#1
Well, my band just got an offer to play a show from a booking agency. The catch is that we have to sell at least 20 presale tickets. The show is on Sunday so that is less than a week to sell them, and we have no fans in the area cause we arent from the area. This means that we most likely wont be able to sell them and have to shell out the cash from our pockets.

So, how do bands do this? Do they just pay and suck it up to get publicity, or do they not play the gig? The guy promised us future gigs but still, paying to play...just doesn't seem right. Break even maybe, but paying? Help.
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#2
most bands would cancel a gig if the presales aint up to the budget, ascension of the watchers just cancelled the whole europe leg cause of it.

i think u guys should give this one a miss an organise one for later - 4 weeks
gives you guys time to reach the minimum pre sale limit, set up advertisement posters and other ways,


why dont you try go to the radio and ask for a couple of minutes to advertise yourselves but thats a long shot but there is no harm in asking..
#3
It's always best to try and get a standard gig or two in an area first to get people interested and knowing who you are.
Even then you sometimes can't always sell all the tickets so just hang around outside and try to sell the remainder on the night.
#4
This is a scam.My band (Hammerd) was offered the same deal about ayear ago. When I tried to contact the booking agent I couldn't find him. I looked them up on the internet all I found was warnings of how they scammed bands.I then called the club where the show was to be held and found out they never heard of the agent or scheduled a show for that date.They weren't even open on sundays.
#5
Don't do it.
Pay to play gigs are the bain of music scenes all over the world. Infact, if you meet a pay to play promoter, hit him with a shovel, but whatever you do don't you ever, ever, ever, not nohow, in any way shape or form, not even to save your dear old mum from being gang raped by gorillas, not even if some god says he'll destroy the earth if you refuse, just don't ever, never ever play a pay to play gig.

OK ?
Last edited by SlackerBabbath at Nov 11, 2008,
#6
Never ever do it. When I first started gigging we used to do that now we just tell the promotors where to go. Also they may try and rope you into lending your equipment to other bands which is a favourite Cavern trick (£20 quid to play, because we a local band we end up going on at 1am on Tuesday, we walked, hence we are now barred).

Basically pay to play = NO!
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#7
Don't do it

My band has fallen foul to this problem so we have promised as much as possible not to try this method
#8
Wow, sounds like some bad experiences have been had.

Band I was in last year played at the cavern for the old £20 charge but we still made a profit of about £50-£60, enough for petrol and a drink each.

I think one reason we probably avoided some of this is because we had a couple bad(ish) experiences our first handful of gigs. We ALWAYS contact the venue ourselves to get information regarding all kinds things.
Venue size, opening/closing times, stage, power outlets, PA... bunch of other stuff.

Everyone should be doing this.
#9
Quote by ChrisN
Wow, sounds like some bad experiences have been had.

Band I was in last year played at the cavern for the old £20 charge but we still made a profit of about £50-£60, enough for petrol and a drink each.

I think one reason we probably avoided some of this is because we had a couple bad(ish) experiences our first handful of gigs. We ALWAYS contact the venue ourselves to get information regarding all kinds things.
Venue size, opening/closing times, stage, power outlets, PA... bunch of other stuff.

Everyone should be doing this.

I look at it this way, if a venue needed a plumber, would they tell the plumber that he needs to sell a bunch of tickets or give them some money before he get's paid for doing his job?
Nope, and they should treat the band just like any other people they have hired to do a job.
#10
Quote by SlackerBabbath
I look at it this way, if a venue needed a plumber, would they tell the plumber that he needs to sell a bunch of tickets or give them some money before he get's paid for doing his job?
Nope, and they should treat the band just like any other people they have hired to do a job.
Don't get me wrong, I get your point entirely.

I just think people should be more careful and always do at least a little research for all gigs.
Afterall, there will always be someone round the corner tryna rip you off for a quick buck.
#11
Quote by ChrisN
Don't get me wrong, I get your point entirely.

I just think people should be more careful and always do at least a little research for all gigs.
Afterall, there will always be someone round the corner tryna rip you off for a quick buck.

Agreed.
#12
Well first off Im pretty sure its not a scam. I have already talked to guy on the phone and looked into the venue website. He said the minimum they usually give for presale tix is 40 and that hes doing us a favor by only making us sell 20 cause it is last minute.

Secondly, its not really like we are paying to play, its just that we wont be able to sell the presale tix. I guess its actually the same thing, but this is the argument most venues give. We have already played a bunch of shows in our area and have started a little following. The catch is that this gig is not close to where we are from.

Isn't the publicity and guarentee for future shows worth the risk for up and coming bands. Obviously if he tries any other shenanigans we will know hes sketchy and wont do business again.
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#13
Quote by donkeyman2341
Isn't the publicity and guarentee for future shows worth the risk for up and coming bands. Obviously if he tries any other shenanigans we will know hes sketchy and wont do business again.


No, if you can't sell 20 tickets, who's going to be there to see you and spread the word? Noone unfortunatly. If you want to play in other cities and get a decent way from it is to find established bands in those areas and ask to open up for them. Established bands should generally have decent connections with local venues and promoters. I know all I have to do if I want a band to open for my own is give a call to the venue/promoter and they're on.

Other bands will make some of the best connections out there.

