The MU is launching a campaign for fair pay for musicians under the Work Not Play banner.
The campaign comes in response to the growing number of examples of musicians being expected to work for free whilst others are being paid. An MU website www.worknotplay.co.uk highlights many individual stories as told by musicians. There is also a Twitter feed to share comments with the tag #WorkNotPlayMU.
Musicians from all genres are invited to sign up and share their stories of being asked to work for no fee.
John Smith, MU General Secretary, said: “We are concerned at a growing trend of professional musicians not being paid for their work. In this era of illegal downloading, live revenue is incredibly important and musicians rely on it to be able to survive.
"Too many people seem to think that music and entertainment are a hobby rather than a career, and are unaware of the years of training and hard work that it takes to become a professional performer.
"It is difficult enough to earn a decent living as a professional musician these days, and, headline artists aside, it is not a highly paid profession. We’re looking to challenge the idea that musicians should be happy to work for free, and we’re delighted that so many musicians and music fans are joining up to this campaign."