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A la carte pricing for wedding gig services:

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  • A la carte pricing for wedding gig services:

    Trying to better communicate to potential clients our pricing without scaring them off before we can negotiate fees. The negotiation process is always a dance and part of that dance is getting their foot in the door. Up until now we've primarily used the method of quoting a large fee and then negotiating down as need be. (Easier to go down than up, right?) But if that initial quote is too high then a lot of people just run away. So instead of trying to say "our usual fee is $XXXX but that includes EVERYTHING, if you need less we can do it for less...." we're thinking of starting with a lower "base price" and then charging more for the extras.

    (Why do I feel more like a car salesman than a musician...lol??)

    So, long story short, we're going to start sending out a basic price sheet (while reminding them that everything is negotiable, of course!) and seeing how that works. Here's how it's going to look. How do you guys handle it? And any suggestions for how to improve this or anything I might be missing here?

    LIVE PERFORMANCE BY JumpStart.
    This is our basic fee for 2-4 hours of live music for the dancing portion of the evening. All stage lighting, technicians and sound equipment provided by JumpStart: $3,600.

    LIVE CEREMONY MUSIC BY JumpStart.
    This include one or two musicians (keyboards and/or guitar) and vocalist and a small sound system. They provide background music while guests are seated and requested songs during specific portions of ceremony. (Usually the walking down the aisle portions.) This also includes a wireless lavalier microphone provided for the Officiant and wireless microphone on a stand for any Readers. $400.

    RECORDED CEREMONY MUSIC.
    We will supply a small sound system for you to play recorded music as well as the wireless mics for Officiant and readers. We will provide a technician to operate the system and cue your recordings. $200.

    OFFICIANT AND READER MICROPHONES.
    Two wireless microphones provided and small sound system. Our technicians will handle all the set up, operation and tear-down. $150.

    LIVE COCKTAIL SET by JumpStart.
    This includes the full live band playing mellow, easy listening music for your guests for up to one hour. If necessary this will include a separate small sound system if the cocktail portion of your event located in an area separate from the main dancing area. $700.

    RECORDED COCKTAIL MUSIC.
    A small sound system provided for the cocktail portion of your event with recorded music appropriate for background/easy listening. $300.

    MC SERVICES.
    Let us handle the introduction of your wedding party and portions of your event in a fun and professional manner that will keep your guests entertained! This also includes the provision of our wireless mic at the head table for your speeches during dinner. $100.
    Last edited by guido61; 08-22-2014, 12:40 PM.
    _________________________________________________
    band websites:
    http://www.JumpStartYourParty.com
    https://www.gigmasters.com/Rock/Jump-Start
    https://www.facebook.com/JumpStartYourParty
    http://www.weddingwire.com/biz/jumps...587fe5f12.html

  • #2
    Hmmm only thing I'd say is a minimum requirement or they going to opt for 400.00 option which is a DJ service. Your shooting way to low on that I think, more like a 1000.00, my rate for DJ weddings @ approximately 5 hours (1 hour coctail etc plus 4 hours dancing) is 1000.00 generally around 200 an hour. I believe the going rate or "average" to some wedding web sites is around 1500.00 for a wedding DJ = +- 20 %. Don't sell yourself short. The other parts it's hard to say, as you know no 2 weddings are the same in regards to the needs of your client. I do see what you are doing though, that could be pretty handy. Too bad you couldn't be a caterer too? haha

    Comment


    • #3

      Originally posted by nchangin View Post
      Hmmm only thing I'd say is a minimum requirement or they going to opt for 400.00 option which is a DJ service. Your shooting way to low on that I think, more like a 1000.00,
      You lost me here a little bit. But we're not offering a DJ service as an option. The recorded music options I talk about are simply running an iPod through a couple of powered speakers for background music.

      We have discussed the possibility of adding a DJ to what we do to spin records during our break and help out with the "special songs" nonsense and such, but I don't know if we'll actually do that at any point. I don't want to get into the DJ business and offer that up as a lower priced alternative to the band, although I know a lot of guys do that. But I don't really have any interest in become a full-service entertainment provider. Not at this point anyway.

