I recently got to photograph a series of concerts by Gov’t Mule and Bob Weir & RatDog. One venue that they played was at the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles. This venue is run by Nederlander productions. To the regular concert goer this means nothing, but to the photographer this is a huge problem. I have a great working relationship with RatDog and usually shoot for the band for use on the official RatDog website as well as the websites for individual band members. When the publicist for RatDog contacted the venue, he was informed that the band could not have their own photographer and that all photographers need to be working for a daily newspaper or other publication.

I used contacts at a local newspaper to apply for a photo pass and was granted one for the show but was made to sign the Nederlander photo release.

Here is the release:

VENUE: Greek Theatre

ARTIST: Bob Weir & RatDog / Gov’t Mule

This letter serves to confirm that you, Alan Hess my photograph Bob Weir & RatDog / Gov’t Mule on the condition that any material arising from the photographic session to be held on 6/29/2008 is used for editorial or news coverage use.

The license hereby granted to you to photograph the artist is limited to the above grant only and NO right to sell, license or reproduce the material for advertising or commercial purposes (e.g., for use as posters, calendars, t-shirts, biographies, etc.) either to be sold, to be distributed free or to be otherwise exploited in any manner whatsoever. Nor may any material arising from the said session be reproduced in any publication devoted exclusively or predominately to the artist unless prior permission has been obtained from the management.

  • You shall indemnify, defend and hold Nederlander and the Artist harmless from and against any loss, damage, claim or expense (including but not limited to attorney’s fees and court costs) arising from or related to any use of the photography and/or video coverage included within the production, distribution, sale, promotion and advertising of the Outlet.
  • This agreement shall be binding on you and your successors, representatives, agents and permitted assigns.
  • You agree to indemnify Nederlander against all damages including but not limited to all payroll expenses due stage hands, musicians, wardrobe, etc. plus reasonable attorneys fees and costs arising from the taking and/pr any use of the photographs.
  • You agree to follow the direction of Nederlander personnel at all times and cease shooting as instructed following the alloted time period for shooting.


So if I read this right I might be able to post the images here but they can’t be used anywhere else. They were not picked up by the news organization I was shooting for can’t be used by the band or myself, so while it was great practice, not a very practical shoot.