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'What are your rates?'

meself 22 Oct 17 - 09:22 PM
The Sandman 23 Oct 17 - 12:06 AM
meself 23 Oct 17 - 01:32 AM
Will Fly 23 Oct 17 - 04:05 AM
Big Al Whittle 23 Oct 17 - 07:17 AM
Mo the caller 23 Oct 17 - 07:19 AM
GUEST,matt milton 23 Oct 17 - 08:54 AM
meself 23 Oct 17 - 10:48 AM
John P 23 Oct 17 - 06:30 PM
Will Fly 24 Oct 17 - 04:03 AM
meself 24 Oct 17 - 11:31 AM
GUEST,.gargoyle 24 Oct 17 - 09:56 PM
meself 25 Oct 17 - 08:36 PM
Leadfingers 29 Oct 17 - 12:18 PM
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Subject: 'What are your rates?"
From: meself
Date: 22 Oct 17 - 09:22 PM

Usually when I am contacted by e-mail about a prospective gig, the initial message consists of this question, sometimes a date, and that's about it. Now, before I give a "rate", I want to know the rough location of the gig, the type of venue, the type of event, the size of the room, the size of the crowd, etc. If I'm going around the corner to play for an hour in somebody's living-room for Grandma's birthday, I'm not going to charge the same as if I have to drive through heavy traffic for an hour, set up a sound system, to play in some huge, noisy barroom till 1 a.m.

But I so consistently get this question about my "rates", that it makes me wonder if most other performing musicians just have a standard, default "rate" that they quote without second thought, and without knowing any details of the prospective gig. So, for those of you who are (small-time) professionals, what's your practice?


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Subject: RE: 'What are your rates?'
From: The Sandman
Date: 23 Oct 17 - 12:06 AM

I dont offer my body.


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Subject: RE: 'What are your rates?'
From: meself
Date: 23 Oct 17 - 01:32 AM

... okaa-ay ................


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Subject: RE: 'What are your rates?'
From: Will Fly
Date: 23 Oct 17 - 04:05 AM

My ceilidh band has, nominally, a fixed fee, which I quote, e.g. x? for 3 hours of music with 5 musicians and a caller. The fee goes up if they want to go on after midnight, and/or if the gig is outside a 30 mile radius of my house.

Should the client want the use of our PA before or after the dance, then one member of the band undertakes to 'babysit' and gets a personal fee. Some functions also like an acoustic trio, and we negotiate the fee for that, depending on distance, times, etc.

Friends and our personal causes get a 'mates rate'.


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Subject: RE: 'What are your rates?'
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 23 Oct 17 - 07:17 AM

never do Inverness for less than a fiver.


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Subject: RE: 'What are your rates?'
From: Mo the caller
Date: 23 Oct 17 - 07:19 AM

That's a difficult one. They want to know what they are letting themselves in for, so if you quote your top rate e.g. in my case calling a ceilidh a band 'up to ?500 depending which band is prefered/available' they might take fright and never come back to ask your cheaper options 'under ?200 with accordion & PA', or reluctantly '?100 with recorded music for tiny numbers'. But if you start too cheap they might baulk at the option they really need. Not that I do the recorded music option any more - have done in past for kids parties.


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Subject: RE: 'What are your rates?'
From: GUEST,matt milton
Date: 23 Oct 17 - 08:54 AM

Hey, at least you're being offered paid gigs! Good place to start...

Presumably you do generally know the rough location of the gig and size of audience though? Or are people literally emailing you out of the blue and, with no context whatsoever, asking you how much you charge to play a gig at a completely unknown location?


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Subject: RE: 'What are your rates?'
From: meself
Date: 23 Oct 17 - 10:48 AM

No - the point is that I do NOT know the rough location, etc. These emails are literally - or figuratively, anyway - out of the blue - that is to say, they are in response to an ad or some kind of noise I have made on-line. So, more often than not, the question DOES come "with no context whatsoever", asking me how much I charge "to play a gig at a completely unknown location". That is why I came on here, because it makes me wonder if other musicians actually do respond quoting a standard fee, or if, like me, they respond with questions of their own.

"Hey, at least you're being offered paid gigs! Good place to start..."

I agree! Trouble is - I started forty years ago ... !


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Subject: RE: 'What are your rates?'
From: John P
Date: 23 Oct 17 - 06:30 PM

When we were playing lots of gigs, I'd tell them our basic rate for anything up to two hours and then how much to add for other stuff, like travel out of the city, bringing a PA, wearing any kind of a costume, learning specific songs, or extra time by the hour. We had a list of fees and they could spend as much as they liked to customize their experience.

I used to try to "qualify" the gig to determine if I should charge more or less, but that is difficult in many situations, and often has to be done on the fly during a phone call. As soon as I started quoting the same to everyone my life got a lot easier.


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Subject: RE: 'What are your rates?'
From: Will Fly
Date: 24 Oct 17 - 04:03 AM

All the gig requests I get have a specific location. If not, I ask first.


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Subject: RE: 'What are your rates?'
From: meself
Date: 24 Oct 17 - 11:31 AM

I like to have some idea of the type of venue and/or event - if it's a big corporate celebration of their biggest profits ever, I'm going to want to squeeze them for every penny I can get; if, on the other hand, it's the Christmas party for the Society for the Protection of Widows and Orphans, I don't want to scare them off .......


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Subject: RE: 'What are your rates?'
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 24 Oct 17 - 09:56 PM

Dear Mr. MeSelf....

Please elaborate...your gigs are in the past and never to be visited a g ain.


Please..."spill the beans" ans let us grounding be entertained.


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Subject: RE: 'What are your rates?'
From: meself
Date: 25 Oct 17 - 08:36 PM

Huh?


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Subject: RE: 'What are your rates?'
From: Leadfingers
Date: 29 Oct 17 - 12:18 PM

Fairly local and solo , from ?50 - Further away dependant on mileage


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