Live Nation Raises Minimum Wage to $20/hour For Venue Employees In Canadian Clubs
It's part of the On The Road Again program, which affects Live Nation-owned club venues in North America including seven in Canada.
Live Nation has announced it will be increasing its minimum wage to $20/hour for over 5,000 employees venues and clubs in Canada and the U.S.
The wage increase falls under the company’s On The Road Again program in partnership with musician Willie Nelson.
There are seven Canadian venues that are participating:
- Midway Music Hall (Edmonton, AB)
- Commodore Ballroom (Vancouver, BC)
- Danforth Music Hall (Toronto, ON)
- Kee to Bala (Bala, ON)
- History (Toronto, ON)
- Opera House (Toronto, ON)
- Velvet Underground (Toronto, ON)
Canadian employees will see their wages now start at $20 hourly for club staff while supervisor roles will start at $25. The increase includes employees like box office attendants, production crew, guest services, ushers, artists, hospitality and cleaning crew.
"Shows wouldn't happen without the unsung heroes who work in the background to help support artists and fans. In addition to developing artists, clubs also help industry professionals learn the ropes, and many of our promoters and venue managers worked their way up from smaller venues,” says Michael Rapino, Live Nation Entertainment CEO and president in a press release.
Currently, many Canadians are facing financial insecurity, particularly with the younger generation in the workforce. While the federal government raised the minimum wage to $16.65 in April 2023, FP Canada found that money-related stress affected 49 per cent of Canadians between the ages of 18 to 34.
Live Nation’s new minimum is a significant increase from the minimum wage implemented by the federal government. Depending on the province, minimum wage can range from $14 to $16.65/hour.
This isn’t the first Canadian music business to raise wages. In 2022, Winnipeg entertainment venue Good Will Social Club increased their wages internally before the government mandated it. The music venue offered employees $16/hour instead of “waiting on the provincial government to increase the minimum wage.
The new program also supports those playing at Live Nation venues, with $1,500 in travel bonuses for headliners and support acts on top of nightly compensation until at least 2024. This also includes 100% of merch profits to the artists.
As Billboard reports, those initiatives from the On The Road Again program did draw some criticism from the American National Independent Venue Association, which criticized the program saying “Temporary measures may appear to help artists in the short run but actually can squeeze out independent venues which provide the lifeblood of many artists on thin margins.”
There was less vocal backlash in Canada, but the Globe and Mail did report a growing sentiment among independent venues that the new initiatives, and growing portfolio of Live Nation venues, could curb competition for other promoters and club owners.
For Live Nation workers, though, the new minimum wage offers extra support.
“The live music industry is on track for years of growth and offers a great career path, and by increasing minimum wages we're helping staff get an even stronger start as they begin their journey in live,” says Rapino.