We use technologies, such as cookies, to customise content and advertising, to provide social media features and to analyse traffic to the site. We also share information about your use of our site with our chosen social media, advertising and analytics partners. Read our cookie policy for more information.


What the Fair Play Venue Scheme Means to Independent Venues

To celebrate Independent Venue Week, we asked some of our Fair Play Venues why they signed up and what the Fair Play Venue Scheme means to them.

The MU Fair Play Venue Scheme supports grassroots venues, recognises good practice and brings the fair treatment of musicians front and centre. To celebrate Independent Venue Week, we asked some of our Fair Play Venues why they signed up and what the Fair Play Venue Scheme means to them…

Nick Stewart, Sneaky Pete’s, Edinburgh

“We signed up because we agree with the reason it's there. We didn't have to change our operations in any way to join, as we have always paid every artist no matter what.”

“We're happy to be signed up but if there was no scheme we would still always pay acts, it's really important to show that you value musicians, even if it's just a small contribution.”

“In a funny way, paying acts shows that you value their music above their financial worth. You're paying an act for towards their artistic worth, even if it's just a contribution, rather than just for the revenue they generate for you as a venue.”

Tony Moore, The Bedford, London

Photograph of The Bedford

“We are proud to support artists and create an environment and stage where artists are treated with respect and given the chance to be seen and heard at their best.”

“In an age where it is easy to take advantage of limited gigs and a great demand to play, it is important to be fair. We believe that it is important to be part of an initiative to create supportive environments for musicians.”

Lydia Stockbridge, The Boileroom, Guildford

Photograph of The Boileroom

“It puts an official stamp on the practises we've always upheld at the venue - we've always been against pay-to-play schemes, and believe that a good show is a fair one for musicians and promoters alike.

“It's respecting the artist and the work that they put into their performances, Creativity is a labour of love; and not always a profitable one. We do not believe that a musician should have to pay to perform anywhere.”

“We signed up to the scheme to show our support for the Musicians’ Union and be officially recognised that we stand for these principles too.”

Jason Dormon, The Forum, Tunbridge Wells

Photograph of Tunbridge Wells Forum

“As a grassroots venue the Forum has always been about supporting young and emerging musicians and helping them to progress as artists as much as is possible. Putting on a gig is a partnership between the venue and the acts themselves, with shared responsibilities - Fair Play emphasises this.”

“It’s important that musicians are treated well and earn money from as early stage as possible so they can get off the ground and invest in themselves and the local music community.”

“The venue has always stood against pay-to-play and unscrupulous promoters, the scheme is a way of making that clear to musicians and our customers”

Get involved!

A venue may be considered an MU Fair Play Venue if it endorses the principles of our Fair Play Guide.

Our Fair Play Guide offers advice – to both artists and promoters – on co-promotions, ticketing deals, showcases and competitions, so that musicians can identify when a deal is fair.

To nominate a venue, your venue, or find a Fair Play Venue near you, email us at live@theMU.org

Published: 27/01/2017

Join the MU for £1

News RSS