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Trading gigs with other bands

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Tim Cole, Feb 8, 2003.

  1. Tim Cole

    Tim Cole Supporting Member

    Jun 12, 2002
    Findlay, Ohio
    I have a couple of questions on this, I know a lot of original bands in bigger areas and music scenes do this, but we are fairly new to doing it. In theory, we would like to do 100% all original tunes, but with the way the local bars and clubs work around here, this isn't really possible. We decided to do a bunch of popular cover tunes, but still have no desire in doing a full 4 hour night by ourselves. We have hooked up with a couple local bands to share shows with, but it seems as if we are getting the short end of the stick here.

    We have had this particular band on 3 gigs so far of ours, all of which were paying gigs. Lately, they have been getting quite lazy with it. Last weekend, they only brought their guitars, and drumsticks. We have top notch gear across the boards, so I am thinking they would rather just use our stuff than bother bringing their own, this sucks in my opinion. The played approximately 40 minutes each night last weekend, and left us with the bulk of the night to fill, we covered it, but not a huge deal. When we got there Saturday, the bar owner informed us that the other band had talked them into us doing a set, and then letting them play their set (so there are more people there), and then have us finish the night.....I feel my toes being stepped on a bit, afterall, this is OUR gig, not theirs.

    Then there is the money issue. The total gig paid $850 for the weekend. $300 of which goes to our sound, which leaves a balance of $550. Even though they covered only approximately 80 minutes of the 8 hour gig weekend, and they used all of our gear and sound crew, they expected us to give them $300. After some negotiating, and a little bit of arguing, they left with $150......which is about $150 more than I would of liked to give them, since they contributed next to nothing on the time filled, and brought none of their own gear.....didn't thank us, or offer to help set up or tear down either.

    The ONE gig they have set us up on with them was horrible. A nasty little dive, with no lights, and the entire sound system consisted of a stage monitors, and 2 mics....it was the bars karaoke system....a whopping 200 watts at that. This gig paid us NOTHING, we even had to pay $3 per beer there, and we used 100% of our own gear.

    The biggest thing that bites my britches here, is that those guys are really beginning to step on toes here. They are selling themselves to clubs using our gear, sound reinforcement, and sound guy to TAKE our best gigs. We have already been informed they snaked themselves into a local rock radio "rock night" we did last time, and are also hearing rumors of them possibly taking the opening spots for the nationals in a club we are regulars in, even though my bands management is the booking agent on it.

    We were scheduled to do a weekend gig with them again this weekend, (another on our tab I might add) but due to a double booking, we got cancelled. We are supposed to go back to the place in 2 weeks for the clubs "grand re-opening", which will include a live radio broadcast. If I have anything to do with it, they will have absolutely nothing to do with this deal.....they have used us long enough!

    My question to you guys that regularly trade gigs is, what is common practice for this kind of deal? As an opening band on someone elses gig, what is expected for pay? How does the gear use of others work?

    This whole idea is really pissing me off.
  2. cb56


    Jul 2, 2000
    Central Illinois
    Maybe I just don't get it but, WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS??? You get the gig, provide the PA, play the bulk of the gig and give them money??? On top of that there is bitching and moaning and fighting about it??? I would only share a gig with another band and provide the pa if they were good friends that proved they were reliable or had something specific worked out with the club owner. I have split a gig with another band on 2 occasions (same band both times) We would alternate full sets then invert the order the next gig. (We go first tonight you go first tommorow night) The band we split the gig with were good friends so there were no hassles at all. Matter of fact the last set usually turned into a jam session with members of both bands swapping back and forth on different songs. In your case I would think learning 4 hours of cover tunes would be less of a pain than dealing with the other band.
  3. I wouldn't complain too much about them not contributing gear to the show. Around here the headlining act usually provides at least the cabs, and the drumset. It saves a lot of time and hassle, although everyone generally helps out with loading and tearing down.

    If they're feeling confident enough to be hunting down their own gigs now and attempting to steal yours, I see no reason why you should have them as a regular opener, especially if they're annoying you.

    As for the money issue, expenses (sound) should be covered by both bands with the headliner taking 60%-75% IMO.
  4. Maybe you should cut your ties with this band and find another band that is more reasonable and appreciative. This current band sounds like a bunch of jackarses.

    I'm also interested in this thread 'cause I just joined a band and will be hunting for gigs soon. (Paying, non-paying, I don't care...I WANT TO PLAY!!!)
  5. Tim Cole

    Tim Cole Supporting Member

    Jun 12, 2002
    Findlay, Ohio
    I'm with you on that buddy! I just love to play also. We never take any of the money away from the gigs, it goes to a band account for cd pressings, and such.

    It does piss me off when the bitch band involved does nothing, and expects to take home more cash than us. If they want to be treated like an equal, they need to start returning the favors.

    PS., Most of the BS came to the table last week, and they were already asked to do a couple more gigs with us before this deal started rearing it's ugly head. I am currently working to get some new guys to work with before our next gig in a couple weeks.
  6. Mike N

    Mike N Missing the old TB Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2001
    Spencerport, New York
    After 3 or so gigs of riding your coat tails, imo they should be able to get their own gigs. I was in a band some years ago that rode coat tails to get exposure, and to get us into clubs that otherwise wouldnt give us the time of day, since we didnt have a demo at that point. We expected no money for the headlining band's generous help, and in addition we helped with the setup/teardowns, and helped with flyer distribution to promote the shows. The last thing we wanted was to piss off the headliners, since they didnt have to do this for us in the first place.

    I think its time to tell this unappreciative band to go fly a kite........
  7. Hmmm....
    They brought no gear
    Provided no help
    Played 1/4 of the show
    Expected 300 of the 550 bucks....


    Sheesh. If this is something your bands want to continue doing (hopefully not for long), I'd offer them 100 bucks and tell them take it or leave it.;)
  8. The only thing I can add here is that you should definitely work out the deal of the gig ahead of time. Including payment, time played, setup, etc. etc. Then you have it worked out beforehand, and if the band isn't happy with the deal, they don't have to take the gig and you can find a band that will agree to your terms. It's your gig, so it should be on your terms. That's the advantage of being the booking/headlining band. Don't wait til the night of the gig to debate payment/setup/etc., it's after the fact so you have no leverage, and you'll just end up arguing about it and getting pissed off.