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  • Gig Cost

    At our practice recently, we were wondering what it is like in other areas of the country/world for gigging bands.

    I'm from Harrisburg, PA. About 2 hours west of Philly and 3.5 hours east of Pittsburgh.

    I this area, original bands will be lucky to pull in $300 for a 3 hour or 4 hour show. Cover bands tend to be able to bring in a bit more depending on the venue, mostly in the $300-$600 range. The local casino is tough to get in with, but if you can, you're looking at $1,000-$1,500. There is one bar with big stage and their own sound that books for about $600-$800. Also, the local strip club (no lie) has bands on occasion and pays $600 due to the fact that it is hard for them to get bands since most people's significant others don't allow them to play there. I've made a lot of money filling in for bands at that club. Other than that, most places are in that $300 range.

    Curious to hear other people's experiences!
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  • #2
    Should be at least $100 per member.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by therocker View Post
      Should be at least $100 per member.
      We have 5 people in our group and have been able to bring out about 25-30 per show so far. When booking we tell them our rate is $600 and go from there. Unless for charity, we will not consider a gig if it's less than $400. Even at $400 it must be local and an easy load in/out. We had a place in downtown Harrisburg reach out to us and offered $250 for 3 hours and we had to guarantee 20 people would show. It's in an area with no parking and load in would be a pain. We politely declined.

      $100 per member is our goal.
      Pearl MMX - 10, 12, 13, 14, 16, 22 Diamond Burst
      Tama Starclassic B/B - 12, 14, 16, 20 Shattered Turquoise
      Pearl Wood Fiberglass - 10, 13, 14, 16, 24 Satin Cocoa Burst
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      • #4
        Even the short gigs kill me. Two and three hours sets? If it takes longer to load in, set up, & load out than it does to play, why bother?

        I think a short 3 hours should pay as much as four. Anything over 4 sets pays extra.

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        • #5
          Four member band, four hour set plus an hour on each end for load in/out, $300?

          Seems like about minimum wage at $12.50/hr each. I'd probably aim for minimum $20-$25/hr each, to be honest.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by therocker View Post
            Even the short gigs kill me. Two and three hours sets? If it takes longer to load in, set up, & load out than it does to play, why bother? I think a short 3 hours should pay as much as four. Anything over 4 sets pays extra.
            I hate when people ask us to play for anything less than one hour. They act like they are doing you a favor too. "We paid you $500 for 3 hours before. Will you play for one hour for us this weekend for $175 and there is no sound guy!"

            That's an easy pass usually!
            Pearl MMX - 10, 12, 13, 14, 16, 22 Diamond Burst
            Tama Starclassic B/B - 12, 14, 16, 20 Shattered Turquoise
            Pearl Wood Fiberglass - 10, 13, 14, 16, 24 Satin Cocoa Burst
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            • #7
              We are a 4 some classic rock cover band. 100 bucks per member. We bring everything like PA and lights. Not gonna do much better than that on a typical bar gig around central CT.
              DrumandFly

              Piano Black BLX
              http://www.pearldrummersforum.com/sh...ighlight=Piano

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              • #8
                We usually get $4-500 per 4 hour gig around here as well (cover band, and we bring everything usually). Though we did get paid $500 for an hour set where all we had to bring were instruments. That was an awesome gig! lol they even had 2 bands that day.

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                • #9
                  $300 for us. We're a 4-piece.

                  We also play a lot of unpaid gigs: charity events and fun private parties.

                  Our marketing and song selection is poor. We tend to pick just songs we like without regard to what the locals want to hear. As a result, our B+ band gets much fewer gigs than the two C- bands that our lead singer and guitar player belong to. Our musicianship and professionalism are top notch but we're not offering the right product.
                  Last edited by Andy H; 11-01-2017, 11:05 AM.

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                  • #10
                    That’s tough to say. I’ve been in situations where I made over $1000 and some I made $10. It all depends on the draw and if I am a member of the band.

