Lamb of God’s Randy Blythe Comments on Canadian Venue Tax
Lamb of God singer Randy Blythe is very vocal, and not just because he is a frontman. The opinionated musician has taken to Instagram, his preferred method of social media communication and the same place in which he documented his trials and tribulations while imprisoned in the Czech Republic last year, to comment on the Canadian venue tax that has musicians and promoters up in arms.
The Canadian government has passed a new regulation where, as of July 31 of this year, certain venues will be taxed for booking non-Canadian artists to perform.
Venues who have a primary business unrelated to music, such as bars and cafes, must pay an application fee of $275 per musician and crew member (tour manager, merch girl, guitar tech) per booking at that particular establishment. An additional fee of $150 for each approved permit for musicians and crew is added on. The old fee was $150 per person, topping out at $450, and that cost could be shared and divided by venues across the country.
The fees are outrageous and certainly threaten the idea of smaller bookings at non-traditional locations in our neighbor to the north. You can read more about the fees here. Additionally, a petition to change the regulation is here.
Below is Blythe's commentary on the situation and how it affects bands. He points out that a band of LoG's stature will not feel the pinch of this regulation, but others will, and Blythe feels for them.
For some insane reason the Canadian government has decided to enact absolutely ridiculous fees for foreign touring acts to enter their country. To tell you the truth, this will not affect a band the size of lamb of god that much- promoters make enough money off of us to figure this expense into the cost of bringing us to Canada- we do very well there, & fill every venue we play.
But for smaller acts who wish to tour Canada, those just getting their start, this will make it absolutely impossible- smaller booking agents can’t afford $425 per band member per show to bring in acts from outside Canada.
I have absolutely no idea why they would do this, since touring bands already have to pay taxes out the wazoo in Canada anyway. Now they will not be able to come, the venues lose money, the fans don’t get to see shows, the businesses around the venues lose money, the government will get NO TAX instead of their normal cut from touring artists, & most important the music & arts scene suffers. WTF? It makes zero sense.
If yer Canadian, you might want to check out this petition one of your countrymen started.