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Business in Mid-2014 - How's it going?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by lostcontrol_, Jul 13, 2014.

  1. Just wondering how things are going for you guys & gals in general. How's business going in Mid-2014 and what are your expectations for the rest of the year / early 2015? Any changes compared to last year? Regardless of location or having cover bands or originals, I guess we're more or less in the same boat here :)

    Personally, we (originals) missed this summer and probably a part of the Autumn due to our old drummer leaving, but we've got a couple of nice gigs coming up later this year. Opening act for an artist coming in from abroad, a basic club gig + a good club gig booked for early 2015. Our biggest challenge for 2014/2015 will be to extend our fan base & gigs outside our hometown (Helsinki, capitol of Finland), probably go abroad as well.

    From a broader point of view, times seem to be getting harder around here: Less venues and more competition, people don't spend / go out as much, rock etc. seem to attract less people when compared to EDM. All of this makes it harder to get compensated and to keep making new material etc.. I'm guessing a good amount of more straight-forward rock/metal acts need to find a new approach in order to keep up with the competition.

    Hoping for more open collaboration between clubs and artists in order to find solutions that benefit everyone, more events in general. And naturally an economical boost so people can attend more gigs ;D
  2. Winfred


    Oct 21, 2011
    I'm in 2 bands; one Soul/Motown dance stuff, the other Classic rock.

    Gigs have been coming at a fairly steady clip. Between the two, I'm playing 4-5 times per month.

    Our target audience is the "dancing ladies" crowd. Get'em in the club, keep'em dancing and drinking all night. The men follow along like bloodhounds on their trail. Repeat gigs are guaranteed.

    Jjst typical cover band gigs, but they work, and we make decent money, for this economy anyway.
  3. buldog5151bass

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

    Oct 22, 2003
    The economy still sucks. Not really a change in the last year, but compared to 5/10 years ago, (CT here, modern country and jazz bands) fewer places to play, and the pay scale has a lower cap. I just learned last night we lost an August gig because a place that had been in business for decades went belly up. DJs with internet access to their music have changed the game, and the fact that live music has changed (big acts keep getting more concerned with just duplicating sound from original recording, rather than "playing"), makes live bands less desireable.
  4. My town is blowing up. Every venue is being forced to have live music on weekends or nobody shows up. The VFW just quit having karaoke and has gone to a live band every Friday. Summer is full of weddings that are happy to have an inexpensive bar band play a drunken reception. People are hiring bands for backyard barbeques and barn parties. Every musician in town is scrambling to put a solid project together to capitalize. Local bar hosts a Monday night jam every week that brings a lot of people. I'm not sure I understand it but I hope it lasts.
    Rocky and BassCliff like this.
  5. buldog5151bass

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

    Oct 22, 2003
    Good for you. Congrats. The rest of us should be this lucky. Here there are gigs to be found, but not near like it used to be.
  6. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    Booming. I have only a handful of weekend nights NOT booked between now and NYE. Our rates are going up in 2015 and clubs are more than willing to pay. Cover band, keeping the party going.

    In my original band, we're waiting on the record company for some marketing plans to materialize. I'm just waiting to see...
    BassCliff and Winfred like this.
  7. I'm thinking of taking up another hobby. It's just brutal. I have to compete with Berklee grads for $20 gigs.
  8. emf818

    emf818 Guest

    Dec 27, 2012
    Well the band I was in for 2 years just broke up...And now i'm in a new band with the bass player from the old band..So there's that.
  9. Runnerman

    Runnerman Registered Bass Player

    Mar 14, 2011
    Definitely slower than last year.
  10. jjk2007

    jjk2007 Supporting Member

    Apr 16, 2008
    Austin, TX
    Endorsing Artist: DNA
    Doing good here in the Austin area. We average about 6 gigs per month which is perfect for us. We have slowly been adding new venues to our schedule as well as private parties etc and keep building the fan base. We do everything from country to 90's stuff and everything in between. We walk away with $100-$150 per man each gig, and booked parties have us around $200-250 each. Here's to hoping that all of us bassists can stay busy and keep the low end bumpin!!
    BassCliff likes this.
  11. Dave W

    Dave W

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    Lower CT area here...
    We're doing great! We're booked every weekend for the rest of the year with plenty of gigs during the week as well. We're also still getting pick up gigs and referrals as last minute gigs.
    We've done more gigs this year than we did by this time last year.

    I also check out what some of the other bands in the area are doing and they're fairly busy too. As long as you're playing what people want to hear there is no shortage of live gigs here.
    AdamR, jjk2007 and BassCliff like this.
  12. BassCliff


    May 17, 2012
    So. Cal.

    My band is crazy busy this summer, perhaps a little busier than I like to be. But it's either feast or famine. It'll start slowing down in September but still be steady. I would not be surprised if I get a 1099 for twice as much as I did last year. Lots of good gigs this year!

