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What to charge

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by wcnewby, Oct 29, 2013.

  1. What does your band charge? I sometimes wonder if working for less money is a good idea. It ensures that you will have gigs, but they might be at some skeevy places for 6 people.
  2. randyripoff


    Jul 12, 2008
    Are you in a cover band or an original band? Knowing that will help clarify useful responses for you.
  3. Depends on the band...
    Bar bands go for $100 a man per night in my area...yes guys undercut that
    Wedding / Convention Bands can be all over the place.

    If your band is good do not sell yourselves short, get paid what you are worth. If you give a low price to get your foot in the door explain it was an "audition" price and future gigs will be more.
  4. We have a couple of original songs, but we do covers. We are a four piece getting 400. I'm thinking that your asking price kind of says what kind of band you are... along the lines of the "don't sell yourself short." We haven't been together for an entire year yet, but get very good feedback. I worry about getting stuck in a price rut... well sort of. I would rather get stuck in the thousand dollar a gig rut... lets say that.
  5. jmattbassplaya

    jmattbassplaya Looking for a gig around East Islip, NY!

    Jan 13, 2008
    My last two original groups would average $125 a man most nights, with it sometimes being higher or lower depending on the contract we signed. My cover groups did similarly or better on the bar scene, but we really made our money playing private events (one paying over $3,000 for a four piece, for example).

    IME, how much you charge is directly related to how much value you can create for your customer. This can be in regards to any number of things:

    - the number of people you can bring in a door
    - the amount of food and liquor sales you can help bring in
    - the songs/genres you play
    - the talent of your members
    - the quality of a show you put on
    - etc...

    Those are the biggest ones that come to mind right away for me. It's up to you to do some calculations in regards to whatever numbers your band might be running into.
  6. tmntfan


    Oct 6, 2011
    Edmonton canada
    for bar band cover gigs we started at $100 a member plus some drinks/food
    for corporate jazz gigs we would push that up, sometimes as much as $500 a player plus food and drinks
    weddings/ private parties/dances: some where between $100-$400 a player plus food and drinks.

    for subbing in with a band I generally get paid about $200.
    original stuff is all over the lower end of the pay scale: the door money, to $100.
  7. Lownote38


    Aug 8, 2013
    Nashville, TN
    Wow. Here in Nashville, most are lucky to get paid at all, and sometimes even pay to play. I guess that's how it is in a town this saturated with songwriters and musicians. There's always someone waiting right behind you to take your place as a band, so you take what you can get. (luckily, I do get paid when I play... or I won't play).
  8. Are you asking about what flat fee to charge a venue for the band, or are you asking what entrance fee to charge individual fans coming through the door?

    For the door fee, I recently learned, that artists performing original music need to charge at least $6 per admission ticket, if they want to submit their performance lists to SOCAN to get royalties back for live performances of their own music.

  9. mellowinman

    mellowinman Free Man

    Oct 19, 2011
    We always ask $600.00. We usually get less than that. We are willing to go down to just over half that for a FIRST TIME gig at a venue, as long as the venue understands that only TWO things are going to happen:

    1. We don't draw much, and we take our pay with no complaints, and they probably won't have us back
    2. We draw pretty well, and they book us again, for MORE

    This has worked well for us. That doesn't mean you should do it that way.
  10. It is definitely a function of what the people who hire you can pay... which is a function of how much they can make from having you... therefore, in order to make more money you must work for places that can afford to pay more because they are going to make more. From the comments, it seems that 100 bucks per piece is the going rate for bars... so it stands to reason that bars should not be your ultimate goal if you want to make any money at what brings you joy.

    I am surprised that bands that do originals get paid less, but it makes sense, unless you are Van Halen no one can sing along. We have a good time, and that is essential because with what we make it would take erm... years to cover the price of my gear, and I am not the most heavily invested. It aint for money that we do it.... but we would like that direction more. I have experience doing charity events. I do one every year for Halloween that benefits MS. I could do one that benefits something else and pay the band really well, but... I could not do this every week. Hmmm.... we need a venue stimulator. That would solve everything. ;)
  11. On the surface, it would seem that a band could make more money by not charging the house and collecting a door charge... but only if the number of people that come would exceed what you would have charged, ie 400. So if you could get 100 people in the place and charge them five bucks you would get 500. But you would have to have a door person to get that five bucks, and they would have to be paid. Is this system a mistake that others have made... or does it work better....? Why don't more people do it?
  12. RustyAxe


    Jul 8, 2008
    Our country band gets $100 per man on average.
  13. hsech

    hsech Work hard. My Social Security needs a raise.

    Jun 27, 2012
    Central Iowa
    My Blues trio's pay has been all over the place. Anywhere from $30 per man when there have been multiple bands on the bill up to $300 per man for outdoor concerts in surrounding towns.
  14. Let me get this straight - or am I misreading?

    If a $6CDN cover is charged, musicians playing their own original music in Canada, if they register with SOCAN, can get royalties on their *own* performances, or is it only when someone else performs their songs? :eyebrow: :help:
  15. Our own performances. Who else will be playing our stuff? ;)

    Of course when a music group plays covers, and sends in the set lists to SOCAN , the copyright holders of the covers gets some money too. Pennies of course, but it could add up.

    The money comes in because real venues for live music are registered as such and pay a yearly fee to SOCAN and similar organizations. At the end of the year though, how would those organizations know to whom to distribute the collected money to? Charts positions? Guesses? The submitted set lists help them figure out what is being performed where. I don't know the details. Contact them directly, or rather your USA counterpart, to find out more.

  16. Floyd Eye

    Floyd Eye Banned

    Feb 21, 2010
    St. Louis
    3 piece cover band. Never less than $400.

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