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How to divide up band payments

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by BertBert, Apr 29, 2004.

  1. BertBert


    Nov 9, 2002
    My band is at the point where we have enough visibility and demand to start charging modest fees for appearances. There are three of us in the band, and one member (singer/g*****ist/songwriter) owns most of the PA equipment, mics, cords, etc. We'd like to set up a fee structure like this:

    $0.375 per mile per band member for travel + $100 flat fee

    For example, we have a gig coming up that is 80 miles away from us, and so we're charging $100 + (0.375)(3 band members)(160 miles round trip) = $280. Like I said, modest.

    My real question is what would be a fair way to divide up the money so that group needs are met (e.g. replacing aging mic cords, paying for the band's web site domain hosting, etc.) and each of us gets a little money on the side. I was thinking something like, each band member gets 10% of the proceeds as personal income; the other 70% is simply put in the bank, and if there is a band cost we have a vote as a band as to how to spend the money. With the example above, each of us would get $28 and the remaining $252 goes in the bank.

    But that procedure doesn't reimburse band members for their true mileage; technically each of us should get the $0.375 per mile, which is $60 per person, and the flat fee of $100 goes into the bank.

    Has anybody else dealt with this issue? What's worked for you?
  2. Josh Ryan

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

    Mar 24, 2001
    Band money = an agreed upon percentage, the rest divided equally by the members.
  3. cassanova


    Sep 4, 2000
    IMO/IME the band leader gets a little extra piece of the financial pie. Once he/she has figured out what their percentage will be, then divie the rest up equally.

    As far as worn mic cords and things of that nature. That is the responsability of the individual who owns the particular piece of gear in need of replacement/repair.
  4. sub forum

    sub forum

    Jan 2, 2004
    i dont think it should be about who gets the biggest piece of the pie everyone should be responsible for their own gear .you only get out what you put in to the band why dont you save up the cash and go and record an album you will get more satisfaction when youve spent it on something constructive collectively than wondering who gets more cash. :meh:
  5. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    this post made me dizzy and nervous. math and music don't mix well for me. $0.375 per mile is out of my range of comprehension and the idea of trying to figure all that out before a gig is mind boggling to me.

    my guess is that the club is going to decide, more than you will, how much you're going to be making. after that i believe the band should split everything equally. if the guy with the PA is also lugging it around i'd consider throwing him an extra $25 or whatever he feels is reasonable. other than that i don't see any need to make it so complicated. having a PA i never saw as an issue for why someone should get more. i've spent more on my bass eqipment than singers have spent on their PAs, yet they've in the past expected me, for some unkown reason, to share that expense. nope. i don't see it that way. drummers also have lots more gear to lug around than most, and more setup time. i don't ever see them getting anything extra. lastly, if there's a band fund we decide per gig what we're throwing in. for us we're currently putting from $5 to $20 per man, but we're going to start upping that cuz it's not cutting it.
  6. g4string

    g4string Supporting Member

    Sep 19, 2002
    Melissa, TX
    you need to now what clubs pay other bands. Dot even bother with the mileage rule. What do you do if you play a club that is only 10 miles away. Are you only going to charge $3.76 per man.

    Set a min. flat rate and shoot higher. If $200 is the min. you will play for, than ask for $400. If you ask for $200 they will offer you $100. However, some clubs dont care who you are or how many people you can bring in. These clubs have a set rate.

    As far as the band getting paid. Split it evenly amongst everybody. I am th PA provider in my band. I will agree that I work harder, I dont like to take an extra cut. Here is why. Lets say I have been taking an extra $50 per show-every show. Five months down the road a $500 power amp blows at a show we are doing. Most people (including me) will not save the extra $50 a month they are making, they will spend it. Now, I have to cough up $500 to buy a new power amp in order to keep the band rolling.

