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  #1  
Old 12-08-2018, 05:25 AM
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Default Stage Fees?

My wife and I are talking. She used to be a "dancer". She is telling me that as a "dancer", there were required fees. I understand tipping the bouncer, he keeps them safe. I also understand tipping the DJ, he plays your songs for your routine. Then there is the stage fee. You have to pay the house for the opportunity to perform on their stage. WTF, over? If you are a hired employee, isn't that what you are there for, to entertain and make money for the venue?

Having played in a regularly working band, we never payed any fees. It was a percentage of the door or a guarantee. We were the entertainment, people paid to see us. The venue made money from fans. The door man was a paid employee, as is the bar tender, and any other venue worker. We always made money, never owed any.

One exception: we played the Milwaukee Metal Fest in 99 and it was $1000 for a slot. The exposure was worth it.

This doesn't seem right to me. Why should the entertainment pay to entertain. Anyone ever have to do this?
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Old 12-08-2018, 05:50 AM
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Default Re: Stage Fees?

I am European and i think 'tipping' is considered different here than in the US..Like, i can not imagine to go tip the DJ, because i assume that he gets paid for being the DJ..Same for the bouncer, never crossed my mind even a second that there are places in the world were those people get a tip..

But, i mean, i am not sure about what sort of dancing we are speaking here, but i can imagine some sort of female dancers who get a lot of tips and that those tips are actually the reason to go dance and have an income..On top of the basic 'hired employee'-income, i mean..

And then i also guess, that, the better the dancer the more tips the higher her income..

Meaning, in that case she just 'hires' the stage and her dancing-qualities will decide if her income will be high or low..

If those stage fees are for every dancer the same, then i am not seeing much a problem with that..
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Old 12-08-2018, 06:04 AM
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Default Re: Stage Fees?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MrInsanePolack View Post
My wife and I are talking. She used to be a "dancer". She is telling me that as a "dancer", there were required fees. I understand tipping the bouncer, he keeps them safe. I also understand tipping the DJ, he plays your songs for your routine. Then there is the stage fee. You have to pay the house for the opportunity to perform on their stage. WTF, over? If you are a hired employee, isn't that what you are there for, to entertain and make money for the venue?

Having played in a regularly working band, we never payed any fees. It was a percentage of the door or a guarantee. We were the entertainment, people paid to see us. The venue made money from fans. The door man was a paid employee, as is the bar tender, and any other venue worker. We always made money, never owed any.

One exception: we played the Milwaukee Metal Fest in 99 and it was $1000 for a slot. The exposure was worth it.

This doesn't seem right to me. Why should the entertainment pay to entertain. Anyone ever have to do this?
Been around for a very long time.
Many names (pay to play)
What a lot of venues used to do(and still do) was give you a crappy night and say 50 tickets @$5 bucks face value.
You got $2.50 from each ticket and you had to sell them.
So you were in the hole to them for $125 before you ever played there.
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Old 12-08-2018, 06:41 AM
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Default Re: Stage Fees?

The house always gets a cut from the dancer. That's just the way it works. It's similar to hair stylists. They pay a chair fee to the owner of the salon to have a place to work.
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Old 12-08-2018, 06:50 AM
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Default Re: Stage Fees?

As already stated, pay to play has been around forever. My band generally don't do those types of shows unless it's a really good bill (known national/international act). Generally we do shows that's a percentage of the door.

Back in 2003 the band i was in played the Milwaukee Metal Fest too. The "fee" sounds like it was the same, but we only had to pay $500 because we were signed. It was worth it for the exposure for us. We also got to play an arena, so there's that.
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Old 12-08-2018, 12:29 PM
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Default Re: Stage Fees?

Pay to play........ No chance.
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  #7  
Old 12-08-2018, 01:49 PM
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Default Re: Stage Fees?

I just find this baffling. Having to pay a fee to your employer doesn't seem right, be it one day or fifty years. It's bad enough that tipped employees, at least where I live, don't even make minimum wage. For example, restaurant servers in this area make about $3 an hour. Maybe I'm just too nice, but it doesn't seem fair at all.

