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Related question to the Open Letter thread

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by trackskinz, Jan 6, 2013.

  1. trackskinz


    Nov 1, 2011
    Related to the Secret Sales Method: What has been your best way of booking gigs?

    I have had some owners ask for DVD's, another asked "How are you guys different?", which I thought was a great question.

    I am pretty new to music, but not to sales or business.
  2. dickfitts


    Jan 18, 2012
    Honestly, from years of experience as the principal booker for most of the projects I've been in, this is the best method I've found...factor a set time frame/number of dates into your business plan where you play for free. There's a number of ways to approach this-one is to approach the bar owner by saying "we want to show our commitment to making both our respective businesses successful, so as an act of good faith we'd like to offer you (enter acceptable number) of dates, at your discretion, free of charge. We're certainly hoping we can generate business for you, and if it works out we'd love to build this into a paying scenario for both of us. Do you have any dates in particular you'd like to try this with?" Option number two-play house parties for a bit. Honestly, this is a great way to build up a dedicated fan base. MAKE SURE THERE'S BEER THERE if you want to make a DVD that will get you into bars. Do a big cheers with the crowd! Nothing says "MONEY!!!" to a bar owner like a roomful of shiny red cups being raised and then chugged. Either way, show the owner/booker what they want to see...that you're willing to go the extra mile to make their business succeed. That's all anybody can ask of any of their business relations. And best of luck!
  3. mellowinman

    mellowinman Free Man

    Oct 19, 2011
    Please God, DO NOT DO THIS!!!!

  4. JoeWPgh


    Dec 21, 2012
    I remember being offered gigs that "paid in exposure". After trying it a few times, my response became, "Exposure is what I die from if I don't pay my rent."
  5. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    I couldn't disagree more if I tried. By offering your product for free, you have just devalued it immeasurably. Once the guy finds out that you will play for free, you will never get $1500-$2000 out of him no matter what you do. Many club owners can't see past the ends of their noses. So even if you draw a crowd that more than pays for your services, you have still opened a door that can never be shut.

    It's kind of like trying to reseal a can of pork and beans once you've opened it. I ain't happening.

    Now, I have in the past offered to play shows for a little less than our usual fee. That is understandable to a certain degree. One free show is bad. But offering to play MULTIPLE free shows at the same club is just dumb.
  6. Dave W

    Dave W Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    My band would never play for free unless it was a charity event or something similar.
  7. Rickett Customs

    Rickett Customs

    Jul 30, 2007
    Southern Maryland
    Luthier: Rickett Customs...........www.rickettcustomguitars.com
    Devaluing your services is only going to retain the devalue of your services..... Thnik about it,.....offer your services free and every other place will not want to pay you either.....it's a good way to get used...........if you want to go this route, why not just be a "charity/benefit" band.
  8. Oh boy oh boy.

    Hang on for the ride!!!!!

    Anytime "play for free" comes up the tempers flare.

    On a side note, we do/did play a certain amount for free. When we were trying to get exposure we played free sets here and there with another band who was helping us get our foot in the door at some local clubs.

    Now we are known enough locally and have enough people showing up for us that we don't have to play for free. At my last gig I alone brought about 12 people, most of them people I work with or friends. And they keep asking me when we're playing again because they want to go.

    However, we will still do freebies for a good cause. We have a motorcycle rally to play in May, all proceeds go to benefit the Wounded Warrior Project. No money, but free BBQ and the happiness that comes from doing something more important than just stuffing $ in your pocket. Our BL, who is a retired Army 1st Sgt. (disabled from being shot up in Vietnam), asked us to do it and we all thought it was a good idea. Plus....it might be a hoot to play for 1,000 people (as it stands right now I'm told 700 bikes are registered for the rally).
  9. We had an advantage.

    Being that our area was small, and everyone knew everyone else involved, all any band had to do was go in, talk to the owner about when they wanted a band.

    It was so loose and informal, it was almost first, come, first serve, in terms of getting a gig, unless the owner wanted a particular band for particular weekends. That probably wouldn't fly in many areas now.
  10. We went through this recently, and what worked for us was to find 2-3 venues that are known for giving bands a shot without having a demo, website, etc. We basically asked them if we could prove ourselves, and then got to know other bands which led to more gigs. After a year of word-of-mouth networking we had enough money to fund a demo. I think house shows sound like a good idea too, but how common are they really? I've only ever been to one party in my entire life that had a live band, and they sucked. When we contacted venues looking for an opportunity I basically said, "We'd love an opportunity to play at your venue, and while we don't have a demo yet we have each been involved in the music community individually, and I personally guarantee that our music is of a high enough quality to play with other bands you book on a regular basis."

    Good luck to you!
  11. pedro


    Apr 5, 2000
    Madison, WI.
    $1500-2000 BAHAHAHAAHAHH!!!
  12. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    I'm sorry. Why is that funny? Too high or too low? I don't get it. What do you usually get at clubs?
  13. pedro


    Apr 5, 2000
    Madison, WI.
    Cover bands around these here parts make between $3-500 for a three set bar gig. My band mates would probably offer a night with their wives if I started booking $2000 a night gigs. Man I'd love to see and hear a cover band making that kind of change.
  14. dickfitts


    Jan 18, 2012
    I understand that a number of y'all disagree with me. Best of luck in your endeavors, and I CERTAINLY respect your opinions. My humble band played house parties (yep! They do happen. It's up to you to set them up, and you can!) and If I remember correctly three free bar shows in our early days. We make $2400 and up now. You can find us on facebook (we're called JIM...), and our songwriter/singer/lead guit guy has posted most of our music at http://www.reverbnation.com/svencurth. Here's a couple youtubes... Be forewarned, I'm reeeeeeeeal funny lookin'...Feel free to check us out! Take care, all...
  15. derrico1

    derrico1 Supporting Member

    Apr 12, 2005
    Charlottesville, VA
    The problem with this strategy in many (most) markets is decent bands outnumber decent venues. When a host of lousy bands and some good bands are offering clubs freebies, it depresses the market.
  16. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

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