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Arcade Fire’s Agent Has Strong Words for NFL’s Pay-to-Play Super Bowl Plan

Arcade Fire

Representatives for some of music’s biggest bands are scratching their heads over the NFL’s reported pay-to-play plan that would seemingly sell its Super Bowl Halftime performance slot to the highest bidder.

But this will only work if pop stars participate, Rolling Stone points out, speaking with some of the business’ biggest agents.

“Halftime’s for sale,” Dennis Arfa, agent for Metallica, Billy Joel, and Rush, told the publication. “If I was a young band, and I had a billionaire backer, I’d buy my way to the Super Bowl — everybody would know me after the Super Bowl. Is Paul McCartney going to pay? I doubt it.”

“Obviously it is a marketing boon to play halftime for the Super Bowl,” David T. Viecelli, agent for Arcade Fire, Mumford & Sons, and St. Vincent said. “But I hope that everybody tells them to go get stuffed.”

Of course, performing at the Super Bowl — which had a record 112 million viewers this year — has some serious financial benefits. An NFL spokesperson pointed Rolling Stone to Madonna’s 165 percent increase in music sales following her 2012 performance and the Who’s 392 percent jump in 2010. 

Katy Perry, Rihanna, and Coldplay have been named as top contenders for the high-profile gig the Wall Street Journal reported earlier this week. Typically, artists are not paid to perform but the NFL covers production costs. Meanwhile, we’re still rooting for the black horse candidate, “Weird Al” Yankovic.