Is the Irish Music Industry unethical/immoral to independent artists? (1 Viewer)

Wingnut Records

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As part of a preview for Fire Escape Festival later this month; Martin Mackie argued the point that many of the larger festivals treat Irish independent artists unfairly. Meanwhile 'Pitchfork bands' get big hype and big money and 'its all a big lie.'

He makes a reasonable point...

 

MilanPan!c

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Wait...? Is the music industry meant to have ethics/morals?

It'd be great if businesses did, but...

On top of that, these sorts of festivals may not (currently) have big bands, but they're still just run by little cliques. A different kind of ethical issue.

Festivals and venues SHOULD pay artists, I suppose, but then again they don't have to and they never will.
 

Wingnut Records

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Haha, yah,good point! I mean, I totally understand, and indeed I put the point to Martin that most bands crave big gigs. It's what they love doing most!!
I guess the piece reflects a few acts that are tired of a 'two-tiered' way of treating acts on the same festival bill, and then that festival making large amounts of profit.

Totally get your point. AND, I've done loads of puppeteering gigs myself in exchange for a wristband...
 

MilanPan!c

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Haha, yah,good point! I mean, I totally understand, and indeed I put the point to Martin that most bands crave big gigs. It's what they love doing most!!
I guess the piece reflects a few acts that are tired of a 'two-tiered' way of treating acts on the same festival bill, and then that festival making large amounts of profit.

Totally get your point. AND, I've done loads of puppeteering gigs myself in exchange for a wristband...

It's one of those things I hear bands complaining about now days, and it's pretty silly IMO.

Changing it would require years of all Irish bands boycotting festivals and gigs that don't pay, and/or legislation. Neither will happen.

It's also annoying for unestablished bands to hear bands that get these gigs wanting to be paid - as if being paid to play a few gigs will mean you could quit your day job.

I appreciate that it's frustrating to work hard and not be paid, but that's the music biz in 2014.
 

oh shit

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Sorry for stating the bloody obvious, but this is a really familiar and tiresome discussion that has a simple answer, ie do it yourself.

There was, and may still be for all I know, a very healthy Do It Yourself scene in Ireland which many people on Thumped were heavily involved in. The ethic, as such, is pretty basic. It means doing things yourself with like-minded people working together on a non-profit basis. Form bands, share equipment, book venues, help promote shows, host touring bands, cover your costs, and all this as an end in itself.

Needless to say, if you do it the DIY way you can have an egalitarian split of the cash, because no one has any demands. You can choose to play and promote the music you like, rather than the music the radio pluggers and the sponsors like. You will be guaranteed to play to people who care about what's going on and who will listen to your music (hopefully) with some interest and enthusiasm.

Sorry to labour it further but what you can't expect from DIY is getting to play on a gig on a gigantic stage with a massive sound system in front of 50 disinterested punters waiting to see the famous bands later on the bill. But if that's what you really care about, you also can't expect to be treated with anything like 'ethics', because you're in a market environment where ethics come with a premium. You are just one minnow amongst many, you aren't drawing in any money for the promoters, and there are plenty of others in your position. So you have to be prepared to be treated like someone who is in a seller's market, and suck it up.

Remains to add only that complaining about it is a waste of time that you could better spend doing it yourself. Never mind what's been selling, it's what you're buying.
 

Maleno

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Wait...? Is the music industry meant to have ethics/morals?

It'd be great if businesses did, but...

Are governments meant to have ethics/morals? It'd be great if they did work for the people rather than to retain power for themselves, but...

Are banks supposed to have ethics/morals? It'd be great if they did help ordinary people rather than line their own pockets, but...

Are doctors and pharmaceutical companies supposed to have ethics/morals? It'd be great if they did the best for their patients rather than whatever was easiest/most lucrative for themselves, but...

Are teachers supposed to have ethics/morals? It'd be great if they did what was best for the children rather than what suits them, but...

I mean, changing any of that would take so much work! Why would you bother? We might as well just keep doing the thing we've always done, jump over the graves our comrades with "ethical concerns" in search of "success" and continue to watch things gets worse and worse for all of us. That's my kind of solidarity.

Gotta love the Quo.
 

MilanPan!c

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Are governments meant to have ethics/morals? It'd be great if they did work for the people rather than to retain power for themselves, but...

Are banks supposed to have ethics/morals? It'd be great if they did help ordinary people rather than line their own pockets, but...

