Ethics of Splitting Gig Money

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Dorito421, Dec 6, 2021.

  1. Dorito421

    Dorito421 Supporting Member

    Sep 29, 2017
    I recently got together with a group of local dads to jam. All of us have families and full-time jobs, so the idea was to have a fun social outlet every now and then. We practiced once before the guitarist was offered to play a gig at a holiday market through a friend of his. We played a fun 2-hour gig outside, which we all intended to play for free. In the middle of the gig, the coordinator of the holiday market brought us a tipping bucket. At the end of the gig, the coordinator handed the guitarist $50 in payment for our services. The guitar player pocketed the bill. As I was coming back from packing up the car, I noticed the guitar player empty the tip jar into his wallet.

    This isn't about the money (it'd be comical to split it 5 ways), but more about the principle of sneakily taking the money. The jam is fun and it has been great to play with people again, so neither I nor any other dad is going to mention it. It just makes me think this guitarist thinks that we're doing this in his service rather than as a fun social outlet. Was this weird that he didn't mention anything (i.e. just even an empty gesture that he'd hold onto the money or put it in the beer fund), or was it justified not to even mention it?
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2021
    Jen Jesse likes this.
  2. AGCurry

    AGCurry Supporting Member

    Jun 29, 2005
    St. Louis
    Did the guitarist ask you to play with him? If so, he's a jerk for not splitting that hefty sum. If not, it's okay.
    tothemax, BlueTalon, 51PRI and 5 others like this.
  3. dalkowski

    dalkowski It's "rout," not "route." Supporting Member

    May 20, 2009
    Massachusetts USofA
    Short money slathered with weak sauce. A mensch would split the take instead of splitting with the take.

    MYLOWFREQ Supporting Member

    May 13, 2011
    That's not cool. It happened to me, and I quit playing w/ the person. It's not about the $, but attitude.
  5. bolophonic


    Dec 10, 2009
    Durham, NC
    If I saw one member pocket all the money, I would definitely enquire as to what the hell is going on and that would be the last time I played with that dude.
    Mr Cheese, smogg, pcake and 24 others like this.
  6. Mk90


    May 1, 2020
    If the income isn't worth splitting, then it goes to the collective band fund.
  7. Oddly


    Jan 17, 2014
    Dublin, Ireland.
    Seriously bad form from the guitarist in pocketing the tip jar...and not sharing the payment too!
    If this happened to me, or indeed any musician I know, words would ensue...and they wouldn't be nice ones.
    I confess I'm baffled that you let this go.
    I know it's not about the money, but it IS about respect.
    Jakedog, Mr Cheese, smogg and 30 others like this.
  8. bass12

    bass12 Have You Met Grace Jones?

    Jun 8, 2008
    Montreal, Canada
    The real issue here is that people are willing to play gigs for no pay.
    Jakedog, Mr Cheese, smogg and 49 others like this.
  9. Blackjac97

    Blackjac97 Supporting Member

    May 27, 2012
    I would be PISSED if that ever happened to me. Not even sure how I would deal with it honestly, I tend to get hot headed when I feel I'm being taken advantage of.
  10. LBS-bass


    Nov 22, 2017
    Nope. Dude is a thief, straight up. It was never his money, it was the band's money, no matter how trivial. Sure you all don't need it but it really needs to be your call to put it in his pocket, not his. I'd drop that guy like a hot potato; people show you their colors and those colors don't change.
  11. bass4u

    bass4u Supporting Member

    Jul 7, 2007
    The guitarist is showing his true colors. I'd never play music with him unless he paid me upfront.
  12. Hummergeist

    Hummergeist Commercial User

    Jul 21, 2020
    Ableton Live tutorials and product reviews for Computer Music magazine.
    I've played fun gigs where they've shared the tips and sometimes it's only £5 per artist, but we still appreciate getting it, and knowing that everybody who played got the same amount. Also sometimes we've told the promoter to keep it, in recognition of their efforts. All is good. But NOPE I would not appreciate a bandmate or anybody else assuming they get to keep it all.
  13. Obese Chess

    Obese Chess Spicy Big Dad Supporting Member

    Sep 4, 2005
    Portland, OR
    Correct. This is a dealbreaker based on attitude alone. Dishonorable behavior.
    Jakedog, smogg, Scotthayer and 15 others like this.
  14. mike57


    Feb 12, 2009
    Our Fair City, MA
    I think you're in the wrong for not bringing it up.

    All you have to do is ask at the next jam "hey, g.p., what became of the $$$ in the tip jar? Was it enough to buy some beer?"
  15. Koshchei


    Mar 17, 2019
    Peterborough, ON
    Your guitarist is a thief.
    marmadaddy, Mr Cheese, smogg and 12 others like this.
  16. RichardW


    Feb 25, 2016
    near Philly
    Since you are all working guys who presumably don't need gig money for anything (except maybe buying beer for rehearsals), the guitarist's move seems particularly douchey. He needs the dough so bad that he stiffs the rest of you?

    I mean, you could ask him about it at your next get together, but if he gives you some lame excuse about why he cut everyone else out from the proceeds, I'd walk. That's not the way a honorable person behaves.
    Jakedog, smogg, pcake and 2 others like this.
  17. Gluvhand

    Gluvhand Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2014
    Rockland County, NY
    If the money isn't worth splitting, buy a pizza and some beers, or whatever, at the next rehearsal and have some fun. The guitarist is a knob.
    Jakedog, smogg, pcake and 19 others like this.
  18. Jason Hollar

    Jason Hollar Jazz & Cocktails Supporting Member

    Apr 17, 2005
    Central Pa
    In this case of the dad band collective freebie, the $50 should’ve been immediately offered to the person who owns and set up the PA or put up with the BS of producing the gig. After that, an equal split is proper, albeit nominal. Better etiquette would be ordering 5 refreshing beverages and tipping the bartender with the rest.

    I’d say steer clear of that guitarist. He’s got issues that are much more costly.
    Jakedog, Haroldo, smogg and 17 others like this.
  19. Killing Floor

    Killing Floor Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2020
    Austin, TX
    The amount of money isn't the issue. Whether or not you agreed to play for free for fun is not the issue.
    The issue is that this person knew you put in an equal amount of work on that day and the money from the host and the money in the tip jar was surely not intended as a gift to that one person.

    It's really bad form at best, stealing at worst. OK, it's stealing and bad form.

    Whether you want to exact cruel and/or hilarious revenge is up to you.
    But I'd be finished with them.
    Jakedog, pcake, Scotthayer and 11 others like this.
  20. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

    i think it's "weird" that you didn't ask him about it.
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