Saturday 16 December 2017

Musicians slam National Gallery of Ireland for asking people to play for free on Culture Night


A HOST of musicians including Mundy have slammed the National Gallery of Ireland (NGI) for asking people to play for free on Culture Night.

The NGI posted on their Facebook page that they were looking for "musical volunteers" for September 18 and specified they wanted people with an acoustic or vocal act to open proceedings for them on their music stage that night.


However, numerous artists have criticised the NGI for such an approach. Mundy told the Herald it was insulting asking musicians to perform free.

"You would think an organisation like that would have a few quid behind them, that they could at least give out expenses to keep you from feeling like you're giving more than your music away," he said.

Mundy (below) is currently promoting his new self-funded album, also called Mundy, and took time from his tour to speak on the controversy.

"The fact that people want you to play for free these days, without even any expenses, is worse than giving your music away.

"It's a little bit insulting, I have to say. From my point of view putting my hand in my pocket to play my own songs makes absolutely no sense, so I can't afford to do these things," he said.

Leslie Dowdall, former vocalist with In Tua Nua, who were signed to U2's Mother Records, was also shocked, saying: "It beggars belief in this day and age that they still think artists should be delighted to be playing for free. I am dumbfounded that the National Gallery of Ireland overlooked this, considering they have been promoting artists since time began."

"I myself am playing on Culture Night in Nuns Cross Church in Co Wicklow, and there was no word of playing free gratis - they wouldn't dare. I see it as a major insult to musicians and artists the world over."

In response the NGI said they were taking on board concerns raised, saying: "The gallery's culture night programme is not subsidised and all events are admission-free."

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