Are doctors and pharmaceutical companies supposed to have ethics/morals? It'd be great if they did the best for their patients rather than whatever was easiest/most lucrative for themselves, but...

Are teachers supposed to have ethics/morals? It'd be great if they did what was best for the children rather than what suits them, but...

I mean, changing any of that would take so much work! Why would you bother? We might as well just keep doing the thing we've always done, jump over the graves our comrades with "ethical concerns" in search of "success" and continue to watch things gets worse and worse for all of us. That's my kind of solidarity.

Gotta love the Quo.

Sorry, are you trying to say that business - free enterprise - has the same ethical responsibility to the masses as government?

That is frankly delusional.

You might have a point - might - if you were being forced to buy music, or forced to play gigs, but you aren't.

Until that happens, drawing ridiculous analogues between primary school teachers and multinational businesses is laughable.
 

Maleno

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I'm saying they, as humans, all have the same ethical responsibilities towards other humans. One of which might be to not unfairly exploit other humans for personal profit.

One isn't forced to buy medicine or have a bank account, but life becomes more difficult without them. Same as an artist isn't forced to perform, particularly not for free, but life as an artist becomes more difficult when you don't.

The logic of "free enterprise" - the market is the market and ethics have no place in it - is frankly delusional.
 

MilanPan!c

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I'm saying they, as humans, all have the same ethical responsibilities towards other humans. One of which might be to not unfairly exploit other humans for personal profit.

One isn't forced to buy medicine or have a bank account, but life becomes more difficult without them. Same as an artist isn't forced to perform, particularly not for free, but life as an artist becomes more difficult when you don't.

The logic of "free enterprise" - the market is the market and ethics have no place in it - is frankly delusional.

Sorry, but no.

Businesses have two things they must do:

- make money
- obey the law

No one has to work for a business that treats them badly and no one has to buy a product they don't want.

Businesses that follow the law don't owe society anything.

Don't like a business? Don't buy it's products?

A bar or a festival has no ethical responsibility to pay people it hasn't promised pay to, and if it can find people who will work for free, then good for it.

If you'd like to change all of that, then start your own business. People can then choose to decide if your product is something they want.

But hey, news flash: people are well aware of how morally compromised most products and businesses are and they don't give a shit.

And btw: again you try and compare Whelans paying a band to something like medicine?!

Give me a break.
 

MilanPan!c

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I fear for your soul, brother.

Ah shit dawg, you're not still under the impression that humans have souls??!

That's your first mistake.

If you'd like to FORCE business to have to follow some sort of ethical system outside of the law, then best of luck. I'm pretty sure most business won't be interested.

I also hope that your personal ethics, that you want corporations to abide by, are ok with the rest of us. Hate to have you go to all that trouble just to find out we all don't actually believe the same thing.
 

nooleen

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Wingnut Records

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There is always danger of much complaining and no action on an issue like this.

But in fairness, the subject of the interview is promoting a festival that he has organised himself.

No harm in him looking at the bigger picture as well.

And he makes the point in the interview that industry people DO wish to pay bands, it is merely not accepted as part of a culture.

Nobody needs to school Martin in DIY. But there is no harm in calling out Doing It Wrong by some festivals, as he sees it.
 

MilanPan!c

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There is always danger of much complaining and no action on an issue like this.

But in fairness, the subject of the interview is promoting a festival that he has organised himself.

No harm in him looking at the bigger picture as well.

And he makes the point in the interview that industry people DO wish to pay bands, it is merely not accepted as part of a culture.

Nobody needs to school Martin in DIY. But there is no harm in calling out Doing It Wrong by some festivals, as he sees it.

Sorry - mobile thumped is acting up.

A few things:

- people can do what they think is right, but trying to dictate extra-judicial morality to a business seems both a waste of time and effort - don't let me stop you, but really - you're best "vote" is to stop buying their product

- I also strongly doubt that all industry people want to pay bands; if they all did, they would. Some I'm sure do, but the average punter is buying EP tickets no matter Ham Sandwich makes for playing - to that end, it's not gonna change because few care at all
 

egg_

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Local bands get slots at festivals purely for market positioning reasons. Promoters don't give a fuck if your band plays a set or not, they just want scenesters around to make their festival cool. You're not being hired to do a job, you're like a model getting free tickets to something just because she's pretty
 

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