#1
Should a band feel ashamed for playing them? For any one who doesn't know, they are shows that 'larger' booking agencies have smaller bands play if they want to open for bigger bands. They give you a amount of tickets they would like you to sell, and if you don't you can't play. Usually amount is anywhere from 25 to 50 (in my experience it has always been 25 or 35 almost always.)

so anyway, my band has been in contact with a booking company for a while, our lead singer has done shows with them before (the misfits and the casualties being one of he bigger ones.) and now we are playing with agnostic front in october and possibly big d and the kids table in july.

I'm just wondering what peoples experiences with 'pay to plays' are and if they feel that having to sell a certain amount of tickets for a show is something that bands shouldn't have to do? Does anyone think that it is awesome for the sole fact you get to open for your favorite bands and sometimes chill with them, and make connections. I only ask becuase I know my singers old band got a lot of crap from other local bands for playing these shows. thanks! : D
#2
Getting more experience and exposure never hurt anyone. So what if you have to sell tickets so that your band can play. IMHO, any chance you get to play out should be taken.
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#3
venues do that so they can make money from letting bands and other performing acts use their facilities. i dont see anything wrong with the system... its fair to both bands and the venue.
#4
Quote by scream_it
Getting more experience and exposure never hurt anyone. So what if you have to sell tickets so that your band can play. IMHO, any chance you get to play out should be taken.


+5 ..and if your serious about working for the music industry.. being able meet tickets sales is one of the most important aspects of it all. record labels eat that shit up..
#5
I dunno. Most of the pay-to-play schemes are pure scams, just manipulating bands to make money for themselves. I haven't encountered one where you actually pay to support a larger band however, usually wouldn't they be coupled with another band with an established local fan base anyway? It would make a lot more sense then getting a band that may be good, or may be crap.
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#6
Quote by AlanHB
I dunno. Most of the pay-to-play schemes are pure scams, just manipulating bands to make money for themselves.


that's why you establish payment terms before you agree to perform at the venue.

Quote by AlanHB
usually wouldn't they be coupled with another band with an established local fan base anyway? It would make a lot more sense then getting a band that may be good, or may be crap.


venues would just love it if every band they booked for the night would bring dozens of people. but theyll take whatever they can get.
Last edited by pepsi1187 at Jun 9, 2010,
#7
Quote by pepsi1187
that's why you establish payment terms before you agree to perform at the venue.

.....

venues would just love it if every band they booked for the night would bring dozens of people. but theyll take whatever they can get.


Hey if anyone here can come forward and tell me a great story about a pay-to-play gig they had, by all means go ahead. It's just my own personal experience that it doesn't end up well.

I also find it strange that people have to resort to these pay-to-play things when there's always other nights on which consist of good local music available. And you don't have to sell tickets, and a crowd is usually guaranteed anyway because people like to listen to local bands for free.
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#8
Quote by scream_it
IMHO, any chance you get to play out should be taken.


Fix'd IMHO, any chance you get to play out should be considered!

If you have a reasonable amount of tickets to sell. 25-35 like you said, then I'd really consider doing the gig, I know I could just get family and close friends of all the band members to buy them and come out and easily hit those numbers.

If its something like 50+ tickets to sell. I would be a lot more weary, unless you are a very established band in the area, and you can bring a 100+ people on any given night, forget it, its not worth it.
#9
Although if you did it yourselves, lets say with 4 other bands (like most pay-to-play).

Let's say you had to sell 25 tickets at $10 a pop. $250 dollars a band.

4 bands. That's $1000.

I wonder how much it would cost to organise this night? Could it be possible that you and some other bands could just organise it yourself and pocket the profit?
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#10
Quote by AlanHB
Hey if anyone here can come forward and tell me a great story about a pay-to-play gig they had, by all means go ahead. It's just my own personal experience that it doesn't end up well.


Well, this is one of the main reasons I'm so for pay-to-plays. My lead singers old band played with the Casualties, and got to hang out with them for like an hour. He said the show was amazing, and the crowd was huge. He also played with the Misfits (even though he said they were total douches) he said it was a great show, and that he'd definitely do it again.

So, I don't know I guess its hit or miss. Its probably only worth it if your playing with huge bands like the Misfits or whoever.
#11
Quote by punktherock001


So, I don't know I guess its hit or miss. Its probably only worth it if your playing with huge bands like the Misfits or whoever.