    Thank you for your indulgence,

    jjk2007 likes this.
  13. abbub


    Apr 29, 2014
    Fort Collins, CO
    My originals band has just started gigging, and I feel like the music scene around here is much better than it was 10 years ago (which is when I was in my last band that gigged with any regularity). Having said that, we just had a bar that's been hosting live music for the last 8 years abruptly announce they're no longer going to book bands anymore.
  14. Jon Moody

    Jon Moody Commercial User

    Sep 9, 2007
    Kalamazoo, MI
    Manager of Brand Identity & Development, GHS Strings, Innovation Double Bass Strings, Rocktron
    My kids are now at an age where they know that daddy's leaving for a gig, and depending on the day, may not particularly like that. So, I've been more picky with my gig selection, going from 10-12 productions a year (which averages around 240 gigs/rehearsals) to 3 productions. That has started to spread around town, and while the young guys are busy grabbing the gigs I turn away, a lot of the gigs I used to say "I wish I could do that gig, if I only had the time" have started to actively pursue me, resulting in a lot of studio sessions and fill-in gigs for wedding bands and singer/songwriters.

    For 2015, I'd like to keep building on that, as the whole allure of doing a studio gig seems to impress the wife and kids more?
    jjk2007 likes this.
  15. jive1

    jive1 Commercial User

    Jan 16, 2003
    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound
    As far as the band I'm a bandleader for, it's been slow. Just a few weddings and privates this year.
    I hope I'm not jinxing myself, but as a sideman, I've been working about 4-6 a month whether I hustle for gigs or don't do anything. Even months with nothing on the books get filled up with at least something. For example, July was looking pretty thin in June, but I'll wind up doing 6 shows this month by the time it's over. I feel like I should hustle more, but I've been enjoying letting work come to me (knock on wood).
    Pacman, Winfred and jjk2007 like this.
  16. Bullitt5135


    Nov 16, 2010
    SE Michigan
    It's been a strange year so far. After hiring a new and much better drummer, things were looking up for us. Just as we were starting to get some decent gigs, our lead guitar player flaked out on us and quit the band (with gigs on the calendar). I'm glad he's gone, but we had to really work hard to get another guitar player up to speed. The gigs went off OK, and we seem to be slowly building a little bit of a following.

    This summer has been a bust. Our best venue does not book bands during the summer, and the other regular place we play really slows down in the summer. Despite my efforts, we were unable to secure any community festival-type gigs (I started looking in January, but that was too late). Since two of us had vacations planned for June, we decided to take the month off. We just started up again last weekend, with plans to revamp the set list. I turned down a gig at one venue because we did not think the terms were remotely fair to us our fans. Later the same day, I received an email from a booking agent we've been courting who has dates open in Aug & Sept. Could be a good break for us, which hopefully may lead to festival gigs next year. Our goal is to secure a couple new venues (bar & grill type places), and gig a couple times a month over the winter. I am also starting now to plan for next summer's festival season. My personal goal is to play some bigger outdoor events with bigger crowds.

    Band morale and camaraderie is at an all-time high, and I look forward to rehearsals every week. We are having a lot of fun, and we get tighter every week. If I had one complaint, it's that my band mates need to pitch in more on the business side. I do all of the marketing and design (which is my profession, so it's not hard), I produced our latest batch of demos (80+ hours, steep learning curve), and I am constantly trying to find new venues and opportunities. The other guys aren't nearly as motivated when it comes to finding work. In the past week, I've started delegating that responsibility to the other guys.
    BassCliff and jjk2007 like this.
  17. marmadaddy


    Oct 17, 2005
    Rochester, NY
    Main band has been slow due to personnel issues but the sideman/subbing work has been steady.
  18. sparkyfender2


    Nov 25, 2013
    Gradually deteriorating.

    The venues that feature live music are either closing or changing their format. And there are zero new venues stepping up to fill the void.
    Zooberwerx likes this.
  19. We're actually seeing more venues come on line this year, interestingly enough. We could use another in the 1500-capacity-area, but plenty of small clubs for original acts, and cover bands seem to do pretty well as well. I'm working on a bunch of original material, hope to try it at an open stage in early fall and then maybe make a break for one of the originals venues.
  20. I play in a couple bands. One is a 10 piece horn band where business has been down a little the last couple years. The second one is an acoustic trio. It's our first full year playing together but it seems every time we do a show, we book 2 to 3 shows because of it. I do fill-in gigs for a couple bands as well and that's been picking up this year so I'm pretty busy right now. I typically book between 40 to 50 gigs a year; this year I'm already over 70 gigs booked and since the overall pay has been a little better, my pocket book has been much happier.
    jjk2007 likes this.

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