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Fees (concert admission prices)

C-flat 25 Oct 10 - 08:44 AM
Vic Smith 25 Oct 10 - 08:48 AM
Girl Friday 25 Oct 10 - 09:03 AM
Arthur_itus 25 Oct 10 - 09:03 AM
GUEST,Banjiman 25 Oct 10 - 09:17 AM
Nick 25 Oct 10 - 09:20 AM
C-flat 25 Oct 10 - 09:30 AM
C-flat 25 Oct 10 - 09:44 AM
GUEST,chris 25 Oct 10 - 09:48 AM
C-flat 25 Oct 10 - 09:50 AM
Arthur_itus 25 Oct 10 - 10:19 AM
MGM·Lion 25 Oct 10 - 10:21 AM
autoharpbob 25 Oct 10 - 10:34 AM
C-flat 25 Oct 10 - 10:35 AM
GUEST,BanjoRay 25 Oct 10 - 10:37 AM
C-flat 25 Oct 10 - 10:40 AM
MGM·Lion 25 Oct 10 - 10:45 AM
Arthur_itus 25 Oct 10 - 10:47 AM
Arthur_itus 25 Oct 10 - 10:48 AM
Tim Leaning 25 Oct 10 - 10:49 AM
Tim Leaning 25 Oct 10 - 10:52 AM
Will Fly 25 Oct 10 - 11:12 AM
Arthur_itus 25 Oct 10 - 11:17 AM
GUEST 25 Oct 10 - 11:41 AM
GUEST,John Routledge 25 Oct 10 - 11:45 AM
greg stephens 25 Oct 10 - 11:56 AM
Vic Smith 25 Oct 10 - 11:56 AM
Will Fly 25 Oct 10 - 12:18 PM
C-flat 25 Oct 10 - 03:42 PM
dick greenhaus 25 Oct 10 - 03:49 PM
Trapper 25 Oct 10 - 04:17 PM
Joe Offer 25 Oct 10 - 04:17 PM
Leadfingers 25 Oct 10 - 04:22 PM
GUEST,Banjiman 25 Oct 10 - 06:07 PM
open mike 25 Oct 10 - 06:21 PM
George Papavgeris 25 Oct 10 - 06:44 PM
Betsy 25 Oct 10 - 08:30 PM
Tim Leaning 26 Oct 10 - 12:58 AM
GUEST,Woodsie 26 Oct 10 - 01:55 AM
C-flat 26 Oct 10 - 03:08 AM
Tim Leaning 26 Oct 10 - 03:12 AM
GUEST,Woodsie 26 Oct 10 - 04:05 AM
George Papavgeris 26 Oct 10 - 04:24 AM
Arthur_itus 26 Oct 10 - 04:45 AM
Vic Smith 26 Oct 10 - 04:58 AM
Wolfhound person 26 Oct 10 - 05:08 AM
Tim Leaning 26 Oct 10 - 05:23 AM
C-flat 26 Oct 10 - 05:53 AM
Mo the caller 26 Oct 10 - 06:41 AM
Arthur_itus 26 Oct 10 - 06:46 AM
stallion 26 Oct 10 - 07:02 AM
MGM·Lion 26 Oct 10 - 07:35 AM
Colin Randall 26 Oct 10 - 07:54 AM
GUEST,Woodsie 26 Oct 10 - 07:56 AM
GUEST,Desi C 26 Oct 10 - 08:05 AM
GUEST,Girl Friday 26 Oct 10 - 08:09 AM
Tim Leaning 26 Oct 10 - 08:36 AM
DebC 26 Oct 10 - 08:58 AM
Wolfhound person 26 Oct 10 - 09:12 AM
stallion 26 Oct 10 - 09:13 AM
Will Fly 26 Oct 10 - 09:22 AM
GUEST,Banjiman 26 Oct 10 - 09:47 AM
MGM·Lion 26 Oct 10 - 09:48 AM
GUEST,Banjiman 26 Oct 10 - 09:51 AM
Tim Leaning 26 Oct 10 - 10:09 AM
Will Fly 26 Oct 10 - 10:16 AM
Sarah McQuaid 26 Oct 10 - 10:17 AM
Will Fly 26 Oct 10 - 10:26 AM
Sarah McQuaid 26 Oct 10 - 10:28 AM
GUEST,Banjiman 26 Oct 10 - 10:33 AM
Will Fly 26 Oct 10 - 10:34 AM
C-flat 26 Oct 10 - 10:41 AM
Tim Leaning 26 Oct 10 - 10:45 AM
Tim Leaning 26 Oct 10 - 10:55 AM
C-flat 26 Oct 10 - 10:57 AM
Ruth Archer 26 Oct 10 - 11:33 AM
Folkiedave 26 Oct 10 - 11:42 AM
C-flat 26 Oct 10 - 11:43 AM
Tim Leaning 26 Oct 10 - 11:52 AM
Tim Leaning 26 Oct 10 - 11:56 AM
GUEST,Girl Friday 26 Oct 10 - 11:56 AM
Dave MacKenzie 26 Oct 10 - 12:05 PM
Arthur_itus 26 Oct 10 - 01:05 PM
Will Fly 26 Oct 10 - 01:16 PM
Tim Leaning 26 Oct 10 - 01:20 PM
Arthur_itus 26 Oct 10 - 01:21 PM
GUEST,Woodsie 26 Oct 10 - 01:23 PM
GUEST,chris 26 Oct 10 - 01:24 PM
Tim Leaning 26 Oct 10 - 01:31 PM
Arthur_itus 26 Oct 10 - 01:32 PM
Will Fly 26 Oct 10 - 01:33 PM
GUEST,Tom Bliss 26 Oct 10 - 01:34 PM
Will Fly 26 Oct 10 - 01:39 PM
Tim Leaning 26 Oct 10 - 01:44 PM
Tim Leaning 26 Oct 10 - 01:46 PM
The Sandman 26 Oct 10 - 01:52 PM
Will Fly 26 Oct 10 - 01:55 PM
GUEST,Tom Bliss 26 Oct 10 - 02:05 PM
C-flat 26 Oct 10 - 02:42 PM
C-flat 26 Oct 10 - 02:43 PM
Tim Leaning 26 Oct 10 - 02:48 PM
autoharpbob 26 Oct 10 - 03:07 PM
evansakes 26 Oct 10 - 03:25 PM
Tim Leaning 26 Oct 10 - 03:36 PM
Will Fly 26 Oct 10 - 03:56 PM
Joe Offer 26 Oct 10 - 03:57 PM
Will Fly 26 Oct 10 - 04:03 PM
Tim Leaning 26 Oct 10 - 04:06 PM
GUEST,Tom Bliss 26 Oct 10 - 04:20 PM
Will Fly 26 Oct 10 - 04:28 PM
Tim Leaning 26 Oct 10 - 04:52 PM
Tim Leaning 26 Oct 10 - 04:55 PM
GUEST,Tom Bliss 26 Oct 10 - 05:43 PM
Will Fly 26 Oct 10 - 06:15 PM
GUEST,Tom Bliss 26 Oct 10 - 06:24 PM
Betsy 26 Oct 10 - 07:59 PM
C-flat 27 Oct 10 - 03:31 AM
George Papavgeris 27 Oct 10 - 04:28 AM
Wolfhound person 27 Oct 10 - 05:01 AM
GUEST,Tom Bliss 27 Oct 10 - 05:39 AM
Joe Offer 27 Oct 10 - 05:55 AM
autoharpbob 27 Oct 10 - 06:30 AM
Will Fly 27 Oct 10 - 06:43 AM
Joe Offer 27 Oct 10 - 06:47 AM
The Sandman 27 Oct 10 - 06:52 AM
Vic Smith 27 Oct 10 - 07:24 AM
GUEST,Desi C 27 Oct 10 - 07:35 AM
The Sandman 27 Oct 10 - 07:53 AM
Vic Smith 27 Oct 10 - 08:59 AM
GUEST,Banjiman 27 Oct 10 - 09:04 AM
Dave MacKenzie 27 Oct 10 - 05:56 PM
Joe Offer 27 Oct 10 - 08:45 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 28 Oct 10 - 12:49 AM
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Subject: Fees
From: C-flat
Date: 25 Oct 10 - 08:44 AM

In a current thread about Vin Garbutt there's comment (unchecked) stating that Vin insists that the venue does not charge less than £10 per ticket, regardless of whether his fee is guaranteed by the venue.
I can only assume his logic being that anyone who pays at least £10 for a ticket is coming to listen, whereas a token £1 or £2 entry, subsidised by the venue or whatever, may guarantee a full house but not necessarily a good audience?
To be fair to him, he's paid his dues over the years and should be able to expect a little respect from a crowd, and a paltry entrance fee could attract the merely "curious" or even "disinterested", but should he be expected to take that in his stride and win them over?
Or is it fair to set pricing so that he's only "preaching to the converted"?
Maybe there's some other reason altogether that I've failed to see?


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Subject: RE: Fees
From: Vic Smith
Date: 25 Oct 10 - 08:48 AM

This is not a new situation. The reason that we have never booked him is for that very reason.... that he wanted to dictate to us what the admission price should be.


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Subject: RE: Fees
From: Girl Friday
Date: 25 Oct 10 - 09:03 AM

As Vic says, other performers stipulate an entry fee. I think it's wrong of them, as it does put off people who haven't so far heard them, preventing a potential increase in their fan base. It has happened to me before, but I reasoned with the performer and got a compromise.


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Subject: RE: Fees
From: Arthur_itus
Date: 25 Oct 10 - 09:03 AM

If Vin wants to make each venue charge a minimum of £10, then that is up to him.
If you do not want to adhere to that, you don't book him.
That's how things work.

Quote from C-Flat
I can only assume his logic being that anyone who pays at least £10 for a ticket is coming to listen, whereas a token £1 or £2 entry, subsidised by the venue or whatever, may guarantee a full house but not necessarily a good audience?


C-Flat it has nothing to do with that. May I suggest that rather than start a thread like this, why don't you ring Vin and ask him. This sort of thread does not do any artist any good, especially when the Mudcat Mob get stuck in.

Vin has a very shrewd head on him, and talks a lot of sense and knows what he is doing. You would do well to take time to listen to him and learn. I did and learn't an aweful lot about putting on an event and making it worthwhile for the organiser and the artist.

I'll get me coat.


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Subject: RE: Fees
From: GUEST,Banjiman
Date: 25 Oct 10 - 09:17 AM

I would rather see a subject like this discussed without using the name of the artist involved.

A valid subject for organisers and artists alike..... but not as a thinly veiled attack on a specific artist.


