Newspaper sends cartoonist to Foo Fighters show in protest against band’s photo rights contract

The Le Soleil paper sent artist Francis Desharnais to the group's recent gig in Quebec

A newspaper in Canada recently sent an illustrator to a Foo Fighters gig in a protest against the band’s photo contract issued at their shows.

The US group recently evoked controversy for what some have seen as “exploitative” terms stated in a contract the band seek photographers to sign to shoot at their gigs.

Earlier this month, the Washington City Paper issued a statement, saying of the contract: “The band would have ‘the right to exploit all or a part of the photos in any and all media, now known or hereafter devised, throughout the universe, in perpetuity, in all configurations’ without any approval or payment or consideration for the photographer”.

“That is exploitation of photographers, pure and simple… by signing that contract, the band could then use the creative work of our photographer in their future marketing materials or to resell them through their site. The band’s contract, to be blunt, sucks.”

Now, it has emerged that Quebec newspaper Le Soleil sent cartoonist Francis Desharnais to the band’s show in Quebec City on Saturday night (July 11).

The paper wrote of its decision: “When the Foo Fighters claim rights to pictures of them in concert, they do not do it halfway.

“Not only could accredited photographers at the show yesterday not publish their work once, they had to give up all rights.”

See Desharnais’ sketches below.

Foo Fighters’ show in Quebec was cut short after four songs due to bad weather. A storm hit shortly after the group’s front-of-stage curtain was unveiled, strong winds and battering rain threatening to whip it away before the band’s gear was revealed.

The band performed only four songs in total: ‘Everlong’ ‘Monkey Wrench’, ‘Learn to Fly’ and ‘Something From Nothing’.

Foo Fighters later took to Twitter to apologise to fans for the show’s cancellation. They wrote: “Quebec City, we’ll be back…Mother Nature always wins”.

NMEAndy Hughes/NME

Meanwhile, Foo Fighters have announced that they’ll return to the UK in September following the cancellation of their recent arena shows and Glastonbury headline slot.

They’ve confirmed that they’ll play two shows at Milton Keynes Bowl on September 5 and 6. Iggy Pop will support the band at the gigs.

They will also play Edinburgh’s Murrayfield Stadium on September 8. Royal Blood will open for that show.

A statement from the band reads: “You have always stood by our band, and we will always stand by you. Like I say at every show, we wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for you guys. And I mean that. I thank you from the bottom of my heart. And I will do everything I can to come back and give you a night to remember for the rest of your lives as soon as possible.”

Foo Fighters will play the following UK dates:

Milton Keynes Bowl (September 5, 6)
Edinburgh Murrayfield Stadium (8)