The Recording Artists Coalition (RAC) has confirmed the first of several high-profile concerts whose proceeds will directly fund RAC and its work. The shows, billed as "The Concerts for Artists Rights," will be held in the greater Los Angeles and Orange County area simultaneously on Tuesday, February 26 –the night before the 44th annual Grammy Awards — and will feature prominent members of the RAC.
The initial lineups are as follows: Performing at the Forum: The Eagles, Elton John, Billy Joel, Dixie Chicks, Stevie Nicks and Sheryl Crow; at the Long Beach Arena: No Doubt, The Offspring and Weezer; at the Los Angeles Sports Arena: Ozzy Osbourne, Korn and others. Clint Black, Trisha Yearwood and other country artists will perform at a venue TBA. Additional artists are slated to perform at other venues that same night (details of which will be released in the coming weeks).
RAC represents the economic and creative interests of featured recording artists whose interests are not always directly represented by other organizations, or the recording industry. In the past, RAC members have successfully testified before congress to repeal "work for hire" copyright legislation, which was detrimental to recording artists. The Coalition is also working to improve the terms of so-called "standard recording agreement" contracts and is at the forefront of the much-publicized issue of interactive digital rights compensation.
"A lot of us have different backgrounds musically, but we're united on issues that affect our livelihoods and the control of our creative works in the rapidly changing world of music and music distribution," said an RAC spokesperson. "These concerts will underscore our desire–and our right–to determine our future as recording artists. The net proceeds will fund efforts to improve working conditions for all recording artists, regardless of their age, genre or stature in the industry. In order for the creators of music to be able to continue their work, reach their potential audience and be properly compensated, artists need to maintain a place at the table, particularly the legislative table.
"This effort has been portrayed in some quarters as an in-your-face, antagonistic assault on the major record labels," the spokesperson continued. "That's not what it is. These shows make sense from both a logistical and a media standpoint. It should be remembered that recording artists and record companies still have common goals in many areas and we hope to be able to continue to work with the labels on those issues. There are other areas, however, where artists and labels are growing further and further apart. RAC is simply trying to promote fairness and level the playing field in this new, digitized, globalized music business. We're trying to do this not only for ourselves, but for future generations of recording artists. We're excited about these concerts and they should be a lot of fun for everybody."
More artists and venues are expected to be added, with tickets going on sale in mid-January. For more information, go to www.recordingartistscoalition.com.