Now is the right time to become an American Federation of Musicians member. From ragtime to rap, from the early phonograph to today's digital recordings, the AFM has been there for its members. And now there are more benefits available to AFM members than ever before, including a multi-million dollar pension fund, excellent contract protection, instrument and travelers insurance, work referral programs and access to licensed booking agents to keep you working.

As an AFM member, you are part of a membership of more than 80,000 musicians. Experience has proven that collective activity on behalf of individuals with similar interests is the most effective way to achieve a goal. The AFM can negotiate agreements and administer contracts, procure valuable benefits and achieve legislative goals. A single musician has no such power.

The AFM has a proud history of managing change rather than being victimized by it. We find strength in adversity, and when the going gets tough, we get creative - all on your behalf.

Like the industry, the AFM is also changing and evolving, and its policies and programs will move in new directions dictated by its members. As a member, you will determine these directions through your interest and involvement. Your membership card will be your key to participation in governing your union, keeping it responsive to your needs and enabling it to serve you better. To become a member now, visit


John Acosta

AFM IEB Member and President, Local 47 (Los Angeles, CA)

Growth for Some, Scraps for Others

Ah, 2023—a year of dizzying highs and frustrating lows in the music industry. The money train kept rolling, driven by an 11.2% jump in subscription streaming revenues. But hold your applause because, despite this boom, many musicians are still stuck in the proverbial backseat, wondering when their turn will come. The latest IFPI Global Music […]

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Unions on the March: Facing New Challenges and Opportunities 

Today there is renewed energy and determination in labor organizing efforts across North America. We may be able to attribute this to a post-pandemic response by workers who are fighting back against increasing inflation and stagnant wages. Looking at the landscape of labor unions across the nation, while our sector is mostly harmonious, recent strikes […]

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The AFM and Civil Rights

by John Acosta, International Executive Board and Member Local 47 (Los Angeles, CA) and Local 1000 (Nongeographic) “We were investigated three times by Congress. Some senators would say to me, ‘You are bragging about a great democratic union. Why do you have two locals in many cities, and especially here in Washington, DC?’ The AFM […]

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Another Sour Note from the Supremes

The following is based on my own opinions and is not meant to represent the opinions of our union administration or the AFM International Executive Board (IEB). While I suspect some will frown upon my commenting on the recent decision by the Supreme Court, I am of the view that the union movement is a […]

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Stronger Together!

After a very complicated and mixed 2021, we have the good fortune of moving forward into a new year. Like waking up to a new sunny morning after many days of thunderstorms, a new year brings new hope, but during these uncertain times, new challenges as well. For those of you who have lost loved […]

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Build Back with a Strong Union

As the US and Canada begin to re-emerge from the COVID-19 crisis, the road to an economic recovery will be long and arduous. Recessions hurt low-income and middle-income families the most, dragging down wages and decimating the savings of the working class. Without targeted solutions by governments, the effects of this pandemic will be long […]

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A New Deal for Musicians

There is no question that the pandemic has wreaked havoc on our industry. Our stages, concert halls, festivals, and nightclubs have shuttered. Never before has a crisis destabilized our sector and our union in the way the coronavirus crisis has. Our collective future is unclear. As members and leaders in our union await the restoration […]

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Diversity Builds Strength

Generally, in February, during Black History Month, we look back and honor great Black leaders—we remember their words, we reflect on their impact, we create a space where for one whole month we recognize the achievements of Black Americans to our society and to our world. But quickly thereafter, we go back to business as […]

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Organizing and Recruitment: Striking a Balance

For most of our union’s history, we have existed under a service model. Our leaders bargained legacy agreements, members ratified them, and locals administered those agreements. If a member had a claim or dispute on a job, a local officer or staff member (sometimes with the assistance of an AFM staff member) would pursue that […]

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The Future is Calling

As unprecedented change transforms the music industry, greater are the demands on our union to bargain strategically within myriad sectors. Through an ongoing transformation in consumption, evolving monetization of content, and ever-expanding cross-collateralization of media across platforms, we are challenged to conform our agreements and to respond to new world paradigms. With the process of […]

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