Struggling Mom And Pop Business 'McDonald's' To Pay SXSW Performers In 'Exposure'

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You sort of have to admire the corporate overlords at McDonald's (no you don't) for their capacity to act like evil geniuses -- for their great big sponsored pavilion at the annual SXSW music and film fest in Austin, they've invited a whole bunch of bands to play, paying the performers only in "exposure." Looks like they've learned a thing or two from the world of blogging!


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It's kind of surprising, seeing as how McDonald's seems to have plenty of money for ubiquitous ads, and doesn't bother paying its workers a living wage, so you'd think that maybe at a big venue like SXSW, they might have a little budget to pay the bands. Not so much. In a Facebook post, Brian Harding, of a band what is called "Ex Cops," shares the generous offer that the megacorporation made to a whole bunch of bands:

This week our band was asked to play the McDonald’s Showcase at the annual South by Southwest, also known to music insiders as “SXSW.”

Their selling point was that this was “a great opportunity for additional exposure,” and that “McDonald’s will have their global digital team on site to meet with the bands, help with cross promotion, etc”

[...]

Getting past that rhetoric, at the very least a big corporation like McDonald’s can at least pay their talent a little. Right?

“There isn’t a budget for an artist fee (unfortunately)”

As of 2013, McDonalds is valued at 90.3 billion dollars [...]

In lieu of being paid like a real artist, or anyone who is employed to do a service, McDonald’s assures us that we will “be featured on screens throughout the event, as well as POSSIBLY mentioned on McDonald’s social media accounts like Facebook (57MM likes!)”

Featured on screens! Maybe even mentioned -- possibly -- on McDonald's very popular Facebook site, which has served millions of millions of likes, as compared to the Ex Cops' mere 6220 likes (we gave 'em one ourselves for the excellent rant, and we liked the song we listened to, too). Oh, and Harding does mention that there's another draw for bands: "McDonald's will offer free food to all audience members.”

So that's actually quite the big exposure-payment right there, knowing that people will hear your music and forever associate it with McNuggets, which we are pretty sure is a cool thing that any band would jump at, especially now that the soulless fast-food giant has promised to stop making McNuggets out of zombie human-chicken hybrids or whatever. That must be where all the money went.

[Gawker / Stereogum / Ex Cops on Facebook / NYT]

Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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