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  #1  
Old 10-20-2012, 04:07 PM
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Default Gig instructions....

Just been offered a gig and received the following email.

No catch, no sinister motiviation, I just wonder what people's thoughts are when reading it....

Here is some general information about Band Night. Have a read and let me know if you're happy with it all. If you are i'll go ahead and book you in.
Band Night Information
The way Band Night works is that we have 4/5 bands on, we ask you all to try and bring at least 20 people down. That way it's nice and busy for everyone and you all get chance to be seen by a new group of people and hopefully extend your fan bases.
There's no fee for the night I'm afraid. We are happy for you to flog CDs afterwards.
The door entry fees, just £2 per ticket go towards paying for the sound and lighting men.
The K has its own radio show on a thursday morning on Radio, if you send in a CD we'll do our best to get your played.
Get in for all bands playing is 6pm, don't be late as this will mean you have no set up time. You need to bring your own equipment with you, drums and so on. For unloading bring your vehicle round the back of the pub onto the cobbled area, this way you wont get a parking ticket.
We'll put the bands in touch with each other before the night and hopefully you can agree on sharing bass amp or drum kit shell. This will make things easier for you all.
Our door person will keep a note of who is coming to see which band. This means if you get a good crowd down we'll invite you back regularly, if you make no effort with promoting your gig then we wont.
Thanks
Best wishes
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  #2  
Old 10-20-2012, 04:31 PM
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Default Re: Gig instructions....

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?
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  #3  
Old 10-20-2012, 05:46 PM
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Default Re: Gig instructions....

Quote:
Originally Posted by alparrott View Post
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?
Phew...not just me then...
What a great little setup they've got there eh?
Threaten bands into bringing a following....
Not only don't pay the bands...
But get THE BANDS FOLLOWINGS to pay THEIR staff...
Brilliant.

The funny thing is I don't actually object to an unpaid gig so long as we take something from it...give us free beer for the night, or decent promotion, or pay our expenses and hell I'll play the gig for the love of the music/it's a cheaper rehearsal....

But I read this and thought...err.....not while I'm breathing
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  #4  
Old 10-20-2012, 06:06 PM
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Default Re: Gig instructions....

Quote:
Originally Posted by SquadLeader View Post
you all get chance to be seen by a new group of people and hopefully extend your fan bases
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA . . . Oh that's priceless, I never get tired of hearing that load of old bollocks . . .

Quote:
Originally Posted by SquadLeader View Post
if you get a good crowd down we'll invite you back regularly, if you make no effort with promoting your gig then we wont
Oh stop, STOP - you're killing me . . . my sides . . .

Another 12 year old who wants to play at having a "Band Night". That's adorable: presumably he does "Band Night" on Monday night, then 5-a-side football on Tuesday night, Cub Scouts on Wednesday, and if he's a really good boy Mummy and Daddy will take him bowling on Thursday and he can have fish fingers for his tea.

What a wanker.
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  #5  
Old 10-20-2012, 06:15 PM
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Default Re: Gig instructions....

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Originally Posted by SquadLeader View Post
...if you get a good crowd down we'll invite you back regularly, if you make no effort with promoting your gig then we wont...
Invite you back...to play for free again???? Whoopdee doo....I can see doing this to get some gigging experience, or to get some exposure, but on a repeat basis??? Nahhhh...

My theory has been (unless it is a benefit for some good cause) "If you make money, I must make money".
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  #6  
Old 10-20-2012, 06:22 PM
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Default Re: Gig instructions....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Masheanhed View Post
I can see doing this to get some gigging experience, or to get some exposure, but on a repeat basis??? Nahhhh....
You can get gigging experience *and* get paid for it, in my experience. And "exposure" happens at paid gigs, too.

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".

Every time someone says, "that sounds fair", we *all* take a step backwards.
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  #7  
Old 10-20-2012, 06:23 PM
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Default Re: Gig instructions....

I mean no offense by this, but it sounds like you're being a little unfair on them. Have they explicitly said they do no promotion for the gig? They mention they have an affiliate radio show and are willing to play your music if you give them a CD, sounds like pretty good promotion to me.

I'm not trying to cast aspurtions on you or your band, I'm talking in general here about local bands in the UK so forgive me if it come across that way. There are too many bands who think all they have to do is sit back, play the music and that it's everybody else's job to get the name out there and people to their gigs. It doesn't work like, it's imperative that bands put as much effort and more, than venues do into promotion of a gig and promotion in general. If the venue gives a flyer to one person, you need to be giving a flyer to 20 people.

