Gigs Pro bono?

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by Sotakoira Musti, Oct 9, 2019.

  1. Sotakoira Musti

    Sotakoira Musti Tele-Meister

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    Just had a 50th BD gig last saturday. The fee was set at 300€. All the roading and setups, it was 12 hrs job for me and was expected to get 30-40€ish for my work (no breaks and all sober). I didn’t care for the money, just a nice rehearsal gig.

    My bandmate told me yesterday that he was feeling so bad abot this single parent and poorish lady, so he had taken a bold move and wished her a happy BD and a present of 300€s she didn’t have to pay us. I got a quite kick out of it!

    So, no money, a lots of work, but a heck of a good feeling afterwards!

    Similar incidents anyone?

    Br, Musti
     
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  2. Telekarster

    Telekarster Tele-Meister

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    Yep. Done that many times over the years and it's a good thing to do, IF you can ;) Good for you, but at the same time, have your wits about you. You can be taken advantage of too, and that's no fun ;) Cheers!
     
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  3. Mike Eskimo

    Mike Eskimo Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Ha !

    Dozens and dozens (100-ish is my educated guess ?) of gigs over the last 10 years and we’ve been paid for 3 or 4 I think.

    I often tell the fellas it’s like we’re doing judge-ordered community service but the sentence never ends…
     
  4. Flaneur

    Flaneur Friend of Leo's

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    Your band mate should have agreed this with the rest of you, before waiving the fee for this gig...….

    but yes, we play plenty of free shows, for deserving causes. Childhood Cancer charities: who wouldn't want to help them?
     
  5. Chiogtr4x

    Chiogtr4x Poster Extraordinaire

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    The closest I come to doing free gigs...

    ( being honest, I'm low income/aging and DON'T really like doing gigs without getting paid)

    ...are the Farmers Market ( Saturday or Sunday AM) our bluegrass group has been playing the last few years.

    We play for tips ( plus fruit,veggies, bakery items the Farmers may give us) and they are fun to do
     
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  6. teletimetx

    teletimetx Doctor of Teleocity

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    I do at least one a year - a benefit I started for a friend who is the head of a medical research program. Get together with people I used to play with in high school, one show, in Colorado. Fun!

    We've never raised a huge sum of money (like maybe $1k per show), but last year, some heavy hitter stepped up and pledged a large amount as an annual donation. The reminder to stick with it; persistence pays off sometimes.
     
  7. unixfish

    unixfish Poster Extraordinaire

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    But you are still getting "paid", right? How much do you make in tips and food? I get it if this is a $50 value, then yeah, all but free.

    I remember @Jakedog posting about having free nights on the road; he would find a decent bar, tell the manager he will set up and play a few hours for a meal, a beer, and tips. Do a good job, repeat the next time you are in town. Not free per se, but hey - you are not paying for a meal, and making a few bucks in tips.

    I don't know how much gig tips come out to - I have not played out in decades. I'm curious though, for the sake of discussion here.
     
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  8. unixfish

    unixfish Poster Extraordinaire

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    I don't get paid to amuse myself at home with my guitars. Does that count? :lol::lol::lol:
     
  9. CK Dexter Haven

    CK Dexter Haven Friend of Leo's

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    I haven’t done anything but pro bono work for years. For far too long I was of the “ if someone’s getting paid/ making money, I’m getting paid” mindset.
    It got to be such a hassle that I switched my thinking to “ If someone is getting paid / making money, there is some one who needs that gig more than me..” makes things much simpler.
     
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  10. Guitarteach

    Guitarteach Poster Extraordinaire

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    Yep.. we do occasionally play when asked for clear good causes. Hospices, etc.

    I will lend and run PA for fundraising things like that. Kids groups, guides, etc.


    Playing for tips is something that does not really work or something I see much of in the UK for us. Might for others but it’s not a thing where we play.
     
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  11. jackal

    jackal Tele-Afflicted Gold Supporter

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    The gigs I get the most out of are the non-profit fundraisers, hospitals and such. Then again, I've never tried to make a living out of playing. If I depended on gigs for my income, I would most likely feel differently.
     
  12. GibbyTwin

    GibbyTwin Tele-Meister

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    Sure, we've done lots of gratis gigs over the years. Children's charities, homes for the elderly, vets organizations. I've done the same as a solo too. It's giving back to the community.
     
  13. Tenderfoot

    Tenderfoot Tele-Meister

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    Like others, in the past during my active gigging days (1968 - 1996) the bands I was in did free gigs for a good cause. As to what constitutes Free, well, even if there were drinks and food or possible tips there were costs going to and returning from a free gig. If there were no drinks or food then the band incurred expenses by doing the (free) gig.

