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Playing for free

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by thorplaysbass, Jun 4, 2012.


  1. This topic has bugged me latley and as I'm sure there are a lot of threads about it already, I really wanted to post this example.

    http://nashville.craigslist.org/muc/3040741929.html

    From what I know about the business aspect of things, music (I'm a business sense) can or is considered a product. I don't understand why venues think its okay to obtain a product for free. Especially at the magnitude of six flags.

    Would you want your band in on this offer? Do you think the money to get there and what you feel your worth fits into this? Is it worth performing for free for the chance of a particular network? Especially playing for at least three and a half hours with the possibility of your set time increasing? I'm interested in your opinion
     
  2. Tampabass

    Tampabass Going Viral By 2080 Supporting Member

    Feb 16, 2006
    Tampa
    I know you are, but what am I?
    no, I'm pretty sure your thread is the first on this subject. :)
     
  3. bluewine

    bluewine Inactive

    Sep 4, 2008
    WI
    Sorry, no comment.

    I'm still burnt out from that thread that I started on this topic that lasted for 2 weeks.


    One small comment, it's not the 6 flags that I don't understand it's bands that are willing to play for free for the wrong reasons.
     
  4. RustyAxe

    RustyAxe

    Jul 8, 2008
    Connecticut
    I don't think it works as a way to promote your band. Just last year I saw a group of singing bears at Disney, but honestly, never heard that they got any other gigs, or got a recording contract.
     
  5. lfmn16

    lfmn16 Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2011
    charles town, wv
    They think it's OK because bands will do it.

    Everybody has different goals. If I was a cover band I wouldn't even consider it. If I was an original band, I would look into it. I'm not sure the exposure would be worth it, but who knows. Besides most bands have more time than money so it may be worth an evening. Also, you could then put that on your resume.
     
  6. tycobb73

    tycobb73

    Jul 23, 2006
    Grand Rapids MI
    There's a very simple business explanation

    law of supply and demand
     
  7. lorianb

    lorianb

    Apr 10, 2011
    Ottawa
    6 flags' revenue grew by 8% in the first quarter of 2012 (their quiet-season quarter). It's pretty clear that these are corporate vultures preying on artists and performers.
     
  8. sandmangeck

    sandmangeck

    Jul 2, 2007
    Colorado
    Finally! A subject that hasn't been beaten to death.
     
  9. Not sure why but, yup they want you to play for free? They contacted us last year. Their hype is great exposure bla bla bla. Nearly one hour from my house if the traffic is light forget about at the peak of the season. What I said you have got to be kidding no thanks.
    The woman went on and on about the stage and backline and the great chance to play in front of a large crowd. Same answer no thanks and I hung up on her.
     
  10. Since when was Georgia "live and local" in Nashville? I suppose if Nashville musicians think they can break the big time playing to the park's demographic they will go for it. Or just desperate for a stage, 200 miles is a long way to go to sell T shirts for and play 1.5 hrs for free.
     
  11. steelbed45

    steelbed45 29 on Ignore

    Feb 23, 2011
    Nolanville, TX
    This strikes me as a barter proposal. You perform sans direct financial compensation, we provide support and foot traffic. It's good to know from the posts above about the off season aspect and very light crowds. I wouldn't call that win-win.
     
  12. Febs

    Febs Supporting Member

    May 7, 2007
    Philadelphia, PA
    Suppose you were running a business and wanted to provide your customers and clients with an ancillary service. For example, maybe you want to provide your customers coffee while they're in your office. You have a choice of 100 different coffee providers, and 80 of them are willing to supply you with coffee for free. From your perspective, the coffee provided by the 20 companies that want to charge you for the service tastes exactly the same as the free coffee. Are you going to pay for coffee?
     
  13. It's not free in the literary sense of the word. Yes, this is how some Six Flags and Busch Gardens do business. It should be looked at as a reverse advertised business deal.

    Here's the pitch:

    Do you have a great band?
    Come and sell your CD's or merch at this venue which can almost guarentee you a certain level of pass-by customers (could be as many as 1,000 people hear your songs in 90 minutes of playing) during what would be considered the "Dinner Rush Hours" (you'll probably be set up near a food court/pavillion).
    All you have to do is play three 1/2 hour sets, be energetic and family friendly.

