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Good lord. Club "rider"? Am I the only one amazed by this?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by lildrgn, Feb 28, 2006.


  1. lildrgn

    lildrgn

    Jul 11, 2000
    Seattle, WA
    We played a club a few months ago. It's an up and coming club, great sound, great location, a great place to play. Isn't that great?

    Anyway, they really have their stuff together. It's pro and run tightly. However, after our next gig there, I'm not sure if I want to play there again. I mean, I understand that they need to make money too, but shouldn't bands and clubs mutually benefit from their relationships?

    Here's an email I got from the booking agent today. I've left out names to protect the innocent, otherwise it's verbatim:

    I understand that as a band, sometimes you just gotta bite the bullet and play the show. We had a show in Jan where we basically each ended up paying $5 to play a gig. The room and sound guy cost $75 and we only made $60 at the door, hence we covered $15. But, at that show, we weren't REQUIRED to create posters or pay for them if they weren't created.

    Whatever happened to the good ol' days? I remember when clubs would do at least some of the work. Nowadays, they see it as them doing us a favor.

    I don't expect to drink for free, but I sure as **** ain't asking them to put my drink in a fancy glass and have it served by the hottest bartender in town. Why should they expect me to bring X number of people, put up posters, GIVE THEM A FREE CD AND T SHIRT, and, if I don't cover the cost of room and sound guy, play for free (or worse, pay to play)?

    It just don't make no sense anymore. :crying:
     
  2. Bassmanbob

    Bassmanbob Supporting Member

    Wow. That's pretty amazing. A free t-shirt and CD, you make the posters and no guarentee of a payment. It's a no loose situation for the club, but all the risk is on you.

    I've heard of clubs in S. Florida where the band pays to play!

    When I did bar gigs in the mid 80's, it was $100/night/player. This stuff is pathetic! On the other hand, with no smoking in bars in some states and a severe crack down on drunk driving (which really is a good thing), bars aren't making the money they used to. It's difficult to blame them too sometimes. Even CBGBs in NYC is getting ready to close down. They can't afford their rent is what I heard.
     
  3. 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
    Well, it looks like just a slightly disguised pay-to-play gig. I'd never do one of those.
     
  4. Bassmanbob

    Bassmanbob Supporting Member

    Munj: We're too old for that kind of crap.
     
  5. Josh Ryan

    Josh Ryan - that dog won't hunt, Monsignor. Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 24, 2001
  6. theshadow2001

    theshadow2001

    Jun 17, 2004
    Ireland
    If I organised a gig and the owner came with something like that to me I would tell them exactly where to shove their gig and Im sure the rest of the band would have my full backing.

    A free CD is grand if they are going to play it. I'd even give out free CD's to those who were genuinely interested in the music but looking for a free T-Shirt??? Come on! Thats a joke! A specific size is given as well. Someone is obvioulsy just looking for some free clothes.

    The thing about posters is laughable.

    Playing a gig for free or for little money just for fun and enjoyment is ok. But when it gets to the stage that you have to pay the owner money just to play there is not at all acceptable.Especially when it was an amount thats not even peanuts to the owner, its the dust that you find on peanuts and thats an understatment!

    There are other costs associated with keeping a band running: fuel, the time spent practicing, eating out which is more expensive than at home, accomodation, rehersal space costs, equipment, strings and all the other things venue owners and punters don't see you do or spending moeny on. Then to have the nerve to ask you for money after filling their till from selling drinks is absurd.

    My advice: Don't even wait for your next gig to stop playing there cancel it now

    Wait a minute, if they play CD's from bands that play there, they won't have to pay royalties to whatever authorities you guys have for piping commercial music. GAH! that makes me even more annoyed at this place. I retract my "free CD is ok" statement and would like to +1 my own "cancel it now" statement

    The venue should be named an shamed
     
  7. lildrgn

    lildrgn

    Jul 11, 2000
    Seattle, WA
    Yeah, I'm waiting for my mates to respond. I think I'll "forget" to reply to the email, therefore leaving it unconfirmed...
     
  8. lbanks

    lbanks

    Jul 17, 2003
    Ennui, IN USA
    Screw that! I'd just rent a hall and throw my own bash before I'd agree to that. YMMV.
     
  9. Josh Ryan

    Josh Ryan - that dog won't hunt, Monsignor. Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 24, 2001
    I've done this woth other bands, lots of fun, except when you are supposed to have AC and they "forget" to leave it on.
     
  10. Blueszilla

    Blueszilla Bassist ordinaire

    Apr 2, 2003
    The Duke City
    I honestly don't see how any band worth their salt would want to play there, I mean not for $5 after all is said and done. Do they believe everyone wants in? Why? Is it the hottest spot in the western hemisphere? will you become instantly famous, get a record deal? Who wrote this incredibly arrogant rider? Do they do this elswhere?

