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Live music industry umbrella organisation LIVE (Live music Industry Venues & Entertainment) has launched a survey to explore pay transparency and the personal experiences of freelancers at events.

LIVE has partnered with Handle Freelance Solutions, The Back Lounge and UK LIVE Event Freelancers Forum to develop the survey, The Hidden Side of Freelancing 2024.

LIVE said the survey aims to help freelancers understand their true value and benchmark their own experience while also celebrating what makes live music a great industry for freelancers. The results are to be assessed, resulting in a publicly available report that will be published in April.

Industry organisations such as Entourage Pro, Production Futures, NOWIE, Rego, and Power of Events are all key supporting partners of the survey.

LIVE CEO Jon Collins said, “Freelancers are crucial to the success of the live music ecosystem and our industry relies on them to deliver unforgettable experiences for fans. This survey will give freelancers in our industry the information needed to get the most out of the work they do and help to deliver impact change for every freelancer and the organisations that rely on freelance talent.”

Tour manager and The Back Lounge manager Suzi Green said, “We were hearing on The Back Lounge that new people coming into the industry had no idea what to charge, and more seasoned crew were unsure given how much things have changed post-pandemic. Last summer rates were up, but with less work around this year, and ever tighter budgets, where are they now?

“The results will be openly available, and we hope it can open up further dialogue about protecting ourselves as freelancers, especially given that for many of us, verbal agreements are still the norm. Having the survey answered anonymously will hopefully bring to light some of the day rate conversations we’re often encouraged not to have. If no one knows what everyone else is charging how will rates ever go up?”

Technical production manager Paul Jones said, “This survey gives every live event freelancer a chance to give accurate and honest information, and anonymously if need be. There has never been more of a need to gain accurate information on pay and conditions for the freelance community so we can gather valuable insight and help shape the future of our sector and industry well into the future.

“If you are a freelancer in the live sector, you should not ignore this survey. It should be one of the most important things you do in 2024. It’s your industry, let’s make a difference.”

All responses to the survey will be anonymous and the survey will close on 23 February. The survey can be accessed here.