Arts News

Is the London 2012 Olympics exploiting musicians?

Is the London 2012 Olympics exploiting musicians? featured image

Musician performing on the streets of London. Image | Michiel Jelijs (

The question was posed in a op-ed written by Ivan Hewett in The Telegraph. Earlier this year musicians began speaking out about being asked to perform at Olympic Events for free and the Musicians’ Union (MU) took up their member’s case. The London Organizing Committee for the Olympic Games (LOCOG) has responded to criticism by insisting they are offering paid gigs to professionals and only asking amateurs to perform for free. However, cases of professionals being offered amateur gigs (read: free) have continued to pop up.

“The MU points out that LOCOG would not dream of asking welders or parking attendants or caterers to work for free or for a token fee “because it’s such great exposure”. But LOCOG is not alone in thinking of musicians as different from other professionals. We all do. We all know that musicians love what they do, and if they weren’t paid, they’d go on playing anyway.”

Read the rest of Hewett’s op-ed on


Image | Michiel Jelijs

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