Thursday, July 3, 2014


THERE IS A big event in town this weekend. Yesterday, organizers called one of our local performers and asked if they wanted to play at it.

Right. Two days before the event, and you are calling around for live music?

They would not pay the musicians. "It's good exposure," the organizers said.

Exposure? For a last-minute booking? You didn't have plans, did you?

Exposure doesn't pay for instruments, strings, lessons, gas. Exposure doesn't grow dollar bills on trees. Exposure is all fine and dandy - but how about a few bucks for the effort, time and considerable talent displayed? Sheryl likes to say that "exposure" is a cuss word and that people that want to give you exposure should also be pleased with the business your talent brings into their doors. So they should pay their talent.

The event organizers were politely told no. They were miffed. So they called another group, which said yes.

I can see it now. "Well, so and so wouldn't play for us. Fine. We have so and so instead, and we are better off. Pfffft."

The group that is now playing has their own reasons for accepting the offer. I don't think they need the exposure, but if they want to do it, good for them.

I'm not going to the event, and my general impression of the organizers, which was already pretty poor, has sunk even further.

We understand that some musicians don't want to feel as though their talent is worth anything. Even if you don't think you should receive money for your talent, we believe you should receive money for your talent. That is how our local musicians can continue to afford to learn and hone their talent.

Playing for a big audience is hard work. You take lessons to sound as good as you can, and people want to hear your talent. Ask for payment - it doesn't matter how much, because you are worth it.

Hey. Look. I just bought some guitar picks and FingerEase with exposure.



  1. My sentiments exactly. The only time I take gigs without direct pay is if it's a street music gig with plenty of foot traffic for tips - which are rare - or once a year I'll take on a benefit I feel passionate about that doesn't have a huge budget/goal to reach.

  2. I played for "exposure" recently....we were told there would be a bucket passed around for donations; there was no bucket passing, just a tiny tip jar next to the mic. We made 2 bucks. And that exposure? It was exposure to 90 degree heat and 75% humidity (we played outside, obviously), and to being asked to "sing quieter" by a person sitting right next to the speakers. You can keep your "exposure" from here on out, thanks!

  3. Respect yourself and your talent! Playing for exposure is nonsense