Fair Trade Music 1000-Here’s How It Works:

“Fair Trade” refers to an organized social movement that aims to help workers develop sustainable living wages so their families and communities can improve their health, education, and environmental standards.

It requires that the distributors of their goods voluntarily take a bit less of the profits because it is the “right thing to do”. We at Local 1000 of the American Federation of Musicians have always believed that musicians should be paid a fair and just living wage and be able to have a good and safe working environment as a right, not a privilege.

We are asking all of our venues to participate in our Fair Trade Music 1000 campaign. This includes folk music clubs, churches, coffeehouses, theaters, house concerts, and concert series. Fair Trade Music 1000 venues agree to pay performing musicians at least the minimum wage set forth in our agreement. Our agreement is based on cooperation and mutual respect. We want to work together with our venues to build healthier, non-adversarial relationships which will benefit the musicians, the venues, and the patrons.

Here’s what a Fair Trade Venue agrees to:
1) pay the musician at least the agreed upon minimum wage (this payment is waived with limits in the case of talent showcases or open mic events)

2) notify musicians of the Fair Trade Venue status & provide them contact info about Local 1000

3) sign forms provided by an AFM member, if they ask, enabling them to submit payments to their AFM pension fund. (LS-1 forms for US & LPCC forms for Canada authorize the musician to send in their own pension payment on behalf of the venue.)

4) commit to paying at least the minimum wage set by Local 1000 scales.  These are currently:


  • Concert (large venue): $250.

  • Concert (small venue): $120.

  • Opening Act: $75.


For each additional musician, add half of the applicable solo scale amount; for example, concert scale is $345 for a duo, $460 for a trio, etc.

Equal-sharing ensembles:  The following scales will be promulgated for ensembles that function on an equal sharing basis (i.e. where all ensemble members receive equal payment for gigs rather than the “leader/sideperson” model).

  • Opening act: $50 per ensemble member

  • Small venue: $75 per ensemble member

  • Standard scale: $150 per ensemble member


5) make up the difference between an artist’s percentage of the gate and the minimum wage, (in cases where the agreement was for a percentage of the door).

Here’s what a Fair Trade Music venue gets:

  1. use of the Fair Trade Music 1000 logo on your advertising, website, and on display at the venue

  2. a link on the official Local 1000 FTM website to help draw musicians and patrons to your venue

  3. the warmth of knowing you are supporting musicians with your actions

  4. the reputation of being a leader in the Fair Trade Music campaign that will encourage other venues to follow suit. Local 1000’s campaign will make the Fair Trade Music brand visible and coveted.

  5. Artists will find your venue a more desirable place to play, knowing that you are a Fair Trade Music venue.

Look at the venues that have already signed on and have become Fair Trade Music 1000 Venues.

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Site Design by Kay Jones Stowe.


Posted December 30, 2011 by fairtrademusic1000 in How It Works