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Cover Band Shared Gigs

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by moten33, Dec 20, 2012.

  1. moten33


    Jan 7, 2012
    Albion, NY
    I was reading a post from today about the non-gigging cover band and saw a few replies saying that either cover bands don't have openers or cover bands are 4 hours, etc. Is this everyones experience? I would say in general that is true around here except for multi-band charitable events or less established bands playing with other less established bands to fill the night.

    Our band has been together about a year. We've had to replace the rhythem guitar and the singer at different points so we've had the start up, hold, stop, go, stop, hold thing going onfor a bit. Because of this we only have maybe 2-2.5 hours of gigable music (with a lot more in various stages of "in the works")

    We have played the following shows:
    BarFest- 4 band show, fundraiser at a local bar

    Barfest 2- 3 band show, fundraiser at local bar

    Family Reunion- Private party, tips were great!

    Suicide Prevention Fundraiser- 5 band show at local bowling alley

    Lighthouse Society Benefit- Opening for a large original/cover band mix in the area

    Our next show is January 5th at a local "athletic club" playing with a comedy troupe and another band.

    We have also been contacted by a few other bands in our same kind of situation about sharing nights at some of the larger venues in the cities nearby.
  2. funkingroovin

    funkingroovin Conquering A-D-D,and all the other notes as well!

    Apr 19, 2009
    That's been my experience..4hr gigs,just us. We've played many multi-band events for charities/fundraisers,and have been known to allow or even ask other bands up during our set breaks(if they're in-house),but not as an opener or additional act.

    We've also been asked to share gigs(their gigs,not ours)by the few other bands that can't support a full night's worth of music,and have done so,but we'll avoid such a situation if possible. That last sentence sounds arrogant,but we figure if we're going to be supplying the equipment,the following,and at least half or more of the entertaining,we'd rather just do it all and get full pay.. I've also never understood why one would book a gig knowing they can't pull it off themselves...
  3. Joe Murray

    Joe Murray Supporting Member

    May 14, 2008
    Fairfax, VA
    I've done a few nights where the club owner will want to try out a new band, and have them play early (8-9:30) before the headliner. Charity gigs will have multiple bands as well (as mentioned). But I think the key is to have one band play the whole evening.
  4. bluewine

    bluewine Banned

    Sep 4, 2008
    This sounds like an originals band.

    All of my shows are 4 hour bar gigs. Even our fair gigs are 4 hours.

  5. BWB


    Aug 30, 2000
    Knoxville TN
    Absolutely - 4 hours is the standard cover band gig. We usually play a 27-30 song first set which runs about 2.5 hours, take 20 minutes off, second set 16-18 tunes for another 1.5 hours or so. No 2nd bands on the bill. Every .. so .. often .. rarely .. we will play a 3 hour gig. You need about 5 hours worth of material to be a good cover band, as you need 4 hours worth of gig material, plus another hour to plug stuff in and out depending on the situation.
  6. kjpollo


    Mar 17, 2008
    I'm the guy from the non-gigging cover band!
    A friend has had a cover band ongoing for 5 years now and they have ALWAYS played the whole night themselves except for the rare festival or charitable show.

    In my area (Greater Waterbury, CT region) there are very few true rock bars around and a regular cover band will usually play the whole night there 2. BUT when the venue brings in a regionally known tribute act, they will often (but not always) have another band play a set to open for the headliner.
  7. RoadRanger

    RoadRanger Supporting Member

    Feb 18, 2004
    NE CT
    When I was in a tribute band recently we played two hours after two (unpaid) originals bands played a set each. I've also seen tribute bands open for themselves - they play a couple sets of mixed covers before playing their tribute show.
  8. hrodbert696

    hrodbert696 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    I don't think a cover band needs an "opening act." That's something that makes sense when the band is THE SHOW and you use the opening act to warm up the crowd. But in the average bar/club scene, you aren't the SHOW, people are just there to party and dance and you provide the music - THEY are the show, not you.