                    3-4hrs as an original band seems crazy. Even legendary bands barely have enough material to play for that long.
                    dalewmiller.com my kits: 1 2 3

                    GMS | Paiste|Evans|Kennedy Camden Auxiliary Percussion

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                    • #11
                      My first gig I think I made $ 23. It was awesome because I forgot we got paid at all. I was so high from playing in a band in front of people it took until the 4th gig before I was like " where's my 23 bucks? "

                      Yes, it was $23. I just remembered why. We were a five piece bunch of kids and we agreed to play for $100 and we each took $2 and gave it to this kid for bringing he's homemade light rig. The only thing pro on it was colored gels. The rest was coffee cans hooked to a long 2x4. He manually flipped electric light switches with the songs.

                      So he made $10 and we each made $23! Those were the days.

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                      • #12
                        SW Ohio; 4 hr set of classic rock tunes that you've heard a thousand times; we haul PA and lights = $400. That works out to $80/person.

                        We'd like to get to $500/gig ($100/person) but that's been a tough climb. To get that money and up in this region, you have to be the kind of band that has dozens of fans that follow us from venue to venue. We're not that band.

                        My previous band (4 yrs ago) was all-original and we'd make about $100 FOR THE BAND for 45 minutes on those multi-band lineups. I can't stand em for the reasons Rocker mentioned, longer to setup and tear down than perform? No way.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by therocker View Post
                          My first gig I think I made $ 23. It was awesome because I forgot we got paid at all. I was so high from playing in a band in front of people it took until the 4th gig before I was like " where's my 23 bucks? "

                          Yes, it was $23. I just remembered why. We were a five piece bunch of kids and we agreed to play for $100 and we each took $2 and gave it to this kid for bringing he's homemade light rig. The only thing pro on it was colored gels. The rest was coffee cans hooked to a long 2x4. He manually flipped electric light switches with the songs.

                          So he made $10 and we each made $23! Those were the days.
                          Our old light set is made with coffee cans and gels, though its a pretty serious mount and stand setup they have. There is also a piece or radio antenna used for stage front lights that connect between the 2 stands. Those are now mounted to the ceiling in the studio because it was heavy! lol We ended up putting LED bulbs in them recently too because the halogens would raise the room temp about 10*+

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by melvinspeed View Post
                            SW Ohio; 4 hr set of classic rock tunes that you've heard a thousand times; we haul PA and lights = $400. That works out to $80/person. We'd like to get to $500/gig ($100/person) but that's been a tough climb. To get that money and up in this region, you have to be the kind of band that has dozens of fans that follow us from venue to venue. We're not that band. My previous band (4 yrs ago) was all-original and we'd make about $100 FOR THE BAND for 45 minutes on those multi-band lineups. I can't stand em for the reasons Rocker mentioned, longer to setup and tear down than perform? No way.
                            Don't miss those 45 min set days for "exposure"

                            Our old band leader would snatch those up any time he could, I couldn't stand them, total waste of time to me! At least it usually meant there was a backline kit so I just needed the breakables.

                            But we are booking for about the same price on average here in PA currently. Most places though are $300 for 3 hours. Not too many places do 4.
                            Pearl MMX - 10, 12, 13, 14, 16, 22 Diamond Burst
                            Tama Starclassic B/B - 12, 14, 16, 20 Shattered Turquoise
                            Pearl Wood Fiberglass - 10, 13, 14, 16, 24 Satin Cocoa Burst
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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by HBG1989 View Post
                              Don't miss those 45 min set days for "exposure"

                              Our old band leader would snatch those up any time he could, I couldn't stand them, total waste of time to me! At least it usually meant there was a backline kit so I just needed the breakables.

                              But we are booking for about the same price on average here in PA currently. Most places though are $300 for 3 hours. Not too many places do 4.
                              Come out my way!

                              A lot of places here west of Pittsburgh do 4 hours (well, three 1 hour sets with 30 min break between) for $500. and few do $400 for the same or maybe an hour less.

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