Jam visitor fee

Fee for visitors to BUMS jams

At the Annual General Meeting in September, we had a vigorous debate about increasing the fee for visitors to attend our jams. Financial members of BUMS don’t pay to go to jams, but non-members have been paying $5 per jam since BUMS was established in 2010. The members present at the AGM supported increasing the fee but left it to the Management Committee to determine the new amount.

We have taken a decision to increase the fee to $10 per jam from 1 July 2023. We will review this decision in late 2023 once we can see the impact the new fee has had.


This is a summary of the issues the Committee considered in making its decision.

Running a jam costs money. The most obvious costs are hall hire and use of BUMS equipment, but there are also other expenses like public liability insurance and administration costs. At each jam, BUMS members donate their time and expertise for free to plan the jam, prepare songs to present, set up the jam and manage the event for the benefit of all who attend. Creating a jam is fun and the members who pitch in are doing it for their own enjoyment as well as for the whole BUMS community.

The direct costs of a jam are paid for by membership fees. Of course, we want to encourage other people to join the ukulele family. Our goal is to attract newcomers to enjoy the fun of playing ukulele and singing in a group. There is no other comparable musical experience and the best way to find that out is to be at a jam, ukulele in hand.

We also want to encourage newcomers to join BUMS, be part of our community, enjoy ALL that BUMS has to offer and contribute to the success of our society.

One way to do this is to increase the financial incentive to join BUMS. From 1 July 2023, it will cost $60 a year (just $5 a month) to be a member of BUMS. For that small cost, you join our ukulele community and can attend as many jams as you like (currently six or more a month). You can also join one of our community bands, get a discount on workshops, and access the resources of BUMS Online.

We want the visitor fee to be a simple process by tendering a $10 note or making an EFTPOS swipe. An amount between $5 and $10 in cash involves the need to carry change (something that many people do not do since COVID).

We believe charging visitors $10 to participate in a jam is still exceptional value as it provides two hours of fun with physical, vocal, and emotional exercise. Financially, if you pay $60 a year to be a member, you are better off once you’ve been to six jams than if you pay $10 a jam.

One of the unheralded benefits of BUMS is being part of a growing ukulele community. If you pay to come to just one jam a month, you are just dipping your toe in the water. If you come to more events and get involved in other BUMS activities, you can plunge right in making new friends and finding ukulele buddies. There is nothing better than playing with other uke players.

Typically, as we get older our friendship group gets smaller. However, for active and involved ukulele players, this is often not the case. Read John Low’s journey with the ukulele as proof – see the last paragraph The Real Benefits.

When must a visitor pay the fee?

All non-financial members of BUMS will pay the fee to come to a jam, except for the following:

  • First timers. A visitor can ‘try a jam’ for free.
  • Non-players. A visitor without a ukulele need not pay.
  • Carers or supporters. Someone caring for a person with a disability or supporting a ukulele player (such as driving them to an event), need not pay.
  • Associate members (aged under 18). A young adult gets in for free, but an accompanying adult player who is not a member of BUMS will pay the fee.

If you have any comments or observations on this decision, please contact Peter Grace at



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