    Having said that, we've split the bill with another cover band a couple of times. We were just starting out and getting up to speed, and they didn't have a full 4-hour set list ready - I don't recall why the first time, the second time they'd just brought in a new drummer or something - so they asked us to come in and play a set. Helped us get started and prevented them coming up short on material. The bassist in that band is a friend of our guitarist. But it's not the norm.
  9. marmadaddy


    Oct 17, 2005
    Rochester, NY
    I've only ever seen this in the Rochester area which I assume is one of the cities you're talking about. I've seen some cover bands take free opening slots as an audition for the room. Some rooms do the booking and sometimes they're booked by the headliner and then ok'd by the room. It seems to happen in a couple of specific bars/clubs.

    My old band was approached a couple of times by new bands asking to do an opening set for free to try to audition for whatever room we were in. Personally I think it's kind of odd and I'm inclined to say "no". I would consider it only for a good friend and only if I knew the band was good. It's a lot of hassle and I'd hate to be responsible for bringing a crappy band to a bar that's paying us to provide a night's worth of music.
  10. Phalex

    Phalex Semper Gumby Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2006
    G.R. MI
    I've been on multi band bills for charitable reasons. I played a benefit for Hurricane Sandy Relief a few weeks back. I think I got an hour of stage time, and everyone got to use my amp.
  11. moten33


    Jan 7, 2012
    Albion, NY
    Yeah marmadaddy, we have been approached by a few bands looking to split nights or share gigs in Rochester. It does seem to be at specific venues. We haven't gotten to any planning stages but were never told it was a free gig either so I am not sure what it is about. Seems to be a bunch of cover bands looking for shared nights on the Rochester Craigslist now too which I hadn't seen until recently.
  12. moten33


    Jan 7, 2012
    Albion, NY
    And even odder, the bands usually want us to "headline" with them playing earlier in the night. Which I don't seem to get either as we aren't known outside of Orleans County at this point and are still working on our set.
  13. Floyd Eye

    Floyd Eye Banned

    Feb 21, 2010
    St. Louis
    4 hours, just us. We have used openers, but only when they are original bands that we like and want to give some exposure to.
  14. Kmonk


    Oct 18, 2012
    South Shore, Massachusetts
    Endorsing Artist: Fender, Spector, Ampeg, Curt Mangan Strings, Nordstrand Pickups, Korg Keyboards
    When I played in cover bands I played many gigs where there was more than one band but for the majority of gigs it was just us.
  15. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    I've played a few gigs with two cover bands. We got together beforehand and made sure we didn't do any of the same songs. But almost all cover gigs I've played have been just one band.
  16. seanm

    seanm I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize! Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    It doesn't make financial sense for a cover band to have an opener. Why split the money when you can have all of what little there is?

    Charity events are the big exception.
  17. Floyd Eye

    Floyd Eye Banned

    Feb 21, 2010
    St. Louis
    Or when you have friends who have original bands that are used to not getting paid anyway and playing for 13 drunk chicks at some bar no one goes to. ;)
  18. RoadRanger

    RoadRanger Supporting Member

    Feb 18, 2004
    NE CT
    Usually it's dudes - originals tend to be chick repellent IME :meh:.
  19. soulman969


    Oct 6, 2011
    I've never done club work in any cover band where we weren't the only band on stage for the night and the majority of those gigs are 4 hours w/three breaks. Fairs or festivals are usually 1 1/2 to 2 hour gigs with no break or a very short one.

    Charity events may be a different story as may multi act festivals where you all share the same stage ala West Fest or something like that. Weddings or corporate party gigs are one band gigs as well and usually run 3 to 5 hours w/ breaks.
  20. Mike N

    Mike N Missing the old TB Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2001
    Spencerport, New York
    When I was in a cover band we would occasionally share gigs with other cover bands and not think this to be out of the norm.

    Oddly enough we gigged all over Rochester.