Being in the media has its perks. For one, I’ve paid to see three artists live in South Africa in the almost eight years I’ve been in the business. For everyone else I’ve either covered the tours in the form of a video package, taken pictures or reviewed the show. I list those three options because each artist and their requirements will be different. Some allow us video people to film the first three minutes of the first three songs, some allow 90seconds only… Others will provide the footage to the respective media houses and then you get those who only allow pictures; only allow you take pictures from the left of the stage (true story) and then you get some who allow nothing… like Eminem.
I wasn’t aware of this, but it would appear as if SANEF lodged an appeal to organisers of the concert to allow for us media to photograph the show. When I heard he wasn’t doing anything I thought bugger it, why even bother then. So I’m going to Santana instead, where I can actually do something. Anyway, here is a response from organisers:
In so far as press access to Eminem is concerned, as with all international artists there are many requirements and stipulations which accompany a tour and this is just one of them. These parameters are not, as SANEF suggested, determined by the organisers, but by the artist and management team. Photo opportunities are not a guarantee with any artist and hence many such contracts do not include the publicity opportunities that we would all like. At times there are long negotiations with promoters and publicists to assist media in facilitating various requests and that was the case here too. In this instance the accreditation forms for media were sent out 2 weeks ago to Johannesburg media and a week ago to Cape Town media with very clear instructions on what Eminem’s stipulations were. After Cape Town our focus remains to deliver a world class event where fans can enjoy the brilliance of Eminem on stage at Ellis Park on 1st of March’. Joint comment from Tim McGregor – Dainty Group Geraint Crwys-Williams – Primedia Events
I get this but I don’t. It actually annoys me that artists come here to SA and don’t allow for any press opportunities at all… Especially when it is their first tour and their fans are extremely excited. Why bother? We’re here to promote you and your craft. SA media is completely different to say the American media. For one, our idea of paparazzi is not what the traditional idea is. We don’t chase our personalities around and ask them about their love lives. In fact, some of those ‘paparazzi’ images of the celebs in the gossip mags you seen are staged… Sorry to burst your bubbles. We don’t stalk people. We’ll look for the internationals at the airport when they arrive because often it’s the only access we’ll get. That’s it. Some of them play nice, others are divas. Ask me who and I’ll tell you, but let’s just say Gaga and Rihanna played along nicely. Both didn’t grant any press opportunities, in the form of interviews or press conferences, so airport arrivals it was. We could do the same for Eminem, but honestly with no press at all, why even bother? He’ll put on his hoodie and the security will be so tight, to the point that we’ll probably get nothing.
I’m about the music and the craft and documenting those elements. I don’t care who Eminem divorced or who he hates in the industry. That’s his ish. What he does on stage is his business too. I heard a DJ earlier saying he understands why these artists are like that. Well I don’t. They’re talented, yes, but they’re also human and their fellow humans often buy their records because of the press and the attention garnered by the publicity and build up. People want to see what they’re either getting, going to see or missed out on. That’s where we, the media come in. If these artists don’t want us there, cool… Done. I wont be there, but they should remember one thing. While the media wont be allowed to use their expensive equipment to get nice footage and stills of the artists, a lot pictures and footage of the artist will appear online thanks to camera phones that also can take video. When the clips or pictures are edited, compressed and uploaded, they often wont be good quality and then the artist looks even worse. So if that’s what they want then that’s what they’ll get.