      All I'm really doing here is just trying to approach the bidding process from another angle. Give them our lowest bid first for a bare-bones gig and then heap on all the extras at an added cost if they want that stuff. Ideally the best approach is to get them on the phone where we can openly discuss prices and options ("tell me your needs for your event and I can tell you what we can do for you..."), but some people refuse to talk on the phone unless they receive a bid first. I don't want to scare them off with too high of a bid, but don't want to have them feel like they were cheated into paying a lot more than they initially thought they would have to either.

      Too bad you couldn't be a caterer too? haha
      If only I could cook! haha! But, along those lines, one of our singers has started her own photography business and has already shot a couple of weddings. I suppose at some point we could look into folding that service into what we do, although I'm not sure how she'd manage taking photos and being onstage at the same time!
      _________________________________________________
      band websites:
      http://www.JumpStartYourParty.com
      https://www.gigmasters.com/Rock/Jump-Start
      https://www.facebook.com/JumpStartYourParty
      http://www.weddingwire.com/biz/jumps...587fe5f12.html

      Comment


      • #4
        I'll be interested in hearing how well this approach works for you.

        My wedding act provides the same services you've listed - however, we rarely "up-charge" for any of them EXCEPT in cases where we provide live ceremony music and/or where it's necessary to provide a satellite sound system for "canned" music in a second location.

        Our preference is to call out these extra services as reasons why we should be their band of choice - as opposed to charging extra for each "extra". Especially, since offering these services doesn't result in us incurring any additional out of pocket costs to provide them.

        I can understand the desire not to scare off potential clients with a BIG number up front - but can't help wonder if an ala carte menu of "services" that charges $xxx for cocktail set or $xxx for "MC" services won't be equally scary to potential clients.

        I'm of the opinion that if a potential client walks away because of sticker shock after seeing an "all inclusive" price - it's highly unlikely that "ala carte" pricing is going to lower the cost enough to change that.
        Last edited by SpaceNorman; 08-22-2014, 06:24 PM.
        The SpaceNorman

        www.facebook.com/SuperstarsOfRock
        www.souldoutrocks.com

        Keyboards and Tone Generators: Yamaha CP300, Kronos 88, Roland AX Synth, Motif ES Rack
        Keyboard Rack: Samson SM10 Line Mixer, Motu MIDIExpressXT MIDI Interface, Shure PSM200 IEM system, M-Audio Wireless MIDI, Live Wires IEM ear buds, iPad wOnSong.
        Stage Amplification: Stereo via 2 Yamaha DSR112s

        Comment


        • #5

          Originally posted by SpaceNorman View Post

          My wedding act provides the same services you've listed - however, we rarely "up-charge" for any of them EXCEPT in cases where we provide live ceremony music and/or where it's necessary to provide a satellite sound system for "canned" music in a second location.
          Well, that;s mostly what I'm talking about here. Some of the cheaper "incidental" stuff like MCing or providing a mic for speeches I suspect will be stuff we will offer to "throw into the package". Gotta have a few freebies to toss in! Problem with stuff like mics for officients and the like is you can't do it without setting up the satellite system.

          Our preference is to call out these extra services as reasons why we should be their band of choice - as opposed to charging extra for each "extra". Especially, since offering these services doesn't result in us incurring any additional out of pocket costs to provide them.
          .
          That has always been our approach as well. Problem is that we've decided we don't really want be throwing in stuff like cocktail sets through a separate system for the minimum fee. So rather than tossing out the high fee and start taking stuff out so they can pay less, I'm going try from the other way around and see if that catches any more fish.

          I'm of the opinion that if a potential client walks away because of sticker shock after seeing an "all inclusive" price - it's highly unlikely that "ala carte" pricing is going to lower the cost enough to change that.
          It's not about that as much as simply being better able to reach out to both those with a $3600 budget and a $5000 budget without scaring the former away or underselling ourselves to the latter.
          _________________________________________________
          band websites:
          http://www.JumpStartYourParty.com
          https://www.gigmasters.com/Rock/Jump-Start
          https://www.facebook.com/JumpStartYourParty
          http://www.weddingwire.com/biz/jumps...587fe5f12.html

          Comment


          • #6
            I think we have a rate and it includes all of that stuff and the client can pick and choose whatever they want of it, or all of it. I will say that my band leader does not like to play live cocktail music when everyone is eating. He thinks, and I agree that it distracts people and you can never really be low volume enough. We just play light Jazzy cocktail stuff on the ipad then we come on and give them a Party full on afterward. Only thing I would charge more for is extra systems for the ceremony and of course playing and or singing during the ceremony.

