Occupy the Music Scene - Support from Occupy Wall St.

Original article: 

The live music industry is in a rough place: performing musicians are expected to advertise their own shows and bring in a large fan base, but most of the money from ticket sales goes to lights, sound and the venue before anything goes to the band.

So to make up for that, many musicians work day jobs, which takes away from their ability to craft great music and perfect their performances. Both musicians and their fans suffer in this endless cycle, as more artists give up on music due to the high costs.

Fair Trade Music: Ventura County - "$50 is the new $100"

 All around the country the story from musicians is generally the same, less money more work. Here's an article highlighting the situation in Ventura County and featuring an interview with PDX coordinator Jake Pegg.


Fair Play

Billboard Magazine printed an article on the Fair Trade Music campaign in the Jan. 30 edition of the magazine.

It can be viewed online at

Unfortunately, there is an error in the article we would like to correct. In the article, AFM Local 99 President Bruce Fife is incorrectly quoted as saying.

"Some clubs can take out fees of up to $100 before the band even sees a nickel."

The reality is, that number is actually an order of magnitude higher at $1,000. This money is deducted from ticket sales or cover charges to ensure the wages of employees hired by these venues, advertising costs, hospitality (more on that later) and the ever mysterious "house fee".

McMenamin's booker Jimi Biron is also interviewed in the article and his comment on the benefits he sees from Fair Trade Music hit the nail on the head.

"I like it from a competitive stance," he says. "It will help us be able to recruit and book top local talent, because they'll know we pay fairly."

Analysis: Weighing Fair Trade As It Hits Portland Music Scene

by Glenn Peoples
October 7th
Direct Link

A few interesting topics from the article.

Fair trade music could have two results. On one hand, . . . attendance would shift - maybe a bit, maybe a lot - to fair trade venues from non-fair trade venues. In effect, being a fair trade venue would be a bit of a competitive advantage. If popular artists pledged not to perform at non-fair trade venues, the impact of that advantage would be amplified.
On the other hand, a fair trade pay scale could give club owners less incentive to book unpopular acts. It can be explained in terms local bands can understand: If you asked a record store owner to buy your CD and refused to allow the store to sell on consignment (thus shifting the entire risk to the store), you will hurt your chance of getting that store to stock your CD.

Fair Trade Music makes it's way to Nashville.

Nashville Scene
Bands, Where Oh Where Does Your Door Money Go?
by Tracy Moore
Thursday October 1, 2009


Fair Trade Music

Willamette Week
by Amanda Ingram
Wednesday September 30, 2009


Portland Musicians Launch "Fair Trade Music" Campaign

The Deli Portland Scene Blog by Ryan J. Prado Tuesday September, 8 2009

Fair Trade Music Press release

FTM Campaign Press Release
Fair Trade Music Blog - Tue, 09/15/2009 - 12:15pm

Project Seeks to Establish Minimum Pay Guarantees for All Working Musicians

Portland, OR – September 7, 2009 – A coalition of Portland musicians has launched the “Fair Trade Music” campaign, which is seeking to establish minimum pay guarantees for all performing musicians in the Portland area. Co-sponsored by Local 99 of the American Federation of Musicians and the Labor Education and Research Center, the coalition includes union and non-union musicians.

Fair Trade Music Interview on Labor Radio KBOO 90.7 FM

Steering Committee members Sean Hudson, Graham Smith-White, Matt Kalinowski and Jennifer Woodall discuss the issues surrounding Fair Trade Music.

12:54 minutes (4.43 MB)

KXL Fair Trade Music Wrap

Radio station KXL AM 750 covers Fair Trade Music in a news teaser. Steering Committee member Graham Smith-White is interviewed.

0:37 minutes (259.84 KB)
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