Beer And ‘Exposure’ Now Legal Tender For Bands And Musicians

A recent change in the law will allow musicians to exchange free beer, buffet food and ‘exposure’ for petrol, rent and guitar strings. Under the new legislation, it will be possible to pay for studio time or even a mortgage, by mentioning the ‘really big gig’ you performed at last week for no money, especially if there were celebs at it.

musicians exposure

A bass player from Manchester said:

“This is really good news for bands and musicians. I’m looking forward to buying a new bass with the sausage rolls and four pints of Strongbow I was promised for doing a wedding last week. At last, the government are doing something to support working musicians,”

Under the old law, it was impossible to pay for any kind of goods or service with the bullshit idea that you are ‘getting your name out there’ by entertaining a bored crowd that have never heard of you, trying their hardest to get legless and cop off with each other at a badly organised event. But this new legislation paves the way for people that don’t want to pay for bands to hire bands, and for musicians to pay their mortgages with plastic glasses of warm ale and vague promises of future paid work.

“I was offered an unpaid spot at a posh wedding, on the promise that there were influential people among the guests that might help my career. I’m looking forward to name-dropping some B-list celebs and people off the telly at my building society, and getting a third off my mortgage this month,”

Said a professional flute player from Southampton.

“I’ve been a professional musician for fifteen years, and I normally feel like telling people to fuck off when they ask me to do stuff like that. But now I can finally afford to live on the total twaddle of some tight fisted bugger that wants me to do them a favour and doesn’t want to pay me,”

Photo from Wikipedia

Comments

  1. I’d love for someone to put this article to music. I’d happily post the resulting piece on my page (I’ve got 27 likes) and also tweeting it (7 followers)

    Liked by 5 people

  2. I have rarely seen so much forthright truth in satire as in this latest “exposure” series. It perfectly “exposes” the proverbial head of the nail with gallant shoe shine just before it spams it with a hail of hammer strikes. If only this wasn’t so true.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. If they draw people, then they get paid. that simple!

    Liked by 1 person

    • What, the same as football players, actors, circus performers, etc…?

      Like

    • Working Musician says:

      Does a plumber need to “draw people” to get paid or does he just have to do his job? What about a brickie, or a computer geek, or a truck driver, or a postman or whatever, do they have to “draw people” to get paid? Have you ever tried paying a plumber with promises of future work? Do you think musicians don’t have bills to pay too, or don’t have families to feed?

      Like

    • warm worm says:

      I’m sorry perfect 1972, but that is pure bovine excrement – you don’t pay a lawyer IF he wins your case and you don’t pay the restaurant IF you like the food.

      One does their research (lots and lots of clowns out there) and hires the right people for the right gig, then pays the entertainers the money they deserve. Unless the musicians have behaved in an unprofessional manner, in which case one should act accordingly (again, research is key). If a gig has poor attendance it is 99% on the organiser/promoter.

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      • Let me clarify. I don’t pay if they draw or a percentage. If they draw relative to their fee then they get booked. I spend $150k/yr on bands. But don’t expect $800 if you don’t draw enough to make it better than booking a $400 band. It’s my responsibility to draw, promote and to pay the licensing fees. But if you charge premier fees you better draw a premier crowd relative to the lower cost bands.

        Like

    • You’re an idiot

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    • Bass Player says:

      Seriously? Would you do your job for free? The number of people showing up at a venue means nothing. How can you draw a crowd if you’re a new band. You might be the next Beatles, but even they played to rooms “filled’ with 20 people in the early years. Bars and clubs can afford to pay bands, they’d just rather not. That simple !

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      • Oh they can then why do so many fail.

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      • Helen Diana says:

        I agree, where I live there is an increase in the number of pubs advertising open mic nights . This is their alternative to paying an act. The open mic singers come and sing for free to expose their own music with an expectancy that someone may offer them a paid gig which never happens

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    • Mystyr says:

      Yeah, they get paid because the people they brought end up paying them through a cover charge and in return the venue gets to make a pile of sales from the bands followers. So its great for the venue, a crowd to sell beer to and entertainment that they didn’t have to pay for. Come to think of it, the venue is the only one that wins in most situations.

