Bohemian Nights at NewWestFest is such a wonderful gift to our community. This weekend celebrates local musicians in a festival setting where anyone can attend and enjoy the talent for FREE. There is no cost to the general public to check out a new band or watch an old favorite. But what a lot of people may not realize is that all of those musicians are being paid for performing which is a HUGE DEAL!
Supporting your local music scene not only by attending shows but also making sure that the artist is paid is part of the big picture. Exposure is great but let's face it; playing for a huge crowd or for a prestigious event will not pay your bills. The ugly reality of a musician's world is that you're not always compensated. There are times when you show up for a gig and you don't know if you'll get paid when you get off stage. You are asked multiple times a week to play a benefit or to play for a business because they can give you an audience or can maybe spring for pizza. I can't think of another career where someone is expected to work for free, buy their own tools, have no benefits, no retirement plan and work another job to support this career.
That is why it's important that musicians are compensated with actual money. And let's be honest, this subject makes people uncomfortable but it is a conversation we have to have if we're serious about growing our scene and really making Fort Collins a music city. By placing real value on music and the arts, Bohemian Nights at NewWestFest is investing in a vibrant community. Musicians and artists are one of the things that makes Fort Collins such a great place to live.
So when you are out at the festival; enjoying the weekend and finding new favorite bands, I want you to think about our musicians on stage with those huge smiles on their faces. And I want to let you in on a secret. Those big smiles are genuine because not only do those musicians get to play for a huge crowd at a prestigious festival, they know when they get off stage that they are going to be paid (and there's probably some delicious food in the green room... and it's not pizza).