Shouldn't you know in advance how much you'll get paid for a gig?

Discussion in 'Band Wagon' started by Big John Studd, Feb 1, 2012.

  1. vespa1

    vespa1 Tele-Meister

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    You need to clarify with the leader, if you have not done so already, that each performer in the band, including the leader is getting an even cut of the receipts, after any expenses (promo, gas, production) if you have any expenses. If it is unclear, or if you haven't asked before, the leader should be able to disclose exactly what the gross income per gig is, what expenses are associated with the gig, and how the money is being distributed. If the leader cannot or will not disclose this information then you are not a band member, you are a sideman, and therefore should dictate your pay requirements.

    Assuming that it is an even split among all performers, if you are doing "door gigs" you won't know the money situation until after the gig. If you are doing your own sound and lights at these door gigs and, the band is only getting a cut of the door receipts, then you are getting ripped off already.
     
  2. bargoedboy

    bargoedboy Tele-Afflicted

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    I do a lot of deps, where I help bands out as a guitarist or bassist, and I allways quote a price dependant on how far I travel and how long I play for.
    With my own band, everything is an equal split, and we have a minimum that we will play for, funny thing is, we have never set a maximum :twisted:
     
  3. Paul in Colorado

    Paul in Colorado Telefied Ad Free Member

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    In every band I've ever been in, everyone in the band has known what the score is before agreeing on the gig. "They're offering $400 to play St. Paddy's Day playing a one hour-fifteen minute set. Do you want to do it?" Or, "There's no pay, but they're going to promote the crap out of it and we get free food, drinks and movie tickets."

    Whatever the deal is, we all know and agree on it going in. As far as band funds go, two bands I'm in have bank accounts. In one group all the CD/Merch sales go towards the next CD project. The gig money is split unless everyone agrees to a different arrangement. The other band covers gig expenses and we take a draw every three to six months. In that band, the CD was financed by someone's credit card or personal savings and paid back first from CD sales.

    I guess my point is, whatever the arrangement, it should be public knowledge among the band members and agreed on.
     
  4. Big John Studd

    Big John Studd Friend of Leo's

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    I like that approach, Paul. Clear, open, and agreed upon. Can I just join yall's band? LOL :)
     
  5. MrTwang

    MrTwang Friend of Leo's

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    Sorry, I think I misunderstood your original post.

    Yes, I gree with you totally, you should have got an email back saying we're getting so much for these dates and we're on x% of the door on these ones. Quoting you a vague figure for a years worth of gigs or whatever is ridiculously vague - especially as they seem to be pretty organised.
     
  6. TeleTim911

    TeleTim911 Friend of Leo's

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    After over 45 years playing I would never take a gig without knowing first what is involved....are we playing for free, the door, a flat fee, and do we get food, drinks, a discount, whatever.

    I'd never play for a "percentage" of anything. I learned years and years ago that when it comes to money and music, trust no one.
     
  7. dirge59

    dirge59 Tele-Meister

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    Elroy was in the car,,,
     
  8. McGlamRock

    McGlamRock Friend of Leo's

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    One of the bands I play in just did a "play for the door" gig. I went in expecting nothing but all the the other bands left before the end of the night. $200 wouldn't have been much split 10 ways- but split 4 ways it wasn't bad for a Monday night
     
  9. Joe-Bob

    Joe-Bob Doctor of Teleocity

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    I always need to know the details beforehand; when, where, how long, how much $$, etc.

    It's not too much to expect.

    If you play "for the door", then the only guarantee is that the owner/manager is stealing from you.

    Life is too short for that kinda crap.
     
  10. MrTwang

    MrTwang Friend of Leo's

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    Elwood?
     
  11. Mark Moore

    Mark Moore Tele-Afflicted

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    Elroy was in The Jetsons. :lol:
     
  12. Mark Moore

    Mark Moore Tele-Afflicted

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    Every time I played "for the door" it ended up costing me money, and it wasn't me who booked the job. And I'm the one who always got stuck trying to get us paid on these deals ...

    If I book it I'll agree to play for the door if there's a guaranteed minimum. And I now have a rule: You book the gig, you collect the money.
     
