Hot Takes: Leaving a Live Music ‘Tip’

The above photo has been circulating on social media since September 2015 and, somehow, it finally came across our desk just recently. The idea of a “live music tip” being built into a venue patron’s bill is not necessarily a new concept.

With that said, it is certainly one worth considering, and it could be beneficial across the board.

Often, business establishments have concerns about budgeting for live entertainment, while musicians rightfully want to be paid for the services they provide. This does its part to address both issues. By including a live music tip option in the bill, the onus falls less on the business to foot the entirety of the bill, thus increasing their profits while also making sure musicians are compensated. Meanwhile, it engages patrons by bringing to light the fact that there are musicians right in front of them, working to provide them entertainment.

I say “the entirety of the bill,” because this idea does come with the variable that every establishment has slow nights where patrons are scarce. Also, the fact remains that bad tippers do exist in the world. So, the most surefire way for this to work — and for everyone to end up happy — is for the venue to offer the musicians a base rate, and allow them to collect tips on top.

That’s our take. What’s yours?

  • Have you seen a “live music tip” system in action before?
  • Does it work?
  • What potential challenges do you see in this system?

Let us know your thoughts in the comments!

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