McDonald’s Asked This Indie Band To Play For Free At SXSW—And Their Response Was Perfection

by Madison N Nunes

McDonald’s is the 90th largest economy in the world, but don’t mistake them for having the ability (OK, decency) to pay fair wages. After announcing their decision to sponsor Austin’s South By South West festival with their own showcase, the company promised to improve the “experience for all” with their newest creation: a lo-fi DIY food truck equipped with wi-fi. We’re guessing the fries are going to be pretty bombin’, since they seemingly cost so much there won’t be “a budget for an artist fee (unfortunately).” 

When indie band Ex Cops was approached by McDonald’s to play their showcase it was “in lieu of being paid like a real artist, or anyone who is employed to do a service.” According to the band’s Facebook response, the multi-billion dollar corporation assured them that they would “be featured on screens throughout the event, as well as POSSIBLY mentioned on McDonald’s social media accounts like Facebook (57MM likes!).” We don’t think this is exactly a fair exchange.

Arguably, SXSW isn’t known for having the largest budget in the world, but a lot of the time participating artists don’t have the opportunity to receive pay from huge cash cows like our friend Mickey D. It’s no secret that the worldwide burger joint has a reputation for treating their workers poorly (and their animals, too), but we get the feeling respecting these musicians for their hard work with a little compensation won’t exactly break their bank. Guess we’re still expecting a little too much.

Ronald, you lovable clown, we’re here to say that not paying for the valuable work you’re receiving in your restaurants and on your stages is not cool. We won’t be “lovin’ it” anytime soon. 

The band’s Facebook post is written here in full and is well worth the read; all points are spot on and should be considered by the public before swinging into the franchise to order off the dollar menu. 

Image c/o of Annelise Phillips 

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