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#14
Quote by Jonnomainman
No, if you can't sell 20 tickets, who's going to be there to see you and spread the word? Noone unfortunatly. If you want to play in other cities and get a decent way from it is to find established bands in those areas and ask to open up for them. Established bands should generally have decent connections with local venues and promoters. I know all I have to do if I want a band to open for my own is give a call to the venue/promoter and they're on.

Other bands will make some of the best connections out there.

Thanks for the replies. That actually makes a lot more sense. Just to play devil's advocate a little bit here, there are 4 other bands that are playing, all of which shuold be bringing their fans. So, its not gonna be a total loss.

Hell, Im just trying to justify this to myself as we already told em we would play the gig.
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#15
most likely, the friends of those bands who brought them in the first place will only watch the band before them, and the band itself.

dont do it, its a way for promoters to get your money and put stars in your eyes
#16
Quote by JohnnySoul
most likely, the friends of those bands who brought them in the first place will only watch the band before them, and the band itself.

dont do it, its a way for promoters to get your money and put stars in your eyes


+1 to all of this. If you need exposure, find some places where you can play for free...don't pay someone so you can play.
'Cause I have done it before and I will do it some more....
#18
Quote by donkeyman2341
Well first off Im pretty sure its not a scam.


if someones trying to make you pay them, so that you can lug your instruments in in your spare time on your dime and use your gas and resources just to set up and jam for an hour its a scam. never ever ever ever ever pay to play. a bar should be willing to let you come in and do a gig for free if you want exposure. i know of several local bands that just started off playing gigs for free and worked into getting paid but none of them EVER paid a penny to play music (other than the gallon or 2 of gas for the trip)
#19
unfortunately these pay to play guys have pretty much taken over. I'm from Cincinnati and it's the only way most of the venues work. Theres one guy who does all the booking for that venue, and you have to pay to play, or you dont. the music scene is pretty much raped, ive been trying to find a way to get rid of or around these douchebags forever.
#20
whether or not its a scam isnt the point. basically by selling the tickets your doing the advertisers job and then get to keep a very small percentage of the profit. you may as well play a gig and do all of the advertising and organizing and then go and give 60% of the money to some random on the street.

so im guessing that you have to sell 20 tickets, and the money for that goes to the promoter and then any more you sell you keep the profits for right? that's bad. how many tickets do you think you can sell? the reason why they said 20 is because they don't think you can sell many more than that, so they made a deal that got them band AND the money.

in the end: dont do the gig.
Who decided that pie would be sold on Tuesday but not Wednesday?
#21


No. No. No!

The only reason to do a pay to play gig is if there's a genuine chance it can benefit the band. Ask yourself, what the hell is a Sunday gig really going to do for you? And if the person running it is a good promoter, why would he need the band to sell tickets? That's the whole point of a promoter...to PROMOTE the band.

Occasionally it will be worth paying up front for an irrestistable publicity opportunity (such as buying on to a tour supporting a known act), but 99% of p2p gigs will consist of each band's immediate friends and family paying extortionate prices to see the people they know - they won't give a crap about anyone else on the bill.

Please, avoid this exploitation and keep searching for those elusive decent venues; they're out there, trust me!


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#22
/sigh...well looks like we got duped. BUT, if all of the venues in my area are doing this, how are we ever supposed to play gigs???
UG MISSILE BASE
Fight for the cause!

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Donkeyman2341, you are my new god!
#24
Quote by SlackerBabbath
Don't do it.
Pay to play gigs are the bain of music scenes all over the world. Infact, if you meet a pay to play promoter, hit him with a shovel, but whatever you do don't you ever, ever, ever, not nohow, in any way shape or form, not even to save your dear old mum from being gang raped by gorillas, not even if some god says he'll destroy the earth if you refuse, just don't ever, never ever play a pay to play gig.

OK ?



LMAO gang raped by gorillas?? LOL.....but yeah, this doesn't sound like a good idea, so DON'T pay to play.
#25
Quote by donkeyman2341
/sigh...well looks like we got duped. BUT, if all of the venues in my area are doing this, how are we ever supposed to play gigs???

Y'know the venue that the promoter hires before he gets you you guys to sell tickets for him?
Well simply cut out the promoter, hire the venue yourself, sell tickets and keep all the profits.
It helps immensely if you can do this in partnership with other bands, especialy bands with a slightly different style to yourselves. (brings in a wider cross section of audience which equals bigger numbers of people) After all, that's what the pay to play promoter does, only difference is, he keeps most of the profits.
Pay for the venue up front (this may require a bit of saving up) then you aren't taking any risks on the night. Re-claim your costs from ticket sales and anything else that's made is profit.
Either split this profit equaly among the bands or work out a percentage of profit allocated to bands, for instance you may wanna pay a band that will bring in a larger audience more than a band who's playing their first gig on your bill.
You have now formed a collective of musicians who are doing it for themselves rather than having a pay to play promoter take advantage of them.
Last edited by SlackerBabbath at Nov 14, 2008,
#26
I don't think it's particualrly a scam.... look at it from the venues point of view. They aren't just going to let bands come and have a gig, use all their gear and electricity for free, if they bring no fans. They say these things because they need to know that a band will bring people. I would imagine they don't expect bands to accept the gig if they know they can't bring enough people. And 20 tickets isn't many. If you can't sell em, don't do it!
#27
yea but the point is that your doing the promoters job by selling those tickets and getting very little in return.
Who decided that pie would be sold on Tuesday but not Wednesday?