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How much do you charge to perform?

Marion 20 May 02 - 03:17 PM
Morticia 20 May 02 - 03:48 PM
GUEST,Claire 20 May 02 - 04:01 PM
Kim C 20 May 02 - 04:07 PM
GUEST,Dagenham Doc 20 May 02 - 04:39 PM
GUEST,vrdpkr 20 May 02 - 05:04 PM
Genie 20 May 02 - 05:13 PM
Liz the Squeak 20 May 02 - 05:16 PM
M.Ted 20 May 02 - 05:32 PM
greg stephens 20 May 02 - 05:52 PM
Herga Kitty 20 May 02 - 07:07 PM
michaelr 20 May 02 - 10:36 PM
Phil Cooper 20 May 02 - 11:18 PM
Phil Cooper 20 May 02 - 11:20 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 21 May 02 - 12:31 AM
GUEST 21 May 02 - 12:43 AM
John in Brisbane 21 May 02 - 02:52 AM
Bert 21 May 02 - 03:28 AM
Genie 21 May 02 - 03:29 AM
tooligan 21 May 02 - 03:46 AM
greg stephens 21 May 02 - 05:25 AM
GUEST,CAZ 21 May 02 - 05:59 AM
kendall 21 May 02 - 08:13 AM
Willie-O 21 May 02 - 09:49 AM
Sorcha 21 May 02 - 10:03 AM
curmudgeon 21 May 02 - 10:08 AM
kendall 21 May 02 - 11:40 AM
GUEST,Claire 21 May 02 - 01:12 PM
GUEST,Les B. 21 May 02 - 01:44 PM
C-flat 21 May 02 - 01:57 PM
Little Hawk 21 May 02 - 02:41 PM
Lonesome EJ 21 May 02 - 02:45 PM
GUEST,Mudcat 21 May 02 - 03:20 PM
gnu 21 May 02 - 03:39 PM
Genie 21 May 02 - 04:36 PM
breezy 21 May 02 - 05:46 PM
Mark Ross 21 May 02 - 05:59 PM
Celtic Soul 21 May 02 - 10:21 PM
GUEST,Sonja 21 May 02 - 10:29 PM
GUEST,Blackford John 22 May 02 - 07:26 AM
GUEST,Sir Roger at Work 22 May 02 - 08:11 AM
GUEST,maryrrf 22 May 02 - 10:12 AM
GUEST,Marion 23 May 02 - 01:04 PM
kendall 24 May 02 - 07:59 AM
GUEST,maryrrf 24 May 02 - 09:03 AM
GUEST,Butch at work 24 May 02 - 09:47 AM
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Subject: How much do you charge to perform?
From: Marion
Date: 20 May 02 - 03:17 PM

A little survey here - if you perform for money, how much do you charge? Do you have an hourly rate, or an show rate?

Related question: what would you say would be a reasonable amount to charge (per hour, let's say) for a performance by one person with modest skills and no fame?

Oh, and if you say an amount in dollars, please specify whether you're talking about American money or real money.

Thanks, Marion


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Subject: RE: How much do you charge to perform?
From: Morticia
Date: 20 May 02 - 03:48 PM

depends on whether it's a poor folk club or a rich pub, on whether we get to do our own stuff or middle of the road stuff, depends on whether we're broke and how much we want or don't want the gig......sorry, no help at all am I *BG*?


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Subject: RE: How much do you charge to perform?
From: GUEST,Claire
Date: 20 May 02 - 04:01 PM

Hi Marion,

This is a tough question to answer, largely because every type of performance, venue, pays differently. A lot of it depends on what your local venues will pay and what the market will sustain. I would suggest that you ask other local musicians and when you talk to someone about a gig ask "what is your budget?" to get a feeling for the amount of money they are willing to pay. I would also recommend putting a press kit together and doing contracts for as many shows as you can. Only do a cost sheet for a particular show because the costs will change. Contracts add to your clout and make people that are hiring you feel secure that they are getting something good and that you are reliable.

