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Average pay at local bars/clubs

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Mooch, Dec 26, 2010.

  1. Mooch


    Jan 1, 2009
    Hey all, have quick question. While I'm not in a cover band around my area there is a few bars that pay. We have played these places about 2 times a piece now and wanna set up our own gigs.

    I'm wondering what's a good start pay to negociate with a bar. I was thinking something like 500 and the door. But I'm wondering what other people get.

    Also how do you go about talking about pay for gigs with bar owner. It always makes me feel greedy just bringing it up. How do you all approach the question without sounding like your asking for too much.
  2. oggdawg


    Oct 25, 2009
    $500 and you take the door? Maybe it's different in your neck of the woods, but there isn't a bar that I know of that would do that for a "local" band. $500 flat with no cover is reasonable (depending on the band, of course), or with the bar taking the door (or a percentage, at least), but you'd have to bring a lot of people to make $500 + the door worthwhile for a bar owner, I'd think.
  3. bluewine

    bluewine Banned

    Sep 4, 2008
    To many unknows here.

    Are you an originals band?

    How long has the band been together?

    Do you have a following, can you bring people into the club that will be spending money on drinks?

    Are you talking about pay in an club that is an originals band club?
  4. Crockettnj


    Sep 2, 2005
    North NJ
    Classic rock cover band- $350 small crowd/1st gig or $500 repeat gig / good crowd. No door.

    Pretty standard around here unless you have a manager/contract, of which I know next to nothing.
  5. oggdawg


    Oct 25, 2009
    ...that said, 90% + of the bars / clubs in my area don't pay guarantees for non-cover bands. You play for the door, and usually pay an exorbitant "sound" fee as well.
  6. Rudreax

    Rudreax Supporting Member

    Jun 14, 2008
    New York, NY
    There's a sticky topic in the subforum that has this information. You might want to read through that.
  7. ducknturtle


    Dec 28, 2006
    New Jersey
    It's posible to negotiate with the bar owners, for example, $250. flat fee plus %10 of the bar take. They sometimes go for this kind of deal if they are unsure that your band can draw.
  8. Photobassist


    Dec 18, 2010
    My band plays a local venue every Wednesday and we take the door.... that's it. If the crowd sucks then we make no money, the bar owner helps promote us around the area but it's our responsibility to bring in the crowd. Typical nights we make about $500 but we have made more..... and less.
  9. Where in MN are you looking to play Mooch?
  10. Floyd Eye

    Floyd Eye Banned

    Feb 21, 2010
    St. Louis
    $500 + the door?

  11. bluewine

    bluewine Banned

    Sep 4, 2008
    It really depends on a lot of factors.

    A friend of mine band played an originals club (nice place, great sound and lights, stage ect..) last weekend.

    They had to pay 150.00 for the sound and 50 to the guy taking money at the door.

    They charged 10.00 at the door.The place was packed so I am sure they walked off with a grand after expenses.But realize thses guys have been around for years and have a big local following.
  12. jmattbassplaya

    jmattbassplaya Supporting Member

    Jan 13, 2008
    Tampa, FL.
  13. bluewine

    bluewine Banned

    Sep 4, 2008
    From the information you have given, the only way your going to collect 5 bills is from a wedding gig.
  14. bluewine

    bluewine Banned

    Sep 4, 2008

    It's weird, I mean I agree with you 100%.I have been doing the local club/bar scene for 40 plus years.

    However their is always an extenuating circumstance.

    Last year I subed on bass for a friends band. We played this tiny dumpy bar with 30 people in there at any given time during our 3 sets.

    At the end of the night, the band leader handed me 5 20s. Not bad for dive bar gig.
  15. Floyd Eye

    Floyd Eye Banned

    Feb 21, 2010
    St. Louis
    I've been around for 20+ years and I have never heard of a bar that will pay you a decent flat rate plus the door. In fact, around here we can't even find a bar that will let us put a man on the door and give us 100% of it. If they would, we probably wouldn't have day jobs. Going rate is around $300 + 20% of the door for 4 hours.
  16. bluewine

    bluewine Banned

    Sep 4, 2008
    Depends on the band, if the club owner knows that the only reason he is going have a boat load of new customers in his place buying drinks is because of your band, I think you could negotiate 90-100% of th door with your guy at the door.
  17. Some clubs up here pay a flat rate vs. a percentage of the door (for covers).....but it's super rare to get a gig through an owner without a booking fella involved...and he get's a cut too....

    originals?....good luck gettin that dough.....
  18. I play in a three piece classic rock covers band. We make anything from $700 to a Grand for a pub or club gig, and up to $1500 for a wedding or private function. I have been burned before working for door takings. 2 and a half hour drive to the gig, each way, only to find about 10 people at the bar. The band walked away with $32, didn't even cover fuel to get there... And I don't work for free at my day job, so why would I work for next to nothing after hours!
  19. dcr

    dcr Supporting Member

    Personally, I'd love to take $500 plus the door. Mostly, however, it's either about $400 OR the door.

  20. MrLenny1


    Jan 17, 2009
    $450 a night, $800 for the weekend. Agent gets 10%.
    Run your own PA. $120 per man if you're a trio. $90.00 per man if a quartet
    This is rare, moist joints pay $300/night regardless of the size or reputation
    of the band.