Musicians Unite To Win Parking Loading Zones
A new group of Seattle musicians have notched their first victory in making life a little easier for area club musicians: musician loading zones at several area clubs.
Fair Trade Music Seattle is a grassroots campaign dedicated to raising the standard of living for all working musicians in the Seattle area. Although it has support from the musicians’ union, it’s composed of both union and non-union musicians.
At their first public meeting in August 2012, musicians had an opportunity to discuss with each other what kind of problems they were facing. One issue that came up was the difficulty club musicians have with unloading and loading their gear at area venues. Many music clubs are in heavily congested areas, and musicians are faced with either toting heavy instruments and equipment long distances or risking parking
With the help of the Musicians Association of Seattle (the musicians’ union), Fair
Trade Music worked with the Seattle Music Commission, the Mayor’s Office of Film and
Music, the Seattle Department of Transportation and area club owners to come up with
a solution to the problem. The result has been “musician loading zone” signs at four
locations: the Crocodile and Tula’s in Belltown, High Dive in Fremont, the Showbox by
Pike Place Market and the Triple Door in downtown Seattle.
“It’s amazing what musicians can accomplish when we work together,” said Nate
Omdal, a bassist who plays jazz at area clubs. “We got great help from the Musicians
Union, and wonderful cooperation from the City and the club owners.
“But the real lesson for me was that as musicians we actually do have the power
to make change- we just need to get together and act.”
Musician loading zones exist in a few other cities, including music centers
Nashville and Austin. But, noted Beth Fleenor, a clarinetist and recording artist, “Seattle
is proud to call itself a ‘City of Music,’ and it’s great to see positive changes made to the
working conditions in our city.”
Fair Trade Music Seattle is part of a national movement that has its roots in
Portland. “We would like to thank the Seattle Music Commission, the Mayor’s Office of
Film and Music, and the Seattle Department of Transportation for the help in making our
idea a reality. We truly hope this will be beneficial to all working musicians in Seattle.”
added pianist and Fair Trade Music Seattle founding member Jay Kenney.
The musicians will hold a public meeting within the next month or two to discuss
next steps in winning improvements in their working conditions.