Tough Times - Falling Back On Gigs?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Jefenator, Jan 9, 2009.

  1. Jefenator

    Jefenator Supporting Member

    Aug 22, 2008
    3 years ago, I found myself with a day job. I kept playing, though, and I'm sure glad now I did! Gigs at one point might have accounted for as little as 1/2 of my overall income. Last year that bounced back up to about 2/3.

    Well after getting mauled by dismal holiday retail sales, in order to survive, the shop I work in cut my hours down to 1 day per week for the winter. So now the gigs are definitely what's paying the rent and might well soon be 100% of my income.

    Fortunately, the bookings seem to be doing okay (knock on wood). Winter is winter but surprisingly, it looks like I'm doing better gig-wise than this time last year. (Kind of need to be.)

    So... just curious: who else out there is falling back on gigs to get through this recession?
  2. Phalex

    Phalex Semper Gumby Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2006
    G.R. MI
    My guitar players income has been about 100% gigging for the past 2 years or so. (Unemployment ran out recently and now it's 100%) Our sound guy just got laid off from his day job, and the company the singer works for is supposed to be going out of business. The drummer is some sort of executive, so I don't know what that means for him, but I am a glorified factory rat, and I'm getting pretty nervous myself.
  3. tycobb73


    Jul 23, 2006
    Grand Rapids MI
    a year ago I used to come home and put my gig money in my wife's purse. If she wanted to buy herself clothes I'd care less. I had an amicable split from my last employer and am starting my own consulting company. I'm starting better than expected but not there yet. Hence all gig money now goes into the same pot as our employment money.
  4. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    I wouldn't call it falling back, more like falling over. My gigs are only about 10% of what my day job brings in. Right now, not unlike tycobb73 gig money goes into family savings.

    If the day job evaporates next year I'm in serious lifestyle trouble. Luckily the house and cars are paid off.
  5. Luckily, hard times in the economy have a tendancy to make for great times in the bar business. Good times in the bar business make for more gigs. So, as the economy goes south, gear up and be ready to play.
  6. Let's just say I was happier than usual yesterday after landing a two day studio session.:hyper:
  7. Ed Goode

    Ed Goode Jersey to Georgia

    Nov 4, 2004
    Acworth, GA
    Yup, it's a strange situation .... hard times, people will spend money they don't have on alcohol. And yeah, on the surface that means that bands should get more opportunities.

    We have been trying to cut back on the # of gigs from last year, but we have actually been getting more requests recently. My band is made up of older guys who have all been fortunate to be in pretty secure financial condition, so while we don't need the work we're torn between p*ssing off some of the venues by not gigging or adding even more dates than last year.

    Considering that I personally don't expect to see any increases in my day gig finances for 2009, maybe booking some more work makes sense .... ;)
  8. Commreman

    Commreman Faith, Family, Fitness, and Frets

    Feb 12, 2005
    New Jersey
    Pointbass - Vinnie Gentile is a good friend of mine, and I understand the two of you are doing a jazz thing together. Tell him Ed Horne sends his regards!
  9. Ed Goode

    Ed Goode Jersey to Georgia

    Nov 4, 2004
    Acworth, GA
    I definitely will .... we've been doing some duo work lately, as well as the classic rock band stuff with the bigger group. Vinnie is a good player and a really nice cat ... :cool:

    Stop down to some of our dates and sit in ... I can never convince any bass players to sit in for a few tunes ... ;)
  10. IvanMike

    IvanMike TTRPG enthusiast, Happy, Joyous, & Free. Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA
    it helps. four years ago i had a good paying job and gig money was for pocket change. These days gig money helps out quite a bit. Unfortunately, the economy can really hurt gigs as well. fewer clubs in my area are having live music as they sometimes lose money doing so. (or they're afraid they will).