Guaranteed Fair Wage Program

Musicians have for too long relied on bar or restaurant sales, the varying generosity of the audience, or the benevolence of the venue to earn any pay for their work, let alone fair compensation. With the understanding that music is a profession and musicians are providing a service, this is a widespread, outdated, and exploitative practice.

The Guaranteed Fair Wage Program (GFW) from Jazz in the Neighborhood supports musicians and venues in the Bay Area by providing subsidies to musicians’ pay. This temporary subsidy helps venues to achieve a minimum guarantee without a tip jar, while providing support and strategies to eventually meet that minimum without our help. We believe that every musician should earn a fair living wage for their work, and hope to promote that through this program.

A guaranteed wage for a professional musician does not include reliance on a tip jar because, obviously, tips are not guaranteed. Additionally, many musicians find tipping for performances demeaning. It is an axiomatic reality of business that employees who are fairly compensated in a decent working environment are better employees. Musicians are no different.

Find the guide to getting a Guaranteed Fair Wage subsidy below, along with the form to nominate a venue. If you are not a musician or venue interested in participating but want to support the mission of the Guaranteed Fair Wage Program, please consider donating to Jazz in the Neighborhood.

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