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Getting paid for a "Capacity" crowd. (small rant about crooked doormen)

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by gustobassman, Nov 23, 2013.


  1. gustobassman

    gustobassman I'm only here for the Afterparty

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2011
    Location:
    San Diego
    Disclosures:
    Endorsing Artist: Schroeder Cabinets, D'addario, Planet Waves
    The "Curse of the Crooked Doorman" happened to us last night. A local club in my area has had some bad tendencies in the past regarding bands getting paid correctly. We hadn't had that problem with this venue all year. Until last night.

    Most bands at this club sign a contract that states the club gets the first $200 through the door and the band gets everything after that. That also allows the headlining band (or band that set up the show) to name their own door charge. Some bands will charge $10-$12, others less. Our theory is a $5 cover charge: its worked very well for us and we always pack the place to "capacity". There is a one in, one out rule when there is lines to to prevent the club from breaking fire codes.

    Now here's the problem. This club has a capacity of 193 and pretty much based on the doorman's discretion, that's all you get paid for. No matter what the turnover was for in and outs. Meaning even if more people came and went throughout the night you only get paid for "capacity". This is what happened last night.

    The doorman made a killing. They paid us up to "capacity" and not a dime more. We played in June to a smaller crowd and made $400 more than last night. Our show last night had a line all night long, and the one in-one out rule was in effect. There had to be at least 250+, including people who left and new people who came in. So based on a small estimate the door pocketed almost $250, likely much more..

    I know, we should have our own person watching the door and taking a tally with a clicker. We know that now. I know the club is into making money, that's there business. Skimming off the top of what was supposed to be for the bands (according to the contract) is just shady, shady stuff.

    Anyone else have a Crooked Doorman/Club story they'd like to tell?
     
  2. Kmonk

    Kmonk

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2012
    Location:
    South Shore, Massachusetts
    Disclosures:
    Endorsing Artist: Fender, Spector, Ampeg, Curt Mangan Strings
    And that's why every band I have ever been in always negotiates a set fee in advance of the gig. I have only done 2 gigs in 35 years where compensation was based on a cover charge.

    My advice to you is that if your band plays gigs where your pay is based on the number of people paying a cover charge, you should put someone you trust on the door with the doorman and make sure they have a small click counter with them so they can keep track of how many people actually come through the door.
     
  3. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2010
    Location:
    Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
    I learned years ago that I do not work for the door unless I employ the man at the door, if he doesn't steal from you he only charges your friends cover and not his/regulars.

    Always have an agreed upon pay, let the club worry about the door.
     
  4. gustobassman

    gustobassman I'm only here for the Afterparty

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2011
    Location:
    San Diego
    Disclosures:
    Endorsing Artist: Schroeder Cabinets, D'addario, Planet Waves
    That's what i said in my last paragraph. Like I said, we hadn't had a problem with them until last night.

    This club USED to do guarantees. Really solid ones too, as it gets pretty packed on weekends. They stopped doing that a few years back, and being one of the only clubs in this specific beach area that has live music, they can pretty much do what they want. There is no shortage of bands that want to play there.
     
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  6. Phalex

    Phalex Semper Gumby Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2006
    Location:
    G.R. MI
    Word! Always have your own guy collect your money!

    The best system is definitely to have a flat rate.
     
  7. gustobassman

    gustobassman I'm only here for the Afterparty

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2011
    Location:
    San Diego
    Disclosures:
    Endorsing Artist: Schroeder Cabinets, D'addario, Planet Waves
    They wont allow that. The best they will do is let someone have a clicker and keep track next to the doorguy. And, like i said before we never had an issue. I've been playing this club for about 17 years and have had this crap only happen to me once about 4 years ago. I've heard the stories from other bands though.
     
  8. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2010
    Location:
    Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
    You guys can draw 200 people, if you cannot get a guarantee on that alone you need better representation. Either that or your market is seriously messed up, I thought San Diego is a major centre, I can get guarantees in the hinterlands of Canada with no draw.
     
