Since 1923 • For a greater Loyola

The Maroon

Since 1923 • For a greater Loyola

The Maroon

Since 1923 • For a greater Loyola

The Maroon

Artists frustrated with untimely payments

Abigail Schmidt
Loyola band Planet of the Little Green Men performing at Gasa Gasa on March 11, 2023. The band is frustrated with Loyola not paying them timely for performing at university events.

Loyola musical artists have recently expressed concern over not getting paid in due time for shows and events they have done through the university.

Popular and commercial music junior Diego Gutierrez manages Loyola-based band Planet of the Little Green Men, who played at the back to school bash on Aug. 19, 2023 through Howl Entertainment.

In order to get paid, every representative performer was required to submit an official invoice as well as complete a contract that included the terms for the $50 payment for the performance. The band was told that if this information was submitted on time, they could pick up our paychecks the night of the concert.

Gutierrez said that a venue typically arranges payment either in cash or check to be distributed the day of the performance. If they aren’t able to do this, they will either include the modified terms in the contract or generally communicate this to the artist, neither of which Loyola gave the option for, according to Gutierrez.

Ben Heil, popular and commercial music junior and lead singer of the band, began emailing back and forth with the organizers of the show over concerns with their payment.

According to Heil, these issues weren’t just one time problems but something the band has been dealing with on several occasions.

“There have, however, been multiple school-sponsored and organized shows that have either delayed or completely forgotten about payments for us,” Heil said Heil. “One being the back to school bash, and another being a Loyola-sponsored back to school event that was held at Chickie Wah Wah on September 2. For this show, I was required to fill out a W-9 form to get paid, and have still not received any payment whatsoever. I had emailed multiple people, including organizers of the show, representatives of Howl Entertainment, Student Life and Ministry employees, and professors at least six times before I received any helpful information, with the most helpful info being “We are working on it.’”

“It seemed as though not a single person actually had any information on how/when we would receive our payment. It was not communicated to me, or any of the organizers of the event for that matter, until a month later and after over a dozen emails that students must be paid through HR payroll,” Heil said.

Heil said there was miscommunication on Loyola’s end as well, which he said could have contributed to these issues.

“‘I’m not sure who is paying these students’ was an actual quote from one of the people involved with NOLASOUND, one of the contributors to the organization of this event,” Heil said.

The band finally got their direct deposit on Oct. 2, 2023, almost two months after the performance.

“The negligence and obvious disregard and untimeliness for fulfilling a contract issued to a student is unacceptable and must, at the very least, be communicated more clearly in the future because this type of delay -in what is really a small payment- would not be accepted as a normal timeframe in any other business transaction outside of Loyola University,” Heil said.

Music industry studies sophomore and jazz musician Ben Delgado waited all summer for his payment for a performance for the business school in April 2023.

“I had filled out a W-9, sent an invoice, and been emailing back and forth regarding the details of the gig so I felt confident that I was going to get paid,” Delgado said.

After the gig had already taken place, Delgado still had to fill out another performance contract and was told Loyola was undergoing changes over the summer regarding student and employee payment.

“I felt like I only got paid because I knew I had to pester them,” he said.

According to Heil, students are upset at the “hypocrisy and lack of care for our students.”

“This payment upset is, unfortunately, just one more incident involving Loyola University not enforcing the beliefs and standards they claim to stand for. It may seem like a very small payment, but sadly this is the type of money that funds small bands that are just starting out, and to have the school set a standard like this is plainly disrespectful,” Heil said.

He and his band said they believe that if the school is trying to raise professionals, they should also be treated as such.

“We have been treated fairly and professionally in every other performance environment because we value and expect mutual professionalism,” said Gutierrez. “It often seems that some Loyola staff are adamant that they will get their students involved in the real world of music industry, but will draw barriers in communication throughout the entire process.”

All three musicians stated they have never had issues with getting paid in due time outside of Loyola.

“It appears to me that there is a bug in the way the system is designed that has gone unsolved and is more stubborn than one might think,” said music industry professor Billy O’Connell. “This is obviously a significant problem and goes against everything we hope to model for our students in terms of professional behavior and ethical standards.”

O’Connell said that while he does not believe this is not intentional on the school’s part, it is an issue of the “ill-suited nature of academic finance when it encounters entrepreneurial or independent contractors.”

He said it would be important to have a better system put in place to avoid issues such as these, and better communication on the school’s end regarding expectations.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Abigail Schmidt, Life and Times Editor
Abigail Schmidt is the Maroon's Life and Times Editor and beat reporter. She is a sophomore journalism major with a music industry minor and enjoys art and music. To contact Abigail or view her work, visit @artbyabba on Instagram or email her at [email protected]

Comments (0)

All The Maroon Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *