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Do you have special ways to split gig money?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Tsal, Dec 20, 2005.

  1. Tsal


    Jan 28, 2000
    Finland, EU
    The "what position have you in your band" thread got me thinking about ways to split cash in an amateur band. Do you guys have developed special ways to cut the cake while you've been at it?

    I've personally been thinking about system where after the expenses 80% is split even amongst the members, 10% goes as a "booking bonus" for that guy who secured the gig, and 10% is for band account or if some person does something extra for the groups behalf, for example took care of that gigs advertising.

    The percentages might have to be modified, but the basic idea behind all this is ment to encourage doing stuff in an amateur band, and as acknowledging personal activity. What do you think?
  2. Dkerwood


    Aug 5, 2005
    Well, I'm torn. We don't usually bring in a lot of money, but here's what we've been doing thus far.

    We're a three piece band for now. We split the money 4 ways - one share to each band member, and one share to the owner of the PA as PA rental (which just happens to be me). Our contract promises us $100 plus a donation, but we still play a lot of cheaper gigs and freebies. We just love to play.

    If we're making more than $200, I just take $50 as rent and we split the rest.

    When we start making consistently more than $200, we'll think about opening a band account to cover expenses and promotions and such.

    As far as band merch? He who buys it gets the profit for now. Eventually, that will come out of and go into the band account.

    I've seen bands who give more money to original band members, but I don't like to set up that dynamic.

    If you're taking in a lot of money on a regular basis, you might write up a band contract and put this all in writing. It saves a lot of hurt feelings later, and IS ESPECIALLY IMPORTANT IF YOU START BUYING EQUIPMENT AS A BAND. I would suggest not doing that as a rule... even if it means that each member buys a different piece of the PA. But if you must, PLEASE write up an agreement as to how it will be dealt with if someone quits, is fired, or if the band breaks up.

    You should also discuss who controls the name of the band if you want to be quite safe. Otherwise, nothing would stop the drummer and guitarist from leaving your band and starting another band with the same name and same setlist.
  3. spectorbass83


    Jun 6, 2005
    LOL what money?? We are lucky if we walk away with 50 bucks..Whevener we do get any money, we put it in the "band fund". Whenever we need to rent a piece of equipment, buy shirts or buy some gear then we use that money. Until we get a steady gig doing cover songs the band fund will not grow. We are working on getting a steady acoustic gig that pays around $200 each night..hope this happens soon!
  4. Kronde


    Feb 1, 2005
    Charlotte, NC
    For us all money is split equally. If it is a road gig where hotel/road expenses are incurred, that comes off of the top. Very simple, no confusion...I guess it helps that we all bring in gigs from time to time and currently do not use a booking agent (although one is probably in our near future).
  5. SteveC

    SteveC Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    North Dakota
    Right now it's an even split. We are talking about sucking some off for promotional purposes.
  6. iamthebassman


    Feb 24, 2004
    Endorsing Artist: Phantom Guitars, Eastwood Guitars
    Booking agent gets 10% off the top
    Soundman gets $200
    Backline gets $150
    Guitar tech gets $60
    $50 into bandfund(T-shirts, stickers, etc.)
    The bandmembers split the rest 5 ways. Usually ranges from $100-$400 each.
  7. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    You rent backline and a guitar tech for local gigs? You'd be a lot closer to the $400 mark each time if you humped your own gear and ditched the tech.
  8. First off, if we get paid gas money from any of our gigs we consider it a good night. Then we put whatever is left over in the band fund.
  9. bmc


    Nov 15, 2003
    The three piece I am in usually splits three ways. The drummer hustles for gigs and we all agree he should get compensated for his efforts. Depends on the take.
  10. Juniorkimbrough


    Mar 22, 2005
    Mississippi / Memphis, TN
    Endorsing Artist: Lakland Basses
    We split all money even down the middle. We all have our little niche's that we take care of......i.e. I take care of the website and all the online promotional stuff, lead singer books most of the gigs, drummer owns the PA, etc.....so we decided not to get picky about splitting up the $$.
  11. iamthebassman


    Feb 24, 2004
    Endorsing Artist: Phantom Guitars, Eastwood Guitars
    No. The $150 for backline is paid to the guy who hauls, sets up, tears down, and stores our backline. I can show up at a gig as close to start time as I want, and leave right after I get off stage if I want to, and never have to drag my bass amp around. Pretty good deal if you ask me.
    And there are so many guitars and guitar changes throughout the course of the show that someone to take care of them is a neccesity.
  12. Woodchuck


    Apr 21, 2000
    Atlanta (Grant Park!)
    Gallien Krueger for the last 12 years!
    Whatever is left after fees, we split evenly. Also, if a gig nets us about 500- 1000 apiece, we each put 10% into the band's bank account. All of the merch loot is split evenly.
  13. Dkerwood


    Aug 5, 2005
    By my figures, that means you guys take in $1000 to nearly $3000 per gig. Rock on! Pay that crew!

    Just out of curiosity, how many gigs do you guys do a year? Do you play music full time (I'd guess not, since 100 gigs a year would still only net you about $25K annually)?

    That sounds really great compared to the average $100 that we get for a gig. lol...
  14. iamthebassman


    Feb 24, 2004
    Endorsing Artist: Phantom Guitars, Eastwood Guitars
    Your figures are correct as to how much $$ per gig. Band members each end up making about a 10th of the total. The real money is in t-shirts, etc. T-shirts cost us $4-$6 each and we sell them for $10-$15. We pay our guitar tech $1 per shirt sold as he does the designs, the rest is divided between band members after each show, so I always end up with some cash at the end of the night.
    I think we average about 10-12 shows a month, we're in the slow period right now, less shows but they are usually corporate gigs around this time so the $$$ is much higher. For instance, last Saturday night was a law firm's Christmas party, at the end of the night we each got a check for $434.00 and a cash tip of $120.00.
    I was a full-time musician for several years, but got married 2 years ago, bought a house 6 months ago, and now have a day job too. Which sucks because I was in a second band that was doing quite well, we just had one of our songs used on the TV show "Veronica Mars", and are getting great reviews of our latest CD from all over the globe. But there just wasn't enuff time for a full-time job and two bands and a wife, and it wasn't the kind of music I REALLY want to do. So, owning a home, I have made one bedroom into a home studio, and the $$ I get from the band I'm still in will pay for studio gear so I can make my own music.
  15. Our band once made £12 - which wasn't even travelling expences...but if we WERE to make any serious money (£300-1000-beyond) we'd probably divide it up equally with the non-drivers giving a couple quid to the driver who helped them get the gear to the gig (at the minute we're a 3-piece and I can't drive unlike the other 2, used to be a 4-piece when only 1 of us drove so...we've not done many gigs and have only been paid once in the 5 years we've been together - but thats what I'd like to do if we started some more serious gigging...perhaps with a couple of quid each going into a "band fund" for P.A. repairs/spare leads and stuff...)

    is that generally what you guys do when it comes to money? - we all put in for the Speakers and drumkit and we haven't got anything written down, but we all paid the same on the speakers so at least they shouldn't be a problem if any of us leaves...
  16. We equally divide everything. That's why we also say that 4for1 (the band) made every song. Although I write quite a few lyrics and one of the guitarist comes up with a lot of riff's. We are still making one song with the five of us, so we also divide the money we get.

    Well.. that's what we want to do. We've only got money for a gig once and that went on our bandbankaccount, for a demo or something like that.
  17. Derio


    Dec 6, 2005
    Saint George
    Hah, I'm in the minor leage or something. I book shows, usually amateur bands, and the bands usually get 50-100$ max, which usually helps just for gas for their next show. That's how it seems to be all over the place, but I guess it's fair - just young kids for the most part with their dreams. Though some of these guys are damn good.
  18. Dkerwood


    Aug 5, 2005
    A band drumset? Wow. I make my drummers provide their own... lol...

    Truth be told, I've let quite a few drummers borrow my kits, but only for a couple of weeks/months while they're saving and searching for a drumset of their own.

    Let me ask you this. If one member leaves the band, are all the rest of you going to buy him out? Or perhaps you'd want to make the replacement guy pay a share of the speaker cost and that share can go to the departing member? What if something happens and you're forced to fire the departing member? Will that make a difference? What if he has a health issue that stops him from playing, but he doesn't "quit"?

    Money makes the best of friends into enemies. That's why it's very important to get these sort of details down on paper just in case. That way, if someone does leave, they know EXACTLY what will happen, how it will happen, and in what timeframe (to avoid the "I quit, give me my $1000 RIGHT NOW"). It won't be one opinion versus another on how it *should* be done. It will be an agreement that you all settled on.
  19. Dkerwood


    Aug 5, 2005

    How much regional touring do you do? 3-5 gigs a week is a lot...

    How do you guys travel? Does the band own a vehicle? A trailer? How many vehicles do you typically drive to your gigs? Out of curiosity, how many folks arrive in your typical band "entourage" (band + crew + spouses, family, other regulars)?
  20. well...we HAD to buy a kit because our 2 ex-drummers didn't have their own kits (well, one of them left his at home in Italy when he came to England...so not quite the kind of thing you can go back and collect when your a struggling student... :cool: )

    I think what we're gonna do if any of us leaves (it was just us 3 who bought the kit coz we were the founding members bass/guitar/vox and keyboards who have had a couple of different drummers) is if anyone leaves the other 2 buy him out equally...having said that, my mum bought the powered mixer and the singer's had one of my guitars for 2 years but I've never seen any money for them...so if I go it'll either be very easy coz they'll understand fully and give me my gear back, or it'll be a messy business like "you've not paid for the guitar or PA - I'm having them back as I'm leaving..."
    ya know...if the singer gives us the money for the guitar it'll be easier if anything happens (he loves it, I was never really that keen on it - but he uses it ALL the time, not coz he's not got his own, he just likes it...)