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#1643089 - 10/13/04 04:21 PM Pay to Play? - Emergenza
Amado Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 10/16/03
Posts: 176
Loc: Florida
Hi, all:

So, I got an e-mail advertising a site which looked like it might be almost a booking agent site, just a "sign your band up, we may book you on a major festival-type stage" thing. So I figured what the hell, it's free. Turns out the company (Emergenza, http://www.emergenza.net/eng/ ) organizes the concerts themselves. There's a "battle of the bands" competition round and semi-final rounds and whatnot else, so if you make it to the Southeast Regionals in Atlanta you might be able to make it to the National Finals, after which you'd get to go to the International Final in Germany.

And all it costs you is $70.

The question I need to put to the fine, wise minds collected here is: have you hear of Emergenza? Any experience with it? While generally I wouldn't pay to play, might this event get a band enough exposure that it's worth it?

Thanks for your feedback.

Yours,
Amado

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#1643090 - 10/13/04 05:18 PM Re: Pay to Play? - Emergenza
Bill@Welcome Home Studios Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 08/23/03
Posts: 9613
1. don't pay to play.

2. You can't cheat an honest man.

3. If something looks too good to be true, it probably is.

4. I looked at their website. I checked out the club in my area that they claim to be their venue. It is smallish. Events like this are usually held in bigger, better rooms. (but everybody has to start somewhere....) It is an okay place to go and see bands, I've even played there. But it is not a world class venue. In fact, it is kinda a seedy dump. (Forgive me, I like seedy dumps. )

The place has a wide variety of acts that play there, but I wouldn't send my mom there, or if I had a younger sister, that room would be off limits to her. Know what I mean?

Bill
_________________________
"I believe that entertainment can aspire to be art, and can become art, but if you set out to make art you're an idiot."

Steve Martin

Show business: we're all here because we're not all there.


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#1643091 - 10/13/04 06:20 PM Re: Pay to Play? - Emergenza
Curious_G Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 11/09/01
Posts: 247
Loc: Gulph Mills,PA,UNITED STATES
"might this event get a band enough exposure that it's worth it?"

Ouch, stop using the "E" word...
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#1643092 - 10/13/04 06:37 PM Re: Pay to Play? - Emergenza
The Bear Jew Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 11/13/01
Posts: 7703
Loc: Philadelphia,PA,UNITED STATES
Dude.
Emergenza = Scam.

Don't waste your time or $$.
_________________________
\m/
Erik
"To fight and conquer in all your battles is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists of breaking the enemy's resistance without fighting."
--Sun Tzu

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#1643093 - 10/13/04 06:39 PM Re: Pay to Play? - Emergenza
picker Offline
10k Club

Registered: 06/13/04
Posts: 13315
Loc: Near 12th Street and Vine...
Quote:
Originally posted by Amado:
[QB]So, I got an e-mail advertising a site which looked like it might be almost a booking agent site, just a "sign your band up, we may book you on a major festival-type stage" thing. So I figured what the hell, it's free. Turns out the company (Emergenza, http://www.emergenza.net/eng/ ) organizes the concerts themselves. There's a "battle of the bands" competition round and semi-final rounds and whatnot else, so if you make it to the Southeast Regionals in Atlanta you might be able to make it to the National Finals, after which you'd get to go to the International Final in Germany.

And all it costs you is $70.

The question I need to put to the fine, wise minds collected here is: have you hear of Emergenza? Any experience with it? While generally I wouldn't pay to play, might this event get a band enough exposure that it's worth it?[QB]
Never heard of them, but it sounds kinda flaky. Can you get referrals from any bands they have worked with in the past? Are any booking agents or recording industry people at their events, and if so who are they and who do they work for? If the whole thing "falls through" do you get your money back and how?
$70 doesn't get you much exposure...
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Always remember that you’re unique. Just like everyone else.




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#1643094 - 10/13/04 06:40 PM Re: Pay to Play? - Emergenza
g. Offline
10k Club

Registered: 01/31/01
Posts: 10021
If it's exposure you want. Just get a longcoat and uh, take matters into your own hands.
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#1643095 - 10/13/04 07:19 PM Re: Pay to Play? - Emergenza
typi Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 12/15/01
Posts: 118
Loc: Coast to Coast
Personally, I'd never pay to play. Sounds fishy to me.
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"You're either WITH me, or you're AGIN' Me!" (Yosemite Sam)

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#1643096 - 10/13/04 07:44 PM Re: Pay to Play? - Emergenza
FULLREFUSAL Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 09/06/01
Posts: 441
Loc: Heading to Nashville
NEVER PAY TO PLAY.................
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#1643097 - 10/14/04 01:01 PM Re: Pay to Play? - Emergenza
Randy Combs Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 03/30/04
Posts: 95
Loc: Cedar Rapids,Iowa
I got the Emergenza e-mail about 10 times so far.From what I see they want young bands to play for free.They are trying to find some bands they can make money off of.

