The U.S. Department of the Treasury released a list on Monday of all businesses receiving loans through the government’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). The program was designed to help companies affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and support their employees.
Numerous high-profile bands and musicians were on the list of recipients of PPP loans receiving a minimum of $150,000.
The Eagles, Cheap Trick, Sammy Hagar, Guns N’ Roses, Green Day, Pearl Jam, Weezer, Nickelback, Tesla, Imagine Dragons, Tool, Slipknot, Disturbed, Papa Roach, Sevendust, Tim McGraw, Chainsmokers, Ryan Tedder, Wiz Khalifa, Wilco, Chris Stapleton, Rascal Flatts, The Head and the Heart, Luke Combs, Jason Isbell, Incubus, French Montana, and Lil Jon were among artists who received loans of varying amounts.
While the news may raise some eyebrows, it should be pointed out these loans aren’t going straight into the artists pockets. The money goes towards the band's touring company supporting and retaining the staff and crew who work tirelessly behind-the-scenes. With concert tours continuing to be rescheduled to 2021 by the day, the loans each artist received will ensure their crew can be supported despite the COVID-19 interruption.
Similarly, many independent record labels such as Sub Pop Records, Third Man Records, ATO Records, and more received PPP loans. Various independent record stores, publishers, and vinyl pressing plants received federal loans as well.
On the whole, the arts, entertainment, and recreation industry as a whole received 1.53% of the total amount of money loaned. Health Care and Social Assistance received 12.92% of total PPP loans representing the largest portion of any industry.