ORIGINAL STORY: Sheppard have criticised the Queensland Commonwealth Games for “ripping off artists”.
Band member George Sheppard has confirmed to News Corp that the Brisbane sibling supergroup deep-sixed an offer to perform at the 2018 Games’ opening ceremony because the fee was so measly that it would have ended up actually costing them money to play.
The ‘Geronimo’ hitmakers were offered a total of $6K for the gig, which was expected to cover a day’s worth of work for all five band members — including rehearsals, prerecording the song and performing it at the ceremony — not to mention their crew fees and the price of other production logistics.
“We all felt like they were ripping off artists, so we declined,” George tells News Corp, explaining that the organisers who offered the “honorarium fee” to their booking agent tried to make a case that the added “exposure” and “fun” of the whole thing would make up for the lack of a fair paycheck.
“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 continues. “I’m sure the organisers were paid properly, so why not the featured artists?”
The Commonwealth Games opening ceremony, which saw Christine Anu, Ricki-Lee Coulter and Delta Goodrem perform during a two-and-a-half show at the Gold Coast’s Carrara Stadium, has been widely and slagged as an embarrassment to Australia, with viewers quick to criticise the lack of big-name artists and moments:
— Ambo Wife (@Suz_764) April 4, 2018
Well if you are bored watching this on TV, imagine this: Some people have paid $400 for a ticket for this #OpeningCeremony
— Adrian Stoll (@macstoll) April 4, 2018
— Australian Kitsch (@OzKitsch) April 4, 2018
That was almost 3 hours of my life I’ll never get back! #OpeningCeremony
— Carolyn Waller (@CazWaller) April 4, 2018
John Farnham also reportedly declined to perform at the event as well, and Sheppard’s manager, Andrew Stone, reckons Farnsy would have been offered the same underwhelming figure for his time & talent.
“We were under the impression when we were offered the show that that’s what they were offering all performers,” he says.
According to News Corp, the combined price tag for the Commonwealth Games ceremonies totalled $30 million, but GOLDOC has declined to comment on its artist fees or the allegations of tightarsery.
Meanwhile, Sheppard have just announced that their new album, Watching The Sky, will land in early May.
Their sophomore LP features the gold-certified Early Man theme song ‘Coming Home’, which you can check out the video for below.