#1
I always see in movies, read in autobiographies, etc. etc. that bands always have a hard time getting the club owner/bar owner/other type of venue owner to pay them, but my band has never had this problem. Does anyone else have this problem, or is it just a cliche?
#2
I had one problem with a restaurant once. They bounced my check. Now I make that particular restaurant pay me in cash
#4
Only problem I ever has was with a students union gig at a London Technical College. After that our singer's wife did the admin and insisted on a 50% booking fee. As often as not we got a lot of 'extra' for extended sets, cash in hand. Nice money from working clubs but 4 hours with a LP on your shoulder was not so funny.
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#5
I haven't been playing gigs for quite a while, but we will be soon. It is probably better now.
In the olden days(early to mid 80's), we ran into some morally and ethically challenged club owners/managers.

I think it has a great deal to do with where you are, and what kind of places you play. we were playing original punk, so we sometimes played some pretty sleazy places. The audiences were usually very good, but some of the owner/managers tried to short or stiff the bands. At those places we often played for the door money. We quickly learned to have our guy either collect it, or keep an eye on the club employee who was collecting it. Thank goodness for Tiny. Yes, his nickname was ironic, Tiny was 6'4"--240lbs., and worked the door for his bar tab. No one ever messed with him.

We never got totally stiffed, but we got shorted a couple of times, and occasionally had to remind people what they had agreed to. No violence, intimidation perhaps, but never violence.
#6
Depends completely on your location and what your willing to do as a band. My band will happily play anywhere we can afford to go, if we get the opportunity to play with an amazing band who will sell out a venue, more than often we'll happily play that sort of gig for just the cost of our petrol- for the possible exposure. In general over here promoters are reluctant to shell out to bands playing originals- cover bands and acoustic covers people make a mint, like £300 a show easily but a lot of people take the piss with up and coming bands because they know they are desperate to get out there and play to people.

whereabouts are you based? playing covers or original songs?

xx matt
Check out my band! The Afterparty on Facebook
#7
I've had problems one night a long time ago, when a venue owner had said at the end of the night that he hasn't done as well ofer the bar as he thought he would have done, then 'stiffed' us with the promised wage, saying 'It's our company policy not to pay a band the full wage if we don't make over a cirtain amount of money in bar takings.'
I asked him 'If you hired a plumber or any other tradesman to do a job for you, and then once they'd done the job, you simply decided not to pay them the agreed price because you hadn't done well over the bar that day, what would you imagine the tradesman's reaction would be?'
He said that this was different because we were supposed to attract him custom.
I asked him 'Betweem us, an out of town band that obviously no one here has heard of, and you, the 'promoter', who do you think is responsible for 'promoting' the gig and attracting a crowd?'
He said 'Well it cirtainly isn't me, you should promote the gig if you want to get payed.'
I told him that we could indeed have driven there (a distance of about 20 miles) a few weeks previously and put posters up around town for him, but because of our 'company policy' we would have had to charge him extra for this extra service, and now our 'company policy' decreed that we should take him to the small claims court, that he would definately lose the case and that it was going to cost him extra because our 'company policy' also decrees that we charge 10% extra for late payment and also he will have the court costs and our solicitor costs to pay as well.'

He went red, went and had a word with his wife.... then he payed us all that he owed us.
#8
Quote by SlackerBabbath
I've had problems one night a long time ago, when a venue owner had said at the end of the night that he hasn't done as well ofer the bar as he thought he would have done, then 'stiffed' us with the promised wage, saying 'It's our company policy not to pay a band the full wage if we don't make over a cirtain amount of money in bar takings.'
I asked him 'If you hired a plumber or any other tradesman to do a job for you, and then once they'd done the job, you simply decided not to pay them the agreed price because you hadn't done well over the bar that day, what would you imagine the tradesman's reaction would be?'
He said that this was different because we were supposed to attract him custom.
I asked him 'Betweem us, an out of town band that obviously no one here has heard of, and you, the 'promoter', who do you think is responsible for 'promoting' the gig and attracting a crowd?'
He said 'Well it cirtainly isn't me, you should promote the gig if you want to get payed.'
I told him that we could indeed have driven there (a distance of about 20 miles) a few weeks previously and put posters up around town for him, but because of our 'company policy' we would have had to charge him extra for this extra service, and now our 'company policy' decreed that we should take him to the small claims court, that he would definately lose the case and that it was going to cost him extra because our 'company policy' also decrees that we charge 10% extra for late payment and also he will have the court costs and our solicitor costs to pay as well.'

