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Thread: Band Pay in your City

  1. #1

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    Default Band Pay in your City

    What's the average pay for bands in your city? In Richmond, it goes something like this:

    - Bars and clubs: $50 to $100 a man (3-4 hours)
    - Corporate gigs or weddings: $100 to $400 a man (2-4 hours)

    The exception to this would be the top tier bands (super popular with large followings). In that case, add another $100 to $200 to each of those.
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  2. #2

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    In southeast NE, it depends on numerous variables. Venues don’t care how many are in the band...mostly how much the bar makes when you play.
    The average “bar gig” pays around $400 for 4 hours. There are some solo and duo acts that play for less ($250-$300), and there are some bands that charge $500-$700...but they are limited in the places they can play. 98% of the venues won’t pay more than $400 to $450 max. The smaller rural places usually pay $300-$350. If they try to charge a cover at the door, no one shows up.
    Private parties and events will pay $400-$500. If you can land the bigger street festivals/fairs/events, then you can get over $500.
    There are a handful of local bands that always draw a big crowd, and they charge $750-$1000+......but they only play a 4 to 6 times per year.
    -Brian

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  3. #3

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    The sad part to this is that so many places closed in the last 20 years there is no more competition for bands as there was in the '60's and '70's. In my old hometown, there were maybe 15 bars/clubs looking for bands back in the '60's and '70's, as of when I left, it was down to 4-5. (what I should say is that the competition was very different compared to today).

    The husband and wife band that I was in (the couple that hated each other) for about 8-9 months, played mainly clubs and corporate gigs that were paying anywhere from, depending on the size of the club, $800 to $1,500 a night. That was in '71 into '72. Any charity was done for free, even the few that paid. We told them to put our "pay" back into the charity fund so every 1 we played cost us, but it sure built a lot of good will for us. The band I was in for about 18 months ('64 into late '65) before I went into the Air Force, played between NJ and NY mainly, paid me,on average, $100 a night.

    I see and hear about the way it is today and I wouldn't even have bothered with that crap. Pay to play, tip jars, paid by the amount of people that were there, unheard of back in the day. The only thing you had to concern yourself with back then with, was that your band better be REALLY good as there were a lot of good bands out there.

    It, on the whole, was a great time.
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  4. #4

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    Here in Richmond there used to be circuits for bands and if you got into the circuit, you could rotate for weeks going from one hotel lounge to the other (Holiday Inns, Howard Johnsons, Ramada Inns, etc.) A musician could make 250-300 a week and the cost of living was a lot less back then so it was decent pay.
    - Tom

    Everyone loves FREE... like this free drum forum. But like your car and even your drums, they require upkeep and maintenance and that requires money.

    Will you consider Shopping at Drum Bum to help support this forum?

    Or make a donation here.



    I know from working with Drum Bum through the years, that this forum is costly to run. It requires server fees, hosting, ongoing moderation, advertising, software upgrades, security certificates and IT work when it breaks. All in addition to the expenses that come from running a business. These costs are offset (hopefully) by members that click through to Drum Bum to make a purchase now and then, if not make a contribution to help keep it running.

    On behalf of Drum Bum, thank you for your consideration.


  5. #5

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    4 to 6 times a year? At that kind of pay i'd be doing it as much as I could! I'd make it my life 100%!
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  6. #6

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    We've been getting at least $100 a man for club gigs. Festivals/street parties are at least $200 a man.
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  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Russ View Post
    4 to 6 times a year? At that kind of pay i'd be doing it as much as I could! I'd make it my life 100%!
    Because they can only book 4-6 gigs per year at that price level. Mostly big festivals, county fairs, etc.. Its mostly places and events with budgets that don’t have to rely on turning a profit.
    -Brian

    "Too many crappy used drum stuff to list"

    Play the SONG......not the DRUMS!!!

    "I think that feeling is a lot more important than technique. It's all very well doing a triple paradiddle - but who's going to know you've done it? If you play technically you sound like everybody else. It's being original that counts." ~ John Bonham

  8. #8

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    One thing I’ve found that’s interesting; we get a lot of really good national touring bands that pass through here. In almost every case, their agent calls ahead to all the area venues along their route, looking for “gas money” gigs. They’ll play for less than normal just to get a booking and help finance their trip. In fact, we had an awesome touring band from Texas, Jay Statham & the Tokie Show, book a gig in my home town for last Friday night. On Thursday morning they canceled out due to a tragedy. The bar owner called me Thursday afternoon and asked if we could play in their place. We did, and he paid me our regular fee, but he told me Jay had booked it for less. I have no doubt they typically get double if not triple the rate. They’re better than the $1200 bands around here. The sad part is; if they HAD been able to play, it would have been to an almost empty house.
    -Brian

    "Too many crappy used drum stuff to list"

    Play the SONG......not the DRUMS!!!

