What to charge for gigs?

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ricorico Frets: 474
In an interesting turn of events the remnants of two old bands have reformed recently and I'm gigging again!

We had our first practice on Saturday and we have had some interest through word of mouth and as a result we have three gigs lined up already. 

My question is: how much do we charge? 

We're going to use a pro sound engineer for the larger two of the gigs so we need to cover his costs (around £200) but we're at a loss as to what to ask for...

Were a covers band with a somewhat fragmented following across the last decade or so. 

Cheers!
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  • vasselmeyervasselmeyer Frets: 1915
    edited April 19
    What sort of venues are you playing and have you any idea what numbers  you'll have in the audience?
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  • ricorico Frets: 474
    The first gig is a private function but the two we are charging for are local mini festival type things with 300-500 people at a guess. 
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  • ElectroDanElectroDan Frets: 546
    Depends on a lot of factors.
    Around my way the range is probably £250 -£500 for the absolute top notch bands that are known for pulling in the punters.
    By using the sound guy you've already cut a huge chunk of your fee away, but to get going for the first couple of shows it might be worth it just to let someone else worry about that part of the operation.
    If you ask around some of the other local bands about pricing and venues that have live shows they are usually happy to talk about it. Never hurts to keep up with others and share info like that.
    Within a few months you will have a fair idea of what you can ask in you area. If your doing it for fun you still don't want to be losing money on shows. Some pubs know people love to play and try to take the piss a bit.
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  • Danny1969Danny1969 Frets: 2955
    Yes it's very difficult to say, there is no set fee in my experience, it depends on how good the band is and whether they bring in big crowds. Tomorrow and Saturday I'm playing  pubs in one band for £650 and £550, on Sunday I'm with another band doing a pub for £300 and I've done gigs recently for as little as £240

    In the summer I'm involved with a couple of festivals that are scaled to 400 - 500 people and we pay the headliners around £800 and the supports around £250 to £300. That's with a bit of budget from the brewery as well as ticket sales though ... if your organizers are on ticket sales only the money might be tighter. 

    If in doubt though shoot for £500, if they think that's way too much ask them what the their budget is and your see if you can do it cheaper for them. Otherwise you might ask for £250 and they might have been well prepared to pay £400 
    www.2020studios.co.uk 
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  • ESBlondeESBlonde Frets: 1955
    If you can provide a full spec corporate/function experience then go for a professional price. Other than that it seems to be what the market (or lack of) can stand. Pubs from £250-600 (mostly lower end). Clubs £500-750 and functions £600-£1800. State your price, be prepared to haggle and say yes or no depending on your needs and desires.
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  • uncledickuncledick Frets: 112
    The last paid gig we did was supporting The Rezillos.  35 quid cash.  
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  • John_PJohn_P Frets: 1393
    Didn't the issue of the fee come up during discussions with the organisers when making the bookings?     It's a bit awkward trying to negotiate after it's all agreed but I'd agree with Danny and probably start at £500 and come down a little if they won't cover that.  
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  • Danny1969Danny1969 Frets: 2955
    On Friday we were playing a little beer festival in a nice country pub. Fee was agreed 6 months ago but there was a change of landlady 3 months ago. Anyway we do the gig, it went really well and the Colonel goes to find the landlady. Is it £200 or £250 she says? .... it's neither he says ..... it's £650!

    That took her by surprise but she paid it :)
    www.2020studios.co.uk 
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  • ricorico Frets: 474
    The figure being banded about for the larger of the two paid gigs is £750. They want two hour-long sets  :o
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  • Danny1969Danny1969 Frets: 2955
    Is that 2 x one hour sets or 2 x one hour sets ? .... 2 x one hour is pretty normal
    www.2020studios.co.uk 
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  • ricorico Frets: 474
    Danny1969 said:
    Is that 2 x one hour sets or 2 x one hour sets ? .... 2 x one hour is pretty normal
    Unless i'm mistaken you've said the same thing!

