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Opinions on these "Pay to play" offers that are going on.

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by HunterBurgan4Me, Feb 25, 2013.

  1. HunterBurgan4Me


    Mar 6, 2010
    My band's on some sites like Reverb Nation and occasionally we get things coming round saying "PERSON X IS LOOKING FOR A NEW BAND TO SIGN! PAY $1M AND YOU MIGHT HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY TO LICK HIS SHOES" (as you might have guessed i'm not keen on these things.)

    I just wondered if anyone has ever actually taken up an offer like this and their experience from it? Is it just me being cynical?
  2. mellowinman

    mellowinman Free Man

    Oct 19, 2011
    You can join the third club in my sig. There's a thread for it somewhere, but we all just assigned our own numbers. It's anarchy, man.
  3. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    I play for free ... but I charge a lot to drive there and haul in my equipment and set it up and tear it down and haul it home ... no damn way I am paying someone to do all of that.

    Pay to play is letting them crap on you and rub it in and then you say thank you sir may I have another.
  4. AuntieBeeb


    Dec 12, 2010
    I would dearly love to see an end to "pay to play."

    This has been said countless times, and somebody will inevitably wheel out the "calls the Musicians' Union; is told to call the Plumbers' Union" joke, but as a musician, you are providing a service. Any other service provider could reasonably demand to be paid for his/her time, whereas we are left asking - often, paying - for the privilege to play in your venue, thank you very much, sir.

    The trouble is, venues, promoters, etc., have us over a barrel. The moment we say "oh, and it will cost you this much," so many of them know they can show us the door because there will be a bunch of fresh-faced teenagers who've just formed their first band and are so desperately keen to play, (not to mention still believing that this will be their springboard to super-stardom) that they'll happily do the gig for free.

    I have been giving occasional thought to how feasible and how effective it might be to organise a general musicians' strike. Boycott any gigs that are pay-to-play for a couple of weeks and see if they change their tune. I don't know whether it would work, though...
  5. QORC


    Aug 22, 2003
    Elberon, New Jersey
    only fools pay to play, IMHO
  6. Tx Basser

    Tx Basser

    Jul 21, 2012
    +1. I would NEVER, repeat NEVER, pay some venue to allow my band to play there.

    Let them buy a jukebox or have an open mike night (which is another way for the venue to get free musicians, which I would never do.) or get some wanna-be's to pay them for the "honor" of playing there.
  7. I don't mind playing for free if the situation is right (like a charity, donation for a good cause, something worthwhile that I can get behind).

    I don't think I'd be real enthusiastic about paying someone else to play. In fact, I just wouldn't do it.

  8. bassbully

    bassbully Endorsed by The PHALEX CORN BASS..mmm...corn!

    Sep 7, 2006
    Blimp City USA
    Trust me if anyone is reaching you on offers like this on Reverb nation or whatever stay away.
  9. bluewine

    bluewine Banned

    Sep 4, 2008
    Yeah, my house needs new siding .I will let you do it. I'll only charge you $2,000.00.

    Sound good, when can you start?

  10. Plucky The Bassist

    Plucky The Bassist ZOMG! I'm back from the dead!

    Jul 30, 2010
    Houston, TX

    The only time I see it as reasonable to play for free (not PAY, mind you, but play for free) is like you state up there Bay. If some lazy yahoo at a bar just wants free live music, he can get up there and play it himself. :smug:
  11. Marial

    Marial weapons-grade plum

    Apr 8, 2011
    Bingo. :cool:

    I've never done the pay-to-play thing, doubt I ever will.
  12. 5StringThunder


    Dec 28, 2012
    Never encountered this particular situation, but we've played a few shows, mainly battle of the bands, where we have to sell tickets and do all our own promoting with zero promotion from the venue. I have no problem selling tickets and trying to get people to come, but the venue won't pay unless you draw x number of people or unless you win. Which when we sell $3,000 worth of tickets between two shows and the venue gives the 3 headliners $1,000 to split between the 3 bands and we don't see a penny, then it gets annoying.
  13. you are paying to play there bud. ticket sales is just pay to play with a new coat of paint.
  14. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Dumb. Just dumb. It's sad that there are musicians out there so desperate to be seen that they go for these kinds of things.
  15. bluewine

    bluewine Banned

    Sep 4, 2008
    I would say that is considerably more than annoying.

  16. 5ST, you just defined pay to play...
  17. agreed. if your band has the ability to sell 3000 worth of tickets you should be putting on your own shows.
  18. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather Supporting Member

    Don't ever do it! Ever!
  19. NWB


    Apr 30, 2008
    Kirkland, WA
    You have encountered and engaged in this exact situation. You should at least get a kiss from the promoter before the **&^%ing begins.
  20. Yeah, sounds like a good old fashioned carrot dangler to me.

    Geesh, even the little place we play that flips up $350 for a night puts our name outside on their sign......

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