How much do you get paid at gigs?


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MR. Goodcents
12-27-2009, 02:38 AM
So? On average how much do you get paid for playing a show? Just wondering what the norm is because I am new to getting paid to play. We got 400 for the band tonight.

Artemis Entreri
12-27-2009, 02:52 AM
I tend to get up to about 200. But I play in a...non-professional band. The singer and I are good and the drummer is solid but nothing special. Our rhythm guitar player and bassist have only been playing a few months.

CODE
12-27-2009, 03:20 AM
Wow, that is a good show. We have gotten anywhere from $200 to nothing. We used to get nothing unless we played in our hometown because the only other places we could get booked are shitty youth centers. We have gotten some better shows recently where we actually get gas money and some extra, like an average of $40.

We always try to get paid, but we don't let it stop us from playing shows. We just did a show like 4 hours away out of state for no money. And we got a parking ticket, so we lost a ton of money. Still a sweet show, worth it.

SSDDPunkRocker
12-28-2009, 07:44 AM
Our band (and the bands we normally play with) don't even care about money. Sure, it's cool if we get a few bucks, but that'll just either go to eating after the show or towards the "guild bank" (that will go to recording and merch). We've made about $30 after eight shows so far. Not totally bad for a crappy hardcore band. ;)

Crizzle
12-28-2009, 08:02 AM
Our band (and the bands we normally play with) don't even care about money. Sure, it's cool if we get a few bucks, but that'll just either go to eating after the show or towards the "guild bank" (that will go to recording and merch). We've made about $30 after eight shows so far. Not totally bad for a crappy hardcore band. ;)

We need Bus/Train/Taxi fare :haha: More so Taxi seeing as buses and trains aint so bad :p:

chokmool
12-28-2009, 01:56 PM
I don't think there really is a norm. I know a cover band that plays weddings and big private parties, and they can take down $2-3K/gig. If you play bars and clubs(3-4 hours), probably $200-$500. If you're playing with other bands to fill the time, you'll get little to nothing, unless you arrange/headline the show. If you're in charge, you decide what to pay the other bands.

I'd say you did pretty well at $400.

CODE
12-28-2009, 02:27 PM
Our band (and the bands we normally play with) don't even care about money. Sure, it's cool if we get a few bucks, but that'll just either go to eating after the show or towards the "guild bank" (that will go to recording and merch). We've made about $30 after eight shows so far. Not totally bad for a crappy hardcore band. ;)

What's your band called? I am also from Minnesota, we might have crossed paths at a show or something. Mine is myspace.com/torobathief

krehzeekid
12-28-2009, 03:42 PM
I play in a functions band and, as stated above, we tend to make a little more. We average about $2000 a night but have made up to $4000 for festivals (we are a ukrainian band, which is in extremely high demand in western Canada). That being said, everybody in the band is a trained musician (all of us save for me has a university degree concerning music) and we all have 15+ years experience, so we are less of a liability than other bands. When we play as a rock/metal band (we cut 2 members and go as a trio under a different name) we still manage to pull in no less than $1500 for a night.

If you want to make more money, market yourselves as something more than dudes who play music: get fans, have a cool stage show or anything else that sets you apart from the mass of other bands.

WyvernOmega
12-28-2009, 03:51 PM
I play in a functions band and, as stated above, we tend to make a little more. We average about $2000 a night but have made up to $4000 for festivals (we are a ukrainian band, which is in extremely high demand in western Canada). That being said, everybody in the band is a trained musician (all of us save for me has a university degree concerning music) and we all have 15+ years experience, so we are less of a liability than other bands. When we play as a rock/metal band (we cut 2 members and go as a trio under a different name) we still manage to pull in no less than $1500 for a night.

If you want to make more money, market yourselves as something more than dudes who play music: get fans, have a cool stage show or anything else that sets you apart from the mass of other bands.
What's your band's name!?

Roxor_Mc0wnage
12-28-2009, 04:07 PM
When we first started playing since we are an all original band, we played for peanuts (figuratively speaking), but after a while when we had a little bit of name and song recognition, we quit playing for less than $500 for a 1 hour set. It went up for out of town gigs. I know that is far from the norm, but we valued what we did, and until you value yourself, don't expect others to, I always say. $400 is pretty good all in all for a gig IMO.

Some buddies of mine are in an original band and they pull down $1500 for a 1 hour set nearly every night, but that includes full lights and sound production. That is way above norm I'd say but they have been at it a long while.

Silveroon009
12-28-2009, 04:29 PM
You guys get paid? What do I have to do to get paid? Or do I have to like become well known or anything?

Afterhours
12-28-2009, 04:44 PM
It varies depending on the venue and what's negotiated. My band normally gets $600 per gig, but sometimes we also get a percentage of the bar sales.....typically 10%.

