This musician makes a lot of good points. Bands do need to make some effort at promotion of course, but I agree with a lot of what's said here.: http://www.grassrootsy.com/2012/02/22/an-open-letter-to-venues-that-exploit-their-musicians/
Hoo, boy. Story time!Sneauman said:Wow, $75 / night?
This guy makes total sense, I bet it is difficult to get club owners to see his point, many of them don't have the benefit of a real business education. A lot of them come from the school of hard knocks, and can be short-sighted. Watch "Bar Rescue" on Spike sometime, an endless parade of clueless bar owners.
+1 Oops! Sorry! You posted just as I was writing, Biggator...biggator said:Funny.. Started reading the article and it seemed familiar.. Then I noticed that it's almost three years old and I think we've discussed it here before.
Man.. in the early 90's - the club I worked was paying bands $700-1500 depending on how much they'd pack the place. Good bands could routinely bring home 2k in door + merch on a Saturday night. Those days are no more.wflkurt said:I have never owned a bar so it would be wrong of me to comment from that perspective but I have been playing out in clubs and everywhere else since 1990 when I graduated high school. Everythging this guy says seems to makes sense to me. It's sad because in 1991 when I was getting very active, gigs would pay 100 bucks, gas was under a dollar and people would always be out.
I agree with you completely that this (non)approach by club bookers is a complete load. I will add thst it is absolutely a product of the digital age. We love that we no longer have to send (at great expense) those CD/cassette w/REAL 8x10s', all mailed in a big mailpak, but now clubs are inundated with the easy digital send, and they know that you can get on social/digital media yourself, scour for like-minded bands (which can be a good thing), connect with them, and set it all up yourself.Polska said:Sorry, I missed that this had been posted a few years ago. I wouldn't say all the responsibility is on the club to provide, but if you are primarily a live music club (with finger foods on the side) than i believe you should be checking out the bands press kits, maybe have an open mic that new bands play first in order to play a prime weekend gig. You can't just hire any band looking for a gig, but on the other hand you also can't expect the band to fill your club for you.
One reason some of these points hit home for me was a recent booking experience. I contacted a club that provides a forum for original music. Usually they have 2 or 3 bands on a bill for a weekend night. I sent the usual press kit with pics, links to music, past gigs etc. The guy told me he'd "keep us in mind" which is fine. While not the "we'll book you" response I was hoping for, it's the response I expected (and at least he replied). Then in the next sentence he says, "And if you know of 2 other bands and would like to set up a music showcase then let me know and we can work out a date". Oh okay...excuse me, but it is YOUR music club right? You don't serve food, it's all live music but your responsibility in this case is going to be to simply host the event while you want ME to contact 2 other bands, arrange a mutually agreeable date for all of US and then let YOU know when we'd like you to book us? How the hell is that my job at all?? Would you like me to offer them money out of my pocket too?
I told my band about it and the bass player said, "Well that's probably the only way we'll get in there" and I'm like, "Fine, #*& it, YOU book it if you want to". It's hard enough to arrange practice time with 3 people much less book a gig with 3 bands. I'm more than willing to pound the pavement for shows, but I'm not going to be hiring the other bands too. I don't know, to me that just sounds like complete crap.
As long as I'm playing, I'm happy to be there--eating the complimentary dinner, drinking a couple of complimentary beers, and getting paid for a decent night's work.Titus Pullo said:I'd like a poll of how many here think that going to a nightclub and paying $5 a drink to eat unidentified deep-fried meat while yelling across the table because five Boomers are blasting 80s rock is how best to spend a weekend night.