What to charge for gigs?

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  • RocknRollDaveRocknRollDave Frets: 4196
    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). 
    This.

    Also pub bands will tend to stay within their area, within reason - maybe you'll travel 20 miles or something across town - whereas long-distance travel is a given for function bands. We played in Woolacombe a couple of weeks back, nearly an 8 hour round trip. That is 8 hours x 3 men, plus fuel, before you even include the time loading in, setting up, playing and, most importantly, the time and effort we have to concentrate on utterly destroying the buffet and wedding cake.

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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). 
    This.

    Also pub bands will tend to stay within their area, within reason - maybe you'll travel 20 miles or something across town - whereas long-distance travel is a given for function bands. We played in Woolacombe a couple of weeks back, nearly an 8 hour round trip. That is 8 hours x 3 men, plus fuel, before you even include the time loading in, setting up, playing and, most importantly, the time and effort we have to concentrate on utterly destroying the buffet and wedding cake.
    We played a wedding and they said we could eat at the buffet. It consisted entirely of crackers, cheese and pickle. Big whoop :anguished: 
    I feel the warm, healing, liquid presence of God’s genuine cold-filtered grace. 
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  • RocknRollDaveRocknRollDave Frets: 4196
    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). 
    This.

    Also pub bands will tend to stay within their area, within reason - maybe you'll travel 20 miles or something across town - whereas long-distance travel is a given for function bands. We played in Woolacombe a couple of weeks back, nearly an 8 hour round trip. That is 8 hours x 3 men, plus fuel, before you even include the time loading in, setting up, playing and, most importantly, the time and effort we have to concentrate on utterly destroying the buffet and wedding cake.
    We played a wedding and they said we could eat at the buffet. It consisted entirely of crackers, cheese and pickle. Big whoop :anguished: 
    Ha, yes, that has happened to us many times! In fact, last time it happened there wasn't even any butter. Dry cheese on dry bread... What self-respecting venue would lay out such an abomination?!


    On the plus side, we have had many very nice buffets and even a good few occasions where we have had the exact same sit-down meal as the guests. Now THAT is above and beyond...but never refused.

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  • mudslide73mudslide73 Frets: 1442
    I got a mild case of gout from the remnants of a wedding buffet. As we were packing up they said "help yourself!" and I hadn't had any tea or lunch. We did a dep gig for a booking agency where the original band had specified hot meals and a proper dressing room. The venue was a nice gastro pub but we'd all stopped off for a BK on the way down because we didn't know. :( 

    We get £250-£300 for a pub usually. There's the odd one that pays a bit more. We do 1x45 and 1x75 usually in a pub - we don't get out much so sometimes we'll do more than we should. We did a mini festival last year for "exposure" and got offered a slot on another festival where the fee was 2x free tickets per band member to the festival!
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  • Danny1969Danny1969 Frets: 2955
    I've had some memorable wedding grub ... doing the Queens house in Greenwich .... wedding cake was made entirely of meat, each slice containing beef, pork etc
    Many a good meal at Languish house and Tithe Barn and other upper class Hampshire venues

    Best score though was Wickam vineyard ... they said help yourselves to leftovers and we came away with 4 cases of wine


    www.2020studios.co.uk 
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  • ricorico Frets: 474
    We did a private function a few summers ago and the hosts invited us to fill our boots (and the van...) with whatever booze we fancied.

    A polypin of Harveys Best, two cases of Laurent Perrier and 3 cases of rather tasty red.
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  • Danny1969Danny1969 Frets: 2955
    rico said:
    We did a private function a few summers ago and the hosts invited us to fill our boots (and the van...) with whatever booze we fancied.

    A polypin of Harveys Best, two cases of Laurent Perrier and 3 cases of rather tasty red.
    That is a score indeed ... well played :astonished: 
    www.2020studios.co.uk 
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  • RocknRollDaveRocknRollDave Frets: 4196
    Danny1969 said:
    I've had some memorable wedding grub ... doing the Queens house in Greenwich .... wedding cake was made entirely of meat, each slice containing beef, pork etc
    Many a good meal at Languish house and Tithe Barn and other upper class Hampshire venues

    Best score though was Wickam vineyard ... they said help yourselves to leftovers and we came away with 4 cases of wine


    ...If you ever need a dep guitarist..............

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  • ESBlondeESBlonde Frets: 1955
    Ravenous said:

    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?

