Melbourne International Coffee Expo (MICE) has canned their call-out for musicians after organisers were skewered for advertising the role without pay.
In a statement given to The Music, MICE Show Director, Simon Coburn, said the negative response was something they did not anticipate.
"We hadn't booked anyone for MICE, it had just been an expression of interest request at that point,” Coburn said.
"We’ve already cancelled the call as it was launched, and at this stage we’re reassessing what we will do moving forward."
The call-out continues to be condemned on social media, with musicians, photographers and others in creative industries questioning how MICE could not justify paying artists when ticket prices for the event start at $35.
“The intention of the call was to gauge interest in what we had thought could be an opportunity for new and emerging talent," said Coburn, "however the feedback has obviously expressed a side we’d not anticipated, so we just need to press pause on this for a second and regather to see how to move forward."
A Gumtree ad that has since been taken down by MICE read, "MICE is expecting around 10,000 attendees over the weekend so we're offering a musician/DJ area where you can perform, and as it is a voluntary opportunity you will be free to sell your own CDs throughout."