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Pay to play? Can the booking agent charge a fee?

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  • Pay to play? Can the booking agent charge a fee?

    Hi everybody,

    Our band is touring Europe this summer and we have one confirmed gig so far (which we got without our booking agent). We have invested in a booking agent an paid paid him a fixed fee of a regular monthly salary for getting us gigs. We made a contract for half a year and paid him really god money. Now he came up with several bookings in Europe, where we pay for free and on top have to pay to play. The booker wants 2000 Euros per gig plus on top 1500 Euros for the middleman? Is that a common practise? Smells like rip off to me... please feedback

     

    cheers

     

    Laura


  • #2

    Yeah, it's pretty safe to say you just got punked. Why would you sign a six month contract before he even secured any gigs? I wouldn't give this guy another euro. I hope you can recoup some of your losses.

    Comment


    • #3

      I know nothing regarding Europe, but in the states, the booking agent takes a percentage of what you make.  So yeah, it smells like a rip off to me too.

      ****************

      Jason
      My band: http://www.facebook.com/thetrickydickies

      "Do or do not. There is no try" - Yoda

      Comment


      • #4

        Laura Norega wrote:

        ... Now he came up with several bookings in Europe, where we pay for free and on top have to pay to play. The booker wants 2000 Euros per gig plus on top 1500 Euros for the middleman? Is that a common practise? Smells like rip off to me...

        He wants 3500 Euros/gig ($4585 US) while the band gets paid nothing?

        Maybe it's time to review the terms of the contract you signed with this guy!

        <div class="signaturecontainer">Good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment. -Will Rogers<br><br><a href="http://facebook.com/SpitShineRocks" target="_blank">http://facebook.com/SpitShineRocks</a></div>

        Comment


        • toober
          toober commented
          Editing a comment

          Sounds like he's making you pay him to get you gigs and he takes the money they pay for those gigs.


        • jeff42
          jeff42 commented
          Editing a comment

           

           

           


          Mutha Goose wrote:

          Laura Norega wrote:

          ... Now he came up with several bookings in Europe, where we pay for free and on top have to pay to play. The booker wants 2000 Euros per gig plus on top 1500 Euros for the middleman? Is that a common practise? Smells like rip off to me...

          He wants 3500 Euros/gig ($4585 US) while the band gets paid nothing?

          Maybe it's time to review the terms of the contract you signed with this guy!



          WOW... I'd stay home.


      • #5

        I would have to read your contract with your booking agent to know for sure, but it does sound like you got a bad deal. You should never pay anything in advance as a band. For a booking agent or for a show. A typical booking agent will charge a percentage of what he books the gigs for as his fee for getting you the shows, that's how a) he stays motivated to work for you by getting as many gigs as you can work, and b) the more money he gets the venue to pay you to play, the more he will make per show as an agent. As far as paying to play that's absurd. Especially if your band is proficient enough to tour? Even small time bands typically decline those venues that would rather pay the band 'what ever the door makes' verses a flat booking rate. I'd chalk this one up as a big learning curve and cut your ties with this agent asap. Check with a lawer to get the details of what voiding the contract would be.

        Comment


        • skybluegary
          skybluegary commented
          Editing a comment
          The rule is; you NEVER give ANY money to anyone offering services such as agents, promoter, management, labels etc NEVER!!!

          Anyone interested (thinks they can make money from you) in you/your band does everything upfront (and they recoup costs at a later date when/if you make any money. That is how the business works, anything else is a rip-off 100% of the time! Bona fide organisations don't ask for money!

          Summary: if they ask for money; you say goodbye! Sorry guys, your tour is off! Please learn from this.

      • #6

        This is one of the most blatant and shameless screw jobs I've ever heard of.   Honestly, I'm a bit disappointed that anyone ever agreed to work with this shyster in the first place.

        First of all, I would NEVER sign an exclusive contract with a booking agent before he had booked a single date.   And I would immediately mistrust anyone who asked me to do so.  

        I won't pretendf to know how it works in Europe...but in America, bands and agents typically only sign contracts for individual dates or bookings.   If the agents books five dates, he sends the band five contracts to sign.   Long-term exclusive agreements are agreed upon only after both parties have worked together for several months or years,  feel that an exclusivity contract would be mutually beneficial to both parties.


        I would definitely do whatever it takes to get out of that contract, up to and including splitting the band up temporarily. (If that's what it takes.)   Hopefully there's a loophole in the contract that will allow you to back out gracefully, without anyone pursuing legal action.

         

        Comment


        • n9ne
          n9ne commented
          Editing a comment

          Oh, and for what it's worth....in my experience, agents typically take 10-15% of the band's pay as his commission.   I've never met an agent who was stupid enough to consider booking one of his bands on a "freebie" gig.....partly because he knows that his commission would be 15% of nothing, and partly because any agent that asked his bands to play for free would be fired immediately.



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