            I've been thinking about how to price my band and I think I'll have several tiers as far as the act goes, as starting price points. A trio with tracks for budget conscious. (2 guys and a girl front) Still with big sound, lights, MC's Cocktail music and everything else. Than the full band. I will also do an add on DJ for between sets for an extra fee as well as a full on DJ service that I will provide if that's what they want.

            I know my band leader has a basic fee but that's adjusted based on the distance we have to travel, gas, hotel expenses etc and I think I would do the same thing.

            So I think keeping it simple is best and having a few different price point options for clients with different budgets is really the smart play.
            Last edited by sventvkg; 08-23-2014, 05:14 AM.

            Comment


            • #7
              You might want to use "lavalier (clip-on) microphone". Not everybody knows what a lav is. I think the breakout is good, but I don't know the market well enough to comment on the marketing approach.

              I best-manned a wedding not long ago with an awesome band (ex-tour boat guys in the Philippines) and they provided a lot of these services, including singing to tracks from a hidden position before the ceremony. I guess that was because of the high value they place on singing in their culture. One thing that I found frustrating with that ceremony was the expectation that I was to act as an intelligent mic stand during the exchanging of the vows. Yikes. It was kind of helpful that I was there, though...I was able to resolve and identify a technical problem very quickly: the groom's cell phone was interfering with the UHF radio whenever he received a text.

              Stupid question maybe, but what do you guys w.r.t. music licensing at weddings? Do you assume that the venue has paid the appropriate pipers?
              <div class="signaturecontainer">--<br><br>Hammond: BC, M3, Split L111, L122 / Leslie: 51, 760 / Yamaha: DGX-620, PF-85<br><br>Follow my new band, <a href="http://DrBombay.ca/connect.html" target="_blank">Dr. Bombay</a>! We're going to be organasmic!</div>

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by sventvkg View Post
                I think we have a rate and it includes all of that stuff and the client can pick and choose whatever they want of it, or all of it. I will say that my band leader does not like to play live cocktail music when everyone is eating. He thinks, and I agree that it distracts people and you can never really be low volume enough. We just play light Jazzy cocktail stuff on the ipad then we come on and give them a Party full on afterward. Only thing I would charge more for is extra systems for the ceremony and of course playing and or singing during the ceremony.
                We have been asked to play during dinner and refuse to do that. We tell them that that's simply a bad idea. Their guests really don't want a live band while they are eating. But we will provide background music through the system, of course.

                The cocktail set is a different deal. A lot of people want to have the visual of the live band in the corner while people are drinking and mingling before dinner. We don't mind doing it and actually have fun with it. It's a chance to play some different material, do some instrumental jams, etc. Nobody is ever really paying attention and it's easy extra money. But we do charge more for it because A) it's an extra set of material and B) it almost always involves setting up a 2nd system--including an e-drum kit--in another area of the venue. Sometimes they are drinking in the same room where they will eat and where the band will play later on, but most often not.


                I've been thinking about how to price my band and I think I'll have several tiers as far as the act goes, as starting price points. A trio with tracks for budget conscious. (2 guys and a girl front) Still with big sound, lights, MC's Cocktail music and everything else. Than the full band. I will also do an add on DJ for between sets for an extra fee as well as a full on DJ service that I will provide if that's what they want.
                Yep, that's a good way to go and a lot of bands go that route. We're not really set up to be, nor is it our desire to be, a band that offers different price points for different configurations. We're a six piece band. Hire us and you get the six piece band. We don't have a trio version for less money or add on a horn section or dancing girls for more money. Just not something I want to bother with even if that means we're booking fewer gigs as a result. But that's just us.

                I know my band leader has a basic fee but that's adjusted based on the distance we have to travel, gas, hotel expenses etc and I think I would do the same thing.
                Our basic fee is $3,600 plus rooms. That covers paying the sound guy, gas expenses and everyone in the band can get a $500 check. Nobody really wants to gig for less than that anymore, so except on rare occasions, we pretty much just turn down any offers to play for less than that. There are other bands or DJs or whatever that'll do the gig for less.

