Good news for artists could mean bad news for SFX.
A large amount of money that the company could have really used to stay afloat has been ordered by U.S. Bankruptcy judge Mary Walrath to be allocated specifically to pay artists at SFX festivals and events. The judgement was made for WME, AM Only, Windish and Paradigm Talent Agency, four of the largest booking agencies currently working with SFX.
In another stunning part of the agreement, SFX has been ordered to pay artists in full before their performances. This is actually a rarity in the live music world, and shows an essential vote of no confidence from the courts in SFX’s ability to sufficiently and reliably pay artists.
According to the filing, many artists and agents apparently stated that “they will refuse to perform at upcoming SFX festivals unless they were given ‘100% payment cash in advance’, and in some cases ‘100% payment prior to permitting (SFX’s) announcement of a particular Artist as part of the line up for a Show.'”
Headliners of SFX events are entitled to, “25% before announcement of the lineup; 50% thirty days before the Event Date, and 25% not less than five business days prior to the Event Date.”
Non-headliners of SFX events are entitled to, “15% before announcement of the lineup; 40% thirty days before the Event Date, and 45% not less than five business days prior to the Event.”
Additionally artists of SFX events in clubs with less than 10,000 capacity are entitled to,“20% before announcement of the lineup; 40% thirty days before the Event Date, and 40% not less than five business days prior to the Event Date.”
SFX still owes a considerable amount of money to other entities and businesses other than artists; however, considering artists and festivals are the company’s main source of revenue in attracting attendees to their events, it’s smart to put their money here first. Unfortunately, if they are not able to make enough money to pay back their debtors, then it would be all for naught anyway.