Given that caviot, I will tell you how we break it down. These are the costs that we have found to be successful in Tucson, Arizona, but I include them just for your interest and the interest of the other listers. I am really curious about how these compare to elsewhere in the US.

We have a 4 peice band that plays traditional Irish music and we also do contra dances with one of our members (me) doubling as the caller. Also, we all have families and don't want too many gigs and we really like a wide variety of types of gigs. We are locally pretty well known, but do not ave a big "famous" presence.

For your average wedding, party, event we charge a minimum of $500 for 2-3 hours including sound. Same for a contra dance or background music at an event.

For a pub gig, most pubs around here pay $250-$400 for an evening. We have a favorite gig that pays on the low end, but we like the gig so do it anyway.

Bookstores generally pay $200-$300 for 1+ hours.

For corporate event and/or grant funded events, we charge $500 - $2000 depending on the duration and requirements of the show.

Concert revenue is based on ticket prices, the venue, and the costs that the producer has to meet, ie variable.

Since you are playing alone, I would guess you would charge somewhat less than a full band, but I am not sure how much less.

I hope this helps, Good luck

Claire


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Subject: RE: How much do you charge to perform?
From: Kim C
Date: 20 May 02 - 04:07 PM

"Officially" we start at $50, which is for the first hour or portion thereof. However we will negotiate with local charity organizations- if some are unable to pay, they are usually agreeable to letting us sell tapes or playing for tips. One time we got money, tapes AND tips! We don't want to turn away charitable causes simply on account of money.

Then, of course, if we're going out of town, there's the issue of expenses. Several places we go will at least feed us, others will comp hotel rooms, some do both.

And sometimes, it happens that an organization has a real budget, and will pay more than the official asking fee. A large banquet we played last year gave us $200 for an hour's work, because they had it available at the time. It doesn't always go like that, though. :-)


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Subject: RE: How much do you charge to perform?
From: GUEST,Dagenham Doc
Date: 20 May 02 - 04:39 PM

Marion you have said"for a performance by one person with modest skills and no fame?' Is this you? . What would you pay to go and see such a person? For myself, over the years I've done the normal routine from floor singing to guest spot to concert stage at festivals,with touring and recording in between. Ask yourself where you are. You must know eh? Do people want to see you more and more. Are clubs seeking you out. Putting a price on yourself is always hard when your'e starting.A lot depends of course on how you feel about yourself. I was given advice years ago "If they turn up bill them1" ... well they did and so I did, and they still come along. I must be doing something right. Lots of luck

Doc


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Subject: RE: How much do you charge to perform?
From: GUEST,vrdpkr
Date: 20 May 02 - 05:04 PM

We, too, have a sliding scale. My wife and I do Cowboy-Western music, poetry, storytelling. Sometimes we are a featured attraction, sometimes we are musical wallpaper. We try to get $300 for a three-hour gig. We usually work acoustic so we ask another $50 to bring a sound system. We ask another $50 if we have to travel more than an hour to get to the gig. Local schools can have us for whatever they can offer, same with libraries, and retirement homes. Don't work too cheap. We find people respect us in relation to how much they are paying us. If you work for nothing, too often the people who booked you will treat you like they are paying you what you are worth.

Claire, Greetings from the Verde Valley.

Good Luck Harpy Trails

Ken


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Subject: RE: How much do you charge to perform?
From: Genie
Date: 20 May 02 - 05:13 PM

Perform what?

*G*


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Subject: RE: How much do you charge to perform?
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 20 May 02 - 05:16 PM

Hwy Morty - at Stony Stratford, you said that we could see you perform for 'a hundred or more'......

(sorry!)


