How are we all doing? Exicted for the World Cup Final?! According to this, I reckon North Korea will win...???!!!!!
Crazy, crazy place!
I'm just getting ready to go to my gig today in Soho. Looking forward to it. I've played with these promoters before and they do a great job in, well, promoting their shows. Because that's the problem: so many Promoters don't do what their title suggests...
I say this because, like most up and coming acts, I play everywhere from the toilets and shitty pubs of the circuit, to proper, decent music venues and clubs. We bring our crew and fans down to as many gigs as we can and we sometimes even sell tickets before hand. I accept this and in actual fact have no problem with it.
I love to play live.
All I ask is that we are treated correctly and respectfully and the promoter does his/her job.
However, all to often the situation is thus:
We don't get paid
The venue is not promoted and therefore empty
We are expected to be grateful that we are being allowed to perform live and given "Exposure"...to an empty audience.
So, let me put things into perspective:
Us musicians PAY to get to the venue. Transport is not free especially with a load of gear.
We rehearse in rehearsal studios that COST MONEY
We have spent time and effort crafting our act and our skills. Years of hard graft goes into this. YEARS!
Our equipment has to be BOUGHT and it has to be maintained via BUYING and PAYING for parts and servicing
If a Plumber, who spends time and money learning his trade, came round to your house and you said "Well, you won't be getting paid for this but it's great exposure. I'll be sure to tell people about you", you can be certain your toilet is going to stay blocked!
As muscians we are providing a service to any venue that has us. We are entertaining the customers which in turn is going to get them to buy more drinks, come back again etc. We are NOT lucky to be there. You are lucky to have US there. I have enough people these days lining their pockets from my hard work without being stung by some wanna be somebody, who thinks Musicians owe them something.
Now, I know certain venues and nights simply cannot pay muscians and in return they offer us a few drinks and a crowd.
That is fine.
We all do free gigs from time to time. It's the nature of the beast.
We do it because we want to play live and we want more people to hear the music we make. We understand that it is fans that make us, that move us forwards and playing live is how you do that. I regularly play for certain promoters and venues who offer just that. A great crowd, a few drinks and at the end of the day I get a new fan or three from it.
Great stuff. Happy to be a part of it.
But if the gig is done for gratis and then you 'Promoters' don't do as your job title says and PROMOTE it, then turning up makes it TOTALLY pointless.
We are getting NOTHING out of this.
This happened to me yesterday. Regardless of it being ticketed and costing to get in to this gig, I was not paid and was only allowed tap water from the bar and aside from the staff and organisers, there was no one to play for.
When I asked what I got out of this, I was patronisingly told:
"It just gives acts a place to play"
I walked out.
I'm a professional musician, so be a professional promoter. Give me a crowd and I'll play.
And then there are the "Pay to play" section. Two words:
So, I went and did some busking instead. I had a great receptive crowd, I was paid for it and my second single, The Girl, (released on August 25th), went down an absolute storm. I even got a record number of kisses and I was propositioned by a Gay Guy, so the love was felt!