  9. gustobassman

    gustobassman I'm only here for the Afterparty

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2011
    Location:
    San Diego
    Disclosures:
    Endorsing Artist: Schroeder Cabinets, D'addario, Planet Waves
    Well, to be fair, there was 3 bands on the bill. We booked the night, so we had to pay the other bands. The draw seemed kinda equally split between the 3 bands as well.
     
  10. Unrepresented

    Unrepresented Something Borderline Offensive Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2006
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    Is this a club that used to rob you "blind" and now if you're lucky you get paid "7/10" of what you're expecting? Is the promoter someone you might want to "Skip" next time?

    Or is am I a couple beaches north?
     
  11. gustobassman

    gustobassman I'm only here for the Afterparty

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2011
    Location:
    San Diego
    Disclosures:
    Endorsing Artist: Schroeder Cabinets, D'addario, Planet Waves
    Hahahaha! You got it man.. :D
     
  12. Unrepresented

    Unrepresented Something Borderline Offensive Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2006
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    Yeah, been there, gotten hosed by him. We used to play there more often. Hell, my profile pic is a shot from an old show there. Since they've expanded their ability to be counted on for fair pay seems to have dipped, especially with that promoter. Nice guy up front until paytime comes.
     
  13. gustobassman

    gustobassman I'm only here for the Afterparty

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2011
    Location:
    San Diego
    Disclosures:
    Endorsing Artist: Schroeder Cabinets, D'addario, Planet Waves
    Not sure who is the promoter now. My guitarist handles the booking. I think it was someone else. From my knowledge the guy doing it now has only been there for the last year or so.

    But i do remember people getting "skipped" on pay in the past. :p
     
  14. Unrepresented

    Unrepresented Something Borderline Offensive Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2006
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    It's probably been that long since we've played there, long distance guitarist making booking and practice less efficient. Good to know I'll want to keep my eyes open if/when we play there again.
     
  15. mellowinman

    mellowinman Guaranteed to break the Ice at Naughty Parties Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2011
    Location:
    Fort Wayne, IN
    Why aren't clubs afraid of bands anymore? Too many people in bands behaving like ordinary citizens.

    Rock and roll ain't what it used to be.

    Stiff us sometime.

    You'll end up paying twice as much as if you would've just paid what was agreed.
     
  16. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2004
    Location:
    Madison WI
    Disclosures:
    HPF Technology: Protecting the Pocket since 2007
    When customer 201 comes in, stop playing.

    Well, it's a thought, but I play probably wouldn't actually do it.
     
  17. Mike N

    Mike N Missing the old TB Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2001
    Location:
    New York

    Let them. Find somewhere else to play that's willing to pay for you.
     
  18. MegaSwing

    MegaSwing Your Obedient Bassist® Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2002
    Location:
    Baltimore, MD USA
    Playing for the door is a license to get picked. Crowd size is irrelevant.
     
  19. obimark

    obimark

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2011
    You didn't make very much money if you had to split that between 3 bands-- is this the world of original(s) i hear so much of? 3 bands per night? (mind you $$ for cover bands here sucks as well)
     
  20. Joe Louvar

    Joe Louvar

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2011
    Location:
    Santa Rosa, CA USA
    Nope, I know better so I've never experienced that problem. Oh well, live and learn - better luck next time.

    Cheers,
    Joe
     
  21. fhm555

    fhm555 So FOS my eyes are brown Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2011
    Having seen the hinterlands of Canada, I'm surprised you don't get free transport in and out, rooms, food, everything, plus a nice chunk of change. It's got to be bloody hard for club owners out (and I do mean out) in the Canadian sticks to even get bands to show up.

    Oh and regards playing for the door, we used to do it all the time and it was pretty decent money, but we learned early to either supply our own door or at least someone to keep a full time eye on their door. It's all cash and it's just too easy to slip a little here and there. Owner don't care because the place is packed and the bar/kitchen is going full steam so they could give two shites about your money.
     

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