Negotiating more money for a gig.

T

The Old Hyde

Guest
My band was asked to fill in for a gig this Saturday night for a band that dropped out. They only asked us yesterday. The offer was 150 (split 3 ways) for the night. Its a local Elks club and they really don't pay a lot but we want the gig. The bass player and I agreed but my guitar player has an early morning flight and had another band practice scheduled for the same night so he kind of didn't want the gig, but said he would do 8:30 to 11:00 and needed 225 instead. He thinks we shouldn't do less than 100 per hour for a gig because of the travel, load in and out etc...well, they agreed to his terms and we are getting more money. I guess im wondering if anyone else has tried for more money or just accepted what the first ( and maybe only) offer is.
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
If the new fee is reasonable, then it certainly doesn't hurt to ask. And by reasonable, I mean for the employer who has to agree that there's more value in the band than he originally wanted to pay.

Most importantly, does the band draw significant new business that would otherwise not be there? This adds value to the band and a smart owner will pay extra. He may not offer it, but if the band asks, he will probably agree. But that negotiation hinges on the band's ability to prove they can deliver, and may mean doing the first gig at the owner's normal rate. After that, the band may have their bargaining power.

I don't think the jump from $150 to 225 is a big one, I'm not surprised the owner coughed it up. But the band also has to be prepared to walk away from gigs where the money's not there, or you just end up resenting playing out (more than you do sitting at home that night.)

I've been in situations where the band's value is immediately apparent, and they are offered more money without asking. I also have different agreements with different bands, and get paid whether they make enough money or not.

Bermuda
 
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sonnygrabber

Senior Member
My experience with asking for more money comes mainly from runs on the board. If we've played a venue say 5 or 6 times and we feel that,( or have always felt) the money wasn't enough then we would ask for more. Mostly, too, if we just continued to kill it every time we played there.
 

rtliquid

Senior Member
I can see where the times and an early flight, etc could be a problem for the guitarist, but turning down a paying gig for band practice is beyond absurd IMO.
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
I can see where the times and an early flight, etc could be a problem for the guitarist, but turning down a paying gig for band practice is beyond absurd IMO.
To me, in this instance, it's not so much that the guitarist had to make a practice, it's the fact that things were planned and it's not always professional to change those plans just because you got a paying gig. This is an emergency situation with what, a days notice? I try to be accommodating when asked to help out someone who has an emergency of their own but sometimes you can't, or shouldn't, alter prior commitments.

When you're so willing to drop everything to do a paying gig, or a better paying gig, that's also not a reputation you can afford to have. I've known guys who do that and sooner than later the phone stops ringing because everybody hiring thinks they'll bail on their project when a better one comes along at the last minute.
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
I can see where the times and an early flight, etc could be a problem for the guitarist, but turning down a paying gig for band practice is beyond absurd IMO.
Completely depends... I've turned down paying gigs (that I normally would take) due to circumstances that have nothing to do with another gig or rehearsal, paid or not. We're entitled to our priorities.

For example, I had a booth at the local antique street faire last Sunday, and load-in was at 5am, meaning I would have to get up at 4am. Would I have accepted a Saturday night gig, knowing that I wouldn't be home until midnight or 1am? Absolutely not! Why kill myself for $75 or 100?

Bermuda
 

WhoIsTony?

Member
ask yourself one question

is the person paying you going to benefit from your band showing up and playing ?

think about that and negotiate accordingly
 
T

The Old Hyde

Guest
I can see where the times and an early flight, etc could be a problem for the guitarist, but turning down a paying gig for band practice is beyond absurd IMO.
to try to explain what his situation was a little better, he is in 2 bands. we were going to practice this Friday night, sunday is usually our time but he is leaving on business. he had a scheduled practice on Saturday night, 6-9pm with his other band, knowing he had an early flight overseas. this gig came up and it will make it a late night for him with little sleep by the time he gets home and winds down but, he switched our practice to tonight, his other band to Friday night and we are doing the Saturday gig. the other side of it too is its his house, wife and two kids to also work with and around so he jumped through some hoops to get this sorted with both bands and family. he asked for more money and an earlier end time, which we received, we do have a gig booked in August at this very place ( for less money) so we will try to use this gig as a bargaining chip.
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
ask yourself one question

is the person paying you going to benefit from your band showing up and playing ?

think about that and negotiate accordingly
+++111

Bands don't get paid based on what they think they're worth, or how far they've driven, or how much passion they have for their 'art'. They get paid based on how much value they have to their employer that night.

Period.

When a band brings more value to their employer, only then the band is entitled to ask for more. But make no mistake, it's the employer who determines if there's added value, not the band. The employer has a choice as to what he will pay, and the band also has the option to not accept it and move on. But the tail does not wag the dog, and bands that think they are going to tell their employers what they will be paid, are going to have brief careers.

Bermuda
 
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T

The Old Hyde

Guest
+++111

Bands don't get paid based on what they think they're worth, or how far they've driven, or how much passion they have for their 'art'. They get paid based on how much value they have to their employer that night.

Period.

When a band brings more value to their employer, only then the band is entitled to ask for more. But make no mistake, it's the employer who determines if there's added value, not the band. The employer has a choice as to what he will pay, and the band also has the option to not accept it and move on. But the tail does not wag the dog, and bands that think they are going to tell their employers what they will be paid, are going to have brief careers.

Bermuda
100% agree, that's why I was surprised they gave us more money. We didn't submit a cd or band info packet or anything. They don't know us at all and if we will even bring a crowd. We are really promoting the gig in hopes of getting a good turnout. I never knew prices were not fixed but that probably varies venue to venue.
 

caddywumpus

Platinum Member
100% agree, that's why I was surprised they gave us more money. We didn't submit a cd or band info packet or anything. They don't know us at all and if we will even bring a crowd. We are really promoting the gig in hopes of getting a good turnout. I never knew prices were not fixed but that probably varies venue to venue.
Since it's at an Elk's club, and the band backed out last minute, I'm not surprised that they would accept the counter offer for more. Your value is that you are a band that will be showing up (saving the day) for an event that they advertised would have a band. Your value to them is that they don't have Elk's members showing up that evening expecting a band, and being disappointed and not showing up for future events.

In typical gig compensation negotiations, if the band is the first person to offer a number, they "lose." If you offer low, you get hired for less than you could have been making. If you offer high, they will say, "We only have a budget for this much." (Which, by the way, is a lie 99.9% of the time--event coordinators are paid bonuses for staying under budget). The counter offer is what gets the negotiations rolling, and if the venue makes an offer, you can always counter offer higher and either meet in the middle or negotiate for extra "perks" in place of the payment (free food, drinks, a stay at a nearby hotel, etc...). Sometimes they don't budge, and you have to decide whether to settle or turn down the gig. In this case, you were fortunate that the negotiations worked to your immediate favor, albeit quite low pay for a band IMHO...
 
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