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#1643098 - 10/14/04 01:27 PM Re: Pay to Play? - Emergenza
Amado Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 10/16/03
Posts: 176
Loc: Florida
Quote:
Originally posted by CMDN:
Dude. Emergenza = Scam.
Just one point for clarification, please: is that your direct experience, or generally-held "industry" knowledge? Or maybe "none of the above," so please let me know.

But that's the most definitive of the responses here, all of which have been very helpful -- thanks, y'all.

Hrm. Not gonna do it, then. The advice here confirms my concerns.

BUT! I did get this from someone who's played it before: "Emergenza was a great experience for us... For the short term of the three or four shows (about one per month), we didn't see much benefit, other than getting to play at some great venues... The MAJOR benefit was making contacts with other bands and with the venues. And now we can say that we made it to the semi-finals and we played at these big clubs, so the little clubs will book us and we can get a litlle $$$$ for playing. We will probably be doing it again this year."

Whaddaya figger?

-A

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#1643099 - 10/14/04 02:20 PM Re: Pay to Play? - Emergenza
The Bear Jew Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 11/13/01
Posts: 7703
Loc: Philadelphia,PA,UNITED STATES
A good friend of mine in the music industry was asked to be a "sponsor" of this event. He resigned VERY quickly after discovering the main people involved were promising all kinds of great stuff to the artists—stuff they couldn't (and never really planned to) deliver.

As a general rule, the only worthwhile music conferences for bands are College Music Journal Music Marathon (CMJ) in New York and The South By Southwest Music Conference (SXSW) in Austin, TX. There are a few other decent ones, like Atlantis and MackRock, but they're all basically cash grabs for the clubs and the event organizers. Yeah, you CAN make band and club contacts by playing these things, but you can do the same thing by just booking shows and touring in those cities.
_________________________
\m/
Erik
"To fight and conquer in all your battles is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists of breaking the enemy's resistance without fighting."
--Sun Tzu

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#1643100 - 10/14/04 02:55 PM Re: Pay to Play? - Emergenza
g. Offline
10k Club

Registered: 01/31/01
Posts: 10021
Yeah, when it really comes down to it there can only be SO many things of this type and still have them be effective. Common sense, I would think. Follow the money trail, I might add.
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#1643101 - 10/14/04 03:16 PM Re: Pay to Play? - Emergenza
Amado Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 10/16/03
Posts: 176
Loc: Florida
Acknowledged and agreed.

My wife put it this way: "Could you make the same contacts by putting together a $5 promo pack and taking the time to go deliver it? Could you get the same 'in' by offering to play one gig at a discount? Then you wouldn't be out $70, maybe the worst that could happen is you get underpaid for a gig here and there."

Word. Thanks again.

-A

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#1643102 - 10/14/04 05:42 PM Re: Pay to Play? - Emergenza
coyote Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 04/16/01
Posts: 7012
Loc: New York,NY,UNITED STATES
I believe it was PT Barnum who expressed something about a "moral obligation to take money from suckers".

NEVER PAY TO PLAY.
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#1643103 - 10/15/04 10:47 AM Re: Pay to Play? - Emergenza
strat0124 Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 04/03/01
Posts: 5056
Loc: ,VA,UNITED STATES
I agree don't pay to play, this ain't Calipornia for Allah's sake! \:\)
However, if you're spending $1000 on a $100 show so to speak, you're basically already paying to play. Well at least its on your own terms though. \:\)
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#1643104 - 10/16/04 04:59 AM Re: Pay to Play? - Emergenza
BlueZet Offline
Gold Member

Registered: 01/04/04
Posts: 716
Loc: right here, until I move again
hey - if you're gonna pay to play anyway, I'll be happy to give you my bank account number, just send me $10 every time you pick up your guitar
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- due to recent cutbacks, the light at the end of the tunnel has been SWITCHED OFF

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#1643105 - 10/16/04 04:09 PM Re: Pay to Play? - Emergenza
martianrebel Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 04/14/03
Posts: 386
Loc: Toronto, Ontario, CANADA
Aw geez....

I know I'm gonna get some ribbing for this, but...

We did the Emergenza thing last year (I'm the one that Amado quoted) and for us, we saw some definite benefits.

The way that we approach our music "business" is we look at where we want to be (getting paid for playing up to 2 shows a month, because we all have day jobs and families) and how to get there...

It can be very difficult to get into even the tiniest bars and clubs in the Toronto area without doing a TON of legwork and non-paying gigs first. We saw Emergenza as a way of meeting other bands and getting to play decent venues. The Opera House in Toronto (where the semi's and finals were held) is a major venue. Metallica have played there. \m/ \:D

Since spending the $75 CDN (that's about $65 U.S.) we received a set of Ernie Ball bass strings, a set of Ernie Ball guitar strings, a pair of Regal Tip sticks and a snare drum head. Which together would retail for approximately $65 - $70. AND we have hooked up with other bands that were in the festival and are since playing paying gigs.

