Band PA ownership options - thoughts, experiences

uhtrinity

Senior Member
Mostly A for us, though I've given the other members the option of buying it for the band. Same goes for a lot of our other equipment, just the reality of me having the most disposable and steady income out of all the members.
 

Andy

Administrator
Staff member
I know it's splitting hairs, but for some reason "rent" rubs me the wrong way. Rather than charging your band mates rent, I would just agree that you'll be taking a larger percentage from gigs where the PA is used.
That's what I meant by "fee". I charge $90 for gigs up to 200 audience, then $160 for larger gigs. I have to pay increased travelling costs due to higher fuel consumption hauling the rig & lighting. The band is getting tremendous value for money at those rates.

My band fees only cover about half the running/maintenance/5 year write-off costs, so I do a small amount of external system hire each year, & my lighting plus trussing also becomes the Guru exhibition stand. That way, I get everything covered. My 3 day mini festival hire rate is $1,200 plus expenses/subsistence, so my band really does get it all on the cheap, plus the bigger band show attracts a more generous gig fee. In other words, we all win :)
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
My band leader never charged us a dime for use of his PA. He doesn't even take a leader cut. Very fair guy with the money. But option D is what I would do. It's a lot of work.
 

Pocket-full-of-gold

Platinum Member
I've played in bands where both options A and D have been the norm.

I've always been thankful for option A. It's a lovely gesture that has never gone unappreciated by me.

But I've never begrudged option D either. I don't see it as a big deal at all. If no one owned a PA, the band would have to hire one and it would reduce my cut anyway. So I have no issue hiring it from one of the members.....the ability to save some dollars by paying "mates rates" is just a bonus.
 

Super Phil

Senior Member
Our band has a couple of different pa options. One is a full band pa, and one is a Bose pa for small, acoustic shows. I think the singer owns both. We just use whatever we need for the show. There is no 'fee' or 'rent' involved. Lol....I'd probably dope slap the singer if he even brought that up.
 

Andy

Administrator
Staff member
Our band has a couple of different pa options. One is a full band pa, and one is a Bose pa for small, acoustic shows. I think the singer owns both. We just use whatever we need for the show. There is no 'fee' or 'rent' involved. Lol....I'd probably dope slap the singer if he even brought that up.
the small PA belonging to the singer without fee makes absolute sense. It's their "instrument" reinforcement after all. A bigger rig that all band members use is a different matter IMO. That's shared expense, & one way or another, has to be paid for. My PA/lighting rig represents a $30,000 + investment, there's no way they, or anyone else, is getting that for free. Any charges I make to the band are more than covered by the increased fee we achieve at such gigs. That means yes, each band member gets a smaller cut, but from a bigger pot. It's just business :)
 

mpthomson

Senior Member
For small bands that tour locally, this isn't a problem. When you're working a coast, like Portland Maine to Daytona Florida, the band has to cover the expenditures. In this case, the band can either rent a PA from a sound and lighting company, or they can rent a PA from one of the members at a huge discount.

This either needs to be accounted for in the buy-in, or it needs to come from the earnings.

The OPs other option was to sell partial ownership of the gear. That's a bad idea because it gets messy when half the band leaves/quits/dies/gets fired, goes to jail, goes into debt, etc.
I meant that in terms of depping a gig only. When I'm a member of a band then quite happy to make a contribution to the PA, but not when depping for a couple of gigs as it isn't my problem.

I should add I've never been expected to contribute to running expenses as a dep for any band I've played for and when my regular band has deps in we don't expect them to contribute either.
 

Anon La Ply

Renegade
Although the PA is a necessity for the singer(s), It isn't always for a drummer unless the drums are mic'ed, right? So the drummer gets a pass on having to pay for the band to use it. That seems fair, right?
Our singer owns a small PA which he brings to our gigs, which are never loud enough to warrant micing anything but vocals. So the PA is his gear. The rest of us paid for our gear (which, as you know, ain't cheap!) and he pays for his. I found that more decent than some singers, who just invest in a couple of mics and a stand.

It's obviously a whole different ball game once a band member owns a big PA that amplifies more than just the vocalist, as described below by many.
 

Reggae_Mangle

Silver Member
Have the guys spring for gas transporting the thing and help setting it up. I see that as the best situation and they'll all always remember you as the great guy who helped them get to the next level with his PA.

Charging them for its use just might rub off some people the wrong way, I think. Especially since you seem to be a tight knit bunch. The money seems to be incidental to you, so leave it at that.
 
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