Invade Singapore Draws Flak After Asking Local Musician To Perform For “Maximum Branding Exposure”
And events company Invade might have continued with this behaviour too, had word of their practice not spread online.
In case you didn’t know, events and “space activating” company Invade will be hosting FlashBang Singapore – a retail flea market featuring art installations, music performances, and interactive exhibitions – in December.
Having previously organised ArtBox Singapore – which drew 660,000 visitors and made $20 million – FlashBang is sure to be a great opportunity for local artistes to gain exposure.
Unfortunately, it seems like exposure was all they offered local artistes to perform.
Offering “exposure” in exchange for performing
On Wednesday (29 Nov), singer-songwriter Amanda Tee shared on her Facebook an email she had received.
It was an invitation from Invade — who were interested in engaging her as one of their musical acts for FlashBang.
Which is fairly standard procedure as far as securing talent goes with the exception of one crucial detail:
They weren’t actually offering her any sort of remuneration at all.
Instead, they were requesting for her services in exchange for exposure — not just any regular exposure mind you, but maximum branding exposure.
According to singer Gareth Fernandez, Ms Tee wasn’t the only one who received this “opportunity” as well.
Which is strange considering Artbox drew $20 million. Surely, you’d have enough to spare for your hired talent.
Furthermore, something basic such as paying artistes for their work shouldn’t be anything new to a professional company like Invade.
Invade back-pedals on their “offer”
But only after Ms Tee’s post became widespread online — which caused outrage and drew flak to Invade’s practice.
Below is their reply to Ms Tee’s email:
Pay attention to this sentence in particular:
Invade is and always has been an advocate of the local creative, arts and makers scene and we believe in providing fair compensations for artistes.
Kinda weird for a company that believes in fair compensation to offer exposure as payment isn’t it?
Additionally, Invade apologised in a Facebook update as well.
Once again, they reaffirmed that they were a company that strongly supported the local arts scene and believed in fair compensation. They added that plans to develop a feasible compensation model was also in the works.
Issue had previously been brought up before
However, it turns out that this issue had previously already been raised — check out what musician Lewis Loh posted a week ago.
Apparently, he received the exact same “offer” Ms Tee was given.
If you’re interested, this is how he responded to them.
However, as his post went relatively unnoticed, it seemed that Invade hadn’t taken the initiative then to change the situation.
Only time will tell if the situation improves.
Has the damage already been done?
If they actually believed in fairly paying talent for their work, why didn’t Invade just offer payment from the get go? Could it be a case of the company trying their luck in hopes of someone agreeing to their terms?
Or could it simply be damage control to quell public unhappiness?
Unfortunately, it seems that word of their “offer” had already spread — even to FlashBang’s event page.
Netizens had quickly learnt of this — and they were more than happy to show how unhappy they were.
Some even poked fun at their expense.
Ironically, this incident helped Invade gain exposure for sure.
Settling for nothing makes nothing the standard
As much as we here at MustShareNews try to avoid preaching, actions like this will only undermine the arts scene in Singapore. It’s okay to love what you do, but enjoying your job and getting compensated for it are not separate entities. No artiste should have to pick one or the other.
After all, settling for nothing simply makes nothing the standard.
Could this serve as a turning point for the industry? Will Invade actually offer a fair compensation to talent from now on?
Unfortunately, it seems that this practice had been prevalent even during ArtBox.
Let’s hope that Invade learns from this incident, so no artiste in the future will kena flashbang.
Otherwise, every Singaporean musician might just end up like this:
Featured image from Invade