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Question about Gig "money pooling"

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Graham Monette, Sep 24, 2008.

  1. Hey guys. We did our first gig this Sat, it went absolutely phenominal. We just rocked the place.
    Our "band meeting" was last night, to go over things.

    Long story short, one of the many things that were talked about were the handling of the cash we get from the shows.
    That show, we recieved $260. Divided amoung five of us.

    However I will not (or will anybody else) recieve any of the money directly, for this gig or any other ones to come. Instead it goes into a pool to buy new equipment, or better equipment (etc etc). My stuff & full rig is already 100% paid for, nobody elses is, asides from the vocalist.

    Apparently everything is documented on a spreadsheet (and I trust him, its not a big deal).

    Although I'd appreciate the money going directly to me, and I can spend it the way I want. I dont really see the point of this, in all reality. Its kind of like a "pre-paid credit card (for every single person)" system, abiet for things such as a touring van, gas to shows, beer, equipment and so on and so forth.

    Just wondering if there is any red-flags I should know about, or whether this is a good idea and so on. This is my first real band that actually does shows, so I'm pretty new to the scene.
    Any tips or advice would be much appreciate.
  2. Clank


    Jan 7, 2008
    Huntington Beach
    Endorsing Artist: Ernie Ball Strings
    So your share is going to buy your bandmates new gear? Seems like you're being punished for being responsible and owning nice gear. I'd take your share in cash.
  3. pendergasta

    pendergasta .- .- .-. --- -. / .--. . -. -.. . .-. --. .- ...

    Jan 7, 2008
    North Carolina
    Sounds like you're walking into a bad situation waiting to happen.
    1. What happens when the band breaks up? Who gets what? If you decide to move on, can you take your $363.82 worth of equipment with you?
    2. Your rig is 100%. Are you comfortable working to fund your bandmate's equipment?
    3. Who's got the final say in how the money gets spent? In 6 months, how happy will you when you've not seen a single piece of equipment for your rig, and the vocalist goes out and buys a $400 mic for himself?

    I don't know man, it seems like you trust these guys, but there are SOOOO many ways this could cause problems for your band.
    I would avoid it at all costs. Then again, I don't loan money or get into business deals with friends or family for any reason, ever. I've learned this lesson the hard way.
  4. Our band is currently facing a similar situation, but I've let it be known that only communal equipment will be bought with the pooled money, i.e. gas for tours, money spent on recordings, rent for a practice space. I'm currently drawing up an agreement for us all to sign so that it is in writing. We have a joint account so there is less chance of something bad slipping by us, but if someone was the sole holder of the money, it would be even more important to have in writing exactly what the money can be used for, and what it cannnot be used for.
  5. Freddels

    Freddels Musical Anarchist

    Apr 7, 2005
    Sutton, MA
    A joint account means that each of you own an undivided interest in the funds that are in the account. Any one of you could go clean out the account and you wouldn't have any recourse b/c it's viewed each of you have a right to all the funds.
  6. alembicguy

    alembicguy I operate the worlds largest heavey equipment Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2007

    This could turn out to be a bad thing in the future with money lost and friendships also.
    Keep your hands on your own money,having to purchase gear is something that everyone has to experience.I never got into music and expected anyone to pay for any of my gear.
  7. shinybass


    Aug 22, 2004
    I would have to agree with shakerr. I've been there on so many levels, and I see a lot of bands make that mistake. Like stated before, you have your gear together, so why should you be buying someone else's equipment? Then the 'checks and balances' system shows up, and you look like the bad guy when you explain that you were set before coming in. Then the singer comes in and says 'Since we bought you a bass, I am buying jeans'. Careful.

    Make two lists of 'band expenses' and 'individual expenses'. Does the band want to buy sticks, strings, 9 volts, and patch cables? It's OK, but it just has to be worked out in advance. Band expenses - gas, hotel, per diem, bar tabs (careful), are perfectly acceptable. Now the tricky part.

    Take half the NET from the gig and divvy it up, then half the net to the band 'kitty'. Open a band checking account, and keep it in there. This way the band gets paid a little something, you get to the gig, and the band as a whole has something to fall back on when you need a new transmission for the van. Let the band 'salary' be used at the discretion of the players - hopefully it will be for equipment as nice as yours. If they don't reinvest in themselves, then you have to be cautious.

    Now, your band mates are probably amazing people, and want to work together. Make it so. It's business, not ego, and do not sugar coat your feelings. It will only hurt down the road.

    All that nasty business aside, enjoy this time. This really is the time of your life, and you should be having fun doing it.

    Good luck.
  8. Stumbo

    Stumbo Wherever you go, there you are. Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 11, 2008
    Song Surgeon slow downer. https://tinyurl.com/y5dcuqjg
    So when the leader takes off with the cash, what will you do then? Or spends on something he decides to buy?

    Is anything in writing? Where's the contract? If someone won't put it down in writing, I consider it gossip. You've set yourself up for the ultimate b.s. line, " you must have misunderstood". What happens when the band breaks up?

    So you're "gifting" your share to the rest of the band?

    So if there's a $1k in the bank, unspent, who decides what to do with it? What if your car breaks down, will it be repaired by the band fund? I mean, if you had received your share, you could have repaired it yourself.


