This has probably been discussed a few times before but I had two gigs with two bands over the weekend and it got me thinking, is this the norm?
Gig 1. Saturday night, pub with a beer festival. My covers band. We’re not an amazing band by any means, just a bunch of mates playing songs we love for a bit of fun and getting paid for it from time to time. We had agreed a price of £350 but actually got paid £450. The night had gone well, we played longer than we expected and the place was full and jumping right to the end. I didn’t think we played particularly well to be honest, but it didn’t seem to matter.
Gig 2. Sunday late afternoon. A pub that does live music several times a week and Sunday afternoon gigs regularly. Original material band with a few covers (less than 30% of the set). Probably 15 or 20 of the bands friends and family, another 30 or 40 unknown (possibly local regulars) punters. Musically and creatively another league up from the previous nights band. Played really well, loads of good feedback from the none entourage audience members. 7 piece band, £220.
So, is that fairly typical? Can bands that play just original material actually make any money until they’ve built a large following?