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Tour Managers Not Touring axed after backlash

The TNT initiative is no more following a social-media backlash that asked why “guys with multiple millions … in the bank” can't support their own TMs

By IQ on 06 May 2020

DJ Carl Cox with tour manager Ian Hussey

DJ Carl Cox with tour manager Ian Hussey

image © Carl Cox

Tour Managers Not Touring (TNT), a fundraising initiative intended to aid several famous DJs’ out-of-work tour managers, has been quietly pulled following a backlash on social media, where commentators criticised the artists’ apparent reluctance to put their hands in their own pockets.

TNT saw tour managers including Ian Hussey (Carl Cox), Tim ‘Dingo’ Price (Dubfire), Zak (Seth Troxler) and Gabriel Torres (the Martinez Brothers) selling a series of self-made mixes, along with collaborations with the artists with which they work, for a minimum of €5, with all funds going direct to the tour managers involved.

While apparently well intentioned, the idea apparently went down like a cup of cold sick in the dance music world, with electronic music industry figures such as BarkerKornél Kovács, DVS1 and Maceo Plex tweeting their displeasure. “Please give your money to real charities and NOT to rich DJs and their staff,” wrote Plex.

The most widely shared criticism came courtesy of trance producer John Askew, who recorded a now-deleted video rant (rescued by Dutch DJ Cassy) asking why the likes of Cox, Troxler and Nicole Moudaber “aren’t they covering their tour managers’ costs and giving these mixes away for free, or charging money and giving that money to the medical services, the NHS [UK National Health Service] and every other country’s equivalent?”

“Please give your money to real charities and NOT to rich DJs”

“These are guys with multiple millions of pounds, euros, dollars in the bank,” he said, “and they’re asking the general public to keep their tour managers afloat?”

As spotted by Selector, the TNT Bandcamp page went dark shortly after, and the mixes are no longer available to buy.

Cox in turn criticised the backlash, writing on his Facebook page that he has “never seen anything blown so far out of proportion without context” and saying that idea came from the TMs.

“A group of the hardest-working tour managers out there wanted to get creative and have some fun by getting together and seeing who could actually DJ,” he says. “They asked me to support them, as they support us touring DJs week after week throughout the year. All of us did that without too much thought or hesitation through our social media channels and gave them a mix from one of our shows.

“There was no suggestion ever made that this was to cover ‘wages’ – that is simply ridiculous and I feel saddened that this has even been suggested.”

Cox’s comment, however, is at odds with tour manager Tim ‘Dingo’ Price (Dubfire), who on launching the project stated: “Our goal is to release some new and interesting content to help with the #StayHome initiative and also try and gain some financial support for us tour managers during this unfortunate time, as most of us, if not all, are not paid a salary – we are paid per show.”

It remains unclear whether the aforementioned DJs will now be coughing up to support their crew, as John Askew has suggested.


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