    Yes always. It's not that we don't make charitable donations like ordinary folk, but if you don't put a value on your service the client won't either and you get treated like a floor mop. Make it known you are worth £750 and you are a star that gets fed and watered, especially when you hand some or all of it back at the end as your personal donation.
    I do however attend open Jam sessions with other musicians on a regular basis in ad hoc venues. We are not 'working' we are socialising and having fun, the collections and donations are always to the local cancer charity because we have lost too many of our number to the disease in the last few years.
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  • Danny1969Danny1969 Frets: 2955
    I tend to do one charity gig a year but we organize it ourselves and pick a venue that makes it easy work. Then we print the tickets and sell the tickets. It's normally for the Rowans Hospice for the same reasons @ESBlonde does   
    Other than that I consider myself a professional musician and I wouldn't ask a mechanic to change a gearbox for charity so why would I work for nothing ?
    www.2020studios.co.uk 
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  • hotpickupshotpickups Frets: 667
    He wants to pay us £400 for New Year's Eve  ha ha ha ha
    Link to my trading feedback:  http://www.thefretboard.co.uk/discussion/59452/
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  • hotpickupshotpickups Frets: 667
    Ha ha ha ha
    Link to my trading feedback:  http://www.thefretboard.co.uk/discussion/59452/
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  • cj73cj73 Frets: 512
    He wants to pay us £400 for New Year's Eve  ha ha ha ha
    Wow, that's a decent offer....


    .....wait, that's not each?


    hahahahahahahaha
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  • Placidcasual79Placidcasual79 Frets: 600
    ESBlonde said:
    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.
    These prices are my experience too.  

    Pubs - usually 2, 1 hour sets, clubs usually an hour and a half/2 hours straight through. Festivals and functions - well you just have to fill the slot your given. We do a lot of small local festivals and they seem to pay more for less time. 

    We played on a bill with Razorlight yesterday - they sound checked for eternity - so we lost our sound check and had to cut our slot - ended up with £500 for little over half an hour and home in time for tea. Thank you very much!!!

    There are 9 people in the band. Fee's have been a bone of contention. It was agreed that we wouldn't play for less than £400 (except charity shows). We average 30 + gigs a year at this fee, but I think it prices' us out of work in local pubs who can't pay that much. Some of the band (the singer naturally!) prefer shows at bigger venues (he actually said at one point that he wouldn't play a venue unless it had a proper stage - but was mocked mercilessly). My view is play everything for any price - build your reputation and the better gigs/fees will come. 

    My point is it might be worth having some discussion about this stuff at the start......
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  • EricTheWearyEricTheWeary Frets: 5964
    ESBlonde said:
    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.
    These prices are my experience too.  

    Pubs - usually 2, 1 hour sets, clubs usually an hour and a half/2 hours straight through. Festivals and functions - well you just have to fill the slot your given. We do a lot of small local festivals and they seem to pay more for less time. 

    We played on a bill with Razorlight yesterday - they sound checked for eternity - so we lost our sound check and had to cut our slot - ended up with £500 for little over half an hour and home in time for tea. Thank you very much!!!

    There are 9 people in the band. Fee's have been a bone of contention. It was agreed that we wouldn't play for less than £400 (except charity shows). We average 30 + gigs a year at this fee, but I think it prices' us out of work in local pubs who can't pay that much. Some of the band (the singer naturally!) prefer shows at bigger venues (he actually said at one point that he wouldn't play a venue unless it had a proper stage - but was mocked mercilessly). My view is play everything for any price - build your reputation and the better gigs/fees will come. 

    My point is it might be worth having some discussion about this stuff at the start......
    The guy who replaced me in my old band ( bear with...) then set up a band doing the same kind of set ( ska covers)when he left with an idea of anything for any price. Also nicked the agent and various contacts. 
    About four years on ( our keyboard player knows them quite well)they play a lot but they made such a point of playing cheaply for the experience that they still struggle to get more than £100 for the same venues we get £300 for.
    Maybe with a 9 piece you accept that it isn't likely to be a money making experience. I was, fairly briefly, in a band with a bassist who also played in a big soul review band that would sell out decent sized venues but he made as much playing in pubs with us because it was a ten ( IIRC)piece band with sound and lighting people.
    Anyway, Razorlight. Word :bleep_bloop:  :bleep_bloop:  :bleep_bloop: 
    I feel the warm, healing, liquid presence of God’s genuine cold-filtered grace. 
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  • ricorico Frets: 474
    We have been offered a gig at a wedding but they want us to play for FOUR hours. The gig is in three weeks and we had to turn down at least £1000. Its a shame but not at all feasible. 
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  • HoofHoof Frets: 321
    rico said:
    We have been offered a gig at a wedding but they want us to play for FOUR hours. The gig is in three weeks and we had to turn down at least £1000. Its a shame but not at all feasible. 
    As a singer I don't think there's any way my voice would last for four hours. 
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  • Danny1969Danny1969 Frets: 2955
    In my experience weddings always run late ..... that 4 hours would probably turn into 3 hours or less which is pretty normal 
    Asking for 4 hours though is a bit much, sounds like they want maximum value from the spend
    www.2020studios.co.uk 
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  • Placidcasual79Placidcasual79 Frets: 600
    The guy who replaced me in my old band ( bear with...) then set up a band doing the same kind of set ( ska covers)when he left with an idea of anything for any price. Also nicked the agent and various contacts. About four years on ( our keyboard player knows them quite well)they play a lot but they made such a point of playing cheaply for the experience that they still struggle to get more than £100 for the same venues we get £300 for. Maybe with a 9 piece you accept that it isn't likely to be a money making experience. I was, fairly briefly, in a band with a bassist who also played in a big soul review band that would sell out decent sized venues but he made as much playing in pubs with us because it was a ten ( IIRC)piece band with sound and lighting people.
    Anyway, Razorlight. Word bleep_bloop  bleep_bloop  bleep_bloop 
    Yeah - fair point @erictheweary - thats what the majority of our band think too - hence our agreed minimal fee. Personally 

