How much should I charge?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by nicoli, Dec 11, 2002.

  1. Hey guys, I've just been approached to play a gig at a college during their welcome week in January. It would basically be a one hour set in the centre of campus with all the other events going on around.

    First off, I've never played a gig like this so I'm not real sure what the going rate would be. I'm thinking something around 100-200 (Cdn), does this sound about right?

    Also, we usually play mostly original material. For something like this do you think we would be better off/expected to work in more covers?
  2. 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
    Let's see, $100 CDN ... that's about $4 US, so I'd say go for $5,000 CDN.
  3. WildBill


    Jul 7, 2002
    Play for free cotton candy:D
  4. thrash_jazz


    Jan 11, 2002
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    Artist: JAF Basses, Circle K Strings
    That rate sounds about right. Are there other bands playing too?

    As for the cover/original thing, my first guess would be to opt for more covers, but again, it depends. The fellow who approached you might've done so because he thought your original material was perfect for the gig.

    These are matters you will want to discuss with the organizers in more detail.
  5. rumblethump

    rumblethump Supporting Member

    Mar 25, 2000
    Pioneer CA. 95666
    I would maybe play one or 2 good covers. Then play the heck out of your originals. This is your golden opportunity to start building a fan base for your music. GO FOR IT. Ask whoever is booking you how much they have budgeted for your performance. Another tip. Don't tell the audience their your originals out front. This some times put off the audience. Play them and then judge the crowd reaction. If the originals go over, then you might say something. Good Luck, there is nothing like the rush you get when playing live.
  6. Hey, thanks for the responses everyone. I think I'm gonna ask for 100 and negotiate from there once details are sorted out.

    I think there is one band playing / day for the week if I had to guess, not really sure though.

    For the hour long set we could probably work in a good 3-4 covers to grab peoples attention and still focus on originals, but yes it will depend on what the organizer says. I guess we should probably find something more modern to cover, we usually do classic rock stuff.
  7. crossXbones


    Sep 17, 2002
    the organizer should have offered you a price. i help book clubs at a college club and i always offer....which is around $100 dollars for local bands. i dislike it when bands come out and say they want so much $ unless they are really good/popular.....u shouldn't even ask for money really. the oppurtunity to play in front of a lot of people should be enough reward. but hey that is just me and the college club that i work for.

    oh and mostly originals with a few GOOD covers is a great combo.
  8. Craig Garfinkel

    Craig Garfinkel

    Aug 25, 2000
    Hartford, CT
    Endorsing Artist: Sadowsky Guitars
    ...and every other club owner and/or booking guy in the history of the free world. $100 for the whole band ? You gotta be kiddin'! Are you serious about the "you shouldn't even ask for money" stuff? Are you a musician yourself? How large a venue? How many people on an average night? Do you rely on band draw or, as I suspect, does the club have it's own draw due to the size of the school? Sell unbelievable amounts of alcohol nightly? And you still think $100 is too much to pay the band? :rolleyes:
  9. Well, I normally don't ask for money until it is offered, but in this case they specifically asked how much. I said we are making around $100 as an opener for bars and thats what they offered us for the gig.

    Normally we rely on the band draw (not too big yet, only played like 5-10 shows) but we're playing the night before and will be advertising for that one, and the draw of the venue will be what we see at this show.

    The pay obviously isn't nearly enough, but it never is, and well, it's better than nothing.
  10. crossXbones


    Sep 17, 2002
    yes i am a musician and in a band that plays at many venues. you have any idea how many bands are out there? there are about 20 local bands here in town and i gurantee that any of those bands would play for peanuts.

    and yes i am serious about not asking for money.......and please understand this is for local bands mainly. if a band is on tour or traveling they usually have a standard asking price which is fine.

    2 story venue, with bar that sells a lot, we can only fit 500-600 people though. we have a regular crowd but i do depend on the band to draw people. i do not think $100 is a lot of money for a band, but that is what it is.

    it all depends on the show. most local bands jump at the oppurtunity to play at a club here in town and yes most of them play for free. a bigger club here in town doesn't pay local bands jack..even when they headline a show. though they get a ton of promotion and exposure provided by the club.....who wouldn't want to play at the club that made Creed? things beside money...promotion and exposure....much better for a band in MHO.
  11. Craig Garfinkel

    Craig Garfinkel

    Aug 25, 2000
    Hartford, CT
    Endorsing Artist: Sadowsky Guitars
    nicoli, I was responding to crossXbones, not to you ;) .

