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Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by SH69, Oct 31, 2010.

  1. SH69


    Jan 7, 2010
    I hate that these days getting gigs is all about how many people you can draw to a venue. as a brand new band, i feel that so much effort needs to be put into each of us begging our friends and family to come watch us. i understand its a business for the venue, but i hate it. when i took up bass it was to play music not be a promoter.
  2. Jeb


    Jul 22, 2001
    Is this an "original" project or something else? Cover bands that play established live music venues in my area are paid a set fee. They are put into rotation if they perform well and remain in that rotation if they continue to perform well. Sometimes there are off nights, but if the band isn't emptying the room, they will play every 4 to 8 weeks at any given venue.

    The promotional part is the part that I hate as well. You have to start somewhere, but after you've paid your dues and have experience with mostly successful (and some not so successful) gigs you'll begin to understand that its a business for you as well. Gotta do what ya gotta do.
  3. bluewine

    bluewine Banned

    Sep 4, 2008
    I feel your pain, if it were not for begging freinds and people you work with these places would be deadsvlle.

    I just wish the owners were more appreiciative.We had 65 cover paying customers show up for a small club that caters to originals bands. 65 was a great number for this place and the guy wouldn't even give us another date.

    I'm 57 and I remember the days when live bands of any kind were the happening thing. It was cool and you were cool if you were hanging out in clubs with cool bands. Put it this way, bands in bars use to be the "in" scene. All that changed and now you have to beg and pay these guys to let your band play.

    BTW, back in my day there was a lot more chics that were into the whole band scene. That changed too.
  4. Stick_Player

    Stick_Player Banned

    Nov 13, 2009
    Somewhere on the Alaska Panhandle (Juneau)
    Endorser: Plants vs. Zombies Pea Shooters
    You think that this is a recent development?
  5. Rick Auricchio

    Rick Auricchio Registered Bass Offender

    I'm gonna be 59 tomorrow and I know what you mean.

    But that was back in the days before CDs and iPods. All people had was radio (often AM) and LPs. Most people didn't have decent stereos in their cars.

    So now there is a lot of competition from good recorded music. People don't have to go anywhere to hear music. Sure, it's not the same as a live performance, but many people don't care about the difference.

    As for clubs and bars, the only reason they hire a band is to sell drinks. They aren't impresarios; they're not interested in your band. Hiring a band is the same as placing a newspaper ad as far as they're concerned.
  6. bluewine

    bluewine Banned

    Sep 4, 2008
    Nice to hear this from a fellow baby boomer who remembers the way it was.

    If you were in a band you were a big deal, now "Your In A Band, So what, get lost"
  7. MNAirHead

    MNAirHead Supporting Member

    Simple solution... just record for the fun of it.

    Unfortunately music is only a small sliver of what it takes..... if you intend on playing out, it is wise to learn how to create and maintain marketing efforts.
  8. bluewine

    bluewine Banned

    Sep 4, 2008
  9. bassbully

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

    Sep 7, 2006
    Blimp City USA
    We do record and are doing a full length album now. My band likes to do summer festivals where we don't have to worry about the crowd or bringing one. We do play indoors in the winter and choose places that know us and are original music venues where the crowd is built in so to speak.
  10. James Judson

    James Judson

    Jul 16, 2009
    Any bar that demands that a band "draws" a crowd is a bar that has nothing to offer. Think about it for a second. Your out with some friends, how do you decide where to go. You may decide to go to a bar that has this awesome band playing but its more likely you've been working all week and have no idea who's playing where. So you go to the bar that always has good bands playing there. Bassbully got it right "where the crowd is built in so to speak".
  11. The best bars and clubs to play at are the ones that have a loyal customer base that supports the bar no matter who is playing. Unfortunately these places usually are better suited to booking cover bands because the loyal customers want to watch the cougars dance and enjoy familiar jams. The bars we play at have a healthy mix of loyal locals that mix well with the fans our band attracts. The bars that want the band to bring their crowd usually are places your crowd would not enjoy seeing you play at anyway. It's no fun rehearsing and set up all your gear to play to an empty house. Try to find places to play that have a built in audience.
  12. bluewine

    bluewine Banned

    Sep 4, 2008
    We have a few places like that, with the built in crowd, but not many. And heres the thing, they are only for cover bands, only the really good cover bands get the gigs. To ad to that, those places with the built in crowds only book bands that are maybe with 2 of the top agencies.
  13. elgecko


    Apr 30, 2007
    Anasleim, CA
    Play private parties. Then you just show up and play!
  14. bluewine

    bluewine Banned

    Sep 4, 2008
    I think this thread is evidence that for those that are looking to do shows on a consistant basis,whether your original or cover band, you need a well thought out business/marketing plan.

