For any of you in bands I don't know if you experience this much where you live but in Toronto at least its just become ridiculous! There are over like 5000 bands in the city thus the creation of companies like Supernova who honestly seem like a good company at first glance. They claim to promote the show, bring out huge crowds, play with good bands of the same genre, and let you play in big well known venues in your area. The thing is they only deliver about one of these things and that is the venues are pretty impressive. The rest is abysmal for instance: there is no promotion to the shows whatsoever, the crowds are small and the sad thing is there are so many bands on the bill (because they want to get every buck they can get so they book like 15 bands a show) and the people leave after they see their friends band thus making it useless for bands who actually want to get new fans, they group rap with brootal HXCOR3 bands which is stupid and just a lame business move, and end up cutting your set 95% of the time.

I know they have to be a business but its ridiculous i'm sick and tired of playing in band for 2 years and having to pay to play, i would be perfectly fine if we didn't get paid because i dont expect to but when you gotta bust your balls to sell 20+ tickets for every concert promoter in the city i get mad... Most times we dont even sell enough because if we play a show every month not everyone is gonna come each time thus resulting in us, the band, paying them to make up for ticket sales.

I keep hearing old guitarists and people talk about the good ol' days of when bands could make a living off playing school dances, and how bands didn't have to do anyhting but show up with equipment and there would be an audience and they didn't have to sell one effing ticket and they got paid... I know there are a lot of blink 182 cover bands out there but i really feel bad for the good bands trying to make a name for themselves...

Anyways whats your experiences with the stupid system of todays starting band system...?
Referring to Victor Wooten
Quote by Nutter_101
"Wa wa wa English is my first language, music is my second blah blah blah wank wank wank I rule, love me suck my dick."

That's all I heard in that entire interview.

My Band:
Maybe you should try starting your own venue without all the bull****. Or just trash theirs. Anarchy in Toronto etc.

But seriously, if you got a mixing desk, PA system, guy to run it and a decent space (even a field), then round up all the good bands you know, you could probably overthrow that "Pay To Play" crap.
Last edited by BrickIsRed at Jan 12, 2009,
If you aren't bringing out a crowd, stop playing shows. It's quality, not quantity. Also, get out of the city. There are a ton of small towns in Ontario where there is literally nothing to do, so when you play out there, you will get a crowd. I've toured small town Quebec, which is a similar situation, and it's like night and day between that and playing in a big city like Montreal.
Also, start promoting your own shows. Small time promoters will inevitably make a mess of things, unless it's guys who literally do not care about turning a profit. The flip side is, the guys who don't care about turning a profit usually suck, and think a love of music equals doing a good job promoting. So book your own venues, pony up for some flyers, book the other bands, and then you get to dictate where the money goes.
Yeah, organise your own shows.
If you wanna attract a decent crowd, hire a really popular local band to headline and do the support slot.
You'll more than likely have to hire a venue, but try and sort out a deal of some sort. Many venues will actualy let you have the room for free as long as they are making plenty of profit over the bar, but you'll have to ask first to get such a deal. If they won't give you the room for free see if you could possibly sort a deal whereby if they hit a cirtain target profit margin over the bar, they drop the price of venue hire by a cirtain percentage.
Make sure you promote it well by covering the area in posters, handing out fliers, advertising on local internet forums, contact local newspapers and radio and ask if they'd be interested in doing a feature on the upcoming gig.
Have professional looking tickets printed and make them available to the public via local music shops and make sure all your adverts includes all ticket outlets info (offer whoever sells them a small percentage per ticket to sell them for you)

Most important of all, undercut the door charge of the pay to play venues.

Do it right and you might and you'll be playing to a decent sized audience even make some money.

As koslack says, get out of the city. Reputations and hardcore followings can be much more easily made in the smaller out of town venues, reputations that eventualy get back to the city promoters who will then be much more willing to just give you a normal working wage for a gig rather that trying to pull a pay to play deal on you.
If someone offers you a pay to play deal again, refuse, tell them your band has a company policy not to play for below a cirtain price (but make sure you keep the price reasonable and realistic) and that you can get a much better deal at other local venues that will in turn be in direct competition with them.

Pay to play is a cancer to a local music scene, so encourage other local bands in the same position as yourself to do the same. Be outspoken about it, spread the word, start an anti-pay to play movement, have t-shirts and badges with 'Boycott Pay to Play!' or some similar slogan written on them and sell them at gigs making just enough profit off them to pay for the next batch to be printed, also, sell them in local clothing a music shops. (again, offering them a percentage of profit per item sold)
The aim is to kinda turn the movement into a fashion statement, which then starts to self promote the movement. If you do something like that, contact the local press about it, it's a story of interest to them so they will probably be pretty likely to run a decent sized feature on your movement which also helps to promote your band and any non-pay to play gigs you are organising.
if you actually read the site supernova has never offered gigs all in the same genre or to pay the bands playing. its a "promotional tool" a very bad one, but one none the less.

what you should do tho is build a relationship with other bands, and promoters (that actually do the work). and the list goes on. you then can work out deals with these people to play shows and so on so forth. you can't get anywhere if you try to do it all alone.
A painter paints pictures on canvas. But musicians paint their pictures on silence.