Pop stars including Sam Fender cut ties with promoter and festival organiser SSD Concerts



One former worker wrote: ‘I had to undergo therapy to work through the experiences I had while working for SSD Concerts.

‘Management condones, encourages and personally takes the lead on a discriminatory work environment.

‘Most days in work you will be subject to hearing vile, sexual comments from the owner, either about yourself, colleagues or the artists the company works with.

‘Never received a contract, rarely received a payslip and often paid either late or underpaid.

‘Overtime work was expected but you were rarely paid for it, the ‘reward’ often came in the form of food or alcohol.

‘Complete lack of clarity in the company structure, staff responsibilities and hierarchy.

‘No opportunity to progress at this company, regardless of how hard you work or for how long.

‘No matter how exciting the concept of working here might be from the outside, or how the opportunity to work in live events in the northeast seems ”too good to be true”, it is not worth the sacrifice to your mental health.’

They added: ‘I wouldn’t advise anyone to work here, particularly if you are a womxn.’

Another put: ‘Worked on gigs and festivals that were totally unprepared and chaotic made to look like a mug.

‘Put in difficult situations due to incompetence of management and being very isolated.

‘Sent to another city to work promised a hotel, got to hotel and my room didn’t exist so left to find somewhere late at night. Never was reimbursed for it.

‘Constant misogyny – rewarded those who played along with his sexual advances. If you didn’t you were berated for it and called things like ugly, frigid or a dog.

‘Took advantage of young female staff took them out to get them drunk and touch them up.

‘Made empty promises about career progression in the music industry so you felt you were almost threatened not to call them out.

‘Having to beg to get paid – often wrong amounts and nobody was accountable for it.

‘Manager got incredibly drunk at high profile events which led to young staff having to be responsible for his behaviour.’

One said: ‘Underpaid/did not get paid on time which caused financial difficulty – Poor communication with higher member of staff, not very understanding.

‘Treated as just a worker and not a person which sometimes led to feeling uncomfortable at work or when bringing something up.’

Another wrote: ‘This is the least professional company I’ve every worked for. Never paid on time (maybe once or twice) , never paid the correct amount.

‘Even when I was showing the director my bank account he was still saying he’d paid me.

‘The communication was terrible, the director brought in another upper management person who had even worse communication, and just left everyone out to dry most of the time. So lower level staff had to deal with all their issues.

‘The lower level staff constantly had to team together and use their own resources to save this company on numerous occasions, including working 100 hour weeks while the company constantly felt like it was going to go under.

‘The company had to be bailed out by Tokyo on several occasions in the space of a year, zero health and safety, promised bonuses went unpaid. Do not work for this morally bankrupt company.’

One put: ‘I was sexually harassed by my manager repeatedly and nothing got done about it.

‘Only two men worked behind the bar the rest of the staff were young impressionable women.

‘Never paid on time in the total 18 months I was there. Always paid incorrectly and had to literally chase managers down to sort it out.

‘Next to no training. No contract. No regular hours. Guilt tripped into working 12+ hour shifts and to work last minute on days off.

‘Rate of pay was constantly changing. No staff loo or disabled loo. Treated extremely poorly by management.

‘Very ”cliquey” vibe Encouraged to do drugs during shifts – proper peer pressure stuff but by 40-year-olds.’

And another added: ‘The owner has no problem throwing around racist and misogynistic slurs. Often asks female staff to come out for drinks with him, or sometimes to come out for a meal because they need to ‘catch up’.

‘Ironically, he refused to attend ‘Shout Up’ training… Contracts always promised but never arrived.

‘Rarely paid on time, often pay would be missing when arrived, pay rises promised that never came along or disappearing after a month, tax deducted from my wage yet never registered with HMRC.

‘Don’t ever offer to do extra work because he’ll never pay you for it either. This same warning goes for freelancers too, you have been warned.

‘Colleagues often let go and slandered like an ex that cheated, with no explanation given for their departure.

‘Also sacked former colleagues for refusing to work during furlough. There’s absolutely no progression in this company, there is an irremovable glass ceiling.’

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