That can be pretty good if the crowd is large and thirsty....:)

Declan87
12-28-2009, 04:57 PM
100-200 a night. Hoping to get slightly more for our next gig in a more popular pub.

lespaul1216
12-28-2009, 05:31 PM
nothing, i do it for the love of the music...

okay, actually the only gig i've ever played was opening up for a band from my high school and we didn't sell enough tickets pre-sale for them to pay us...

axemanchris
12-28-2009, 11:22 PM
There are SO many variables, but there are some generalizations:

1. Original bands without an established name (ie. radio and video play, signed to a major label, etc.) make the least. We made anywhere from $50 to $700 for a show. Most of them were in the $100-$200 range. (with some radio play even!) Expect to play for anywhere from 6-60 people for the lower end, depending on a lot of factors. It is difficult to get people to come out - and stay - for a band they've never heard of, and who plays songs the people have never heard.

2. Cover bands make more because they're an easier sell, and therefore draw a bigger crowd. Around here, $400-$600 is the norm for a night's work. (for the band, not each) People will stay and drink when you fly out "Do You Want to Be My Girl?" by Jet or whatever.

3. Tribute bands, for similar reasons, do slightly better than 'regular' cover bands, and may do considerably better, depending on name recognition, production value, etc. Maybe $600-$1000, but could be less or even considerably more.

4. Weddings and corporate gigs pay the best. Usually $1000+. You establish a reputation and you're hired (or more to the point, SELECTED) for the event. The organizers bring the audience, but you are expected to play to suit them. Chosen smartly, that will be the reason they picked you - because of your setlist and your reputation to play it well.

CT

scguitarking927
12-29-2009, 12:15 AM
We average like $50 with the most being $100 :peace: . There's really only one place to play in my town for newer unsigned bands, and you play a 30 minutes set with 3 or 4 other bands. Then you get a percentage of the door sales depending on who came to see you (they ask who your here to see when you walk in)

So $400 for a gig would be doing fairly well in my book.

brysonisbeast
12-29-2009, 12:21 AM
I've never gotten paid before but then again I don't think any church band ever gets paid.

MR. Goodcents
12-29-2009, 02:18 AM
Thanks for replies guys. Like I said just curious? And for those of you who say for the love of music, come on if someone said here take this money after playing a show you wouldn't turn it down :haha:

octavarium78
12-29-2009, 02:49 AM
depends on how many presales we sale..

Lt.DanHasLegs
12-29-2009, 03:03 AM
My band made 140+ tonight, and i consider that a success. I'm really surprised to see all these freakin 500 dollar numbers thrown around, I didn't think that even happened for moderate warped tour level bands when they try to tour.

SSDDPunkRocker
12-29-2009, 09:01 AM
What's your band called? I am also from Minnesota, we might have crossed paths at a show or something. Mine is myspace.com/torobathief

Our name is Ateeth: www.myspace.com/ateeth

I think maybe we've talked on MySpace or something at one point or another, because your band sounds familiar. Hmm.

Thanks for replies guys. Like I said just curious? And for those of you who say for the love of music, come on if someone said here take this money after playing a show you wouldn't turn it down :haha:

Actually, we've been able to keep all of the money one night because the headliners are really good friends of ours and just wanted to play, so they turned it down and gave the cash to us. Sure, it wasn't a lot, but it was a good gesture showing thanks for getting them on the bill.

CODE
12-29-2009, 06:39 PM
There are SO many variables, but there are some generalizations:

1. Original bands without an established name (ie. radio and video play, signed to a major label, etc.) make the least. We made anywhere from $50 to $700 for a show. Most of them were in the $100-$200 range. (with some radio play even!) Expect to play for anywhere from 6-60 people for the lower end, depending on a lot of factors. It is difficult to get people to come out - and stay - for a band they've never heard of, and who plays songs the people have never heard.
CT
Was your band on a major label, Chris?

axemanchris
12-29-2009, 10:16 PM
Goodness, no....

We were much too old by the time we got our stuff together to even think about that. I was the youngest, and I was 36 when we released the CD.

Not only that, we all have pretty secure jobs and wives and families and stuff. Realistically, even if we got signed, I would be looking at a pay cut and no job security or benefits instead of the guaranteed professional income, economy-proof job security and solid benefits I have now. Taking a chance on that sort of thing when you're single is one thing. Risking the livelihood of your three kids is another thing entirely.

CT

dlguitarmaster7
12-29-2009, 10:17 PM
we got a whopping $35 at our last gig

CODE
12-30-2009, 01:50 AM
Goodness, no....

We were much too old by the time we got our stuff together to even think about that. I was the youngest, and I was 36 when we released the CD.

Not only that, we all have pretty secure jobs and wives and families and stuff. Realistically, even if we got signed, I would be looking at a pay cut and no job security or benefits instead of the guaranteed professional income, economy-proof job security and solid benefits I have now. Taking a chance on that sort of thing when you're single is one thing. Risking the livelihood of your three kids is another thing entirely.

