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

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"Performing every night on stage with a cast of 1,200".

I wonder how many of the 1,200 others are performing for free?

Oh, hang on....

They say that the tattoo is the preserve of military personel. My guess is that the military bods who perform just get their normal service wages, plus board and lodging - so the REMT are used to having performers who, as far as they're concerned, do it for "free". They're applying that same principal to this band, conveniently forgetting that anyone who signs up is not actually a paid employee of the Queen.

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On 11/07/2019 at 10:42, casapete said:

The MU flagged this up yesterday, unbelievable. 

Didnt the MU support this?? 

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On 11/07/2019 at 13:33, gjones said:

Dont get me started about playing for free in Edinburgh during the Festival/Fringe.

Exploitation is everywhere up here during the summer. Somebody is making money but it ain't the performers.

 

Underbelly take months to pay tech invoices. I hear they've tightened up a bit but I knew a few guys that waited six months to get paid from last Summer.

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On 15/07/2019 at 21:06, converse320 said:

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?   

Probably the same way that various companies can offer unpaid internships without, apparently, falling foul of minimum wage legislation. It's within the letter of the law, even if it is a d!ck move.

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On one hand this is no different to the unpaid charity and/or festival gigs that many of have done. On the other, it is a p155-take on a breathtaking scale - a whole month of unpaid gigs and rehearsals!

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On 14/07/2019 at 11:01, Dan Dare said:

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

Has anyone heard any more about this? I'm getting the impression they managed to recruit some suckers eager beavers after all, as I've been watching the Tattoo march-out for the last few nights. Can't do much else, as the buggers make too much noise to get any shut-eye.

They all come marching down Castlehill in smart uniforms - the Guards in scarlet, the Highland dancers, a detachment of what I think are Commonwealth soldiers, some singing girls - and before the massed pipes and drums rock up, there's a small gaggle of T-shirt and jeans types who look like a band, even though they're no carrying instruments.

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On 11/07/2019 at 11:34, cheddatom said:

As someone who's struggling to make a living in music part time, it's quite frustrating to read ads like these, but obviously there's more than one way to look at things. If this was marketed as an "experience" for youths coming out of college/6th form, looking to start a career in music, I personally think it'd look great. I'd have persuaded my parents to buy me a train ticket to Edinburgh and give me a bit of spending money, and gone for a month of fun and experience (if I could sight read)

 

EDIT: Anyway, ignore me, the POV of myself at 18 years old is irrelevant because I was stupid and naive and stoned back then

 

Well, yea, but its the thin end of the wedge is it not?  If you are good enough to pass auditions for, and perform in an event as big as the EMT, then you should be rewarded for your skills. They are saying, in effect, that the gig is so big and noteworthy that musicians should pay to take part.  If it were a free concert I would agree, but bearing in mind tickets are expensive and the venues full money is not an issue for the organisers. They devalue the event and musicians in general by expecting talented people to work for free.

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On 19/07/2019 at 16:33, EliasMooseblaster said:

Probably the same way that various companies can offer unpaid internships without, apparently, falling foul of minimum wage legislation. It's within the letter of the law, even if it is a d!ck move.

Aye, cos being an "Intern" sound much better than "Desperate unpaid lackey."

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On 12/07/2019 at 10:02, Muzz said:

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...

This is absolutely true.  I've lost count of the times I've heard 'Yeah, but that's not really work is it, because you enjoy it!' when I've told people in my Mon-Fri job that I'm working all weekend with my band as well.

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6 hours ago, LewisK1975 said:

'Yeah, but that's not really work is it, because you enjoy it!'

It's worrying how commonplace it is, this idea that work is something that must be suffered. Is it dreadfully naive of me to think that yes, we've all done jobs we haven't enjoyed, but surely they're either a means of making ends meet while you get a side project off the ground, or something you put up with until you find something more interesting to do for a living?

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1 hour ago, EliasMooseblaster said:

It's worrying how commonplace it is, this idea that work is something that must be suffered. Is it dreadfully naive of me to think that yes, we've all done jobs we haven't enjoyed, but surely they're either a means of making ends meet while you get a side project off the ground, or something you put up with until you find something more interesting to do for a living?

I get fed up when people think charity employees should be paid a pittance because their wages come out of donations - many charity employees feel this way too!

Personally I think they should be paid extra for doing jobs that benefit society.

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Given that the EMT uses, predominantly, military bands and musicians, I don't understand why they didn't just ask through the Forces for players to cover this gig?

For a lot of years, I worked crew/stage management for the Edinburgh Jazz Festival. Every year we would have one or two of the Tattoo bands involved in one of the big, freebie public events we ran. A couple of times we had an RAF swing/big band ensemble, and those guys could seriously play! Really good. Would have been more than capable of covering the requirements of this show.

