Fair Trade Music is a grassroots campaign raising standards for freelance musicians through organizing, collective action and education. City-by-city we are building an organization of musicians, community leaders and fans to support Fair Trade Music principles including our right to:
- Negotiate Fair Contracts
- Create Equitable Business Relationships
- Establish Enforceable Contract Standards
Far too many of us often “pay to play” or play for “zero minus expenses” with venues paying nothing and musicians covering all the costs. Pay often depends on the “take” at the door or proceeds from the bar, but many clubs don’t provide documentation on income or expenses. Without enforceable contracts, transparency or accountability—musicians lose out. Through Fair Trade Music, we organize and win.
Seattle’s Fair Trade Music Campaign is an example of what happens when musicians join together to raise the standard of living for all musicians in their community. In the past year, over 25 Seattle area clubs signed a pledge to abide by Fair Trade Music principles. Musician-loading zones were established in the area. The City of Seattle even proclaimed May 20th as Fair Trade Music Day in support of a living wage for musicians. Read the recent report examining the impact of the music industry on the Seattle economy.