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how far do you travel for gigs?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [DB]' started by mav, Mar 10, 2004.

  1. mav


    Jun 10, 2003
    I'm thinking of moving to a large country town with my wife and daughter. i currently live in the inner city of melbourne australia and im getting sick of paying the morgage, if we move to the country we could buy a house outright after selling our house. Were thinking of moving an hour and a half from melbourne so thats a long drive if i got a gig in melbourne. i could probably get some gigs around the surrounding towns.
    im not sure if im comprimising my dreams/goals?

    how far do you guys out there have to travel to your gigs?

    im also concerned about losing some of my valuble contacts in melbourne.
  2. 1.5 hours isn't ideal to travel to a gig. I currently don't have to do that, but I can tell you I would probably do it in a second if I was in your situation. After all, what is rational about being a gigging musician? It aint the pay, and it aint the glory. Its the music, and it seems that we'll do just about anything to play....
  3. Monte


    Jan 9, 2001
    DFW Area, Tejas
    It depends on who it is and if you like playing with them. Several times a year I will drive 86 miles one way down to Hell, Oklahoma (better known as Lawton and Ft. Sill) to play with a sax player. The gigs pay ok, but I do it because it is like playing with Fathead Newman.

    A small bonus is I write mileage off on my taxes and am getting a commercial tag for my Volvo, so I will save on tags as well.
  4. Chad Michael

    Chad Michael Supporting Member

    Sep 19, 2001
    Pacific Northwest USA
    The closest gigs are 20 minutes from my home. We only play there one weekend in 4 months or so. The average gig is 45 minutes away, this includes most of the clubs we play. On occasion, we travel a bit farther (up to 1.5 hr drive).
  5. tsolo


    Aug 24, 2002
    Ft. Worth
    I have a gig next weekend - 5 hrs to Big Lake, Texas. It's the most distant we travel this year (that could change - we may get a Missouri gig). We play once - maybe twice - a month in a 3 state area. It's not unusual for bluegrass to travel many miles to a gig. People pull travel trailers and drive RVs - it's usually all weekend. For a bar gig, I won't travel more than an hour - if I do, I charge accordingly (if they don't flinch, I didn't charge enough).
  6. CB3000

    CB3000 Supporting Member

    we drive 6 hours to play in indiannapolis. i play in chicago ~3hrs away about twice a month. lots of ~1 hour trips too...
  7. Chad Michael

    Chad Michael Supporting Member

    Sep 19, 2001
    Pacific Northwest USA
    :D :D
  8. mav


    Jun 10, 2003
    im talking about driving 1.5 hours to do a $50 3 set jazz gig, which will probably cost $20 gas with no accomidation over night, i'm thinking the drive home could be tough.
    but could be an oppertunity to listen to some music.
    at the moment i'll travel 15 minutes to a gig in the city.
    I have done alot of long trips in the past 6 hours etc..
    but few and far between i didnt mind so much but the thought of doing traveling 1.5 hours everytime kind of freaks me.
  9. tsolo


    Aug 24, 2002
    Ft. Worth
    1) Daylight hours and I'm getting home before 10:00pm
    2) not a bar gig
    3) I like they guys i'm playing with
    In that priority.

    Otherwise I'd hit 'em for $120 ($100 minimum) they are usually 4 set gigs - if they don't flinch I add "per hour".

    But that's just me. I don't play jazz so I don't have a good feel for the pay. I can get away with it playing country.

    It's really a decision you'll have to make.
  10. Nuno A.

    Nuno A. Velvet Strings Customer Service

    Jul 9, 2001
    Even in a small country like Switzerland, i often travel 3 or 4 hours to a gig, but i already drove 8 and 10 to play a show...
    if they pay, i will drive and play... ;)
  11. Don Higdon

    Don Higdon In Memoriam

    Dec 11, 1999
    Princeton Junction, NJ
    The definition of "far" will vary with age and other circumstances.

    When I was just starting, my dixie band left Providence, RI on Friday afternoon to play Friday night at Dartmouth (NH), Saturday night at Bowdoin (Maine), Sunday afternoon back at Dartmouth, back to Providence that afternoon.

    A few years ago, I drove a 9 hour round-trip to play a duo at a small party Teo Macero threw for his daughter. You young guys might not know why I felt priviledged and honored. Maybe Paul Warburton will explain.
  12. Marcus Johnson

    Marcus Johnson

    Nov 28, 2001
    Wow, cool. I love that thing at the end of "Big Fun" where you can hear Miles' rasp; "That's enough, let's hear summa dat , Teo".
  13. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    Augusta GA
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    what's it pay and do we get food?
  14. FunkySpoo

    FunkySpoo Supporting Member

    Feb 6, 2002
    Farthest I've gone so far is D.C. to Baltimore
  15. @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@

    Why would the drive home be tougher than the drive going? Playing a gig always invigorates me, rather than tiring me out......

  16. mav


    Jun 10, 2003
    we've decided to stay put in the inner city, the house is too much of an investment too let go.
  17. MattyN


    May 26, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    the farthest i've driven so far is about 5 hours from seattle (including ferry ride) but i'd like to tour up and down the west coast.

    hell, i'd like to tour europe. :rolleyes:
  18. Damon Rondeau

    Damon Rondeau Journeyman Clam Artist Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2002
    Winnipeg, baby
    A friend of mine whose family's living depends on playing music and remembering lyrics to a gazillion tunes wrecked his car early one morning driving home from a gig. Fell asleep at the wheel. Lucky to have survived it.

    Something to think about when you're hatching plans to spend maybe decades driving on the roads at all hours.
  19. Personally, I stick to gigs in my urban area (probably 30 minutes end-to-end, top-to-bottom driving time). My main venue is about a 10-15 minute drive from my front door....in rush hour....That said, I have done gigs where it's been a 1-1/5 hour drive - one way....ugh.

    Most serious original bands in this area travel from Ottawa to Montreal and Toronto/S. Ontario. Between a 2 and 5 hour one-way drive depending....

    Man, now that I think about it, I spend more time travelling to rehearsal (at our guitarist's rural compound - an hour round-trip, once a week) than I do travelling to gigs. Gotta rethink this one.... :help:

  20. For each individual there are many things to consider.
    Exposure, $, great players, staying with old friends, whatever.

    I toured the country with my band, doing most of the driving myself. In 1999 we drove from VT to CA to play a gig for free. However it was a festival where we played in front of a few thousand people. We also sold over 200 cds during our set. It was also our first CA show and the start of a 5 week tour so...was it worth it? Absolutely. It got us hundreds of names on our mailing list, hundreds of cds in CA and it made our first return trip to CA after that a success.

    There's 2 ways I think of it.
    #1 - If you have to drive 200 miles there had better be $200 when you get there.
    #2 - say the gig pays $xx, would you drive the distance just to pick up the cash and turn around and drive home? if not then there should be other great reasons to do the gig, otherwise...

    when booking weddings for example, I usually add $1/mile to the price....or I make sure we'll get paid $10/hour each for driving in addition to the gig pay

    my $.02

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