Brian Harding, one half of Ex Cops, expressed his frustration on Facebook, explaining:
“Their selling point was that this was ‘a great opportunity for additional exposure,’ and that ‘McDonald’s will have their global digital team on site to meet with the bands, help with cross promotion, etc. I don’t, and doubt that they know what this means either. Getting past that rhetoric, at the very least a big corporation like McDonald’s can at least pay their talent a little. Right? ‘There isn’t a budget for an artist fee (unfortunately).'”
McDonald’s defended their offer, saying in a statement that artists performing for free at SXSW is “standard protocol.”
“That’s not true,” Ex Cops singer Amalie Bruun told Rolling Stone following McDonald’s response. “They’re not following any guidelines because everyone else is offering money.”
But after much backlash in the media, it appears McDonalds’ is ready to change its tune and protocol.
Late Tuesday, the fast food franchise told Billboard: “All bands performing at our showcase will be compensated.”
Read the full statement from a McDonald’s rep below:
“SXSW started as a conference and festival for the music industry, related press and up-and-coming musicians bringing the community together to showcase their talents,. We are excited to expand our support of music at our SXSW activation where the lineup features a great assortment of more than 20 bands, honouring the spirit of the festival. To further support these artists, all bands performing at our showcase will be compensated.”
A source told Billboard that Ex Cops will not be playing the McDonald’s showcase, but the group did express their gratitude on Facebook, writing: “We are thrilled that our letter made a difference. Thank YOU for helping us. Artists should be paid for their work.”
“Scott McNearney, SXSW’s Sponsors chief, says the music festival typically offers one of two value propositions to artists who play official showcases,” according to Billboard.
“They can either take a cash payment or they can take a credential package to participate in the conference and see other showcases. It’s up to those artists to decide which package they want.” While McDonald’s offerings are “apples and oranges” to a typical showcase package, McNearney was pleased the company had pivoted over the past few days, in addition to “offering an added-value of exposure for those artists.”
Ex Cops fans seem pretty pleased with McDonald’s decision as well, commenting on the Facebook post:
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