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Please Help quick!

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Eilif, Feb 22, 2006.


  1. Eilif

    Eilif Supporting Member

    Oct 1, 2001
    Chicago
    We have applied for a gig at the "Taste of Joliet" it's a community festival in a large Chicago Suburb.

    We are an unsigned band with a long gig history, 3 years of experience in Chicago and a new CD.
    We have been paid as much as 700 for a gig and as little as nothing.

    How much should we be asking for?

    We were thinking between 3 and 4 hundred.

    Please post quick, as we are applying this afternoon.

    Thanks.
     
  2. Tony G

    Tony G

    Jan 20, 2006
    NY
    If money doesn't really matter to you, and you just want to play, ask as little as possible to better your chances of being accepted. How long would you be playing? How many sets? I usually like to put a price at $50 per musician per 45 minute set at some better bars and clubs, but it is a widely varying thing.
     
  3. theshadow2001

    theshadow2001

    Jun 17, 2004
    Ireland
    Think of the context of the venue your are playing. How much money is the organizers going to make from the festival. More importantly how much money are the organizers going to get by having you there. Your fee should reflect your value to those who employ you. If your the headliner charge the full seven hundered if your supporting in the middle of the day charge only a few hundered
     
  4. AlembicPlayer

    AlembicPlayer Im not wearing shorts

    Aug 15, 2004
    Pacific Northwet, USA
    $1500.00 for a 90 min. set
     
  5. Tony G

    Tony G

    Jan 20, 2006
    NY

    I wish my band could pull that kind of money in.
     
  6. Sundogue

    Sundogue

    Apr 26, 2001
    Wausau, WI
    We never charge less than $1000 for festivals (of any kind) and for pure music festivals, we'll charge more.

    Bar gigs can be anywhere from $500 to $1000 depending. But festival coordinators want entertainment and they usually have a much bigger budget than a bar owner.

    Figure out what each of you is willing to play for and start from there as your bottom line. Then start with a higher price and negotiate down, without going beyond your bottom line.
     
  7. Edwcdc

    Edwcdc I call shotgun!

    Jul 21, 2003
    Columbia MD USA
    Find out if there are other bands playing and ask them what they are getting. That of course is assuming that you know the other bands.
    My band is playing a St. Pattys day thing with another band. We know the guys in the other band and we were able to get together on what we expected to make. The other band is getting more because they are supplying the sound and lights.
     
  8. EBMatt

    EBMatt

    Nov 21, 2003
    Springfield, MA
    It depends why you are playing the show. Are you playing it for exposure, or for money? Also, how big is this show anyway? How many other bands are playing. Who is headlining? The type of show it is, and how big it is will effect the amount you can get. If its a small local gig, they may not have the funds to give you alot. But if it's a large scale gig, or a gig with more of a reputation, you might be able to milk it more and get more cash. You and your band would probably know this better than us. If you know any of the other bands that are playing, you could ask them too.
     
  9. Sundogue

    Sundogue

    Apr 26, 2001
    Wausau, WI
    Good point. Some of the bands around here are always helpful to each other...whereas others are always thinking "competition" and won't share any info for fear it will hurt them somehow.

    But yeah, if you know any other musicians, ask around.
     
  10. Edwcdc

    Edwcdc I call shotgun!

    Jul 21, 2003
    Columbia MD USA
    Around the Baltimore area we get along pretty well. I think most of the guys know that if we all stick together we can keep the scene alive. Don't get me wrong every band wants to be the best band in town. Most of the bands know each other and we support one another.
    We also know what the other bands are getting in the same clubs we play.
     
  11. Eilif

    Eilif Supporting Member

    Oct 1, 2001
    Chicago
    We play all origionals, it will probably be a midday or evening set (though I really have no idea) and we will most likely not be a headlining act. We want to get what we can, but not price ourselves out of a good gig.

    The cash is not really the issue. We are looking for the exposure. But we do want to make some money to give to our lead singer who fronted 1.5k to have our CD pressed.

    $350?
     
  12. Edwcdc

    Edwcdc I call shotgun!

