Like most websites, this site uses cookies. To find out more about what cookies are, and how they are used on this website, go to our Privacy Policy. If you continue to use this site, we will assume that you are happy with the website's use of cookies.


Young Workers' Month 2017 #YWM17

Have you been asked to work for free recently? It’s a fact of being a working person that someone will ask you for a favour now and again. It’s a fact of being a musician that people will ask you to work for free all the time. This Young Workers’ Month, we’re talking about being asked to work for free – that could be for no money whatsoever, or so little that it don’t cover the cost of you doing a gig.

Why should musicians work for free? We’ve heard all the reasons; it’s for charity! It’s good exposure! It’s a trial run! It’s my brother’s sister’s best friend’s auntie’s birthday! As a trade union, we’re not going to stop you playing for free if it is truly worth it – SXSW, your parents’ 60th wedding anniversary, Glastonbury... But your sister’s work do? Then you can and should probably ask for a fee that you think is fair.

We get that sometimes it can be difficult to explain the issue, and get across what working for free actually means. Especially to people who aren’t musicians or self-employed workers, and especially when you are young or just starting out. We also understand that identifying, understanding and communicating the value of your work can be tricky. We know from plenty of experience that negotiating can be tough. That’s what we’re here for – to support you through the process.

This Young Workers’ Month, we want to make it a little bit easier.

We’re starting with workshops on managing your own PR in London and Newcastle, so you have a strong understanding of communicating your value. In fact Vicky, who is running the workshops, takes you through some of the fundamentals in her blog for us this Young Workers’ Month.

You can also pick up expert advice on negotiating better deals for yourself in our webinar on Wednesday 29 November with FEU Training.

And keep an eye on our Twitter, Facebook and Instagram feeds for plenty more advice and information to help you negotiate that fee from £0 to something meaningful to you.

In the meantime, if you have any questions about Work Not Play, Young Workers’ Month, who we are or what we do, please email Maddy Radcliff (MU Campaigns & Public Affairs Official) via


Published: 02/11/2017
News RSS