If you missed it, the below image went pretty viral on Instagram last week. It’s a diagram created by the folks of Work Not Play – a UK-based musician’s union.

The idea of playing for free is a controversial one that especially rubs working musicians the wrong way. But it’s not always a black-and-white issue. Often the decision to take a gig that doesn’t pay is measured according to the potential good it can bring – i.e. new fans, resume building, connections with the right people, etc. Work Not Play breaks it down and helps you ask the kind of questions that will help you decide if this non-paid gig is really worth your time.  This diagram is one of the best resources we’ve seen for helping artists process how important a gig is or isn’t. Check below for some related articles that explore the idea further.


How To Negotiate With A Venue that Says They Can’t Pay You

The Cost of “FREE”: Positives & Negatives of Giving Away Free Material

Should I Ask A Venue For a Guarantee?

Pricing yourself. How do you know you’re doing it right?

Should I Do Free Gigs For Charity or Am I Being “Emotionally Blackmailed”?

What’s Your Price Point? Determining Your Booking Fee

How Much Do I Charge A Friend?

Note: Shout-out to NYC-based artist, Shay Leonia for passing on this diagram!