    Jul 21, 2003
    Columbia MD USA
    $350 doesn't seem that bad. It is probably as low as you could go without doing it for free. In cases such as this coming in with a low price isn't that big of a deal. Going into a bar gig at a low rate could backfire, establishing that low rate as your standard. Once established it is hard to get raises from most bars/clubs.
     
  13. Sundogue

    Sundogue

    Apr 26, 2001
    Wausau, WI
    If $350 is what you'd settle for, you could start with $500 and then give a little by saying..."Since this is our first gig for this festival we're willing to work with you on the price." Then haggle a little.

    Never, ever sell yourself short. Sometimes price alone conveys a certain amount of respect (or even disrespect) for your band. Of course you don't want to go ridiculously high or low either.

    And I agree completely with not underbidding yourself. Once you set the pay standard for your group...it's very difficult to justify an increase. More so for bar bookings, but you might find yourself playing at this festival next year...and part of the reason may be because you were cheap. Think about that.
     
  14. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    NYC
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    The other thing you don't want to do is bring down the money for groups in general. How'd you feel, 20 years form now, when you can't get a booking that pays more than gas money because groups keep playing for less and less? People die of "exposure".

    You DO have to have a clear idea of your marquee value. If you have a following , CD sales (even if it's just your computer replicated recording with a cover drawing by the drummer's girlfriend) etc. ALL of this helps determine how many people you will possibly be bringing to the venue. If you guys have a solid 3 years of steady gigging under your belts, you're not about to go up on stage and step on your Johnsons. They should pay for your experience. WHAT they pay is going to be based on where you stand in the hierarchy of who else is on the bill. Marquee value is equal to how many people know who you are. If everybody in Chicago knows the band, you have as much marquee value as you could hope for (in a local festival), if you see the same 10 people at every one of your gigs, you're marquee value isn't so great.
    The folks that book these things are going to weigh marquee value (the more household names on the bill, the more likely people are to come BUT the more expensive it's going to be to book) with musical style and competency (the event is going to pull in a certain number no matter who's on the bill to a great degree, so as long as they have folks on the stand that can play the style of music they are looking for in a way that they feel will engage the audience) in order to offer as much music as they can within their budget. It may be a moot point, they may have a set fee that they'll offer a "new" or unknown band (whose demo or live set they liked).

    So evaluate yourselves. What is your marquee value? What is your time worth? What will your appearance do to actually benefit you? What is the market price for other bands like you? You don't want the only thing that separates you from other bands in your position is that you are the cheapest.

    Likewise, just being on the stand ISN'T automatically the keys to the kingdom. You have to find some way to USE the opportunity of being in front of a large audience. A link from the festival website to yours, having the festival's official booths selling your CD, cuts from your recording available for festival podcasts, basically ANYTHING that increases the life of the contact between you and that audience to MORE than the 45 to 90 minutes your on stage. Or someone to get access to mailing lists or a way to circulate someting that would get you names for YOUR mailing list. If you don't maximize your exposure, then all you're doing is a gig. And if you do it for a price that undercuts other musicians, you're back stabbing cats for no good reason.
     
  15. AlembicPlayer

    AlembicPlayer Im not wearing shorts

    Aug 15, 2004
    Pacific Northwet, USA
    well said Ed Fuqua!
     
  16. Sundogue

    Sundogue

    Apr 26, 2001
    Wausau, WI
    + 1 million!!!
     
  17. Edwcdc

    Edwcdc I call shotgun!

    Jul 21, 2003
    Columbia MD USA
    Well put together Ed!
     
  18. Eilif

    Eilif Supporting Member

    Oct 1, 2001
    Chicago
    Thanks to Mr Fuqua and the rest of the folks who posted here. We ended up asking for 400 dollars. Because...

    our fairly good following in Chicago, isn't going to bring us a marquee value of squat in Joliet, but we want to make some scratch.

    I really do admire all you folks who can bring in the dough for your gigs. In Chicago, there is good money to be made as a cover band, but bands that only play origionals,(like mine) usually are paid by a portion of the door, or even by how many people say they are there to see you when the bouncer asks them at the door. So at alot of places if you bring 100 people (a VERY good gig for us) you would be lucky to make 300 bucks for the night....

    I'm so glad we all have real jobs and are willing to do the music for the joy of it.