Local 99 in Portland, Oregon, has begun a campaign that has some exciting possibilities for the rest of us.
FAIR TRADE MUSIC is a campaign that utilizes a database to collect the experience of musicians who play in Portland, Oregon to help create an atmosphere of affordable music venues to support both the arts climate and the livelihood of musicians who create that climate.
(from their website:)
“We are asking venue owners in the Portland Metro region to partner with the Fair Trade Music campaign and agree to pay equitable wages to performers. There are five levels of participation, so every venue — from the large nightclub to the corner coffeehouse — can join at the level that suits its size and budget. Participation will earn the venue a Fair Trade Music logo to proudly display in a visible location, promotional listings on the Fair Trade Music website directory, and a reputation as a Fair Trade Music Venue.
“One of the problems with playing club gigs is negotiating the standards and practices of each different club. There is no standard business model.” – Dave Fleschner
As our campaign builds, you can support the right of working musicians to receive equitable wages by supporting those venues that have signed on and display the Fair Trade Music logo. Just as fair-trade programs raise the standard of living for otherwise impoverished workers, patronizing Fair Trade Music clubs will help Portland musicians, and help maintain Portland’s vibrant music community.
Well paid, happy, healthy musicians enhance the venue’s atmosphere, customer satisfaction and revenue, ultimately creating an improved music scene, stronger economy and higher quality of life in Portland.”