We never had to do the ticket thing. Maybe it's a regional thing? Maybe it's because I am basically in a college town, so partying students are a guarantee every weekend? Honestly I have no idea. Or maybe because we were the only metal band in a sea of blues and funk the venue owners knew all the weirdos would come out of the cracks and fill the bar when we played.
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Old 12-08-2018, 02:31 PM
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Default Re: Stage Fees?

Acts in the Superbowl halftime show pay to be there. They are not compensated
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  #9  
Old 12-08-2018, 02:40 PM
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Default Re: Stage Fees?

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Originally Posted by GruntersDad View Post
Acts in the Superbowl halftime show pay to be there. They are not compensated
Wow really? This just blew my mind.
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  #10  
Old 12-08-2018, 03:03 PM
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Default Re: Stage Fees?

Like playola it seems to be an integral part of the industry, the decision to indulge or refrain is yours.

Good for you OP, from a member living in what could be known as the "dancing" capital of the world !

Last edited by Groov-E; 12-08-2018 at 03:23 PM.
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  #11  
Old 12-08-2018, 04:18 PM
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Default Re: Stage Fees?

Those girls aren't paid by the club. They are treated as private contractors. In most cities they even need to have a business/occupational license.



I mean....uh....at least that's what I have heard. :)
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  #12  
Old 12-08-2018, 04:50 PM
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Default Re: Stage Fees?

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Originally Posted by Bull View Post
Those girls aren't paid by the club. They are treated as private contractors. In most cities they even need to have a business/occupational license.



I mean....uh....at least that's what I have heard. :)
My wife was a hired employee, she received a paycheck as well as being tipped.
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  #13  
Old 12-08-2018, 09:41 PM
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Default Re: Stage Fees?

Quote:
Originally Posted by GruntersDad View Post
Acts in the Superbowl halftime show pay to be there. They are not compensated
A little more info on that: https://www.upvenue.com/article/1881...superbowl.html
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  #14  
Old 12-09-2018, 02:28 AM
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Default Re: Stage Fees?

The first time I heard that was in the early 80's when I read that ( I think) George Thorogood paid to open for the stones. At the time I was like, WTF, but it seems really obvious now.
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  #15  
Old 12-09-2018, 02:40 AM
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Default Re: Stage Fees?

I had those once and it was hell getting rid of them. Almost as bad as crabs. Had to g....oh....sorry. I thought the topic was stage fleas. Nevermind.
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Old 12-09-2018, 03:07 AM
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Default Re: Stage Fees?

My GF makes $ 75 K / year them stage fees are worth it.
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  #17  
Old 12-09-2018, 08:01 AM
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Default Re: Stage Fees?

Sadly, pretty common.

But it comes down to supply and demand.

The supply of bands wanting to play, and the supply of girls willing to dance, far outweighs the demand.

Hence, clubs can "charge" for the right to space on their stage.

And sometimes entire tours can charge a "buy in" fee for the band to open every night of a tour.

Though the problem becomes often the club ends up putting on terrible bands in opening slots over bands that have any quality.
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Old 12-09-2018, 08:27 AM
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Default Re: Stage Fees?

I still don't understand why you don't understand your post. Your wife can't strip in the street. She could, I suppose, but she wouldn't make the money she would in a club, right? This is still very different from some band playing at a venue. You're comparing very different forms of entertainment.
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Last edited by ineedaclutch; 12-09-2018 at 05:39 PM.
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  #19  
Old 12-09-2018, 09:44 AM
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Default Re: Stage Fees?

In terms of bands, does this only apply to original bands? I've done a lot of cover band stuff and never had to pay a fee, in addition to getting paid as a band member. I had no idea these fees existed.

And really? Nobody gets paid for the Super Bowl? That seems hard to believe.
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  #20  
Old 12-09-2018, 10:01 AM
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Default Re: Stage Fees?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bo Eder View Post
In terms of bands, does this only apply to original bands? I've done a lot of cover band stuff and never had to pay a fee, in addition to getting paid as a band member. I had no idea these fees existed.
Fees, expenses, charges, etc. are all line items subject to change. For example: if you've ever played a club where you HAVE to use their PA and/or sound engineer and they tell you it's $300/night (or whatever). There's no guarantee the sound engineer gets that whole quoted amount. They may take it out of ticket sales/door charges, your sales split, etc.