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Subject: RE: How much do you charge to perform?
From: M.Ted
Date: 20 May 02 - 05:32 PM

One thing to remember is that different venues pay drastically different amounts of money for the same show--Some years back, my old folk dance band felt lucky to get $75 for an evening of dance music from a folkdance society--we could do the same show at a shopping mall(where many of the same people would come to see us because it was free) and get $400, or dress up and play a wedding for $1500-2000--at least where I live, prices have gone up since then (except for the folkdancers--

Another thing to remember is, it is the quality of the show that you do, and not the degree of your musical achievement that gets you asked back--


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Subject: RE: How much do you charge to perform?
From: greg stephens
Date: 20 May 02 - 05:52 PM

Bums on seats, or feet on the floor if you're a dance band.These things sort themselves out. Unless of course state subsidies and the old boys network comes into the picture.


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Subject: RE: How much do you charge to perform?
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 20 May 02 - 07:07 PM

Some clubs here in England will offer a set fee or a percentage of the door money (possibly with a guaranteed minimum). What you'll accept depends on whether you're performing for fun or to earn money. And depending what you need to put on your tax return.


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Subject: RE: How much do you charge to perform?
From: michaelr
Date: 20 May 02 - 10:36 PM

Some pub/coffeehouse gigs pay next to nothing ($20 a head, American) and we treat them like public rehearsals. For private gigs I try to get at least $100 a head, more if it's farther than 30-40 miles to travel.

Michael


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Subject: RE: How much do you charge to perform?
From: Phil Cooper
Date: 20 May 02 - 11:18 PM

I try to ask between $100-$200 (US) per person, per day. A smaller guarantee versus a percentage of the door, whichever is greater is also usually acceptable. Our friend Art Thieme chided us once years ago for charging too little. He said, you can take the $50.00 gigs if you want to. But for some other venues you can always ask for an amount and come down, if it's a place you really want to play. It's really hard to come up in price. I found Claire's advice, above, very fitting.


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Subject: RE: How much do you charge to perform?
From: Phil Cooper
Date: 20 May 02 - 11:20 PM

And another thing. If you are getting good gigs and have a reputation, learn to say the word "thousand," especially if you are talking to subsidized Arts Centers and festivals. We're still striving for that, but one can hope. (That's not going to work at a bookstore or coffeehouse gig)


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Subject: RE: How much do you charge to perform?
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 21 May 02 - 12:31 AM

Friday/Saturday night solo 75/hour (US) with a 15 minute break every 45 minutes. Plus tips in the jar. Four hours max. Drinks at the end.

In combo 50/hour U.S. PAID 30 minutes prior and 30 minutes post for setup.

Charity, workshops, schools, (some churchs, not all Unitarians got bucks - but are cheap SOB's) FREE.

Department stores and grocery venues negotiated for TRADE.

Sincerely
Gargoyle


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Subject: RE: How much do you charge to perform?
From: GUEST
Date: 21 May 02 - 12:43 AM

Check the local union scale.


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Subject: RE: How much do you charge to perform?
From: John in Brisbane
Date: 21 May 02 - 02:52 AM

GUEST has just provided my answer. I'd simply add that this is the minimum I'd charge for a commercial job. For anything other than that I'd tend to charge zero. In other words - if you pay me the full union rate you will be assured of getting the full monty, otherwise I'll do a bracket or so on my own terms for nothing.

Regards, John


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Subject: RE: How much do you charge to perform?
From: Bert
Date: 21 May 02 - 03:28 AM

Liz & Genie, You need to explain your jokes 'cos over here in the Good Ol' USA you may be misunderstood. I got in awful trouble assuming that Americans would know what I was talking about when joking on the same topic.


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Subject: RE: How much do you charge to perform?
From: Genie
Date: 21 May 02 - 03:29 AM

Guest, good point about the local union scale. (But my local union had some silly ideas, such as not taking into account such things as travel time. E.g. they found it "acceptable" to do a 2 hour gig 100 miles away for $75.00, but they did not approve of singing for 30 minutes in one building of a retirement complex 1 mile away for $50 and then walking across the parking lot to another building and doing another 30 minutes for another $50! That's what comes of a cookie-cutter approach, setting up a rigid fee structure.)

Gargoyle, why do you say charity, workshops and schools should be free? When you do a gig free, the IRS (in the US) doesn't let you write off your business expenses, such as travel (unless you claim the gig as "advertising" or such and music is your occupation). On the other hand, if you charge a nominal fee, you CAN write off legitimate business expenses, and you may be able to 'take a loss' on paper for the gig.