                But the other side of that coin is once we start throwing in all the extra stuff, then it becomes a LOT of work for the money. Very often we're setting up THREE systems for a gig---the full band on stage, the small "cocktail setup" with e-drums through a smaller PA in the bar--and an even smaller rig out where the ceremony will be. And we're dragging instruments and amps to the different locations. So it does become a lot of extra stuff that we do need to get paid for.

                But we're fine giving them the full monty for, say, $4,800, which is now a $700 check for each of us. So it's really all about just how to get the client hooked in and then working out the details. It's about not losing a simple gig for $3,600 because we bid $4,800 for a "full package" that the client can't afford and doesn't really need.

                So I think keeping it simple is best and having a few different price point options for clients with different budgets is really the smart play.
                I agree. The more-simple the better.

                I'll probably re-work this and maybe eliminate charging extra for some of the nickel-and-dime stuff.
                Last edited by guido61; 08-23-2014, 10:13 AM.
                _________________________________________________
                band websites:
                http://www.JumpStartYourParty.com
                https://www.gigmasters.com/Rock/Jump-Start
                https://www.facebook.com/JumpStartYourParty
                http://www.weddingwire.com/biz/jumps...587fe5f12.html

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by wesg View Post

                  Stupid question maybe, but what do you guys w.r.t. music licensing at weddings? Do you assume that the venue has paid the appropriate pipers?
                  Until somebody sends me a notice informing me otherwise and that we are responsible for it---yeah, that's basically it.

                  I do know that ASCAP contacted the guy in our band who handles the money details a few years back about the fact that we had a website that shows us making money playing covers. They wanted a yearly fee from us, basically due to the fact the we have cover songs in our video demo and we use that demo to get gigs. I THINK that was the legal long-and-short of it. Whether that fee covers the gigs themselves---I'd have to look up the details of the agreement.
                  _________________________________________________
                  band websites:
                  http://www.JumpStartYourParty.com
                  https://www.gigmasters.com/Rock/Jump-Start
                  https://www.facebook.com/JumpStartYourParty
                  http://www.weddingwire.com/biz/jumps...587fe5f12.html

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by guido61 View Post

                    The cocktail set is a different deal ... But we do charge more for it because A) it's an extra set of material and B) it almost always involves setting up a 2nd system--including an e-drum kit--in another area of the venue. Sometimes they are drinking in the same room where they will eat and where the band will play later on, but most often not.
                    We tell clients that our rate is based on what is typically a full "bar night" worth of music (i.e., 180 minutes ... 4 x 45 minute sets, etc.) Then we work with the client to figure out how the want it. Some want nothing but dance material. However, it's also pretty common for folks to opt for a cocktail set ... and then 3 "dance sets".

                    Ultimately, we only "up charge" in the following situations:

                    1. We're asked to provide significantly more than 180 minutes worth of total music.
                    2. We're asked to provide a satellite PA system
                    3. We're asked to provide musicians somewhere other than the primary venue (i.e., soloists / duos at the ceremony itself).

                    We consider things like playing pre-recorded material (ours and/or theirs) through the band PA, using the band PA and wireless mics for announcements, toasts, etc. - to be part of our "base service offering". Same thing with providing Master of Ceremony services. Rather than trying to charge more for them - we quote our rate and point out that it includes all of these "extras" as part of our services.

                    The one thing that we're careful about is drawing a distinction between "playing recording music" vs. "DJ'ing". We make it clear that we won't having anybody hollering into a mic or beat mixing like DJs often do. We make it clear that we'll provide pre-recorded music whenever the band is not actually performing (either from CDs or from an MP3 player that the client provides - or from our library of material)
                    The SpaceNorman

                    www.facebook.com/SuperstarsOfRock
                    www.souldoutrocks.com

                    Keyboards and Tone Generators: Yamaha CP300, Kronos 88, Roland AX Synth, Motif ES Rack
                    Keyboard Rack: Samson SM10 Line Mixer, Motu MIDIExpressXT MIDI Interface, Shure PSM200 IEM system, M-Audio Wireless MIDI, Live Wires IEM ear buds, iPad wOnSong.
                    Stage Amplification: Stereo via 2 Yamaha DSR112s

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I'm also considering re-working it at as a "package" menu rather than "al a carte".

                      Price A---Just the dancing set, Price B---Dancing and live cocktail set. Price C---Dancing and live Ceremony music. Price D---The Works.

                      And maybe an extra charge for any satellite systems to be used just for recorded music and/or wireless mics.

