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Choosing a gig based on risk to gear. Cost / Benefit analysis...

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Big Hoss, Aug 14, 2017.

  1. Big Hoss

    Big Hoss Up note, down note, blue note, brown note...

    I get a mess of flack from certain members here and elsewhere, because our bands PA is dirt cheap stuff (Harbinger). I was discussing this phenomenon with a couple of long term colleagues of mine. One a BL / Guitarist and sound engineer on the side, and the other does DJing for his side gig. So both are plenty familiar with the gear, and risks to equipment...

    One of the things that was noted, is that me and my band will take gigs, that these guys will pass on. And it is based on a cost / benefit analysis / risk analysis of the situation. These guys simply speaking, wouldn't ever consider the barn parties my band does. The pay is kind of low-ish ($125.00 /hr setup / play time. We don't charge for tear down...). and the risk can be kind of high. There have been plenty of occasions where we have had to winch a truck hauling our gear out of goo, or hurriedly cover everything with tarps to keep from getting our stuff drenched.... Where these guys will only do indoor gigs, or outdoor gigs with paved access / covered stage area etc...

    So my question is, do you let the cost of your equipment determine what gigs you are willing to take?
  2. buldog5151bass

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

    Oct 22, 2003
    I don't take gigs where there would be a risk to myself or my equipment. Simple as that.
    Gideon352, MrLenny1, climber and 13 others like this.
  3. Sketchy gig means low pay. Easy to say no to that crap.
    andruca, Rickter, smogg and 3 others like this.
  4. lz4005


    Oct 22, 2013
    I've chosen gear based on the riskiness of the gig.

    The worst so far being a house band gig at a blues jam where I brought a $199 Dean to be the loaner bass for people sitting in.
  5. garp


    Feb 7, 2009
    Connecticut USA
    In a general sense, yeah, it's one of many factors. Is there a stage? If outdoors, is there protection from the elements? Was a licensed electrician involved in wiring the place? Has a deposit been paid? Isn't that the place that got shot up five years ago?

    After many years of gigging, I've developed a sixth sense about clients and venues, and when the situation warrants, I find it very easy to simply say: "You're going to need to find another bass player."
    smogg likes this.
  6. powmetalbassist

    powmetalbassist Supporting Member

    There is always a risk to gear, whether you acknowledge it or not; its still there.
  7. buldog5151bass

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

    Oct 22, 2003
    Yes, there is a risk to life. Call it a reasonable risk.
  8. If I think my gear is going to get wrecked I am not taking the gig. None of my gear is "disposable".

    I always take one of my fretli to open sessions. That screens out nearly all the wannaplaybassers
    twinjet and DirtDog like this.
  9. grinx


    Mar 24, 2003
    Raleighwood, NC
    Irkutsk to Kamchatka....roll
  10. CapnSev


    Aug 19, 2006
    Coeur d'Alene
  11. Robroy


    Jun 21, 2006
    Central Kentucky
    That sounds too much like work. It doesn't pay enough to be work.
  12. Big Hoss

    Big Hoss Up note, down note, blue note, brown note...

    LOL... Good Old Blues Brothers Boys Band!
    RobertUI likes this.
  13. Gravedigger Dav

    Gravedigger Dav Supporting Member

    Mar 13, 2014
    Fort Worth, Texas
    Got to a gig earlier this summer that was outdoors. They wanted us to set up in the grass. We walked.
    HolmeBass and smogg like this.
  14. Big Hoss

    Big Hoss Up note, down note, blue note, brown note...

    Uh. Holy crud where have you been gigging?

    No, no venues with even vaguely recent history of gunfire... Not the crowd we are going for... Only real risks are environmental. Mostly rain...

    Stages can be / have been flatbed trailers, but typically we use plywood on top of pallets as a stage.

    Power is always checked out prior to any acceptance. No worries there. We have done gigs where power was provided via generators, that one wasn't super fun for sure...
  15. Robroy


    Jun 21, 2006
    Central Kentucky
    Reading this thread, it really is amazing what a lot of us will go through for lunch money.

    Being a musician is a curse. It's like love potion number nine, only worse.
  16. RustyAxe


    Jul 8, 2008
    No. But the risk to life and limb of sliding down mossy stairways, the PITA of dealing with bad load in/out, bad power, no cover, etc. might cause me to pause. I don't need a gig that bad that I'll take one I'd rather not do.
    smogg likes this.
  17. waveman


    Sep 25, 2008
    I let it determine what equipment I will take to a gig, but as long as everything else is reasonable, we take most gigs in our band.
  18. Big Hoss

    Big Hoss Up note, down note, blue note, brown note...

    LOL... I have only done one gig with a load in that involved stairs. Not really a fan of that...
  19. meh, if it is gonna be a fun gig, I might take it.
    my surf band has done many wonky gigs in places where people don't usually roam. Deep forests, wine vineyards, beaches, parks, campgrounds, picnics, roadside races, all sorts.

    I have a combo amp and basses that I wouldn't cry over, plus we have our own honda generator for power if it is questionable. Sometimes the pay is really good, sometimes, it's a nice vacation for us and our girls.

    This is not our only means of income, so if there is going to be a big party/event somewhere, we are likely to take the gig.

    We did a footrace gig a couple years ago, for $200, playing on the side of the road on the coast. Very nice ocean views, brought our generator type thing. Provided for us a nice picnic. good crowd.
    Wound up meeting a nice lady who liked us so much she offered use of her beautiful lakeside retreat for free. Any time. And we've used it.
  20. All I can say is the older I get the more those things do matter when choosing gigs and gear.
    Robroy, smogg and RoadRanger like this.

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