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A "friend" is putting on a fest, charging $25 to get in, and not paying bands...

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by glocke1, Oct 31, 2013.

  1. Chromer


    Nov 28, 2012
    Oh, but they do bring benefit. Each opening band is keeping the 600 people who came for the headliner waiting around for an extra 45 minutes each and getting them thirstier and thirstier...

    Point granted on the organizer taking the "cheaper" band. No one's going to leave early if the openers are bad. (Though they might arrive later).
  2. SteveC

    SteveC Moderator Staff Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    North Dakota
    I love exposure gigs! :rolleyes:
  3. My take on Free gigs;

    Jamming with friends at his no cost party of his = free

    Showcasing a few tunes for a select group who can make me a ton of ching = free

    An actual multiple band gig, were someone makes a profit = NOT FREE

    At a bar where someone makes a profit = NOT FREE
  4. mikegug


    Oct 31, 2011
    Hopefully he is doing it on the up and up.

    Not all these events end up with piles of profit. Some are a bust or a loss. The people who do this are the risk-takers. There is serious risk in losing your cash. Rain, power outage, food guy doesn't show, headliner's van breaks down six hours away and you get the phone call with only 3 hours lead time.

    Aaaaaaaaand, these are the exact reasons I have no interest in promoting. I am content with being the artist.

    But, if you DO end up with piles of profit (a windfall) for crying out loud, go above what you agreed to pay the vendors and musicians. Share the wealth and make strong allies for very little money!
  5. karl_em_all


    Jul 11, 2013
    Dimension X
    If I was in a cover band playing (opening act) at this event I would definitely want to get paid. No question about it. For a band with original material I'd play the gig with the stipulation that my band would have a merch table (cd's, shirts, caps, stickers, hoodies, whatever). That's the kind of stuff you have to expect and be prepped and ready for. If the band doesn't have the merch ready for sale I'd play the show and make the best impression possible (especially if the band is just starting out). Like making lemonade out of your lemons. Who knows, in a year that band could be headlining a festival like that, getting paid to play, along with their merch table. But hey that's music. Pay your dues and be ready.
  6. NWB


    Apr 30, 2008
    Kirkland, WA
    What the heck kind of "friend" is this that he's not cutting you in on the action?;)
  7. NWB


    Apr 30, 2008
    Kirkland, WA
    Oh, they're the very best!:D;)
  8. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    How much is the headliner making? If they're barely making gas money, then whether the other bands get paid could be a moot issue. ON the other hand, if they're making good money, are they comfortable with the fact that the other bands are playing for free?
  9. Not picking on you, just trying to understand your statements above.

    You seem to be saying that if your band had big competition for a show, that you would ask for more money because less people would show up to see you and more people would see the other show. And the promoters wouldn't go for that?

    Sometimes a big show is announced AFTER a smaller show is booked and paid for. That isn't the promoters fault. Lot's of times big promoters will do it on purpose to drive smaller promoters out of business since they know the small promoter is the one who stands to loose his cash; which by the way is put out up front on the hopes of getting a return.
  10. IPYF


    Mar 31, 2011
    Sorry. Perhaps I wasn't clear enough. If we've signed a worksheet and agreed to do a gig we'll do it as agreed. We'd do it if Metallica decided that they would fly in and play across the street that night because you don't back out of a deal.

    What I'm talking about is prior to us making an agreement. The times where this has happened (only twice thus far) we've been offered slots by a lower echelon promoter who's trying to set up a gig, only to discover they're trying to book up against bigger gigs in our scene. We're chilled about out deals usually, we don't mind playing opening slot or whatever, but we're always mindful not to take a gig that only a stupid or desperate band would take.

    The first time this happened we pointed out that the promoter was trying to go up against a really big, well promoted show and asked for a sign-on figure they wouldn't meet. The second time it happened that promoter ended up canning the gig. He hadn't even noticed that he was running up against a much bigger show in our scene that night.
  11. smeet

    smeet Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 27, 2006
    Woodland Hills, CA
    A blues singer in Chicago who I used to play with would call and offer us what he called "prestige gigs". The guitarist and I thought that was very funny.
  12. AaronVonRock


    Feb 22, 2013
    If our original band were given food, beer, and allowed to sell merch, we would play a festival like this for free. However, it's kind of lame not to give the local bands a little something.
  13. mellowinman

    mellowinman Free Man

    Oct 19, 2011
    I was getting some really good free exposure for awhile, but then I bought a new pair of pants, THAT DIDN'T HAVE A BIG HOLE IN THE CROTCH.
  14. Winfred


    Oct 21, 2011
    How a promoter promotes a gig is none of my business. How much money they make, or lose, is none of my business either.

    Don't go. Problem solved.
  15. glocke1


    Apr 30, 2002
    Well, it ought to be…If I found out a promoter was clearing 12k-13k and not paying bands at all I would not play at the festival or go.

    Anyway….festival was a bust…not sure what happened, in years past he had them organized pretty well, but this year was plagued with problems.
  16. We were going to do a festival for free, but the organizer wanted to hear us so he came to the practice temple for a listen, then he hired us at our full price for two days. I heard later on that he would have paid us double that... which he will next year. ;)

    I like playing for free, I do it every Tuesday at practice, and nearly every day on my own. When warm fuzzy feelings pay for basses, cases, amplifiers, strings, music lessons, cords, straps.... I could go on.... then I will feel good about accepting warm fuzzy feelings as pay. Until then it will be something that happens even though I would prefer otherwise. I figure by the time I have forty or so paid gigs in that my expenditures will have been recovered, if I don't make any new ones... which is very unlikely given the seriousness of my GAS.
  17. bkbirge


    Jun 25, 2000
    Houston, TX
    Endorsing Artist: Steak n Shake
    I think you vastly underestimate the current popularity of DJ based dance music.

  18. kev b

    kev b

    Nov 28, 2012
    Why don't you put on your own festival?
  19. I think that's the best solution here. You're basing his profit off a guess of how many people are coming. Nothing is guaranteed. He's investing his money, and stands the biggest risk. If you don't like it, don't participate.

    If you have the belief that your band will contribute to the overall profit in a way that you should get paid, then have a bet with him. Don't play, and let another band take your spot on the free stage. You'll be proven correct when the final take is less than what it would be with your group there. At that point, tell him you'll play the next one at a fee, and he'll accept because your absence from the show cut into his profits so much.
  20. AaronVonRock


    Feb 22, 2013
    You are correct. As a former promoter in the 90s, I can tell you that it's a great way to lose money. There's nothing like busting your tail for a month to promote a show and then have 25 people show up on a week night. I always paid the bands fairly even if it meant I lost money. That's probably why I sucked at being a promoter.

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