Amanda Palmer, the kickstart millionairess, has flashed back at global criticism of her call for ‘professional-ish’ musicians to join her tour on a no-fee basis. She says it’s up to every artist to decide whether he or she wants to get paid and how much. In her own troupe, she adds, everyone’s on different rates.
There is substance to her argument. It’s a healthy corrective to the one-fee-fits-all that prevails in many ensembles, but she fails to acknowledge the difference between an artist freely deciding to waive a fee and an employer – herself – declaring that she won’t pay.
UPDATE: A Boston musician, acquaintance of Amanda’s lays down ground rules here on when you should play for free.