Interesting Video on Why We Shouldn't Play $100 Gigs

Polska

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$100/per band member seems to be the norm here. There are a handful of classic rock bands that are real popular and play all the big events, and those guys make much more than that. Then again, a band playing all originals can expect zero so there's that.

Typically we will not play any gig for less than $100/ea unless it's a benefit or a gateway gig to get us in to a club. No more freebies though, including freebie festivals for "exposure".
 

Joe61

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The wheels came off the bus when clubs went from promoting entertainment, to smoke free family friendly restaurants. When you set up your gear at a club that has crayons and coloring books on the tables...your going to work for $100 per man. Clubs used to be playgrounds for adults. Now they are community parks. The good news is I think this is cyclical. Being in a band and playing gigs for me is a hobby I enjoy. Those of you that depend on gigs for income, I hold in the highest reguard.

Just my two cents.
Joe
 

ARGuy

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The 5 points he makes in the video are all valid and great advice - if the market was like it was in the 60's and 70's. Maybe it still is in the top 10 markets in the US. It seems like the gigs he's talking about are at venues that depend on alcohol sales to make money. I doubt that any of those places are making the same kind of money that those types of places made back then. Smoking bans, the 21 age requirement and tougher drunk driving laws have been beneficial for society, but haven't helped bars. He makes it sound like the money is there to double your income; you just have to stand firm and ask for it. I just don't think it'd there.
 

bob

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$100 is the normal rate up in my area per man in clubs .... private gigs pay more $300 - $400 per man ....
they're few and far between though play for $100 a night or sit home and make sfa ....
 

DrumWhipper

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Musicians attempted this in my area, and now none of the local venues are hiring bands. They are hiring DJ's for $100 a night. Only place we have locally to play is a free jam on Wednesday nights. The catch 22 is exactly what we had happen here. Musicians can demand more pay and refuse to play if they aren't compensated what they want, but that will not stop the venues from completely cutting you off and hiring DJ's for less money.
 

pwc1141

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$100 per man is rare here outside of some very up market hotel gigs or special events. Those that do make that are in duos or playing solo guitar with backing tracks. That latter is getting more prevalent here. The norm is more in the $70 range for trios and quartet players.
 

Rich K.

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In the circuit I play, the guys that were playing here 5 to 20 years ago say the places used to get attendance in the 100s instead of 30 to 90 folks they get now. Either we take the $400 for the band or there's nowhere to play.
The singer from my old band and I formed a trio, so we gave ourselves a raise that way. Also we can now do smaller and shorter gigs that pay less than $400.
 

swarfrat

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Perhaps the reality check is that any hobby people can also do for a living is gonna be crazy hard for the very few people who can mop up, and there's always a ton of skillful hobbyists nipping at your heels hoping to get your spot.

It's the same way for commercial divers, athletes. Pilots are close but there's enough barrier to entry there - which is basically what this guy and the bitter wanna be pros on the forum are trying to accomplish. But with aviation the barrier to entry is real and not artificially created for the purpose of padding the bottom line. People don't die when you lose the beat (except in biker bars).

But anything that banks on people being willing to spend money for non-essential services is always going to be like this.
 

Nacci

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No talk of ASCAP? Surely they have significantly cut into venue owner profits as well as their willingness to even host live music.

They’re like the mafia except the threat of litigation has become the new leg breaking.
 

ARGuy

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No talk of ASCAP? Surely they have significantly cut into venue owner profits as well as their willingness to even host live music.

They’re like the mafia except the threat of litigation has become the new leg breaking.
ASCAP/BMI are not new, nor are the threats of litigation. Maybe they have tried raising their rates more recently, but music licensing is something club owners have always had to deal with.
 

Nacci

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ASCAP/BMI are not new, nor are the threats of litigation. Maybe they have tried raising their rates more recently, but music licensing is something club owners have always had to deal with.
The law allowing ASCAP to charge clubs licensing fees for playing copyrighted music wasn’t established until 1995 and its implementation was certainly not instantaneous, especially in the Hinterland. For example, in my sleepy little corner of New Hampshire the roll out occurred less than a decade ago, purportedly.

So, certainly not new but also not outside the scope of this discussion as a mitigating factor for our piece of the pie getting cut into.
 

TheMattJones88

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Well, being in a punk / indie-rock band, I've gotten used to either not being paid for a show or being paid $20 - $40 a show total, maybe with a beer or two thrown our way.

Me and my bandmate have lots of friends, getting them to come out to see a show is like pulling teeth. Live, original rock music is dying.
 

Houndog

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People just don’t go out like they used to . In my area tribute bands are doing well .
I’m fortunate to play for a popular original artist . No bar gigs . 2 sets max .
 

DanC

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We live in a free-market economy, based on supply and demand. Compared to 30-40 years ago, people don't care about live music at their local pub. There are a fraction of the places with bands compared to years ago. And these days, there are still tons of bands around, chasing after a smaller and smaller number of gigs. So, the laws of supply and demand kick in, and the money for bands has been sliding down for 30 years. The guys I know making a living from music in the local scene do about 75% of their gigs as a solo/duo act. All guitar players or keyboardists, of course. They can get about $200 a night for a solo. This way, the pub owner saves money, the volume is easy to control (they don't really like bands to be loud these days, it's a major complaint of pub owners), and guys I know are making $800-1000 a week playing solo gigs. They do play the occassional band gig, maybe once a week, but it's mostly solos to make a living. And these guys usually have a wife with a good job and benefits to make a normal lifestyle possible.

The world has changed, and local musicians going 'on strike' to get more money will only hasten the demise of live music in bars altogether.

As far as weddings and parties, they are almost always staffed with a DJ, and those guys get $5-600 instead of the $4-5000 a good wedding band used to get. Young people these days getting married want the music to be the recorded stuff they download, they want it to be perfect, and they want the dance music to be non-stop. This adds more momentum to the reduction of local band money in general.
 
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DanRH

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Tell me.
In the circuit I play, the guys that were playing here 5 to 20 years ago say the places used to get attendance in the 100s instead of 30 to 90 folks they get now. Either we take the $400 for the band or there's nowhere to play.
The singer from my old band and I formed a trio, so we gave ourselves a raise that way. Also we can now do smaller and shorter gigs that pay less than $400.
Exactly in the SF Bay Area.
 

DanRH

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Heh, I won't waste my time to see a cover band, or tribute band. Not worth my while.
I will say my Petty trib band stays working. And typically we’re getting well paid for it. So, maybe I’m contributing to the demise BUT, I get to play out, make pretty good change and feel like a rock star for a few hours.

My other band, covering 70’s and 80’s with very good players is hard to keep booked. We’ll gladly take a $4-500 club gig.
 

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