It's pretty common to offer 'hospitality' as part of the compensation. It's a nice gesture, but a) it doesn't actually cost them much, b) money paid at a gig can be used to purchase other goods and services and c) unless your landlord really, really likes corn dogs, HOSPITALITY DOESN'T PAY THE RENT! (NB: Yes, I've been asked to play out-of-town festivals in exchange for snack bar credits)
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.
Ironically, it tends to only work on drummers. I'm sure this fits in to the "Should I Quit My Band" flow chart somewhere.
There's nothing wrong with 'Doing it for the Love..." when conditions are right. If absolutely everybody's donating their time, play your heart out.Otherwise, if you're doing it for the love and someone else is doing it for the money, that's not love. You are getting screwed. Moreover, we're all in this same bathtub and it's not very big. So, like it or not, that gets us screwed, too! Stop it! Get a guarantee or say "no."
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!
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.
"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.
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.'