I would normally ignore such posts as the recent Olympics ‘exposure’ with a frustrated “Just say NO” thought, but recently had a similar experience.
I occasionally guest at a fantastic jazz gig in Islington (where, incidentally, the band is paid reasonably well) and was informed about another venue that were looking to do a similar thing and would I be interested. I contacted the venue and started a rather frustrating and vague correspondence with the proprietor. I’m more annoyed with myself not to have nipped this in the bud sooner, but I was under the impression that the first performance (only one date was mentioned) would be a sort of audition, for they were offering me FOOD and DRINK… After countless emails and subtle attempts to find out what their budget was, It was clear that there wasn’t one! quote: “At this stage by way of payment we are only able to offer food and drink” I have since replied quoting my fee and a polite suggestion that she offers some kind of fee in the interest of morals and standards for all.
What concerns me is not only the naivety of some, but the ignorance of others and by others, I mean musicians. Yes YOU!! There is a difference between a gig for promotional purposes (I do them myself), and one where one party is no doubt gaining financially. We must stop doing these types of gigs for the sake of our industry. What we need is a Union, “one that will protect us from amateurs, protect us from unscrupulous employers, and protect us from ourselves” Joe Williams 1893.