London Olympics Organisation Refuse to Pay Musicians

Here is an excerpt from an on line posting by an organisation  called corporate watch

The organisers of the London Olympics have been happy to hand huge amounts of public money to multinational companies but are refusing to pay the musicians they are employing to perform at the Games, Corporate Watch can reveal.

Professional musicians approached by the London 2012 Organising Committee (LOCOG) to play at sporting events during the Games have been told its policy is not to pay artists and that they should do it “for the exposure”. In addition to the opening and closing ceremonies, LOCOG is contracting professional musicians to provide entertainment and atmosphere throughout the Olympic fortnight.

One musician in a band asked by LOCOG to perform at various Olympic venues told Corporate Watch:

“they said they were really keen for us to play on major stages at different events. We replied quoting our normal fees. After months of meetings they offered us a raft of gigs but said it was LOCOG’s policy not to pay any musicians for performing. They should stop trying to capitalise on the image of the Olympics and pay a fair rate for our services.”

Another, who also wishes to remain anonymous, said LOCOG had asked them to sign contracts agreeing to be volunteers so they would be under no obligation to pay them.

 A LOCOG email seen by Corporate Watch says the policy not to pay musicians is being implemented “across the board”.


A LOCOG spokesperson said he did not think there was a set policy, but that as far as he knew artists would not be paid and would be doing it for the publicity.

The Musicians’ Union said they would investigate and talk to LOCOG. A spokesperson said: “if it turns out to be true then it flies in the face of assurances that we have been given regarding the engaging of professional musicians during games time. Furthermore, it would appear to be a breach of the Principles of Cooperation that LOCOG agreed with the TUC.”


LOCOG chair Sebastian Coe has promised to “place a high priority on environmental, social and ethical issues when securing goods and services,” but with the cost of the Games spiralling, in part due to the huge contracts being given to the Games’ corporate suppliers, the organisers appear to have targeted the musicians’ payments as a way to make savings.


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