Are the VMAs pay to play?

Recently, I heard from someone in the know that the performers pay to play VMAs to the tune of $10,000.

Doesn’t that sound nuts? For many reasons.

First it’s an award show, so an artist who is up for an award should have the opportunity to perform, correct? They shouldn’t have to pay for that opportunity if they are potentially being given an award, right?

Secondly, doesn’t $10,000 seem pretty paltry for MTV? Like if they really wanted to make some money, they’d ask for a lot more? It just seems petty and ridiculous.

BUT, in 2015, according to this Daily Beast article, most of the nominated filmmakers weren’t offered a ticket to attend the show. They only got one if they were a) famous b) nominated in the Best Director category. If their video was simply nominated but they weren’t nominated individually they weren’t given comp tix. And these tix could be upwards to $800 each.

Again, not sure if this is still going on and what MTV gains from gouging the indies? I would love to know if the $10,000 price tag as a musical artist to perform is true. But I can’t find any proof. Please let me know what you think about this theoretically or if you can direct me to some evidence of the pay to play.


About Andrea

Andrea DeAngelis is at times a poet, writer, shutterbug and musician living in New York City. Her writing has recently appeared in Timeless Tales Magazine, Umbrella Factory and Niteblade. ( Andrea also sings and plays guitar in the indie rock band MAKAR ( who are in the midst of recording their third album, Fancy Hercules.
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