Look, Fair Trade Music is about helping musicians make better music by getting them at least a minimum wage. We're not here to save these miserable turds! Raising the minimum to something above zero minus expenses does not preclude a meritocracy -- It's still up to venues to hire acts they think will make good business partners. Bands still have to do half of the promotion and entertain the crowd, keeping them there dancing, drinking, and wanting to come back. If the band's good enough to hire, they're good enough to get a minmium wage. If they do their job well, they're worth more.
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Club musicians often work for zero guarantees, promote shows on their own time and their own dime, and work other jobs as well. As a result, many musicians become expert in making the most of the limited time and space resources. This guy even has his own budget definition for the term 'Drum throne!"
OK, for those non-lusophones: Panel 1: "Rock show today! Half off with this flyer!"Panel 3: ("amp comes back broken") Panel 4: "And they say music isn't work?!"
from 'four things every musician's gotta know' #4: “Exposure” kills.It’s no coincidence that this term refers to what kills you in bad weather. Although genuinely valuable exposure opportunities show up, they’re quite rare. “Exposure” is almost always offered as a feeble excuse to try to get naive performers to work for low or no compensation, based on the mere chance of an intangible commodity of dubious real value. The term is so common that booking agents will tout their venue’s excellent exposure opportunity, yet tell you (in the same breath!) that the place has no built in draw and you'll have to bring your own following.
Since this isn't actually possible, make sure you are getting paid enough to put real food on your table. You - and the other musicians in your market - will be better off for it.
Perhaps our first international/transatlantic mic salute - Playing at Pharaohs from Glasgow.
I have a different set of rules: 1) Are the other musicians similarly committed? 2) Does the band have a coherent vision and goals? 3) Do the other musicians insist on playing crappy, no-pay gigs? if 1 or 2 are 'no' or 3 is yes, I leave. Maybe that's 'cause I'm a decent drummer!
"Music is a day job." According to a poll we did a few years back, musicians spend about three hours in preparation (not to mention travel, load-in, load-out, setup, teardown, promotion, and marketing) for every hour they spend on stage. Performing is a service that involves preparation and expenses. There's no reason that service should be free.
Early hominid musicians didn't want or need to ask for guaranteed wages. They also didn't have bills to pay! To those musicians who continue to agree to perform for low and no wages, And to those content to complain about the state of things, yet unwilling to take action for positive change, I say:Quit with the knuckle-dragging and evolve!
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