Which company is this? Most pay-to-plays don't fix you up with established bands, they're usually just 4 random bands.
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#12
Quote by AlanHB
Which company is this? Most pay-to-plays don't fix you up with established bands, they're usually just 4 random bands.



Exactly. TS, it sounds like you got a really good booking deal, and I would go for that. Casualties and Agnostic Front are HUGE in the punk/hardcore scene, and it would be totally beneficial to try to get that gig.


The experience I've had with Pay-to-play is super shit. 10 random ass bands all in one night. Not once, but TWICE has my old band played at 1 AM, after 7-10 other bands, like 5 people stayed. This was all by the same booking company. I completely agree that almost all pay-to-play booking companies are scams.
#13
Well I found what could be the Misfit's gig http://www.roadrunnerrecords.com/blabbermouth.net/news.aspx?mode=Article&newsitemID=24819 , check the comments below. Basically it says there's about 80+ pay to play bands, plus some headliners. Nice.

And I couldn't find one with The Casualties, except this article http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/interviews/interviews/the_casualties_we_dont_believe_in_the_pay_to_play_thing.html which brings into doubt everything your singer says.
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#14
My band sometimes does pay to plays, and it sucks most of the time. The first time was ok, we opened for Born of Osiris ( if anyone knows who they are) and the tickets sold themselves, because it was a known band and it was only an hour away. then we got a deal where we had to sell 30 tickets, but 3 hours away. we did it, but barely. now we have to sell 30 tickets for 8 dollars for a show 3 hours away with all local bands. I don't think we are going to be able to do it. We are planning on going to the city to promote, but I doubt we can sell them all. p.s. if anyone lives in St. Louis would you wanna see my band play? haha
#15
Almost all pay to play gigs are a bunch of crappy local bands thrown together where everybody only watches the band they paid for.
#16
I just did a pay to play type gig with my band and it went fairly well. Basically it was sell 25 tickets at $10 bucks a piece (or pay $250) and you play. This venue had a bbq going on as well with all the local bands so you could eat up almost close to your entrance fee plus seeing local bands.

My band has done these probably 5 or 6 times and they always turn up good really. This past show we sold around 45 tickets so we gained $200 for the band. The rest of the shows there was about 70 sold from just us and we got $450 for one night, not bad. Usually always set up with 4-5 local bands and most people stay the whole night. These have worked out really well for us.
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#17
I would never pay to play. I'll play for no money to any crowd but I won't pay to play.
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#18
Quote by AlanHB
Well I found what could be the Misfit's gig http://www.roadrunnerrecords.com/blabbermouth.net/news.aspx?mode=Article&newsitemID=24819 , check the comments below. Basically it says there's about 80+ pay to play bands, plus some headliners. Nice.

And I couldn't find one with The Casualties, except this article http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/interviews/interviews/the_casualties_we_dont_believe_in_the_pay_to_play_thing.html which brings into doubt everything your singer says.


That wasn't the show, the show was last year at the Crocodile Rock in Allentown. There about 6 to 8 bands (I dont remember how many exactly, but the Crock Rock has two stages, he said it was totally not worth it) But The Casualties was last year as well, he said it was without a doubt, the best show he's ever played. As for doubting what he says, I am pretty much certain it happened, because although I didn't go, all my friends did and said it was awesome haha. So unless they are all lying to me and just photoshopped the sh*t out of a bunch of pictures, it happened. Plus he said he met and chilled with them. maybe thats not true, but I don't know why he would make something like that up

Quote by isabiggles
I would never pay to play. I'll play for no money to any crowd but I won't pay to play.


I don't know if "pay-to-play" is the exact term for what I'm talking, but thats the way I've known it to be called. You aren't paying out of your own pocket to play, your selling tickets, and if you don't sell enough, you don't play.

JUST TO CLARIFY, doing any sort of pay to play for ANY sort of local event with random local bands is not what I'm talking about. They are completely and absolutely ridiculous, any time a booking agency calls us asking to do a local pay to play, it has been and always will be a no. Since I have anyone's attention who's thinking about doing this sort of show, don't. Your killing your bands reputation and your local music scene. Just want you to know haha
#19
Pay-to-play is the exact term for it - you are supplying them with money in exchange for playing. I can see on the net that Crocodile Rock does this for a lot of their gigs, there's a story about supporting Papa Roach after selling 250 tickets. Most of the stories go, "sold lots of tickets, got treated like crap".

I only doubted the Misfits because they openly said "we don't believe in pay-to-play".

You'll probably ignore us and do it anyway, so be sure to post back with your story.
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