    "I think that feeling is a lot more important than technique. It's all very well doing a triple paradiddle - but who's going to know you've done it? If you play technically you sound like everybody else. It's being original that counts." ~ John Bonham

  9. #9

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    Playing the bar gig with punk and metal bands doesn't pay great. usually 100-300 a night depending on the turn out. Mind you, that is per band and for a 30-45 minute set. A bit different than being a band on for 4 hours.
    Headlining usually helps, but this is all based off cover at the door as people are coming to a concert, and not going to a bar with a live band. There has been the odd show that we have put on ourselves and made more money, but there has also been gigs with low turnouts where we make less, or open for a very large band at the cost of not making much.....

    I do it for fun, so getting the gas covered and a few beers is fine for me. I do think bands in this day and age are not paid nearly enough. The amount of time, and money that goes in to practice and new gear is quite high.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by N2Bluz View Post
    One thing I’ve found that’s interesting; we get a lot of really good national touring bands that pass through here. In almost every case, their agent calls ahead to all the area venues along their route, looking for “gas money” gigs. They’ll play for less than normal just to get a booking and help finance their trip. In fact, we had an awesome touring band from Texas, Jay Statham & the Tokie Show, book a gig in my home town for last Friday night. On Thursday morning they canceled out due to a tragedy. The bar owner called me Thursday afternoon and asked if we could play in their place. We did, and he paid me our regular fee, but he told me Jay had booked it for less. I have no doubt they typically get double if not triple the rate. They’re better than the $1200 bands around here. The sad part is; if they HAD been able to play, it would have been to an almost empty house.
    Man, that's a tragedy!
    - Tom

    Everyone loves FREE... like this free drum forum. But like your car and even your drums, they require upkeep and maintenance and that requires money.

    Will you consider Shopping at Drum Bum to help support this forum?

    Or make a donation here.



    I know from working with Drum Bum through the years, that this forum is costly to run. It requires server fees, hosting, ongoing moderation, advertising, software upgrades, security certificates and IT work when it breaks. All in addition to the expenses that come from running a business. These costs are offset (hopefully) by members that click through to Drum Bum to make a purchase now and then, if not make a contribution to help keep it running.

    On behalf of Drum Bum, thank you for your consideration.


  11. #11

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    The biggest tragedy is my old band we didn't do our own sound. . . So some places we would charge 500 for a show but then hire a sound guy who charges us $350... so we walked out making like $25 a man lol They use to do their own sound but got tired of it
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  12. #12

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    From what I see here is that musicians are payed less than the minimum wage in my home province in Canada. Factor in the gear shlepping and the driving and gas and other associated vehicle expenses, not to mention the countless hours of practicing to achieve some level of proficiency, I doubt that you're even getting a fraction of a typical minimum wage. That puts you below the value of a burger flipper or Wal-mart greeter. And for what? So you can enable purveyors of alcohol to sell a bunch of alcohol to a bunch of people that probably shouldn't even be consuming alcohol.

    Forget it! I'm out!

    all the best...

  13. #13

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    The live music scene here on Long Island is thriving, however it is dominated by lots of bar/restaurants that have bands on weekends even they are ill-suited to live music, and bands made up of weekend warriors with day jobs who don't need the money and will play for next to nothing. As a result, the market is saturated, and the pay is not much better than when I played out almost 40 years ago! Flat rates start around $400 for an entire band for a 3 set show, and don't get much higher unless you're one of the handful of bands that draw huge crowds consistently. As long as there are bars that are happy with bands that bring 40 people and will play for $400, I don't see it changing. Most owners don't care how good you are, they just want to know how many people you bring. There are a few good venues with real stages and good sound systems, and during the summer there are places on the beach which are great to play, but those are all extremely hard to get into. One of my bands has managed to get some gigs at street fairs, festivals and summer concert series, but those are all about having contacts. There is a venue in my town that has a decent stage and PA, and they are trying to book minor recording acts, but the place has a limited capacity and a bad location(parking and visibility), and these bands are not delivering any kind of draw. They are trying to get by with open mic nights 3 times a week, and booking cover bands on weekends, but I think they are going to suffer the same fate as the last three owners at that location. They are interested in booking one of my bands based on word of mouth alone, but we're not going to book there because we are booked at another, established venue down the road where we want to have a residency.
    It's extremely difficult for musicians to make a decent living in this area because of the competition driving down rates, and most of them are in several bands, teaching lessons, etc.
    All that being said I must admit I may be part of the problem, but in my 2 bands I don't think I'm taking any money from the those who a trying to do it for a living.


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  14. #14

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    Yeah, it's crazy all over! I'm in So. California and I don't even want to get started on that! lol. I'm playing in Simi Valley New years eve and the band I'll be playing with is 6 pc. I'll get 150.00 bucks for 2 sets (2 hrs.). That's why I went for it! lol.

  15. #15

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    Yeah the bar gig scene is not good... but private parties and company gigs is where the money is.
    But that's a tough scene to crack and one I don't want to get into myself because I enjoy the more wild side.
    14pc Yamaha Maple Custom Vintage (24pc in total) | 12pc PDP X7 | 9pc Ludwig Jr. | 9pc Pork Pie ZebraWood | 6pc Sonor |5pc PDP Concept Maple Classic | 5pc Ddrum Dominion | 5pc Orbitone |4pc Sonor Martini | 58 Snare drums and growing!

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