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Pay ALL the Musicians that Perform On Your Tour
  • Petitioned Amanda Palmer

This petition was delivered to:

Amanda Palmer

Pay ALL the Musicians that Perform On Your Tour

    1. Petition by

      American Federation of Musicians of the U.S. and Canada

      New York, NY

After raising almost $1.2 million for her new album and tour on Kickstarter, Amanda Palmer put out a call for "professional-ish" musicians to volunteer to rehearse and perform in her Grand Theft Orchestra. In return, Palmer says, "We will feed you beer, hug/high-five you up and down, give you merch, and thank you mightily."

Let's start with the obvious. Palmer raised $1.2 million in advance for her new album and accompanying tour, yet says that she can't afford the $35,000 needed to hire musicians. That doesn't pass the smell test. 

With her request for volunteers -- three or four saxes and brass and a string quartet that "gets to BE the opening act" -- Amanda Palmer has shredded her reputation as a "groundbreaking" indie artist. She's become just another musician that achieves commercial success and profits off the dreams and aspirations of others. 

And besides selling her fellow musicians (and fans) down the river, she has established a dangerous precedent and degraded pay standards for the thousands of working musicians that are hired locally for touring bands.

As AFM President Ray Hair said in a NYTimes article, "If there’s a need for the musician to be on the stage, then there ought to be compensation for it." 

Or as commenter Chris Siebert put it, "Your request for free labor sounds like a promotional gimmick dreamed up by a corporate Republican who has no concept of the history of working people in this country."

Amanda Palmer: pay ALL the musicians you perform with -- and pay them a fair wage. Now.

[Photo credit]

Recent signatures


    1. Reached 1,000 signatures
    2. Amanda Palmer does the right thing!!

      It's been enormously heartening to see the thousands of musicians and fans, calling on Amanda Palmer to pay ALL the musicians on her tour. And it's a huge pleasure to see that she's listened to the community, and now reversed her position. Everyone will be paid. Thank you Amanda!

    3. Reached 750 signatures
    4. Amanda Palmer Tries to Change the Subject


      Amanda Palmer tries to change the subject, after rising criticism of her call for volunteer musicians on her Grand Theft tour.

      Palmer writes that musicians that choose to volunteer shouldn't be condemned. In fact, the problem has always been HER, and her attempt to get something for free that she can obviously afford to pay for.

      She reassures us that some musicians on the tour are paid, and some are not. One of the opening acts is paid, and another opening act -- a string quartet -- volunteers. Why is this a good thing/

    5. Reached 100 signatures


    Reasons for signing

    • jochen summer GRAZ, AUSTRIA
      • almost 2 years ago

      musicians needs to be paid like everyone else.

      • about 2 years ago

      For fairness and objection to obvious greed.

    • Greg Beettam TORONTO, CANADA
      • about 2 years ago

      As an artist myself, I personally understand the difficulty of making an honest living by your craft. It's bad enough when we have to deal with non-creative professionals denigrating the monetary value of our work, but when one artist does this to another, that's just doubly shameful.

    • Megan O'Donnell ROCHESTER, NY
      • about 2 years ago

      As a musician that will eventually be looking at jobs with touring ensembles, I believe musicians should be paid for the amount of energy they have to put into an ensemble or performance.

    • Greg Byers SAINT PAUL, MN
      • about 2 years ago

      Because I was asked to perform in Minneapolis for this tour and I declined!


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