My day job, far away from music, involves working for two Local Authorities. Don't worry though, this isn't an essay on Building Regulations, (what I specialise in) although if anyone wants me to write one for them I can - feel free to get in contact to discuss.
When I want to go for a swim in one of my employers leisure centres I pay an entry fee the same as anyone else. When the bin men collect my rubbish, they do it because it’s funded through the Council Tax I pay, just like everyone else. I don’t ask the Council to collect it for free just because I work for the same Council. My employers pays me fairly and reasonably. I’m valued as an employee to do good professional work of a certain quality.
Edit: 18.25pm 3/10/2016 Following a number of comments on Twitter, some private emails and one below in the comments section I would like to make it clear that I am not against the guest list 100%. What I am against is people gaining free entry to something because of some loose connection they have to it. I wrote about this issue in the past when I helped run a small independent festival (see here) where a significant number of people tried to blag their way in for nothing purely because they claimed to know the band. If you are working during the gig (writing a review, you are the band's manager etc) then yes of course you should be able to have the opportunity to arrange (in advance) to attend the gig for free. But if you just happen to work in the music industry and know somebody who knows the band, that's not really a good reason to be on the guest list.
The Rider (Edited 18:37 3/10/2016)
This piece has been removed following discussion with a number of industry professionals on Twitter and by email today. This article is titled 'The Culture Of Free In The Music Industry And Why It Needs To Change.' My original rather muddled discussion on riders therefore did not really fit into a discussion on the culture of free and so I have deleted it to be revisited at some further point.
Further Edit (22:35 3/10/2016)
I'm still getting a lot of traffic to this post, so for anyone just discovering it may I also recommend a read of this fiery piece from Andy Inglis on The Quietus which is in connection with saving independent venues but has lots of relevance to this article (especially guest lists) which he describes as "a malignant tumour on the lactating breast of live music." Thanks to Roberta from the band Curxes from pointing me towards the piece. Read the article here.