  13. Moonrider

    Moonrider Tele-Meister

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    We book for a guaranteed price, period. To the venues that want us to play for the door, our standard response is: "We have costs that must be covered just like any business. Like you, we need to insure our income covers those costs and generates a little bit of profit for our people. That's why we charge what we do for a show, and we're not willing to gamble with our income. If YOU want to charge an admission fee to help cover the cost of hiring us, that's fine by us. We won't ask for, nor expect any of those monies."
     
  14. umasstele

    umasstele Tele-Afflicted

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    I do most of the booking for the cover band I am in, and try my hardest to flesh out what we are getting in return for playing before we show up...that way there are no surprises at the end of the night.

    The lowest we have ever gotten paid was something like $12 a piece...and some free beers. There are 5 of us.

    When asked, because we are doing it for the love of playing/some extra cash, I say if we can each take home between $25-50 we will be happy. And we get that most of the time...plus tip jars which we split (most places around my area have this).

    The bigger places we have played set it up so you get a percentage of the bar sales...usually 20% around here, that works out really nicely. Gotta figure, if you're doing your job people are staying/dancing/buying beers...this way your payment reflects upon that!
     
  15. MN Punk

    MN Punk Tele-Holic

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    I insist on a guaranteed minimum payout if I'm going to travel.

    For local shows, it depends on a lot of factors, especially with my originals band.
     
  16. Tim Bowen

    Tim Bowen Poster Extraordinaire

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    They should be straight up with you, no question.

    Absolutely. In my duo, whoever books a particular job collects the pay, tips the wait staff, gets the flyers to the venue in advance, confirms the job with the contact person several days in advance of the date, confirms load in time, and in short, does all the monkey work. One place I work regularly actually pays by check, so that as well is handled by the person that booked it.

    Not always the scenario I encounter as a sideman for hire, but when I book my act, that's my business M.O. exactly.
     
  17. banjohabit

    banjohabit Tele-Holic

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    +1 i am afraid someone has not been 100% straight with you big john. it doesn't sound "clear,open,and agreed upon."

    as far as playing for the door goes, if your band is popular, (none of mine can presently make that claim) playing for door money with a minimal (say $100.00) garantee ,in my 35 yrs. of playing, has definitely been a winner for me with a couple of bands.both of those bands had a large local following, so, no problem filling a room. and VENUE MANAGEMENT WERE NOT ALLOWED TO COLLECT, COUNT, OR EVEN SEE THE CASH COLLECTED AT THE DOOR.

    for both bands, my wife, another member's wife, and our security/roadie (armed,ex-marine mp) collected and handled the cover charge contractually agreed to with the venue management, this method of doing so also agreed to in the contract. a different band member would carry the money away from the venue each night, still a good idea. or, you could just pay us $100.00 cash apiece and we would rock your joint.

    many managers opted to pay the $100.00 band minimum and let us collect the cover charge, and we usually came out topsides on that deal. but that was all back in the 1980's, when people had money and didn't stay home tapping on computer keyboards and smart phones all evening.
     
  18. Oakville Dave

    Oakville Dave Friend of Leo's

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    ALWAYS know what your payment is. Not knowing sets you up from problems. I spend the majority of time with new clients negotiating rates, not trying to convince them to hire us. If you're consistently running into problems, how about a simple contract to make it legal and binding. Even an email that states the financial agreement will be helpful it there are problems.
     
  19. sacizob

    sacizob Friend of Leo's

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    I once played a gig at a bar and thought the drinks were free. I ended up owing the bar money at the end of the night.

    The year was 1974, the bar owner would have to of waited for 6 years for the check.
     
  20. Oakville Dave

    Oakville Dave Friend of Leo's

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    Groove Hammer is a 9 piece band, and we have a sound technician that works with us who brings a trailer full of gear, so I can't ask any of them to show up for less than $50 a show. Our sound tech makes more, and when we get bigger gigs we split everything evenly and the band itself gets a cut to pay for posters, business cards, etc.

    I still gig occasionally with other musician friends in smaller sized groups, so the payment is smaller but divided fewer ways so it often ends up being the same or more than a Groove Hammer gig.

    My advice - for what it's worth! - is to approach EVERY aspect of your show as professionally as possible so that clients see and hear the value of your band over your competitors. Getting your rate settled beforehand is a big part of venues taking you seriously.

    As your relationship with a venue grows, along with your audience, they often will sweeten the deal with more money or a free tab, etc., so it's worth your while to do things right from the start.
     
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