More convinced live gigging makes little sense financially...

Discussion in 'Recording/Live Sound' started by doc, Jun 9, 2019.

  1. shredtrash

    shredtrash Supporting Member

    Dec 7, 2007
    Albuquerque, NM
    I have to admit that gigging in a band doesn't make much sense for me at this point financially. I would play in a band as a hired gun for a set rate and that's about it. However, playing solo acoustic gigs makes a TON of sense financially. I'm making the best money per gig that I've ever made right now and I love the freedom. Sometimes, it's all about adapting.
  2. MikeMcK

    MikeMcK Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2007
    Jersey shore
    I'm very picky about these... there was a whole thread on this recently. For a good cause, and if I'm reasonably sure the $$ are going where they're supposed to, I'll do them.

    But all too often, it involves a volunteer organizer who gets inexplicably drunk with the "power" of running the borough fair or whatever, and they tend to look down... way down... on musicians. The worst was some b**** who got people to pay $50 to see local name acts, ostensibly to benefit the local Boys' & Girls' Clubs. She turned it into her own birthday party (she wore a tiara that night) and I doubt a penny went where it was supposed to.

    Having said all that, we just agreed to do a freebie for our drummer's bike club. They doan annual ride to benefit breast cancer research, and A) he's our guy, B) they call it the "Boobie Run". Apparently none of us could say no to that.
  3. zekmoe

    zekmoe Member

    Jan 27, 2004
    Troy NY
    If you want to play covers, get into a wedding/corporate dance band with horns and charge $3000 a gig.
    If you want to play originals, only play places that have the PA, and shoot for the first slot. Have fun with minimal load effort.
    If you want to play classic rock or obscure covers, stay in the cellar and play and record for fun.
    Bob Maximus likes this.
  4. Bob Maximus

    Bob Maximus Silver Supporting Member

    Jun 15, 2009
    I survived a drive through Atlanta
    that gig would probably do well in casinos, too. And if it ventured into danceable/jump blues type stuff, BB Kings would be all over it.
  5. supergenius365

    supergenius365 Silver Supporting Member

    Oct 22, 2005
    That’s why I rely on record sales to make my money.
    Deville2Rocket likes this.
  6. Radius

    Radius Supporting Member

    Mar 17, 2018
    Home of Les Paul, Lambeau Field , Harley Davidson
    I hear there is big money in lunchboxes and action figures.
    cragginshred and supergenius365 like this.
  7. GuitarGuy66

    GuitarGuy66 Member

    Aug 20, 2014
    We do pretty good in my band, $300 per man for a typical gig, $200 minimum, tho I have to say there’s more money for providing sound. I DJ’d a country dance at a legion last night, brought out my light rig, subs & tops. Made $700 for the night, from 9:30 - 1:30am. I’m about to go tear down then come home, load out the light rig and load in my drums, bass amp and guitar amp for next weeks gig.

    Good times.
    Deville2Rocket likes this.
  8. p19978

    p19978 Member

    Sep 9, 2010
    I am blessed to be part of a classic rock hobby band that never plays for less than $150/person.

    We have a sound man, so all I do is set up my own gear and play.

    We all have great day jobs so everyone has top notch gear... an underrated blessing.
    cragginshred likes this.
  9. cragginshred

    cragginshred Member

    Dec 17, 2011
    Sonora Ca.
    I have the best band I've ever been in and the worst part of playing live is when there is a dead night. We still made 100$ each last Fri but it was boring until the 3rd set. I'd rather play for 300 people and make 20$ than make $300 for 20 people
  10. HomeInMyShoes

    HomeInMyShoes Member

    Dec 12, 2018
    I believe you'd make more money investing the practice, commute and playing time in collecting cans and bottles here than gigging. That said, music is the bomb and I might pay people to let me play.
  11. BadAssBill

    BadAssBill Silver Supporting Member

    May 15, 2006
    My band normally plays 4 - 6 times a month. Most months I make 500 - 700. Our tip jar says beer money and our singer has jokes about why we need it. "Tip jar says beer money, but that's friendlier than saying child support". "We have more baby mamas than an NBA basketball player and as you can see I'm pregnant". It helps. We almost always make more than $100 pre gig in tips.
    The PA should be loaded in by everyone. We use the Behringer XR16 and have two different PA's depending on the venue. The XR can be put anywhere and our speakers are powered so it's much easier than amps. Smaller ones, I use two Mains and three monitors. Larger we have two subs to add to that. It takes an hour to load in and setup. If it takes longer than that you don't have enough help, you're not organized enough or you have too much equipment. Efficiency and simplicity is your friend IMHO.
  12. riffmeister

    riffmeister Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 4, 2003
    near Philly
    The phrase 'labor of love' comes to mind. Me....I've been doing acoustic duo gigs with my wife. Not a complex setup. Easy to book gigs compared to the full band. Better hours. People enjoy the music and give us tips. Win win win win!!!
    Deville2Rocket likes this.
  13. Atmospheric

    Atmospheric Supporting Member

    Dec 5, 2005
    Newberg, OR
    I use a JBL Eon One battery powered stick with a single Eon 610 powered cab as a floor monitor. Very portable. Large PAs suck.

    But the finances never make sense. If you’re in it for the money, you’re gonna be disappointed a lot.

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