Prior to Jack White’s sold out concert on February 2nd at the McFarland Field House of Oklahoma University, the campus newspaper The Oklahoma Daily released both White’s contract with the university and his tour rider, igniting what is now being called “Oklahoma Guac-Gate”. The release of the rider which listed a ban on bananas and a presumably private guacamole recipe, and the contract disclosing the cost of $80,000.00 for the concert, lead to the The Oklahoma Daily being accused of mocking White with the university consequentially becoming blacklisted by his booking agency, William Morris Endeavor Entertainment.
In the initial report by the campus newspaper, the cost on the university for White’s concert was laid out as follows – $80,000.00 is the guaranteed compensation for White to receive from ticket sales versus ninety percent of the net potential of over $147,000.00, in addition to all proceeds from CD and DVD sales and eighty-five percent of shirt sales. Also agreed upon in the contract is for OU to pay for first class sound and lights, hotel accommodations, and artist hospitality.
Furthermore, the show additionally cost $40,500.00 for the university in expenses including catering, security, stage set up and advertising of the concert, with no received comments from Campus Activities Council or the Student Life director. The report was concluded with times of doors and White’s performance the night to follow and full text of the contract and rider to view.
Terms on the rider such as “This is a NO BANANA TOUR. (Seriously.) We don’t want to see bananas anywhere in the building” and exact ingredients and instructions for fresh guacamole is causing the most stipulations and seemingly White’s main strife over the whole matter.
During the concert on February 2nd, White responded to “the leak” by telling the audience, “Just because you can type it on your computer doesn’t make it right,” referring to the Freedom of Information Act he reportedly spoke about with editors from Oklahoma Daily before taking stage that night.
The campus newspaper stands strong by the fact that White had not spoken with any representative of Oklahoma Daily neither in person, over the phone nor by e-mail. They state in response that the contract is public information and not a leak by them.
“We requested his contract to find out how much OU paid him and to find out the other terms of the contract. From there, we posted some of the odd things we found, such as the guacamole recipe and banana ban.
After that, we reported how much it cost to bring White to campus. It was $80,000, and that’s a fact. We wanted to fill the story with more information from Campus Activities Council about why they paid that much, why it was worth it to pay that much, how much profit OU would receive and where the money to fund White’s concert came from. However, CAC officials either declined to comment or wouldn’t respond to our multiple texts and emails,” including a lack of response from White’s management.
Now, they’ve received a response:
To the students and staff of University of Oklahoma:
Jack White would love to thank all the concert attendees at his performance at the University of Oklahoma. The crowd was incredible and Mr. White played an extensive two and a half hour show for them. The students who helped organize the event were wonderful. Playing in, and for, the people of Oklahoma is one of Jack White’s favorite tour stops. At no time did Jack White or White’s management say that we would never play there again, that is untrue.
The incidents with the OU Daily student newspaper reporting the financial terms of the show, the private tour rider information, along with unsolicited photographers from their staff were unfortunate, unprofessional, and very unwelcoming. The show was one of many on this tour directed at playing for university students in their own environment. And the band were all completely thrilled with the performance and the crowd.
Incidentally, the most important function of a rider is that it lays out optimal technical specifications to ensure the audience has the best experience possible. For that, Jack hires a team of very qualified touring professionals who write the rider and attempt to execute a professional and pleasant experience for all involved. Part of that is making sure that the tour personnel of about 30 people plus the local venue staff are fed. Contrary to what some believe, Jack doesn’t write the rider nor make demands about his favorite snacks that must be in his dressing room. We’re not even sure he likes guacamole but we do know that the folks who work hard to put on the show do enjoy it.
(By the way, now that’s it out there, we recommend you try Lalo’s guacamole recipe. It’s delicious.)
We hope those present for Mr. White’s performance are able to maintain their good memories from the experience and he looks forward to seeing them again soon.
(Jack White’s management)
No further statements have been received from White’s booking agency and The Oklahoma Daily’s stand on the incident can be entirely read HERE.