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I guess if you don't ask...


mstreck

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A manager for a venue where we play often was talking to me last night. He was telling me about a 4-man band that asked for $750 for a show. He said he laughed because there are only two bands that he'll book that he'll pay that much to (one party band and one country-party band) and they pack the place every single time they play. This is a huge warehouse-sized venue, so I'm talking about a LOT of people.

 

I don't know how much he ended up booking them for, but this is their first ever 4-hour show as a band and the singer and guitar player have never done a full night (I know this because I know them all personally). For the record, we have always drawn well there (never filled the place to capacity, though), but would never even think of asking for that much. I don't know anywhere that's going to pay a local band $750 if they don't have a draw - especially for a band's first show.

 

I just don't get it.

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Honestly, what the other band did doesn't bother me at all. Negotiation probably went like this:

 

Manager: What do you charge for a 4 hour show

Band: $750

Manager: Whoa, the most we'll pay new bands is $500

Band: OK, we'll do it

 

Had they asked for $400 upfront, they'd have left $100 on the table.

 

As for y'all not asking for $750, I don't get THAT. From what I've seen and heard, y'all draw pretty well, so $750 really isn't that much $$$. And honestly, my guess is a lot of the frustrations that you've voiced in other threads would be somewhat mitigated if you were making more.

 

Just a thought.

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Honestly, what the other band did doesn't bother me at all. Negotiation probably went like this:


Manager: What do you charge for a 4 hour show

Band: $750

Manager: Whoa, the most we'll pay new bands is $500

Band: OK, we'll do it


Had they asked for $400 upfront, they'd have left $100 on the table.


As for y'all not asking for $750, I don't get THAT. From what I've seen and heard, y'all draw pretty well, so $750 really isn't that much $$$. And honestly, my guess is a lot of the frustrations that you've voiced in other threads would be somewhat mitigated if you were making more.


Just a thought.

 

 

If places around here paid $750 for bands, we'd be making a whole lot more. Remember, we're out in the sticks where the $300 - $350 bands gig all the time - and there are a lot of them. We are one of the better paid weekend warrior bands at $600+. Sometimes, we'll do $500-$550 for places that give us long strings of bookings or make out some other kind of deal. Honestly, most of the smaller places around here can barely keep their doors open, much less pay bands what we ask. Which is why they have bands with no draw and we look all the better when we play there.

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At our gig last weekend, someone asked if we'd do a wedding. I said we could, send me an email and we'd talk price and requirements. She emailed me- play 730-12, DJ would play our breaks and do the MC crap. Load in when convenient as the wedding itself was elsewhere on the grounds of the venue. It was a 90 min drive for me, and would end up being a 12 hour day. I asked for 3500. She said that was way over her budget. So I said what did you expect to pay? She says 1000. I said no. We already had a gig booked at a place that books us a lot, and for me to potentially cause waves with them, 1000 wasn't going to make that happen. If she'd have come back with 2500, I'd have moved the other gig.

 

I swung for the fences and missed, but it was a good at bat! :)

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At our gig last weekend, someone asked if we'd do a wedding. I said we could, send me an email and we'd talk price and requirements. She emailed me- play 730-12, DJ would play our breaks and do the MC crap. Load in when convenient as the wedding itself was elsewhere on the grounds of the venue. It was a 90 min drive for me, and would end up being a 12 hour day. I asked for 3500. She said that was way over her budget. So I said what did you expect to pay? She says 1000. I said no. We already had a gig booked at a place that books us a lot, and for me to potentially cause waves with them, 1000 wasn't going to make that happen. If she'd have come back with 2500, I'd have moved the other gig.


I swung for the fences and missed, but it was a good at bat!
:)

 

If she likes Rage Against the Machine,, give her my number. I'll pinch-hit.. :D

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we have been asked to play several weddings... Never happened :lol:

 

Here are ones that stick out in my mind:

 

* the couple broke up not to long after they verbally booked us.

 

* the bride wanted us, the groom never heard us and went ahead and signed a contract with a DJ instead. The next week he came out and heard us, loved us and wanted us... The DJ wouldn't give him the cash back. So They went with the DJ and he was a dick. They hated him. And he is a dick.

 

* The father of the bride wanted us for his daughter's wedding the following month. We said sure (we had the weekend open) and quoted him a price. He said I thought you would do it for around $400 or $450 because we played a private party for a relative of his like 6 years ago for around that price.

 

-But our first one is booked for Black Friday 2011. Lets hope it goes Ok.

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If places around here paid $750 for bands, we'd be making a whole lot more. Remember, we're out in the sticks where the $300 - $350 bands gig all the time - and there are a lot of them. We are one of the better paid weekend warrior bands at $600+. Sometimes, we'll do $500-$550 for places that give us long strings of bookings or make out some other kind of deal. Honestly, most of the smaller places around here can barely keep their doors open, much less pay bands what we ask. Which is why they have bands with no draw and we look all the better when we play there.

around here, "out in the sticks" plays much better than the populated areas.

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Haha! I was kiddiing! We only play redneck weddings where people are really just out to get drunk (no joke - have one coming up in June).

we, we refuse to be a wedding band. But if fans or party types who like us, want us to play for their party, we consider it.

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At our gig last weekend, someone asked if we'd do a wedding. I said we could, send me an email and we'd talk price and requirements. She emailed me- play 730-12, DJ would play our breaks and do the MC crap. Load in when convenient as the wedding itself was elsewhere on the grounds of the venue. It was a 90 min drive for me, and would end up being a 12 hour day. I asked for 3500. She said that was way over her budget. So I said what did you expect to pay? She says 1000. I said no. We already had a gig booked at a place that books us a lot, and for me to potentially cause waves with them, 1000 wasn't going to make that happen. If she'd have come back with 2500, I'd have moved the other gig.