They don't have to call it a stage fee. Every establishment has a minimum they need to earn each night they're open. Time of the year and day of the week can change that amount. The bottom line IS the bottom line -how much is the venue going to make by you being there? If you're an "earner," fees are much easier to negotiate/waive. If your band/group isn't a predictable earner, ownership is going to do their best to cover their expenses.

The other way I've seen stage fees "sold" to bands: Bands rent out the venue for a concert or some other type of private show. The band typically makes their money off the cover change/tickets and merch and the venue makes their piece off the rental fee + sales.

All things aren't equal obviously and original acts probably deal with this more than cover bands. YMMV.
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  #21  
Old 12-09-2018, 04:58 PM
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Default Re: Stage Fees?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ineedaclutch View Post
I still don't understand why you don't understand your post. Your wife can't strip in the street. She could, I suppose, but she wouldn't make the money she would in a club, right? This is still very different from some band playing at a venue. You're comparing very different forms of entertainment. I've never had a blowie off the band, nor would I want or expect one, but I've rolled 10/10 out of the "dancers".
Because a hired employee is providing a service for the company. Having to pay to work is backwards. I don't know what you do for a living , but would you want to pay your employer for the privilege to work for them? It makes no sense. If you are contracted and are renting a space, sure. But a hired employee is on the payroll and part of the company at that point.

Also, I made a direct comparison between dancers and bands, based on my own personal experience and the conversation my wife and I were having. Even Bo seems to not know about this pay to play thing. Just seems kinda crooked, that's all.
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  #22  
Old 12-09-2018, 07:12 PM
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Default Re: Stage Fees?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ineedaclutch View Post
I still don't understand why you don't understand your post. Your wife can't strip in the street. She could, I suppose, but she wouldn't make the money she would in a club, right? This is still very different from some band playing at a venue. You're comparing very different forms of entertainment.
I don't see the difference.

The dancer/band need the stage, the lights, the PA the club provided DJ/soundman to put on there best show.

Sure, and the band can just play on the street, but it wouldn't be the same.

In both cases, the venue is providing what the entertainer needs to entertain, and collecting money from the entertainer.

Not that I think it's right.
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  #23  
Old 12-09-2018, 07:15 PM
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Default Re: Stage Fees?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bo Eder View Post
In terms of bands, does this only apply to original bands? I've done a lot of cover band stuff and never had to pay a fee, in addition to getting paid as a band member. I had no idea these fees existed.
Yes.

Quote:
And really? Nobody gets paid for the Super Bowl? That seems hard to believe.
The halftime show is considered an advertisement, not entertainment.
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  #24  
Old 12-09-2018, 08:27 PM
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Default Re: Stage Fees?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bo Eder View Post
And really? Nobody gets paid for the Super Bowl? That seems hard to believe.
It makes perfect sense when you think about it differently.

A 30 second Super Bowl commercial is pushing the 5 million dollar mark. An artist will get maybe 10 minutes of exposure. Entertainers are also in business and all the same rules apply and marketing is #1.


I have absolutely no idea what the real numbers are but, if they pay a 10 million dollar fee to perform and they sell an additional 15 million dollars in product, that is a good investment.

It's not a whole lot different than when Nabisco pays slotting fees to the grocery stores to get the best eye level shelves. When a business has something of value, they sell it. Sometimes these things are subtle.
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  #25  
Old 12-09-2018, 11:53 PM
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Default Re: Stage Fees?

Most tours you see now days, all the opening acts paid to be on the bill. That's how the headliner makes money, especially at the club level. Smaller venues have low guarantees, if any at all, and some even take a cut of merch sales.

Anyone can open for a major act if you have deep enough pockets.
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  #26  
Old Yesterday, 05:12 PM
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Default Re: Stage Fees?

Quote:
Originally Posted by GruntersDad View Post
Acts in the Superbowl halftime show pay to be there. They are not compensated
This is an exposure gig. The most you'll ever play.

For us "little guys" who will never play that level of a show, paying for stage time is bunk.
If they come at me with that, I'm out as there are plenty of places where me playing is what they need.
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