What are cover bands making per night playing bars in Your area?

Discussion in 'Band Wagon' started by Rockerfeller, Oct 22, 2019.

What does the average bar cover band make per night in your city?

  1. Pay to play

    3 vote(s)
    3.5%
  2. Under $200

    11 vote(s)
    12.8%
  3. $200-$400

    46 vote(s)
    53.5%
  4. $400-600

    23 vote(s)
    26.7%
  5. $600-$750

    3 vote(s)
    3.5%
  6. $750-$1000

    1 vote(s)
    1.2%
  7. $1000-$1500

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  8. $1500 and up

    1 vote(s)
    1.2%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. Rockerfeller

    Rockerfeller Tele-Meister

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    We're not playing clubs much any longer because they don't pay very well. When we were playing them 10 years ago, the average pay in town was $300 to $400 per night for the whole band. If you had a big following you'd make more. That's in Colorado. What's it like it where you guys are playing? Is it any better? Has it stayed about the same?
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2019
  2. rolandson

    rolandson Tele-Meister

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    Last time I played locally, just shy of $750 for a quartet...upscale blues/low brow jazz. That was 13 years ago this week.

    I thought it kinda lite, considering that every one of use has solid credibility. But being a stand-in side guy, what do I know.
     
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  3. Endless Mike

    Endless Mike Friend of Leo's

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    My vote was assuming you meant as a whole, not per person. The average is 400.00 night, sometimes 500.00, but NEVER 600.00

    Bands make less per night than they did thirty years ago.
     
  4. Rockerfeller

    Rockerfeller Tele-Meister

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    I clarified that! Per band, not per man!
     
  5. Endless Mike

    Endless Mike Friend of Leo's

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    That's what I assumed, so my vote and post were assuming that.

    EDIT: I'm with the Department of Redundancy Department.
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2019
  6. Musekatcher

    Musekatcher Tele-Afflicted

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    Bar gigs = paid practice, except for lugging gear in and out.
     
  7. schmee

    schmee Poster Extraordinaire

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    It seems to be 300-400 for bands in bars. Sometimes $500. If you are a 3 piece band you still get 100 a night each. If you are a 5 piece band.... It stinks because playing music for the thrill I want more sound etc. Outdoor city events etc are a bit better $500 and up.
    Duos get $150-$200 most often
     
    Rockerfeller likes this.
  8. Rockerfeller

    Rockerfeller Tele-Meister

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    That really amazes me. A solo guitarist for a 30 minute wedding ceremony makes $300 here. Some guys do two-three every Saturday during wedding season. Sometimes they get the cocktail hour too and make $500+ for 90 minutes. If I was doing and instrumental solo gig, I'd want that kind of money. The crowd doesn't pay much attention to that kind of gig, no matter where it is, so you might as well make money.
     
  9. schmee

    schmee Poster Extraordinaire

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    Yeah, weddings are a whole different thing than small bars, wine shops or coffee houses.
     
    daddyplaysbass likes this.
  10. codamedia

    codamedia Friend of Leo's

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    In my area... the basic night club pays between $400 & $800 per night for a group.... Usually it translates to somewhere between $100 and $200 per man depending on the size of the group. FOH, Monitors and Tech are provided in all but a few rooms.

    One night gigs are usually $200 - $500 per man.
     
  11. DavidP

    DavidP Friend of Leo's

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    ...and let's not forget that some of us are dealing in Canadian pesos (er... dollars) so factor in 1.3 CAD = 1 USD... Now if my group could bring in 400 USD, we'd be rolling in cash!!
     
  12. Telecastoff1

    Telecastoff1 Tele-Holic

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    The average gig-working band is making at least $500 in the bars and clubs. Most of those bars send out 1099 forms to the band leaders at the end of the year when they're pulling in over $600 total for that year.
    However, we do have quite a few "Gig Pigs" around here, charging only $250-$300 a night to swoop up as many gigs away from other bands as they possibly can. Those bands usually aren't very good and don't have much of a following. Besides, those bars don't really care what the band sounds like so long as a few heavy drinkers show up.
     
  13. fendrguitplayr

    fendrguitplayr Poster Extraordinaire

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    $400 - $600 (usually $500) for a three hour club gig. It goes to $600 when you get in a
    regular rotation and attract new people to the clubs.
     
  14. rangercaster

    rangercaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    I live in tough area ...to start... You have to bribe the club manager to let you pay money to play ... Then they make you pay a cover charge to get into your own show ... And then charge you extra for drinks ...
     
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  15. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    Austin don’t pay.
    Austin venues might pony up $150, if you’re lucky.
    Same as it ever was.
    Outlying areas pay.
    I can get up to $400, but $300 is more common.
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2019
    Wildcard_35 likes this.
  16. modavis99

    modavis99 TDPRI Member

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    Typically we get about $100 per person.
     
    brookdalebill likes this.
  17. Ducerro

    Ducerro Tele-Meister

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    I have a small venue out in the middle of nowhere. We have a small stage complete with a PA system that works fine for solo/duo acts - beyond that the "bands" haul in their own gear. We pay $150 for solo, $200 for a duo, and up to $500 for a band. It's all we can afford to be honest. Crowd is usually 40 or less (usually less). If the solo act is from out of town by more than 60 miles I generally toss in an additional $25 for travel. Everyone generally leaves with a full tip jar though. Our customers are good eggs. We're about 95 miles south of Austin. Most of our acts come out of Victoria, TX.
     
    ndcaster likes this.
  18. mikestearns

    mikestearns TDPRI Member

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    When I was booking a small 100 person capacity bar up until this year, my budget was generally 4-450 with no cover on the door. If bands wanted more I would offer a cover charge with back end deal. So say, $3 at the door, band gets a guarantee of $400 but if door goes over that they get that too. It was an easy way get bigger budget bands without the bar losing too much money if there’s a bad turnout. Luckily the owner was/is super laid back and into music.
     
  19. Rockerfeller

    Rockerfeller Tele-Meister

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    This has been one of those things that drives me crazy. WE, the bands, cut our own throats. We have nobody to blame but ourselves for the crap money bars pay us. It's the opposite in the private party world. Oftentimes, clients hire the more expensive band. MANY clients equate talent with cost. So of course the more expensive bands are better, why would they charge so much? I've had clients tell me they took a chance on us because our price was too low compared to all the other bands. My response? I raised our price!
     
  20. Junkyard Dog

    Junkyard Dog Tele-Afflicted

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    I stopped playing bar gigs a few years ago. Poor pay was one reason. Also it was just time to move on and do something musically that reflected the kind of life I was living. I've nothing against bars in general, and I paid my way through engineering school in Atlanta by (among other jobs) tending bar. But nowadays (older, less single, etc.) going to a bar is very low on the list of things I want to do. Working in a bar for a night as a musician is even lower.

    Oh, answer to the question: $200-$400 (for the whole band)
     
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