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Subject: RE: Fees
From: Nick
Date: 25 Oct 10 - 09:20 AM

There is a pub between Guisborough and Whitby that I was in when I was playing in a blues/rock band a while back and was tentatively asking about gigs. I got chatting to the landlord about bookings and he was talking about the risk he took booking people. There were two acts that were exceptions and he was always safe with - one being Vin Garbutt and the other being the Blueflies.

Both always packed the place - people will pay for an evening that they know they will be entertained by and Vin delivers. Presumably people would not fill the place and believe they get value for money continually unless it was.


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Subject: RE: Fees
From: C-flat
Date: 25 Oct 10 - 09:30 AM

Wow!! Seemed to have touched a nerve or two?

Firstly let me state that this is in no way a "thinly veiled attack" on anyone at all!!
I'm a fan of Vin Garbutt, never been in a situation involving booking or fees, nor do I know him or, for that matter, have his phone number to ring him and ask him, as suggested???

In fact this thread isn't necessarily about Vin at all, rather the practice of setting fees and the motive behind it.

My initial assumption, as already stated, is that it guarantees a certain audience, i.e. the converted, if, as Arthur Itis states, "it has nothing to do with that", then what? And is it right to do that?


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Subject: RE: Fees
From: C-flat
Date: 25 Oct 10 - 09:44 AM

Nick,
We've most certainly played the same venues around Teesside and East Cleveland and I completely get it when landlords want to play safe and book bands or acts that bring an audience and fill the place.
Simple economics.
But determining that audience by way of pricing is quite a different matter.
I'm not saying that it's necessarily a bad thing, just interested in how common this sort of thing is.


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Subject: RE: Fees
From: GUEST,chris
Date: 25 Oct 10 - 09:48 AM

Charging £2 or £3 entrance doesn't say much about how a performer is valued- or does it!
chris


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Subject: RE: Fees
From: C-flat
Date: 25 Oct 10 - 09:50 AM

It says nothing at all if the venue is subsidising......


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Subject: RE: Fees
From: Arthur_itus
Date: 25 Oct 10 - 10:19 AM

C Flat
If it's not really mean't to be about Vin, then why the hell mention him?

You can guarantee a full house with Vin, even at £10 beleive me.


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Subject: RE: Fees
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 25 Oct 10 - 10:21 AM

I am reminded of the moment in a Rumpole story where he tries to discuss a possible sentence one of his clients might incur with the judge trying the case, who happens to be an old acquaintance. "You will defend your client," the judge says with some dignity, "and if he is convicted, I will sentence him. You have your job and I have mine."

A guest singer's job is to sing. A club organiser's job is to organise all aspects of the occasion at which this singing takes place, including what entrance fee should be charged. I regard it as a gross impertinence for the guest singer to interfere to any extent whatever in such a decision. It is not his job.

~Michael~


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Subject: RE: Fees
From: autoharpbob
Date: 25 Oct 10 - 10:34 AM

I sort of agree with Michael. Market economics should dictate that the singer sets his/her fee for the event, and the organiser sets what price he/she sells tickets at. I would and have paid £10 to see Vin and don't see this as an attack on him. But maybe there is a difference between saying "I think I am worth £10 a ticket" and saying "I won't come if the entrance fee is less than ....". I have heard other artists set a minimum fee in this way though and don't quite understand the reasons. Surely it can't be that the artist feels they are being sold short, as their fee for the night is unaffected. Is it something to do with standardizing prices - punters could see a person for £10 at one event and £5 at another? But surely this just reflects capacities of venues, amounts clubs are willing to subsidize, fee structures for belonging to clubs and so on? I just don't see the reasons why an artist would want to set a minimum ticket price. Please enlighten me.


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Subject: RE: Fees
From: C-flat
Date: 25 Oct 10 - 10:35 AM

"If it's not really mean't to be about Vin, then why the hell mention him?"

Arthur Itis, please read my inital post again and you will clearly see where the reference to Vin Garbutt originated.

I'm not knocking Vin, if you read my posts again without colouring between the lines you'll see that!

Nor do I doubt his ability to fill a room. It's not about that!!


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Subject: RE: Fees
From: GUEST,BanjoRay
Date: 25 Oct 10 - 10:37 AM

It is the guest singer's job to decide where they're prepared to sing if invited. If they don't want to perform in a club which charges less than a tenner, it's up to them. They've got their own image to consider.


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Subject: RE: Fees
From: C-flat
Date: 25 Oct 10 - 10:40 AM

Is that it? Image?
Is the artist diminished by appearing for less?


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Subject: RE: Fees
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 25 Oct 10 - 10:45 AM

BanjoRay ~~ Disagree. Don't think it is any part of their job even to ask what the entrance charge will be, so long as they are guaranteed to receive their agreed fee. Can't see how their 'image' will be affected at all.

~M~


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Subject: RE: Fees
From: Arthur_itus
Date: 25 Oct 10 - 10:47 AM

Exactly BJ it is a two way thing.


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Subject: RE: Fees
From: Arthur_itus
Date: 25 Oct 10 - 10:48 AM

So sorry that last comment should have read

Exactly Banjo Ray it is a two way thing.


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Subject: RE: Fees
From: Tim Leaning
Date: 25 Oct 10 - 10:49 AM

Oh Michael
LOL


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Subject: RE: Fees
From: Tim Leaning
Date: 25 Oct 10 - 10:52 AM

ooer Arthur!


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Subject: RE: Fees
From: Will Fly
Date: 25 Oct 10 - 11:12 AM

This phenomenon isn't uncommon. It happened with another well-known musician down in Sussex last year. A local club had booked the artist as part of his national tour and, contractually, had to have both a minimum number of people in the audience and a fixed ticket price. In order to fulfill the guarantee, tickets were on sale at the club months in advance and were "pushed", as the trade has it, at every opportunity.

The regular club attendees had obviously asked the organiser some awkwards questions because, at one point in a club evening, he stood up to make a special announcement that all monies from club takings went to the running of the club and performer fees, and that no money was being used for personal profit. It was quite embarrassing for him and he was obviously not too happy with the arrangement as the club, though generally popular and well-attended, was not that big.

I could understand it if a promoter/artist/agent was worried about clubs being unable to meet an agreed fee or welching on a contract, but this sort of occasion would be, to my mind - and knowing the integrity of folk club organisers - extremely rare. I also personally don't think it right that the promoter/artist/agent should dictate a ticket price. Agree a fee with the club, sign a contract, and then let the club get on with it.


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Subject: RE: Fees
From: Arthur_itus
Date: 25 Oct 10 - 11:17 AM

Most artists at that level tend do do a fixed guarantee (lets say for arguments sake £500) or a 80% of the door whichever is the greatest.

Therefore if you only charge £5 a ticket, you are in a way limiting the artists earnings.

100 @ £5 x 80% = £400

100 @ £10 x 80% = £800

All an artist has to do is ask how many you can seat amd then multiply it by £10 and charge that as the fixed fee.


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Subject: RE: Fees
From: GUEST
Date: 25 Oct 10 - 11:41 AM

Spot on Arthur.

As I recall in earlier times artists were booked on a percentage of the door basis and in some cases clubs were crammed at an artificially low admission price.

This is unfair to the more "popular" guests!!


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Subject: Fees
From: GUEST,John Routledge
Date: 25 Oct 10 - 11:45 AM

Above was me :0(


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Subject: RE: Fees
From: greg stephens
Date: 25 Oct 10 - 11:56 AM

Occasions where I have asked for a certain ticket price when playing at a venue: when the venue charges variable ticket prices according to the status/popularity/cuteness of the guest. Makes you look a bit cheap if they want to put you at their bottom range of ticket prices. I take a glance at their prices and suggest we are put where I feel we look best, not too pricy, not too cheap!


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Subject: RE: Fees
From: Vic Smith
Date: 25 Oct 10 - 11:56 AM

The local circumstances should be the thing that determines the entrance price and the local promoters/organisers should know how to set these. We all know that London event prices are higher than outside of that city - but then salaries in London are generally much higher because of the cost of living in the metropolis.

Conversely, quite a few years ago I went to an event on the Fylde coast. Innocently, I mentioned the low admission prices to the organiser and was told firmly, "Do you know what the unemployment rate is in Fleetwood?" Well, no, I didn't - but the next morning I took a walk round the local market and by the look of the poor quality and low prices of the goods, I did get the impression that there was not a lot of money around.


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Subject: RE: Fees
From: Will Fly
Date: 25 Oct 10 - 12:18 PM

I suspect that the minimum guarantee/percentage of the door take is probably more prevalent in folk clubs than others. In my (30+) years playing music other than folk (jazz, rock'n roll, funk), the bands I worked in either agreed a fixed price directly with the venue or, if going through an agent, accepted the fee proposed by the agent. Once the contract was signed, that was it - the fee was paid whether the venue made money or lost money.

As a matter of routine, we generally rejected gigs where the promoter or the venue offered door percentages, as we'd seen too many scams with other bands at some venues.


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Subject: RE: Fees (Vin Garbutt and admission prices)
From: C-flat
Date: 25 Oct 10 - 03:42 PM

For some reason a helpful Mud-elf has adjusted the name of this thread to include Vin Garbutts'name.
When I began this topic my intention was not to hold Vin Garbutt to scrutiny, far be it from me!
The inclusion of the name in the title suggests this is about Vin rather than the practice of controlling ticket prices.
So as not to inflame those who seek to find offence, can the thread please be re-titled simply "Fees and Admission Prices"??
Thanks
C-flat


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Subject: RE: Fees (Vin Garbutt and admission prices)
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 25 Oct 10 - 03:49 PM

Wothehell. Perormers (or organizations) can charge anything they please. If the folks don't like it, they simply won't come. Neither the performer nor the organization owes the general public anything; they owe the paying public a satisfactory presentation and performance.


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Subject: RE: Fees (concert admission prices)
From: Trapper
Date: 25 Oct 10 - 04:17 PM

I assume this thread is about "professional" venues - but I run a house concert series. In our case, in lieu of a guarantee, we give 100% of the gate to the artist, so we ASK the artist to set their price, letting them know that it's far more likely they'll have a full house if the ticket price is on the $10 end vs. the $20 end. Most are reasonable, and keep the price as low as they can. If they are coming a long way for the show, or if the act is more than one or two people, most of my audience understands a higher price.

However, if the artist's rate is contractually fixed in advance, then I agree with most here that say the artist should no longer have any say in the ticket price, or the minimum number in the audience.

