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Friday, 22nd March 2019
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This is How they Get Away With It!

Rachel HillaryLast month Nigel Hillary asked how venues getting away with not paying performers.  Dave Taylor has a theory.

Do you want to know 'how they get away with it'?  In a nutshell- musicians and singers agree to go and perform and entertain for free. They need to say 'NO, we will not perform without pay!

Barstaff are paid - doorstaff, publicans, managers, breweries, food and drinks suppliers, power companies, local authorities rates departments, are all paid. Entertainers deserve and need, to be paid also.

You mention the Musicians Union: it campaigns hard on this issue- but remember that only some musicians, are actually MU members.

Presumably all musicians trying to make a living from their music, are fighting hard to get paid.

But one problem, is the 'hobbyist' musician- often with a day job, often a good 'professional' job. They wouldn't work for free in the day, yet offer their services for free in the evening! Remember that pubs and clubs and restaurants cannot force anybody to perform.

Worse is where musicians travel at their own cost, and buy their own drinks - it costs them to go and play. Although the worst, is 'Pay To Play' where artists really are subsidising the venue!

But ultimately venues cannot really afford to pay for live music, unless it brings paying customers in. Performers need to perform as well as they can, but also help to do general publicity and marketing, and bring people of their own to venues. 

- Dave Taylor

Nigel Hillary's orginal article is here

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