      How do I know? About 15 years of experience on both sides of the coin.

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      • Ridiculous. I pay the band the staff and the licensing fees regardless of turnout. I pay the fee asked if I book you. You are guaranteed that. Plus the million dollar insurance policy plus the pa sound guy flyers advertising Don’t be shallow minded

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      • Mystyr says:

        I am not shallow minded. Where I come from, most venues don’t provide a PA, they don’t pay the bands anything and expect that the bands will be paid by cover charges at the door. If it’s a slow night for the bar, the band doesn’t get paid. Venues also don’t pay for flyers or promotion, again that is apparently the bands job around here. And the million dollar insurance policy is the cost of running your business whether a band is present or not.

        If you actually pay bands a guaranteed amount by booking them whether they draw a crowd or not then you are better than most. But more often than not in a big city, all of the expenses are on the band, all the venue does is provide a place and sells booze.

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      • Mystyr says:

        And what licensing fees? Maybe laws are different where you are but I have never seen a venue pay licensing fees to book a band ever.

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    • Yeah, cheers for the £12.00 each for that full day’s work that pulled in a crowd of beer-thirsty barflies – no really, thanks… Oh you mean literally draw people? Like with pencils and shit? That’s a WHOLE DIFFERENT THING. I like it. Let’s start a business that rips them off too.

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    • I assume you are a landlord so I will explain it for you. It is not the job of musicians to make your business successful. I’m afraid that is your job. The musicians get paid to entertain the costomers of successful businesses. That is their job. It’s like your bar staff, they serve your customers and get paid, if you have no customers revise your business model not conditions of employment. That simple

      Like

    • Horse knobs Perfect1972. If they play music they get paid, that simple. A musicians job is to play music bringing people is promotors job and a venues job. Full stop.

      Like

  4. bandbase says:

    perfect 1972. No, not that simple. i ran a booking agency for 18 years. Bars and clubs wanted to run bands with no cover and pay the band next to nothing.. I had to constantly explain that people were willing to pay to see my bands, that they were giving away our product for free, and. maybe they should give their beer away for free instead. Also constantly getting calls from people trying to book music for free.

    Like

  5. As a musician myself I laughed like a 10 year old girl when I read this. Because we have all played shows where the club owner would not do anything and sometimes would not even promote the show. Music is not just art it is hard work and dedication. Kudos to you for making it such a funny piece.

    Like

  6. Meh – if only beer were offered to bloggers! Most bloggers I know are asked (actually make that presumed/expected) to work for free in exchange for zilch, oh no my mistake again – in exchange for promoting other brands, goods, services, etc. Yes that’s right, organisations want to access our readership and utilise our writing skills and use our time, to promote and make THEM money! For free!

    Like

  7. This reminds me of the story of the restaurant owner who offered to let a piano player play weekly for “exposure” 3 nights a week!
    The said piano player wrote -“great, and you (restaurant owner) can get some exposure at my house 3 nights a week cooking my family dinner with ingredients included.” Nobody asks a plumber or electrician to work for free, why do people think musician work isn’t work? Maybe it’s like Dire straits said: “money for nothing and chicks for free!”

    Like

  8. keefos says:

    Cry me a river. If you can get paid to do a thing many people do purely for the enjoyment of it, fantastic. Congratulations. I wouldn’t do my day job for five seconds without remuneration, but I’ll play music any time. I am good enough at music to get paid for it but not good enough to demand to get paid. Musicians who are really good enough to demand to get paid actually do. Often they get paid to expertly execute music they don’t care about in situations where they are not the focus, making them like any other working shlubs. If you think you’re worth more, ask for more. If you aren’t satisfied with the terms, don’t take the work. It’s the same in every profession.

