Friday, August 30, 2002


What The Acts Are Charging for Campus Gigs

by Wayne Robins

Want Busta Rhymes for a campus hip-hop sock hop this fall?You might be able to have him if your school's concert committee has somewhere between $40,000 and $50,000. That's his asking price according to Clear Channel College Entertainment (CCCE), a concert booking division of the colossus that dominates a huge portion of the pop music business, from radio stations to live performances. Artists, date range, prices, and notes on availability are posted on the Clear Channel College Entertainment Web site.
The Hot List for the fall 2002 semester contains a wide range of artists and price levels. On the low end of the one to five thousand dollar range are performers like Ben Kweller, David Mead, or ZOX. (Gadzooks! What is ZOX?). Ten grand will get you Dar Williams, darling of the new folk, or Edwin McCain solo (throw in another five large for his band), or a shot at the Volkswagen Music Ed. Tour featuring Rusted Root. Without VW subsidizing the tour, Rusted Root on its own goes up to a $25 asking price. (All prices in thousands).
Tone Loc, a rapper whose two hits, "Wild Thing" and "Funky Cold Medina" were last on the charts in 1989, also wants 10K an appearance, but then again, so do I. Doesn't mean we're going to get it.
If your school has $25K-$35K for a one-night-stand (and I've had some that were almost as costly), it can hire The Roots, that anomaly in hip-hop culture in that they actually play their own instruments, and quite well at that. De La Soul, which doesn't play but is awfully playful, also charges $25K. Jimmy Eat World occupies the same medium upscale neighborhood as The Roots, while N*E*R*D lives just down the hill, asking $20-25.
So who gets the hottest dollars on the Hot List? Bush, Counting Crows, 311, India.Arie or Dennis Miller each get 50K. (That's the starting price for Bush and the Crows). The Goo Goo Dolls ask for 75K; so does Phil Lesh and Friends. For a few dollars less, maybe you'd settle for Ludacris; a few dollars more, (75K to 100K) gets you P.O.D. Which is the same price range for Bob Dylan, though Dylan's availability is posted as uncertain on the CCCE main list.
Who belongs to the $100,000 club? Nelly, of course. But also Widespread Panic, or, if you want a two-for-the-price deal, the Live/Cranberries tour also costs 100K. Ja Rule rules the roost, wanting $125,000 per show, as does the big boppiest of the hip-hoppiest, Mistah P. Diddy. No Doubt charges $150-200,000. Are they nuts, or are they just keeping their pole in the water in case a sucker fish bites?

copyright 2002 by Wayne Robins, all rights reserved. e-mail:

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