I had a conversation with an associate recently where he described a request he had received from a promoter. It seems that this promoter was representing a larger entity and they were sponsoring an event which included dignitaries from Europe as well as some VIPs from the US. The promoter goes into how the entertainment they originally booked had backed out and they needed a replacement. What was funny was the reason the original guy backed out was because they told him they were not going to pay him. They were expecting him to do it for exposure. LOL. Now they call my friend and ask him to do it for free as well and tried to make it seem like they were doing him a favor by saying that he would be seen by people from other countries and it could create great opportunities. Now let's keep in mind that this is a guy that has his own records out and he tours the world all the time and everyone else involved with the event was getting paid but there was no money for the entertainment. This kind of thing goes on all the time. I have just three words for promoters like this . . . Let's Get Real! As musicians we understand that we need promotion and exposure but there is a difference between being exposed and exploited. It is always amazing to me how people can book events and have a line item in the budget for everything under the sun but they always seem to run out of money when it comes to the entertainment. They then expect us to understand THEIR situation and just do it for whatever they have left and then they try to sell us on how this will be such great exposure. Now keep in mind that no one else at these events is asked to work for free. This is just blatant disrespect and it is our responsibility to inform these people of their error. As I have stated before, we deserve the same respect as any other professional. You wouldn't ask your doctor to operate on you for free promotion. LOL If you don't pay him, then you don't get treated. That's where we stand as musicians. If you can't pay us then don't call us. Don't get me wrong, there are times that we will and should do things to promote ourselves that may not be attached to immediate money but we can decide for ourselves when those times are. And we should not be the only one's there being charitable. If we are expected to give up something so should you Mr or Ms promoter. It's a new day. Lets get real about this thing. We have to make a living just as you do and we can't pay bills and build wealth by playing for free and hoping for EXPOSURE. In the words of my good friend C. Davis, "You can keep the pie in the sky, I'd rather have my pie on the plate." No more exploitation of artists and musicians. Enjoy the journey.
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