MU calls for better deal for musicians engaged at Edinburgh Tattoo

The Musicians’ Union (MU) is highlighting its concerns that the musicians engaged to perform in this year’s stage band at the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo (REMT) were not remunerated for their work.

The MU, having liaised with the members involved, entered into dialogue with the REMT organisers during the summer, advising them that asking the musicians to work for free was unacceptable.

Despite encouraging early talks, the organisers have not engaged fully with the MU, deferring any decision about this to a Committee meeting scheduled for October, months after the Tattoo is closed for 2019.

Caroline Sewell, Scotland and Northern Ireland Regional Organiser for the MU said:

“The Tattoo is a hugely significant cultural spectacle, respected throughout the world and with understandably high-end production values, which sells hundreds of thousands of tickets during the month of August.

“The idea that the organisers are not able to pay musicians for providing their professional services is unfathomable, both to MU members and the wider cultural community who have been very vocal on the matter. The expectation for musicians to perform for no remuneration at an event of this magnitude is hugely damaging and sets a very dangerous precedent.”

Dave Webster, MU National Organiser – Live Performance, said:

“It is very disappointing that a company such as the REMT has not worked more proactively with us to reach a solution for this year’s event. In light of the Company’s apparent financial standing, we find it hard to comprehend their stance on this issue.”

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