    You're setting yourself up for failure. I suggest you study the following thread: http://www.talkbass.com/forum/showthread.php?t=429034
  9. Yeah, I agree with all the other posters. This is a situation just asking for trouble. I wouldn't ever go with any "band-owned" stuff, whether it be equipment, a bank account, or whatever.

    If you're splitting the cost of something like gas or a service or something, then that's a different story, but I would definitely work out a different situation with these guys.
  10. snyderz


    Aug 20, 2000
    AZ mountains
    We divvy up the gig fee, and all tips go in the band fund.
  11. This will probably end badly.
  12. badsneakers

    badsneakers Supporting Member

    May 31, 2004
    I don't know..it doesn't seem right that the money should be used for new gear. My band saves up money from our shows and merch that has been sold. That money is only used for things the three of us directly benefit from. Like recording, pressing Cd's maybe rent and sometimes we just split it up if we have nothing coming up that we might need it for.
  13. wallybill


    Apr 4, 2007
    Tuscola, Il.
    I sure wish you luck, but a similar scenario did not work for me. Everyone in my first band went in on financing a PA system, everything was great until it came time to make the payments and I ended up paying for 75% of it. When the band broke up, I said that I wanted to keep the PA and offered them 60% of what they put in. That didn't go over at all. They all expected me to give them 100% of their money back, even though we all used the PA for two years and it was worth less than 1/2 of what we paid for it. Ended up selling it and everyone got about 40% of their money back. My $1,500 turned into $600 and they got $80 for their $200. So I paid $900 to use the PA for a couple of years and they only paid $120 each. We also didn't talk to each other very much for a few years. Never did anything like that again. Band expenses only come off the top now. I hope it works better for you.
  14. Freddels

    Freddels Musical Anarchist

    Apr 7, 2005
    Sutton, MA
    I guessing that the person that came up with this idea is one that needs new gear. :meh:
  15. magickbass

    magickbass Guest

    May 24, 2008
    Someone once said, 'there's a sucker born every minute'. Don't let it be you. Demand your money now and after every gig when paid. If 'the band' needs something than everyone can chip in an equal share when it is purchased.
  16. badstonebass


    Jun 7, 2006

    Communism doesn't work.

    The band I am in was already established. It is a four piece band. Any gig pay gets divided 5 ways with a fifth going to the sound man and the "band fund". Now if we run sound from stage we each get a little more but some still goes for PA repairs and gas..

    If we got $260 like you did we each would get $52.

    It is a fair system and one guy ALWAYS handles it EVERY gig.

    However I don't agree on the "chip in". If something is needed, someone needs to buy it outright. Then if the band splits that item is THEIRS period. I am using EQUIPMENT as the example. Chipping in on shirts or cd's is different.

    Personal equipment should be paid for by the performer. BEER certainly should be.

    Sounds like you guys are new to this. Bands don't work and live like the MONKEES. You need your pay.
  17. yeah I thought so. Thanks a bunch to those taking the time to offer insights and share their experiences.
    I'll ask for my share then, then when an expense does come up, I'll step up to the plate and do my part. I was quite annoyed over this, particularily without any say on my behalf. ***?

    Yeah it seems it was the guitarist partially that came up with this idea.
    I'm sure (the vocalist/ head organizer over this) can do a great job of managing the over all finances, but I had a hunch this could end in disaster, and I think it inevitably will, particularily if we dont grow as a band and I later decide to move on. (Or whomever decides this).
  18. pendergasta

    pendergasta .- .- .-. --- -. / .--. . -. -.. . .-. --. .- ...

    Jan 7, 2008
    North Carolina
    Just to add one more thing - don't be afraid to donate things to the band personally. I've been able to donate some PA speaker stands, a power amp, and a mic preamp to my band- Just cause I had the money and found a few good deals on craigslist.

    What I mean by "donate" is that when I gave them to the band, I no longer considered them mine. Having an emotional detachment from the equipment makes it easy to walk away from.

    I didn't want my last post to sound totally negative. There are some good ways to do the "community" thing. Just try to do it so noone gets taken advantage of or gets their feelings hurt.
  19. Stumbo

    Stumbo Wherever you go, there you are. Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 11, 2008
    Song Surgeon slow downer. https://tinyurl.com/y5dcuqjg
    How can you trust somebody who doesn't ask for your opinion on such a big deal? Obviously they don't care about you.

    I would be asking for my share and then moving on if they don't change the money part. They're stealing your money and didn't even ask you if it was okay (It's not okay).

    Yeah, the guy who hasn't paid off his rig came up with this great idea. As if it hasn't been tried by numerous TB'rs and failed miserably in the long run. See the recent post by Dave Muscato just on this topic.

    Edit: Failed in the short-run as well.
    Don't be a fool and go for this nonsense. Just because something went very well for one gig, doesn't mean anything other than "it went well for one gig". Don't read anymore into it.

    Since you were quite "annoyed" by this , why didn't you speak up? Please read my sig.
  20. Vic Winters

    Vic Winters Supporting Member

    Apr 20, 2006
    Western NY
    Don't do it. Everyone takes their own cut, then if things need to be paid for by the entire group (press kits, recording time, etc. NOT GEAR!) Everyone can take that money back out from their pocket and pay that way.

    I want an X2 Wireless system. I'll be paying for it with my cut from the gigs I play.

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