He went red, went and had a word with his wife.... then he payed us all that he owed us.


thats actually beautiful:P
the only time i've had any problem liek this it was our choice to let him to keep all the proceeds as we sold few tickets as we had an important gig 5 days later and that one was jsut for abit of exposure
but the guy told us we didnt have to sell many tickets but it proved more difficult with each ticket costing £8 and we;d have preferred people to go to the gig afterwards(600 person venue ) and people werent really prepared to pay £13 to see us twice in a week for only an hour
#9
Quote by superfish1232
thats actually beautiful:P




I've raised the point here before that it is important to 'act' professionaly at all times, which obviously means turning up on time, having all the necessary equipment, being polite with everyone you meet and work with ect, but it also applies business-wise as well. If you portray a professional attitude business-wise, fewer people will try to take advantage of you.
When confronted by someone who's attempting to stiff you, stay calm, speak in a firm 'matter-of-fact' manner and explain your 'company policy' in such situations. If that doesn't work, take whatever money he's willing to offer, (especialy if you need petrol to get home) write down the reason he's given for not giving you the full promised wage and ask him to sign it. Then calmly leave. (if he refuses to sign anything, calmly leave anyway.) Then contact a solicitor and get them to send him a 'solicitor's letter' which is basicaly a letter from your solicitor asking him to settle up what he owes you, plus the extra costs incurred (the solicitor's letter) before any legal action has to take place.
That should do the trick.

We have a friend who's a solicitor (we've known her since she was a law student) that we give free t-shirts, demos and gig tickets to, who has said she would gladly help us out in this way, free of charge, if we ever required it.
#10
Quote by anacrucix
Depends completely on your location and what your willing to do as a band. My band will happily play anywhere we can afford to go, if we get the opportunity to play with an amazing band who will sell out a venue, more than often we'll happily play that sort of gig for just the cost of our petrol- for the possible exposure. In general over here promoters are reluctant to shell out to bands playing originals- cover bands and acoustic covers people make a mint, like £300 a show easily but a lot of people take the piss with up and coming bands because they know they are desperate to get out there and play to people.

whereabouts are you based? playing covers or original songs?

xx matt


Well, right now I live in a small town about an hour north of Columbus, Ohio and we usually play in Columbus, which, if you don't know the city, is decently large, and there are some good clubs there... Our main place to play is this place called the NBC Coffeehouse. But once I graduate high school (haven't decided if I'm going to college yet) I'm moving up to Cleveland to start a band, because that's a much better place for a musician than central Ohio is. And right now, we play some of both, a little more covers than originals because we just started about 4 months ago and we started out just jamming together, playing covers, and one day we wrote a couple originals, and that's when we decided that we should see if we could get a gig.
#11
The last 2 gigs we've played have been unpaid, even though the barman apparantly said he'd pay us for the last one. I don't mind because I love playing live music and we do get free drinks, but the rest of the band has started to get restless, our guitarist being rude to the barman etc.

Just do it for the laugh, not for any monetary gain. It's worth it IMO. If it comes, it comes.
#12
All of the gigs I've played at 18+ or 21+ venues that promised to pay us fulfilled their part of the agreement. I have played at two All-Ages venues and both agreed to pay us, then after we got off stage decided to tell us we didn't bring enough people to the venue so they aren't going to pay us. Needless to say we won't be playing those venues again. We've only been playing out since April, and to expect a local band to bring 15-20 fans 3+ hours away is a little ridiculous.
#13
we have never ever gotten payed for a gig. Its just how it is in our country, you can be happy that you even get a gig, much less be payed for it. One of the bands that im friends whith has been reguraly gigng for over 6 years and the most they have been payed is 20€ for travel expenses.
Joža je kul. On ma sirove z dodatki pa hambije.
#14
Back in the old days, bands would be part of the Musicians' Union, and if a venue or promoter refused to pay you or tried to short change you, then that venue/promoter got black-listed and had a hard time securing talent. The union would also support you with any legal fees, etc. in an effort to get you your money.

