Blue Morris Blog - Music and Guitar
- Category: Music and Guitar
- Published on Tuesday, 07 August 2012 22:54
Just in case you haven't already seen this... It's been kicking around the internet for a little while but it's worth posting for those who have yet to see it.
We are a small and casual restaurant in downtown Vancouver and we are looking for solo musicians to play in our restaurant to promote their work and sell their CD. This is not a daily job, but only for special events which will eventually turn into a nightly event if we get positive response. More jazz, rock, and smooth type music, around the world and mixed cultural music. Are you interested to promote your work? Please reply back ASAP.
A Musician’s Reply:
Happy new year! I am a musician with a big house looking for a restauranteur to come to my house to promote his/her restaurant by making dinner for me and my friends. This is not a daily job, but only for special events which will eventually turn into a nightly event if we get a positive response. More fine dining and exotic meals mixed with some ethnic fusion cuisine. Are you interested to promote your restaurant? Please reply back ASAP.
There are times when it may be beneficial to peform music for free. I have done it years ago when I was looking for more experience. And I have even encouraged some of my students to attend open mic's and jams in town.
Open mic's and Jam nights are one thing... But restaurants requesting live music from a band without any form of compensation isn't right.
How far we've come
Yes, I have played for free years ago to gain experience. But of course the problem is that now cafes and restaurants all have the idea that they should never have to pay for entertainment if they can get it for free.
To the restaurantuers I would say this: What is the quality of the music and the performance? Perhaps there is a reason why so many of these "music nights" don't last or don't attract many people to their restaurants -- because the musicians and performers aren't that good!
If you want talented musicians who will but on a great show and market themselves to draw people to your business, you'll have to pay for that.
An older bass player I used to work with told me about what it was like in the 1970s. There was a time when it was common for restaurants and bars to pay musicians to play. That has mostly dissappeared for Vancouver. Now many restaurants expect musicians to play for free, for their own "promotion."
And it has now swung so far the other way that to put on a show, musicians must often rent the space! Yes, indeed, that's what I usually do: I pay the owners to use their venue while they make lots of money from the bar.
I don't mind paying for proper theatres with good sound equipment, fair lighting, a large stage, good sight-lines, and that has the right capacity--not too small, not too big. But Vancouver unfortunately has a severe lack of such venues and for the ones that do exist, you gotta pay.
Some musician's say that you should only do a gig if it will offer you at least two of the following:
- You will earn a fair wage
- You will learn something from it
- You will have loads of fun
There's probably some merit to that.
For me, over the last couple years I have been doing far fewer gigs, spending more time on making a few shows that are incredible. Rather than do a bunch of gigs for low pay, I'm investing my time and money into creating shows that include music, dance, theatre, and burlesque, and we do it up right.