A group of creatives in Glasgow are looking to change the way the cultural sector works, with a variety night where money is split entirely equally.

The Acid Cabaret, which will host its third event later this month, showcases everything from spoken word recitals to glam rock.

While organisers created the night to show off Glasgow's vibrant cultural scene, they also hope their profit-sharing approach will inspire change in an industry which has been ravaged by the pandemic and the cost of living crisis.

Stephen Durkan, founder of Acid Cabaret, tells The Herald: "So far we’ve had two shows, we’ve had folk music, spoken word poetry, rock/indie stuff, even dance at one of them. At this next one we’re going to have hip-hop.

“We really wanted to make sure it was open to a variety of genres and disciplines.

“That came out of finding a lot of music shows quite rigid and stultifying in that way, we wanted to make it more of an event with more of a diversity of acts.

“That’s one strand, and the other came out of a frustration with what I would call the creative economy at the moment.

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“We’re all musicians, artists so we all know how difficult it is at the moment, in a cost of living crisis et cetera, to make a living from doing things in the creative sector.

“We wanted to create an event in which we democratically spread the profits made from putting on a show, which we’re calling Fair Pay to Play.

“It’s still the case that a lot of bands, musicians and other artists are paid very, very little – sometimes nothing – in order to play a show, and the amount of time, energy, money and resources that go into putting on a show – transport, rehearsal rooms, petrol money – all adds up.

“In my experience it’s never been more difficult.

“We want to try and make it so that any money we can give to the people that are performing will go them, everybody gets an equal share once we’ve made back all the costs.

“So that was basically the idea: 1) make some sort of event that showcases the diverse creative energy of Glasgow and make it a proper event and 2) try to make a different way of doing it in terms of paying each person involved in the production of a show equally.

The Herald:

“It took us by surprise a little bit because the first two events we’ve managed to pay everybody, we haven’t lost any money and have been able to pay everyone a decent amount in line with what a lot of bigger promoters pay acts.

“I’m a pessimistic person by nature, which I’ve acquired through years of experience, so I thought we might lose some money at first as is usually the case but it’s really hit the ground running.

“I think one of the key things is that variety aspect, when you talk to audience members afterward that’s usually the thing they’re most enthusiastic about, that we get to see a diverse range of different acts.

"One of the reasons for that is to say to people, ‘maybe there’s a different way of doing things’.

“If it catches on maybe other people will start doing it in this way and maybe we can have a more just and equitable landscape for people in the creative sector.”

The group also aim to make their events as accessible and affordable to the audience as possible, as well as ensuring acts are paid fairly.

Mr Durkan said: "It’s a priority to make sure that everybody can attend regardless of what has happened to them in their life, or whether their bodies conform to a societal norm.

The Herald: The Acid CabaretThe Acid Cabaret (Image: The Acid Cabaret)

“Unfortunately in Glasgow a lot of music venues are not accessible to, for example, wheelchair users or people with mobility issues.

"We’ve got a tiered ticket system, so we’re trying to be as accessible as possible to people on lower incomes. We’ve got four different prices you can pay depending on what you can afford.

“We’re trying to get people to think about where their money goes when they pay to go and see a show.

“People are kind of cut off from what happens behind the scenes and the production of a show so they might not know what they’re paying for but we try to be as transparent as possible."

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The next event will take place on November 11 at the poetry club at SWG3, with tickets priced at £5 for low income or unwaged, £10, the recommended price, £15 and £20.

Mr Durkan says: "I’m really excited about this line-up. We’ve got Pippa Blundell who is this wonderful folk musician but with this heavenly classical voice.

“We’ve got Nasim Rebecca Asl who is doing some spoken work poetry, we have Texture with some sci-fi influenced hip-hop, and Peter Cat with sort of glam rock, he’s a very unique artist.

“I’m one of the producers along with Becky  and Joe, who is another musician and I also host the night, which is another way of trying to make it seem more like an event.

“Everybody gets a half hour slot, and we’re also going to have some artwork on the wall from a wonderful artist called Emma van Dinter, she’s going to have some of her prints on the wall.

“It’s that idea of trying to bring together as many creative outlets as possible and showcase how much great stuff is being made in Glasgow despite all the barriers to creating art.”

Tickets for Acid Cabaret are available here