                      Yeah, use of the band PA for background music and a wireless mic for speeches is no problem throwing in for free. Problem becomes when they aren't having cocktails and/or dinner in the same room where the band is set up. So now we're back to adding an extra charge for a satellite system.

                      We did play an outdoor wedding last week where everything was basically in the same area. All we had to do was point the speakers in different directions over the course of the day. But that's pretty rare. If we're providing any extras, 95% of the time it involves satellite systems. Up until now the MO has basically been to bid high, get as close to our top rate as possible, and then throw in whatever they need. Until now it's all kind of 'averaged out'. Some gigs we're playing cheap and doing a lot; others we're getting a top rate and doing very little extra. But I'm thinking there's got to be a better way to do it.

                      No matter how I slice it up, it still comes back to bidding out the low base price and then adding on the extras. The trick is just how best to sell the extras to make sure we're getting paid for our efforts and so that the client doesn't feel like they are being ambushed with a lot of extra expenses they thought should have been covered.
                      _________________________________________________
                      band websites:
                      http://www.JumpStartYourParty.com
                      https://www.gigmasters.com/Rock/Jump-Start
                      https://www.facebook.com/JumpStartYourParty
                      http://www.weddingwire.com/biz/jumps...587fe5f12.html

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        What do y'all think of this?

                        1) LIVE PERFORMANCE by JumpStart.
                        This is our basic fee for 2-4 hours of live music for the dancing portion of the evening. All stage lighting, technicians and sound equipment provided by JumpStart. You will also have free use of our sound system for background music before our performance, use of a wireless microphone for your speeches, and we will MC your event: $3,600.

                        2) LIVE PERFORMANCE with LIVE COCKTAIL SET BY JumpStart.
                        Same as 1), but we will also perform a one hour set of live mellow, easy listening music while your guests enjoy the cocktail portion of the evening. This also includes the band setting up in a 2nd location with a small performance and sound system for the cocktail set if necessary. $4,300.

                        3) LIVE PERFORMANCE with LIVE CEREMONY MUSIC by JumpStart.
                        Same as 1), but JumpStart will also perform live music during the wedding ceremony. This will consist of one or two musicians (keyboards and/or guitar) and a vocalist and a small sound system if necessary. They provide live background music while guests are seated and requested songs during specific portions of ceremony. (Usually the walking down the aisle portions.) This also includes a wireless lavalier (clip on) microphone provided for the Officiant and wireless microphone on a stand for any Readers. $4,000.

                        4) LIVE PERFORMANCE with LIVE CEREMONY MUSIC and LIVE COCKTAIL SET by JumpStart.
                        This is the an “all of the above” full service that will provide you with the band’s equipment and services for the entire duration of your event. $4,600.

                        ADDITIONAL SOUND SYSTEMS.
                        Should a small sound system be required in any area where JumpStart is not already performing for your use for either recorded background music or for speeches. (i.e., background music through an iPod for the cocktail hour or a wireless mic for the officiant during the ceremony) JumpStart has all the equipment you will need for these services. $200.
                        Last edited by guido61; 08-23-2014, 12:55 PM.
                        _________________________________________________
                        band websites:
                        http://www.JumpStartYourParty.com
                        https://www.gigmasters.com/Rock/Jump-Start
                        https://www.facebook.com/JumpStartYourParty
                        http://www.weddingwire.com/biz/jumps...587fe5f12.html

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by guido61 View Post

                          We have been asked to play during dinner and refuse to do that. We tell them that that's simply a bad idea. Their guests really don't want a live band while they are eating. But we will provide background music through the system, of course.

                          The cocktail set is a different deal. A lot of people want to have the visual of the live band in the corner while people are drinking and mingling before dinner. We don't mind doing it and actually have fun with it. It's a chance to play some different material, do some instrumental jams, etc. Nobody is ever really paying attention and it's easy extra money. But we do charge more for it because A) it's an extra set of material and B) it almost always involves setting up a 2nd system--including an e-drum kit--in another area of the venue. Sometimes they are drinking in the same room where they will eat and where the band will play later on, but most often not.



                          Yep, that's a good way to go and a lot of bands go that route. We're not really set up to be, nor is it our desire to be, a band that offers different price points for different configurations. We're a six piece band. Hire us and you get the six piece band. We don't have a trio version for less money or add on a horn section or dancing girls for more money. Just not something I want to bother with even if that means we're booking fewer gigs as a result. But that's just us.



