done the event and of course it would have been good for “exposure”, but we think about the message we send out to young musicians by what we can or can’t accept as artists in a privileged position.

By making this decision, we are standing up for the next generation of Australian talent – the ones creating music in their bedrooms and hoping that one day they might be able to make a living from doing what they love.

It’s about saying to the singer songwriter who has spent years honing their craft that they DON’T need to play for free at that café for supposed ‘exposure’.

It’s about telling that band that slogged their guts out to put their demo up on Unearthed that they DON’T have to give it away to a surf video because they are told it will be good for their career.

It’s about putting a value on all music, regardless of whether you’re a small artist or a big artist and saying that if someone is enjoying your music, there’s a value there that you shouldn’t be guilt-tripped into trading away.

We do a lot of things for charity. We do a lot of appearances for free because we feel it’s good for us to do, but the key element is that it’s on OUR terms. Was passing up on this particular opportunity the right move for Sheppard? We may never know the answer to that, but the message to musicians out there is that it’s your choice and if you don’t feel your place in the value chain is being respected, it’s your right to say no.

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