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Fancy a month's worth of prestige gigs? (for no money.. not even expenses?)

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I did a favour for some friends last month. They were stuck for a bass player for an unpaid charity gig. A festival in a field and several bands.

The guys who set up the stage got paid, as did the sound guys, the stall holders made money, security got paid and maybe the guy who owned the field got paid. The musicians were the only ones working for free. I wonder why that was? Why would the musicians be the ones expected to work for nothing? Maybe we are the only ones gullible enough? Maybe it's because so many musicians don't realise what they do has value. 

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I think what doesn't help is the perception that playing an instrument isn't actually work; not like security, or building a stage. The perception that applause is validation in itself, and therefore full reward, for what a musician does...

Wrong, I know, but I suspect that's what a lot of people who aren't musicians think. Add to that the chance to cut costs, and you can see why it's the musicians which get the sharp end...

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32 minutes ago, chris_b said:

Why would the musicians be the ones expected to work for nothing?

Could it be that some people are just so keen / desperate to get on a stage and perform to a crowd that they will do it for nothing? (Same as amateur dramatics scenario?) 

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I wonder how well this would go down if the Tattoo was on a cruise ship for a month?

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1 hour ago, Muzz said:

I wonder how well this would go down if the Tattoo was on a cruise ship for a month?

How’d you mean? I played on a cruise 7 or 8 years ago. We got free accommodation, all meals, all day to do whatever we wanted, plus I was well paid. 

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This has come to our attention because we are musicians, but have they made similar requests for other work at the festival? Bar and restaurant staff, ushers etc? Not making a point (I agree with the majority) but perhaps there are similar ads for other staff, of which we are unaware.

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I've lived in and just outside Edinburgh for 30 years - never seen any requests for unpaid workers during the month when the city's population increases by over a million, and clubs & pubs profits go through the roof.

I'd guess the hostelries & venues are missing a trick here, I'm sure thousands of people would be falling over themselves for the chance of getting paid sod-all for cleaning up after festival [email protected] :)

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2 hours ago, arthurhenry said:

This has come to our attention because we are musicians, but have they made similar requests for other work at the festival? Bar and restaurant staff, ushers etc? Not making a point (I agree with the majority) but perhaps there are similar ads for other staff, of which we are unaware.

I would be surprised if they had. That’s actually one of the things that really bugs me. You often see people putting on events, and advertising for bands and musicians to play; usually for free, or for the ‘exposure’. Yet they’re quite willing and expect to pay everyone else, security, bar staff, waiters, kitchen staff etc. I’m not being at all precious, but I have two degrees in music, whatever I can do is the result of god knows how many hours of practicing, yet I’d still at many events, be expected to give my services for nothing.

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50 minutes ago, taunton-hobbit said:

Just a thought - but has anyone considered a letter to their MP?

😎

I've considered several letters to my MP. Three F's, a U, a C, an O and a K.

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On 11/07/2019 at 15:03, Muzz said:

Unsurprisingly, I couldn't find any profit figures...but with a turnover in ten figures, if they'd be seriously compromised by the wages bill for the band, I'll play my next gig for nowt...

They are a registered charity with income over £1m above their expenditure last year. https://www.oscr.org.uk/about-charities/search-the-register/charity-details?number=18377

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18 hours ago, ambient said:

How’d you mean? I played on a cruise 7 or 8 years ago. We got free accommodation, all meals, all day to do whatever we wanted, plus I was well paid. 

What I meant was would you have done it for nothing? Because that’s what the Tattoo are wanting...

I’m guessing not 😀

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Its almost like having kids.

Work pays for house and food-they Hammer the rest, nowt much left for me

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30 minutes ago, 12stringbassist said:

It just says WE DON'T CARE ABOUT THE MUSICIANS in bloody huge letters. 

That’s it basically. I won’t for instance play at charity events. They’re putting on an event, they’ll be paying everyone else there, so why not me?

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3 hours ago, taunton-hobbit said:

Oh there's a surprise.....................

😎

It was more the healthy finances I was pointing out. I've no beef with charities if they are run well and fairly. The latter is not the case here.

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Local Man Hears About Edinburgh Tattoo, Misunderstands

1711289.main_image.jpg?strip=all&w=620&h

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Anyone else receive the email from the MU about this? Appears they are going to pursue it.

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This sounds remarkably like a job to me.  The job ad reads like a contract of employment.  There are hours listed.  There's a form of job description describing what the role will be.  How can they possibly get round minimum wage legislatiion?   

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Ken Dodd used to recruit his Diddy Men from local stage schools and never paid them a penny from the large tax-free stash under his bed...

 

I think the Tattoo is a rip off because of the massive commitment required which won't add much more to your cv than just doing one night.

 

In the past I played few gigs for nothing, charity gigs, small local festival, wedding of a band member. Now I'm 'back', I'm happy for us to do a  few free gigs to get some experience under our belts with less stress. I've offered us for an event that otherwise woudln't have any music, no pressure and we can treat it like almost a rehearsal.

Once we are up to speed with two hours+ of material and a demo, I'd expect us to be getting paid.

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