Touring Fees

tamadrm

Platinum Member
I don’t quite follow your story here. Are you saying that the promoters coughed up the 50 000, or did Beyonce’s agents laugh and walk away?
No..I'm saying the promoters were willing to pay 5-10 K,and her fee is 50.000.Her agents rejected the insult of an offer, walked away,and I'm sure had a laugh at what these professional "promoters" were willing to pay Beyonce.These promoters had no idea of what an A list entertainer gets paid per show,and were in shock.

But I'm sure there was still and endless pit of young bands these "promoters" could snag, who think that playing for free or just a few bucks is "living the life",when in truth......it's far from it.

Steve B
 
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ineedaclutch

Platinum Member
I don't think Beyone's agent was charging 50,000 for a performance. That was a price just for an appearance at the festival.
 

cutaway79

Silver Member
Yeah, there are sooooo many bands out there willing to do anything to "make it". Playing for peanuts, playing for free, and even paying to play. It can certainly make things tough for those bands that know what their time is worth. Club owners/promoters know that there are far more musicians than there are gigs, And they know that a lot of those musicians are happy just to have a gig to play. And those promoters take full advantage. It definitely pays to have someone in your band that knows the business side of things. Otherwise, you're at the mercy of the unscrupulous heathens.
 

evilg99

Platinum Member
You know, I never really understood why cover bands get such a bad rap.
We have it all, really. Once you accept that you will never be a wealthy, world famous touring rock star (did that a loooonnnnngggg time ago) - things are not so bad. So we don't write original music, so what. But we also get no respect. We are not 'artists' in the eyes of many original-writing musicians.

Everyone in my band has day jobs (one member runs an extremely successful design/planning/consulting firm) and makes a good living. We play music because we love it - yet if it didn't pay well, we'd probably find something else to do.

We have an agent, on a steady rotation at local bars and do a steady flow of corporate events and weddings. No freebies, no charities , no discounts. We get paid well. Well enough to make a good living if we did it full time - but nobody wants to do that.

I think it was Little Steven who was talking about the bands he played in growing up...and that every band was a cover band. You didn't play unless you knew 50 popular tunes that somebody else wrote....It was ludicrous to think that you could go play a show somewhere and play nothing but originals - nobody wanted to hear that.

I guess a lot of it depends on the genre or style of music....
But crap, $800 a night for a touring indie band with songs on the radio - or LESS? That's terrible.
I have on more than one occasion, turned down local gigs that pay that little.
We claim everything tax wise, and the band is a registered partnership - so after agents fees and taxes, I'd rather just stay home.
 

inneedofgrace

Platinum Member
I didn't read every response in this thread, but I didn't see anyone mention insurance as part of the band's expenses. When these bands are "on tour", are they without health insurance? If you are traveling via a van or RV, there are insurance costs for the vehicles as well.

In the 70s/80s, I'm sure there was quite a bill from the alcohol/recreational drugs. From what I've heard, the promoter/record label used to provide these to the bands back in the day.
 

Chunkaway

Silver Member
You know, I never really understood why cover bands get such a bad rap.
We have it all, really. Once you accept that you will never be a wealthy, world famous touring rock star (did that a loooonnnnngggg time ago) - things are not so bad. So we don't write original music, so what. But we also get no respect. We are not 'artists' in the eyes of many original-writing musicians.

Everyone in my band has day jobs (one member runs an extremely successful design/planning/consulting firm) and makes a good living. We play music because we love it - yet if it didn't pay well, we'd probably find something else to do.

We have an agent, on a steady rotation at local bars and do a steady flow of corporate events and weddings. No freebies, no charities , no discounts. We get paid well. Well enough to make a good living if we did it full time - but nobody wants to do that.

I think it was Little Steven who was talking about the bands he played in growing up...and that every band was a cover band. You didn't play unless you knew 50 popular tunes that somebody else wrote....It was ludicrous to think that you could go play a show somewhere and play nothing but originals - nobody wanted to hear that.

I guess a lot of it depends on the genre or style of music....
But crap, $800 a night for a touring indie band with songs on the radio - or LESS? That's terrible.
I have on more than one occasion, turned down local gigs that pay that little.
We claim everything tax wise, and the band is a registered partnership - so after agents fees and taxes, I'd rather just stay home.
I have done the cover band thing (mostly playing jazz standards for corporate events and such) and you are correct, the money was good. The money was actually VERY good. I made MUCH more playing in cover bands than I ever have playing in original bands. (I'm not going to touch upon the fact that most cover bands are viewed as background music in the area that I live, as that is for another thread.)

Having said that, I would personally NEVER spend money to go and see a cover band. Don't get me wrong, I like having a cover band at a wedding or something, but I would rather see a band playing original tunes than hearing a band trying to play cover tunes. I'm not knocking cover bands, I just don't really enjoy seeing bands playing songs that someone else made popular.
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
When these bands are "on tour", are they without health insurance? If you are traveling via a van or RV, there are insurance costs for the vehicles as well.
For the club level bands, I'm pretty sure there's little consideration as to health insurance for the tour. And since they typically use one of their own vehicles, it's already insured, hopefully for business, which means their gear would be covered if stolen. But yes, on a real tour, those expenses - and many others - would come out of the gross.

Bermuda
 
T

The Old Hyde

Guest
its up to the club to be willing to pay 875 for a band. thats not a lot if that band is on tour thats for sure. where i live a lot of the local bands get twice that for a single show at a small bar.
 

Andy

Administrator
Staff member
its up to the club to be willing to pay 875 for a band. thats not a lot if that band is on tour thats for sure. where i live a lot of the local bands get twice that for a single show at a small bar.
We regularly earn more than that too, but we need to put serious numbers into the bar to command such a fee. Our costs are high compared to most local level bands too, but those costs equate to a better show, that in turn attracts more punters, that in turn - ah, you get the picture :)
 
T

The Old Hyde

Guest
We regularly earn more than that too, but we need to put serious numbers into the bar to command such a fee. Our costs are high compared to most local level bands too, but those costs equate to a better show, that in turn attracts more punters, that in turn - ah, you get the picture :)
punters, that never gets old!
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
haha you need to come to the east coast! i can set a date as a double bill, we would make a killing!!! you can even use our backline.
Seriously, in L.A., bands in bars are lucky to get $200, maybe $400 if the bar is making great money.

Bermuda
 

Florian

Gold Member
Seriously, in L.A., bands in bars are lucky to get $200, maybe $400 if the bar is making great money.

Bermuda
wow, here in the Midwest we get a minimum of 500/show and that is based on multiple bookings at the same venue, otherwise we get 750 for a one-off show at a bar and even (much) more at festival events.


F
 

topgun2021

Gold Member
Seriously, in L.A., bands in bars are lucky to get $200, maybe $400 if the bar is making great money.

Bermuda
Do you think that is the result of the "lowest bidder" game bands have played to get shows, or are the establishments tight with money?
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
Well, there are bars, and there are bars. If it's an upscale, busy place, the pay is better. Certainly not big money though, not from what I've witnessed in my 35+ years in the trenches here in L.A. Happily, the Al gig subsidizes my local pursuits, so I don't depend on my other bands for a living. The money is welcome (especially with gas at $4.25/gal here!) but I certainly couldn't live on what I make in bars & clubs.

But just playing bars or touring in a band that's just making expenses is not what I'd be doing anyway. I like to eat, pamper the dogs, buy gear, keep the electricity on, take an occasional vacation with my wife, and still put some money away for retirement. I guess that being in one's twenties with the ability to drive around the country, pursuing their dream, should not be underestimated. I'm slightly envious of that freedom, although I'm not ready to trade what I've got. :)

Bermuda
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
Do you think that is the result of the "lowest bidder" game bands have played to get shows, or are the establishments tight with money?
It's both. The poor economy certainly hasn't helped things lately, but the money situation has been a problem for a long time. It's not even that bands are being paid the same as 30 years ago... they're often paid less. And, there are bands willing to work for less, or on faith that their percentage of the bar will be reported accurately to them at the end of the night.

There's another thread about the kind of expenses that a bar has, and why they won't pay a band what they think they're worth. Truthfully, sometimes a bar just can't pay without losing money, and it's unfair for a band to make demands under those circumstances. And let's face it, if you owned a bar, even as a sympathetic musican, would you go out of pocket on the band, or hire one that starts telling YOU how you should be paying more for their talent?

Anyway, that's best left to the other thread, no need to dredge it up again here save to say that prices are just down, period.

Bermuda
 

A-customs

Silver Member
Chunkaway sorry about your friend......enjoyed your story......I Play in a 3 piece cover band we TRY To get 500.00 a gig althou we have played for less........We have a nice handful of bars to play from,and have a nice following.Bar makes money we play make a little pocket cash. Long gone are the days of going on the road and breaking even........some interesting stories here.......
 
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