It did the trick for us.

The downside to it was that you have to sell your own tickets to shows for which you are NOT getting paid. AND, because you are competing in the festival, it's kinda hard to get people out to shows where you might be getting paid because you want your fanbase at the Emergenza shows to vote for you so that you can advance. This means that for the short term (3 months), either you play gigs at clubs where no-one knows you so that you can save your fanbase for Emergenza, or you just don't play any shows while the festival is on.

Plus, there are plenty of times, I'm sure, when any band starting out has "paid" to play. Nobody on this forum can tell me that their first show paid for the cost of all of their gear, promotion, music lessons, gas to get to the venue, etc. etc. At the end of the day, you are really only not "paying" to play the day that your personal balance sheet is in the black. It would be an interesting exercise for everyone to take out a sheet of paper and add up all of the costs (gear, promotion, gas, lodging...) and find the point where the band actually starts making money. I'm sure that many people on the forum are still paying to play.

BTW, one band out of the thousands gets a record deal and a tour. Others will get prizes from the regional finals (drums, mics, guitar, bass, etc.)

It all comes down to what you want to achieve, and at what stage of development your band is at.

We've been discussing it and we are seriously considering doing it again. We feel very strongly that we can take the regional final this year and go to Germany. We would probably NEVER consider going to Germany on our own dime.

Anyway, it's one of those situations where you have to figure it out for yourself. It's not going to be the right thing for everyone to do.
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http://www.martianrebel.com

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#1643106 - 10/16/04 10:43 PM Re: Pay to Play? - Emergenza
Bill@Welcome Home Studios Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 08/23/03
Posts: 9613
Quote:
Originally posted by martianrebel:
Aw geez....

It can be very difficult to get into even the tiniest bars and clubs in the Toronto area without doing a TON of legwork and non-paying gigs first.



The downside to it was that you have to sell your own tickets to shows for which you are NOT getting paid.

That's a shame. In the 80s I spent a fair amount of time working in Toronto. Of course, that was as a band from the states with a handful of albums, but we were no big deal, just another indie original punk band.

That whole 'sell your own tickets' thing is the hook. Now I get it. Those types of shows do nothing for you that you could not do for yourself. If you've got to sell tickets, sell them to your own shows and keep the money for yoursleves. Another trick is to partner with a band from another city. We had deals with bands from Cleveland, Akron, Erie, etc. They'd come to our town, we'd book the shows and do the legwork, and they'd get the lions share of the money after PA expenses. They'd do the same thing for us in their towns. It is a good system. People will come out to see a band from another city more willingly than they would for a local act. You open in your town, they headline. You headline in their town, they open.

Its good that the finals in Toronto were in a major venue. The majority of the shows here are in a no big deal local bar, and the finals are in a struggling but cool showcase club just outside of town. Definitely no place for Metallica.

Bill
_________________________
"I believe that entertainment can aspire to be art, and can become art, but if you set out to make art you're an idiot."

Steve Martin

Show business: we're all here because we're not all there.


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#1643107 - 11/14/04 12:10 PM Re: Pay to Play? - Emergenza
wild bill Offline
Member

Registered: 10/15/04
Posts: 12
Loc: holland,pa
EMERGENZA BLOW'S
we did emergenza last time around in philly, we figured what the hell it's exposure, so we went to the first meeting with them, oh for the $70 bucks you'll get strings , straps , sticks and so on, so you'll make back you're $70 bucks, then they tell us the vote process is by show of hands in the club you're playing at, well the first gig at the 5 spot was pretty dam good alot of fun we did a great set at the end of the set they take a count, now mind you we had 65 people there to begin with, just about the whole dam bar had there hands up! about 200 people, so great we move on to the next round, well a few days later we go on there web site to see the vote count and it's at 65 just what we sold in tickets,WHAT THE HELL IS THIS CRAPP! well at the next meeting we confront them about it , oh it must of been a mistake we know you had alot more votes, well we fall into to it and do the next gig at north x north west, still haven't seen the strings,straps or anything else,well here how it goes, you get a 45 min, sound check we get there 1 hour early they shove us on stage right then and there with out our drummer , give us 15 minutes, tell us to bad , well never mind their crapp we got 87 tickets sold plus the rest of the club we'll just tear it up , the sound was sh#@, the sound man had no clue!we do our thing, hands down 250 votes , no other band came close to that number, what happens, a band with , I"M not the type of guy to blast anyone but , a band with little or no talent takes the gig, I mean bad!!!we come to find out they put out another $500 durring the show, meanwhile, emergenza's thing was it's not about the money it's about the music and talent, the band that won the whole philly thing shelled out $1,500 extra to win the whole area finnial's
so take it for what it is DONT DO IT ,IT'S A SCAM!!!!!!! EMERGENZA ARE THEIFS
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WILD BILL
you are who you are, play from the heart, and you'll be set for life!