Schools may pay several hundred dollars for some types of musical performances, especially if they really are educational (e.g., presenting world music). Some people make most of their living doinsional music for schools.

As for workshops, I guess I don't understand why they should be free. Many singers/songwriters/instrumentalists, as well as other professionals, make money doing workshops.

When I do music for non-profit groups, I basically find out what they propose to pay or are accustomed to paying. Most of them DO pay $25 to $50 for a program that's about 30 to 50 minutes (more for special occasions and longer programs). I use a sliding scale that reflects a lot of factors, including the organization's budget, frequency and regularity of repeat booking (i.e,, how little time I have to spend getting the bookings), travel time, etc.


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Subject: RE: How much do you charge to perform?
From: tooligan
Date: 21 May 02 - 03:46 AM

I have always found that the more you charge, the less time you have to play and the more respect you get. There are ways to get more money. Good publicity to get the gig and then good posters once you've got it. Write to the local paper and tell them you are on. Give them a story and send a photo. This is always good PR. On the night, dress to suit the occasion. If if it is a corporate gig, a wedding or one where people are paying to see you make sure you look like the entertainer. Have good business cards or leaflets to freely hand out at the gig.

Another good way to make extra money at weddings, parties and corporate gigs is to supply a disco which you can run through your PA which is already set up. Take a DJ along and charge twice what you are paying him for the service.

This all costs money and it takes a while to get it all back. Our band used to do all the above, but we don't bother much now since our name is pretty well known.

The main advantage with the above is that it does move you on and you land up playing better gigs, shorter sets and more money!


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Subject: RE: How much do you charge to perform?
From: greg stephens
Date: 21 May 02 - 05:25 AM

Interesting stuff in this thread from a UK pointof view, to see how the USA scene works. The bookstore gigs intrigues me, as far as my own experience goes there is no such thing as a bookstore gig over here. How does it work? Do the public pay to go, or is it purely promotional for the shop? And is the music linked to the product in some way( Irish bands to promote a new Irish author launch or whatever?) Do tell.


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Subject: RE: How much do you charge to perform?
From: GUEST,CAZ
Date: 21 May 02 - 05:59 AM

Hi Marion

We charge a flat fee per gig which is always open to negotiation because you have to be. There are 3 of us, we have our own PA and we do pubs mainly because it's very hard to get gigs in Folk clubs. We perform a 30-40 minute set, have a rest then perform a 40-50 minute set usually finishing with an encore. The Folk clubs and private functions we have done have also been charged the same but we usually perform another 15 minute set in the middle usually consisting of Penny whistles and bodrhan (it ads another dimension and keeps audience interest).

We have been on the go for 2 years now. Our gigs have paid for the PA, CDs, professional printing of posters, business/biog cards, marketing, stationery etc etc. We look at it like this, our aim is to reach a wider audience, if we didn't do the pubs we couldn't offer our services, for expenses only, to the Folk Festivals. One day we hope to be paid properly by the festivals but until then we continue to do the gigs we do at a reasonable price and give value for money.

You have to look at what you are offering, decide how much you would pay to see you, be willing to negotiate and don't price yourself out of the market but at the same time don't sell yourself short. We continue to be asked back at venues that are struggling because we are not over priced, give value for money and are realistic.

Hope this helps.

Carole Dalton


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Subject: RE: How much do you charge to perform?
From: kendall
Date: 21 May 02 - 08:13 AM

I dont want to say how much I charge, but, I do try to find out what they can afford before getting down to fees. Sometimes, a potential sponser will complain about the price and I will tell them my fable of the oats: If you want to buy nice fresh top quality oats, you must pay a premium price. However, if you are willing to settle for those that have been through the horse, they are much cheaper.


