Average pay for a bar gig?


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CelestialChaos
08-03-2009, 11:30 PM
Hello UG Bandleaders!

Let me start out by saying that I'm not very experienced at this type of thing.

Recently, my band started learning a whole lotta covers (so we could get more shows, and to make our singer-switch easier). Anyway, we played a few local shows and festivals, and things are going great.

I've been contacted by a new bar that just opened, looking for a "reasonably priced band", they listened to our music on myspace and are interested in booking us.

I've never done this before, so what is considered "reasonably priced"? Hell, what is standard price? I'm assuming a gig like this would be two 1-hour(ish) sets or something along those lines.

I'm also in Montana, so our population is pretty low, and economic times are hard, so I imagine those things can affect the price, I'd just like to get an idea from you veterans out there!


Thanks,
-Josh
Celestial Chaos
www.myspace.com/celestialchaosmusic

chokmool
08-04-2009, 12:58 AM
I'd say that's nearly impossible to answer.

First find out exactly how many sets they want, it could be 3 or 4.

Ask them what they consider a "reasonable price".

I hate to say it, but you just need to talk to them, and negotiate a deal you can all live with.

There are too many unknown variables for me to say much else.

AlanHB
08-04-2009, 01:11 AM
Go lawyer style and invite them to make the first offer. Then ask for twice as much with reasons :D

Well maybe not the second part except if you're talking to an insurance company.

goony
08-04-2009, 07:13 AM
My friend's band gets about $1000 (AU) per gig for doing covers. Mind you they've been on the covers circuit for awhile now and that's split between 4 members i think. They get paid quite a bit less for their originals show of course. My other mate is in an acoustic duo playing pop covers and they get up to $600 (AU) a gig.

As far as originals go, the local place pays original bands $50 per member for a 30-45 minute set. It's almost impossible to get a regular gig there though. A place near uni pays a portion of all the food and alcoholic drinks sold during your set.

King Turi
08-04-2009, 10:06 AM
Well, around here, a 4 hour set seems to be about $300 for a solo performer, not sure on how much it would be for a band.

I don't think anyone here cares about whether you do originals or not, there's only like 2 bands here and neither of them pull in a crowd anyway.

chokmool
08-04-2009, 11:54 AM
CC, if you've already worked it out great. If not, we may have more suggestions if you fill in some blanks.
You've done some gigs, how much did they pay?
Is the bar set up to host bands--do they have a stage, PA, etc., or was it set up for meeting and drinking?
What is max. capacity(how many people at one time)?
Have they contacted other bands?(If they're smart, they have)
How many people can you draw, and would they pay a small cover to see you?
If you bite the bullet on price for a show or two, will they give you a regular night, and if things go well pay more in the future?
I have more, but answering these would help a bit.

It basically comes down to how much they are able to pay, and what you are willing to accept.

Misc Debris
08-04-2009, 09:48 PM
From personal experience,I'd say anywhere from $100-$200
This of course depends on a number of variables like turnout,the bar,your local economy,etc.

Mudmen190
08-04-2009, 11:40 PM
From personal experience,I'd say anywhere from $100-$200
This of course depends on a number of variables like turnout,the bar,your local economy,etc.

+1.

DeepPurplefan69
08-05-2009, 06:01 PM
since you guys are talking about this topic mind if i ask a question? I play as part of an acoustic duo at a local restaurant. Every week we play for 3 hours (covers + a few originals depending on the audience.) We get paid 80$ each and we divide whatevers in the tip jar. Is this a good deal?

axemanchris
08-05-2009, 06:50 PM
It's a good deal if you're happy with it. Sorry... a bit vague.

So, you walk out of there with $100 for three hours' work. That's a full 8 hour shift for someone making $16/hr, after taxes.

About both questions, in very general terms....

Original bands generally get paid squat. We played one show where we got about $700, another where we got about $300, and the others ranged from $50 to $200. That's not each. That's for the band.

Cover bands, around here, will typically play three 45 min sets and get in the area of $400-$600. Split five ways, that's totally in the ballpark of DeepPurplefan69's question.

Tribute bands and wedding bands make more money again (weddings and corporate functions being about the best-paid gigs), but typically are held to higher expectations in return.

CT

Roxor_Mc0wnage
08-11-2009, 09:29 AM
Yeah what he said ^

Weddings can pay in the $2-3000 range but you better be good.

fyi when we first started playing it was for free, then after a while, when we built up a reputation and got a little older, we quit playing for less than $500. People were so used to seeing us, that they never batted an eye at it.

Les Paul57
08-12-2009, 09:09 PM
I'm in a band playing drums and we do weddings ceremonies, i usually get about $60/a one hour wedding but that's taking into account the 13 people in the band (including choir, organist etc.), that's about $800 for just the ceremony.

And i'm not sure about bars, the most my band has been paid was $150 but we haven't gigged too much, and the times we did it was often for either a free meal or nothing at all.

Jonny Ryan Mac
08-17-2009, 02:30 AM
300-500 is about the standard IMO, based on the Gigs that Ive had. For a 3 45 min sets and up.

zephyrclaw
08-17-2009, 07:20 AM
Hello UG Bandleaders!

Let me start out by saying that I'm not very experienced at this type of thing.

Recently, my band started learning a whole lotta covers (so we could get more shows, and to make our singer-switch easier). Anyway, we played a few local shows and festivals, and things are going great.

I've been contacted by a new bar that just opened, looking for a "reasonably priced band", they listened to our music on myspace and are interested in booking us.

I've never done this before, so what is considered "reasonably priced"? Hell, what is standard price? I'm assuming a gig like this would be two 1-hour(ish) sets or something along those lines.

I'm also in Montana, so our population is pretty low, and economic times are hard, so I imagine those things can affect the price, I'd just like to get an idea from you veterans out there!


Thanks,
-Josh
Celestial Chaos
www.myspace.com/celestialchaosmusic

I'm in no way an experienced gigger or expert on this topic, but maybe it's better to just go for the experience and consider the money a bonus, rather than worry about the fund and not realize that the bar is being kind enough to offer you a chance to simply play.

Anteaterking
08-17-2009, 01:02 PM
I'm in no way an experienced gigger or expert on this topic, but maybe it's better to just go for the experience and consider the money a bonus, rather than worry about the fund and not realize that the bar is being kind enough to offer you a chance to simply play.

There is a difference between being realistic and being a pushover though. The bar isn't doing you a major favor by having you play. Sure, you may get more publicity, but they are also getting business out of it.