Opinions on these "Pay to play" offers that are going on.

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by HunterBurgan4Me, Feb 25, 2013.


  1. HunterBurgan4Me

    HunterBurgan4Me

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2010
    My band's on some sites like Reverb Nation and occasionally we get things coming round saying "PERSON X IS LOOKING FOR A NEW BAND TO SIGN! PAY $1M AND YOU MIGHT HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY TO LICK HIS SHOES" (as you might have guessed i'm not keen on these things.)

    I just wondered if anyone has ever actually taken up an offer like this and their experience from it? Is it just me being cynical?
  2. mellowinman

    mellowinman Not a Clique Member Supporting Member

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    You can join the third club in my sig. There's a thread for it somewhere, but we all just assigned our own numbers. It's anarchy, man.
  3. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2008
    Location:
    Colorado
    I play for free ... but I charge a lot to drive there and haul in my equipment and set it up and tear it down and haul it home ... no damn way I am paying someone to do all of that.

    Pay to play is letting them crap on you and rub it in and then you say thank you sir may I have another.
  4. AuntieBeeb

    AuntieBeeb

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2010
    Location:
    London
    I would dearly love to see an end to "pay to play."

    This has been said countless times, and somebody will inevitably wheel out the "calls the Musicians' Union; is told to call the Plumbers' Union" joke, but as a musician, you are providing a service. Any other service provider could reasonably demand to be paid for his/her time, whereas we are left asking - often, paying - for the privilege to play in your venue, thank you very much, sir.

    The trouble is, venues, promoters, etc., have us over a barrel. The moment we say "oh, and it will cost you this much," so many of them know they can show us the door because there will be a bunch of fresh-faced teenagers who've just formed their first band and are so desperately keen to play, (not to mention still believing that this will be their springboard to super-stardom) that they'll happily do the gig for free.

    I have been giving occasional thought to how feasible and how effective it might be to organise a general musicians' strike. Boycott any gigs that are pay-to-play for a couple of weeks and see if they change their tune. I don't know whether it would work, though...
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  6. QORC

    QORC

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2003
    Location:
    East Coast
    only fools pay to play, IMHO
  7. Tx Basser

    Tx Basser

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2012
    Location:
    Texas
    +1. I would NEVER, repeat NEVER, pay some venue to allow my band to play there.

    Let them buy a jukebox or have an open mike night (which is another way for the venue to get free musicians, which I would never do.) or get some wanna-be's to pay them for the "honor" of playing there.
  8. BayStateBass

    BayStateBass

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2012
    Location:
    Central Massachusetts
    I don't mind playing for free if the situation is right (like a charity, donation for a good cause, something worthwhile that I can get behind).

    I don't think I'd be real enthusiastic about paying someone else to play. In fact, I just wouldn't do it.

    No.
  9. bassbully

    bassbully Endorsed by The PHALEX CORN BASS..mmm...corn!

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2006
    Location:
    Blimp City USA
    Trust me if anyone is reaching you on offers like this on Reverb nation or whatever stay away.
  10. bluewine

    bluewine

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2008
    Location:
    WI
    Yeah, my house needs new siding .I will let you do it. I'll only charge you $2,000.00.

    Sound good, when can you start?

    Blue
  11. VanillaThundah

    VanillaThundah Pleasantly plucky Supporting Member

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    +1

    The only time I see it as reasonable to play for free (not PAY, mind you, but play for free) is like you state up there Bay. If some lazy yahoo at a bar just wants free live music, he can get up there and play it himself. :smug:
  12. Marial

    Marial Proud Papa Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2011
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    Bingo. :cool:

    I've never done the pay-to-play thing, doubt I ever will.
  13. 5StringThunder

    5StringThunder

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2012
    Never encountered this particular situation, but we've played a few shows, mainly battle of the bands, where we have to sell tickets and do all our own promoting with zero promotion from the venue. I have no problem selling tickets and trying to get people to come, but the venue won't pay unless you draw x number of people or unless you win. Which when we sell $3,000 worth of tickets between two shows and the venue gives the 3 headliners $1,000 to split between the 3 bands and we don't see a penny, then it gets annoying.
  14. DwaynieAD

    DwaynieAD

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    Nov 20, 2010
    Location:
    Mechanicsburg, PA
    you are paying to play there bud. ticket sales is just pay to play with a new coat of paint.
  15. two fingers

    two fingers Loud Mouth Know It All Blowhard Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2005
    Dumb. Just dumb. It's sad that there are musicians out there so desperate to be seen that they go for these kinds of things.
  16. bluewine

    bluewine

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    Sep 4, 2008
    Location:
    WI
    I would say that is considerably more than annoying.

    blue
  17. SnowCal

    SnowCal

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    Sep 13, 2012
    Location:
    Snowier Climes of California
    5ST, you just defined pay to play...
  18. DwaynieAD

    DwaynieAD

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2010
    Location:
    Mechanicsburg, PA
    agreed. if your band has the ability to sell 3000 worth of tickets you should be putting on your own shows.
  19. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather Supporting Member

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    Jan 24, 2003
    Location:
    Newport News, VA via NYC
    Disclosures:
    Kohlman Bassworks
    Don't ever do it! Ever!
  20. NWB

    NWB

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2008
    Location:
    Kirkland, WA
    You have encountered and engaged in this exact situation. You should at least get a kiss from the promoter before the **&^%ing begins.
  21. BayStateBass

    BayStateBass

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2012
    Location:
    Central Massachusetts
    Yeah, sounds like a good old fashioned carrot dangler to me.

    Geesh, even the little place we play that flips up $350 for a night puts our name outside on their sign......

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