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Subject: RE: How much do you charge to perform?
From: Willie-O
Date: 21 May 02 - 09:49 AM

Well, knowing as I do the market & country you're in, and the music you play...and your skills are not so modest, BTW...and fame is not a factor, unless you _are_ famous. What matters is can you deliver a substantial entertaining show that's appropriate to the venue, and negotiate in a confident and professional manner.

Basically I'd say ask $100-150 Cdn for a performance of two or three sets. Definitely the higher end of that if you have to bring and set up the PA equipment. As noted previously, you can negotiate down but not up.

Personally I don't like the concept of charging by the hour, by the set or "per head" of performers. If you get hired for one set in an evening, that's your income for that day, you still have to haul your gear and self, set up and tear down. But a long show, like four full sets in a bar till closing time, you charge at the higher rate there (up to $200/night in a decent place). (And bear in mind that someone who can carry a whole evening as a solo performer is a good value for them to hire, you can charge a good rate for yourself and its still a lot less than they'd pay an ensemble. But the venue has a commitment to live music, it's the price of doing business for them.)

Your pal,
Willie-O


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Subject: RE: How much do you charge to perform?
From: Sorcha
Date: 21 May 02 - 10:03 AM

HA! You guys are all getting rich! We are a non profit group, not a real band. We can be as few as 4 or as many as 10 depending on who is able to show up. We get a grand total of $45/hr. regardless! That is when we bother to charge......schools, nursing homes, town fests, etc. go into the Public Relations category and don't get charged at all.

We put all the money in a bank account and have a hell of a Christmas Dinner/Jam Session just for us. Oh, and sometimes we donate $$ , books, tapes, etc. to a worthy cause like scholarships, libraries, etc. We make NO money individually.


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Subject: RE: How much do you charge to perform?
From: curmudgeon
Date: 21 May 02 - 10:08 AM

Right on Kendall! Over thirty years ago when my good friend Bob Frost and I teamed up, we established a general rule for gigs; good beer, good money, good audience - two out of three minimum. We still hold to this pretty much when performing as part of a group. After all, a big part of plying is to have fun.

As a solo performer, however, I'm a bit more particular. My rates start at $100, 2 sets max. If someone just wants background music, I bring a couple of friends and charge $500+, sound system and engineer will be at least an extra $100.

Of course there are the occasional good causes that can get us for less, but these are becoming fewer and fewer.

The idea of playing good causes for union scale is a good idea if you can find out just what union scale is in your area; not always that easy outsude of big cities.

Just one more thing to keep in mind -- get something for your music; a meal, some libation, even a nice thank you letter. As has been well put in the previous posttings, playing for little or nothing does hurt you in the perception of your talent. It also may be taking paying work away from those for whom performing is their livlihood.

Tom


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Subject: RE: How much do you charge to perform?
From: kendall
Date: 21 May 02 - 11:40 AM

The problem with being good at what you do is simple; they think it's easy and fun, so, you should do it for little or nothing. They dont consider the years you have devoted to being as good as you can be, that's not work to them. How often have I heard "It will be good exposure for you" so, I reply, "You can die of exposure, or at least get arrested." If I feel really insulted, I ask them if it will be as good as what I got from being on the TODAY show; they thought I was worth paying. It is quite true that the less you charge, the less they value what you do.


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Subject: RE: How much do you charge to perform?
From: GUEST,Claire
Date: 21 May 02 - 01:12 PM

This is a really great thread. It is remarkable to me that we all seem to be charging somewhat the same thing around the world. If anything, we seem to play for free a lot. I have a comment on that.

We do a lot of gratis events and we do not charge a nominal fee. We take it off on our taxes and I set my rate based on our Arizona Commission on the Arts rate of $38 per hour (or part of an hour) per person. My tax guy told me that this is an advertising expense, and that is how I write it off. I firmly believe that this is advertising. I also take off festival performances,if they don't pay me, and workshops that I teach at festivals. If you are a working musician (no matter how nominally) you must pay taxes on your income and this can cause some dramatic insult to your pocket on April 15. You need something to weigh against your earnings.

I agree that nonprofit groups tend to take you for granted. I recently played for a reception, where I had to go and scrounge chairs for my band to sit in because no one was there to help. I think I may start sending contracts or letters of understaning to those people too.

