Sex Dept from Italy paid HUGE money to play ROCK GONE WILD
As many now know, the ROCK GONE WILD festival is about to flop and not very likely to happen.
Metal Sludge was the first to report this >HERE< even when others were sure it was just a rumor, and all was well. Well folks, all is not well. And Metal Sludge was right. Again.
Sure, we know that rock shows cancel all the time. It’s the way the world turns.
But read on, and your stomach will turn when you find out how BAD some really got screwed by ROCK GONE WILD and their related staff.
This whole turn of events really sucks for a lot of people. This sucks for fans who bought plane tickets, or went out of pocket making plans to go see their favorite band. For the rock fans who passed on ROCKLAHOMA or other events, to see this show for whatever reason. This sucks for those who went into overdrive locally in Iowa near the 2 different locations in preparing for 10-15 thousand people a day to invade their little community.
This also sucks for the bands. Some bands routed tours to play this event, and others made special event merchandise, and coordinated for months to appear in Iowa in late August. Some of these bands had planned for a reunion of sorts and have spent time and energy to prepare for it.
But like we just mentioned – it happens. And most bands understand and accept it.
Most of these bigger bands like Twisted Sister, George Thorogood, Lita Ford, Skid Row, Puddle of Mudd, Jackyl and more will all bounce back easily. Many of these bands through their agencies have a deposit. In more cases than not, a non refindable deposit. If their pay was $ 10,000.00, they got $ 5,000.00 up front and now get to keep it. Some bands have the ability to try and collect the other half of their money, whether the event plays or not. Of course, only if their contract says so.
But how about Stallion Four from Sweden? Or Sex Dept from Italy? Never heard of them huh? Well you did now.
These bands are the first slot openers scheduled to play the ROCK GONE WILD. And like many of these events, they paid to play it. You follow that? They paid money, to perform on this show. Now to be clear here, this is common practice with bigger city venues, and name tours.
How much did they play? Read on and you might be shocked.
There is such a thing as Pay to Play, and then there is fucking highway robbery.
What’s reasonable to you? Do you work in the music industry? Do you know how pay to play works?
Well let us give you a quick Rock 101 lesson on this.
World class venues in Hollywood on the Sunset Strip like "THE ROXY" or "WHISKY-A-GO-GO" and many of their promoters use Pay to Play. And it’s fair. We at Metal Sludge totally back it, and feel it’s a good deal for all. When ethics, and some morals are applied.
It’s simple. A bigger name (recording artist, signed group) gets the prime slot at 11:pm and let’s say they get paid $ 2,000.00 to be the "headline" act on the show. The promoter will then get 3-5 others to play the slots in front of the main attraction to try and help pay off that guarantee to the bigger/name band. Depending on the "other" bands status, this will usually dictate if they too get "paid", play for free, or "pay to play". In many instances a newer, or younger band will have to "pay to play" on these type of shows.
For example, they are given 50 tickets @ $ 10.00 and have to be responsible to sell them. They sign a contract with the venue or promoter, and are given a time slot. Some simple rules and regulations are applied and all is pretty basic. Then by sound check day of show, the band needs to come up with $ 500.00 or they do NOT get to play the show. Most of these deals are done a month or more in advance, thus giving the band plenty of time to sell these.
Similar scenarios take place on the bigger festivals as well. Events like OzFest. CrueFest, and others sometimes imply a "buy on" arrangement. In some cases a record label pays to show case their band on these mega tours. The owners of these festivals are more likely to add bands who have a hot single, or a label who is willing to spend money to help promote their "new" band on the bigger name festival. This in turn also gives the named festival additional (free or paid for) promotion for their tour.
Example: A 40 date run, and a label pays $ 10,000.00 for their band to appear on this tour. Breaking down to about $ 250.00 a day for their band to play that slot. Of course the band/label still has to pay for travel, gas, hotels, food, etc..for the band and crew to do this run. In a nutshell, a summer tour can easily cost 20-50 thousand dollars. But like all in life, you need to spend money to make money.
We at Metal Sludge think this is fair, and resonable. Especially to play a world class venue or events such as the ones named above. Not to mention, most young bands have all the energy in the world, and are usually full of bravado claiming to be the best, the next big thing, and so on. If all is true – about their "great" new band. Then they should have no problem getting 50 friends, family and fans to buy these tickets to come and support them. If the band has 4 guys in the group, that means each guy has to be responsible for a dozen tickets. Mom, Dad, sister, brother, girl friend, neighbor, you get the picture. Right?
Well, how about if your band paid $ 7,500.00 to play a single show.
That’s right. $ 7,500.00 American Dollars to play 30 minutes on a side stage in Iowa.
This is what SEX DEPT from Italy paid to play the "main stage" at 4:30pm at ROCK GONE WILD. At least that is what their contract says signed with DEMETRIUS BERMUDEZ of ROCK GONE WILD.
The bands representative Petra has contacted Metal Sludge in a futile effort to try and track down their money. The band is needless to say, furious and feels really cheated.
SEX DEPT has told Metal Sludge the following when we asked how they got involved with the event.
we paid 6 or 7 months ago, still in Italy, via bank transfer - 7 500 $ for tho be on mainstage… Than started change everything, no more mainstage, no more 1 hour but only 30 minutes, no more 4:30 PM, but 12:30 PM, and now nothing…price: 7 500 $, date: 03.12. 2009, from account: Colini Baldeschi Laura, place: Caorle ( VE ), Italy, to: Demetrius Bermudez, his account number: ?????????, bank: ????? Credit Union – Passadena.
Sounds like there was some shitty things going down long before this whole festival was about to take a dive. The promise of playing the main stage, the promise of 4:30pm time slot, the promise of a 1 hour set length and of course after the band wired the money everything started to change.
And the most insane pay to play dollar amount we have ever heard of.
Seven Thousand Five Hundred US Dollars! WTF?
Metal Sludge would like any other bands who have been rail roaded into paying some outrageous money to play this event, or others to step up and tell your story.
This type of industry scumbagery needs to stop.
If the alleged is in fact true, the people behind this need to be held accountable.
If a band paid a fair amount of money to play, and things cancel – it’s understood. But clearly the SEX DEPT situation is FUCKED. They could have bought a used van and played coast to coast for this money.
From what we know Donnie Frizzell, Nathalie Faghihi and
Demetrius Bermudezare are the contacts over at ROCK GONE WILD.
We have e-mailed them asked what they intend to do about SEX DEPT and the money they paid in.
No word from our last inquiry.
Anyone else have a care? Anyone else have an opinion? Speak out and speak up now. This abuse of the system is what is killing the music industry. It’s wrong and ugly.
We brought you a interview with SEX DEPT >HERE< Go check them out, support them, buy their CDs, swag, etc.. Show them some love. America is full of great people, and great opportunity.
This band was looking to come to the US to live out their dream, and in reality they have been shit on.
We’ll keep you posted.
Stand Up & Sludge