I’m not naming names, but one among one of the bands I play with agreed to do a gig for charity. For no money. For people who have money. Everything about it was not OK, and I explained my reasons to the whole band but said I would do it.
As a concession to me, a box was provided for people to “show their appreciation” for the band (my words). After repeated suggestions to the black-tie event, at the end of the evening we succeeded in collecting €192 to share between the eight musicians who spent up to 12 hours of our Saturday for the event, which was nominally to support animals although there was meat on the menu—so, not all animals. (The vast majority of this money came from the table of non-wealthy people who appreciate the value of work.)
I won’t bang on about this too much here, but you may be able to sense the sentiment that it is not OK to ask musicians to work for free. Ever. Pay them the market rate and, if they want to give it all to a charity they’ve never heard of before (unlikely, to be honest), it’s in their gift to do it.
Needful to say, this band will not be repeating this experience.
I did manage to capture some footage of us playing with a brass section, but my mp3 recorder ran out of juice quite quickly, so there’s no guarantee there will be sound. I also took this lovely panoramic photo. You know how I love those…