If you’ve been called for a gig in Key West, watch out. Key West is home to two orchestras. One, Key West Pops, works under local engagement contracts.
The other, Key West Symphony, outsources musicians from across the country, primarily from New York and Baltimore. They pay below union scale, do not provide pension benefits, and do not pay per diem. Ironically, the Pops pays its musicians more while the Symphony musicians are willing to work for less. And as the South Florida cost of living continues to skyrocket, organizations such as the Key West Symphony continue to pull down wages.
South Florida may be a vacation destination, but it is also home to hundreds of musicians trying to make a living.
If you are asked to take a “working vacation,” please remember that it is still work, and help maintain standards for all working musicians by insisting on being paid at least minimum scale wages.
If you would like more information, please contact AFM Local 655 (South Florida), at firstname.lastname@example.org or (888) 655-4447.