I am often asked by people to play for free and when I explain I can’t afford to as a full time musician some even try and put a guilt trip on me. If I could afford to do it that would be an honour but I can’t. Things are very tight and to miss a Saturday night knocks the cash-flow back drastically. I’ve done charity gigs where we have been paid and still managed to raise colossal sums of money, some even into the hundreds of thousands. Most that I did in the past where there was little or no fee have always been a disaster. There’s no pressure on the event organiser.
People forget that as musicians, most are some of the worst off workers in society, (unless you are Cliff Richard) and it would be good if the awareness was raised in our favour. I am all for helping people, but my family need to eat too.