Ken Giustino of the Montauk Music Festival in a YouTube video, late April 2011.
(Montauk, NY) - Organizers of the Montauk Music Festival (MMF) will most likely decide to stay with the "free admission" and "unpaid performer" business model for next year's edition of the popular event, due to take place for a third consecutive year in May 2012 at many venues, clubs, and bars in the Village of Montauk, NY.
On the eve of the May 12-15 2011 version of the Montauk Music Fest (MMF) last week, much of the chatter amongst local performers and music fans centered around the thorny issue of non-payment for performers at the fest.
However, the existing arrangement between organizers and performers at the MMF echoes similar relationships at well known, larger multi-club/venue festivals such as South By Southwest (SXSW, Austin TX) and the CMJ Music Marathon (NYC), where rank-and-file performers are not paid for performances.
For music fans, the free-admission Montauk fest is a good deal; SXSW attendees can spend as much as $1,250 for a "platinum pass" covering all aspects of the Austin TX festival. For performers, The Montauk festival can be more welcoming, too: Non-local artists at the MMF are extended the courtesy of hotel rooms, something not even dreamed of in New York or Austin.
The ranks of artists willing to perform at the Montauk Fest continues to swell. Some speculate that for every performing artist choosing to pass on the Montauk Music Festival, dozens of others are willing to step in and perform for free. It's a giant battle of the bands, where the importance of connecting with fans new and old trumps the lack of payment.
It will almost certainly be up to individual bands and performers to figure out alternative ways to capitalize on 2012 MMF appearances, if they choose to participate.
SXSW Proves Austin is No Bolshevik Commune (Austin Statesman)
CMJ Marathon: Fame, Yes; Fortune, Not So Much (NY Times)
SXSWland Tales (Nick Cross Blog)
Free MP3 downloads, show schedules, info: