Worst gig offer ever!

A J

Silver Member
The lead guy in my band was just offered the absolute worst gig ever. He quickly declined even before speaking with the rest of the band; and for good reason. Here's the deal:

- The gig is a multi-band Summer extravaganza. Outdoor gig.
- Your band has to sell tickets to the venue months ahead of the gig. All money goes directly to the venue.
- Only 6 bands will actually get play. Those bands will be selected based upon which band sold the most tickets and will be announced the day of the event.
- If you're "band #7 or higher", you show up at the gig, don't get to play and all your ticket sales proceeds go to the venue. If you're bands # 1-6 you get to keep "a portion" of your ticket sales.

This is the rawest of raw deals. It makes a sleazy bar owner look like a saint.
 
And the fans that bought tix might not get to see the band they bought tickets for. Some kind of weird band lottery.
 
That's a chance at working for free.

oh joy

I have no qualms working for free in the right situation: charity gig, private party where we're treated like rock stars, community event, etc... I will never play a free gig where some other person, venue or business is making money off my labor. No thanks.

One of the most enjoyable "free gigs" I ever played was a wake at a biker funeral. We played free. They treated us like kings. Tons of food. Much appreciation. Genuinely nice folks whose hearts were in the right place.
 
And the fans that bought tix might not get to see the band they bought tickets for. Some kind of weird band lottery.

Yep. The whole concept is flawed from the start. If I were a "fan" of a particular band and just paid the price of a ticket to see that band, I would not be happy to find out that my favorite band came in 7th place and won't be playing. Instead; I have to watch a series of crappy bands who managed to sell more tickets instead of sounding good.
 
We did a free benefit show last month with several bands. That felt good and was a blast to.do.
 
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this is very common in smaller scenes, especially metal and punk...pre COVID, our local scene had sort of deteriorated into these kinds of shows happening a lot. Always hosted by some shifty guy on somebodies farm property in the middle of nowhere.
 
Good thing you’re NOT doing it.

Nope. We're not doing it. We're not even considering it. This gig was turned down immediately. It's a loser in so many ways.

We're a 6-piece band. Four of us are seasoned veterans of bar gigs. We can smell a rat a mile away. This gig offer is a rat. It stinks!
 
Exploitation is a wonderful thing and there's no shortage of takers in that particular race to the bottom. Especially on the originals scene.

The organisers would be told in no uncertain terms what I thought.

Well avoided sir! This is up there with playing for the door takings.
 
Reminds of a band i knew years ago. They were talking to this club about doing a gig there and the club was enthusiastic, so much that they asked for a €200,- fee so they could perform. So the band explained that i should be the other way around and that they would bring a large fanbase with revenue etc. Still cracks me up! In the end the club backed down and they did the gig there.
 
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Ummm, jeez.......yeah, that's a shocker alright.

Wouldn't take a gymnast to avoid that deal.

From my own experience regarding raw deals......

I was scouting for gigs to get a new band I was in started.

I rang a venue in my hometown which was 400km north of where I live now.

This was the deal......."Ok, sure we'd love to have you play here.......please supply your own accommodations, fuel for the trip both ways.....food will be at your expense and the show will be a promotional event for the venue, you will receive no payment.......is that ok with you?".

I just asked him again to make sure that I heard him correctly......."yep" he said.

I hung up on him quicker than venison on a butcher's hook.
 
At this point in your post....


- The gig is a multi-band Summer extravaganza. Outdoor gig



..... I was out.
Actually, to be more accurate it was at multi-band that I was walking away

Okay, I know there's plenty of great multi band gigs, my post was done more for laughs than accuracy. But when anything like this is being put together by an outside organiser for profit or to scratch someone's back I order to get there's scratched at a later date the prudent thing to generally do is swerve it.

..
 
This doesn’t even sound real even though I know it is.
 
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- The gig is a multi-band Summer extravaganza. Outdoor gig.
- Your band has to sell tickets to the venue months ahead of the gig. All money goes directly to the venue.
- Only 6 bands will actually get play. Those bands will be selected based upon which band sold the most tickets and will be announced the day of the event.
- If you're "band #7 or higher", you show up at the gig, don't get to play and all your ticket sales proceeds go to the venue. If you're bands # 1-6 you get to keep "a portion" of your ticket sales.
Translation:

-I have a big yard in the country and the barn is empty

-I like to drink and party but have no friends

-I need food and drinks for my party but have no money

Unless there are no neighbors for miles, or something noisy next door, I would fully expect the cops to show up.
 
When I was a kid In highschool in the early 2000's, and even into my late teens/early twenties after highschool, playing original music in what was called the "emo hardcore scene" this was a very common practice. While I personally think this is a super disgusting way of setting up a gig, it was super common for the scene I was in at the time and if it were not for these types of situations I personally wouldn't have been able to play a majority of the gigs and venues I did at that point in my life. They would go as far as to book a regional touring headliner so us kids would freak out and be like "holy crap, we get to play with ___!!!!" And we of course used that band as a sales tactic to get our friends to buy tickets. We almost always sold the most tickets simply because my band members collectively went to three different highschools and had a very large fan (read: friend) base so it was easy to get people to come out. We also had a few mom's who literally would buy twenty tickets each just to support their kids. A local venue pulled this same scam during one of the Jackass movie releases, they promised us (and really everyone via their marketing of the show) that the "entire Jackass crew and special guests will be there!" Only to find out that literally the only Jackass 'crew' member in attendance was Bam Margera's Uncle Don Vito who got blackout drunk, verbally and physically accosted highschool girls all night, and told all of the male attendees to "F" off. If there was a big name band playing warped tour anywhere between 2002 and 2010, one of my bands probably shared a bill with them at a small venue somewhere in PA or NJ.... Even though we never got to meet them, see them play, or even see their gear get loaded in.

It was gross back then and it's even worse to do this to professional adults.
 
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