With all the spreading awareness of a living wage and the scuffles I’ve seen lately between musicians and venues, I thought I’d gently prod all you music lovers, musicians, and venues to do your best to communicate the true value of live music. The fact is that often there just isn’t enough money being generated to get everyone compensated fairly for the effort involved in putting on a good show, and it’s up to us to change that. Musicians in the 80’s were earning the same amount of money for a night’s work as today’s are, and I know venues are feeling the squeeze as well.
Musicians, remind your audiences that quality live music can’t happen without money from covers, tips, merch, and food/drink sales. Venues, low/free covers make sense for including as many people as possible, but make sure you’re doing something besides selling booze to encourage your patrons to contribute to the experience. Music lovers, your presence is awesome in and of itself, but make sure you’re financially supporting both the venue and musicians. Getting at least $5 to the band and $5 to the venue for a set of music sounds like a reasonable place to start to me and would already be a vast improvement.