Why venues participate in Fair Trade Music

Musicians frequently ask us: 

"So, what's in it for the clubs?" 

"Why would they voluntarily sign up for Fair Trade Music,
when there are scores of musicians 
(most of whom desperately need to read this)
willing to perform for zero guarantees?"

The short answer:

Becuase Fair Trade Music is a win-win.  
The "Fair Trade" label has already given a substantial quality and branding advantages to thousands of companies producing coffee, clothing, etc. 

Don't take our word for it - why not ask the venues that have signed up?

The Fair Trade Music Campaign:

  • Knows that musicians cannot thrive without thriving venues - healthy partnerships between musicians and venues are in everybody's best interest
  • Knows that investing in quality music is an excellent strategy for thriving as a business
  • Promotes, honors, recognizes, and helps support participating venues. Among other things, we help fill the club by letting our allies in our musician, business, and labor networks know that hte venue is doing things right. 

Here's why venues sign up:

A Better Choice

    • most music fans are appalled upon discovering the current ubiquitous practices of zero guarantees, house deductions, and minimal venue investment in quality music
    • armed with facts, most people will make ethical choices, such as purchasing Fair Trade Coffee, organic vegetables, local goods or sweatshop-free American-made clothing -- doubly so if those choices are higher quality.

      Fair Trade Music is that choice.

    • a participating venue sticker sets a venue ahead of its non-participatory competitors.

Better Music

  • Fair Trade Music's minimum guarantees would increase the amount of time musicians are able to spend preparing their music, driving quality up.
  • Better music encourages patrons not only to stay at the venue longer, but to come back more often, increasing sales.
  • Better music enhances Portland's reputation as a premiere destination for live music, attracting more patrons from out of town. 

Fair Trade Music sends clear, positive messages to customers:

"We care about music and musicians, and support them in a genuine, tangible way."

"We are not afraid to invest in great music for our patrons."


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