- Al


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Subject: RE: Fees (concert admission prices)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 25 Oct 10 - 04:17 PM

£10 (or the US equivalent) doesn't sound like a whole lot of money. I'd be willing to pay that amount for performers I really want to hear - BUT it's still a significant amount of money. I go to a lot of concerts for what one might consider "charity" reasons - I want to support the venue and ensure it has a full house, I feel it's my duty as a member of the local folk community, it's a new performer and I want to see if he/she is good or not, it's a not-so-good performer and I don't want his/her performance to be a flop, etc.
Some performers are a sure bet, and they're worth £10 - I'm sure Vin Garbutt is one of these. I'd hate to see £10 become the standard price, because it shuts out many performers who may not be considered to be worth £10.

$20 is becoming a fairly common price for folk house concerts in the U.S., and that's a bit steep. I find the price is high enough to discourage me from attending concerts I'm not sure I'll enjoy. $50 or more is now the price for well-known performers in big venues, and I'm rarely willing to pay that. I still regret missing my first chance to see Doc Watson a couple years ago, but the cheapest ticket was $58, and I had to drive an hour each way to get to the concert.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Fees (concert admission prices)
From: Leadfingers
Date: 25 Oct 10 - 04:22 PM

Back in The Good Old Days when I was booker for Uxbridge F C we offered a Guaranteed fee agains 80% of the door , whichever wss greatest - SOME artists did very well , but all got AT LEAST the guaranteed fee ! No WAY would I book JUST for a percentage , and No WAY would I do a Gig for just a percentage !
Small Folk Clubs , even today VERY rarely charge any thing like £10 for admission


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Subject: RE: Fees (concert admission prices)
From: GUEST,Banjiman
Date: 25 Oct 10 - 06:07 PM

"I want to support the venue and ensure it has a full house, I feel it's my duty as a member of the local folk community, it's a new performer and I want to see if he/she is good or not, it's a not-so-good performer and I don't want his/her performance to be a flop, etc."

Joe, if only more people this side of the pond supported these ideals..

I run some concerts (KFFC) on this side of the pond..... we had 70+ in last month for a well known act..... and only 13 this month for an excellent but little known show. It's really frustrating but we can only seem to get people out for the established acts, people just won't take the chance.

Entry was £5 for either event, so I don't think the fee is an issue.


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Subject: RE: Fees (concert admission prices)
From: open mike
Date: 25 Oct 10 - 06:21 PM

equivalent money exchange....is what?
£10 = 10.00 GBP = 15.71 USD

I think most folks would pay $15 for a concert..
and most will pay $15 for a c.d.

some venues make the artist promise not to play
within a certain mile radius of the place
for a certain amount of time..

some festivals have a similar clause...

so that people won't attend another event or venue
to see the musician, and will only have the performance
at that venue avaialble..


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Subject: RE: Fees (concert admission prices)
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 25 Oct 10 - 06:44 PM

There is one element that nobody has mentioned, yet I know it for a fact that it features in many of the established artists' thinking: If you have a "following", with people prepared to travel more than 20-30 miles to see you (and I know that at Vin's gigs there are almost always people who have travelled 100 miles or even much longer) then you want there to be some parity in the ticket prices at which people can come and listen to you, both in fairness to your followers and also for the non-subsidised venues. Why would anyone go to see Vin at (say) the Red Lion in Birmingham for £12 if they can go to Bedworth to see him for £7 (subsidised because Bedworth has singers' nights)? You'd end up with a 150-seater venue staying half-empty and a 40-seater one hanging punters from the rafters, and those who went to the "expensive" one feeling cheated.

Price setting is a complex subject and it's no good seeing it from a single perspective, be that the artist's, their agent's, the venue's or the punters'. Whereas for the average performer such issues may not arise, for the more successful ones it is important to get it right, or they risk upsetting their fan club.

I know that Vin cares deeply about keeping things fair for his fans, and in the interests of that he is prepared to take a "hit" and be refused opportunities at some venues. And he is not the only one by a very long chalk.


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Subject: RE: Fees (concert admission prices)
From: Betsy
Date: 25 Oct 10 - 08:30 PM

Well done George , Dick Greenhaus , Arthur and Joe for bringing some sense and sane comments to this grossly, distasteful, personalised matter.
The whole matter in the opening Thread relates to an UNCHECKED statement.
Perhaps we could start a new thread whereby all Mudcatters divulge their Monthly salary.Yeh - let's all show our arses !!!!
If the entrance fee is worth it to YOU, that's all that matters. No one is forcing anyone to book ANYONE . I'm sure that lots of other individuals and groups have Terms and Conditions proposed to Organisers ,which in turn the Organiser may accept or reject.
Let's not vilify this great performer in this manner,I don't know what is going on here, but this guy VG has been performing around the English speaking world for 40 years now and wowwing audiences graet and small .
Where does it all end - how much George wants ?,how much Tom McConville wants? how much Martin Carthy wants ? etc.etc .
It's their business how they make arrangements with Organisers - and the only thing that matters to you is whether the entrance fee is worth paying.
As for those organisers who take pride in not booking Vin , that's entirely THEIR business , but IMHO I feel sure they have deprived their audience of an evening with a very decent and remarkably talented performer, songwriter, musician and goodly humoured person.


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Subject: RE: Fees (concert admission prices)
From: Tim Leaning
Date: 26 Oct 10 - 12:58 AM

Not often I would agree with Betsy 100%
But he hit it in the noggin.


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Subject: RE: Fees (concert admission prices)
From: GUEST,Woodsie
Date: 26 Oct 10 - 01:55 AM

We are talking about a small "folk club" run by amateurs. We've had Martin Carthy, Wizz Jones, Show Of Hands, Dave Swarbrick perform none of which asked for a fixed high ticket price - and they all got paid well above their contracted minimum fee by receiving a % of the tickets, which were usually in the range of £4 - £7. Then this character, who as far as I am concerned is not in the same league as those I've just mentioned, demands a minimum of £10 per ticket! Well I suppose he wants to keep his music amongst the middle classes - as I along with the people in the area who are unemployed and on income support or grafting for minimum wages won't be attending.


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Subject: RE: Fees (concert admission prices)
From: C-flat
Date: 26 Oct 10 - 03:08 AM

I can only assume that those people taking offense at this thread consider themselves friends of Vin and percieve him to be under attack here.
I'm weary of repeating myself....but...

I've nothing against Vin Garbutt, I think he's entitled to charge whatever people are prepared to pay, I don't think he owes me, or anyone else anything, and I'd be happy to pay £10 to see him.

What I was trying to understand was an artists motive for setting ticket prices when his fee is guaranteed anyway? ANY ARTIST.
George Papavgeris makes an excellent comment and may have got the rights of it in suggesting it has more to do with continuity and fairness. Thank you George for an intelligent response.


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Subject: RE: Fees (concert admission prices)
From: Tim Leaning
Date: 26 Oct 10 - 03:12 AM

Woodsie

Looks like u get the guests you like on the terms you think fair.
So.......
You must be a happy person with no axe to grind.
Eh?


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Subject: RE: Fees (concert admission prices)
From: GUEST,Woodsie
Date: 26 Oct 10 - 04:05 AM

I don't have any organising involvement with this club anymore. I just attend as a member. When I queried why the said act was so expensive I was not happy with the reason given and have chosen not to go to that event. I have no axe to grind. I just thought I would find out what others thought. This is the whole point of these forums. I personally think that it is a downright cheek to ask a club to up the price of tickets way above what people in the area normally pay for this sort of solo act. That's continuity out of tyhe window in my opinion.


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Subject: RE: Fees (concert admission prices)
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 26 Oct 10 - 04:24 AM

I should also have said that I believe 100% that C-Flat intended no criticism of Vin (see his original thread title), but the title change and a few comments here and there inadvertedly and unintentionally "politicised" the thread.

And I will disagree with you Betsy on one thing, and vehemently at that: Let's not all show our arses, the thought of seeing yours has put me right off my feed this morning, not that mine is much of a work of art either!


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Subject: RE: Fees (concert admission prices)
From: Arthur_itus
Date: 26 Oct 10 - 04:45 AM

"And I will disagree with you Betsy on one thing, and vehemently at that: Let's not all show our arses, the thought of seeing yours has put me right off my feed this morning, not that mine is much of a work of art either!"

So glad about that George LOL :-)


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Subject: RE: Fees (concert admission prices)
From: Vic Smith
Date: 26 Oct 10 - 04:58 AM

George wrote
"Let's not all show our arses"


Hmm, George is about to play our club for the first time... I wonder if I need to put a new rider in the contract.


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Subject: RE: Fees (concert admission prices)
From: Wolfhound person
Date: 26 Oct 10 - 05:08 AM

And for those of us who can't afford 10 pounds? (+ travel, beer, baby-sitting, whatever else an evening out costs)

High priced venues of any sort are excluding possible audience. I know nothing at all about the sums, though I totally accept that venues have to cover costs, but something's amiss somewhere.

Paws


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Subject: RE: Fees (concert admission prices)
From: Tim Leaning
Date: 26 Oct 10 - 05:23 AM

Glad we are all mates again.


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Subject: RE: Fees (concert admission prices)
From: C-flat
Date: 26 Oct 10 - 05:53 AM

If I was going to show my arse then I'd certainly insist on controlling ticket prices!! Nothing less than £10 should guarantee my modesty would be preserved!!!!
In fact I wouldn't be suprised to be offered £10 NOT to show my arse!!


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Subject: RE: Fees (concert admission prices)
From: Mo the caller
Date: 26 Oct 10 - 06:41 AM

The suggestion that a venue in one place would be empty at £12 and another packed a £7 is surely irrelevant. If it is a club subsidising the guest nights from club night takings it can make the event 'ticket only' and give preference to it's regulars. That's what a club is about, surely. You support it regularly and uses it's reserves to put on acts you want.
And the price of petrol these days would outweigh any savings unless the two venues were close. In which case maybe the artist should not accept 2 bookings without telling them so that they can consult on whether there is enough audience for both.

But comparing a commercial venue with a club is like comparing apples and melons. Audience should realise that and not feel agrieved.
Hmm .. maybe the artist realises it too and wants to play in the commercial venues, and thinks that appearing elsewhere for less would spoil his chances.


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Subject: RE: Fees (concert admission prices)
From: Arthur_itus
Date: 26 Oct 10 - 06:46 AM

Paws, you do have a point, but when you want to book a top artist, you are normally controlled by what they can earn, elsewhere.

I once tried to book xxxxx who were willing to come to the venue and were happy with the ticket price, but when I explained what our max number of people we could get in, they turned it down as they were playing in theatres with 300 or more audiences. I understood and wished them well and carried on with trying to book the next performer(s). There was certainly no hard feelings. It's supply or demand.

Sometimes people do not understand what goes on in the background. They arrive just before the show, sit down and enjoy it and go home.

However, what they do not realise, is that for the performer(s) it's their salary.

