I've been wanting to tell this story for a while now. It's one of those experiences that you can't help telling people about because it really is stranger than fiction.
As for the "#nobaggage", I really didn't realize how easily you can hear that there are many other thoughts and experiences swirling around in my head that have to do with the financial aspect of being a musician. It's certainly understood in the music world that being a musician will almost 100% ensure that you will not be rich. But we do it anyway because we simply love what we do.
But having a passion for what we do does not mean that our efforts should be cheapened to free labour. We aren't simply sitting there for 2 hours playing pretty music. The high price tag pays for all the work we put in during our private practice sessions, rehearsals, commute, sheet music, instrument, music equipment, and planning. You aren't actually paying for just 2 hours of work. For every hour of work you actually hear and see, you're probably actually paying for at least 100 times (usually much much much more, considering how much we practice and rehearse and how expensive our instruments and equipment is) the amount of time and expenses it takes to put on only that one show.
Suddenly something like $75/hr for a student musician sounds super cheap, doesn't it?