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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

This petition was delivered to:
  • Chief Financial Officer
    Neil Wood
  • Director of Ceremonies, Education and Live Sites, LOCOG
    Bill Morris


    Corey Mwamba started this petition with a single signature, and now has 4,906 supporters. Start a petition today to change something you care about.