 

 

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On 11/07/2019 at 05:34, cheddatom said:

As someone who's struggling to make a living in music part time, it's quite frustrating to read ads like these, but obviously there's more than one way to look at things. If this was marketed as an "experience" for youths coming out of college/6th form, looking to start a career in music, I personally think it'd look great. I'd have persuaded my parents to buy me a train ticket to Edinburgh and give me a bit of spending money, and gone for a month of fun and experience (if I could sight read)

 

EDIT: Anyway, ignore me, the POV of myself at 18 years old is irrelevant because I was stupid and naive and stoned back then

 

When your young and starting out it's probably not that bad. It's a young mans game anyway you look at it.

Blue

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48 minutes ago, Bluewine said:

When your young and starting out it's probably not that bad. It's a young mans game anyway you look at it.

I suspect that might have been in the Tattoo's mind when they placed the ad. As I said above, I've been watching the march-out ever since the blasted thing started - thankfully missed last night as we bailed to the pub - and the wee gaggle bringing up the rear have a noticeably gawky teenager air about them. I haven't seen them up close - CBA to run down 76 steps and back up again - but they do look very young.

Assuming they are this band, of course. And bearing in mind that I'm now at the age where MPs and senior Forces officers look young, too 😉

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15 minutes ago, lozkerr said:

I haven't seen them up close - CBA to run down 76 steps and back up again

You could have avoided this problem if you'd only thought to bring a pair of opera glasses with you. The traditional kind that come on a stick.

9836acb351bca213d9f418daa1fbb119--movie-

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1 hour ago, skankdelvar said:

You could have avoided this problem if you'd only thought to bring a pair of opera glasses with you. The traditional kind that come on a stick.

I am approve. And I think I'll use my video camera tomorrow night to record the march out and the fireworks. It has an impressive zoom capability for a device that is twenty years old. Far more civilised to lean out of the window than stand in the street with hoi polloi.

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6 hours ago, WHUFC BASS said:

Is it a requirement that you have to wear a tartan skirt to play this gig ?

No it's a bonus. 😁

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Hurrah!
I was testing the water for a pair of sparkly hot pants and a boob tube that I've just purchased!
Where do I sign ?

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I live in Edinburgh and while this sort of gig might be great for a local it’s still a royal   p-iss take considering the cost of admission. In theory none of the military bands are getting paid but as civilians there should be remuneration as they wouldn’t be on the pay role or recruit your band internally for active or retired personnel.  

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Unpaid internships are, from my memory, technically unpaid volunteers, which is how you avoid the minimum wage. 

Hence the clause that you can do other work outside the Tatoo as you aren't working for them. And, again if I recall correctly, you can clear off for another job and there's nowt that could actually stop you.

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If you're signed up to do it, pay or no pay, the contract might well be enforceable...

I did some digging about this, and it turns out that the "accommodation" they so generously provided was in tents! In Edinburgh.... It's a disgrace, given the number of tickets they sell, why could they not have put a quid on the cost of the tickets and paid a fee?

Oh, and high horse time. I've been a member of the MU since 1983, when I played my first session. The reason the MU doesn't have the teeth to deal with this is partly the attitude of "it's a rip off, but I'd do it" and partly the fact that so few of the "working " musicians in the country actually bother to join...

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19 minutes ago, neilp said:

it turns out that the "accommodation" they so generously provided was in tents! In Edinburgh....

Jesus wept. Talk about rubbing their noses in it. That's appalling.

I've done arts festivals in the past and slept in some pretty dubious accommodation, including dressing rooms, but at least I aye had a roof ower my head. Do they hand out trowels and a roll of army form blank in place of toilets, too? Sheesh.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, neilp said:

The reason the MU doesn't have the teeth to deal with this is partly the attitude of "it's a rip off, but I'd do it" and partly the fact that so few of the "working " musicians in the country actually bother to join...

The problem is that the MU doesn't distinguish between 'amateur musicians' who don't expect to do more than cover their costs and people who make music for a living.

£221 is fine for full union support for your main job, but a big extra cost fif you are lucky to make a few hundred quid surplus a year.

I can understand their problem - lots of such musicians paying, say £50 a year might not cover their costs, how do you decide who is a 'professional' and who isn't, and also some professional musicians may actually consider amateurs to be unwanted competition - as in how can they get decent paid gigs when the local four piece will rack up for £150 a night?

 

<Edit> Just revisited their website. It really doesn't have anything that explains WHO they are for. Obviously if you are in an orchestra or a session musician, but what if you play half a dozen gigs a year in a pub band? Or you are in a small unsigned band? Looking at the list of benefits its really doesn't seem to be targeted at anyone not actually 'employed' as a musician as against just making (some) money as a musician.

Edited by Stub Mandrel

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