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#1643108 - 11/23/04 08:32 AM Re: Pay to Play? - Emergenza
Analogaddict Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 08/19/02
Posts: 3148
Loc: Stockholm, Sweden
I did the Emergenza thin a few years ago, I played keys with a friendīs band and I didnīt have to pay anything. The whole money-ticket-sponsor stuff-voting thing is really scammy and uncontrolled, and it usually only works out for the bands that get to the finals. We did, we actually ended up in fourth place, and the singer got some good phone numbers from it. I would probably not do it if I had to pay myself, but if youīre in a young and coming band it can pay off - itīs kind of a scam, but at the same time itīs exposure... itīs a shame that itīs so hard to book original music these days.

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#1643109 - 11/23/04 06:07 PM Re: Pay to Play? - Emergenza
typi Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 12/15/01
Posts: 118
Loc: Coast to Coast
I repeat: Never, EVER pay to play. You are doing yourself and the entire industry a dis-service.
In addition, never, EVER play for FREE unless you are clearly getting something tangible out of it in return (OTHER than empty promises and 'EXPOSURE'). ANYBODY in any industry can work for free, but it accomplishes nothing except screwing up the market for LABOR. Get it?
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"You're either WITH me, or you're AGIN' Me!" (Yosemite Sam)

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#1643110 - 06/22/05 03:27 PM Re: Pay to Play? - Emergenza
wild bill Offline
Member

Registered: 10/15/04
Posts: 12
Loc: holland,pa
did the whole thing with emergenza last year , it's all a big bullshit thing , we did three rounds and on the third round ,hands down we had bar crowd , the other bands , as well as the 125 people with us , some time later that night , we find out that some body's mommy and daddy paid out $200.00 bucks for more tickets to show more people for the band , and well here i am telling you about DON"T DO A DAM THING FOR THOSE ASSHOLES!
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WILD BILL
you are who you are, play from the heart, and you'll be set for life!

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#1643111 - 06/23/05 01:27 AM Re: Pay to Play? - Emergenza
steverm3 Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 01/29/05
Posts: 47
Ok.. We've also played the Emergenza gigs in Chicago. I'm definately not into the pay-to-play B.S. and the over-priced tix that youre supposed to sell and it does kinda piss me off that the organizers probably make a ton of $ from this. It also annoys me that this is in fact a popularity contest not a talent contest and the worst band can move ahead with enough friends. It is what is is and thats how battles go, thats how radio go's, thats unfortunately the biz, its all about the numbers. Even bars dont give a crap if youre good or not, do you draw a crowd? That said, heres the flip-side, it can be a good thing if youre a band trying to get into a club that you otherwise couldnt and you want exposure to other bands crowds OR its potentially a good thing if you have a good following to pull you to further rounds - not to mention, if you have stuff to sell or other gigs to promote, it might be a worth while place to do so. Oh yeah, and we got free beer! haha.. Also, if you have say 4 peeps in your band and arent really playing for the money and simply love to get out and do gigs the $17.50 per member isnt bad for a shot at this "battle". The chance to win equipment at this thing IS real, a friends band that went on to later rounds did actually win some stuff- i forgot what exactly, but they also got to play the best venues in Chicago (Double Door and Metro).. Anyhow, we gained a good amount of new friends and fans out of it (some even showed up to our other shows), played a couple different venues, didnt need to bring our own equipment, got strings, free beer, played Double Door (last yr) and also made money off merch.. It was fun, we'll prob do it again.. to each his own
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#1643112 - 06/26/05 03:43 AM Re: Pay to Play? - Emergenza
GZsound Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 01/17/01
Posts: 6074
Loc: Somewhere in Oregon
I would say that if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. To me, it sounds like a great way to take advantage of naive bands.

I wish I had a nickel for every promoter who has told me "think of the exposure"..

Do not pay to play. Get out there and market your band on your own, or get a booking agency or some internet booking outfit to get you gigs, but only take paying gigs.
_________________________
Mark G.
"A man may fail many times, but he isn't a failure until he begins to blame others" -- John Burroughs

"I consider ethics, as well as religion, as supplements to law in the government of man." -- Thomas Jefferson

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#1643113 - 07/19/05 12:54 AM Re: Pay to Play? - Emergenza
Hellebender Offline
Member

Registered: 07/18/05
Posts: 7
Most contests I have ever entered in the past do not require you to pay anything. Any lugit contest only requires registration for entry. If you have to pay, it's just a way for them to make money and get free entertainment. The real contests are sponsored.

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