OK so they live 3/4 hours from your venue. Lets say, that by the time they have everything together, they set off at mid day. They get to the venue about say 5pm. They set all the gear up and do their sound checks. If they are lucky, the venue has provided them with a meal. The audience arrive beteewn 7 pm to 8pm. There is normally a support act who may do 30 minutes before the main act. The main act gets on lets say by 8:45pm and finsihes about 11pm after breaks etc. They then chat with their audience afterwards and at the same time try to pack all their gear. With a bit of luck, they may be ready to go at midight. They have a choice - do they stay at a B&B or drive home. Some do some don't. If they have a gig the next day, they do the B&B.

So at the very minimum, this band has spent 12 hours (or 16 hours if they travel home) to entertain you.

What price do you put on that and what about all the free work that the venue does in getting it organised and doing their utmost to make sure you are happy. Many hours go into one gig.


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Subject: RE: Fees (concert admission prices)
From: stallion
Date: 26 Oct 10 - 07:02 AM

It's a long long time since I saw Vin perform, mainly because by the time I get my arse in gear the tickets are sold out. The way i see it he is ensuring the club maximise their profits so that they can survive on half empty nights the rest of the time.


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Subject: RE: Fees (concert admission prices)
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 26 Oct 10 - 07:35 AM

But that's none of his business, Stallion. It is not his job to ensure the club's survival, merely to fulfil his contract with them. I still feel that for him [or anyone] to dictate their admissions policy to them is an impertinence.

Arthur, your last posting was an accurate account of what can be involved in doing the gig; but I can't see it as relevant to the question at issue, which is, to what extent is it the business of the performer to dictate policy to the organisers?


~Michael~


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Subject: RE: Fees (concert admission prices)
From: Colin Randall
Date: 26 Oct 10 - 07:54 AM

I remember Ewan MacColl demanding a proper stage, absolute quiet during his performance (which would have been with Peggy Seeger), likewise bar firmly closed and no one allowed in or out. The fee was also quite expensive by most standards.

I'd have paid the money because they were worth it, and I'm sure we could have put some boards on beer crates. But whatever the pub manager would have said about his bar sales, anyone who remembers the Folk Forum at The Castle Hotel, Bishop Auckland will know why, short of hiring bouncers, I couldn't make any confident assurances about silence and comings & goings. So we had to go without.

Can't get excited about the debate on artists insisting on minimum fees, though. I can see no reason why he/she/they shouldn't, and no reason why a club organiser should not regard it as a legitimate reason for not booking them.

As I may have mentioned in a thread long ago, easily our best night, after the club had moved to another Bishop Auckland pub, was when an error led to both Tony Captsick and Christy Moore turning up on the same date (whose fault, Christy's or mine, being the subject of an alcohol-fuelled dispute). We agreed with CM that we'd raise prices and give him whatever remained after TC had been paid. A big crowd came, both got the money they'd originally expected and both also proceeded to share the task of drinking my dad's drinks cabinet dry afterwards.


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Subject: RE: Fees (concert admission prices)
From: GUEST,Woodsie
Date: 26 Oct 10 - 07:56 AM

Exactly my point - the guest is guaranteed his fee whatever! This has never been a problem with the scores of professional artists who have performed at the club over the lawst 15 years or so. It IS to do with image, ego and vanity.


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Subject: RE: Fees (concert admission prices)
From: GUEST,Desi C
Date: 26 Oct 10 - 08:05 AM

It's a free world and all that, and it's not my kind of music, but as one who runs a folk club I'd not book anyone on that premise, and wouldn't knowingly pay to see someone who had that criteria. I've recently attended a conference funded by The Arts Council to look at ways to increase the appeal of Folk Music to a wider audience, and pricing a wider audience out of it I feel is what vin is doing

Desi C
The Circle Folk Club
Coseley UK
WV14 9JH
Every Wed night


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Subject: RE: Fees (concert admission prices)
From: GUEST,Girl Friday
Date: 26 Oct 10 - 08:09 AM

Leadfingers said "Small Folk Clubs , even today VERY rarely charge any thing like £10 for admission ". Thanks for that comment O F F is one such small club. A good audience today is 15 people paying £5 to £7.00 to see a good range of guests, but no true super stars. I know that I can't afford to pay the fees, There are performers who will fill the club, but the audience will only be for that person. Other times most of them don't attend. Even so, I will endeavour to get the best value I can from every booking . One thing I do promise is a guaranteed minimum fee against 100% of the door, whichever is greater. I always am booked one year in advance, and though I lose money sometimes , we manage to tick over. I'll say one thing in defence of clubs (not artists) who charge £10.00. They may have to pay for the room. I do to, but very little.


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Subject: RE: Fees (concert admission prices)
From: Tim Leaning
Date: 26 Oct 10 - 08:36 AM

"But that's none of his business, Stallion. It is not his job to ensure the club's survival, merely to fulfil his contract with them. I still feel that for him [or anyone] to dictate their admissions policy to them is an impertinence."

This word impertinence.
I only have experience of it in the context of 1950's politicians being upset by Robin Day etc.
Could you expand on your use of it in this context please.


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Subject: RE: Fees (concert admission prices)
From: DebC
Date: 26 Oct 10 - 08:58 AM

This is a fascinating discussion. I have always wondered about admission charges in UK folk clubs. They are certainly lower than here in the States. Most US folk societies charge $10-$15 (approx. £7-12) and in Canada it's $20. House concerts use the suggested donation model with the same range of numbers. Even when the exchange rate was 2-1, I was making less in the UK than what I make in the States or Canada.

Also, as someone said above, artist fees are wages and in my experience have not increased in the folk clubs, though costs for artists (and I am sure venues as well) have increased. It's damned expensive to tour in the UK and I certainly don't do it for the money, but it is always interesting to note that to make a UK tour work, I have to book at least 14 or 15 gigs just to break even.

I have always felt that ticket prices are a decision that should be made by the organiser, though some have asked me to suggest a price. I think George made some excellent points above and Vic did as well. Ticket prices are tricky as someone said above: 1) you charge what the market can bear and 2) if you cannot meet the terms of an artist's contract the artist doesn't get booked at that venue.

I don't know Vin personally, but I have seen him perform. Like many others who have been in the biz for years and years and can guarantee a full house, IMO he and they have every right to run their business the way they see fit. If that means dictating a certain price for tickets, so be it.

Debra Cowan


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Subject: RE: Fees (concert admission prices)
From: Wolfhound person
Date: 26 Oct 10 - 09:12 AM

Arthur-itus

I understand your point about artist input time and all that: I know a gig is not just the hour or so the artiste is on stage. I understand that organisers of whatever venues have to make ends meet, and that performers have to pay bills etc.

I have to live too, and do so on very little, but that means NOT being able to afford nights out with 10 quid ticket prices, just for starters.
I'm not the only one by a long way, and for some it's a lot harder than for me - I don't have to pay rent or mortgage.

This type of audience is effectively being excluded from most "arts venues" in whatever art form, and that's just not right.

Paws


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Subject: RE: Fees (concert admission prices)
From: stallion
Date: 26 Oct 10 - 09:13 AM

I am afraid that a few of guest booking folk clubs have gone the way local floor singing sessions and many more will do so I fear. I didn't neccessarily agree with what I was putting forward just adding a new dimension to the debate. I am full of cold and a bug at the moment and too tired to rant on. I think people should be asked to pay what they can afford to pay. I know there will be dishonest people but that is far better than means testing, pensioners and students dispensations are ok but the students next door are running cars and at least one spent the summer in Italy at Mum and Dads villa, and I know at least a dozen pensioners that own second homes in europe and even one with a Flat in london and house in Florida as well as the house he lives in in Devon. I am interested to know why it is, maybe it is to give the support artist more money. Dare I ask? Nah !!!


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Subject: RE: Fees (concert admission prices)
From: Will Fly
Date: 26 Oct 10 - 09:22 AM

they have every right to run their business the way they see fit. If that means dictating a certain price for tickets, so be it.

Every performer does indeed have the right to conduct his or her own business as they see fit. And so does every club organiser. The problem arises when one tries to conduct the business of the other.

I know several clubs where admission fees for singers' nights (no guests) help to pay the fees for professional guests on other nights. This isn't just a question of subsidising the contracted guest fee to make the admission charge more palatable. Such small clubs, often with limited seating capacity, can't afford a sky-high admission charge to pay for a guest's high fee. Their strategy is to pay the guest's fee by calculating a capacity seat price that, when added to the "subsidy" obtained from the singers' nights, makes up the sum required. This is a calculation that is the business of the club organiser.

It's perfectly acceptable for a club organiser and potential guest to discuss such things as the venue capacity and the possible ticket price range that the club's public will accept when discussing a fee, and whether it's a set fee or a percentage or some combination of the two. But when the price has been agreed and the contract signed, it's up to the club to do what it things best.


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Subject: RE: Fees (concert admission prices)
From: GUEST,Banjiman
Date: 26 Oct 10 - 09:47 AM

The KFFC model is to charge a lowish (usually £5) admission charge. We then ask people to be as generous with their raffle ticket buying as they see fit....... this works. We had 70 plus in for an act last month and had a licensed bar (we keep profits towards club funds, these are quite gigh with a large number of people in) and only took £55 on the raffle.

We were in a really tight spot with only 13 paying audience month this month for a lesser known act...... but we took £44 on the raffle. We did not have a licensed bar.

The audience really responded to help the club (and performers) out. Very heartening as a club organiser.

We only put on a concert once a month and do not have singarounds to subsidise performer costs.


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Subject: RE: Fees (concert admission prices)
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 26 Oct 10 - 09:48 AM

Tim Leaning ~~ I use the word as follows

>im·per·ti·nent  (m-pûrtn-nt)
adj.
1. Exceeding the limits of propriety or good manners; improperly forward or bold: e.g. impertinent of a child to lecture a grownup.

Free Online Dictionary<

as I think a guest who tries to dictate the policy of the venue at which he appears is going beyound his brief, & trying to pre-empt someone else's job and prerogative, in a manner I would call "improperly forward or bold".

~Michael~


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Subject: RE: Fees (concert admission prices)
From: GUEST,Banjiman
Date: 26 Oct 10 - 09:51 AM

p.s. An artist dictating ticket prices just wouldn't work with the model I describe above.

Accept the artist has the right to run their business as they see fit though. But it would make it difficult for me to book someone who wouldn't work with me in finding a compromise though (hasn't happened yet though).


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Subject: RE: Fees (concert admission prices)
From: Tim Leaning
Date: 26 Oct 10 - 10:09 AM

"merely to fulfil his contract with them"
MtGM
I would not consider it impertinent to put forward my terms and conditions whilst in the process of negotiating my contract.
Why do you ?
Both sides are able to discuss the contract and decide if it is suitable or not .
Your use of the word seems to denote a master servant or adult child sort of a relationship not a prospective service user and provider coming to an arrangement.


