Musicians urged not to work for free for Olympics

Natalie Woolman

The Musicians’ Union is urging performers not to work for free at either the London Olympics or the Queen’s Jubilee celebrations this summer.

The union said that it had received reports of professional musicians being approached to perform for no fee at events associated with the Olympics and Diamond Jubilee.

Horace Trubridge, MU assistant general secretary, said that it is discussing the situation with Olympics organiser LOCOG as “LOCOG has signed a Principles of Cooperation with the TUC which specifically states that professional workers will be paid for their services and are distinct from the unpaid volunteer workforce”.

He added: “Our understanding is that all other sectors involved in putting on these events e.g. security, staging, equipment hire etc. are being paid their usual fees but not the musicians. If this is true, it is completely unacceptable and we will take the matter further. Professional musicians should always be offered a fee for their work.”

The MU’s statement follows the news that actors’ union Equity has drawn up contracts with LOCOG for all professional performers taking part in the opening and closing ceremonies of the games to be paid a minimum of £600.

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