You can't cultivate a good fan-base if you're not directly engaging with the people you hope to attract. I like to use this analogy; it's like the guy who goes to a club in hope of finding a girlfriend and just sits in a corner hoping a girl is going to come talk to him, it doesn't work. The guy who see's a girl he likes and approaches her is the one who has more chance of finding romance. And getting his best friend to approach her for him? Forget it. Same applies for music, yeah people might turn you down, but you're not gonna get the audience by sitting in the corner and hoping they come to you, or living in the false hope that someone else i.e. the venue is going to hook you up. The job of a venue in it's rawest form is to provide you a platform to 'sell' your music, you, the band have to take the responsibility of marketing yourselves to get that audience to your platform.

On the subject of pay, the Live Music Act passed by parliament at the start of this month should start having an impact as time goes on. You might find this article by the Musicians Industry News Network interesting: http://tinyurl.com/minnarticle It may take a while for this to have effect and I do sympathise with the venues, fact is the money just isn't there anymore. Pubs and venues are being squeezed tighter every tax year by their breweries and it's hard enough for them to keep the numbers of regular punters up. It's a horrible situation but one that isn't their fault.

Apologies again if it sound like a bit of a rant!

Hope you're well,

Kev

Last edited by K.Howden; 10-20-2012 at 06:35 PM.
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  #8  
Old 10-20-2012, 06:31 PM
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Default Re: Gig instructions....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bad Tempered Clavier View Post
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA . . . Oh that's priceless, I never get tired of hearing that load of old bollocks . . .



Oh stop, STOP - you're killing me . . . my sides . . .

Another 12 year old who wants to play at having a "Band Night". That's adorable: presumably he does "Band Night" on Monday night, then 5-a-side football on Tuesday night, Cub Scouts on Wednesday, and if he's a really good boy Mummy and Daddy will take him bowling on Thursday and he can have fish fingers for his tea.

What a wanker.
LOL.....too funny. And so true.

On the other hand, this place sounds like 1/2 the places in Los Angeles.

At least they didn't ask you to pre-sell your tickets.
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  #9  
Old 10-20-2012, 06:40 PM
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Default Re: Gig instructions....

Quote:
Originally Posted by K.Howden View Post
I mean no offense by this, but it sounds like you're being a little unfair on them. Have they explicitly said they do no promotion for the gig? They mention they have an affiliate radio show and are willing to play your music if you give them a CD, sounds like pretty good promotion to me.

I'm not trying to cast aspurtions on you or your band, I'm talking in general here about local bands in the UK so forgive me if it come across that way. There are too many bands who think all they have to do is sit back, play the music and that it's everybody else's job to get the name out there and people to their gigs. It doesn't work like, it's imperative that bands put as much effort and more, than venues do into promotion of a gig and promotion in general. If the venue gives a flyer to one person, you need to be giving a flyer to 20 people.

You can't cultivate a good fan-base if you're not directly engaging with the people you hope to attract. I like to use this analogy; it's like the guy who goes to a club in hope of finding a girlfriend and just sits in a corner hoping a girl is going to come talk to him, it doesn't work. The guy who see's a girl he likes and approaches her is the one who has more chance of finding romance. And getting his best friend to approach her for him? Forget it. Same applies for music, yeah people might turn you down, but you're not gonna get the audience by sitting in the corner and hoping they come to you, or living in the false hope that someone else i.e. the venue is going to hook you up. The job of a venue in it's rawest form is to provide you a platform to 'sell' your music, you, the band have to take the responsibility of marketing themselves to get that audience to your platform.

On the subject of pay, the Live Music Act passed by parliament at the start of this month should start having an impact as time goes on. You might find this article by the Musicians Industry News Network interesting: http://tinyurl.com/minnarticle It may take a while for this to have effect and I do sympathise with the venues, fact is the money just isn't there anymore. Pubs and venues are being squeezed tighter every tax year by their breweries and it's hard enough for them to keep the numbers of regular punters up. It's a horrible situation but one that isn't their fault.

Apologies again if it sound like a bit of a rant!

Hope you're well,

Kev
There's nothing in your message which I take offence at Kev.
I posted the message initially because the situation is that two of our band say "yeah no problem", and the other two say "fuck that".
We've a decent following already...we promote heavily and can easy get a group of anywhere between 30 and 40 out to see us.
However, it's a week before we play the biggest gig we'll ever have played, or ever likely play in our lives so we think it will be a struggle to get any meaningful following out in a rough part of Manchester for this.
I've suggested we decline on this basis....but in reality I've been a bit put of by their cheeky email.
What I think you fail to mention in your response is that.....if we took a following of 50 people, or 500 people, along....we'd get sweet Fanny Adams...nada....they'd make a good amount...£2 per ticket and our following DRINKS.....LOTS....
It's that which offends me.

