Just had that proverbial "playing for exposure" offer

C. Dave Run

Well-known Member
My favorite is when someone (doesnt matter who) requests help, then let's you do all the work and they stand around and do nothing.

I'm only here to help.

If I am going to help:

I dont buy parts
I dont supply tools
I dont make decisions
I dont buy lunch
I dont buy beer
I can leave whenever I want

If this is unacceptable, pay somebody!
 

cbphoto

Diamond Member
It’s a discouraging trait found in those who try to take advantage of others. It’s happened to me numerous times over my career and my responses have become more bitter over time.
 

BobC

Member
My band is scheduled to play an upcoming charity gig. Frankly, I'm not looking forward to it. We will be outside, in the sun, on an uncovered stage for 4 hours.

Frankly, I actually miss my days of playing bars. Yeah, they were dirty, unsafe and rowdy but we always got paid, it was always fun, and the venue would always ensure the band got unlimited drinks (mostly diet pepsi with the occasional shot of bourbon).

If you're doing a charity freebie in the hot sun for four hours, I would demand a tent, water and maybe food. You're playing for free, but that doesn't mean you have to suffer for it.
 
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Jeremy Bender

Platinum Member
I agree with the OP and applaud his response.
On the flip side, some musicians may be partly to blame for this (albeit unwittingly) with their own behavior of playing on street corners and flash mob performances by highly accomplished players in shopping malls and town squares.
It cheapens it subconciuously to a free service for the general public. Like public toilets.

So in their mind "it's why should I pay for music, you guys are playing for free all over the place"?
 
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JimmyM

Gold Member
I agree with the OP and applaud his response.
On the flip side, some musicians may be partly to blame for this (albeit unwittingly) with their own behavior of playing on street corners and flash mob performances by highly accomplished players in shopping malls and town squares.
It cheapens it subconciuously to a free service for the general public. Like public toilets.

So in their mind "it's why should I pay for music, you guys are playing for free all over the place"?
Highly accomplished players in shopping malls are usually paid. And those tip jars street musicians put up aren't there for looks, though most passersby think they are.
 

Yamaha Rider

Gold Member
This evening, I was having a polite conversation with a local businessman. He floated the idea of my band "playing for exposure" at his venue. I was polite and professional. I didn't laugh out loud and maintained my composure.

I politely explained that my band typically charges between $600 and $1,500 per gig but we are happy to perform charity gigs for a deserving non-profit.

His venue is definitely a "FOR-PROFIT" venue. Nope. We ain't doing that!

After all these years I still find in kind of humorous that people think "playing for exposure" is a legitimate. (It's not.)
Is your band name 'The Interns'?
 

ToneT

Well-known Member
This evening, I was having a polite conversation with a local businessman. He floated the idea of my band "playing for exposure" at his venue. I was polite and professional. I didn't laugh out loud and maintained my composure.

I politely explained that my band typically charges between $600 and $1,500 per gig but we are happy to perform charity gigs for a deserving non-profit.

His venue is definitely a "FOR-PROFIT" venue. Nope. We ain't doing that!

After all these years I still find in kind of humorous that people think "playing for exposure" is a legitimate. (It's not.)
My method is very simple...
No pay, no play.
 

A J

Active Member
If you're doing a charity freebie in the hot sun for four hours, I would demand a tent, water and maybe food. You're playing for free, but that doesn't mean you have to suffer for it.

I just found out they added an awning to shade us. Since we're playing on a large flatbed trailer, they also added a railing so me and the other drummer don't fall off the stage! 😆
 

A J

Active Member
My favorite is when someone (doesnt matter who) requests help, then let's you do all the work and they stand around and do nothing.

I'm only here to help.

If I am going to help:

I dont buy parts
I dont supply tools
I dont make decisions
I dont buy lunch
I dont buy beer
I can leave whenever I want

If this is unacceptable, pay somebody!

I had that happen once. I agreed to help three ladies move a large pile of gravel. I brought a tractor, but much of the work had to be done with a spade. One lady came out to help. The other two sat inside in the air conditioning eating breakfast. Even though the help from the two ladies in the house would not have amounted to much, it would have gone a long way to showing a little bit of respect for the guy working for free.

I learned my lesson on those people.
 

Woolwich

Silver Member
Yeah. I'm still waiting for the painting flash mob to come do my house lol.

That was me once, the company I worked for had the "brilliant" idea of getting dozens of us to team build by painting back doors, building street furniture, planting flowers etc in a rundown area of a city. Not only did I not want to do it in the first place but it was galling having people who'd let their properties fall into disrepair coming out and pointing out where someone had missed a bit when the work we'd put in had improved the area ten fold.
 

C. Dave Run

Well-known Member
people who'd let their properties fall into disrepair coming out and pointing out where someone had missed a bit
Why does this not surprise me?

There is a whole rash of folks here that post CL ads. They are "Free Firewood", "Free Flooring", "Free Decking", just free whatever. You click on it, and they want you to come out and cut down and haul off a tree, pull up their flooring, take down their deck, whatever. And you can have the material for free.

Laziness.
 

Cmdr. Ross

Silver Member
In 2022, spend that 2-3hrs making a video for You Tube/Insta/Tik Tok and then we will talk about "exposure".......can that dude with the local venue promise you 10K-1M sets of eyes like those channels? lol
This is a really good argument against these types of offers. They already know the answer is no, so the discussion stops right there.
I'll have to remember this the next time one of these bozos tries to pull one over.
 

cbphoto

Diamond Member
In 2022, spend that 2-3hrs making a video for You Tube/Insta/Tik Tok and then we will talk about "exposure".......can that dude with the local venue promise you 10K-1M sets of eyes like those channels?
This is a really good argument against these types of offers. They already know the answer is no, so the discussion stops right there.
I'll have to remember this the next time one of these bozos tries to pull one over.
Instead of money, what if the venue manager recorded a decent video (with decent audio) and posted it on their social media channel(s)? What if he gave the band a flash drive with the raw footage and unmixed multi-channel audio?

im so sorry john cena GIF
 

River19

Senior Member
Instead of money, what if the venue manager recorded a decent video (with decent audio) and posted it on their social media channel(s)? What if he gave the band a flash drive with the raw footage and unmixed multi-channel audio?

im so sorry john cena GIF

THEN you have something to talk about.

The days of "working the clubs" to win over 80-150 people at a time are kinda over. Work smarter not harder. Take that 80 person gig, in lieu of payment bring in a hired videographer and make sure sound is good and then you might have something worth your time if they won't pay you cash.

While bands certainly can build grassroots style like 1985, that path is just so much harder. Why fight the technology. Use it for good not evil
 

Cmdr. Ross

Silver Member
THEN you have something to talk about.

The days of "working the clubs" to win over 80-150 people at a time are kinda over. Work smarter not harder. Take that 80 person gig, in lieu of payment bring in a hired videographer and make sure sound is good and then you might have something worth your time if they won't pay you cash.

While bands certainly can build grassroots style like 1985, that path is just so much harder. Why fight the technology. Use it for good not evil
Anika Nilles did just this. She started recording herself playing to use as a visual resume. Then she caught on and became who she is now.
Of course...I'm not saying a band who would do the videography plan will gain her level of success. But it's a great idea.
 

alparrott

Platinum Member
My stock answer to people who say "do it for the exposure" is, "people die of exposure."
 
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