Apparently there's to be a sport contest, The Olympics, in London next month. I think some of the newspapers might have mentioned it.
Anyway, it's not just about sponsors logos and running. The organisers, LOCOG, thought it would be nice to have some bands playing music to lift the audience's spirits during the dull bits (which would presumably be the sporting bits.)
Trouble is, they don't really want to pay. Music Week reports:
Horace Trubridge, MU Assistant General Secretary said: “LOCOG is saying this is ok because the bands are going to be amateur musicians, but that is simply not true. If it was school bands then it might be a different thing but unsigned bands are not amateurs - in many cases they expect, and get, paid for performing live and LOCOG is exploiting them under the guise of an unsigned band competition.Ah, but we're all supposed to work for free for the Olympics, aren't we? Despite there being supposedly half a billion to spare, according to fundamentally-flawed Culture Minister Jeremy Hunt, there's a grim determination for the event to not pay for staff if it can possibly get away with it.
“LOCOG has repeatedly told us that all professional musicians will be paid, and this is yet another example of them breaking their word. If they want musicians to entertain thousands of people then they should pay for it. It is difficult enough to earn a decent living as a professional musician these days – where does this idea come from that musicians should be happy to work for free? Who else would be?
“This competition aside, the MU has been gathering countless recent examples of LOCOG directly approaching professional musicians to play for free. We are asking the Government and the Mayor of London to condemn LOCOG’s actions and we are also calling on musicians who have been asked to work for free at the Olympics to refuse to play.”
As far as I can tell, though, McDonalds haven't been invited by LOCOG to give their burgers away for free. Funny that.