- The wealthy are spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on 30-minute performances from music artists.
- These private shows, like bar mitzvahs or birthdays, can draw in big names like Flo Rida and Drake.
- As artists make less money from their music, the idea of “selling out” is changing, New Yorker reports.
From 2008 through 2010, Flo Rida’s music was inescapable — “Low,” and “Right Round,” two pop records about being mesmerized by the bodily movements of women, dominated the radio and secured a No.1 spot on the Billboard charts.
In the decade or so since, the Miami-raised artist has diversified his business ventures outside of the recording booth, and makes hundreds of thousands of dollars for private performances — at a recent bar mitzvah in Lincolnshire, a suburb north of Chicago, he secured a “six-figure” fee, according to a New Yorker deep-dive on the trend.
This pricetag is par for the course too.
Private performances that aren’t open to the public can range from anything to a closed-off charity event or a small show aboard a yacht, and the New Yorker piece reveals they’ve become Flo Rida’s bread and butter.
They also are becoming more normalized among the world’s mega stars, like Beyonce, and older names like Rod Stewart and Steely Dan, who will agree to perform in front of small crowds, whether for a corporate event or an individual’s party — if the price is right.
To get Flo Rida at your private event however, it will run you between $150,000 and $300,000, with international shows extending that fee up to around $1 million, the New Yorker reported. A lawyer for Flo Rida confirmed to Insider that fee range was accurate and said his client “loves weddings, birthday parties and bar/bat mitzvahs.”
Back in 2016, Ryan Schinman, the founder and CEO of a talent booking company for corporations and the private sector, told Billboard that Flo Rida — like The Weeknd and Ariana Grande — was one of the sought-after names for bar and bat mitzvahs because he “has had hit after hit after hit.”
As artists are making less money from their creative labor — a 2017 Citigroup report, noted that of the $43 billion in revenue that the music industry accrued, only 12% of that pie went to recording artists — private events, sponsorships and commercials, and other opportunities that some have characterized as “selling out” has changed, New Yorker reports.
Even a handful of years down the line, the streaming environment has not improved much, with artists securing only $0.16 for every $1 earned through streams. For smaller names, that number goes down to $0.003 to $0.005 per stream.
Participating in brand collaborations has become normalized, even contributing to an artist’s ethos. Just look at what Travis Scott has done with McDonalds, riding a partnership to the tune of $20 million.
This kind of normalization around commercial opportunities may be contributing to a current musical landscape where Rod Stewart will do a private event in Italy for 30 people, or Beyonce gives her first performance in four years at the opening of a hotel in Dubai, owned by the country’s government (for $24 million), or Flo Rida to sing in front of three people aboard a yacht in Sardinia.
And let’s not forget when a video of Drake performing at a bat mitzvah went viral and helped bring mainstream awareness to the celebrity bat/bar mitzvah performance.