Bookstore gigs: Yes, they are the mainstay of many local musicians. The bookstore generally pays in trade or a small fee and they do it to provide entertainment for their customers. I love these gigs because you meet all sorts of people that you wouldn't meet otherwise.

Reaching people with our music is really what it is about. A local producer would prefer it if we did not play bookstores or local pubs that don't charge covers. This is because he feels that it potentially undercuts any shows that he produces with us. Why would they pay if they could see you for free in a few weeks? Our band's perspective is quite different. Why would we want to charge, if we have to give up all the fun playing out and meeting great people. We reach a compromise and resist the free gigs before a big show.

Happy tunes to you all. Claire

PS. Hey Ken, see you at Sharlotte Hall!


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Subject: RE: How much do you charge to perform?
From: GUEST,Les B.
Date: 21 May 02 - 01:44 PM

From southwestern Montana - our four-piece group just had a discussion about what to charge and we came up with $250 for a two-hour, two set gig, with food & drink negotiable. If we have to travel more than 20 miles, and provide our own PA, we go $350 or more.

I see several of the above posts mention union scale. Have any of you been hassled for being non-union, or is that much of a problem these days ?


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Subject: RE: How much do you charge to perform?
From: C-flat
Date: 21 May 02 - 01:57 PM

As a working "club" band our fees used to run from £400 to £1000 for a night usually consisting of two 45 minute slots. The size of the fee was dependant on the size of the club and what night of the week we were playing. Most of the clubs pay more for their Friday/Saturday night entertainment. Because the Northern working-mens club scene in the U'K' is such a gruelling experience the band opted to "retire" and play for fun in the local pubs and private functions. We sometimes play for as little as £100 if we like the pub and usually the landlord will supply the beer.More often the fee falls around £200. At the station Hotel in Loftus (East Cleveland) the landlord gives us free beer, a room for the night, a cooked breakfast(and WHAT a breakfast) and £100 or more depending on how busy the bar is. He's such a great guy and his audiences are usually other bands/musicians so we're guaranteed a fun night. We haven't told him but in truth we'd play there for nothing!


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Subject: RE: How much do you charge to perform?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 21 May 02 - 02:41 PM

I generally charge nothing at all, but I don't make a living by playing music. If I did, that would be a different story...

Occasionally I actually do get paid, which is like getting icing on the cake!

- LH


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Subject: RE: How much do you charge to perform?
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 21 May 02 - 02:45 PM

We're a 4-piece and mainly play blues and rock bars. Our fee for a Fri-Sat gig is $500. We also play the occasional wedding and party, with a one-night fee that's negotiable depending on how much we like you and how much fun it will be. Obviously, none of us are in it for the money.


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Subject: RE: How much do you charge to perform?
From: GUEST,Mudcat
Date: 21 May 02 - 03:20 PM

You get what you pay for, so my standard fee is "free" and if I make some money at it, then so be it. When money clouds the issue if I should perform or not, then the fun of it all seems to vanish. Maybe thats why I am happy doing folk festivals. I think I might reach out this summer and try busking to test the waters. I do know from experience that performers who lack a CD to sell at their gigs are not takin serious as pros.
Bottom line (IMHO) is you take any and all the money that the market will bare, providing money is what motivates your music presentations.
Mudjack


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Subject: RE: How much do you charge to perform?
From: gnu
Date: 21 May 02 - 03:39 PM

Kendall said... "The problem with being good at what you do is simple; they think it's easy and fun, so, you should do it for little or nothing."

Yup. That works for anything, music or otherwise.

A buddy of mine got so fed up with people sounding affronted at $45 per 45 minute hour, he doubled his price. He gets about seventy-five percent of the work he quotes, but you do the math.

Minds me of a funny (?) situation. A local musician has repeatedly asked me to show up at his gigs with Bodhran in tow and do some tunes with him and some solo stuff to spell him off.... no pay cause I'm "just banging on a drum." I could tell you a few more stories, but suffice it to say, (read : here's the moral of the story) if you are willing to bend over, a line has already formed.

