Playing at the Motorcycle rally

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by 3Liter, Jun 19, 2019.

  1. 3Liter


    Feb 26, 2015
    Not me. I was an attendee at one outside Nashville recently. A big national rally with total attendance around 6000. Not all 6k watched the bands of course.

    They had some decent “named” players on the main stage.

    On a side stage they had a hobby/dad band. They were way tighter than my dad band. Way. I talked to them a bit But what I failed to do was ask how much they got for such a gig.

    Anyone know what some thing like this pays? Sure,markets vary and all but some of you all must play this kind of thing.
  2. Runnerman

    Runnerman Registered Bass Player

    Mar 14, 2011
    The local rally's are not high pay here in NC. They often ask for freebies as they do the rally as a "Ride for _____" fund raiser. They will pay a headliner and try to fill local acts as cheaply as possible. We've done several local ones and they are usually fun with a built in good crowd. Last one we got paid $300 which is typical low end bar pay around here. The nice part, only an hour slot and they provide the PA. Have played one as long as 2 hours when another band cancelled. National ones, I can't comment on but expect they would pay better and be a much tougher booking process.
  3. mrcbass


    Jan 14, 2016
    Sacramento, CA
    I don't know this and am plenty skeptical, but my new BL seems to think that our local biker rallies could be very lucrative pay. I have no idea where he gets his numbers, but he tossed out $2000 as number he expects to get for this type of gig (which he intends to target). If this is true, my cut of these gigs would be more than my whole previous band got paid for bottom feeder bar gigs. Again, this is not fact to me at this point - just what I've been told. I can't imagine these would be rallies with well known headliners.

    My "working translation" of this = the rallies will possibly pay more than bar gigs.
  4. filmtex


    May 29, 2011
    That's been my experience as well, and I've played plenty of "rallys" and biker-bars. Plenty. Pay is usually determined by who you know and where you are on the bill. Playing for tips has become quite standard in my neck of the woods.
    Also, requests for Free Bird, Sweet Home Alabama and/or Tennessee Whiskey are not requests! And ake sure your band knows Gimme Three steps as well, it will always get you out of a tight spot. YMMV
    Jimmy4string and 3Liter like this.
  5. Regional variation rules in your favour? I would keep quiet about that.
  6. I've played a few biker rallys in the Western Md, W. Va. area. Pay was always pretty good and the crowds were appreciative. Yeah , you better know a lot of Skynnard , Allmans , Molly Hatchett and the like. A bit of showmanship goes a long way and I don't think I have ever played one where I didn't get flashed. If this happens to you , thank them but do not approach them on break. Very few are travelling solo.
    3Liter and neckdive like this.
  7. juancaminos

    juancaminos Supporting Member

    When I last spoke with the Hollister California Promoters they said that one or two bands get paid, the remainder do it for free. Our band did a lot of biker gigs in AZ and Colorado. The Four Corners Rally was something like $500. Too Broke for Sturgis was in the $400 range. Screw Laughlin was more like $300. We did a Run With The Fools Rally for four years where all bands got rally shirts and a meal ticket but no dollars. Other lower level biker gigs were $250-$300 range (outdoor gigs). We did another out of town rally where we played two days and did sound for all the other bands as well. We did it for three years and charged $500 each year which included DJ music all day. The people in charge of the last one thought that was too much and we never played for them again.
    3Liter likes this.