    I think the OP should have a discussion about this stuff at the start though. I am in the minority in my band so have to accept the majority position.  

    Yes Razolight. A band so dull that the term 'land fill indie' was created to describe them. 
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  • ElectroDanElectroDan Frets: 546
    Four hours is a bit daft to ask for.
    Unless your one of the bands that just plods along gently, you are going to cause your singer damage that doesn't heal quickly.
    Most of the stuff my band does is Weddings, Holiday Parks and Corporate. The contract is always in the van and it almost always states 2 x 45 minutes. Of course Encores get asked for and as long as they haven't treated us like shit all night, we will gladly oblige.
    New Years Eve always seems to be 2 x 60 mins though.
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  • ricorico Frets: 474
    We had a gig on Saturday and picked up another gig on the back of it at a local pub for £300 and all the beer we can drink...happy days. 
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  • bluechargeboybluechargeboy Frets: 1052
    Hey @Placidcasual79 we played the previous day, before The Christians. If it makes you feel any better we were billed as "headline warm-up" and got £300 (but there are only three of us). I think that is just what we asked for though. Sounds like we have to be more ruthless in our negotiations...

    Also, our set got cut short due to everything running late. :D 

    My band: Hedge Gods
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  • Placidcasual79Placidcasual79 Frets: 600
    Hey @Placidcasual79 we played the previous day, before The Christians. If it makes you feel any better we were billed as "headline warm-up" and got £300 (but there are only three of us). I think that is just what we asked for though. Sounds like we have to be more ruthless in our negotiations...

    Also, our set got cut short due to everything running late. :D 


    Hey Bluechargeboy

    I've seen the Hedgegods a few times you guys are brilliant. I also saw your percussionist playing on his own in Chester and was totally mesmerised. I think we've shared bills before? You right - we were offered £300 and asked for £500 because there are 9 of us. The sound on stage was terrible but I've seen videos from out front and they were ok. How did you go? 
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  • bluechargeboybluechargeboy Frets: 1052
    @Placidcasual79 Ta very much like! :) It wasn't very busy on the Friday. That space sure made the audience look sparse!! We had a nice sound, but we are a quiet band onstage (having no drum kit makes a difference). The reverb/echo in that room made me want to buy reverb and echo pedals!
    My band: Hedge Gods
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  • Placidcasual79Placidcasual79 Frets: 600
    edited May 23
    @Placidcasual79 Ta very much like! It wasn't very busy on the Friday. That space sure made the audience look sparse!! We had a nice sound, but we are a quiet band onstage (having no drum kit makes a difference). The reverb/echo in that room made me want to buy reverb and echo pedals!
    Yes - it was a sweet sounding room/tent. The acoustics were incredible. You back there this weekend for red dragon?

    Also, and I apologise if this is wide of the mark -  but is it true you guys do a dub night in Ruthin? I'd love to come......
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  • bluechargeboybluechargeboy Frets: 1052
    @Placidcasual79 We did Red Dragon last year so having a year off. Also have another 4 gigs to get through this weekend...!

    There is an occasional reggae night in Ruthin, Pressure Sound. Run by mates of ours, not by the band.
    My band: Hedge Gods
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  • Placidcasual79Placidcasual79 Frets: 600
    @Placidcasual79 We did Red Dragon last year so having a year off. Also have another 4 gigs to get through this weekend...!

    There is an occasional reggae night in Ruthin, Pressure Sound. Run by mates of ours, not by the band.
    Thanks - I'll have a look into that - enjoy your weekend! 
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