    We're doing 2 x one hour sets
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  • Danny1969Danny1969 Frets: 2955
    Yeah sorry, I meant is it two hour sets :) cos they would have been long old sets .
    www.2020studios.co.uk 
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  • hotpickupshotpickups Frets: 667
    In my area you'll be lucky to get £250 - £300 for a pub gig and that's pushing it. If it was a private event I'll be looking at around £700 at least and adding on fuel expense getting there etc. Also if there's food at the event, the band gets fed and watered too 
    Link to my trading feedback:  http://www.thefretboard.co.uk/discussion/59452/
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  • StageStruckStageStruck Frets: 58
    In my area you'll be lucky to get £250 - £300 for a pub gig and that's pushing it. If it was a private event I'll be looking at around £700 at least and adding on fuel expense getting there etc. Also if there's food at the event, the band gets fed and watered too 
    I'm inclined to agree, around my area £200-£300 is probably more the going rate, depending on the size of the pub. You'd probably only get £300 if you were one of the more popular bands.
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  • nick79nick79 Frets: 92
    Going rate round here is £250 for a pub gig, we have occasionally got more but not very often. We get asked a lot to do pub festivals but they don't want to pay us. Don't see why they should expect us to do it for nothing when they are raking in the money from overpriced beer and food..
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  • EricTheWearyEricTheWeary Frets: 5964
    There's a part of me that would like to be a bit more rocknroll and only play shitty little venues for next to nothing. However, now we generally play biggish pubs for between £200 and £350. Unless there's an exceptional reason pretty much we won't play for under £200 now. This is between five, sometimes six, of us so it's not putting the kids through college. 
    I feel the warm, healing, liquid presence of God’s genuine cold-filtered grace. 
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  • RocknRollDaveRocknRollDave Frets: 4196
    Allow extra money for particularly early starts and/ or finishes (as a wedding band our usual finish is midnight, we charge extra for a 1am finish)

    Allow extra money for going above and beyond your usual repertoire - e.g. you may allow 2 x 1 hours as your regular set, charge extra for a third set. I've done a few gigs recently with 3 x 1 hour sets and we have charged accordingly. At first it seems a bit unfair - after all, we would have just been sat down twiddling our thumbs between sets for that  hour if we hadn't been playing, we didn't put in any extra time as such....but fronting the band as singing guitarist, I can tell you that extra money was well earned!

    Stipulate minimum requirements regarding gear/ performance area etc - Especially relevant with outdoors shows where you need a proper sheltered, waterproof area with safe mains power.

    Set a cancellation policy and stick to it. Whether it be "50% of full fee is due if cancelled less than 14 days prior to the date" or whatever.

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  • hotpickupshotpickups Frets: 667
    nick79 said:
    Going rate round here is £250 for a pub gig, we have occasionally got more but not very often. We get asked a lot to do pub festivals but they don't want to pay us. Don't see why they should expect us to do it for nothing when they are raking in the money from overpriced beer and food..
    Charity event probably ?
    Link to my trading feedback:  http://www.thefretboard.co.uk/discussion/59452/
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  • not_the_djnot_the_dj Frets: 5069
    Local mini festivals are never great payers round here, normally free drinks and a burger plus the priceless "exposure". 

    £200 - £300 for pub gigs. 
    £500+ for functions if setting up in the evening, but certainly more if it's a set-up in the afternoon then clear-off type event. 
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  • John_PJohn_P Frets: 1393
    edited April 24
    nick79 said:
    Going rate round here is £250 for a pub gig, we have occasionally got more but not very often. We get asked a lot to do pub festivals but they don't want to pay us. Don't see why they should expect us to do it for nothing when they are raking in the money from overpriced beer and food..
    Charity event probably ?
    Often a token gesture towards a charity but if the bar staff etc are being paid then so should the band imo.     
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  • hotpickupshotpickups Frets: 667
    Absolutely @John_P  I couldn't agree with you more. It's about time people give credence to live music. It doesn't come cheap to us so why should it be totally free :( . One thing I have noticed though is the pubs are starting to pay bands .... properly over the past year. Not a lot of money but worth while to turn up.

