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Better Paying Gigs

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by bluewine, Mar 4, 2013.

  1. bluewine

    bluewine Banned

    Sep 4, 2008
    I’m sure of some of you in active working “weekend warrior” bands originals or cover often wonder, why are we playing Friday and Saturday nights to walk away with $200.00 a man take home when you see other bands earning at least $200.00 for 1 show.

    For those of you looking for and deserve more $$$, what are your thoughts?

    •Do you know exactly how to create this demand for your band? Most bands don’t.

  2. I'd love to make $200 a night playing in bars. That would mean our band would need to get paid $1000 plus a night. Please do tell!
  3. Rob Martinez

    Rob Martinez

    Sep 14, 2005
    Good luck!
  4. NickyBass

    NickyBass Supporting Member

    Nov 28, 2005
    Southern New Jersey
    If you can get the patrons to spend money on drinks, then you will become more valuable to the club owner and can demand higher pay.
  5. phillybass101


    Jan 12, 2011
    Artist, Trickfish Amplification Bartolini Emerging Artist, MTD Kingston Emerging Artist. Artist, Tsunami Cables
    A lot of cats are making way less than that and I'm talking pros who have come home after being on tour with a Nationally known act. I quit a band because of lack of pay. I miss the gigs and after a full month or two og gigging miss the money too. If you can walk away with $200 a night you are doing very well. If I could make $1600 a month playing on weekends I'd probably put up with B.S. that I normall would not. With cash like that I also could have a killer rig and boutique basses all around. When I see my oldband I feel sorry for the bass player as I know what he's getting paid. A lot of guys are trying to live their dream full time and need gigs like that to help pay the rent etc. I am one who has a decent paying day job so I could affoprd to say no to that. Some guys can't. $200 a gig is excellent pay for bar/grill gigs.
  6. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2010
    The Great Midwest
    I never thought being in a band was this hard.
  7. bassbully

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

    Sep 7, 2006
    Blimp City USA
    I can't for the life of me think what it must be like these days for a bass player to try to make a living (decent one) off of just playing music.

    As for what A band can make? In my area it is all about the Market. There are a few bands that get more than the going rate but they are very few and even those bands are not doing that good. No band even if they have a decent draw can play out often since they will burn out their following. You get paid what the general market (clubs) are paying their bands...take it or leave it.
  8. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    To make more money, be in one of fewer bands.
  9. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    The sad thing is back in 1974 I could make $75 a night playing in a bar band. To make the same today would be $344 adjusted for inflation. So a 3 man band would have to make over $1000 a night ... I had news years eve gig a few years ago where the band made over $1000 per night but we had to split it up 4 ways.

    The money part of music just plain sucks ...


  10. bassbully

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

    Sep 7, 2006
    Blimp City USA
    These are the kind of stories the BL tells me all the time in the late 80's -90's they were playing 3-5 times a week and getting $1000-1600 for a 4 man country band. Today he is lucky to get $500-600 which does not go far with all the expenses, gas, etc today.
  11. jumblemind

    jumblemind I also answer to Bryan Supporting Member

    Aug 27, 2011
    What does this "deserve" mean? As discussed around here before, if it refers to anything other than "500 people showed up and drank $15k worth of booze", then that's a bad place to start. My band makes pretty good money, and I'm one of the weekend warriors. But two guys in the band, both more talented than myself, play in other bands to make ends meet, and they don't get paid anywhere near what we make. Those bands are mostly weekday gigs at local breweries and restaurants, though they don't make much more on weekends. I would consider $100/person as good for any "regular" gig.

    Not every band can get paid a lot of money every day of the week. See fdeck's post. Even my well-paid band wouldn't get paid the same if we played out more frequently, and certainly not if we were playing during the week. It goes back to the people/booze equation, natch
  12. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather Supporting Member

    Ummm..................you make $200 a weekend ($100 a night)?? Can I sub for your band??
  13. MrLenny1


    Jan 17, 2009
    Bars in this area pay the same whether you are a big draw or not.
    $300-400 a night. Very few of these gigs also.
    Gigs are at the lowest level I have ever seen and
    venues dropping out all the time.
    In the 70's & 80's you could gig 3-5 nights a week steady.
  14. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather Supporting Member

    Get out of the bar band business. Diversify your songlist and tailor it towards the corporate/wedding/private party environment and use a booking agent.
  15. MJ_Sotti

    MJ_Sotti formerly "Mike in Chicago" Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2011
    We get 100 apiece a night. And that's from all our "got the work by ourselves" footwork. I've been taken on by this band who needed one of us, (not staying) and this guy has gigs up the ying. Problem is, this guys hooked up with the godfather of chicagoland entertainment (you guys around here know who that is) and its 50 apiece and the door...after his cut. So gig #3 is a coup;e weeks away, and I'm out. But the contacts are great...through these guys I've been taken on by this corporate thing, and they don't do anything for less than 275 apiece a show. They may only gig 8 10 times a year though.

    It's the contacts.
  16. Roy Vogt

    Roy Vogt

    Sep 20, 2000
    Endorsing Artist: Kiesel, Carvin, Accuracy, Hotwire, Conklin Basses, DNA, Eden
    IME, you have to think beyond the Weekend Warriors in the Bar Band paradigm. I would work on the variety of material (or if you're strong in one style or love one band, perhaps consider a tribute act) and get a good promo kit and hopefully a couple of Agents/Wedding Planners/Event Managers and get some weekend work playing weddings, private parties, conventions, etc. either as your Band or an Alter Ego Band. It's not uncommon to come home with $200-350+ in your pocket after one of these gigs even with a 8-10 piece band with horns in the highly competitive Nashville market.
  17. bluewine

    bluewine Banned

    Sep 4, 2008
    For me it would involve big decision.

    Many of us are tapped out on $$$ because of genre and location and how far the band will travel for bigger $$$.

    For me, I think it would take joining one of the well known bands, covers that work with one of the big agencies that have relationships with the casinos.

  18. datsaxguy


    Oct 28, 2008
    One of the top bands in the D.C. area is playing 4 nights a week because they have a massive following. They can get 200 plus people in a room easily and sometimes twice in the same night at different venues. The band makes people dance and drink, so the clubs can't get enough of them.

    It's all about marketing and building a following. The guy who runs the band does a great job and the musicians (including the subs) are always top notch.
  19. bluewine

    bluewine Banned

    Sep 4, 2008
    It is hard and it's why so many start ups never get off the ground.

  20. datsaxguy


    Oct 28, 2008
    Roy is spot on

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