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!"
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.
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Almost anyone you talk to will say they "support" music. To them, that usually means to go to a show, clap, and smile.However, we live in an age where music is instantly produced by white plastic electronic devices for free. Why would any one pay for that? Musicans are just hobbysts who appear out of nowhere and 'have fun,' right? It's getting more and more difficult to remind people that what musicians do is a service that has value, and they have bills to pay just like everybody else. Part of the campaign's goals is to educate the general public that music takes preparation: a poll we did a few years back indicated that on average, musicians spend four hours preparing for every hour that they're on stage. Many do much, much more.
This pedal comes in handy if your practice time is compromised by having to do all the promotion plus work a day job!
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!
Fans tend to forget how expensive gear is, and musicians apparently like buying it so much that they forget to figure the cost of amps, strings, cables, repairs, drums, heads, cymbals, mics, cases, effects, stands, etc. etc. into their overhead costs.
We get this all the time: "Yeah, our band got screwed again last weekend. Fair Trade Music?! Great idea brah. Let me know when you're done fixing things for me." Nope. Musicians are mired in a red sea of societal values. We're not Moses... we're not even Chuck Heston. We're just the folks handing out buckets, and if we want to fix the current zero-minus-expenses, race to the bottom status quo, we all need to start bailing. In other words, we're all somebody. Now do something! You can start by signing up as an endorser here, and please be sure to check 'go to the next level.'
Most music fans see musicians on stage "having a good time," but they don't see that being an entertainer isn't usually entertaining, hence the slogan "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 those services should be free.