Our big gig is supporting the UK Subs.....favourites of ours when we were growing up as youngsters...we're now in our 40s...it's a bit of a dream come true.
We've agreed on that night that anyone coming to see us can have £4 knocked off the ticket price (using our promotional flyer). The promoter still thinks there will be a pot of money left over for us...not a lot but it will pay expenses....so we've agreed that anything we might earn go to the UK Subs' nominated charity (RNLI).

So...hopefully you'll see....we're not unreasonable, and we're certainly not greedy....but I don't like to be taken advantage of...it's a pet hate of mine from having played the music scene as a 16-24 year old and had the piss taken out of us royally in that time.

As per your email...no offence intended either....just chewing the fat
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  #10  
Old 10-20-2012, 07:38 PM
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Default Re: Gig instructions....

Quote:
Originally Posted by SquadLeader View Post
What I think you fail to mention in your response is that.....if we took a following of 50 people, or 500 people, along....we'd get sweet Fanny Adams...nada....they'd make a good amount...£2 per ticket and our following DRINKS.....LOTS....
It's that which offends me.
t
Good, good! I have a habit of getting set off on rants from posts haha.

You're quite right, I guess it's all dependant on whether venues really can't pay you or just won't, both of which I've experienced. If they're making a bomb out of it then that's a bit off, you'd at least expect travel expenses or free drinks, as you said. Maybe tease some more info out of them about the radio show thing, could be good whether you play the gig or not.

Have you looked into joining the MU (Musicians Union) or PRS (Performing Rights Society)? If the venue draws a reasonably sized audience (as defined by PRS) and you own the rights to the material you're playing you can fill out a PRS form with the songs you played and they'll send you the royalties for it quarterly i.e. you get paid for playing your own songs! It's not a massive amount of money, but every little helps right?

Like I said, the Live Music Act 2012 and the efforts the MU are putting into helping venues with the legislation, will hopefully improve the situation.

Kev

p.s. got a link you could post where we can hear your band?
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  #11  
Old 10-20-2012, 08:21 PM
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Default Re: Gig instructions....

Just as an aside,

Depending on the size of your fanbase and exposure, crowdfunding could be something of interest to look into:http://goforthmusic.com/musicians-crowdfunding-guide

It's a relativley new thing but it's had good results, especially now that Kickstarter UK are launcing this: http://www.musicweek.com/news/read/k...s-month/052120 it should become a lot more accessible. The industry is achangin'...

Kev
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  #12  
Old 10-20-2012, 09:37 PM
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Default Re: Gig instructions....

seems pretty reasonable to me... it's tough to be on the promoter end, if 5 bands did manage to each bring in 20 people, at 2 pounds a head, that's 200 pounds to pay each band, the sound guy, pay for posters, and however else you promote it.

that would be about equivalent to $4 Canadian here, we usually go for a $5 cover, but people still turn away at that. a hundred people coming in and paying would beat the best night I've ever had as a promoter.
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  #13  
Old 10-21-2012, 01:14 AM
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Default Re: Gig instructions....

These things to me always sound like the same thing: some bar owner wants to get his traffic up, decides he wants to have bands, but doesn't want to hire a promoter, or do the job of booking bands. Instead, he does one of these things where the bands manage, book and promote their own show, while he stands by and rakes in the bar tab off the band's fans and friends.
It's not much of an even shake to me. But then different situations call for different things, and this happens plenty everywhere.
It just reminds me too much of pay-to-play, and that's a drag. And holding the carrot on the stick of possible gigs there again....sheesh....

If the owner/manager/barguy putting the thing on put the slightest thought into it, they wouldn't have to do that.
2 bucks to pay the staff....that's what the bar's for.
At the very least, 50/50 door split with the bands. It won't amount to much, but it will be incentive enough for the bands to want to do the gig with the slightest enthusiasm.
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  #14  
Old 10-21-2012, 03:00 AM
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Default Re: Gig instructions....

I would more about the Radio play. That seems to be good incentive.

Do you think the bar would be mad if you said you weren't being paid that night and ask the audience for some donations?
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  #15  
Old 10-21-2012, 07:37 AM
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Default Re: Gig instructions....

Quote:
Originally Posted by alparrott View Post
You can get gigging experience *and* get paid for it, in my experience. And "exposure" happens at paid gigs, too.
Yes...you can, but when a band first starts out (and I don't mean established professionals forming a band, I mean amatuers first starting out) it sometimes is necessary to play a freebie that can get a decent crowd just to get a little experience in the "gigging world". Didn't say it was a rule, just sometimes necessary evil.
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  #16  
Old 10-21-2012, 01:42 PM
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Default Re: Gig instructions....

