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Anyone ever have Family / Friends try to Broker gigs for your band

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Helix, Oct 22, 2017.

  1. Helix

    Helix California U.S.A.

    May 29, 2015
    Basically looking for "Headhunters" among family and friends.....you broker a deal, you get paid. Pretty simple

    And if you do (or have) what's the normal percentage you would pay them?

    Also if you can share any plus or minus experiences doing this.
  2. RustyAxe


    Jul 8, 2008
    I can think of many reasons why I wouldn't want family/friends to dig up gigs. Most importantly, they likely have no experience, and that can lead to no gigs, or just as bad, gigs you wouldn't otherwise touch with a ten foot pole. If I'm paying someone to book gigs, I want to get what I'm paying for.
  3. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

    mostly friends (i don't recall ever paying family --- though some family members have turned me on to gigs in the past): i paid them 10% or more depending on the circumstances. i'm used to paying agents 10-20% (depending on experience/circumstances) so i'd gladly pay a friend as much.
    Helix likes this.
  4. Seanto


    Dec 29, 2005
    Depends on the nature of this brokerage. If they are literally hitting the pavement for you like an agent, then 10-20% finders fee might be fair.

    But largely when family and friends simply pass along contact information casually that leads to a paid opportunity, there is no monetary transaction for it. They do it because they are your friends and family and just want to help you succeed. My bro is a sound engineer and i recently got him hooked up for a gig that paid decently. I don't expect anything in return for it, he is my brother for gods sake.
    DirtDog, design, Renaissance and 2 others like this.
  5. garp


    Feb 7, 2009
    Connecticut USA
    I agree that nonmusicians don't always make the best brokers. But when someone is in the business, it can sometimes work out.

    I do sub work for a wedding/corporate band. As an experienced businessperson, the group's bandleader has set a minimum package price. When potential clients don't have the budget to hire the group, the bandleader will refer the person to his favorite DJ, and takes a 10% commission on every booked gig, which the DJ has already built into his pricing structure. Win-win.
    Nashrakh and Helix like this.
  6. RoadRanger

    RoadRanger Supporting Member

    Feb 18, 2004
    NE CT
    One issue I ran into doing this was not being clear that it was 10% for the first gig booked via their efforts, not repeat gigs that we later booked directly ourselves. More of a finder's fee that a traditional agency relationship.

    And if you're gonna do this it should apply to band members too. It usually ends up only one member is motivated to hunt for gigs - maybe this can help :) .
    Helix likes this.
  7. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    Unless they have specific experience in the industry, I wouldn't want them trying to book gigs - makes you look unprofessional, and what are they doing that you can't? But certainly if they can make an introduction, that's good.
  8. Helix

    Helix California U.S.A.

    May 29, 2015
    Please elaborate
  9. Killed_by_Death

    Killed_by_Death Snaggletooth Inactive

    I guess it would work if I wanted to do Bluegrass or Beach music, LOL!
    My family & most of my friends are polar opposites when it comes to music choices.
    Lvjoebass likes this.
  10. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    If they have a prior relationship with the owner, that's one thing. But "hey, you want to book my brother's band?" does not strike me as professional.
    petey293 and Killed_by_Death like this.
  11. Killed_by_Death

    Killed_by_Death Snaggletooth Inactive

    I've worked for guys who were big on nepotism, and I am really not a fan of it.
  12. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    Yes, as I said, if they have experience or contacts. If not, they're not doing anything that you can't do.
  13. Killed_by_Death

    Killed_by_Death Snaggletooth Inactive

    I can just see Bobby Moynihan trying to get me gigs in his local watering hole:

  14. My kids both were trying to get us to play their birthday parties this year. How cool is that for an old man?

    I would have done it for sure but they couldn't pay.

    Just kidding, they both suggested it last minute and I'm not blasting my neighbors from the back yard, so...

    (they're 14 and 17)
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2017
    Lvjoebass and Helix like this.
  15. Ross W. Lovell

    Ross W. Lovell

    Oct 31, 2015

    The question here, to me is are they looking to get paid 10%?

    Most want the percentage but none of the work that goes with the job and why we pay someone that money.

    If it's not a professional relationship, I wouldn't pay a fee.

    I also rarel if ever wotk with family memebers.
    Helix likes this.
  16. I can’t even get my friends and family to listen to my music. Frequently when we have family get togethers my brother in law is referred to as the guitarist of the family, despite the fact I’ve played for 25 years and am at least as good at it as he is.

    I wouldn’t want any of them to get me gigs. I’d likely end up playing down the local shops or something. Which might be better than the no gigs I have right now. Ho hum.
    Helix likes this.
  17. filmtex

    filmtex Commercial User

    May 29, 2011
    S. Texas Hill Country
    Annsman Pro Audio Dealer
    If you had an air conditioning business would it be any different? I wouldn't want somebody who knows nothing about air conditioning brokering jobs for me-under any circumstances. And if a family member suggested to somebody that I was "in the business", I likely wouldn't pay them anything for mentioning my name or passing along my number or business card. Why should it be any different in this business?
    Helix likes this.
  18. If you do this make sure the "representative" for lack of a better term can both answer and ask the right questions (date availability, projected draw, stage plot, how long of a show, are drinks, etc. included, yada yada etc.)

    Honestly, you might be able to make this work with a single individual with some experience doing this, but a team of people randomly scratching for gigs feels like trouble to me. What happens if they line something up that you want to turn down (too far to draw, crappy timeslot, etc)?
  19. Skeptismo


    Sep 5, 2011
    How comfortable do you feel with having to fire a family member or friend? I get that with family and friends there is a level of trust that you won't necessarily find elsewhere...but the potential fallout if they screw you over somehow can be a disaster. There are so many cautionary tales out there that I don't think it's a good idea to do show business with family.
  20. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

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