The Musicians’ Union has launched a new campaign under the banner ‘Work Not Play’, in a bid to explain why musicians cannot and should not be expected to play for free.
The campaign follows criticism from various quarters, and especially the MU, about various Olympic-themed events this summer that asked musicians to contribute their time for free, or for next to nothing. But the Union says that its members face the expectation of working for free all the time, because many people see playing music as a hobby rather than a job.
MU General Secretary John Smith told CMU: “We are concerned at a growing trend of professional musicians not being paid for their work. In this era of illegal downloading, live revenue is incredibly important and musicians rely on it to be able to survive”.
He adds: “Too many people seem to think that music and entertainment are a hobby rather than a career, and are unaware of the years of training and hard work that it takes to become a professional performer. It is difficult enough to earn a decent living as a professional musician these days, and, headline artists aside, it is not a highly paid profession. We’re looking to challenge the idea that musicians should be happy to work for free, and we’re delighted that so many musicians and music fans are joining up to this campaign”.
You can find out more about the campaign at www.worknotplay.co.uk
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