Friday, March 28, 2008

Vermont Music Gripe

Or actually, it's more of a fan gripe - Pay For The Music!

This is to everyone who says they support local music but don't want to pay for it.

It makes me mad.

Local musicians do not get money from big record labels, they don't all live off trust funds, they work hard usually doing day jobs and play music because they love it.

But that doesn't mean they love playing for free!

It is damn time consuming to lug all your equipment to and from a gig. Equipment and instruments need repairs and upgrades. Practice space needs soundproofing or rental fees. Gas to and from gigs is a bank breaker. And there's a dozen other things I am sure I am leaving out. To refuse to pay donations or to always try to find free ways into shows is disrespectful to the music and the musicians you say you support.

We are all guilty of it to some extent and times are hard on everyone! If you so choose to live in Vermont, you do not get equal pay to living in other places and the cost of living in Vermont is ridiculously unfair. These are simple facts that are brushed under the rug by many powers-at-be because no one can admit that our class system is now those with lots of none and those without. Why are there so many people like me out there being self employed? Because we can't afford to work in most of the jobs that are offered in Vermont!

But none of this is an excuse to deny a cover charge, donation, or ticket price to the very musicians who help us escape the crappy, daily financial woes we all suffer from!

I have griped my gripe, and now only ask - the next time you are trying to avoid paying for live music - take a moment, close your eyes, and put yourself in the musician's shoes...


batey said...

i second that!
thanks for never asking me for tickets!

Cidman said...

Hear, hear...(pun intended)! I will second that motion. While a person has a legitimate gripe about the ridiculous ticket prices for national acts, one should never complain about the ticket price or cover charge paid for local acts. Often times, this is the only money they are receiving for a gig, or ticket sales are the only thing that will keep a venue offering local live music. If folks aren't paying, the musicians ain't playing!

Ed said...

I too have issue w/ this - however, it remains a fact that peeps around these parts do not like to pay a cover unless they know the act well enough to specifically come to see them, and if people don't want to kick down, then the musician has a choice - play to an audience or play to an empty room - the venue is in the same position. I book Langdon Street Cafe, and that is why most shows are by donation - so the musicians have an audience, and the venue has business. Many artists cannot understand this and want to get paid a guarantee, but it is impossible unless they already have an established draw, or enough cred to warrant it. Tough situation...

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