    Does this scenerio provide a strong possibility of "suck-nicity"...yup, no question bout that as I've played a series of gigs like this a few summers ago.

    The bands that do REALLY well in this setting are those which drive their music towards the little kids...singalongs, toe tappers, and other audience participation songs for the little ones (think Sprout TV and Nick Jr.). Those parents purchase the CD's for the long car rides home with the kids.
     
  14. Muziekschuur

    Muziekschuur

    May 25, 2009
    Stavenisse
    It's taking advantage of musicians....

    The musicians who are still making some gas money are not getting any minimum hour wage.

    The guy next to the musicians selling weeners is getting paid...
     
  15. Febs

    Febs Supporting Member

    May 7, 2007
    Philadelphia, PA
    Everyone has the option to say no.
     
  16. lweastdad

    lweastdad

    Feb 5, 2011
    Actually, we were talking with Six flags about doing this. As we were talking, I mentioned this to a couple of venues that we wanted to play at. They really took notice and booked us soon after that.

    Turns out that we could not hook up on the dates (the new venues took a couple of the dates Six Flags wanted us to play)
     
  17. Tampabass

    Tampabass Going Viral By 2080 Supporting Member

    Feb 16, 2006
    Tampa
    I know you are, but what am I?
    Copying this so that everyone can see what the OP is talking about (see below).

    Yes, it's all about supply and demand, and yes, businesses do what they can get away with, and, yes, bands have reasons for doing these things, some good, some bad, yada yada yada.

    But I still think it's pretty lame that Six Flags would be willing to pay for all the other services provided to their park but unwilling to pay musicians.

    If I were to take one of these "gigs," I'd certainly have no qualms about cancelling out on Six Flags, even late notice, if a good-paying gig came along.

    Really makes Six Flags look bad, IMO.

    Live & Local (Six Flags Over Georgia)
    Date: 2012-06-04, 3:41PM CDT
    Reply to: fr925-3040741929@comm.craigslist.org [Errors when replying to ads?]
    SIX FLAGS OVER GEORGIA IS LOOKING FOR A VARIETY OF BANDS TO PLAY HERE AT THE PARK DURING THE 2012 SEASON!
    WE ARE ALSO LOOKING FOR COMEDIANS, 1 MAN BANDS, AND OTHER ACTS

    -PERFORM 3 HALF HOUR SETS AT 6:30PM, 7:30PM AND 8:30PM
    -INTRODUCE YOUR BAND OR TALENTS TO THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE ON ANY GIVEN DAY
    -SELL YOU CD'S, T-SHIRTS
    -PASS OUT BUSINESS CARDS AND GET FUTURE BOOKINGS RECEIVE PARK ADMISSION BEFORE YOUR PERFORMANCE

    ***All groups need to be family friendly. No harsh language, or obscene content. Blackout dates do apply, be sure to list all days you are available to perform. All venues are outdoors. Performance length and location will be altered at the sole discretion of Six Flags. Cancellation of your performance due to weather conditions or other factors beyond your control will be at the sole discretion of the Special Events Entertainment Supervisor. YOU WILL NOT BE COMPENSATED FOR YOUR PARTICIPATION IN THIS EVENT.***

    For more information, send a request to the contact information provided in this posting.



    Location: Six Flags Over Georgia
    it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests
     
  18. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    I don't think that is REALLY Six Flags! Advertising on Craigslist?? In Nashville??

    Something doesn't seem right with that ad! SCAM!
     
  19. skwee

    skwee

    Apr 2, 2010
    Minneapolis
    This is what happens when amusement parks get cheap and dissolve their Atmosphere departments. The main problem is that people are not going to buy merch from a band they see at an amusement park. Not t-shirts, certainly not discs, and please remember that even though your act might get in front of a lot of people, these people are not focussed on you like in a club or bar or concert venue. They will be walking by on their way to something else, like the bathroom, lunch, or a roller coaster. Shame on Six flags.

    Oh, and by the way: learn to spell, Six Flags!

     
  20. MrLenny1

    MrLenny1

    Jan 17, 2009
    New England
    Same old same old. Heard it a hudred times" but you guys love to play" as the venue
    makes money and you don't.
    Ask a plumber if he wants to come over the house and work for free.
     

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