Thanks for all the mixed opinions guys.
It's very valuable info for us to have.
Martin
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  #17  
Old 10-23-2012, 12:06 AM
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Default Re: Gig instructions....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bad Tempered Clavier View Post
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA . . . Oh that's priceless, I never get tired of hearing that load of old bollocks . . .



Oh stop, STOP - you're killing me . . . my sides . . .

Another 12 year old who wants to play at having a "Band Night". That's adorable: presumably he does "Band Night" on Monday night, then 5-a-side football on Tuesday night, Cub Scouts on Wednesday, and if he's a really good boy Mummy and Daddy will take him bowling on Thursday and he can have fish fingers for his tea.
Spot on.

Bands should boycott this type of thing, it is purely a way of venues making money on the door and over the bar on what would otherwise be a quiet night.

The Musician's Union is totaly against playing for free

"The Musicians’ Union have launched to find out more about how many UK musicians are being asked to play for free or exploited by employers, venues and promoters.

The union state that most musicians are not well paid and that music fans and musicians should join their campaign to ensure that making and playing music continues to be a viable profession."

“We are concerned at a growing trend of professional musicians not being paid for their work. The Olympics brought the issue to the fore, but we’ve uncovered numerous examples since – including Café Rouge expecting musicians to work for no fee at charity events where only a third of the revenue is going to charity.

“The MU will be launching a major new public awareness campaign targetted at this issue in the next couple of months and we need case studies.”

If you feel that you have been mistreated or exploited as a musician, and are prepared to give a short summary of your experiences, then contact isabelle.gutierrez@themu.org.
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  #18  
Old 10-23-2012, 12:18 AM
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Default Re: Gig instructions....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bad Tempered Clavier View Post
What a wanker.
I think this most accurately covers my thoughts on the issue.

As long as bands keep accepting these "terms of employment", then I know I'm going to keep seeing threads asking why musicians are ripped off, underpaid and otherwise undervalued.

But ultimately who's the bigger wanker? The guy offering to stich up a band for free, or the band dumb enough to accept the terms in the first place?

Freebies in front of a large crowd can certainly lead to bigger things.....but at the dink local venue in front of 4 people and the bar staff?? Spare me.
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  #19  
Old 10-23-2012, 12:57 AM
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Default Re: Gig instructions....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Masheanhed View Post
Yes...you can, but when a band first starts out (and I don't mean established professionals forming a band, I mean amatuers first starting out) it sometimes is necessary to play a freebie that can get a decent crowd just to get a little experience in the "gigging world". Didn't say it was a rule, just sometimes necessary evil.
That is to some extent true. But that starting-out band should look for other opportunities than this, in my opinion. I don't buy the whole radio play angle on this at all. The bar is looking for people to be brought to them to buy drinks, for nothing. Nobody else looks to benefit.
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Old 10-23-2012, 06:44 AM
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Default Re: Gig instructions....

Never play for free.
Encourage other bands to not play for free.
Announce in your town's Craigslist music section, and any other music board in town, that this bar doesn't pay bands.
Stop playing bars. Unless they pay well, that is. It doesn't happen much.
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Old 10-23-2012, 08:29 AM
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Default Re: 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.
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Old 10-23-2012, 09:05 AM
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Default Re: Gig instructions....

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Originally Posted by alparrott View Post
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?
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Old 10-23-2012, 02:01 PM
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Default Re: Gig instructions....

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.
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  #24  
Old 10-23-2012, 02:29 PM
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Default Re: Gig instructions....

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.
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Old 10-23-2012, 02:40 PM
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Default Re: Gig instructions....

+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
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  #26  
Old 10-23-2012, 03:12 PM
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Default Re: Gig instructions....

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'
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  #27  
Old 10-23-2012, 05:28 PM
toddbishop toddbishop is offline
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Location: Portland, OR
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Default Re: Gig instructions....

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.
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  #28  
Old 10-23-2012, 06:17 PM
tamadrm tamadrm is offline
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Default Re: Gig instructions....

Quote:
Originally Posted by alparrott View Post
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 money..no play ...period.The club owners will only hold out so long...and then the'll have to start paying again.....like 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 paid...it 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 money...no band.... period.

Steve B

Steve B
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  #29  
Old 10-23-2012, 06:40 PM
KarlCrafton's Avatar
KarlCrafton KarlCrafton is offline
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Default Re: Gig instructions....

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.
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