Holiday gigs - Where did they go?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Doug R, Dec 15, 2012.


  1. Doug R

    Doug R

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2011
    Location:
    Spokane, WA USA
    This is about the 3rd year now that I haven't booked a single holiday gig with our band. What's up with that?!

    For decades we'd get Christmas parties, private company banquets & events, Winter Carnivals, horrible rent-a-room club parties for car clubs, plumbers, box companies, sheriffs (the biggest drinkers!) and other groups. I'd make enough in December to buy Christmas presents and even give the kids money to spend to do their own holiday shopping.

    This year, other than New Years Eve, zip, nada, zero, bupkis!

    We invested in a fairly large mail-out in October - post cards with band picture, website & info to about 100 former or prospective clients and venues. Spent about $60 on cards, printing & postage - and not a single call or email. :crying:

    Okay, I'm just venting, but whatever happened to holiday parties. We've had some very generous company owners throw big events for their employees in past years, including dinner, gifts & prizes, drinks and dancing.

    Has anybody had any luck booking for the holidays this year? Any suggestions?
  2. ahc

    ahc

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2009
    Location:
    No. Virginia
    It's the economy. Many companies have cancelled holiday parties because of it. Mine did for the past couple of years.
  3. Kmonk

    Kmonk

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2012
    Location:
    South Shore, Massachusetts
    Disclosures:
    Endorsing Artist: Fender and Spector, Ampeg, Curt Mangan Strings
    Some companies have stopped having holiday parties due to the costs and also the liability of people drinking and driving. Many of the companies who do have parties have decided to use a DJ or have no entertainment at all.
  4. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2000
    Location:
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Disclosures:
    Brubaker Guitars
    All of the above.
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  6. Ozonbass

    Ozonbass Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2007
    Location:
    Chicago
    We've played 2 so far and one more on the books the middle of next week. I think a lot of the corporate gigs have vaporized because of companies scaling back...dinner at a restaurant or catered at the office, but no live music unfortunately. No NYE gig this year for the first time in a bazillion years though...2/6 of the band will be out of town. It's gonna seem strange sitting at home watching the ball drop.
  7. John Wentzien

    John Wentzien

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2007
    Location:
    Fort Madison, IA
    Disclosures:
    Artist:TC Electronic RH450 bass system
    Welcome to THIS world..
  8. jeffbonny

    jeffbonny _____________ Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2000
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
  9. seanm

    seanm I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize! Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Location:
    Ottawa, Canada
    Unfortunately, the money for the band at Christmas parties had to go towards the CEO's raise.
  10. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 1999
    Media:
    30
    Albums:
    2
    Location:
    NYC
    Disclosures:
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    I don't know about elsewhere, but there's a "public persona" attitude for a lot of companies, it's not that they don't HAVE money, they just don't want to be seen as spending it "frivously".
  11. carl h.

    carl h.

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2009
    Location:
    Willmar, Minnesota
    I've been so busy I barely have time to sit down. Can't wait for January 2.

    Did 2 gigs today and have 3 more tomorrow.
  12. MNAirHead

    MNAirHead

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2008
    Location:
    Minnesota - Twin Cities
    I'm booked daily until 1/1


    I've never gigged as much as this year
  13. MarkMgibson

    MarkMgibson

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2012
    Location:
    Brisbane, Australia
    Plenty of gigs where I'm at. The last couple of years were slow, but it seems to be back to normal this year.
  14. MNAirHead

    MNAirHead

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2008
    Location:
    Minnesota - Twin Cities
    I have noticed that around here 4-5 person runothemill cover bands are not getting tons of work
  15. InQuiet

    InQuiet Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2012
    Thank your local DJ. Most people don't appreciate live music anymore. Wonder why....
  16. bryan gibson

    bryan gibson

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2011
    We've got a bar gig on the 29th and an afternoon(!) gig on the 31st, both at regular pay scale-the only two gigs we've got all month. We play classic country, have an established band, and a solid core following. Times are still tough in these parts. The is solid movement locally of younger bands (teens and college kids) renting a room and doing multi-band shows, just zero money in it.
  17. MarkMgibson

    MarkMgibson

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2012
    Location:
    Brisbane, Australia
    These DJ's are taking money straight out of our mouths (or is that food?). If each of us chipped in, I'm sure there's a few sociopaths on this forum who would kill a DJ quite cheaply (maybe even just for expenses). How many DJ's do you think there are in the world, and how many would have to die before the others got the message? Just an interesting thought to ponder over Christmas.
  18. invader3k

    invader3k Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2004
    Location:
    Fort Atkinson, WI
    We had two gigs this weekend (one a birthday party for a...gasp...DJ, that I wrote about in another thread) and are booked NYE.

    I agree with sentiment that I don't see many companies doing the big holiday parties out there, but there still are paying gigs to be had.
  19. Clef_de_fa

    Clef_de_fa

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2011
    Location:
    Canada
    In my neck of wood, there still some christmas party for employee but they use a DJ or they go in a reserved room in a chic restaurant.

    So where I live the live music is more about original band than cover band ... I only know one bar in my city where their is live music and it is like 4 to 6 solo accoustic guitar player singing very popular modern song ... so no band. Otherwise I didn't saw any ad about a cover band, it is always an original band. It is like the cover band thing is dead here, people want to hear new music... otherwise you have a CD, MP3 or youtube to hear the same old song.

    Also I think the problem with live music is : the mix is often aweful. You don,t hear the singer, it is really boomy, an instrument over power the others or the worst it is too loud ... loud doesn't mean better ...
  20. modulusman

    modulusman

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2004
    Location:
    montana
    I played one last night. IIRC this is the only Christmas party I have done in the last 4 years. 10 years ago we wouldn't book any bar gigs in Dec. because we knew we would fill the dates with holiday parties. Hopefully the economy will keep improving and things will be better next year.
  21. Richland123

    Richland123

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2009
    Join the club. We have not had a Christmas party gig in a few years now and for the first time in eleven years, we don't have a New Year's Eve gig. That has become normal around here. Many businesses and groups don't have Christmas parties at all anymore and the ones that do seem to either just have a dinner, maybe a DJ, or go to a place with built in entertainment. Also, many venues have decided either to not have a New Year's Eve dance or have a DJ. A few private clubs we play went the DJ route for New Year's Eve and their club members are not happy about it and said they will not go to their own club without a band there.

    In addition, all the bands locally have seen a dramatic cutback on band gigs this year and going into 2013. As a result, several bands have broken up.

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