In addition to being a bass player, I'm also a jazz organist. I lead a jazz organ trio which has been playing at a local bar every other week for three years. Our deal was that we made $50 cash, and a $50 bar tab. Along the way, we got a nominal raise to $60 cash. Each gig, we gave all of the cash plus tips to our drummer because he is a 'hired gun'. About two months ago, the bar hired a new booking agent. He wanted us to switch from two Thursdays a month to every Wednesday. I had a conflicting gig as a sideman on alternating Wednesdays that paid me $100, so I told him we could do it if he could pay the band $100 instead of $60, and I could bring home half of that ($50 a week.) He agreed to it, and we got the raise, and I gave up my other Weds gig to a different organist. Last week, they fired this booking agent and re-hired the old one. She called me and said that she was cutting us back down to a $50 gig every other week- which means I would be back to walking away with no money from the gigs after paying the drummer. She says the budget wont allow a band to be paid $100. I'm leaning towards quitting the gig, but I'm trying to figure out what to do based on: 1. The guitar player of the band booked the gig originally years ago, and he says he likes playing there and we should wait and see what happens. 2. I lost a $200 a month gig based on the promises of the interim booking agent (and I make my money solely from playing music) 3. I try not to let my ego get in the way of things, but it feels rotten to be demoted after playing for free for several years. And hanging posters, etc. faithfully every week. 4. The $40 a week they save seems extremely petty, especially in light of how much business we bring, although she says other bands which play for free bring more people out than we do. Which leads me to... 5. Feels bad to be treated purely as a commodity, to be bought cheaply as possible and exploited as much as possible for their gain. Although the pay-to-play thing is very common in Chapel Hill/Carrboro. I'd almost be happier to play for free at a 'cooler' club elsewhere. Thanks for letting me rant, and I'd appreciate any thoughts!