Tag Archives: Block Parties

If you want to make a living playing music, you have to make a living playing music!

One of my favorite local stars, Inge Berge, shared a post on his Facebook page about this “Call For Performers” by the city of Yellowknife, NT in Canada:

As we head into Gloucester’s spring/summer/fall busy season, I’m glad he brought this topic up because that’s often when musicians are asked to play for free in return for “exposure.”

I don’t expect musicians to perform for free, because I don’t work for free.  Actually, the last time I asked any musician to play without pay (except for passing the hat) was when Vickie and I were helping organize the first Block Parties in 2008, at which I played for free too.   And that was only because everyone involved in starting the Block Parties donated their time.  By last year  (could have been 2012) the Block Parties had evolved to the point where the Block Party Committee raises money and pays musicians.

Don’t get me wrong, I do volunteer my time for various causes that I feel are worthwhile — and I sometimes work for trade.  But in every trade case, I’m getting something in return for my work — something of equal value to the value of my work.

Next time somebody asks you to play for free, ask “What am I getting in trade?”  If the answer is something like, “Oh, you’ll get great exposure,”  my advice is just say no.

Lugging your gear into your car, driving to the venue, setting up, breaking down, loading your gear back into your car and driving home would be enough to demand some pay (at least what stage hands get).  Then there’s performing, which (among other things) requires years of practice, tremendous dedication, a willingness to trust your artistic instincts and … talent.  That should be reserved only for those occasions where the people who’ve asked you to perform value the fact that you’re digging deeper into the human soul than most people ever get and sharing what you find with the rest of us. 

I could rattle off a dozen reasons why mere “exposure” is no where near enough compensation for performing — and the first one that comes to mind is that if you’re playing anywhere on Cape Ann, you can get plenty of free exposure right here on GMG and on gimmesound.com.

Plus, because you don’t want to play to an empty room, you’ll probably plug the event on your own social media pages, which gets free exposure for the people who’ve asked you to perform in the first place.

Feel free to share this post with everybody who asks you to play for free …

GloucesterCast Podcast With Guest Ed Collard and Host Joey Ciaramitaro Taped 5/19/13

GloucesterCast Podcast With Guest Ed Collard and Host Joey Ciaramitaro Taped May 19th, 2013

click to listen-GloucesterCast With Guest Ed Collard and Host Joey Ciaramitaro taped May 19th, 2013

Topics, Ed Collard, Safe Boating Day, Kim Smith Milkweed Project, Motif No 1 Day, Dog Park Opening, Alicia Cox, Sista Felicia, Crappy Coffee, Glosta Joe’s Coffee, Maxwell House, lone Gull, Pleasant Street , Cape Ann Coffee, Brewing Method, Keurig, Coast Guard Safe Boating Day, CERT, Rockport Merchant’s Group, Sara Kelly, Angela Cook, Kudos For Footbridge Repair Completion, Fans Of the Blog, Cameltoe, Cape Ann Images, Shooting My Universe, My View of life On the Dock,Pink Winged Sticka, Beavis and Butthead, Good Morning Gloucester Mug Ups, Khan Studio , Block Parties, Madfish Grill, Gig Medieros, Carol McKenna, Craig Kimberley’s Dodgeball Movie Gloucester Screening

GloucesterCast With Host Joey Ciaramitaro and Guest Donna Ardizzoni

GloucesterCast With Host Joey Ciaramitaro and Guest Donna Ardizzoni Taped April 29th 2013

Click to listen- With Host Joey C and Donna Ardizzoni

Topics Include: Kim Smith, Moving To Gloucester, Good Harbor vs Wingaersheek, One Hour at a Time Gang, Best Outside Deck To Dine, Favorite Community Events, Block Parties, Celebrate Gloucester, Schooner Festival, Ravenswood vs Halibut Point Park, Kayaking Gloucester, Staying Positive

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Lobster Meat At Cruiseport

Portside Grille At Cruiseport has been packed every single day.  One of the recurring things I’ve been noting when soliciting feedback from people about the Block Parties is that people really love alfresco dining.  Other than the Block Parties there are a few places you can really enjoy this type of dining around town -the Cruiseport unique-to-Gloucester sliding open frontage to the waterfront, Lobster Pool Restaurant in Folly Cove, the Rudder, the Studio, Latitude 43 deck and the Gloucester House.

Hopefully some group of downtown business owners get together and find a concensus as to how they would like to close Main Street to vehicular traffic on Friday and Saturday nights throughout the summer.  Gloucester Crossing will be opening soon.  It is of my opinion that the Downtown business owners really ought to start thinking about soliciting the city for the street closures as a way to differentiate and make Downtown Gloucester the destination it has been developing into.  They just need to take it to the next step.  It wouldn’t have to be a Block Party every summer weekend night but if the Block Parties showed anything it was that Gloucester is a social city and given the opportunity to see and be seen people will show up.

Lobster Meat At Cruiseport, originally uploaded by captjoe06.