    For example, say your a cover band, you should know if your good enough to generate interest from one of the better booking agencies in your area. Again, for those bands that really want to work, you need a plan.It is by no means for amatures.

    If your an originals band looking for work, how many venues book originals bands in your area. You can probably count them on one hand.

    As for private parties, I would imagine you have to be pretty well networked to get that kind of work too.
  15. That's why it's called the music "business"

    No matter how much passion the venue owners have about good music it isn't going to do them any good booking a band that doesn't draw. They need to get paid so that they can stay open and put on more shows for you guys.

    But I agree, it sucks.
  16. SH69


    Jan 7, 2010
    Yeah, it sucks. We are original and have only played 3 gigs so far. We are all in our 40's and one of the guys has been in and out of the scene for years and through a contact got us a gig at a local happening place, we were on the bill with 4 other bands, each band playing an hour. We brought about 12 of our friends but the place was well packed with people given all the other bands must have brought people too and the place is great to start with. The promoter thought we were great and said our stuff went down well.

    We have been trying to get another gig with him because he books a number of venues in the area, but he didnt even respond or just put us off when he did. We finally learned that he didnt think we brought a big enough crowd.

    it is a kind of catch 22 though. if you arent out there playing how can you build a following? [except of course begging the same friends to come - but that gets f**king old]. i try to keep my work/personal life separate too, but now the guys are putting pressure on me to invite all my colleagues to gigs which is something that mortifies me.
  17. bassbully

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

    Sep 7, 2006
    Blimp City USA
    Except for festivals original bands in my area take it on the chin. I am lucky to be in a band that gets paid pretty well for being an all original band and thats only due to our music being so family and event friendly. Allot of the better original music clubs pay low flat rate,door or even tips. They do have pretty good built in crowds thou.

    You have to re-focus if you are an original band and construct your shows as a buisness where you are always promoting your material. In a cover band its kind of the same but I found pretty easy to get gigs and get better pay. I'm sure thats not a surprise to most here thou.
  18. MNAirHead

    MNAirHead Supporting Member

    Learn how to love marketing...

    Unfortunately folks have a multitude of ways to getting higher quality entertainment.

    Feeble run acts will continue to flounder.

    Unfortunately many states enacted the smoking ban and higher penalties for drinking/driving offenses.. Bar owners are the ones with the short term penalty - their role changed.

    Pining away for the 70s-80s is pointless.. since this time we've discovered youtube, internet, cable, smoking bans, and a venue's higher tax burden.
  19. bassbully

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

    Sep 7, 2006
    Blimp City USA
    Yeah the 70s and 80's thing is way over and sadly we shall never see days like that again. You have to almost expect smaller crowds, less pay and you will work harder to get good gigs. This will mean self promoting and allot of hard work.

    Some of the best music scenes and crowds are in small venues but most of those dont pay much to very little. You have to want to perform there for the love of music and to support the local scene.
  20. bluewine

    bluewine Banned

    Sep 4, 2008
    Do you have a decent Web page that clearly shows what your band has to offer?

    I hope you don’t have one of those pages linked to a Youtube Clip with a poor sound quality with a poorly dressed un-professional looking band.

    Another bad idea is to have a “Shows” page that reveals your band hardly ever plays anywhere.

    With FaceBook you can have a really cool presentation that says a lot about your band or you can just throw a Hodge Podge of irrelevant information together which will get you a big fat ZERO.

    Is there any one in your band that is connected and understands your local market and how to execute a campaign to get gigs for the band. If you don’t have anyone like this in your band your not gonna go very far.

    I know a lot of you guys are in very professional bands and don’t have to worry about this stuff. I have seen the Class A Face Book pages and YouTube clips.

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