Krakatoa strongly supports musicians having the opportunity to earn a living from the performance of their art.

Historically bars have utilised free access to live music as a means of driving footfall, essentially provisioning it in lieu of discounted liquor (since actually discounting liquor would also attract all manner of riffraff). From a commercial perspective this necessitates paying the performers as little as possible, since their compensation is deducted from bar takings. This practice is problematic on various levels:

  • It reinforces the notion that art should be free at the point of consumption.
  • It devalues art by inviting comparison to a slice of poor quality pizza or “free WiFi”.
  • It imparts the ethically dubious perception that access to art is somehow ancillary to the sale of liquor.

None of which acts in the best interests of the performer, arguably resulting in customers who’ll cheerfully fork out the best part of a tenner on a pretentious cup of coffee, whilst begrudging spending a fraction of that on accessing potentially the most memorable night of their lives.

In contrast, a reputable music venue functions to disseminate art rather than alcohol. Therefore a charge is levied against the performance, with any bar sales being viewed as being ancillary to that. Ideally the entry receipts go towards paying the performer(s) and covering the cost of the show, with any bar surplus being set aside for the upkeep of the venue. To this end a venue sets the structures admission charges in such a way as to maximise both entry receipts and footfall.

Unfortunately a clash of interests arises at grassroots level, where venues promoting music in order to expand their local music scene are forced to compete against bars that are leveraging music in order to pimp booze.

Were this not the case, then gigs would be better attended, corresponding to performers being more fairly compensated for their efforts.

Granted this may not be a welcome analyses in some quarters, but please bear in mind that it’s being delivered by a non-profit organisation whose members volunteer a portion of their time to enhancing local grassroots music, and where door receipts are ring-fenced for that purpose.

Krakatoa funds the cost of each show, along with the upkeep and maintenance of its concert facilities by applying a premium to drinks prices at the weekend.

100% of the admission receipts to grassroots concerts are paid to the artists who performed in those.