Don't be afraid to charge what you feel you are worth. If you actually aren't worth what you charged, you'll find out and you'll charge less next time... no problem. The most important thing to remember is, once you quote, don't reduce your price, no matter what they say - beg - plead - whine - etc, because that's where you lose credibility, as a musician and as a businessperson.


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Subject: RE: How much do you charge to perform?
From: Genie
Date: 21 May 02 - 04:36 PM

Correction:
I posted above "...Some people make most of their living doinsional music for schools." That was a computer-internet slowdown boo-boo, where a chunk of the typed sentence didn't show up on screen. I think it was supposed to be "...doing workshops and educational music programs for schools..." or something like that.
-----------------------------

Kendall said... "The problem with being good at what you do is simple; they think it's easy and fun, so, you should do it for little or nothing.
Yup. That works for anything, music or otherwise. "

Yeah, Kendall, what a lot of folks forget is that artistic pursuits--dance, music, graphic arts, writing, etc. -- involve a lot of time investment and often become "fun" only because of all the lessons, practice, etc.
Beyond that, the time you spend doing the gig [and booking it, getting there, setting up, etc.] is time you could otherwise use earning or saving money.

BTW non-profit groups do not necessarily have a smaller budget than some small businesses do. They don't get all their services donated. Why assume that musicians, qua musicians, should donate what doctors, lawyers, chefs, accountants, and retailers charge for?
A lot of people in professions other than the arts love their work, too.

As I see it, if you want to have the time to really pursue what you love, and you are not of independent means, find a way to get paid for it. Otherwise, you'll have to get a real job. *G*

Mudjack, I, too, enjoy the freedom of non-paid gigs like open mics, and jam sessions (less pressure to sing "Danny Boy" because someone in the audience requests it). When I play for money, I often spend a lot of time researching and learning the music, on top of rehearsal time.
It's not so much that "money motivates [my] musical performances" as that it makes them possible.

Genie


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Subject: RE: How much do you charge to perform?
From: breezy
Date: 21 May 02 - 05:46 PM

Folk clubs will only suvive if income balances outgoings.
If a club loses money over you then you owe that club because without them there will be less opportunity to promote the music less opportunity to play less chance of getting remuneration.
This is a folk club perspective.The same applies to a bar landlord, so try a be realistic and help perpetuate live music.
Dont ask me for my opinions on people who earn a living at music.


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Subject: RE: How much do you charge to perform?
From: Mark Ross
Date: 21 May 02 - 05:59 PM

It's like being a hooker, if you give it away tooo often, you find it hard to get paid when you need to pay the bills. Even non-profits have to come up with something. Everybody else gets their share, the printer,the non-profits staff members, the caterer, hell, even the janitor! Why should the musicians be the ones on the short end? Is it because we "PLAY" for a living? Granted there are occassions when a donation of services is appropriate. But just remember what Woody Guthrie said when a woman asked him to play for a "good cause". "I don't play for bad causes."

Mark Ross


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Subject: RE: How much do you charge to perform?
From: Celtic Soul
Date: 21 May 02 - 10:21 PM

This really depends on a great many factors. Do we have to travel? If so, will there be any provisions for traveling costs/room and board? What is the venue? Is it for a good charity/cause, or is it a purely money making event that wants entertainment? How long will we be needed to perform (how many sets/how long per set)? Is there anything beyond the money as an incentive (free *good* publicity/for a good cause/for a friend/in bloody paradise Key West, FL). Will we be miked? What is the potential for selling CD's?

All of these things (and many more) factor in when our lead contact negotiates a contract.


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Subject: RE: How much do you charge to perform?
From: GUEST,Sonja
Date: 21 May 02 - 10:29 PM

Well said, CS, Mark, Kendall, (et al.)


