Café Rouge asking musicians to perform for free

The Musicians’ Union has criticised the Café Rouge ‘Vive la Musique’ charity evenings being held on 18 September 2012 for asking musicians to perform for no fee.

Just days after the TUC Congress supported the MU’s motion asking that professional musicians should not be expected to work for free, the restaurant chain confirmed that they asked musicians to volunteer at the music-themed events, even though only £10 of the £30 ticket price will go to charity.

John Smith, MU General Secretary, says:

“It is extremely unfair to put professional musicians into a situation where they are emotionally blackmailed into working for no fee and are asked to give their services to a good cause. This is particularly unjust when others associated with the event, such as venue staff, are being paid.

“In this case, we realise that the musicians who will be playing will have agreed to work for free, but we are very concerned that this is part of a growing trend of professional musicians not being paid for their work. As a result, it is becoming increasingly difficult for them to earn a decent living.

“As soon as the word ‘charity’ comes up people think it’s ok not to pay people, but the reality is that it always seems to be the musicians who are asked to work for free and no-one else, which is very unfair.”