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Subject: RE: Fees (concert admission prices)
From: Will Fly
Date: 26 Oct 10 - 10:16 AM

Whether it's 'impertinent' or not depends, I suppose, on your view of the fine dividing line between the business of the performer and the business of the club. In my view, ticket prices are the business of the club, not the performer.

In the example I quoted at a local Sussex club, the forced ticket price wasn't the subject of a discussion - it was a mandate by the performer's agent. 'Charge this ticket price or you don't get the performer.' I wouldn't have done business on those terms.


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Subject: RE: Fees (concert admission prices)
From: Sarah McQuaid
Date: 26 Oct 10 - 10:17 AM

Thanks to Debra Cowan for alerting me to this discussion, which is highly relevant to conversations I've been having over the past few weeks. I've just finished a 25-date UK tour, am now setting off on an equally long US tour, and have been having repeated discussions with my road manager about the ticket price issue -- have been considering setting a similar minimum ticket price rule myself. Basically I find -- both on my UK tours and on the US tour I did last Feb-March -- that the higher the ticket price, the bigger the audience. I don't know whether this is because people see a high ticket price and think the gig must be worth going to, or because the venues that charge more on the door tend to be better venues and therefore get better crowds. Either way, it seems to be a pretty good rule of thumb, for me anyway, that if a gig carries a low ticket price it's probably not a good idea to do it. It's also not very nice for punters who've forked out good money for a ticket if they then see that people 50 miles down the road can pay half the price for the same show.

I'll be interested in continuing to follow this discussion, and might raise the same issue on assorted other fora as I'd like to know what others have to say about it!

Sarah McQuaid

http://www.sarahmcquaid.com


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Subject: RE: Fees (concert admission prices)
From: Will Fly
Date: 26 Oct 10 - 10:26 AM

Interesting, Sarah. I've recently seen an excellent performer at a local club in Sussex, for which I booked in advance. In a few weeks' time, I'm going to see that same performer at another local club - I've also booked in advance, and the cost for this ticket is 20% less than the first one. The first gig was packed to the gills, and I'm absolutely sure that the second gig (same capacity) will be similarly packed to the gills. The difference in price means absolutely nothing to me - I'm just really glad of the opportunity to see the performer again in a venue near me!


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Subject: RE: Fees (concert admission prices)
From: Sarah McQuaid
Date: 26 Oct 10 - 10:28 AM

Further to previous -- After sending my last post, I realise I'd better clarify -- by "tend to be better venues" I don't mean to imply that there's anything wrong with venues that charge little or nothing on the door -- some of my favourite places to play in the world, run by my favourite people in the world, are places that charge little or nothing on the door! By "better venues" I mean larger clubs that host concerts on a regular basis that host high-profile acts. Deep breath, mop brow ....

Sarah


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Subject: RE: Fees (concert admission prices)
From: GUEST,Banjiman
Date: 26 Oct 10 - 10:33 AM

Sarah,

I'd be interested in discussing the phenomena you describe and experimenting a little for the gig you are likely to be doing for us next year ....... we'd have to agree on how the risk could be shared though!

Paul Arrowsmith


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Subject: RE: Fees (concert admission prices)
From: Will Fly
Date: 26 Oct 10 - 10:34 AM

Breath taken in? Brow mopped? :-)

"Better" is a moveable feast, isn't it? Depending on the viewpoint. For me, a small, intimate club, where the audience and performer are fairly close - however rough'n ready the ambiance might be - is often a joy. For a performer, I can see that a reasonably sophisticated club with, say, a separate area to relax in, a decent stage, PA system if necessary, and high capacity seating, can be a more attractive proposition.


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Subject: RE: Fees (concert admission prices)
From: C-flat
Date: 26 Oct 10 - 10:41 AM

It's a really interesting point that Sarah makes and follows my initial instinct that the policy has more to do with the type of customer than anything else.
I know from my work experience how critical "price points" are, too cheap and it's false economy, not worth having, too expensive and it'll turn other folk away, so I don't see why folk music or any other form of entertainment would be any different.
Maybe it's about "pitching" it to where the artists believes his or her level should be?
Maybe there's a lot of us out there under-selling ourselves???


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Subject: RE: Fees (concert admission prices)
From: Tim Leaning
Date: 26 Oct 10 - 10:45 AM

I am sorry Will and Michael both.
But I just see the word as derogatory in the context.
The word mandate Will?
The point I was making was just that however unpleasant this act's agent was, or if you think that the performer should leave the ticket pricing to the club organizer,if the parties agree to it than neither side could be impertinent.
If the act turned up then wanted free beer or the organizer decided not to pay the full amount......


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Subject: RE: Fees (concert admission prices)
From: Tim Leaning
Date: 26 Oct 10 - 10:55 AM

C flat
There a lot of performers I have met who feel the world is against them and should recognize their true greatness and will try to get paid even if they are just at their local for the weekly open mic.
There are also plenty of people who have no respect at all for the hard work and dedication it takes to be able to sing and play like a lot of the contributors to mudcat can.
I know a very good local performer who will no longer play for free at charity do,s, after the one he did for free and discovered the organizer took very hefty chunk of the money raised for their own "expenses"
He insists on being payed then donates as he feels able.
Seems fair in the circumstances.
its a cold old world sometimes innit?


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Subject: RE: Fees (concert admission prices)
From: C-flat
Date: 26 Oct 10 - 10:57 AM

Sad but very true.....


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Subject: RE: Fees (concert admission prices)
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 26 Oct 10 - 11:33 AM

"It's a free world and all that, and it's not my kind of music, but as one who runs a folk club I'd not book anyone on that premise, and wouldn't knowingly pay to see someone who had that criteria. I've recently attended a conference funded by The Arts Council to look at ways to increase the appeal of Folk Music to a wider audience, and pricing a wider audience out of it I feel is what vin is doing"


I was at that conference, too. Really? A tenner to see someone who headlines at many festivals is "pricing a wider audience out of it"?

People pay £3 for a pint of beer. Fish and chips will set you back £7. A cinema ticket costs £7. A gig at a local arts centre will start at around £12 or £14. And that's not even beginning to consider arena concerts, football matches...but you can go to a folk club and see a concert for £2 or £3.

Why do we in the folk community place so little value on our product, and by extension, our artists? We think they're great, and we love what they do - so how come we think they're worth less than a bag of chips?

Maybe, as Sarah has suggested, devaluing our product actually lessens its worth in the mind of the potential customer. I can tell you that in terms of basic marketing theory and practice, lowest price does not guarantee maximum, or even bigger, audiences. It's to do with the perceived value of the product. In any case, artificially low prices does not seem to be increasing folk club attendance at the moment, does it? Maybe it's time to try a different approach...


In any case, Vin doesn't appear to be pricing himself out of the market - as people have said, he specifies a minimum charge, and the gigs are rammed.


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Subject: RE: Fees (concert admission prices)
From: Folkiedave
Date: 26 Oct 10 - 11:42 AM

Ruth A. is absolutely correct. I remember a number of years ago a well-known group were lined up for a BBC appearance. When the BBC were told their fee (they wee naive in those days) the producer said - "If that is all they charge they can't be very good". Or words to that effect.

We do not value our music highly enough.


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Subject: RE: Fees (concert admission prices)
From: C-flat
Date: 26 Oct 10 - 11:43 AM

worth less than a bag of chips

Brilliantly put!!

In the context of other everyday purchases it seems we do undervalue the "product".
By putting a realistic price on it (i.e. not less than £10) maybe it's adding percieved worth/value to the buyer?


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Subject: RE: Fees (concert admission prices)
From: Tim Leaning
Date: 26 Oct 10 - 11:52 AM

Its amazing who I can agree with sometimes....


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Subject: RE: Fees (concert admission prices)
From: Tim Leaning
Date: 26 Oct 10 - 11:56 AM

Arts Council?
Is folky stuff arts or crafts?
artiste or artisan
Hey another thread?


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Subject: RE: Fees (concert admission prices)
From: GUEST,Girl Friday
Date: 26 Oct 10 - 11:56 AM

Sarah, I think we had a lot of discussion about your gig next year at Orpington. I believe you sent me if not a contract as such, certainly a questionnaire. Would you p. m. me please


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Subject: RE: Fees (concert admission prices)
From: Dave MacKenzie
Date: 26 Oct 10 - 12:05 PM

"People pay £3 for a pint of beer."

If I'm being charged that at the bar, I'll probably avoid the venue unless it's an artist I wouldn't be able to see otherwise. The ticket price is often secondary.


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Subject: RE: Fees (concert admission prices)
From: Arthur_itus
Date: 26 Oct 10 - 01:05 PM

If as an organiser, you decide to try and book somebody, you should already have an idea of how much you want to pay for said artist and of course what price you want to put on the tickets.

As a decent organiser, you would normally see how much the artist wants to charge first, assuming they can make the date you want to book them. If the fee seems OK or somewhere near what you can afford, you have a starting point. It's only polite to check with the artist if they are OK with a said ticket price. That is part of the negotiations. If you get past that hurdle, you probably have a booking. There are quite a few other things to discuss as well, before either agreeing to go ahead or not. What you decide between the two of you, has nothing to do with anybody else.

Your job as the organiser is to then make sure you deliver the goods as far as audience is concerned and the performers job from that point, is to entertain the said audience.

All the person wanting to go to the event needs to know, is how much the tickets are. They can then vote with their feet if they want to go or not.

There are many ways that a chat with an artist can lead to. e.g.

"We will do it for the door, but you need to charge £20 per ticket, but we won't demand a guarantee" That is normally performers who know and beleive that just their names will ensure a sell out for the venue.

"We will do it for £5 a ticket but you need to get 200 people through the door, however, we want £500 guarantee or 80% of the door, whichever is the greatest"

"You can charge whatever you like for a ticket and my fee is a flat guarantee of £400. No %"

Some artists will try to do a gig at a low fee if it is a new venue on the basis that they get future bookings.

However as an organiser, you need to respect the artists viewpoint and also not disclose to the general public your contract or what you discussed. If you do, then you run the risk of artists not wanting to come to your venue. You should also try and look after you performers in the best way you can.

It's all negotiation. If you can't charge £10 then don't book an artist who wants that. Book somebody within your budget. However don't slag the artist who didn't see it your way.

LOL I remember trying to book Barbara Dickson 2 or 3 years ago, having bumped into the agent, and asked the agent how much she would charge. The agent asked about the venue and numbers of people who could get in said "You can't afford her". I laughed and agreed, but I thought it was worth a try.

Basically, stick to who you can afford and who agrees with your policies, then nobody gets offended.


