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Gigs: Anyone Else Off to a Slow Start This Year?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by jaywa, Feb 13, 2013.

  1. jaywa


    May 5, 2008
    Iowa City, IA
    I keep a spreadsheet that shows my gigs and the amount of pay for each. I have a tab for each year and keep a Year to Date running total of pay and I was noticing today that as of the end of this month I will have played one more paying night than I did through February of last year (6 nights vs. 5)... but will have made about 1/3 less money.

    In other words, playing more often (and with more bands)... but averaging less money per gig. Not exactly the direction I was hoping to go but in fairness, I had two private party gigs in Jan 2012 that both paid VERY well and I've had nothing of the sort so far this year so that's the biggest piece of it.

    How has the beginning of 2013 been treating the rest of you?
  2. hrodbert696

    hrodbert696 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Haven't had a gig since Halloween, so yeah... I'd count that as a slow start. I'm not really in the position of an established gigging band, though, experiencing a slowdown. We're a startup that's been slowly getting launched, and the guitarist/BL's job keeps removing him out of state for weeks at a time, which makes it hard to really get the gears rolling trying to book gigs.
  3. bluewine

    bluewine Banned

    Sep 4, 2008
    Time for a new guitarist maybe?

  4. Marial

    Marial weapons-grade plum

    Apr 8, 2011
    It's been steady she goes for us, one to two gigs per month. We were very busy in the second half of last year but we do originals so we don't like to over-play. Fortunately we're starting to play more out of town so over-saturation isn't as much of an issue.
  5. bluewine

    bluewine Banned

    Sep 4, 2008
    Staying booked is a struggle for all if us at one time or another.

    Gigging more and getting paid less is another issue. Are the multiple bands your in charging less this year?

  6. jaywa


    May 5, 2008
    Iowa City, IA
    My main band's peak season (the band where I make the most per gig) is Memorial Day through Labor Day and we're getting a pretty nice schedule in place for that again... but between now and then we've only got two gigs on the books. Fortunately I'm filling up my calendar with secondary bands and assorted side projects but it feels like I've had to do a lot more hustling than in years past.

    I've also got a couple one-off things in March and April that aren't gonna be much from a financial perspective -- one paying and one for free with lots of rehearsal for both -- but those will be two high-profile gigs with high caliber area musicians so I'm basically counting those as investments in "exposure" and networking that will hopefully pay off in some money jobs down the road.
  7. bluewine

    bluewine Banned

    Sep 4, 2008
    Seems like there are at least two means to keep busy with booked paying gigs.

    1. For those who are into it, stretching yourself out and playing in multiple bands and subbing.

    2. Playing in one good established band that meets all you $$ and gigging needs.

  8. jaywa


    May 5, 2008
    Iowa City, IA
    Yeah, considering my market is down to a handful (literally) of venues that regularly book live bands anymore... and that the corporate / wedding market has been almost completely overtaken by novelty acts and DJs... I'm actually thankful to have my calendar as full as it is even if they're not all hugely profitable gigs.

    Not that I don't still set a minimum $ amount and stick to it. ;)
  9. Yes, only two gigs so far this year, and my band did 55 last year. But we have three at the end of this month and five in march, so nothing to worry about. Just the slow time...
  10. RustyAxe


    Jul 8, 2008
    Average. Couple of weather cancellations last weekend didn't help any. It usually evens out by the end of the year, though. Gotta love those private party gigs (actually ANY non-bar gig) that pay better than the average bar gig.
  11. ChrisB2

    ChrisB2 Bass... in your fass

    Feb 27, 2008
    TalkBass > Off Topic
    It's looking like a good year in spite of schedule restrictions due to two of our guys' work obligations. We turned down two gigs this week because of it. Making me think of starting another band with the guys who, like me, can make almost any date.

    The summertime party, festival, and municipal concert bookings are way up this year, especially considering it's early February... we are already booked for Labor Day, the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, and NYE...

    So, no, we're actually off to a great start. Sure, Jan and Feb have been a little slow but nothing unusual... 2 bookings for Mar and 2 for Apr already and the phone's still ringing... :D
  12. Richland123


    Apr 17, 2009
    This is the slowest of the last 11 years for all the bands around here. People are not going out much and the poor economy is hitting all the venues badly.
  13. jaywa


    May 5, 2008
    Iowa City, IA
    Living in a cold weather climate myself, I wonder if that's a northern thing? Cold and snow, people don't want to leave the house to go see bands, so less demand.

    Just a thought. Personally I don't mind things slowing up a little in the winter up here. 4-hour trips on two-lane roads in a ground blizzard and loading out in 20-below wind chills lost its appeal for me a long time ago. The farthest I've traveled for a gig so far this year was 8 miles from my front door and this time of year I'm fine with that.
  14. pacojas

    pacojas "FYYA BUN"

    Oct 11, 2009
    we do about 3 to 5 gigs per month since i joined last July. it should pick up abit this year.
  15. Phantasm

    Phantasm I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For.

    Sep 16, 2002
    New Orleans, LA
    It's been slowing down all through 2012 as far as pay goes. To stay booked you have to take lower paying gigs to fill the calendar. The decline goes back as far as 2011.

    After the election it's slowed down even farther and clubs are offering the bands less and charging the people who do come out more for drinks. People don't seem to have the discretionary income to go out as much and the price of going out is increasing so people are beginning to just stay home or spend time with friends in personal gatherings. The general mood or temperature of the scene is that it's on the downswing and people need to see economic rebound to feel optimistic enough to go out more often.

    Yes, I know this is just my area and yours may not be affected - but this is what I'm seeing.

    I'm doing what I usually do when it's down moneywise - I join or start an original band and make money a non-issue. I just play to play and ultimately make it more rewarding to counterbalance the lack of money for playing.
  16. jaywa


    May 5, 2008
    Iowa City, IA
    Yep... for all the media and govt. happy talk about the economy being in recovery I get the impression a lot of people aren't experiencing that where they actually live. Still looks pretty sluggish to me anyway. Gas is up almost 60 cents a gallon since December here too so that's not doing much for people's moods (or bands' bottom lines).

    I know for me and the wife, the only time we eat out anymore is if we're traveling or we've gotten a gift card. It's just something we've decided we can do without. And I'm not in bars much anymore either unless I'm playing there.
  17. We are on the same page. Maine tends to get a good amount of snow in January and February, so I find it nice to have a little time off, skip the weather, and add new songs to the set. And it's hard to get people out, so less gigs means better turnout for the few dates we do get. Works out fine in my opinion. We should have less snow in March, and warmer weather, so it's all good.
  18. jaywa


    May 5, 2008
    Iowa City, IA
    Yeah this Friday I'm on the road for a one-nighter with my main band and that will be a 120-mile roundtrip. Forecast is for cold (10 degrees at load-out) but no snow. After that I don't have any out-of-towners till the first week of April which is usually a pretty safe bet around here.
  19. bassbully

    bassbully Endorsed by The PHALEX CORN BASS..mmm...corn!

    Sep 7, 2006
    Blimp City USA
    Yea its been a bit slow for me. That is good since I just re-joined a band I played with 5 years ago and they are a decent working band.
  20. Nashrakh


    Aug 16, 2008
    Hamburg, Germany
    Slow as well... Only one gig scheduled this year, and it's in June. But I don't quite mind the slow pace because in all honesty, half the band don't bring their A game recently so I don't even feel like we should be gigging - woodshedding more like.

    Also gives me more time for my psych rock side project with the guitarist, looking for a solid drummer turns out to be a pita as well (and not the tasty kind, mind you)

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