Okay, I get it. As musicians getting asked to perform for free or as many often say “for exposure” can be frustrating, even insulting.
Now I’ve argued in the past that there is a time and place where playing for ‘exposure’ can be to an artist’s advantage, but I know those opportunities tend to only come up every once and a while and most ‘exposure’ gigs don’t offer any real exposure at all.
That’s not what I want to address here today…sorta.
Today, what’s grinding my gears are those artists who continually complain about being asked to ‘play for exposure’ but then turn around and ask me to wave my fees for my services because they’re a ‘poor struggling musician”.
So let me get this straight…you’re tired of being asked to play for free, but you want me to work for you for free. You don’t think it’s right that I’m charging musicians a fee to attend one of my workshops or it’s unfair that artists have to buy tickets to and event I’m putting on or even a show featuring other “poor starving musicians”.
You’re not even offering me ‘exposure’!
When you get offered a show where the only ‘pay’ is ‘exposure’ you often start listing off your expenses and what is involved with putting on a show. Equipment, travel expenses, some artists will even put a value to practice times. Do you assume that I have no costs involved with what I do?
I get it. Being asked to perform for free sucks. But complaining about it and then turning around and pulling the “I’m a starving musician” card when asked to pay for someone else’s services is not cool. I could also point out that these same bands are also the ones who tend to spend a crap load of their hard earned money on recording their music only to give it away for free, offering free downloads or throwing CDs (which they also paid for) into the crowd at said “free show”.
So? Did I ruffle some feathers?