Petition Closed
Petitioning Chief Financial Officer Neil Wood and 1 other

LOCOG: Ensure the payment of arts practitioners performing for Olympic events

Arts practice is not just a joy to experience and a marker for culture in a civilisation; but also a profession.

There have been reports (most of which stem from the Corporate Watch report[1]) and evidence from musicians that show that LOCOG seems to understand the drawing power of music and the arts for its entertainment, but holds those who make up the profession in low esteem. In short, LOCOG is not paying professional musicians for performing, citing that the publicity is adequate compensation.

This is a fiction: currently on the London 2012 site, it is impossible to find a listing of all musical groups performing at all of the opening events: only headline acts are mentioned. LOCOG's "policy" of not paying musicians has had a lot of publicity - but who knows what the policy is for other art forms?

Putting aside whether you like sport or not, the Olympic events are costly[2]. Everything needs to paid and accounted for. The mystery is why arts practitioners like musicians are not included on the balance sheet, especially when the service they are being asked to provide - the entertainment of the spectators and showing the best of the host nation - is such a vital part of the Olympics (see the Olympic Charter recommendations for National Olympic Committees, point 3.2 [3]). To have omitted financial accounting for the arts would seem poor planning and a shame for the United Kingdom - a major exporter of its arts[4].

All other professions involved with staging events and providing services around the Games are being contracted and paid. The relationship with the arts in this case is and should be no different.

This petition sends a clear message to LOCOG to acknowledge the arts as a valued profession that should have been accounted for in its financial planning for the Games events; and that if LOCOG intends to use the arts they should pay for it.

[1]: http://www.corporatewatch.org/?lid=4290
[2]: http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/2012/mar/09/olympic-games-budget-cost
[3]: http://www.asksam.com/ebooks/releases.asp?doc_handle=127445&file=Olympic-Charter.ask&query=arts&search=yes
[4]: http://www.ukti.gov.uk/export/sectors/creativemedia/performingarts.html

Letter to
Chief Financial Officer Neil Wood
Director of Ceremonies, Education and Live Sites, LOCOG Bill Morris
I have just signed a petition that highlights and explains an unfair situation that has arisen around the organisation of the Olympics; and hope that you can change it so that artists don't have to say "no" repeatedly to well-funded bodies asking for the arts to ameliorate their events for free when they have the budget to pay.


Arts practice is not just a joy to experience and a marker for culture in a civilisation; but also a profession.


There have now been several press reports and evidence from musicians and other artists that show that LOCOG seems to understand the drawing power of music and the arts for its entertainment, but holds those who make up the profession in low esteem.

In short, LOCOG is responsible for not paying professional artists for performing, citing that the publicity is adequate compensation.

This is a fiction: currently on the London 2012 site, it is impossible to find a listing of all musical groups performing at all of the opening events: only headline acts are mentioned. LOCOG's "policy" of not paying musicians has had a lot of publicity - but anecdotally this is very similar for other art forms such as theatre and dance.


We realise the Olympic Games are costly. Everything needs to paid and accounted for. The mystery is why artists are not included on the balance sheet, especially when the service they are being asked to provide - the entertainment of the spectators and showing the best of the host nation - is such a vital part of the Olympics (see the Olympic Charter recommendations for National Olympic Committees, point 3.2).

To have omitted financial accounting for the arts would seem poor planning and a shame for the United Kingdom - a major exporter of its arts. In effect, LOCOG's stance on the issue is bringing the United Kingdom - one of the richest, most advanced countries in the world and a supposed marker for fair play - into disrepute.


There are other professions involved with staging events and providing services around the Games are being contracted and paid. The relationship with the arts in this case is and should be no different.


Some first steps have been made: LOCOG has asked to be notified by artists where this malpractice is occurring, but we think this doesn't go far enough: I'm urging you to actively investigate where this is happening: to penalise those companies LOCOG hired to organise those mismanaged events, and to ensure the artists "under free employment" are paid appropriately, even if it's in retrospect.


Many thanks for your time and assistance,