    I don't want you to feel like you undersold yourself. It's fine when a band decides to take whatever money, especially when they're just starting out. But it bums me out when I hear someone who's booking a club say $100 for a band is too much, or that we shouldn't ask for money anyway. That's just plain ridiculous.
  12. crossXbones


    Sep 17, 2002
    i never said $100 was too much....its just the standard. i would love to give bands whatever they wanted..or deserved. but hey i got a boss too :)
  13. Craig Garfinkel

    Craig Garfinkel

    Aug 25, 2000
    Hartford, CT
    Endorsing Artist: Sadowsky Guitars
    Sorry cXb...of course you're not the boss, my bad :oops: .

    I just hate to see musicians taken advantage of, especially the "young and hungry" cats in areas of heavy competition. Club owners who're making money by the bushel have a lot of ignorant kids convinced that they should play for little or no money (or as in L.A., that they actually should pay to play) for "the exposure", or because their club is where some famous band(s) got started, or that the "industry people" frequent the place. Musicians in general never have understood their value, and that the music business exists because we create music...not the other way 'round.
  14. crossXbones


    Sep 17, 2002
    np man :cool:

    i agree. my club uses some of those ploys and so do most of the clubs that are out there. one of the major clubs here in town claims that they made creed....which is true....and the soon to be nationalized social burn. peace
  15. Club owners = greedhead scumbags.

    Musicians that play for no money when the venue gets rich on them = people who depress the market.

    When will we all wise up?

    If NOBODY would play your place under those conditions, crossXbones, then the going rate would be a lot higher. Go ahead, rape the very people you claim to be a part of, here. It's no problem, the problem isn't you, man -- you're just accountable to your boss.

    So was Eichmann, pal!

    I have a BIG problem with you and all the talent bookers like you. And everyone posting here should, too.

    The answer is to not deal with people like this, folks. I don't -- and I still gig a fair amount (6-8 X/month). Both bars and private parties. Your asking price establishes your worth. Are you worth nothing?
  16. This may be a little late, but your original question was "how much should I charge?".

    I say with any negotiations, start where it will benifit you most and go from there. I think a good starting point would be 100 bucks per person in the band. So for a 3 peice, ask for 300...etc. That gives you a starting point. Then work with them from there. That's what we do. Sometimes we get it, sometimes we don't. But don't sell yourselves short by low balling.

    Most of the time, booking agents/club owners already know what they're willing to pay. But they ask you what you want to make, because if you ask for less, they'd be more than happy to give it to you!
  17. Yea, verily, ThePez! And $100 per man is a good jumping-off point.

    Another suggestion: have a press kit with the contract included in it. Got a gig in NY one time solely on the strength of the female singer's cleavage, via fax, no demo tape or CD. Not the best gig in the world, but they paid at the end of the night. Contracts work.
  18. Phat Ham

    Phat Ham

    Feb 13, 2000
    IMO the bands that play there for only $100 are getting raped up the bumhole. My band plays frats for at least $100 a person (4 dudes in the band) and we are on the cheap side. And frats don't even make money off of parties or bands.

    For original bands though, it's a different story. They usually just make a cut of the door.
  19. Craig Garfinkel

    Craig Garfinkel

    Aug 25, 2000
    Hartford, CT
    Endorsing Artist: Sadowsky Guitars
    This is waaaay harsh, Ronzo. I took exception to the practices of crossXbones' club too, but there is no need to attack him personally. And a comparison to a Nazi is totally uncalled for. I'm not a moderator, and I hope I'm not overstepping my bounds here by suggesting you review the membership guidelines. :mad:
  20. LiquidMidnight


    Dec 25, 2000
    When you play for a club/party/wedding/event you are performing a service. I know if I hired a guy to fix my furnance or work on my car, he would be pretty ticked off if didn't pay him at the end. Why should it be any different when you play music? I mean, I don't mean to sound like I'm just another person coming down on you Cross, but a band should damn well ask for money if they are playing at a club. You are there keeping people on the dance floor. People on the dancefloor means more people buying drinks. Why should the bar get free labor when you are making them more money than they normally would be making on a bandless night. It takes years to become a proficient musician, equipment is very expensive, you have rehearsal time, plus the actual playing time. You should get compensated for at least some of your troubles.

    Speaking of what Craig said about LA. The people I'm currently playing with were actually out in LA during the early 90's "trying to make it". (They told me all of those stereotypical Hollywood stories you see in the movies :eek: ) They told me how actually getting paid was really something. Apprently how it works with a lot of clubs is they give you tickets to sell, and if you can't sell them all, you have to buy them. It sucks because you'll get crap bands with lots of friends who have no problem selling the tickets.

    They also told me how they threw a drink at the Bay City Roller's tour manager because the BCR wouldn't get off the stage and let them play their set. :D