Last night I did something that for a few precious hours made me feel proud and empowered. Not even 24 hours later, I am full of disgust and self-loathing. I am also feeling humiliated beyond words.
As I posted a few days ago, I intended to attend and fully support a protest against the exploitation of musicians. As part of the run-up to this, a stage ambush with myself and three others was planned. A musician went on stage in disguise and myself and two others went on stage in t-shirts saying ‘Stay Away from Pay to Play’.
I did this because I am wholeheartedly against Pay to Play and I wanted to change the face of the Glasgow music scene, for the better. My intentions were good, my research and instincts were not. This gig was a Jay B Promotions show and I was informed that in order to play, you need to sell 20 tickets and make up the money for the tickets not sold. I was told Jay B makes upwards of £500 a week through this and obviously, that would be vile and I was fully behind the cause.
So, up I went on stage with the others, feeling sick to the stomach with nerves but keeping in mind the whole time that it was for a good cause and was worth the nerves and energy wasted. I stood there and listened to her talk about how vital this was, how much she’d been ripped off and I thought good for you, girl! This takes guts!
Today, after a lot of angry e-mails and messages I have found out that Jay B does not run a Pay to Play scheme and in fact gives bands 50% of ticket sales regardless of how many are actually sold. No band walks away empty handed. One of the best deals I have come across. I know how hard it is to even break even as a promoter so Jay B’s policy is extremely impressive.
I found out that she did this to spread word of the protest and had actually told people that it wasn’t anything against the promoter or venue itself, more a statement against the scheme itself.
So, now, here I am feeling devastated, ashamed and disgusted. I have been told I was brave for doing it and brave for apologising when I found out I was duped. I don’t feel brave, I feel sick to the stomach and, to be frank, I really hate myself for what I did. I’m not a malicious person and I never do things with malicious intent. I did what I did last night out of compassion.
My biggest mistake was not doing research, not looking into what I was protesting against and blindly trusting somebody. It’s the firs time since I started working within the Glasgow music scene that I have been badly burned and I am full of remorse and regret. I was stupid. Not brave, stupid.
I want to apologise to Jay B Promotions (again) and state that I am no longer in any way affiliated with her or this protest on Sunday. I am angry, I am ashamed and I am extremely sorry.
No matter how good you think people are, always check the facts to save yourself from this kind of humiliation. It’s a lesson learned and I’m grateful for that but I wont be making the same mistake twice.