    Like

  9. when you toilet is backed up spewing shite into your house you will pay anything to get it fixed, When your having a venue, Party or function, you have the choice to put on the stereo, Live music is a luxury and should be paid for like any other profession, anyone can do 4 years to be a plumber only a few ever cut it to be pro muso’s, and they spend a lot more time doing their apprenticeship and have a much bigger outlay for their tools, so they deserve the same rates.

    Like

  10. Samson says:

    I have lots of food in the cupboard at my house does this make me a super rich muso? This is total bull crap, If someone offers me food and water or exposure. I get seriously pissed off at this kind of crap.

    WARNING: All muso’s must stick to your guns and start charging the venues that use food, exposure or accommodation DOUBLE the normal amount to make a point.

    Like

  11. Can ‘t help but be bit skepical – this is a new law where? And how does one take that warm beer to the bank at how much is it valued? Are the celeb sitings verified by iphone video then confirmed by signed releases? Is your mortgage holder going to give you half a month say, for a celeb whos appeared on local tv but six months for say, Elton John being there? Can you get a steak for three warm beers and a loaf of bread for one? What does the grocer do with all the warm beer?

    Like

  12. Dad supported our family 5 kids playing horn in bars and restaurants. I followed suit for 35 years played keyboards as a single and in many bands.

    The best advice in this business was what my father always said, “If they are selling beer, you should get paid.”

    That, and “For the people who go to the bars, smoke and do those party drugs, it is a lifestyle choice. For the musician, it’s their place of work and their vocation. You don’t have to have that lifestyle just because you work there.”

    His first advice paid my mortgage, the second, saved my life.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. If I had a hundred bucks for every time I’ve heard ‘It’ll be good exposure’ . . . that and no matter how low your quote – ‘We’re going to save 50 bucks and go with a DJ – now there’s real talent – ‘press PLAY’ and for that, one person gets what a whole band would divide.

    A gig takes a minimum of 12 hours out of my life. To be gig-ready requires hundreds of hours of band and personal practice plus a mammoth investment in gear and vehicle – fuel.

    Next time you need a lawyer or plumber (can’t believe we put them together as the apex – considering 2 on separate occasions working on the same drain could not get that water will not drain uphill – the lowly musician/drywaller had to point that out) be sure to offer them all a couple of beers and assure them it will be good exposure to do the job for nothing – and ask them how many hours they’ve practice at home for nothing.

    See how fast middle fingers fly up in your face . . .

    We need do the same.

    And wouldn’t it be nice to ‘triple charge’ the way lawyers do (a set fee; plus a percentage; plus billing for every detail of work done including time walking to and from the printer by the secretary billed at top-dog fee . . .?!?!)

    Dismiss my profession as nothing just because we appear effortless in its well rehearsed execution all the while making it a fun experience for all?

    None of us have enough middle fingers on all the two gifted hands we were God-given to adequately respond to these insults.

    Like

  14. Mark Johnstone says:

    Interestingly pretty Fucked Up

    Like

  15. Mark Johnstone says:

    We are here to entertain…not draw crowd to fill places …venues should market and make sure to quality of hosting and food and beverages are up to standard …like we keep our standards ie: very high !!!

    Like

    • I love when bands ask for a fee then put out a tip jar. So much pride as to be entertainment for customers and then their people come and drop 20’s in a jar instead of spending money lol. It’s not a good look! You were paid. Now tell them to buy a round of drinks instead. Tell them the venue pays us. Support them please!

      Like

      • Mystyr says:

        In all my years of doing this I have personally never seen a band who was paid put out a tip jar. In fact most bands tell people to buy drinks and tip their waitresses. Guess things are different wherever you live.

        Like

  16. Paul Minicucci says:

    I will write a full-length play (my 11th) for a year’s worth of beer and apple pie, uhm, but its gotta have ice-cream on it.

    Like

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