I swung for the fences and missed, but it was a good at bat!
:)

 

I would have done my everything I could to talk her out of split billing. She's likely got $750+ budgeted for a DJ. I'd have offered to do the whole thing for $2,500 - and sell her on the fact that my sound system and lights top what virtually any DJ she's going to hire will deliver - and then point to band members who have experience as DJs. In our case, one of our members has some experience as an "on air" radio DJ. Even if we didn't have somebody with that level of experience - I'd point to our drummer (who's the youngest guy in the group) and tout his DJ'ing skills to the point it's short of outright lying about it.

 

It makes good business sense to be a "full service provider" - and frankly, makes for much smoother nights when you're not dealing with a DJ who's trying to compete with you. Nothing more frustrating that some bozo playing recorded music who thinks he's gonna beat you by playing louder, refusing to stop when it's time for the band's set and/or making smart ass comments about whether the crowd wants more band or more DJ as he shrieks into his Radio Shack wireless mic.

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I think if we didn't already have a gig booked for that night, I might have tried a little more. I really didn't want to cancel the date we already had, we're in good standing with the room and got every date we wanted for the summer with no questions asked. I'd rather keep that relationship going than to disappoint them with a 1 off gig. She already had the DJ thing worked out, I think we were a spur of the moment idea. She's out partying with her girlfriends, dancing, having a good time, and thinks she wants us to play at her daughter's wedding. She probably won't have a band at all since we said no.

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We're starting to get asked to play weddings. We have our first one on the 28th of this month. We'll see how that goes. I'm actually kinda nervous.

 

 

Being nervous is a good thing. Will keep you trying harder. I think all bands should be nervous when playing a gig out of their usual element. There's a lot of gigs that we could be booked for which would probably leave me scared {censored}less.

 

I remember when we started playing weddings a couple of years ago. The first two we did were pretty low-expectation events that went well. We also weren't getting paid a hell of a lot --- maybe $1200-$1500? IIRC. But it was clear to me that if we wanted to continue to do them and get paid GOOD money, we'd have to expand upon what we do and our attention to detail. Our third wedding was the clincher as we pretty much bombed. Wasn't all our fault, as they had set up a ridculous itinerary that left the guests completely NOT in the mood to party by the time the band finally started, but still....it's our job to work around that and make the party happen in spite of whatever-other nonsense exists.

 

I'm sure you guys will probably be fine with what you normally do---the only suggestions I'd make are to front-load the older material if there is a significant amount of older folks at the event, and make sure you get with whoever-is-running things so you have a good idea of what to expect and what they expect from you. There are likely to be a lot of stops-and-starts as they run through their itinerary: toasts, speeches, cake cutting, etc. The last thing you want is to have all that stuff interfere with the flow of YOUR show. If you're well aware in advance of what is happening, you'll be far less annoyed but all those details.

 

Also--if this wedding isn't being handled by a wedding coordinator, make sure to establish some sort of contact with someone other than the bride or groom who can be your point-man for the flow of events. The weddings that go best for us are the ones where we meet the bride and groom before the event and say thank you and congratuations to them at the end. Even the bridezilla types don't really want to bothered with details DURING the events. So I always try to hook up with one of the bridesmaids or friend of the groom or some such so they can be the one to tell us what they need us to do and when.

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I would have done my everything I could to talk her out of split billing. She's likely got $750+ budgeted for a DJ. I'd have offered to do the whole thing for $2,500 - and sell her on the fact that my sound system and lights top what virtually any DJ she's going to hire will deliver - and then point to band members who have experience as DJs. In our case, one of our members has some experience as an "on air" radio DJ. Even if we didn't have somebody with that level of experience - I'd point to our drummer (who's the youngest guy in the group) and tout his DJ'ing skills to the point it's short of outright lying about it.


It makes good business sense to be a "full service provider" - and frankly, makes for much smoother nights when you're not dealing with a DJ who's trying to compete with you. Nothing more frustrating that some bozo playing recorded music who
thinks
he's gonna beat you by playing louder, refusing to stop when it's time for the band's set and/or making smart ass comments about whether the crowd wants more band or more DJ as he shrieks into his Radio Shack wireless mic.

 

 

Yep. We've yet to ever play a wedding where we split billing with a DJ. I always tout the quality of our break music and that we'll program anything they want. And that our bass player will MC the event for them if needed. What's the DJ going to do anyway besides crank up the latest Ke$ha single we don't play? I got all that stuff in my iPod for days...

 

One of our biggest sales pitches for weddings and corporate events is we'll do virtually everything a DJ can do, but there isn't a DJ in the world who can do ANYTHING that a live band does.

 

And also, since most weddings seem to run on a 3-hour band schedule, we're probably going to play 3 hrs with just one 10-15 min break anyway. So there's no time for a silly DJ anyway.*

 

*And many weddings run much less than that. These things almost always run late and we rarely start at our scheduled start time while, at the same time, they've usually rented the venue up-until a particular time which precludes us playing past the scheduled stop time regardless of how late we start.

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but there isn't a DJ in the world who can do ANYTHING that a live band does.


 

 

i really want to agree with this but i just cannot. i've seen a number of amazing DJ's do some amazing things; there are some really excellent DJ's that exist and have extreme talent for their craft. i'm still a live band guy myself but i've seen a couple DJ's that have really made me sit back and try to figure out some of the stuff they are doing, and all the while they are getting massive crowd response.

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