Payola was a big thing in the past; it probably still goes on - taking money from record companies to feature their products on mainstream radio to help push sales - but it's probably so engrained into the music biz now that it's no longer considered a scandal. From a moral point of view it probably makes bankers look honest.
There's a second version of payola, which works within what is known as journalism. It's not actually journalists who do it of course, because writing fiction is not what journalists do. Anyway, it's no less the norm for writing than it is for radio plays.
Which gets to mean that on occasions eFestivals gets offered blatent or not-so-blatent offers of 'incentives' to attend events, where the expectation from that incentive is to write nice things to either help drive ticket sales before an event or to enhance the repuation of an event after it's taken place.
The masters of payola in music journalism has long been the dance scene, and with the almost-demise of the superclubs in the UK it's home is now Ibiza.
This year we've been offered a blatent cash payment by an agent of an Ibiza based club night who are running a festival in the UK. They were told to fuck right off... and while I can't be sure - and I generally want festivals to succeed - it seems that this event is going to bomb badly. I'm not going to be losing any sleep if it fails as it deserves to.
And this year an Ibiza events series has been paying for journalists to fly to Ibiza, and is providing them with accomodation. Again, they've been told to fuck off but it appears to be the case that an attempt has been made to subvert our principled stand - meaning that they've paid for a writer's treats but that writer has now found they don't have a platform for their writings. Good. Rather than them fucking over the public they've fucked over themselves.
Anyway ... have you read that something in Ibiza is good? Chances are it's a lie. A lie that you're being asked to help fund via your ticket purchase.
Ibiza is a great place for a holiday. It's also a great place to get ripped off by sharks running hugely erxpensive events, if not via the ticket price then by drinks prices - at sometimes over £10 for a small bottle of water (and that was 10 years ago).
How big a mug are you?