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favorite this post RE: Free Coffee Shop comments (Brimfield, OH) hide this posting unhide

While the musician or musicians from the Brimfield-based band make a couple of good points (albeit ones already having appeared in earlier posts)--for example, though willing to play at a nonpaying place or two, a basic unwillingness to publicly promote there (bravo!) they seem to conveniently slip past any reference to alternative, morally healthier means of getting in front of audiences. How nice that they make a comfortable wage in their jobs and so can afford to be so magnanimous just because they can't think of a better way to get in front of those they mainly already know (as the family and friends they mention). Yet, as they admit, this may well drive business to the place from among their own base, something for which the somewhat stingy coffee shop owner apparently isn't willing to really spend a dime.

And don't tell me, let me guess: these Brimfield boys (and girls?) surely are hauling enough equipment to handle it, because surely most coffee shops sport at best a couple of mics and stands, and may or may not even have a PA with enough inputs to deal with what sounds like at least a quartet. Of course the size of group and amount of hauling are side issues--not really germane to the main point about playing unpaid at coffee shops and other similar places but demonstrating just how far some will go to play unpaid. As many have said, certainly their choice but those of us opposed to it have a right to voice our opinions, too.

But perish the thought: While this posting band spokesperson doubtless has read posts touting NON-profits and charities as viable alternatives for testing out their new material, no mention of that sort of thing is made. I can only wonder why not. Surely that would expose the band to more people without having to make it harder for those seeking pay to do so at for-profit businesses like the mentioned coffee shops, right? I'm giving them the benefit of the doubt that they can read (their words make them sound articulate enough) but it seems that they just don't really care about musicians just as accomplished as they are who choose far better ways (again, from a moral/ethical standpoint) to do what they need to in the off season.

Obviously, neither this post nor any are going to dissuade those out there who are convinced that what they're doing isn't harmful to the music community--or who simply don't care if it is harmful--but if reflection on these sorts of things dissuades even one or two people from performing unpaid at for-profit businesses (let alone the many more people who we think do agree with dissenters like me), it's worth posting this rebuttal. No doubt, once again, someone will choose to restate more pro-free-play arguments, usually accompanied by foul invective, or will flag this post, but if they do the latter, you can count on us to then flag the pro-free-play arguments, for if such flags are successful for them, they're just as valid for us to place. Frankly, I'd thought the arguments had been exhausted on both sides, but since the pro-free-play folks obviously feel the need to keep restating the same old case, those of us with differing opinions will feel obliged to rebut it.
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