Live Nation Announces $20 Hourly Minimum Wage for Club Employees After Deeming Q3 Its ‘Biggest Quarter Ever’

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Fans attend a show at Live Nation’s Echoplex in LA. Photo Credit: Julian Lozano

Live Nation has revealed a new minimum wage of $20 per hour for employees at its clubs in the U.S. and Canada, besides compensation of at least $25 per hour for those in “supervisor roles.”

Beverly Hills-based Live Nation disclosed the minimum-pay boost for club staff, billed as one component of the “On the Road Again” initiative it created with Willie Nelson, via a brief release today. The announcement has arrived on the heels of multiple record quarters for the Ticketmaster parent as well as late August reports about the astronomical salary of CEO Michael Rapino relative to those of his workers.

In any event, the wage raises “will impact more than 5,000 crew members,” ushers, production professionals, and box-office attendants among them, according to Live Nation, which also emphasized an “opportunity for advancement” for these individuals.

Addressing the news in a statement, Rapino made clear that “shows wouldn’t happen without the unsung heroes who work in the background to help support artists and fans.”

“The live music industry is on track for years of growth and offers a great career path,” proceeded the Live Nation head, “and by increasing minimum wages we’re helping staff get an even stronger start as they begin their journey in live.”

Lastly, Live Nation in closing opted to reiterate a previously detailed travel bonus for club headliners and highlight that at venues participating in On the Road Again, “nearly half of all crew members were elevated from part-time into full-time roles over the past two years.”

Beyond the above-noted record revenue reported by Live Nation to this point in 2023, the decidedly public pay announcement has followed a September labor-code lawsuit filed by a former Insomniac employee.

According to the complaint, this individual was denied owed overtime compensation, breaks, and much more while working as a security guard for the Live Nation subsidiary. Also worth mentioning on this front is that today’s minimum-wage bump doesn’t appear to extend to staffers at Live Nation festivals, where employees have reportedly dealt with less-than-ideal treatment and pay.

Nevertheless, the news is driving positive headlines for Live Nation as it grapples with a Justice Department antitrust investigation as well as much-publicized congressional scrutiny. Last week, a Senate subcommittee slapped the promoter with a subpoena for allegedly “stonewalling” an inquiry by failing to turn over relevant documents.

Live Nation promptly pushed back against the subpoena and the corresponding claims, however, citing the subcommittee’s alleged refusal “to provide any confidentiality protections at all” for sensitive information.