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Party Pooper or Professional?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by mambo4, Feb 28, 2008.

  1. mambo4


    Jun 9, 2006
    So My originals/ indie rock band has an opportunity to play this gig in a few months:
    It's a benefit on behalf of an organization that the Frontman/Bandleader is associated with. It's 4 hours away from our home city, on a Friday (so I'd miss work at my day job) plus we have another gig back home the very next night. For compensation, at this point, it sounds like We'd only get reimbursed for gas and be put up for the night.

    The band leader feels we should go for it, for the fun of a mini-tour, and the exposure. While I do like the adventure of it, when I seriously think of traveling and lugging gear 4 hours , playing a show, crashing in some random place, and lugging the gear back home for another show the next day, it sounds like WORK. I am being adamant that we should get paid for our trouble, at least as much money as I'd make in an 8 hour work day.

    Am I being a Party Pooper? or am I being professional?
  2. jnuts1


    Nov 13, 2007
    benefit implies that you are helping some sort of cause right?
    you usually donate time for benifits.
  3. need4mospd


    Dec 22, 2005
    I'm ok with doing a benifit concert for free, but I would not drive 4 hours and take off time from my career to do it.
  4. Under the circumstances you describe I wouldn't do it.

    We play - You pay.

    My band often play charity events and usually charge approximately 70% of our normal rates, inclusive of expenses.
  5. Lesfunk

    Lesfunk Supporting Member

    I don't have enough money to drive 4 hours away , set up all the gear, put on a show, tear down all the gear and drive 4 hours back and NOT get paid for it.
  6. makaky


    Mar 26, 2004
    Montreal Canada
    Gas, food, beer ( maybee), hotel (maybee), condons ( maybee).;)

    and im not talking about gear and personnal investment...
  7. JKT


    Apr 30, 2007
    Buffalo NY
    Endorsing Artist: Barker Basses
    We do covers and originals. We play charities and have done it both ways-either reducing our rate and totally pro-bono.

    Pros of charity gigs:

    Can get you other paying work

    Is a nice thing to do

    Looks good on your website/promo kit

    Provides an opportunity to stay sharp when its slow

    Cons of charity work:

    Can easily get out of hand

    Can cost you money

    Can cause internal friction with the band

    If memory serves we either have a small blurb on the site or at the tag-end of each newsletter about charity work. Point is, have a band meeting and come up with at least a rough policy regarding charity gigs.

    In my band we are all close on a personal level and likely to see eye to eye on most charities that would approach us.
    Anyone in the band can feel comfortable about asking the rest to do a freebie at least once a year. Beyond that all things are negotiable.

  8. JKT


    Apr 30, 2007
    Buffalo NY
    Endorsing Artist: Barker Basses
    We wouldn't likely opt for a total freebie that was along distance away.

  9. Lesfunk

    Lesfunk Supporting Member

    All true.
    Trouble is Once you work for free, More and more want you to do it
  10. guy n. cognito

    guy n. cognito Secret Agent Member Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 28, 2005
    Nashville, TN
    A freebie for a charity you believe in might be reasonable if it is close to home. Personally, I would have no interest in one 4 hours away.
  11. SteveC

    SteveC Moderator Staff Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    North Dakota
    Playing for free for a good cause once in a while is a good thing. Doing it 4 hours away, I don't think so.

    Charity begins at home.
  12. thesteve


    May 28, 2007
    San Diego, CA
    I agree with what's been said, a four hour drive and a day off of work for a charity event where you're getting gas money and a place to stay for the night is ludicrous. Playing a charity event for free that's local is fine...driving that far is silly.
  13. Eric Moesle

    Eric Moesle Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2001
    Columbus OH
    Too far away for a freebie.

    Charity work is great and should be done by all. But such a distance and extreme time committment make this one to pass on.
  14. mutedeity


    Aug 27, 2007
    I think if you were talking about a covers gig, or where you were hired as a freelance musician by someone, I would say that you should definitely not do it. Time is money and if you are losing money at your day job just to do all that you are mad.

    On the other hand this is an originals band. What you have to consider is whether doing this gig will benefit you as a band in the big picture. If this gig is being promoted and there are going to be a significant number of people there, then it might be worth doing. If you have faith in the band and want to get somewhere with it, sometimes you have to work hard for little reward. Then again if you are driving that far to play in some small venue who probably don't care what you guys are like and don't promote you, and you are giving up money at work, don't bother.
  15. What does the rest of the band think?
  16. txbasschik


    Nov 11, 2005
    Leander, Texas
    We do play benefits, plenty of them, but only local ones, within an hour's drive. It just is not reasonable to travel four hours away and miss out on *paying* work, for a benefit. If your singer wants to support the cause, he can contribute his own money to that cause, or choose to play a benefit for it that is closer to home.

    If I have to drive that far to a gig, I expect to bring home *at least* $200, or have all my gas and expenses covered in addition to whatever pay I'm getting. That's not negotiable. If its going to cost me more than a few bucks in gas to get to the show, I'm getting paid for it, or I'm not going.

  17. Unrepresented

    Unrepresented Something Borderline Offensive

    Jul 1, 2006
    San Diego, CA
    I wouldn't, but then again, I'm the lamest guy in my band.
  18. IanStephenson

    IanStephenson UnRegistered User

    Apr 8, 2006
    Expenses mean what it's costing you - which is a days pay. Relalistically you're going to be out of pocket by a LOT. It's one thing to donate time, and effort, but they're asking you to give up all that and a whole bunch of cash too.

    Work out how much you'd be out of pocket, including lost wages, gas (+ wear and tear), decent food, and accomodation (again you'd be putting the work in, so you shouldn't have to eat big Mac's and sleep on floors). That's your expenses. you need that covered.

    Chances are thats more than you get for a regular gig!

  19. lefty


    Sep 25, 2004
    to far away. no go.
    too many bad things can happen at a gig as it is.
    for free and 4 hrs away.
    too much wear and tear on a bands relationships.
  20. mutedeity


    Aug 27, 2007
    I don't know, but I think most of you are talking about this situation as though the OP is a hired musician in a covers band or playing for a client. If that was the case I would totally agree that this situation isn't worth the money lost and the effort.

    I think though that since this is an originals band there are other factors involved than money. For example how seriously the OP takes this band, and how far he is willing to go to see it succeed. Another factor is how important could this gig be in terms of exposure and promotion.

    If the band is just a hobby band then it's not a big deal and not worth the effort and lost pay. On the other hand if it's a serious band then a day off work won't kill you in the long run unless there is no significant promotion and you are only going to be playing to a crowd of 5 people in some bar.

    If the promotion is in place and the venue is decent and you are going to get a decent crowd and you take this band seriously, then the answer is that a day's pay and a long drive and a sleep in a different bed is probably not that big a sacrifice. You are at least getting petrol money.

    If all of these factors aren't in place then It's probably not worth the effort. I just wouldn't be so quick to say so either way without weighing up the whole picture.

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