CT
Gotcha, that makes sense.

xyal
09-26-2015, 06:30 PM
I was in a successful local cover band for years and was also a free agent for a few years. I gigged all the time, but still was lucky to make $100 myself per gig. This article would be a good read, it talks about the mistakes that bands made including my own and it breaks down hourly wages of local cover bands. http://marcnicholasmusic.com/how-much-do-local-cover-bands-make/

flexiblemile
09-27-2015, 09:57 PM
the most we ever did was 200$ for a Canada day gig at a festival. Usually it'll be between 0 and 75$ with up to double that in merch sales.

Unknown original bands don't really rake in the dough, but I don't care, it's fun and people buy me shots every once in a while

Cajundaddy
09-28-2015, 01:17 AM
We get between $300-$1200 depending on where, how much music we need, and how much sound we need.

Bars and backyard parties tend to pay the worst. Reunions, company parties, and festivals pay the best.

Rickholly74
09-28-2015, 07:58 AM
Great thread. I have been at this for 40 years now playing in cover bands. In my area a cover band will get an average of $100 per player. I do slightly better because we downsized many years ago and went the midi route eliminating a keyboard and second guitar so we generally get $150 per player for a four hour gig but we will work with a club if they book us more frequently (once or twice a month regularly) and come down to $125. This past weekend we played a new room (an old room for us but under new ownership now) and they only wanted music 8:30-11:00 so we came down to $100 per person. We like to work (we average 50-60 jobs a year) so we will bargain for less hours or do $100 for new rooms that look promising for future booking. These jobs vary from room to room as far as the type of material we play. Some are classic hard rock rooms and some are restaurant/lounge rooms requiring much lighter (quieter) material.

I also get involved occasionally in corporate shows, in fact I have one this Wednesday. I will get $250-300 for these. I only get a few each year as I am not the bands regular guitarist for these gigs.

I would also add that there is often this thought that you can't play in cover bands and still do other things like original material. Many bands I know who play mostly covers throw in a few originals each night. It's a great opportunity to get your songs heard. I try to keep my playing money separate from my day to day family expenses. The money I make playing is reserved for buying new equipment (without guilt) and going on the occasional vacation.

AlanHB
09-28-2015, 05:31 PM
It's been a while since I've worked the covers scene, but we used to walk away with $800-$1200 for pub gigs, around $2000 for private functions.

In originals, we used to get $100/gig, but after building up a fanbase and charging door/selling merch, we made significantly more. The most amount I've made from a single originals gig was $2500 (door and merch).

There are venues paying $400-500 for a covers band, but we didn't play them for long, amd moved to the higher paying rooms.

Phil Starr
09-30-2015, 01:20 PM
I'm gonna emigrate.

AlanHB
09-30-2015, 07:02 PM
I'm gonna emigrate.

My experience is not the norm for originals, it's only due to us working really hard to build our name, put money into advertising and gigs, generally getting our music out there and letting people know when we have gigs on. And then charging entry for the gigs.

The main reason that original bands generally don't have that experience is because they are under the impression that if they practice hard and show up to a gig, the audience will magically appear, cash in hand. It's simply not the case. If you want your originals band to make money, you simply need to change your focus from "how do I get paid" to "how do I get people to come to my gig". The money will come with the people.

I've had supports who don't even post on their Facebook that they have a gig on. That's cool - we don't rely on supports to draw people. However if you expect people just to show up magically....well, they don't :haha:

Phil Starr
10-05-2015, 07:18 AM
It was the cover bands bit that hit me. $4-500 is more the norm and very hard to get more in the UK. It's been a while since I've worked the covers scene, but we used to walk away with $800-$1200 for pub gigs, around $2000 for private functions.


There are venues paying $400-500 for a covers band, but we didn't play them for long, amd moved to the higher paying rooms.

And your rugby team play as a team :(

AlanHB
10-05-2015, 10:21 AM
It was the cover bands bit that hit me. $4-500 is more the norm and very hard to get more in the UK.

