Mercury-nominated artist Self Esteem has said that while artists should think about ticket prices for shows amid the cost of living crisis, there is often no other way to make money in the industry.
She was speaking to Sky News at Tuesday night’s Mercury Prize, where her album Prioritise Pleasure was nominated for the prestigious award.
Rapper Little Simz went on to win the award at the glitzy ceremony.
Self Esteem’s comments come after Glastonbury defended its controversial ticket price hike for next year, with rates now starting at £340 for the world-famous event in Somerset.
Other acts such as Harry Styles have also come under fire in recent months for the rocketing prices for their events.
“It’s something we need to get on top of – it’s a responsibility to know [prices] and probe it, but I think that people don’t understand… there’s no money in it even at this level, not much money in it,” Self Esteem explained to Sky News.
“Because of the pandemic… you’ve lost so many mid-level venues,” she added.
“So unless you’re smashing it, and you’re a huge artist or, doing an open mic night, there’s nowhere to go – it’s a real crisis.”
In recent years, music streaming services have come under fire for the lack of royalties paid out when people listen to their music – an issue raised by high-profile stars including Taylor Swift in recent years, which was also the subject of an inquiry in the UK in 2021.
The Rotherham-born songwriter also said that while she has been “skint” for most of her life, “it costs a lot of money for me to put on what I’m doing”.
“I’d love to be like, ‘no way, keep ticket prices really low’, but we don’t make a single penny from anything to do with music apart from live.
“I’m going to keep it low, because that’s what I’m about, but I don’t think you can be like ‘naughty artist for making tickets really high’ – often they don’t even know it’s happening.”
Self Esteem heads out on tour next year.