Musicians eat it again for the Brats..

Who's making noise in and around Madison? What's new in the business of making music around town? Review shows and CDs here. Please keep all hype in Hype Exchange.
zippy
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Musicians eat it again for the Brats..

Postby zippy » Tue Jun 01, 2010 2:11 pm

Over 200 music acts performed. Some of the best paid and most professional quality musicians in Madison played at 3 or 4 stages for nothing. Lets say we take an average payday for musicians of this caliber and even lowball it a little a to 350.00 dollars per band. That is over 70,000.00 dollars of free entertainment. Or right about the amount Bratfest donates to charities per year. Who gets paid?
Organizers usually get paid for their time I mean you gotta make a living right? Beer vendors of course. All the food carts. The Brat slingers ect get paid a salary that goes to the organization they work for. Whoever gets the money for use of willow island. The Carney people NEVER work for free that I am aware of. Medical workers the police on site.Even some of the cover bands got paid. Yes thats right folks.
And Johnsonville Brats gets paid big time in free publicity. Saturation style local coverage where the corporate logo is plastered in your face every two seconds. So where is all the money raised that goes to the charities (and by the way anyone know where a list of them is published and how much goes to each one?) actually raised? By all the goodhearted musicians who play for frigging free thats where. Oh wait I forgot its not really for free they each get a free Brat or two.
Whenever you see a charity event in town you can pretty much bet the only reason it is making money is because of the musicians playing for nothing or next to nothing. As a musician I get asked to do many charity events a year. I used to automatically say yes.
But now I gotta wonder why its usually only the musicians who work these things for free? Ever hear of a bar putting on these events that donate booze sales? Do the bartenders waitstaff work for free? I am sure I will be labeled a greedy bastard for even bringing this subject up even though everyone else gets paid and manages to avoid that label.
I suggest next year we have a charity event for an impoverished group of people living job to job with no health insurance barely functioning in substandard housing while getting poverty level wages. Yes MUSICIANFEST!!!
Only problem is for it to actually make money all the bands would have to play for free.

fisticuffs
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Re: Musicians eat it again for the Brats..

Postby fisticuffs » Tue Jun 01, 2010 2:16 pm

We played for free for the exposure and for the fuck of it. We like to play. Super Tuesday, Cherry Pie, Madison County, and Love Monkeys all got paid well I'm sure. They also all sold a fuck load of brats. I always say yes to charity events as long as we're available. I'd rather just believe the money raised is distributed properly than be a cranky bitch about it.

zippy
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Re: Musicians eat it again for the Brats..

Postby zippy » Tue Jun 01, 2010 2:30 pm

Yes and I would rather believe all wars are just, wall streets on the up and up and BP loves the ecosystem!
Seriously I am glad you do not mind being exploited. As I said I have played hundreds of these things. But if you don't ask questions you will get screwed. But if are not being serious and its just for the fun why should I care?

fisticuffs
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Re: Musicians eat it again for the Brats..

Postby fisticuffs » Tue Jun 01, 2010 2:36 pm

Do you follow every dollar you give? I've played a lot of benefits. Lots of them have been pretty lame. But not once have I questioned if what I was doing was a good thing or was I being taken advantage of. I don't have time to grill the organizers of the event how the money is getting split. It's more than enough to get 4 other musicians to show up at the same place at the same time and have all their gear working. In the case of Bratfest there are a lot more people involved than the gig at the local bar for the kid with cancer. Where do you even start? Here's my experience booking Bratfest for the past three years: Q: Hey you wanna play Bratfest? A: Sure what time should we be there.

An hour on stage in front of new faces playing through a great PA with a competent sound staff was worth it to me. Whatever money they raised for charity is just icing.
Last edited by fisticuffs on Tue Jun 01, 2010 2:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

rick
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Re: Musicians eat it again for the Brats..

Postby rick » Tue Jun 01, 2010 2:52 pm

Maybe someone from Bratfest could clarify but my understanding is that everyone who works and performs at Bratfest is a volunteer. God, that sounds familiar.

Non-profit groups volunteer at Bratfest to earn rewards for their non-profit. Politicians help sell brats to look electable.

Bratfest is a non-profit in itself and has some overhead - advertsising, permits, etc. Don't believe they have a paid director, though, but I could be wrong.

A Music Association would be nice, one that could allocate monies raised to promote local music, or provide benefits to its members, or form an insurance pool or even a record label. Part of those funds could be raised at events like Bratfest. I wonder if that association would ever get enough financial and other support to get legs of its own... I wonder what to call it...

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Re: Musicians eat it again for the Brats..

Postby drinkinblackcoffee » Tue Jun 01, 2010 3:00 pm

Until it was mentioned here, I didn't even know Bratfest was a charity. Their website does not even say where the money goes.. It only mentions "...with all proceeds benefitting the local charities that help to staff the event..." which means even the volunteers are somewhat compensated.

I understand what Zippy is saying, considering the "charity" aspect of Bratfest is tertiary at best. Taking a gig for the sake of charity doesn't jive when there really isn't any charity going around. If you take a gig for the sake of exposure, I would hope you're the type of band that will be appreciated by the Bratfest crowd.

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Re: Musicians eat it again for the Brats..

Postby Ducatista » Tue Jun 01, 2010 3:02 pm

zippy wrote:And Johnsonville Brats gets paid big time in free publicity.

