Originally Posted by caddywumpus
Ah, the naivety of just starting out. Anyways, if you want to play out, steer clear of any venues that make YOU sell tickets for THEM. It's just dumb.
I can understand a venue not wanting to go out of pocket on a band, but unless band exceeds the alloted tickets, they make none of the money back that they gave to club. In that respect, yes, the bands are selling tickets for the club, not themselves.
In 35 years playing L.A. clubs as a member of several original bands, I've somehow managed to avoid the pay-to-play scene. With sort of one exception.
One of my bands has played the Canyon Club opening both for Leon Russell, and Robben Ford (I was absent for both gigs) and they were pre-sale ticket things. I think the band was able to sell its 50 tickets each time, although I don't know how much if any was given back. I'm guessing nothing. The band - with me - may be opening for another cool artrist in January, and we'll see if the fact that we brought people in the first two times means we can skip the whole pre-sale deal this time around. I'll bet not though.
Fortunately, I'm not personally responsible for selling tickets, I'm a permanent hired-gun with this and most bands I'm in, and not required to help promote them (especially when I don't have a hand in what gigs are accepted.)
But yeah, it does kinda stink when the hoops bands jump through don't eventually pay off, and they usually don't.