Gig instructions....


We had something like this here pitched as a Battle of the Bands. You had to pre sell tickets and whichever band sold the most tickets got the best time slots. And supposedly there was a producer and radio play and a free demo recording involved. I wasnt in a band. And I'm kinda old and mostly play in bands that play all covers. But some of the bands was buying the tickets themselves trying to get the best spot. From what i hear it was a gimmick.

Anon La Ply

People like this are perfectly willing to pay a DJ three figures for two hours of pushing keys on a computer, but see no problem in telling three to six people to schlep all their stuff on stage, play their hearts out for one to six hours, for "exposure".
Is there such a thing as DJ nights where up-and-coming DJs are invited to play for free and bring along their friends?


Silver Member
What about.....

...instead of going through all this crap to play, you go to the guy as a promoter with a Package. Book a DJ for the night, and have him come on after a couple of opening bands which you also book. During the openers, the door prices are small and people who stay for the live bands can stay for the DJ. Otherwise, after the set, DJ's doors are way more expensive. You offset the prices so that you can pay the bands out of the band door without affecting the DJ or the bar, which would be having basically two nights.

For example:

Doors: 7:30
1st band 8:00 - 9:00
2nd band 9:30 - 10:30
Re-open Doors after show
DJ 10:30 until ?

5 bucks to see bands [a.k.a. happy hour], 10 - 20 bucks for DJ [or whatever competitive prices are like in your area]. The owner will like it, as even if the bands don't draw much, he can lean on the DJ for the crowds, plus he'll feel like the Bill Graham of town since his club will be so busy. And since it all goes through you, it's one big package and you can be more creative with how you get it done.
You can hire your own door person for the live show. Make a drink special with the bar that you can help promote. Stuff like that. Spread the effort around a bit so that other people who might not otherwise participate may find it interesting to do so.
It might take some convincing....might take a test night....but if you used your band as one of the bands that night and the money didn't shake out, you'd be in a better position to accept less [to nothing] for the effort.
Just a thought.


In the early days of my band starting out, before we knew what the music scene was like, we just wanted to get a few gigs.

We've had this "bring about 15-20 people" thing before and didn't get paid for the gig.
The problem is that, while bands will bring 15-20 people each they usually come just before their mates go on and once their mates play then they just piss off again - What's it cost them? £2, which is nothing to them.

So, although that bar might get about 60-100 people come through the door that night, you're only ever really playing to about 15-20 people (who you brought)... for bollocks all.

If you've a decent gig in a few days around the same area for a decent band then keep your crowd and bring them to that instead. Don't waste your time or their time thinking that this wee bar is going to be buzzing and packed out and an amazing night of music because the chances are it won't.


Senior Member
+1 on what 'last man to bat' said, for instance the going rate for doing a Peel session was £700 per member negotiated by the MU.

For the record I see you are Manchester based, and I know the 'Night and Day' cafe ran a similar thing for years i.e. they gave you 20 tickets and you sold them, the tickets you sold you kept the money. The Venue raked in the bar profit.

A real venue as said above is hired by a promotor who gives the band a guarantee and then a percentage cut of any profit, plus rider, food, accomodation etc.

But for bands starting out it is probably better to get your first gigs via collectives, it may be cool to play city gigs but not for these type of rackets, there will be no AR men there, there will be no local media, no influential magazine writers, producers, radio presenters etc. Unless you are doing a circuit i.e. Irish Band, Blues, Covers etc then you need to be playing shows were you know there will be industry presence. It is better to put a show on yourself and pay for everything at a loss making sure you promote it as a show case and get industry types there - producers etc than to play 100 of these pay to play gigs.

That's my two pence


Platinum Member
That's like a telling a DJ "bring your followers..we'll do our best to x-y-z..."

do our best = we won't do much, if anything, at all to promote your band

Make like Nancy Reagan and 'just say no'


Platinum Member
Hey, as long as they're going to try to play your record on their radio show, that's good enough for me. I don't know what trying and failing to do that is supposed to play out— like maybe the dog snatches the CD out of their hand as they're moving it towards the player and crunches it up, maybe? File that under the Acts of God clause, I guess. It's not as if publicizing the show is important, or anything.


Platinum Member
Ah, the old "You do all the work, we keep all the money" routine.

...there's probably a good TV show on that night. Or, hey, what about a gig that pays real grown-up money?
+1.Yeah..lets keep that rumor going.No money..but great exposure for the band..Horse hocky.Bands have to start taking a stand.No play ...period.The club owners will only hold out so long...and then the'll have to start paying it used to be.

In the 60's 70's and even 80's you got paid.If we or any band we knew were told we weren't getting was a joke.You want us to play for FREE!!!!!!.

Time to wake up, stop feeding your ego and buying that good exposure line of B.S..No band.... period.

Steve B

Steve B


Platinum Member
The "exposure" line isn't going to fly anymore because of Facebook, and other internet promoting opportunities.

I have a Cheap Trick Tribute band. We've played all sorts of things for good money.
One local (actually nice) venue continued to ask us to play.
We did it once, to test the waters in the area.

We brought people too, but no pay--it was a good venue and we said going in, nice rehearsal for things coming up in a place with a great PA.

It was fine.

When the place wanted us back--because we drew well as an act, AND brought our own people on top of it, we said we wanted a (actually modest) guarantee, and would work out the rest of the pay.

They were upset and accused US of "just being all about the money".
WTF? It was actually funny to us.

It's an actual SHOW, not "a bunch of dudes" just playing songs. We get PAID because it's a SHOW at every gig we do.

We promote at the venue with our own posters, and use the internet to promote shows.

We do enough shows, and don't need THEM. They have asked again, but we don't play that venue, and won't in the future.