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How much does your gig pay?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Joe Nerve, Nov 14, 2001.

  1. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    I'm mostly curious what's expected of a cover band in different states, and much the gigs pay.

    Here in NY we're usually required to play 3 45 minute sets. The clubs my band plays pays between $400 & $600 - and we split it evenly. There are 4 of us so I take home $100 - $150. We have an agent now and the gigs are going to supposedly go up to close to $1000.

    For original stuff (The Nerve!) we usually get a percentage of the bar or door. Original gigs usually wind up costing us money. We've made between $0 and $300 (for the entire band) - which was incredibly rare. They usually hand us around $40 bucks to split amoungst us.

    For studio work and substitute gigs I've gotten between $50 and $125. Rehearsals about $30.

    What should I expect should I decide to leave this fine city.
  2. Mike N

    Mike N Missing the old TB Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2001
    Spencerport, New York
    We play three 60 minute sets in upstate NY and get $350-$600 depending on which place we play.The clubs that have in-house sound usually pay less than the clubs that dont.Thats average pay for most cover bands in our area,although Ive heard there is one band that gets $1200 a night,and theyll pack any place so bad that theres a line out the door all night.

    As far as original bands,unless your pretty well known and/or consistently draw a big crowd youll play for the door.If your starting out and/or dont have a big following,most clubs(that would even have an original band vs a cover band)would probably put you in on a weeknight to start,and if they like you theyll rotate you in on a Friday as an opening act.

    The last few substitute gigs I did I got $50 each.
  3. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    The oldies band that I am in gets between $350 and $700 for most gigs, with more for holidays, special events, etc. The most we ever made was $1500 for a new years eve gig at an upscale pub.
  4. For the 2 originals bands I play in, we get between $150- $250 (US dollars) to split between 4 of us.

    It is usually around $200. If we get more than that, it depends on how much the club/ venue makes on the night.
  5. PollyBass

    PollyBass ******

    Jun 25, 2001
    Shreveport, LA
    To answer your question. Not enough.
  6. Justin V

    Justin V

    Dec 27, 2000
    Alameda, CA
    Amen to that.:D
  7. I play in a different kind of cover band - Sinatra & lounge-style stuff with several cool instrumentals.

    Honestly, I don't know what the entire cost is for the whole band because I don't know what the singer/booking guru makes. However, I know that I get $125 for 4 sets at Sambuca - an upscale, snobby jazz bar. For corporate gigs, the least I've gotten is $200 for 2-3 sets, with the most being $300. New Year's Eve could be huge - I overheard the singer talking to a booking agent and the total cost mentioned was about $10K. God I hope he lands that gig!

    As for Top 40 cover bands in Dallas, I've heard of some with salaries - they literally get paychecks like day jobs, with periodic raises. I've heard of one such band where I believe the starting was about $30K. They aren't even that amazingly good or popular! Go figure...

    Some original bands do pretty well ($400-500 total), but that can take a while of slogging through free or $25 shows. It doesn't sound too dazzling, but it can be much more rewarding than getting paid $300 to be ignored. I think that the best strategy is to let the corporate stuff pay for the original stuff. Besides, many of those corporate gig/cover band players can smoke some guys in the original groups, not to mention be 200% more professional and easy to work with.
  8. Hategear

    Hategear Workin' hard at hardly workin'.

    Apr 6, 2001
    Appleton, Swissconsin
    Usually, anywhere from $300 to $400, plus free beer (which is the most important thing to our singer and guitarist). We have done two benefits in the past few months, where we have done a show for free beer only. For a regular gig, we play from 9:30 PM to between 1:30 and 2 AM. For our last benny, we only had to play for an hour.
  9. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    I decided to get in the circle that pays well, doesn't have to work too hard and has a lot of fun doing it. The pay is much better than working in clubs and surprisingly the level of musician drama is almost nil (gee, I wonder why;)). For club work in the DC area, you'd better have a day job;)

    $150 per person is a minimum, I usually get at least $200 per gig.
  10. Depends on the gig. My band made good money as one of the top cover bands around, but we have since become an original band, so we are back down the bottom working our way up.
  11. what a

    COOL QUESTION!!!!!!!

    in good old spokane, here's the scale...

    ME PERSONALLY, for the whole band:
    from 0$ (just starting, house party)
    TO $450 (annual 'street fair' gig)

    OTHER BANDS IN TOWN, for the whole band:
    from 0$ (house parties, favors)
    to $1000 (rich company's xmas party)

    average is probably 300 to 500 bones...

    bimp <c:
  12. beermonkey


    Sep 26, 2001
    Seattle, WA
    Well man... depends on the gig, like everyone else has hinted to. The funk band I'm in has been fortunate enough to get some REALLY good corporate gigs where we pull down anywhere between $10,000 and $25,000 for a night's work. Most of the time we make somewhere around $1000 a night playing around town.

    The original bands' make anywhere between $200 and $1000 depending on the venue, how many other bands play, and what night of the week it is.

    Corporate gigs are where it's at man. :D
  13. From what I can gather, pubs / working mens' clubs and the like pay between £150 to £200. That's a generallity for central England: and the band would be required to do 2 x 3/4 hour sets.

    I know of one club that pays £400 for 3 x 3/4 hour sets.

    These are not high quality places by any means. And some might even be described as "rough houses".

  14. Steve S

    Steve S

    Jul 26, 2000
    We usually average $400 per nite for a four hour gig. Some clubs give us free food and beer too.
  15. Woodchuck


    Apr 21, 2000
    Atlanta (Grant Park!)
    Gallien Krueger for the last 12 years!
    From as little as $1500 to as much as $5000. Depends on where and who we play for.
  16. Variable.

    Last gig we got about $ 450 per person.
  17. I'm playing my first covers gig next Friday, and the band are getting £250 for 2 45 minute sets. However, I have no idea if this is typical of all the venues around my area. Ask me in a couple of months.
  18. ARA punk

    ARA punk

    Jul 11, 2001
    USA, Shelby, NC
    My band is a christian band so we dont accept money from people in different places yet. We did get a love offering from one chruch once and it was 150 dollars so im guessing we did pretty good.
  19. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    Around $35k a year. :)
  20. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    Here in Boston, you'll find the pay about the same as what you're seeing in NYC.

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