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The Popularity of the Live Tribute Act.

Andy Robertson

The tribute act has been a firm fixture on many music festivals for years and their popularity continues to persevere. Why are these musicians and performance artists so popular and how are music festival organisers integrating them into events to satisfy audience demand.  

The tribute act can be a band, group, singer or musician who plays the music of a well-known music act. These performance artists mimic the songs and style of well-known artists by playing their songs in the same vocal style and even dress up to emulate their appearance too. There may be numerous reasons why a talented artist chooses to perform the songs and music of another artist but the level of talent and professionalism of the tribute acts remains very high. 

Reasons for popularity. 
Many famous bands are either no longer together or have ceased performing live, however, the demand to hear their material live has driven the popularity of the tribute acts. A good tribute act can sound and even look like the original artist and they provide an opportunity for fans to see and hear something they never thought possible. Some tribute acts have managed to go on and pursue their own successful careers having used their tribute act as a stepping stone. There are numerous retro music festivals on the calendar every year and whilst many will feature the original artists from decades ago some also feature stages dedicated to tribute acts. Tribute acts are also making an appearance at some mainstream large-scale festivals with specific arenas for tribute acts.

Popular Tribute Acts. 
The history of tribute acts has evolved from some of the first acts which were the many Elvis and Michael Jackson impersonators in the United States. Australia was the location for the emergence of the most tribute acts, particularly in the eighties and nineties. Observers cite the reason for their growth being that many well-known artists were reluctant to include Australia on their tour schedules. In the UK some of the leading tribute acts who make regular appearances at music festivals include the Bootleg Beatles, Noasis, Who are You and ABBA REVIVAL. There is even a dedicated tribute act music festival called Festwich now in its tenth year and it regularly features up to 30 live tribute acts.

Copywrite Issues. 
The original artists and copywrite owners have attempted on numerous occasions to sue tribute acts but very few have ever been successful. As long as the tribute acts navigates the copywrite rules sensibly they should be safe from any breaches. For any sample clips used online the tribute act will need to pay a fee to the Performing Right Society (PRS). For live performances, it is the responsibility of the venue or festival organiser to pay the PRS fees which every organiser will do as a matter of course anyway.

For festival organisers planning their events using a software management platform like Festival Pro gives them all the functionality they need manage every aspect of their event logistics. The guys who are responsible for this software have been in the front line of event management for many years and the features are built from that experience and are performance artists themselves. The Festival Pro platform is easy to use and has comprehensive features with specific modules for managing artists, contractors, venues/stages, vendors, volunteers, sponsors, guestlists, ticketing, cashless payments and contactless ordering.

Photo by Thibault Trillet via Pexels

Andy Robertson
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