Live Nation Dropping Merch Fees At Clubs As Part Of Willie Nelson-Backed Initative

See Willie Nelson preview the “On The Road Again” program.

By Nate Todd Sep 26, 2023 10:48 am PDT

Live Nation teamed with Willie Nelson to launch the “On The Road Again” program to aid developing artists. The initiative will also help support behind the scenes crews who make live shows possible.

All clubs and similarly-sized venues operated by Live Nation have dropped merch fees as part of the program. Now, artists will keep 100% of profits from sales of merchandise ending a controversial practice. Additionally, the live music industry giant will provide a $1,500 stipend per show to all headliners and support acts for gas and travel.

“Developing artists playing in clubs are the backbone of live music…According to live music charts from Pollstar there are 4,000 venues in the United States, and small venues host about 70% of all shows each year,” noted Live Nation in a press release announcing the program.

“Touring is important to artists so whatever we can do to help other artists, I think we should do it,” Willie Nelson stated. “This program will impact thousands of artists this year and help make touring a little bit easier.” The “On The Road Again” initative takes its name from Nelson’s 1980 single.

“On The Road Again” will also provide funds to local promoters, tour reps and club crew members along with donating $5 Million to Live Nation’s Crew Nation to support live music workers facing unforeseen hardship. Read more about the “On The Road’ program below:

Supporting Developing Artists: All of Live Nation’s clubs are investing in developing artists by providing $1,500 in gas and travel cash per show to all headliners and support acts, on top of nightly performance compensation. Additionally, these clubs will charge no merchandise selling fees, so artists keep 100% of merch profits. Touring is a crucial part of an artist’s livelihood, and we understand travel costs take one of the biggest bites out of artists’ nightly profits. By helping with these core expenses, we aim to make it easier for artists on the road so they can keep performing to their fans in more cities across the country.

Thanking our Behind-The-Scenes Heroes: Live Nation also wants to recognize all the unsung heroes working behind the scenes night after night to help make these shows happen, with more grind and less glory than most of the business. On The Road Again is providing financial bonuses to local promoters that help execute at shows, tour reps that live life on a bus, as well as venue crew members that have worked over 500 hours in 2023.

See Willie Nelson preview the “On The Road Again” program below:

Willie Nelson is “On The Road Again” this fall. Check out the legendary artist’s itinerary:

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