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Subject: RE: Fees (concert admission prices)
From: Will Fly
Date: 26 Oct 10 - 01:16 PM

Sorry folks, but the whole point of this thread is not the actual fee level for a performance. If someone wants to charge £25 for me to get into their venue to see a particular performer, then the only question is whether I value that performer enough to want to pay it - and now and then I have.I've actually flown to Ireland to see a particular performer's only European appearance in a decade - and it was worth the ticket price, the air fare, the car hire, the hotel, the food and drink... for two of us...

The point is that the venue's ticket price should not be dictated by the performer. He/she can demand whatever fee they like - and why not? - but it's up to the venue organiser to pay that fee and get the money for it in whatever mode they choose. It's not a question of undervaluing a performer, it's a question of practical economics. If I run a folk club with a maximum seating capacity of 50 people and I really want to engage a performer whose negotiated fee is £600 then, unless I have other funds, minimum seat price is £12. I don't want the performer then telling me what seat price I have to charge, purely to suit his or her personal image.


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Subject: RE: Fees (concert admission prices)
From: Tim Leaning
Date: 26 Oct 10 - 01:20 PM

Maybe that is why organizers need thick skins mate.


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Subject: RE: Fees (concert admission prices)
From: Arthur_itus
Date: 26 Oct 10 - 01:21 PM

They sure do Tim, becuase, sometimes people drive them to despair :-)


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Subject: RE: Fees (concert admission prices)
From: GUEST,Woodsie
Date: 26 Oct 10 - 01:23 PM

The above post misses the point - The club can pay this person's Fee and expenses etc,- no problem - but he insists on a minimum of £10 a ticket! That's the point. Nothing to do with costs to the club or artiste whatsoever. It is more than any guest in this club or clubs in the area EVER!- remember I'm talking amateur folk clubs here - in a high unemployment, mainly council estate, poorer area of South London.


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Subject: RE: Fees (concert admission prices)
From: GUEST,chris
Date: 26 Oct 10 - 01:24 PM

I've tried a number ways to say this politely but I can't think of any other way - folk audiences are stingy they want everything for nothing. Fine - but at the end of the day all that will be left will be singarounds. 'Professionals' are likely to fade out because they, like a lot of the audiences, may want a mortgage and a family- how they would afford one at the moment is a mystery to me.
If a singer goes to a Building society and says I may get X amount next year but it depends on how much more than a basic guarantee I get - in other words, the singer probably can't predict his/her earnings for the next 12 months let alone any further. What chance would they have of getting out of the Building Society without anything but the sound of laughter ringing in their ears is beyond me. Do we deserve the musicians we get? Do we look after them?
chris


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Subject: RE: Fees (concert admission prices)
From: Tim Leaning
Date: 26 Oct 10 - 01:31 PM

"but the whole point of this thread is not the actual fee level for a performance."
True its at the top of the thread.
"The point is that the venue's ticket price should not be dictated by the performer."
Hmmm I think you may be getting you opinion and what was actually in the OP Mixed up.
I shall have to disagree but hey who cares...:-)


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Subject: RE: Fees (concert admission prices)
From: Arthur_itus
Date: 26 Oct 10 - 01:32 PM

Some do!


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Subject: RE: Fees (concert admission prices)
From: Will Fly
Date: 26 Oct 10 - 01:33 PM

I don't think folk audiences are any stingier or more profligate than any other. It's simply that, festivals aside, the workaday, bread and butter of it all is rooted in what are often very modest clubs. Audiences tend to be smaller. I used to play (rock'n roll) regularly in working men's clubs, trades and labour clubs, etc., all over the South of England, and many of them - in those days - were large venues and paid well. We went through an agency and got a good, standard fee for most of the venues we played. These clubs charged members a modest entrance fee, if any fee at all because, through members' annual subs, there was a healthy entertainments fund. Bar prices were always far below pub prices in these places.

It was just a different world. As far as folk club audiences are concerned, I think they're far from stingy - and often a damned sight more enthusiastic for their music.


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Subject: RE: Fees (concert admission prices)
From: GUEST,Tom Bliss
Date: 26 Oct 10 - 01:34 PM

I fear that once again people are forgetting the massive divergence of systems, values, sizes, profiles and other factors that fall loosely under the title 'Concert Admission Prices.'

An artist approached by a promoter to perform at a venue is absolutely not being impertinent or exclusive in setting out, honestly, the terms under which he's prepared to consider the transaction. If it then emerges that this particular venue chooses to operate in a way which precludes the performance from taking place, then that may be unfortunate for the venue, but it is no reflection on the performer. And if the artist is setting his price too high and fails to get enough work, then that's his look-out and his look-out alone.

Take this example:

Supposing I ran a small bar and asked the Rolling Stones to perform there. Chances are they'd not even reply, but if they did and by some miracle decided they'd like to give it a go, they might quite reasonably say - go on then, but you'll have to give us £10,000 - or, if you can only seat 100, then make it 100 quid a pop and we'll take a risk on the door.

Who would call that impertinent or exclusive?

This is effectively all that these artists are doing - setting a price that their market can stand, for which they are prepared to give up a night in front of the telly and all that goes with it.

Now, if I habitually only charge £1 on the door of my bar, and think my regulars won't pay £100, I can either decide to say no thanks, or take a risk that some richer folks will turn up and pay - and trust me there's plenty who would pay a lot more to see the Stones in a tiny bar.

If the artist is on a flat fee, then of course it is up to the promoter to decide the door price - but the people we're talking about work on a percentage, in which case the door price is absolutely crucial to the viability or otherwise of the deal. And they have no moral or other duty to accept a booking with a low door price because some people feel that 'folk' gigs should not cost a lot of money.

Would we expect Springsteen or Turfel to play for a door price of £3 in a 50 seater room? Of course not.

Now bear in mind that there is no ring fence round the 'folk' world. It has permeable boundaries and is not immune to the economics of the wider entertainment industry. Many 'folk' artists play clubs, theatres, arts centres, village halls and festivals - in the UK and elsewhere, and in all these situations they will be radically different terms.

They have every right to decide what they are prepared to accept - and if they get it wrong and wind up having to give up music and go do an MA in Landscape Architecture or something [gin + big wink] then that's merely poor judgement on their part, not impertinence.

Tom


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Subject: RE: Fees (concert admission prices)
From: Will Fly
Date: 26 Oct 10 - 01:39 PM

This is effectively all that these artists are doing - setting a price that their market can stand, for which they are prepared to give up a night in front of the telly and all that goes with it.

Tom - who could argue with that principle? My only contention is that, if I guarantee the Rolling Stones £10,000, then how I get that sum is my business.


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Subject: RE: Fees (concert admission prices)
From: Tim Leaning
Date: 26 Oct 10 - 01:44 PM

and if they don't like it they don't play.

No Ronnie it was all a dream now get in the transit we gotta be at Toms bar now we played the Scunny gig.


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Subject: RE: Fees (concert admission prices)
From: Tim Leaning
Date: 26 Oct 10 - 01:46 PM

Well Mr Itus when you were doing that job and I said it must be like herding cats?

LOL Your skin may not be as thick as you would like but your hearts in the right place..


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Subject: RE: Fees (concert admission prices)
From: The Sandman
Date: 26 Oct 10 - 01:52 PM

It is[IMO] more important that the artists get their fees.
How that is achieved should be open to negotiation between artist and organiser.
Vin Garbutt has every right to stipulate an entrance fee, if people like Vic Smith dont like it thats ok too, Vic doesnt book him, whats the problem?
what the folk world can do without are people like Simon Boak who organise something, take peoples money then cancel the artists, and not refund everyone.


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Subject: RE: Fees (concert admission prices)
From: Will Fly
Date: 26 Oct 10 - 01:55 PM

No Ronnie it was all a dream now get in the transit we gotta be at Toms bar now we played the Scunny gig.

It's a beautiful picture... just imagine, eh...?


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Subject: RE: Fees (concert admission prices)
From: GUEST,Tom Bliss
Date: 26 Oct 10 - 02:05 PM

Will, I'm not naming names, but this issue was raised in connection with artists who gave up playing for a flat fee long long ago. The OP was referring to performers who operate exclusively on a percentage system - as is their right. Yes, there will be a minimum fee, to guard against those very very few rogue promoters who do no promoting (we call the result 'secret' gigs), but this will be way below the sum that both parties anticipate and upon which both the deal is being struck.

If the act has accepted a flat fee then, as I said above, of course it is the promoters business - though I don't think there's anything wrong with anyone - promoter, artist or audient - agitating politely for ticket prices to keep up with inflation and/or parity with events which offer a similar entertainment value.

Artists fee options are discussed here


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Subject: RE: Fees (concert admission prices)
From: C-flat
Date: 26 Oct 10 - 02:42 PM

Still a lot of people missing the point here...

Forget the economics, that's simple maths, i.e. artist fees against venue capacity and overheads deducted.
Forget the actual fee, whether it's flat rate or percentage, who cares? If the artist is good enough he'll charge what he thinks and venues will either book him or they won't.

My question, to which there has been a tiny handful of posters who offered an answer, is :-

Why, after fees are agreed/guaranteed and an artist booked, would the artist want to control what the minimum ticket price should be?
It won't affect his fee either way.
George Paparavgis thinks it may be to do with pricing consistency between venues. A fair point.
Sarah McQaid makes another when she says she's considering it because, in her experience, she gets a better audience when the ticket price is higher.
This isn't about how much things cost. That's relative to what's affordable or how high a priority you place upon it.


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Subject: RE: Fees (concert admission prices)
From: C-flat
Date: 26 Oct 10 - 02:43 PM

I'll take 100


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Subject: RE: Fees (concert admission prices)
From: Tim Leaning
Date: 26 Oct 10 - 02:48 PM

All I can think of is forward planning...
If you were able to predict a full house when you played.
If you set the amount each person in that full house would be paying
Then you could work out how many days you have to work to pay the mortgage?
Also what George said and Mr Itus .


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Subject: RE: Fees (concert admission prices)
From: autoharpbob
Date: 26 Oct 10 - 03:07 PM

Tom, thanks for pointing to the Folkwise stuff - invaluable advice that I was not aware of.

Shall I raise the elephant in the room? Is not some of this desire for high cost tickets just one-up-manship on the part of the artists? The desire to show that they are actually better than some other acts they could mention, without giving away how much they actually get paid? Very few people know how much these artists actually get paid. They only way they have to enforce their perceived status is to set a high ticket price.

Probably totally cynical, certainly a totally unsupported punt in the dark, and definitely not aimed at anyone on this list. And I do know of some top-notch artists who will perform anywhere for absolutely minimal fees because they are friends with the people running the clubs or because they just love what they are doing.