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Subject: RE: How much do you charge to perform?
From: GUEST,Blackford John
Date: 22 May 02 - 07:26 AM

I'm in a three-piece based in Scotland. We play mostly hotels and pubs. Fee varies between £150 - £300 (top end for Hogmanay,St Andrews Nights). Sometimes we have free accomodation and food provided.

For this we usually do three sets of 50 minutes each.

If we are booked for one hour, two hours or three the fee is not affected as your day/evening is spent preparing and packing PA, and travelling.


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Subject: RE: How much do you charge to perform?
From: GUEST,Sir Roger at Work
Date: 22 May 02 - 08:11 AM

There is a limited bookstore market for live music in the UK - I, and others that I know, have played in the Borders chain. The last time I played there they were paying £150 for a duo.

R


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Subject: RE: How much do you charge to perform?
From: GUEST,maryrrf
Date: 22 May 02 - 10:12 AM

The fees vary tremendously and like everybody else who has posted I am flexible. A lot depends on whether I like the gig/venue etc. I belong to some cultural organizations and usually will do a performance for free if they are involved. Everything else depends on travel time, etc. But I have learned this - it isn't a good idea to do too many free gigs. I've been treated with the utmost disrespect for some of the gigs I've done free "for a good cause" and I don't think it would have happened if I had charged. By "disrespect" I mean that the facilities they provided were terrible, promised sound system turned out to be worse than crap, and in one case I made the trip and found that another group had been booked (for pay) and nobody had bothered in inform me that I wouldn't be needed. That said, there've been a fair amount of the freebies that I felt I did benefit from in terms of becoming known, and other well paid bookings came out of them. But it seems to be true that the more you charge the better you are treated - at least that's been my experience. Other local musicians have confirmed this. Yes, the hooker analogy is accurate - you can't give it away for free too often. It's also true about people thinking it's easy and fun. I've had people come up to me when I was working a grueling weekend job as a strolling guitarist - five hours of playing and singing with no mic - pure acoustic. Believe me I had to come up with tons of songs. Anyway people would say things like "This sure is a cushy job you've got for yourself". My god - they had no idea how many hours I put into learning songs, rehearsing, etc., and how exhausted I was at the end of the evenings! Well, but I guess if I made it look easy I was doing a good job! And most of the time it was fun!


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Subject: RE: How much do you charge to perform?
From: GUEST,Marion
Date: 23 May 02 - 01:04 PM

Thanks for your thoughts everybody.

Marion


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Subject: RE: How much do you charge to perform?
From: kendall
Date: 24 May 02 - 07:59 AM

A few years ago I did a tour of pubs and folk clubs in Scotland. When I got to the venue in Kirkaldy, I was surprised to see another performer posted as that evenings entertainment. When I asked why, I was told that the woman who booked me quit the club and moved to Ireland without telling anyone. The new booking agent didn't know about that date being scheduled, so, he booked Ian McIntosh. They were so apologetic, they paid my full fee, had me do three songs at the break, fed me, and put me up at the home of one of the members. Now; THAT is how people should treat people.


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Subject: RE: How much do you charge to perform?
From: GUEST,maryrrf
Date: 24 May 02 - 09:03 AM

You were lucky, Kendall. I've had that happen where they said "Oh sorry - hope you didn't go to too much trouble to get here!" Fortunately that's only happened once.


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Subject: RE: How much do you charge to perform?
From: GUEST,Butch at work
Date: 24 May 02 - 09:47 AM

I seem to have a pretty odd scale. I do a ton of tourist group work and school groups.

For tourist work I get $6.00 (US) per head with a 20 person minimum. The concert lasts about 1.5 hrs. If I have o travel, I get $0.35 per mile for anything over a 50 mile round trip. Since most tour busses hold 45 to 55 people, I love this work!!! I have a maximum of $600 per hour for larger groups.

For school groups, I get $250 for a half day (1-3 hrs) and $450 for a full school day. I do ask for a lunch break and at least 10 minutes between classes to preserve my voice. For travel, the same rule applies as above.

I do pretty well with these rates, I perform about 75-100 dates a year and don't seem to have any complaints about price. It fits in well with my day jobs too!


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