Slipknot, Korn, Smashing Pumpkins and Nickelback named in US Senator's report on wasteful government spending

Slipknot group shot
(Image credit: Jonathan Weiner)

Slipknot, Korn, Smashing Pumpkins and Nickelback have been named in a US Senator's report highlighting wasteful government spending.

Senator Rand Paul, a Republican representing Kentucky, has released his annual 'Festivus Report' – a breakdown of what he considers to be the US federal government's most wasteful spending in 2023.

Rand's latest report was released this week and namechecks some of the biggest acts in the music business, including a string of rock and metal big hitters.

In a section titled '$200million Ticket to Backstage', the report shines a light on financial relief distributed to gig venues and theatres during the Covid-19 pandemic. 

The task of distributing some of the funds was handed to the Small Business Administration (SBA).

But according to the Festivus Report, the SBA distributed $200m to bands who were classed as "small business owners." Slipknot were awarded just under $10m, Smashing Pumpkins got $8.6m and Korn received $5.3m.

Slipknot's Knotfest festival was awarded just over $1m.

In an apparent swipe at everyone's favourite whipping boys Nickelback, Rand says: "Even Nickelback received $2million."

He continues: "While some may claim these funds were used to keep supporting staff, artists were not required to do so, and we have no way of determining how these blank checks were used.

"These multi-millionaire musicians were cashing checks, instead of the intended recipients – America’s small businesses."

The relief funding guidelines outlined that applicants were eligible to receive 45% of their 2019 gross revenue up to $10m.

Rand's report highlighted $900billion in federal waste in 2023.

Festivus is a secular 'anti-holiday' marked on December 23. It entered the mainstream in 1997 after it was the focus of an episode of smash hit sitcom Seinfeld.

Stef wrote close to 5,000 stories during his time as assistant online news editor and later as online news editor between 2014-2016. An accomplished reporter and journalist, Stef has written extensively for a number of UK newspapers and also played bass with UK rock favourites Logan. His favourite bands are Pixies and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. Stef left the world of rock'n'roll news behind when he moved to his beloved Canada in 2016, but he started on his next 5000 stories in 2022.