    The main point (at least for me) was the satisfaction of helping others by lending your talents, as an individual or collectively as a band, to a great cause or need.

    Btw: Most free gigs were actually band auditions at bars in a highly competitive market.
     
  14. Chiogtr4x

    Chiogtr4x Poster Extraordinaire

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    I'm now 100% self employed, playing music, or Uber driving ( I'm not really sustaining or providing well, as my wife and I now live with my son)
    So as much as I love to play music, I definitely now tie the need to try make good $$ EVERYTIME I gig.

    The bluegrass Farmers Market are the exception ( yet I still need the $25+ I may make- gas money for next gigs/lunch etc.) as they are fun, plus an easy venue to work out new songs for ( hopefully) future paying gigs with this group- as we are getting good!

    * But I guess I do still tie it all into make $$- I'm just not a 'pro bono' guy- more like the 'pay me something reasonable and I'll give you great music' guy.
     
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  15. Deeve

    Deeve Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    a variation - I was called in to assist on a matter where local counsel was in over his head.

    The first invoice went unpaid until they ran into trouble, and I said "no mas" while past due invoice is being ignored.
    It was reluctantly paid, then I noticed the risk mgmt agreements were being ignored (i.e. delaying public listing until claim period expired).
    No response to "wtf?" msgs.
    Then I sent a (nominal) closing invoice and it, too was ignored.
    2 mo out, I reminded the client and copied in counsel, who sits on $750k sales proceeds)

    His email: "you were retained because I recommended you highly. I'd like you to reduce client's bill, as a personal favor..."

    Doesn't say how much or what was "unneccesary service" or identify any financial hardship.

    I do pro bono.
    Always have.
    Got the local bar assn trophy & all that.

    tldr - pro bono rocks - not cool, however, to offer someone else's svcs for free.
    ymmv

    Peave - Deeve
     
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  16. Bob Womack

    Bob Womack Tele-Holic

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    Back in the mid-70s we go hired to do a huge social at a big LDS church on a Saturday night. We were to get $50 plus a pretty good percentage of the door. We set up early on the generous stage of their very nice social hall, did our sound and light check, and then retired backstage for an hour wait until doors and curtains. We were inside in a windowless green room so we had no idea what was going on outside.

    Just before curtains, the lady promoter stuck her head in the door and said, "Um, there's a little problem." It turned out that a big storm with a tornado was blowing through and the tornado was expected to pass a few miles away. As a result there was a REALLY low turnout, about thirty people. The promoter offered us everything she had, $30. Hey, we are set up. Why disappoint a nice lady?

    The band player a really good night's worth. The hall had a peaked roof with a clerestory at the peak, facing us. The storm turned out to be a tremendous electrical storm and we had that clerestory to look out while we played so it made for an amazing performance for both us and the small crowd. With our big $30 the band and roadies went out for late-night pizza and had a blast. We had to dodge the tree limbs and debris on the roads from the storm.

    Bob
     
  17. Rasmuth

    Rasmuth Tele-Afflicted

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    We do some free gigs, mostly fundraising type things, but we put too much work in as a unit to not get paid most of the time.
     
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  18. fendrguitplayr

    fendrguitplayr Poster Extraordinaire

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    I've done many gigs for charity through the years but it's always been known before hand.
    Playing at Dana Farber's "Kids With Cancer" benefit gives you a great feeling, in my opinion.


    I think your bandmate should have made it a band decision unless he's the band leader and has made it
    known that whatever he says, goes.
     
  19. nojazzhere

    nojazzhere Poster Extraordinaire

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    Too many, sometimes it seems.
    A number of years ago, a friend and I formed a band with the sole intention of playing charity gigs. We played fundraisers for fire halls, children's groups, even charity golf tournaments. We DID NOT want to play bars or clubs.....especially since back then they were smoky, rowdy places. A couple of gigs that were supposed to be charity fundraisers turned out to be excuses for a big party with a good (free) band for social groups to get together. Voluntary donation at the door, which most completely ignored.....we made note of who was involved and never played for them again. (basically high society scumbags!)
     
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  20. Boxla

    Boxla TDPRI Member

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    about three weeks ago we played (we only play once a year) at a bar on a Saturday night. For the first time ever, and for whatever reason, we just wanted to play for free and have fun. We not only didn't want to charge a cover we paid for our own Red Stripes and lots of them. The following day when the drummer went to get his kit, the owner thanked him for us bringing in so many people and offered to make a donation to a charity of our choice. We chose one and he donated. Awesome! Unexpected but so nice.
     
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