Taking an extremely low paying gig to "showcase" for a venue

Gasp100

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
21,798
Ugh... it's off season down here and it's high season for Covid :(
One venue responded (to an email I sent in September of last year!) saying they are interested in having us come in to play a 2 hour gig -- I would do acoustic duo of course for very little money - I would give the proceeds to my lead and I would play for free + tips. Upside is it's about 10 minutes from my house and very small/quick setup for duo.
They are positioning it as a way to showcase and "possibly" get more bookings. Fri-Sat are still hopping pretty good and only the most popular local bands are getting those slots. I've been on this venue for about a year.
I'm viewing it as paid practice, a chance to meet the GM and maybe impress some bar staff as the best I can do. Taking one for the team if you will to try and get us into this club.
Worth it? It's very possible I'm getting played...
 
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Thwap

Platinum Supporting Member
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9,929
They're probably struggling, like many businesses are right now.

So you can look at it as, I'm helping out, providing some entertainment, maybe getting some type of rapport with the powers that be at this place.

I think with the way things have been for a lot of these places, funding for entertainment has probably been seriously curtailed.
 

bluejazzoid

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
4,367
Fri-Sat are still hopping pretty good and only the most popular (ie. not necessarily the best) local bands are getting those slots. I've been on this venue for about a year.
Just curious - what's the venue? You don't have to say if you don't wanna, but I have played all over the Grand Strand/MB area over the last 15 years or so, and some places might be worth that 'foot in the door'..... some not.
 

Mark Robinson

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
8,528
Most gigging players have experienced this, the hallmark of venues that value musicians poorly. Our answer to this would be, book and promote the gigs as a pair, maybe. What state and city is this gig? Maybe patrons will be getting Covid, for no extra charge?
 

sleewell

Member
Messages
10,537
lol i'm in a metal band so all our gigs are low paying. good thing i have a job that pays me well and i just want to crank up and have some fun.


correct me if i am wrong but arent most gigs downtown nashville pretty low paying and they make money from tips?
 

CDP

Member
Messages
817
Showcasing is fine for an acoustic duo, but I'm not clear on this: is the venue hopefully going to offer you a Friday or Saturday night full band gig based on how well an acoustic duo performs? Not likely at all. Or are you hoping for an "off night" for the duo to perform. That's fine if that's your goal, my best paying acoustic duo gig ($250 + Tips) is on Sunday evenings.
 

Gasp100

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
21,798
Showcasing is fine for an acoustic duo, but I'm not clear on this: is the venue hopefully going to offer you a Friday or Saturday night full band gig based on how well an acoustic duo performs? Not likely at all. Or are you hoping for an "off night" for the duo to perform. That's fine if that's your goal, my best paying acoustic duo gig ($250 + Tips) is on Sunday evenings.
I know they book full bands throughout the year and there is zero chance these bands are not getting solid money off season and what I would consider really good money (for my 4 piece) on season. Therefore, the benefit to me is get in the door and a chance to play the venue to feel out the situation with an acoustic duo. My lead is lights out so I'm confident we would PERFORM great, but whether that translates to full band gigs is not a guarantee.
I would do two passes off season and if I don't get guaranteed scheduled full band gigs I would write off the venue.
That is how I'm approaching it anyway - it would be a midweek acoustic duo 2 hours.
 

roverdog

Member
Messages
476
Playing for exposure? Never was a good business plan, but now, given the circumstances, even worse. But then again, I’m an old guy.

Not sure if you are being played or not. You will only find out if you do it, play well, and never get another gig out of it.

Best is relative. To the bar owner the best bands are the ones that bring in the most money for them. To others it could be stage show, musicianship, etc, but the most popular bands get the most gigs as they put the most butts in the seats.

What you are being offered is nothing new. Been hearing that for 50 years. Sometimes it paid off but usually didn’t.
 

Gasp100

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
21,798
'Showcases' are not longer needed thanks to the interwebz. I'd be game if they were just honest 'hey, covid has crippled our business, trying to get things up and running again, any chance you could work with us this one time?'.
Well, essentially that is what they said. But they did throw in the line "a great chance to showcase your performance at our venue for possible future bookings".
I get it, they don't want to take a chance right now booking periphery bands (ones that aren't super well known) right now. They are literally rotating the same 4-5 bands for the next two months which is off OFF season AND Covid.
 




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