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Subject: RE: Fees (concert admission prices)
From: evansakes
Date: 26 Oct 10 - 03:25 PM

When an artist is negotiating a gig at a venue both parties are to one extent or another balancing 'risk' against 'reward' and trying to reach a compromise that will be mutually agreeable and beneficial. There are many possible variables in the equation. Basic guarantee, percentage split, venue capacity, admission prices are the usual ones....but there are others.

No deal is the same. Most importantly though, the precise details of the agreed terms are nobody else's business and should never be publicly discussed.

ps I suspect it's still true that the ones who complain most loudly at folk clubs about high admission prices are always the ones who spend most money at the bar.


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Subject: RE: Fees (concert admission prices)
From: Tim Leaning
Date: 26 Oct 10 - 03:36 PM

Hey that's reminded me ..what's that thing called, that is a list of what you want to be available for your use when you turn up at the gig,
as an artiste? You know? How many Blue smarties how many mics etc.


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Subject: RE: Fees (concert admission prices)
From: Will Fly
Date: 26 Oct 10 - 03:56 PM

Backstage "riders" is the term I know.


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Subject: RE: Fees (concert admission prices)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 26 Oct 10 - 03:57 PM

I will agree that the price to hear some performers is unrealistically high, but £10 is hardly what I would call an inflated price - when £25 or more is the going price for brand-name performers here in the US.
When you're talking about the big-money popular performers, the prices are indeed ridiculously high - but £10 is certainly not unreasonable.

£10? That price might allow a performer to have a middle-class income, but it's certainly not a way to get rich.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Fees (concert admission prices)
From: Will Fly
Date: 26 Oct 10 - 04:03 PM

Joe - what size venue in terms of seating capacity would be charging, say, $25-30 in the US?


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Subject: RE: Fees (concert admission prices)
From: Tim Leaning
Date: 26 Oct 10 - 04:06 PM

That's it Riders. Cheers was driving me nuts ...
Jo Offer.
Yes I think it gets confusing over here re the class of performer,and therefore venue types,hype publicity etc.
You can pay 10 or twenty times that for a rock band in a medium to large venue easily.
I think we are spoiled re some of the performers we can see fairly locally at human sized venues where you do not actually get fleeced on the way in.
Mind you some of them you wish you had worn a fleece after a short while.


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Subject: RE: Fees (concert admission prices)
From: GUEST,Tom Bliss
Date: 26 Oct 10 - 04:20 PM

Sarah is right - the more people pay - assuming the promise is delivered - the more they enjoy it - and the more CDs they buy and this has nothing to do with the demographic - it's about anticipation and delivery. Period.

Autoharpbob is also right to point out the existence of what I choose to call artflation - but this only affects what artists ask for not what they get. So it's a short term influence only.

Gerry (Twickfolk) is bang on the nail: Loads of different systems exist, and we should be very wary of judging one by the criteria of another (which is what I fear has been happening above).

George is also spot on: The massive diversity of deals on offer (as evinced by Gerry), compounded by the disparity between large and small venues within any given geo-financial territory (sorry) compounded by the requirement to avoid cannibalising your own market, means that it makes sense to settle on one 'offer' and just let promoters say yeah or nay to it. Nothing whatsoever wrong with that.

By then C-flat says "Why, after fees are agreed/guaranteed and an artist booked, would the artist want to control what the minimum ticket price should be?"

This confuses me. The answers is of course that they wouldn't, and I've never hear of anyone doing so, certainly not the artist s/he named in the first post - because, as as been explained, he and others like him do not work for a flat fee. And although there is indeed a low guarantee, it is so low in comparison to the actual gate as to not apply. The question is, in this case, spurious.

Tom


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Subject: RE: Fees (concert admission prices)
From: Will Fly
Date: 26 Oct 10 - 04:28 PM

the more people pay - assuming the promise is delivered - the more they enjoy it

Mmm... not convinced, personally.


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Subject: RE: Fees (concert admission prices)
From: Tim Leaning
Date: 26 Oct 10 - 04:52 PM

I was told by a fairly well known performer that if he settled on expenses and the ticket money he would find that the club might choose to charge a very small amount for the tickets... I believe he too specifies the ticket price.


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Subject: RE: Fees (concert admission prices)
From: Tim Leaning
Date: 26 Oct 10 - 04:55 PM

Sorry I should have added there are some performers who do care that small clubs may struggle to keep going and some will try to accommodate.
They maybe appreciate that the smaller venues are where they were allowed to make a start in their chosen trade.


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Subject: RE: Fees (concert admission prices)
From: GUEST,Tom Bliss
Date: 26 Oct 10 - 05:43 PM

That is also true, Tim, and there are lots of other good reasons why some artists may be happy to accept a lower fee, or a smaller percentage, or a cheaper door/reduced gate or whatever other deal. None of that negates the fact that a good artist is worth good money, and that s/he has every right not to compromise on this if he doesn't wish to, or need to - for any of those other reasons.

Will, my statement is well-proven in all areas of commerce. It is not universal, and probably applies less in the informed, multi-layered folk 'market,' but it does apply and I've a mass of personal experience of it. 'Reassuringly expensive" remember? Though the 'product' does, of course, always have to be worth it. (And £10 for 90 minutes of transportation by a great artist like him above, certainly is).

Tom


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Subject: RE: Fees (concert admission prices)
From: Will Fly
Date: 26 Oct 10 - 06:15 PM

"Reassuringly expensive". Yes, I remember that well! I always thought it was a clever attempt to sell a rather crappy product. There's an interesting comment on this in Wikipedia (not always a reliable source, mind you):

During 2007, the "reassuringly expensive" slogan was dropped, and the word "Stella" has been avoided in the advertisements. This has been seen as a reaction to the lager's perceived connection with aggression and binge-drinking in the United Kingdom, where it is nicknamed "wife beater".

The snob appeal of highly-priced and often very average quality commodities is, as you say, a well-known fact of commercial life. You also say that it probably applies less in the informed, multi-layered folk 'market'. I do hope that this is the case! :-)

Much of the band work that I've been involved in over the years has been to do with functional, rather than concert, work. And, of course, in the world of playing for functions, there's no such thing as a percentage - you get a fee which has either been negotiated by you, or on you behalf by an agent. If you don't like the proposed fee, you don't do the gig.


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Subject: RE: Fees (concert admission prices)
From: GUEST,Tom Bliss
Date: 26 Oct 10 - 06:24 PM

Just so. And in a percentage deal, if you don't like the door price, (assuming you're confident of the gate)you don't do the gig.

Same difference.

Tom


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Subject: RE: Fees (concert admission prices)
From: Betsy
Date: 26 Oct 10 - 07:59 PM

Try this :-
A Pub / Bar owner has a large place which can take 150 people easily.
Wednesday is a flat night to he tries to fill it by having a "Folk Night" of which he knows very little.
Let's say he books Mr.A and advertises him as "the Famous Mr A" and agrees to pay him £ 300 reckoning that he will make plenty of money on drinks sales.
So far ,so good .
The Bar owner reckons he can fill it at a sensible £ 2 a ticket which he does. I would explain to our US friends that you can't buy a beer in the UK for that price !!!
Come the big night the "the Famous Mr A" gets on stage to a group of people - some of who are interested, but the majority losing interest very quickly as they did not expect this sort of music, but as all their friends/mates are there - let's have a good booze up.
Landlord makes his money - over the bar, and enough on the door to pay Mr.A his full fee.
That the fee has been paid, is not not the artist's prime concern, more importantly he has had a shit night - (not the location) but with a situation where an "audience" who hadn't come to listen / join in.
Now, in negotiations if Mr.A had in agreeing on £300, he may also    insist that the Pub / Bar charge £ 5 minumum entrance fee.
In that way, Mr.A only needs 60 INTERESTED people to turn up, because you're not normally going to pay £5 to see someone you have never heard of.
Anymore than the optimum 60 people, is a bonus to performer and Bar Owner but THAT equation is another matter.
By putting on this minumum charge in relation to the fee the Performer(s)introduces risk management - i.e.
1) Avoid the risk of being asked to perform in front of a non-interested audience and consequently leave the establishment let's say downhearted after a shit night.
2) Avoiding the risk that the performance is only a money-making device for the Bar Owner.
When the Bar owner hears the proposition which might limit the numbers " Our lot will pay £ 2 but not £ 5 " then that flushes out the dodgy Gigs and the Professional will not commit to such Gigs.
Never forget we're talking about Professional performers ,who perform for a LIVING.
It may well be that many in the semi professional Folk performers might say £xxx for a night?? - great !!!! - I'll go through the motions and I'll take the money.
Professionals, don't get sell-outs and full houses by some sort of accident. In general they are tried and tested over a long period of time and which is required to build up good reputation, very good level of performance, and deliver it time-after-time .
The minumum Door Charge is requested by a professional to try to avoid the possiblity of performing in front of an audience (or part thereof) who have absolutely no interest or empathy for the genre of music which is being performed.
Professionals use this mechanism - because they have found out over a long time period ,that, it actually works.
It's called Professional experience !!!
Another example ,if I was in a strange town and Bar advertised Jazz tonight - I might have a look in, but ,if they wanted a Door charge I wouldn't go in as I'm just not committed to that music genre to pay an entrance fee.
The minumum door charge is to try to ensure that only who those are genuinely interested in the venue/Performer/type of music, or, put into absolutely base language - to keep arseholes away from the Gig , which, as we all know, is not always possible.
Well done Tom ,George and Kitty amongst others who have been far more eloquent than I in explaining this matter, and I repeat an earlier remark I made abhor and deplore the use of the name of the well respected-performer made in this thread.


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Subject: RE: Fees (concert admission prices)
From: C-flat
Date: 27 Oct 10 - 03:31 AM

I totally agree Betsy,
In fact I said exactly that at the beginning of this thread, that the artist wants to ensure his audience has paid enough to want to come and listen, not just a token entry-fee which could attract passers-by.
This was what interested me, not what an artist earns, but the thinking behind some ticket pricing.
It was never an attack or even a criticism, as some people seemed to assume.


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Subject: RE: Fees (concert admission prices)
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 27 Oct 10 - 04:28 AM

Yes but...

this discussion is too congenial, we can't have us all agreeing with each other, this is the Mudcat guys, we have a reputation to uphold. Have we gone all fRooty all of a sudden? Go on, I dare you - who will slug me first, so I can give him a piece of my mind and inform him about his provenance and lineage?

Oh, and Vic, you can double and triple the fee and I still won't you-know-what :-)

Have a nice day now, all!


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Subject: RE: Fees (concert admission prices)
From: Wolfhound person
Date: 27 Oct 10 - 05:01 AM

All right, George. I don't think we've ever met, nor have I attended one of your gigs.