And the bands get paid (though not necessarily big time) in free exposure, right?

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Re: Musicians eat it again for the Brats..

Postby swoon_queen » Tue Jun 01, 2010 3:35 pm

drinkinblackcoffee wrote:Until it was mentioned here, I didn't even know Bratfest was a charity. Their website does not even say where the money goes.. It only mentions "...with all proceeds benefitting the local charities that help to staff the event..." which means even the volunteers are somewhat compensated.

I understand what Zippy is saying, considering the "charity" aspect of Bratfest is tertiary at best.


When I was there I noticed that they were keeping a running tally of money raised for charity. It was early Monday, and I think the money was around $190000. I'm guessing that Johnsonville donates the brats (just as musicians donate their time) in exchange for the exposure to thousands of people.

Tertiary at best? Not exactly.

http://www.bratfest.com/volunteer/what- ... brat-fest/

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Re: Musicians eat it again for the Brats..

Postby supaunknown » Tue Jun 01, 2010 3:55 pm

I might've stuck with scouting if I could've joined Troop 420.

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Re: Musicians eat it again for the Brats..

Postby depinmad » Tue Jun 01, 2010 3:57 pm

When I was leaving on Monday afternoon, a volunteer must have thought my video equipment cases were instrument cases cuz he gave me a big pat on the back and said "great job".
Best compliment I ever got after a gig.

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Re: Musicians eat it again for the Brats..

Postby Henry Vilas » Tue Jun 01, 2010 4:01 pm

I'm sure Johnsonville writes off their donated brats. Can bands write off their performances as donations in kind? I assume most are LLCs.

drinkinblackcoffee
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Re: Musicians eat it again for the Brats..

Postby drinkinblackcoffee » Tue Jun 01, 2010 4:38 pm

swoon_queen wrote:
drinkinblackcoffee wrote:Until it was mentioned here, I didn't even know Bratfest was a charity. Their website does not even say where the money goes.. It only mentions "...with all proceeds benefitting the local charities that help to staff the event..." which means even the volunteers are somewhat compensated.

I understand what Zippy is saying, considering the "charity" aspect of Bratfest is tertiary at best.


When I was there I noticed that they were keeping a running tally of money raised for charity. It was early Monday, and I think the money was around $190000. I'm guessing that Johnsonville donates the brats (just as musicians donate their time) in exchange for the exposure to thousands of people.

Tertiary at best? Not exactly.

http://www.bratfest.com/volunteer/what- ... brat-fest/




The Bratfest website makes no mention about how much was donated. Even their own website is completely uninterested in the charity aspect of the event, it seems more interested in being what it is for Johnsonville- a publicity stunt. If (I'm guessing by the end of Monday)$250,000 was donated the event had to net over 1M, meaning if it is a charity, it uses most of the money on overhead and self-serving promotion.

The website even promotes the charity as tertiary....see the Superman guy's quote...."Brats(primary)+Music(secondary)+Charity(tertiary)+Madison, WI = Awesome!"
...which brings us around to the irony of not paying the musicians...

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Re: Musicians eat it again for the Brats..

Postby chainsawcurtis » Tue Jun 01, 2010 4:51 pm

Henry Vilas wrote:I'm sure Johnsonville writes off their donated brats. Can bands write off their performances as donations in kind? I assume most are LLCs.


If you are a musician that files a schedule C I'm fairly certain you can "write off" expenses for a charity performance.

It took one or two clicks on the bratfest.com website to figure out where the money goes and how this thing got started.

I got involved this year because I was looking to break in to the Madison market somewhat with my little dog and pony show. I wound up filling in on the main stage on Friday afternoon at 1 pm. Not a great time slot but it didn't matter to me. The band gear got picked up in motorized carts. I got chauferred back and forth to the parking lot in golf carts. The sound guys were extremely competent considering we had 15 minutes to set up. I got to do some of my original material and I could have sold a dozen disks to even this small a crowd if I had been smart enough to bring someone along to help sell them. I'd do it again (and did get asked) in a heartbeat.

And that's mostly because 15 years ago when I got an operable melanoma but had no insurance some charitable organization got me a grant that paid for almost $20,000 worth of medical bills. I never found out exactly who they were. Since then, when somebody asks me and I can do something like this I do it. Is it self-serving? A little, sure. Do I feel guilty? Not a chance. Maybe next year I'll get to do a set in front of a few more people on a great stage with great sound and nice volunteers who are happy to see me on a beautiful late spring day.

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Re: Musicians eat it again for the Brats..

Postby swoon_queen » Tue Jun 01, 2010 4:56 pm

I'd like to note that it seems everyone who attends, flips a brat, plays a song, serves as a celeb cashier, etc. is doing so of their own volition. Musicians who don't want to play for free generally don't. Those who did play for free at Brat Fest, as chainsawcurtis spelled out, seemed to enjoy it. Granted, the money raised may have been partially diverted to operating costs, but the majority was divvied up between local charities.

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Re: Musicians eat it again for the Brats..

Postby Henry Vilas » Tue Jun 01, 2010 5:01 pm

As an aside, maybe some musicians (and others without health coverage) could qualify for this relatively inexpensive bare bones state plan.

BadgerCare Plus Basic


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