    Sorry for all the questions, mostly rhetorical though...
     
  11. Woodchuck

    Woodchuck

    Apr 21, 2000
    Atlanta / Macon (sigh)
    Gallien Krueger for the last 12 years!
    Yep! Good call.
     
  12. JoshB

    JoshB A great man is always willing to be little. -RWE Supporting Member

    wow...that pretty much sounds like my idea of a grade A, crappy gig. +1 to the cancel column
     
  13. lildrgn

    lildrgn

    Jul 11, 2000
    Seattle, WA
    It's by no means a dive, but, in truth, it's a nice club. Only, like most other clubs in Seattle, they seem to cater to bands that they know will draw. Good luck if you're a band that is just getting your feet wet.

    I just sent off an email backing out of the show. I'm a big baby about the whole "bad karma" thing, as well as the bookers talking amongst themselves about how difficult we might be to book, but, for cryin' out loud, maybe the booker needs to get a clue and LET THE FRIGGIN BANDS PLAY!!

    Thanks for talking me back from the ledge. :)
     
  14. 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'd be too old for it if I was 19.
     
  15. cheezewiz

    cheezewiz

    Mar 27, 2002
    Ohio
    It sounds to me like the club owner has his crap together.
    In a way, it be better dealing with him than some stoned or drunk bar owner who can't remember what he told you five minutes ago.

    Sure its a raw deal for the bands, but apparently, at least some bands are going along with it. It seems to be the nature of the beast, that some bands, especially ones with younger members, will go along with just about anything to be able to get out and play in public.

    I wouldn't take that job in a million years, but when I was 17, I just may have.

    .
     
  16. mwm70

    mwm70

    Oct 27, 2004
    Baltimore
    +1

    You also have to remember that the club owner has costs for his daily operations. Bartenders, bouncers, soundman salaries along with rent/lease/mortgage payments, insurance and maintence costs. As stated above this guy seems to really have his act together and to be honest from a business stand point what he is requiring is not that extreme. When I was in an originals band 10-15 years ago you had to pay your dues. Most first and second gigs at "A Rooms" you were lucky if they let you have 1 guy to help you get your gear off stage during band changes let alone a guest list. It was have a draw or don't expect to come back. I worked my tail off promoting and did my part.

    It was mentioned above about renting a hall and throwing the show yourself. In essence that is what you are doing here but included is a sound system with soundman, lights and an entire staff. All for $125 + 10% for taxes, total of maybe 200 bucks. There is no where around here that you could rent a hall and hire a sound and light company for that. You are still getting a negoiated fee along with a third of the door as payment. If you don't think you can draw enough to cover and make some money, then maybe you aren't ready for this place. It is a business at the point you are at and you have to look at it that way.

    Just my 2 cents.
     
  17. Woodchuck

    Woodchuck

    Apr 21, 2000
    Atlanta / Macon (sigh)
    Gallien Krueger for the last 12 years!
    Okay, don't flame me, but here goes: I couldn't care less about what a club owner has to pay for to stay in business. Do a business cost analysis before you open a club. I don't dig the whole making it hard for the bands, just so you can cover your costs. Screw that! McDonald's doesn't have a "fry buy in" if you want a burger. I don't care if he has to pay for batenders, waiters, etc. That's the cost of running/owning a club. If they can't afford to run it, do something else. JMO.
     
  18. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    Hmm, sounds totally pro to me. Everything spelled out, no surprises and they actually HAVE a green room and a merchandise table. They spell out the cost of the room that will be deducted from the door so there's no guesswork. Wish more venues around here had it together like that.

    Anyone too cheap to voluntarily leave a CD and a T-shirt is an idiot. I've long been handing out tapes/CDs and T-shirts to bar staff to help hype the band. Every time the bartender wears your shirt or spins your CD is FREE advertising for YOU.
     
  19. mwm70

    mwm70

    Oct 27, 2004
    Baltimore
    As a musician I can see your point, but I am sure on Talkclubowners.com the response to the bands would be: "Signing my rider is the cost of bands doing business. If you don't like it play somewhere else."

    Bands do play a part in causing this problem. Lack of promotion and just plain old crappy "all original" bands create an environment of distrust. If you can't fullfill the stipulations of the rider you probably are not ready for that venue. Again JMO.
     
  20. Woodchuck

    Woodchuck

    Apr 21, 2000
    Atlanta / Macon (sigh)
    Gallien Krueger for the last 12 years!
    There's a Talkclubowners.com?