Cafe Rouge musicians not "emotionally blackmailed" into free performanceBy Julie Spencer
September 19, 2012
Musicians in Wokingham taking part in a national charity fundraiser yesterday were not ‘emotionally blackmailed’ into singing for free.
Cafe Rouge manager Marietta Sopiapou countered criticism from the Musicians’ Union over lack of payment to performers at the chain’s Vive La Musique fundraiser. She said waitress Philippa Apps had asked to perform with her band Peggy Sue at the £30-a-head event to raise money for children’s charity The Rainbow Trust.
Ms Sopiapou said: “One of our waitresses offered to play for this event, it is for charity after all. It makes no sense for anyone to say it was blackmail.” The Rainbow Trust is Cafe Rouge’s chosen charity for 2012 and events were held in its restaurants across the country.
Musicians’ Union general secretary John Smith said there was a growing trend of not paying musicians. He said: “It is extremely unfair to put professional musicians into a situation where they are emotionally blackmailed into working for no fee and are asked to give their services to a good cause.”
Jonathan Bennett, from The Rainbow Trust, said they rely almost entirely on fundraising to carry out their vital support to families and thanked all the musicians who helped support the charity.