    Two years ago it was a different story and was getting offers of £100 for a 5 piece band. With the premise of a live video being done for the band. I said I didn't want a shitty lit video with average sound quality as a demo video? Take it or leave it he said .... can you guess the answer I gave him yet ?
    Link to my trading feedback:  http://www.thefretboard.co.uk/discussion/59452/
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  • nick79nick79 Frets: 92
    nick79 said:
    Going rate round here is £250 for a pub gig, we have occasionally got more but not very often. We get asked a lot to do pub festivals but they don't want to pay us. Don't see why they should expect us to do it for nothing when they are raking in the money from overpriced beer and food..
    Charity event probably ?
    We've done a couple of charity one's, which we were more than happy to do, but this year we have been asked to do at least 4 so far that aren't for any charity, which to me is a different kettle of fish.
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  • ricorico Frets: 474
    We've just confirmed another gig but this time it's a charity do - another local festival type thing. We are free to eat and drink ourselves silly though for our trouble though. 

    £750 for the original gig I mentioned seems good going then!
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  • fftcfftc Frets: 211
    Just out of interest really, but why such a large difference between pub gigs and private functions? Is it just down to what the market will bear or is there some other logic to it?
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  • John_PJohn_P Frets: 1393
    fftc said:
    Just out of interest really, but why such a large difference between pub gigs and private functions? Is it just down to what the market will bear or is there some other logic to it?
    At a pub you can do the gig pretty much how you want so long as the landlord is happy. 
    A fuction often means going earlier to set up, playing later, playing songs the person hiring you wants etc etc If your amp does in a pub and you need a break to sort it's annoying but not the end of the world - slightly different st someone's wedding.      
    The extra is for the extra hassle but also there is an element of paying more for a more professional act.      
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  • EricTheWearyEricTheWeary Frets: 5964
    fftc said:
    Just out of interest really, but why such a large difference between pub gigs and private functions? Is it just down to what the market will bear or is there some other logic to it?
    Market will bear at the end of the day but if you are playing a function you can expect to be there longer (setting up before guests arrive and taking down your gear after they've gone maybe), learning special requests, an expectation of certain standards if booked sight unseen, being on your best behaviour (staying out the way when not playing, following a dress code), maybe letting your PA be used for other purposes ( disco, announcements). 
    I feel the warm, healing, liquid presence of God’s genuine cold-filtered grace. 
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  • ESBlondeESBlonde Frets: 1955
    nick79 said:
    Going rate round here is £250 for a pub gig, we have occasionally got more but not very often. We get asked a lot to do pub festivals but they don't want to pay us. Don't see why they should expect us to do it for nothing when they are raking in the money from overpriced beer and food..
    Charity event probably ?
    Only if the pub are donating thier proceeds and the staff working for nothing too!!!
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  • hotpickupshotpickups Frets: 667
    ESBlonde said:
    nick79 said:
    Going rate round here is £250 for a pub gig, we have occasionally got more but not very often. We get asked a lot to do pub festivals but they don't want to pay us. Don't see why they should expect us to do it for nothing when they are raking in the money from overpriced beer and food..
    Charity event probably ?
    Only if the pub are donating thier proceeds and the staff working for nothing too!!!
    Too right. Do you know I've never thought to ask that when I've been asked to play for nowt. I will next time 
    Link to my trading feedback:  http://www.thefretboard.co.uk/discussion/59452/
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  • RavenousRavenous Frets: 1133

    For charity gigs - I've heard people suggest asking for full payment, which members will then donate back to the cause. To weed out the fake charities.  Anyone done this?

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  • RolandRoland Frets: 1300
    Yes. It also helps their charity accounting because the donation income is larger.
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