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)
    3.4%
  2. Under $200

    12 vote(s)
    13.6%
  3. $200-$400

    46 vote(s)
    52.3%
  4. $400-600

    23 vote(s)
    26.1%
  5. $600-$750

    4 vote(s)
    4.5%
  6. $750-$1000

    1 vote(s)
    1.1%
  7. $1000-$1500

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

    1 vote(s)
    1.1%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. Chunkocaster

    Chunkocaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    The average here is around $600. That's for the band to split however many ways.
    The downside is that there aren't enough opportunities to play more than once or twice a week.
     
    Rockerfeller likes this.
  2. fenderchamp

    fenderchamp Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    Isn't it directly related to how many people you consistently bring into the bar, and how much they drink, just like it always has been?
     
  3. Rockerfeller

    Rockerfeller Tele-Meister

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    Probably! If you look at the results of this poll THAT number is somewhere between $200 and $600 per night. Almost 60% of that being in the $200-$400 range. Which IMHO is pathetic
     
  4. LunarSlingShot

    LunarSlingShot Tele-Holic

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    We just recently received a "raise" from the couple bars that we frequently play out. Equating to $400 a night. That's for 5 guys to split, meaning I only take home $80 that night after lugging all my stuff there, staying from 8pm (set up and sound check) until we finish playing (1:30am) and lugging it back. Not to mention all the time we spend rehearsing.

    I wouldn't be complaining so much if they let us play there more than once a month. At this point it's just a hobby. God forbid I buy a drink while I'm there as we have to pay for our drinks.
     
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  5. aerhed

    aerhed Friend of Leo's

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    This is why I'm working with a lively drummer that can do back vocals. We have a bass working in but we're concentrating on guitar/drum dance sets. We think we can get pay and rooms to make weekend loops and do local stuff too.
     
  6. rebelwoclue

    rebelwoclue Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    Every club owner thinks you should play for tips - like in Nashville currently. The last bar I played in, I told the owner to pony up the difference between the tip jar and $40 each player or we wouldn't play- they did, and we had good crowds (for a beer bar) but they really needed a full bar and better food and service- too bad... I like playing in bars. I used to play in bars for $40 a night/6 nights a week when I was in high school in the '70's for crying out loud. (I was livin' large for a kid in school!)
     
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  7. mikestearns

    mikestearns Tele-Meister

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    Kind of. There's a lot of variables here. For the bar I booked, there were plenty nights on a Friday or Saturday where it was going to be packed regardless of who was playing, so it was pretty hard to determine how many people the band drew and how many people were there just because its the hip bar in town that has a huge selection of craft beer and live music. A lot of times people came there because there was A band, not necessarily because of THE band. The same band may play to a packed room one weekend, then come back in 4 months and play to an empty room, both situations having nothing to do with them. Similarly, in the summer, a band could be playing to an empty room, but there's 70 people outside on the patio smoking and socializing because its a crowd that doesn't care about live music (which sadly, I was seeing more and more of).

    A band might pack the place, but not ask for more money next time. So when I rebook I'm just sending the same info from last time to the bar (I might not have been there last time they played and maybe no one from the bar said anything about turnout. For all I know they played to just the standard regulars). A band might have a totally crap night, but then ask for more money next time. There's a lot of different personality types at play.
     
    2 Headed Goat likes this.
  8. 39martind18

    39martind18 Tele-Holic

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    I haven't worked in a full band for over 30 years on a regular basis, preferring to do a solo or duo act. That being said, as a solo, in a restaurant/bar/country club setting, I would not work for less than $50/hr, with a three hour minimum. On these gigs, I provide all sound equipment. The duo remuneration is a bit less, usually 35-50 per hour, for a total pay of $200-300 for a three hour gig. An adjunct venue is the assisted living centers I/we play. Pay for these is usually in the $100-150/hr range for my solo act, and up to 200/hr for the duo. The downside is that we only play for one hour, but I can live with it! Since most of these are during the late afternoon, sometimes I/we are able to stack an AL and an evening gig in a single day. When this happens, my banker smiles!
     
    ndcaster likes this.
  9. Mrbob135

    Mrbob135 Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    Our 5 piece group gets $500 at the American Legion locally, but they are turning people away because the room is at capacity, so they are willing to pay the difference. Usually they pay $400 a night. Barn Dances pay us $650.00, and we usually can book two or three of those a summer. Most bars are $400-$500, depending on how much you draw...We also do a fair share of campground gigs at $500.00, and those are usually 2.5 to 3 hour early evening gigs, so we enjoy those too!
     
    Rockerfeller likes this.
  10. cyclopean

    cyclopean Friend of Leo's

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    the most we've gotten playing originals has been $100.
     
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  11. muudcat

    muudcat Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    4 piece Bands around here: 4-600, that's why I do solo 99.9% of the time, and I can make a minimum $175 on up to $250 for a 3 hour gig, plus tips. If I have to travel the price is dependent on distance and i always eat and drink free, and if I have to stay over night, a room is included
     
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  12. Milspec

    Milspec Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    The size of the band matters in the equation. I sit in with a trio and the price is routinely about $250 - $275. A full band should be getting higher...likely closer to $400 around here.
     
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  13. matmosphere

    matmosphere Tele-Holic

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    Never played in a cover band, but when I was in a band that did originals we didnt make near that much scratch from gig. Usually it was splitting the door with the sound guy, door guy and the other bands.

    When we set up a show, If there was a touring band we’d always give them the majority of the cash and split a little amount the other bands.

    unfortunately we that wasn’t often the case when we toured.


    I’m just saying, if I was pulling any income from doing something I loved as much as playing music live, I’d do it in a second. Covers just aren’t my thing though
     
  14. davenumber2

    davenumber2 Friend of Leo's

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    It's a shame that playing covers is where the money is (still not much) unless you're a moderate to big name act. Local original bands where I live don't make squat.
     
    matmosphere likes this.
  15. Sterence

    Sterence TDPRI Member

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    We charge $100 per person plus paying for sound. That ends up being ~$1500. We are 10-12 person band, playing all night....
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2019
  16. twangjeff

    twangjeff Tele-Afflicted

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    Full band country music in Houston, we typically start at about $1,500 a night. That being said, that is keeping a lot of people dancing all night, and a show with sound/lights, and everything sounds like the record. Drums, Bass, Guitar, Pedal Steel, Male Singer and Female Singer.
     
  17. richiek65

    richiek65 Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    AU$700-800
     
  18. telel6s

    telel6s Tele-Afflicted

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    This thread is helpful, even if coming from different parts of the world. After ten years of just doing a random open mic, I've started playing solo this year and have also put a trio together with two vocalists. I've done farmers markets all summer & fall. I do not do the tip-only markets, only those that pay a base with tips on top of it. But with the weather turning it's time for me to get indoor gigs and I've been trying to figure out what to charge. A few local friends have given me some insight but others, that I don't know as well, are less open about it (which I understand - in some sense I'm competition).
     
  19. Rockerfeller

    Rockerfeller Tele-Meister

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    Oh yeah! Nobody wants to help you take away their club gig! As a solo guitarist, you have ALL kinds of good paying private party gigs available. Go after them and you'll work a lot more and get paid a lot more!
     
  20. WireLine

    WireLine Tele-Afflicted

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    I don’t play a lot of bars, but the usual paycheck is $125-$150 a head for a 4 piece...

    as stated, the monetary numbers haven’t changed or have gone down in the past 25 yrs...factor in inflation, and it’s pretty sad
     
    Dr Improbable likes this.
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