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McDonald’s switching up musician’s payment methods

An annual music showcase in Austin, Texas, known for being the best place to hear new music now risks having its fame weakened by recent branding and sponsorship. As with many large festivals, brands involve themselves with their own stages – for example, Doritos did this last year and seeing as their only association with music is a group of OAP mariachi singers, it was surprising to see Lady Gaga was paid $2.5million to appear at the festival on their stage.

This year, McDonald’s will be getting involved with their own stage and hope to invite bands to the Maccers stage for nothing more than a Happy Meal in return, despite being one of the biggest corporations in the world and recognized for hiring Pharrell Williams and Justin Timberlake to write and sing in the prominent ‘I’m Lovin It’ theme tune. Having done this, how could they possibly attempt to hire out artists without satisfying their hard work with compensation?

A New York band Ex Cops were invited to play and shared their decline of the invite in a Facebook post which has been shared over 1.5 thousand times. An infamous quote from the band of course asks what we’re all thinking – “At the very least a big corporation like McDonald’s can at least pay their talent a little. Right?” The article goes on to justify that McDonald’s should have offered to pay them seeing as “it takes a McDonald’s worker 4 months to earn what the CEO makes in an hour”, going on to mention their controversial “GMO love affair, and I will certainly spare you the bounty of photos showing how they treat their animals.” These types of accusations have sparked controversy on the Internet with many fans stating their thoughts on the matter.


Ex Cops continues on to truly decline this invitation because even though it is hard for a band to get exposure in 2015, it is not worth their time to use their money to fly to Texas and be paid very little or nothing at all. Read more about what the band has to say here.

Surely to be associated with a fast food brand is almost degrading to the artist as they are their own brand and should not be under the umbrella of another. To not even be paid for that continual association doesn’t appear to be worth it. Also, in the McDonald’s invite they stated “will offer free food to all audience members” which again looks bad on the band as they would inadvertently be supporting obesity by persuading their audience to eat such unhealthy food. So, it’s not a surprise for any band to turn this “great opportunity for additional exposure” down. 

Would you accept one of these instead of a wage?

Edited by Jayde Richards

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