                          Our basic fee is $3,600 plus rooms. That covers paying the sound guy, gas expenses and everyone in the band can get a $500 check. Nobody really wants to gig for less than that anymore, so except on rare occasions, we pretty much just turn down any offers to play for less than that. There are other bands or DJs or whatever that'll do the gig for less.

                          But the other side of that coin is once we start throwing in all the extra stuff, then it becomes a LOT of work for the money. Very often we're setting up THREE systems for a gig---the full band on stage, the small "cocktail setup" with e-drums through a smaller PA in the bar--and an even smaller rig out where the ceremony will be. And we're dragging instruments and amps to the different locations. So it does become a lot of extra stuff that we do need to get paid for.

                          But we're fine giving them the full monty for, say, $4,800, which is now a $700 check for each of us. So it's really all about just how to get the client hooked in and then working out the details. It's about not losing a simple gig for $3,600 because we bid $4,800 for a "full package" that the client can't afford and doesn't really need.



                          I agree. The more-simple the better.

                          I'll probably re-work this and maybe eliminate charging extra for some of the nickel-and-dime stuff.
                          I don't know how to multi-quote like you, sorry...

                          Out of about 50 weddings we have done one cocktail set it and it was on the regular stage. My band leader and I for that matter would NEVER drag out another PA to set up in a different local with different drums, instruments etc..NO WAY!!! They would have to pay another Grand I should think...

                          we have set up an extra system for music at the ceremony outside, or another room to pipe in Ipad music maybe 2-3 times.

                          Now, I have a question for you about the $$..Since you split everything evenly does your band own everything together? Equal investment in the PA, Vehicle, trailer time and sweat on bookings, web, video's etc? I only ask this because we all get $300 a gig each as we work for our band leader but he owns everything, does all the booking, dealing with clients etc....So it's his business and we are his employee's. I totally get it and it's EXACTLY how I will run my bands. I like it better this way and if someone leaves they are easy to replace, plug someone in and go. Also, i'm not interested in making less than $1000 a gig myself. I've done this for WAY WAY too many years and it's become ALL business to me so.......I'm just wondering how you can do it like you do, all even pay. It's fascinating.

                          Again, it's probably a good idea if we keep the pricing structure as simple as we can for the client's sake I would think regardless. Good insights Dave, Thanks!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by sventvkg View Post



                            Out of about 50 weddings we have done one cocktail set it and it was on the regular stage. My band leader and I for that matter would NEVER drag out another PA to set up in a different local with different drums, instruments etc..NO WAY!!! They would have to pay another Grand I should think...
                            Different venues in different regions perhaps. Out of about 100 weddings we've done a couple dozen cocktail sets and I think maybe one or two have been on the regular stage. So yeah, we charge around $700 for that extra set and setup.

                            we have set up an extra system for music at the ceremony outside, or another room to pipe in Ipad music maybe 2-3 times.
                            I'd say we do this about half the time. Depends on the venues and such too. We play a lot of ski resorts and wineries out here. Beautiful venues but all sorts of crazy configurations and power situations etc. Every gig is an adventure...lol. The next one is shaping up to be a nightmare based on the grief we're getting from the venue in advance. Sounds like a horrible load in and setup situation and they refuse to give us adequate time. A lot of time being spent on the phone trying to work out details in advance between the client and the venue. Ay yi yi! Maybe it will all work out in the end, or maybe it will a great story to tell here later!

                            Now, I have a question for you about the $$..Since you split everything evenly does your band own everything together? Equal investment in the PA, Vehicle, trailer time and sweat on bookings, web, video's etc? I only ask this because we all get $300 a gig each as we work for our band leader but he owns everything, does all the booking, dealing with clients etc....So it's his business and we are his employee's. I totally get it and it's EXACTLY how I will run my bands. I like it better this way and if someone leaves they are easy to replace, plug someone in and go. Also, i'm not interested in making less than $1000 a gig myself. I've done this for WAY WAY too many years and it's become ALL business to me so.......I'm just wondering how you can do it like you do, all even pay. It's fascinating.
                            Well, we're a bit atypical for a lot of reasons. So I'm not recommending our work/pay structure to anyone except to say it works for us so we run with it. But here's the (hopefully not too long) story since you asked:

                            The band started out as typical 5-piece all-dudes classic rock bar band about a decade ago and we've grown it since then. The band started out as a "everybody contribute what you can and we split the money evenly" deal and it's stayed that way for the most part. Made simple sense when we were only splitting $400-500 a gig.....

