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How has the economy affected your gigging schedule?

Discussion in 'Bass Humor & Gig Stories [BG]' started by mimaz, Sep 19, 2008.


  1. mimaz

    mimaz

    Mar 1, 2005
    Wheeling WV
    Endorsing Artist: Crook Custom Guitars
    With all the gloom and doom surrounding the economy, especially over the past year or so, how much has your gigging schedule been affected? (As a result of "economic woes"?) Are you getting less gigs, or having a tough time finding gigs?

    At least for now, I'm gigging just as much as ever, but of course you never seem to make as much $$ as the pay doesn't increase while the cost of travel (gas) and the cost of gear seems to keep on rising.
     
  2. Techmonkey

    Techmonkey

    Sep 4, 2004
    Wales, UK
    Actually, it's been great.

    the jazzfunk quartet I'm playing with now consists of me and a mate in my class at school, then two lads in university studying music (one studying jazz, the other studying the drums).

    so basically we're a decent group together, the keys player is far and away the best - for a 19 year old he's exceptional, he's always been in trios with guys over twice his age. but we're not exactly seasoned pros on the scene together, so in the start it was impossible for us to get gigs, even charging almost half of what the closest competition charge.

    these days though, it's been a complete reversal. everyone's been going for the cheapest outfit available (which is us)... and some people are liking what they're hearing. :)
     
  3. skiscem

    skiscem Supporting Member

    we had to cancel our east coast tour because of Gas prices :(
     
  4. mimaz

    mimaz

    Mar 1, 2005
    Wheeling WV
    Endorsing Artist: Crook Custom Guitars
    I guess I was thinking primarily about the US economy, but worldwide the markets are difficult. Good to hear that it's working for you (or that you are working!)
     
  5. crow01

    crow01

    Sep 1, 2008
    chicago
    No good on traveling cause gas is high. So no driving around.

    Keeping it local and within 2-3 hour driving.

    And for some reason, I keep on buying more and more equipment. I am sure I have an american express hitman waiting for me outside my house.
     
  6. mimaz

    mimaz

    Mar 1, 2005
    Wheeling WV
    Endorsing Artist: Crook Custom Guitars
    Yeah, I'm working right now on booking a gig that's 800 miles round trip........there goes about $150 in gas for every vehicle we take. :bawl:
     
  7. jaywa

    jaywa

    May 5, 2008
    Iowa City, IA
    With the exception of 1-2 long distance gigs a year we only play within about a 20-mile radius, so the gas prices haven't put a huge hit on our profitability. However we are taking our marketing much more seriously and working harder than ever to give people their money's worth because although we are only a "hobby" band, the money we do make from it has become much more needed at home with rising grocery prices, etc. And we know people are making more of a financial sacrifice to come see us play.

    I also find, with the U.S. stock market not being worth a d**n despite rampant govt. intervention/manipulation, I am getting very tempted to pull my money out of my 401k and invest it in hard goods -- i.e. BASSES! :p Still haven't quite sold the wife on that strategy yet, though when I see that the P-Bass I got new for $400 in 1981 is now fetching $1,800, it definitely helps my case.
     
  8. Trevorus

    Trevorus

    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL
    I quit a band because of gas prices and bad management by the people in the band doing the booking. They operated with no paperwork, contracts, anything, and they traveled haphazardly all over the place. I mean, they wanted to do over 600 miles of traveling in one weekend taking 3 or 4 vehicles. That does not work for me.
     
  9. tycobb73

    tycobb73

    Jul 23, 2006
    Grand Rapids MI
    You havnen't lost money til you sold it. Keep your 401k where it is and it will come back. After taxes and penalties you'll only net about 40-50% of what you take out.

    We're a cover band that playes bars so we're doing ok. Bars do better in bad economies because no one has a job and they spend all day at the bar drinking thier unemployment.
     
  10. jaywa

    jaywa

    May 5, 2008
    Iowa City, IA
    Yep... one other thing, my band definitely carpools more now than they used to. Used to be all five of us would drive to every gig separately, now we try to keep it to 2-3 vehicles whenever possible and that includes the pickup towing our gear. And we are starting to charge more for gigs that involve a farther drive. We've lost a couple gigs that way but we'd rather do that and protect our profit margin than bust our humps to just barely break-even.
     
  11. jaywa

    jaywa

    May 5, 2008
    Iowa City, IA
    Good point, and same here. Cold as it may sound to say, the bars we've played the past few months are not hurting for business at all in this economy, in fact it seems they are busier than ever.
     
  12. pauldebass

    pauldebass

    May 8, 2006
    I still work a lot but there are less places playing live music. To me it seems more to do with a preference to having DJs than the economy. there are a couple of industries than seem immune to how the economy is doing
     
  13. uaudio

    uaudio

    Apr 11, 2008
    Arizona
    I get paid in credit default swaps, so yeah, I'm hurting.
     
  14. JimB52

    JimB52 User Supporting Member

    May 24, 2007
    East Coast
    We are still turning down as many gigs as ever, but it seems like the bar / rest.s are hurting just a bit.
     
  15. Lazylion

    Lazylion Goin ahead on wit my bad self!

    Jan 25, 2006
    Frederick MD USA
    I was laid off from my day job, but my country band is doing fine. We have a gig tomorrow, was supposed to be a wedding, but the groom got laid off, so the wedding was postponed. They made it a dance instead. We have 7 members incl. soundman, and I've been wondering if we aren't too expensive, but so far we are still working... knock on wood!
     
  16. scottbass

    scottbass Bass lines like a big, funky giant

    Jul 13, 2004
    Southern MN
    +1. Of course the trend away from live bands has continued over the past 10 - or even 20 - years, but most of the places around here that were booking bands 4 or 5 years ago are still booking and we're still working as much as we want. Of course the gas to the gigs now costs twice as much, but I'm still turning a small profit from my hobby - which I promptly spend on gear!
     
  17. von buck

    von buck

    Feb 22, 2008
    wolcott ct.
    I'm doing gigs on off days that I use to turn down in the past. These every extra dollar helps.

    Andy
     
  18. jaywa

    jaywa

    May 5, 2008
    Iowa City, IA
    You know one thing that I really haven't seen is a flood of used QUALITY instruments coming on to the market. I was wondering as the economy started going into the tank if musicians would be unloading their gear at fire sale prices... from what I've seen, not so much. They might not be acquiring as much gear as they did in better times, but they're hanging on to what they've got and I would bet the guitar and amp repair shops are doing as well as ever, if not better as players try to get as much life out of their stuff as possible.

    What I DO see more of are the cheap knock-off/starter grade instruments showing up at the pawnshops. The Hondo that mommy and daddy bought for junior 10 years ago that sat in the garage for the last 8 years or whatever.
     
  19. mimaz

    mimaz

    Mar 1, 2005
    Wheeling WV
    Endorsing Artist: Crook Custom Guitars
    I get the impression that there are so many people out there looking for the once-in-a-lifetime pawnshop prizes, the good stuff gets snapped up instantly.
     
  20. mike.b

    mike.b

    Aug 21, 2007
    england
    with bars and clubs wanting dj's and less live venues to play at its hard for any band to get gigs.which is why my band broke up recently.but i'm soldiering on.
     

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