In the past few days I’ve seen a few pieces of content floating around on my social networks that both point to the same thing; Music is important, and musicians should be compensated accordingly. It appears that the free economy is no longer cutting it for some.
This is from musician Dave Goldberg as an open letter to Los Angeles club owners:
…If you want great décor, you hire a great interior decorator. You expect these professionals to do their best at what you are hiring them to do. It needs to be the same with the band. You hire a great band and should expect great music. That should be the end of your expectations for the musicians. The music is another product for the venue to offer, no different from food or beverages…….”looking for a high energy jazz band, if you can bring the band and have a following, I will put you on stage.” That logic seems to say that they think musicians in a jazz band know lots of people….. and the people those musicians know, have lots of money to spend. Those are two pretty big assumptions. Good luck finding that combination….Would you expect the chef’s friends and family to eat at your restaurant every night? (More here)
I understand Dave’s point and I agree with it. Unfortunately one of the things we’ve given up by having a leveling of the music biz playing field is that now everyone can be a musician/artist. Supply and demand make it so that many folks will play for little just to be on a stage.
This doesn’t mean that you aren’t going to get paid. It means that you just can’t show up to a gig and expect the venue to have done everything. The venue should have posters, ads, etc, but you still need to hustle yourself. Twitter, Facebook, YouTube are all places you should be using if you want more people to come to your show or even be aware of it. So it’s more like a shared workload, but still if the venue does nothing, then don’t play there anymore.