                            The PA back then was a mishmash of who-had-whatever gear. But at this point pretty much all the PA and lights are band-owned. Most new gear gets paid for by taking it off the top after a gig and/or paying it out of the slush fund we keep. We try to put aside a couple hundred bucks from every gig to pay whatever band expenses come up along the way. The trailer is mine. I had some extra cash at the time we needed one so I bought it. I got a pretty good deal on it and trailers tend to hold their value pretty well. I figure it will probably be still be worth what I paid for it when we're done, and if not, I can think of worse things to own. The bass player drags the trailer around with his SUV. The band helps out with that by paying for half of his tires and maybe some repairs he has along the way. We often talk about the band buying a its own vehicle for pulling the trailer but we haven't done that yet.

                            The verbal agreement is that there are no cash payouts for the band-owned gear. You quit the band and you leave with what you came with. I guess one way to look at it is that we split the NET of each gig equally, not the GROSS. The money used to pay for gear comes from the BAND off the top. Individual members have no real claim to it and should you leave the BAND then it's not yours to claim anymore. At some point the band will split up and maybe we'll sell the gear and split up the proceeds, but what's that stuff going to be worth by then anyway?

                            Workload? Hmmm...and hmmm.... Well, that's never been equal and never has been and never will be. The bass player and I are essentially "co leaders". He handles booking the gigs and the bank account. I handle the musical end of stuff, deal with the gear, do the audio and video promotional stuff, etc. We basically split up maintaining the websites. The drummer is sort of my musical co-director. We work out which songs to learn, the arrangements etc. The guitarist is the go-to guy for building and repairing stuff. If the drum riser starts falling apart, he's the guy to fix it. That sort of thing. So we all contribute what we can depending on where our strengths lie. But everyone in the band knows and acknowledges that the bass player and I do the majority of the work and without our effort there would BE no "JumpStart". They thank us for it. They know we will buy ourselves an occasional lunch on the band card as an extra perk.

                            But the bottom line there is that for the 4 of us that have been in the band from the beginning and among whom we've always split the pay up equally, there was never a time where it made sense to say "Things are different now: we're not doing it like that anymore".

                            The girls came to the band later and probably COULD be just on a payroll. But it just feels better to everyone to pay everyone equally. Plus Sarah has been helping out a lot lately with video and photos which is her strength. They don't do as much behind the scenes stuff but, then again, one could argue that without the girls up front we'd still be making $400 a night in the local pub, so maybe they do deserve to get paid better for the gigs themselves than the guys? Or not. No one cares THAT much to put that much thought into it.

                            In the end paying everyone equally just seems to contribute more to the "family" atmosphere we have and reduces animosities. Besides, if I did something like took over the band and just put everyone on a smaller regular pay, then nobody would do anything but show up and play. I'd be making more money but my workload would be that much more. I'd be hiring other people to do some of that work for me or otherwise increasing some expenses. And people would ultimately feel less committed and I'd probably be replacing players on a regular basis. Since this is not as much a business for us as it is a hobby/extra-income deal, there are more important things to me than how much $$ I can personally squeeze out of the operation every week.

                            But again, that's just our deal. If I was starting this up from scratch and buying all the gear and handling all the business myself? Damned right I'd be keeping all the money and just paying people a regular wage. They wouldn't even know what the 'band' got paid. It'd be my business and they'd work for me. Nothing wrong with that at all.
                            _________________________________________________
                            band websites:
                            http://www.JumpStartYourParty.com
                            https://www.gigmasters.com/Rock/Jump-Start
                            https://www.facebook.com/JumpStartYourParty
                            http://www.weddingwire.com/biz/jumps...587fe5f12.html

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                            • #15
                              I totally get it man! Makes sense to me. Good business if you have a good core of people in my opionion. Keep it as long as you can because it's almost IMPOSSIBLE TO FIND!!! If I get band members that become solid team players over time they will get paid accordingly for sure. I believe you have to pay people what they are worth and pay them well!

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