Melbourne International Coffee Expo (MICE), think musicians should work for free.

UPDATE 21/2 4pm:

In a statement issued to Tone Deaf, Simon Coburn, Show Director at GM Events said the decision to encourage artists to perform for free was not approved by management.

He said the concept has been cancelled and that MICE “shouldn’t have gone down this path.”

Read Coburn’s full statement below:

MICE never intended that this would be taking advantage of musicians, but rather the intention of the team was with a view to providing a platform for some new and emerging local talent. The lack of understanding of the music industry has had an unintended outcome and we never wanted to cause any harm with this. 
This idea was an internal one put together by the team without getting it approved by management, and unfortunately, it wasn’t thought out from all angles, despite having consulted with a range of musicians for their perspective first. As such, once we became aware of the concept, we instructed the team to cancel it straight away, with a view to reassessing how this is approached moving forward.
Again, we never intended to be unfair to musicians with this opportunity and shouldn’t have gone down this path. 
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“Asia Pacific’s largest specialty coffee event”, Melbourne International Coffee Expo (MICE), think musicians should work for free.

Event organisers posted the following call-out for expressions of interest on Gumtree for its 2017 event from March 30 – April 1.