Pay to play?

Discussion in 'Bass Humor & Gig Stories [BG]' started by Bass Viking, Apr 6, 2005.

  1. A local bar has open stage night every Thursday. I went down there recently with my bass to sit in. At the door, the cover charge is $2.00, which goes toward promoting music in schools. I asked whether this applied to performers and was told yes. I paid my money and went in.

    I realize that $2.00 is a pittance, especially 2 Canadian dollars :D , and I didn’t want to raise a stink but it really irks me to have to pay to entertain. Playing for free is one thing (and even then you usually have to shell out money for gas, strings, etc.) but to have to dig money out of your pocket to get in the door and play for people I find kind of insulting. Geez, doesn't giving your time count as a donation?

    It’s the principle of the thing. I would have gladly given $2.00 or more if they had made it optional for the performers. Anyone else feel this way, or have other stories to share?
  2. fraublugher


    Nov 19, 2004
    ottawa, ontario, canada
    music school retailer
    sounds like a newbie doorman to me
  3. msquared


    Sep 19, 2004
    Kansas City
    It's for a good cause, and you're getting just as entertained (if not more) than the crowd. Just suck it up and have fun.
  4. gilbert46


    Sep 21, 2004
    Sacramento, CA
    good cause or not, a performer shouldnt have to pay to get it. I'd find the owner/manager and tell them what you think. Its a matter of principle :rolleyes:
  5. Hey, thoreau(sp?) went to jail over 2 bucks that prolly would've gone to schools, I'd say it's worth it to ask the management.
  6. bmc


    Nov 15, 2003
    That's B.S. Entertainers work. It's enjoyable work, but work nonetheless. My day job is work. I enjoy it. It satisfies me and takes up a lot of my time. Should I get paid for one job and not the other?

  7. hey, i live by a cafe that's chargin 106 bucks for a band in NJ to get just 30 minutes stage time and suprizingly people manage to cough up their money, 2 bucks aint nothing
  8. DaftCat


    Jul 26, 2004
    Medicine Hat
    $2 is fine, considering the previous poster point of view.

    Ask the management if they can buy a beer/drink for anyone who gets up to play. Many bars do that out here in Calgary.

    I've never seen cover at a jam though.
  9. Heh, heh, if I was going to pretend to be a musician so I could get in for free I'd bring a harmonica or a tin whistle instead of lugging my guitar along. :D

    I disagree with your second sentence. I think the musicians are doing the club owner a favour, not the other way around, and the place was packed (and I'm told it was even more busy the next Thursday). Now I could see if the talent was so awful that it was driving customers out the door, that's one thing. But there were some excellent musicians there that night, including an amazing drummer who'd worked with Carlos Santana, and the audience got a great evening's entertainment out of it.

    I agree with Daftcat's suggestion about free drinks. Back in the mid 80s, I used to sit in at a bar in Baltimore on Wednesday nights. That was the only night the establishment had entertainment and, not coincidentally, the only night they were busy. Somehow, they were able to give the musicians free drinks to show their appreciation.
  10. That's outrageous! :rollno:

    What does the audience have to pay? :D
  11. bmc


    Nov 15, 2003
    As long as musicians are willing to pay to play, why should any club pay them?

    Smart bar owners.
    Not smart musicians.
  12. fraublugher


    Nov 19, 2004
    ottawa, ontario, canada
    music school retailer
    hey man are you refering to the bourbon street bar ?

    the blues in the schools thing is subsidized by the govt' .

    curiouser and curiouser
  13. it was for a charity, damn.

    My band played a benifit concert last week. Three cars to get us and all our gear there, played for free AND gave 50% of our merch table to the cause.

    We didn't make a dime, but I felt good. I got to help out a charity and play to an audience. Most shows we get payed to play, but you gotta give back sometimes.
  14. Richard Lindsey

    Richard Lindsey

    Mar 25, 2000
    Metro NYC
    I think you shouldn't have been charged. IMO you're already donating by playing. I don't think you should ever be *required* to give more than your labor in that situation. (If you *want* to kick in more, that should be strictly up to you, and good for you if you do.)

    If the musical entertainment was good enough that people were expected to pay $2 for it, it was good enough to be taken as a donation on the part of those who provided it.

  15. The difference there is that you went there knowing that you were gonna be playing for charity, not paying for it. He dragged his gear there, unaware he was going to have to pay to get in to play.
  16. That's the place!

    Great little bar, but it irked me to have to cough up money to get in that night. I see that on Tuesdays and Sundays they have live entertainment and there's no cover charge.
  17. It feels good to give to charity when you're not obliged to do so. The spirit of charity is that you give because you choose to. I have school age children and I'm certainly not against music in school programs. I just felt that I was doing my part by entertaining that night.
  18. How many non-musicians go to open jam nights though? I'm willing to bet most are there to play as opposed to sit and listen. I'd look at it as paying cover to be part of the jam - not as paying cover to be an entertainer for the audience.
  19. I think many non-musicians go to hear friends or family who are on stage. There were alot of musicians in the audience that night but, hey, they like to drink too! I doubt the bar was losing money. And as I mentioned earlier, they have free entertainment on other nights. Why should someone have to pay money to be part of a jam?