Haim fired their agent for an infuriating reason — the band wasn’t receiving equal pay to play at festivals

The wage gap between men and women is closing at a snail’s pace in Hollywood, and in the music industry, there’s even more work left to do. Here’s just one example: The band Haim fired their agent after the bandmates discovered they’d received one-tenth of the paycheck an all-male act received to play the same festival. Not half, not two-thirds. They literally got a paycheck ten times smaller than a band that only had guys in the lineup. And to hear the band — sisters Este, Danielle, and Alana Haim — tell it, the situation is even more infuriating.

Talking to UK paper Grazia, the trio explained that they were billed “just underneath” the band that received the staggering paycheck.

The sisters declined to name the other band or the festival but noted that when they discovered the difference in pay, their first move was to fire their agent for accepting such a lame deal on their behalf. Since the music industry is not exactly forthcoming with the amount of money offered to bands at various festivals, and festivals themselves are frequently dominated by mostly all-dude or dude-fronted lineups, it’s a challenge for *any* band to know what a fair deal is. Even for Haim, who have toured internationally, feature celebrity friends in their music videos, and have been a household name for years. As the band’s drummer, Danielle, explained:

"We had been told that our fee was very low because you played at the festival in the hope that you’d get played on the radio...We didn’t think twice about it, but we later found out that someone was getting paid ten times more than us. And because of that we fired our agent.

Per Grazia, guitarist Alana was even more blunt. She described the scenario as “f***ed up,” adding, “To not even be paid half the same amount…but to be paid a tenth of that amount of money? It was insane.”

Hopefully, hopefully, this will encourage not just festivals, but the bands themselves, to be more transparent about what type of offers are being made to performers. Haim is fortunate, since they have the means (and name recognition) to both fire an ineffective agent and make headlines about it. Now let’s get them their money, please.

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