Here's your controversial starter for 10:

the term "professional traditional musician" is an oxymoron.

I'll get me coat (as they say round here)

Paws


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Subject: RE: Fees (concert admission prices)
From: GUEST,Tom Bliss
Date: 27 Oct 10 - 05:39 AM

"professional traditional musician" is not so much an oxymoron as an abreviation.


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Subject: RE: Fees (concert admission prices)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 27 Oct 10 - 05:55 AM

Will Fly asks:
    Joe - what size venue in terms of seating capacity would be charging, say, $25-30 in the US?

Well, here in Northern California, the folk clubs I know are the Freight & Salvage in Berkeley; and the Palms Playhouse in Winters. I'd guess these venues hold 150-200 people. Most shows are right around $20, with a few performers going for $30 or so - the performers I prefer are in the $20 bracket, and the higher-priced performers are usually too commercial for me.

My son's band used to do punk, but I guess what you call his current music is something like "techno-dance music." He did a concert at a bar/concert venue in Sacramento last month, and drew an audience of about 200, at $20 a head. Not a whole lot for a band with five members that travelled from New York to California. I think they usually do larger venues, but this was a hometown thing. They went for 22 Euros in Madrid in August, and about 18 Euros in Berlin and 195 Krone ($36 US) in Copenhagen in November. I think they often play for an audience of about 1,500, but that varies widely. I think they generally do much better financially when they're performing outside the US. They travel to some interesting places - maybe I should volunteer to be their roadie.

House concerts in this area are $10 to $15, occasionally $20. In most cases, the performer gets 100% of admission fees at house concerts. A friend of mine charges $20 for all the concerts she hosts, because she thinks $10 to $15 isn't enough - and she gets 40-50 people at every concert.

There's an old theater in Sacramento that I like - I'd say it has 500 seats. I see they're charging $50 for a benefit performance by comedian Robin Williams, and I think they charge $35 when Arlo Guthrie comes to town. I wanted to see Doc Watson there without an advance ticket, and he was sold out (and the people going in looked like they were in their 20s and 30s, which pleased me to see such a young audience). One thing I like about this theater is that they sell their own tickets, and don't charge me a 20 percent surcharge for the privilege of buying a ticket - for many of the larger venues, you have to buy tickets through a ticket agency and pay a surcharge. I passed up a chance to see Doc Watson last year because it would have cost me $60, with the surcharge....but I'm still kicking myself because I've never had the chance to see him. And I've never seen Pete Seeger, either, because he was always too far away and too expensive.

But I'm spoiled by house concerts. I can hear wonderful performances in an audience of 50 people (where I know half the audience or more). I feel $20 is a fair price for a house concert - but if the performance is really good, I'll sometimes spend $50 on CDs.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Fees (concert admission prices)
From: autoharpbob
Date: 27 Oct 10 - 06:30 AM

Betsy, thanks a lot for an explanation I actually understand and can agree with. I guess the difference between professional and amateur is critical. I recently attended an event where a well known performer was running a workshop, and he agreed to let me video some of the performances of songs he was trying to teach us. He then very carefully vetted those videos before letting me publish them to the web, and would not let me put up what I felt were perfectly acceptable performances in a teaching situation. His take was they were not professional enough and he would not have them shown.

And George is well worth £10 a ticket of anyones money! As long as he keeps his pants on of course.


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Subject: RE: Fees (concert admission prices)
From: Will Fly
Date: 27 Oct 10 - 06:43 AM

Very interesting, Joe - thanks for the info. My guess - and I'm happy to be corrected by UK 'Catters here - is that the average folk club in this country is around the size of your US house concert. Perhaps bigger in certain areas. I've never been to a house concert myself - I'm curious as to whether others have been to any in the UK.


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Subject: RE: Fees (concert admission prices)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 27 Oct 10 - 06:47 AM

Come visit, Will. Our house concerts are delightful.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Fees (concert admission prices)
From: The Sandman
Date: 27 Oct 10 - 06:52 AM

BETSY, in many ways you are right, but....no performer is obliged to do any gig he does not want to do, I only do gigs in folk clubs and festivals, I dont do pub gigs any more that is my choice.,that way I know I will have an audience that is interested.
THE PUB... definition public house, it should be open to all members of the public, if a publican decides to charge ten pounds for everyone coming into the pub, he will eventually become unpopular with his regular trade, unless he has 2 rooms, one for the people who want to drink and one for those who have come for a concert, that situation is in effect no different from a folk club.
members of the public are then free to make their own decision and have a choice,there is nothing wrong with that.
but if their is not a choice and everyone is charged a tenner, my guess is that the landlord wont last very long, the locals will become resentful of the landlord and possibly folk music.
isnt this music supposed to be about folk /communities?


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Subject: RE: Fees (concert admission prices)
From: Vic Smith
Date: 27 Oct 10 - 07:24 AM

Autoharp Bob wrote:-
And I do know of some top-notch artists who will perform anywhere for absolutely minimal fees because they are friends with the people running the clubs or because they just love what they are doing.


I know that many people here would be aghast with horror if they knew the low figure as a guarantee that some top artists put in their contracts to us for an appearance at our club - even when they are booked through agents as many are. Why do they do this? Well, I hope that it is because I have been booking these people regularly throughout their careers - on some cases for over 40 years - and they know that I will pay them every penny that I can afford without taking anything out for ourselves for admin, publicity, accommodation at our house etc.etc. Recently, I paid a solo singer a figure that was more than 3 times the guarantee that was on his contract and that guarantee figure to us has not gone up in 25 years. We also make sure that there is a prominent dedicated space for the artists to sell their own merchandise each week as we know how important this has become to the artists' income - and as compere I always make sure that I give a good plug to their books, DVDs, CDs etc. I hope that for these people, it is a matter of trust and friendship on both sides; on mine that they will give a performance to the best of their ability and to them that I will advertise the event in every way possible. (Tomorrow night come and see the superb LONG HILL RAMBLERS).

Our on-line policy statement at http://www.users.globalnet.co.uk/~tinvic/aboutus.htm includes the following:-
Guest artists are booked to appear virtually every week; we do have a very few 'Open Nights' during the year. Within our limited financial resources, we try to present artists from a range of musical backgrounds and experiences who are talented and display a love of their chosen music or styles. When we have guest artists, there is a cover charge on the door that reflects the status and fees of the artists. However, we do run our non-guest nights on a "Free Admission" basis. All the money that we take is used to book the best variety of guest artists that we can afford. We are not subsidised in any way by commercial sponsorship, arts organisation or local council grant The organisers bear the running costs of the venture themselves in the belief that they get more out of it than they put in.

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Subject: RE: Fees (concert admission prices)
From: GUEST,Desi C
Date: 27 Oct 10 - 07:35 AM

Just a rider to my pevious rantings on this subject. I notice in the West Midlands Folk Mag (excellent mag see tradartsteam.co.uk) that Vin Garbut is appearing at a club in the area and tickets are indeed £10, against an average of about £5 for other gigs in the same club by quite well known guests. Is this because Vin rates himelf twice as good as them? or is he just trying to make a living?

As a club with a good following we will be taging bookings next year at our new venue, and initially we'll be looking for performers who may be willing to accept lower fees than usual in order to help a fairly new club secceed, as was very much the custom 20-30 years ago, when many top artists (inc' Martin Carthey, Ewan McColl) would even do free or expenses only appearances. but overall I think the vast majority of artists and clubs have very reasonable ticket prices and deserve full support

Desi C
The Circle Folk Club
Near Wolverhampton
info- crc778@aol.com


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Subject: RE: Fees (concert admission prices)
From: The Sandman
Date: 27 Oct 10 - 07:53 AM

Vic, I would like to thank you and all the other folkclub organisers for all your hard work over the years.


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Subject: RE: Fees (concert admission prices)
From: Vic Smith
Date: 27 Oct 10 - 08:59 AM

Will Fly wrote:-
"I've never been to a house concert myself - I'm curious as to whether others have been to any in the UK. "


Well, Mike, there is a very strong tradition and organisation of them in our area! I discovered this when I was organising tours for my Gambian kora-playing friend Jali Sherrifo Konteh. In fact the very first concert that Sherrifo gave in the UK was in a house concert in a packed huge flat on Brighton Seafront. I have been to a small number of this organisation's other events subsequently, mainly excellent African artists, though some of the English songwriters that I have seen did very little for me. However, whatever my view of the artists, the standard of organisation and the friendly attitude of those attending could scarcely be bettered. At Sherrifo's concert the sales of his CDs and the sales of the Gambian Batiks that we sell to support the maker and his family (see http://www.compoundsounds.com/batiks/index.html ) were amazing,

I am talking about Healthy Concerts - http://www.healthyconcerts.com/


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Subject: RE: Fees (concert admission prices)
From: GUEST,Banjiman
Date: 27 Oct 10 - 09:04 AM

We've run a couple of house concerts when the Village Hall was doubled booked......

Very nice they are as well but only really work for solo artists ..... can only get 25 - 30 audience in the dining room even then.

Very intimate and relaxed though.


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Subject: RE: Fees (concert admission prices)
From: Dave MacKenzie
Date: 27 Oct 10 - 05:56 PM

"The Bar owner reckons he can fill it at a sensible £ 2 a ticket which he does. I would explain to our US friends that you can't buy a beer in the UK for that price !!!"

I can, and frequently do - cheapest pub is £1.80, and supermarkets normally sell bottled beer from £1.59 for 500cc.


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Subject: RE: Fees (concert admission prices)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 27 Oct 10 - 08:45 PM

I hate to say what I was paying for beer in Paris a couple of years ago. Seemed like the going price was 9 Euros or something, Could it have been THAT much?

It's often $4.50 for a pint of "craft" beer in the U.S. now, sometimes higher. And if you want to order Chimay, don't ask the price...

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Fees (concert admission prices)
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 28 Oct 10 - 12:49 AM

I am probably the world's cheapest MFB.

If there is a 10K race ... I move into the cash-paying-group....run 9.95K and pull out before the finish....(what do I need another $20 T-Shirt or a finish time?)

In a life-time of 1,000 concerts ... perhaps, I have paid for 40.

There has always been a hand to lend, or a handshake to bend, or flowers to send (pick up a box from the backstage dumpster...and say you "have a delivery.) There is much to be said of the advantages granted to the ruling class of "the bell-curve...." 80's verse 110's...the 120's will play sectional lead.

Seldom have I payed stadium price (if any) for peanuts, hot-dogs, or a beer.

Sincerely,
Gargoyle

Now...a cocoa filled legume ... with a brass finish .... umh .... yeah I might go the extra mile on an extrange traded index.


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