Tell me about sessions and pay
What is the tradition, if there is one? Does the pub owner typically pay the lead session player(s) to show up as agreed and lead the session?
is the pay steady, or does it fluctuate with how well the pub does?
Does the house ever regularly buy drinks for the players? Or at least the leaders (the folks who guarantee they’ll show up and keep the music going no matter what)? Or does everyone expect to foot their own bill?
Is leaving out a tip jar or a hat totally out of the question? Is there ever outside funding arranged from a community patron or group of patrons? Forgive my ignorance here. I’m trying to think creatively.
The pub I play at is feeling the pinch of the economy, but so are the musicians. The pub needs to stay afloat, but the session won’t happen unless at least a couple of experienced regulars show up and stay through the advertised time period. The pub benefits from better business that night, both from session players and the public. And the musicians benefit from a free public venue, yet that isn’t quite enough to guarantee their commitment, because they are providing a valuable service for the pub. It’s a tricky balance.
Is it traditional for session organizers to not get paid and just do it out of their goodness and kindness and love for the music?
I’m not responsible for any of these issues, but I’m curious about how it goes at other sessions. Is there a specific tradition around how the session organizers get compensated?
Heck, I feel so blessed to be able to join in our local session that I’d be more than happy to throw five bucks into a jar each week to show my appreciation for the musical generosity of the more experienced players and to help the cause. But I imagine that would not be the way to go. I don’t really know.
How is this handled at your session, if you know? I hope my question is not out of line.