    I ask my band members to help cover the cost of anything that gets f****d when we play. If I blow an amp, the band doesnt get paid. The money that we would have pocketed now goes to buying me a new amp. As far as cables, mics, and stands, everyone I play with has their own mic, stand and cable. My drummer has his own mis and cables.
  7. Just my $0.02 (not based on a per-milage figure):

    You might want to consider the "band as a whole" the equivalent of a fourth person. I find it makes dividing up cash just that much easier. For example, if you got $200 for a gig, each of you would get $50 and the "band fund" would get $50. Over time, the band fund would be used to purchase needed cables and other equipment. Also, the fund could be used to purchase equipment to replace the guy's PA and other stuff. Eventually, you'd end up with enough band equipment that the guy wouldn't feel as if it's "his" stuff that you use. And, if and when the unfortunate happens and the band no longer happens, the group "band equipment" would be sold on Ebay and split equally (or something like that).

    I like the milage idea in terms of explaining your costs to bookers/bar owners.

    Also, in my band experience, if you have a friend of person that goes with you doing sound-running the boards/lights, etc, that person is also included equally into the payout mix (after all, they have a big responsibility in terms of how you ultimately sound). Of course, if it's the bar's sound guy/gal, they wouldn't be included (although a small tip goes a long way in terms of them going the extra sound mile for you next time you play there).
  8. FunkySpoo

    FunkySpoo Supporting Member

    Feb 6, 2002
    We're a 6 piece band. We divide up everything 7 ways. The 7th is the "band fund". That pays for demos and band photos and such. Everybody takes care of their own gear expenses. We all help with load in and out.

    It's simple and it works for us.
  9. andrewd


    Sep 5, 2003
    we put everything into the band fund. we plan on using it when we want to record an album or when something really critical breaks.
  10. fastplant


    Sep 26, 2002
    It's always best to divide it equally as long as everyone agrees to work just as hard as everyone else. In my band, we all have certain tasks, I do website, promotion, email lists, my drummer does posters, graphics, etc. If someone is slacking you can always tell him he'll make less money unless he works just as hard as everyone else. It's a great motivator.

    We only take money out for the band when it is needed (cd's, posters, dvd's and such).
  11. BertBert


    Nov 9, 2002
    Thanks for all the responses so far.

    The mileage thing is not to be used with local clubs. It's for groups or individuals who are out of town who are interested in our coming to play. Most of the venues around here tend to either give a flat payment to artists, or else there's a box or something where people can just put in money for the band. Calculating mileage doesn't apply to local shows.

    And for Joe Nerve: it's called "multiplication"... 0.375 per mile times the number of miles... :) I don't mean for the math to freak people out. I just want to be transparent and show potential hosts that we're not just making up numbers off the tops of our heads.

    I like the idea of the "band as a whole" getting 1/4 of the proceeds and having each person be responsible for his own equipment. I don't think it'll make our singer/etc. very happy because he owns all the expensive stuff. But it seems equitable.
  12. my band would pay for the gas for the "band vehicles" traveling to the gig. then if you own the vehicle you can write off the mileage against your income as a musician. while the band writes off the gas (receipt please) as an expense. however if the keys player wants to drive his own car for some reason (so he can crash with some hottie that night instead of riding back home with the rest of us) then he pays his own gas/way.

    the "extra man" is a good way to divide as long as your expenses are somewhat low and you don't have a huge band.

    it's also nice to take large chunks of $ from the occasional high paying gig (wedding) instead of paying everyone more than necessary.

    i knew one ten person band where everyone got $50/gig regardless of income from said gig. of course they wouldn't do gigs for less than $600 but with 10 piece you can charge more.

    touring is different...we payed by the week or per tour so to speak so that everyone's not hung up on how much you make everynight.

    IME the best way to make $ for band account is w/ merch.
  13. Bass of Galt

    Bass of Galt Guest

    Mar 25, 2004
    Scrotillia Falls

    The only problem with the "band fund" and all the equipment obtained with the "band fund" is - what happens when the band breaks up - or several member bolt and want to "cash out" by selling all the gear.
  14. jbahleda


    Feb 22, 2004
    My band, a 3 piece folk/alternative pop band, charge a minimum of $300 dollars to play, more depending on travel time and the venue. We have a decent draw and play out twice a month in our little town, but rarely travel to play. We put a flat $100 into a band fund every gig and split the rest between the 3 of us and the sound guy. It works out well. The sound men love us and that is always good, we all have drinking and food money, and the band upgrades it's equipment really really fast.
  15. andrewd


    Sep 5, 2003
    well if the band breaks up we'll just divide it equally. one of them takes it, no problem, i know where all of them live ;)