CMA Music Fest Artists: Work for attention instead of money

Cream of Crop stage Thomasville GAAn article about the CMA Music Festival came across my desk, and I was glad to see approximately 300 lesser known artists had the opportunity to perform on “less publicized smaller stages.” The festival is heavily attended, with estimates in the 80,000-100,00 range. Fans pay for tickets. The article at Music LinkUp mentioned something I didn’t know. Artists don’t get paid to perform there.

Music LinkUp Daily Insight reported:

“The “work” of playing CMA Music Festival is significant. Artists are not paid — they donate their time, and in turn CMA donates profits from the festival to music education — and they perform in usually oppressive heat to deliver partial sets at the new-and-developing stages with little set-up time and a negligible soundcheck. Rain is expected to dampen this year’s festival.”

The article makes good points about exposure for these artists who must surely be hoping for a good time slot so that as many as possible can hear their music.

There are the donations to “music education,” so that’s a good thing.

As an artist, you’d have no control over which stage you’re on or the sound equipment. If the sound isn’t right, you can do your brand more harm than good.

I had no idea these CMA artists, a number of whom are signed to labels, aren’t paid to perform at this festival. I guess that’s based on the theory that the attention will pay off in the long run.

There’s a neat twist to the article—a number of performers apparently have the same first name. “Adam.”

(Kay B. Day/June 10, 2019

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