Elbow’s Guy Garvey: ‘Something needs to be done about promoters ripping off young bands’

Frontman says pay-to-play schemes are 'playing on the hopes and dreams of musicians'

Elbow‘s Guy Garvey has stood up for musicians that are getting swindled by promoters who operate pay-to-play schemes.

Speaking at this year’s In The City festival in Manchester, the frontman said that things need to change to give artists a chance of making a career for themselves.

“There needs to be something really strong in place if a promoter is found to be ripping off young bands,” Garvey said. “It’s really really unfair. It’s basically playing on the hopes and dreams of people who are at the very first hurdle of their musical careers.”


Garvey went on to say that he felt “quite bitter” about the way some promoters treated Elbow before they got signed.

“Quite often promoters would promise you that scouts would come in from different record labels,” he explained. “So you would put up with anything that they told you or did to you.”

He added: “If I knew that you could get in touch with the Musicians Union and I knew there was someone local who you could report said promoter to, that would be the way to do it. It should be the norm that you don’t get ripped off. I think it should be policed more.”


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