And then bands started to under-cut each other and not joining the union, so it became the norm where the cheaper non-unionized bands got the work. Now, it is unusual for the bands playing to be union members, or for the venues to really care about the union.

sorry, that was just an aside....

These days, if you're playing locally, you need to get to know the clubs and promoters. Those that have a history of paying up will, and those that have a history of screwing people over, you need to avoid, or get a contract signed and paid up front.

Keep in mind that it is also about relationships. In our four years of gigging, we got 'shorted' by one club. We were expecting $100 as an opening act. The headliners had a guarantee, so no matter what, they were being paid $XXX. It didn't take a rocket scientist to look around the club and recognize that the numbers were clearly not adding up, despite the work that everyone did - the club puts ads in the local entertainment mags, both the headliners and us got press on both campus and commercial radio. It was just a bust.

The promoter took me aside at the end of the night and we chatted. We had played there before, a few times, and even chose that venue a couple years ago for our CD release. They've been good to us all along. Tonight, they were losing money. He offered us $50, and we settled on $75. It was as much a personal relationship agreement as much as it was (or even moreso than) a business one. It *could* be in that circumstance because we had built that personal relationship.

Now, if you're touring, you have no idea what clubs have reputable promoters and which don't, and unless your a professional manager or something where you deal with clubs around the country (or beyond) on a semi-regular basis, you really have no way of knowing. In those cases, you get written agreements up front. They may or may not involve payment up front, but if it is a written agreement, the venue or promoter knows that they're basically screwed if you take it to court.

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#15
Quote by axemanchris
Back in the old days, bands would be part of the Musicians' Union, and if a venue or promoter refused to pay you or tried to short change you, then that venue/promoter got black-listed and had a hard time securing talent. The union would also support you with any legal fees, etc. in an effort to get you your money.

And then bands started to under-cut each other and not joining the union, so it became the norm where the cheaper non-unionized bands got the work. Now, it is unusual for the bands playing to be union members, or for the venues to really care about the union.

sorry, that was just an aside....

Musicians Union... I remember them.
To be honest, in Britain back in the day, they were pretty ineffective. I knew plenty of guys who were members and had asked them for legal help and were pretty disappointed with the results, but we did have a kinda co-operative of sorts.
In my part of the world there used to be a free magazine run by musicians called Lancashire Low-Life (a skit on a well known magazine for upper class Lancastrians called Lancashire Life) which you could pick up from almost any bar that had live bands on. If a venue stiffed a band, then the band let the magazine editors know about it and they'd write about them then everyone avoided that venue like the plague.
Quote by axemanchris

These days, if you're playing locally, you need to get to know the clubs and promoters. Those that have a history of paying up will, and those that have a history of screwing people over, you need to avoid, or get a contract signed and paid up front.

Keep in mind that it is also about relationships. In our four years of gigging, we got 'shorted' by one club. We were expecting $100 as an opening act. The headliners had a guarantee, so no matter what, they were being paid $XXX. It didn't take a rocket scientist to look around the club and recognize that the numbers were clearly not adding up, despite the work that everyone did - the club puts ads in the local entertainment mags, both the headliners and us got press on both campus and commercial radio. It was just a bust.

The promoter took me aside at the end of the night and we chatted. We had played there before, a few times, and even chose that venue a couple years ago for our CD release. They've been good to us all along. Tonight, they were losing money. He offered us $50, and we settled on $75. It was as much a personal relationship agreement as much as it was (or even moreso than) a business one. It *could* be in that circumstance because we had built that personal relationship.

Now, if you're touring, you have no idea what clubs have reputable promoters and which don't, and unless your a professional manager or something where you deal with clubs around the country (or beyond) on a semi-regular basis, you really have no way of knowing. In those cases, you get written agreements up front. They may or may not involve payment up front, but if it is a written agreement, the venue or promoter knows that they're basically screwed if you take it to court.

CT

Agreed completely.
#16
Quote by SlackerBabbath
we did have a kinda co-operative of sorts.
In my part of the world there used to be a free magazine run by musicians called Lancashire Low-Life (a skit on a well known magazine for upper class Lancastrians called Lancashire Life) which you could pick up from almost any bar that had live bands on. If a venue stiffed a band, then the band let the magazine editors know about it and they'd write about them then everyone avoided that venue like the plague.


Awesome!

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.