And your rugby team play as a team :(

Oh right :)

UFC on VHS
10-12-2015, 08:08 PM
We make about $500 in a classic rock band I play in sometimes but I'm also in a band that charges $1500 a gig. It's an oldschool Country/Fiddle band, the old people around my area love it and are more than willing to pay for wedding and parties. We have talked about charging around 2k a show though soon.

esky15
10-16-2015, 12:34 PM
One of my bands charges $1500, the other depending on what the gig is, anywhere from $800-$1500

john.hoos.3
11-15-2015, 08:18 AM
I play in a covers band in Scotland (west coast - fairly rural). Been in the same band for a few years. When we first started gigs were hard to come by and not well paid ($150-200 total, not each). But now we are established (plus proven to be dependable and polished enough) we get very regular gigs at around $360/gig. If we played in the bigger cities, I'd expect more, but its harder to get those gigs (more competition from good bands). We also play weddings at about $1,000/gig - but they are more work (usually take more time, need to take lights, dress up smarter and learn/play songs you dont want to play). If we were to play only original songs in our area, we'd only get 1-2 gigs a year which would be close to unpaid (its too rural to support original music).
Cheers
John

Rickholly74
11-20-2015, 09:47 AM
I live in a very urban area not far too from New York City and even in my area there is no regular work for bands that just do their own material. In times long gone bands that do originals would often get together and find a place where they take over the club for the night and charge a cover that they all split but it's been a number of years since I have heard of this happening. Maybe I'm just out of that loop.
I play in a cover band because I like playing gigs regularly and making a few bucks a month that I blow on guitars and other equipment. I just want to play to an audience so unfortunately I leave my originals to the home studio. For better or worse that's the choice I choose to make. I also realize my originals are not the kind that will blow anyone away.

Powerslave1724
12-15-2015, 02:38 AM
I've been in and out of cover bands for about 5 years. For a little over a year now i've been in a solid gigging cover band who plays out on average twice a week. We average about $100 per person and there is 6 of us (Me on guitar, 2 vocals (guy and girl), bass, drums and keys). We have done one wedding and a bunch of private parties where we pull in more ($200-$300 per person) but most of the time it's $100 per person. The money doesn't matter to me though, I just love to play. The fact I get paid to do something I love is bonus. Sure, i'm not a fan of all of the songs we cover but it makes me learn stuff that I normally wouldn't which is never a bad thing if you want to grow as a guitarist. Plus I get to play live and nothing beats that!

Now the original band i'm in doesn't make any money and we are fine with that. We do that for fun and all like the same style of music (hard rock/80s metal). It's with a completely different group of guys and we are just having a good time with it.

Rickholly74
12-15-2015, 09:51 AM
You are right. Playing in a cover band usually means playing songs that I normally would never learn on my own but it is actually a great experience in the learning sense. It's often challenging because it moves you out of your comfort zone and makes you learn (or re-learn) different rhythms and chords that you don't normally use and I agree about playing in front of people. There is no substitute for a live audience. You get that instant feedback.

maplebarsband
12-15-2015, 03:32 PM
Here's a question. My band has been playing at the same bar for years now. We have a pretty good following and last year we played the day after Christmas and we broke the fire code for the place it was so packed. Well, we are back this year and have had a chance to get even more people into our fan base and have released an album. We are playing the same gig as last year the day after Christmas. Question, should we charge more this year at the door than last?

theogonia777
12-15-2015, 04:35 PM
Well, that's charging the patrons more. It's different than if people were getting in free and you were asking the bar for more.

maplebarsband
12-15-2015, 04:43 PM
Thanks Theogonia777! I get where you are coming from. We just thought that possibly by raising the price we might be able to weed out some of the regular drunk patrons and just keep the music fans there.

theogonia777
12-15-2015, 05:33 PM
So charging the fans more while losing drink sales for the bar? Sounds like a lose-lose.

Rickholly74
12-16-2015, 10:05 AM
I agree with Theogonia. Like it or not the "regulars" at any club are the week to week life-blood of that business. The fans of a band who only go there when a certain band is playing will not keep the doors open on the other 6 days of the week. You need the regular "bar flies" (to use a derogatory term) who are the day to day paying customers that bring in the necessary revenue to stay in business. If you start to drive out the regulars the business dies then you have no place to play.

I feel your pain. One particular club my band plays at regularly has good 15-20 regulars who moan about turning down the TV's volume when we play and bitch about the crowd that follows us because we pack the place (admittedly it's not a very big place to begin with). We just have to deal with it. In the long run the owners love us because our crowd buys lots of drinks and food.

Phil Starr
12-18-2015, 12:36 PM
Here's a question. My band has been playing at the same bar for years now. We have a pretty good following and last year we played the day after Christmas and we broke the fire code for the place it was so packed. Well, we are back this year and have had a chance to get even more people into our fan base and have released an album. We are playing the same gig as last year the day after Christmas. Question, should we charge more this year at the door than last?
I'd talk to the bar. If the place is going to be sold out it won't make any difference to them on the night but if they p*ss off their regulars then they might stand to lose out long term. Equally if you desert them next year for a better paying gig then they might lose out that way. Depends how much you are putting it up by too. A 10% increase might not be noticed, doubling the price would be.

AlanHB
12-18-2015, 11:27 PM
If it's going to sell out regardless, I'd personally raise the price. If the bar is happy with the situation there should be no issue.

Ramco
12-30-2015, 11:32 AM
Wait, they still pay people to play gigs?