Musicians' Union (UK)

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Musicians' Union
Full name Musicians' Union
Founded 1893
Members 30,000
Affiliation TUC, STUC, Labour Party[1]
Key people John F. Smith, general secretary
Office location London, Manchester, Glasgow, Cardiff, Birmingham.
Country United Kingdom

The Musicians' Union (MU) is an organisation which represents over 30,000 musicians working in all sectors of the UK music business.


The MU stages regular campaigns in relation to relevant musical and industrial issues. Recent campaigns have included protests outside theatres in response to the use of recorded music in shows where live music was advertised, and the anti-Pay to Play campaign, an issue which continues to affect the live music scene, particularly at grassroots level.

Other MU campaigns include:

Music Supported Here

In December 2009, the MU launched a new campaign, entitled Music Supported Here, which aims to raise both awareness of copyright, and also the distribution and use of music, which, the MU states, should be controllable by the musician.

Keep Music Live The union has used the slogan Keep Music Live since 1965.

Work Not Play

In November 2012 MU launched a new campaign called Work Not Play, to raise awareness about the growing trend for artists being asked to perform for free. The campaign has been supported by a number of organisations in the industry including notable industry names such as Skiddle.[2]


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