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#2305060 - 05/24/11 09:24 PM Benefits...
Griffinator Offline
TPS cook & bottle washer
20k Club

Registered: 03/28/02
Posts: 20318
Loc: Lynchburg, VA, USA
Seems to me that, these days, every idiot on the planet is trying to organize a benefit concert for all sorts of nonsense - some friend had a baby that had a heart defect, some guy has cancer, some woman was in a car wreck, some couple's house burned down, the list goes on and on. Don't get me wrong, I feel for these people, but at what point was it decided that the most efficient way to raise money for such a cause was to try and drag every band in the area into playing a show?

I mean, it wouldn't be so bad if these people actually took the additional necessary steps to attract a crowd by, I don't know, maybe working with the local media? But no, most of these shows wind up being complete duds where no one shows up except the friends of the organizer (who were on the "guest list" for some reason) and the other bands.

I swear, my new band hasn't even played our first normal show, and we're already being harassed to play "benefit" shows for every Tom, Dick, and Harry who had a stroke of bad luck everywhere from here to Roanoke.

Where does it stop? I mean, I could probably keep us booked 4 nights a week from now until September just playing these silly benefit concerts for free. Of course, the folks putting these shows together can't comprehend this, and get all offended when I try to politely turn them down...

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#2305065 - 05/24/11 10:23 PM Re: Benefits... [Re: Griffinator]
J. Dan Offline
Bannination Free Since '08
10k Club

Registered: 07/25/08
Posts: 12326
Loc: St. Louis, MO
Our booking agent told me he gets calls like that for us almost every day and just turns them all down. The excuse he gives is that we make a living doing this and if we did a free show, it would mean turning down a paying one, and we have bills to pay.

I've offered to do shows at regular price and encourage and members to donate a portion of their cut to the cause.

But think about it - normally charities hit up the wealthy for donations. A band playing for free is a donation, and I guarantee many musicians are amongst the poorest in the community.
_________________________
Dan

Acoustic/Electric stringed instruments ranging from 4 to 230 strings, hammered, picked, fingered, slapped, and plucked. Analog and Digital Electronic instruments, reeds, and throat/mouth.

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#2415041 - 05/27/12 07:30 AM Re: Benefits... [Re: J. Dan]
Brocko777 Offline
Platinum Member

Registered: 12/26/05
Posts: 1101
Loc: Rhode Island
We have one going on today and one coming up in 2 weeks.

I totally agree that the people putting the event on think that since they get some bands that their work is done and people will come rolling in.

We had one Benefit (known now as Ben1) post in another benefit (Ben2) which Ben1 was obviously invited/joined/liked and started complaining that Ben2 was getting a lot more buzz that their Ben1 event. ?!?

Ben2 has busted butts getting people involved, daily updates and discussions. Ben1, the only reason I know about it (which I Liked/Joined/Invited) was because of the crying.

Granted, both are good causes but once again take responsibility for your own butt and get out there and do it!

Of course this won't reach the right people that need to read this and realize what needs to be done but it floors me to see this reaction.

Brocko
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Don't have a job you don't enjoy. If you're happy in what you're doing, you'll like yourself, you'll have inner peace. ~ Johnny Carson

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#2415908 - 05/31/12 12:43 PM Re: Benefits... [Re: Brocko777]
The Bear Jew Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 11/13/01
Posts: 7703
Loc: Philadelphia,PA,UNITED STATES
I don't mind doing benefits from time to time. It's nice to help folks. However, I must admit we're not asked to do them often (surprisingly, doom metal bands aren't high on the list of preferred benefit acts /sarcasm), and we tend to decline any offer that looks like there might be a hassle involved--bad sound, inappropriate crowd for our music, too many bands already on the bill, weird shared equipment situation, etc. I don't mind donating my time to a worthy cause, but I really hate wasting it on disorganization and nonsense.
_________________________
\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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#2427813 - 07/25/12 10:42 AM Re: Benefits... [Re: The Bear Jew]
Ouizel Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 07/22/03
Posts: 4226
Loc: Memphis,TN, USA
I've done benefit shows, and don't mind doing them. With that said, there is something to be said for proper promotion, and, of course, we just can't do them all.
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**Standard Disclaimer** Ya gotta watch da Ouizel, as he often posts complete and utter BS. In this case however, He just might be right. Eagles may soar, but Ouizels don't get sucked into jet engines.

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#2460588 - 01/05/13 09:51 PM Re: Benefits... [Re: Ouizel]
robare99 Offline
Member

Registered: 01/05/13
Posts: 3
Loc: Canada
The only time my band plays a benefit for free, is if someone in the band personally knew the person it was for.

That's not very often. Other than that, it's our regular rate. The caterer is getting paid, the hall is getting paid, why should we do it for free.

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#2469951 - 02/08/13 04:21 PM Re: Benefits... [Re: robare99]
SpaceNorman Offline
Platinum Member

Registered: 12/07/06
Posts: 1308
Loc: Michigan
My band does one benefit annually. For the past 7 years we've played a banquet/silent auction for the Homes for Our Troops organization. Homes for Our Troops is a national organization that raises money and coordinates construction efforts to provide severely wounded veterans with homes designed to allow them the mobility and assistance for everyday life. Typically this means entrances, floorplans, kitchens and bathrooms designed with wheelchairs in mind. Some of the construction projects are retrofits .. some are new construction. The veterans who receive them are all severly injured.

The event is held each may a a local banquet facility and is well attended (400-500 guests). We provide PA, pre-recorded walk-in and dinner music - as well as a 90-120 minutes of the band playing. We also provide wireless mics and our PA for the "speeches" portion of the evening.

With several veterans in the group (my self included), we feel it's a worthwhile cause - and look forward to participating each year.
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The SpaceNorman

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#2472494 - 02/18/13 07:38 PM Re: Benefits... [Re: SpaceNorman]
J. Dan Offline
Bannination Free Since '08
10k Club

Registered: 07/25/08
Posts: 12326
Loc: St. Louis, MO
I generally say no. But if it's more of a personal cause and the entire band is on board, then fine. But if even one band member doesn't want to do it for free, then the band is sort of pressuring him/her to give up their time and talent for no compensation. I think to do any free gig, the entire band has to be 100% on board, and understand that no reward should ever be expected...I.e, exposure and what not. It's charity, meaning you give freely with no return. No expectations,
_________________________
Dan

Acoustic/Electric stringed instruments ranging from 4 to 230 strings, hammered, picked, fingered, slapped, and plucked. Analog and Digital Electronic instruments, reeds, and throat/mouth.

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#2489005 - 04/29/13 08:36 AM Re: Benefits... [Re: J. Dan]
Jason Stanfield Offline
Gold Member

Registered: 12/17/08
Posts: 667
Loc: Madison, MS
I play benefit gigs all the time ... specifically, I play for a charity called Jason & Friends Have Bills To Pay, and it's a very worthy cause.
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Jason Stanfield

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#2491013 - 05/06/13 02:01 PM Re: Benefits... [Re: Jason Stanfield]
SpaceNorman Offline
Platinum Member

Registered: 12/07/06
Posts: 1308
Loc: Michigan
It's a little bit of a tangent - but how do ya'll handle it when a bandmate asks if the band is willing to play an event that's not a benefit per se - but is something near and dear to the bandmate who's making the request (i.e., a cousin's wedding, a family member's private party, etc.)?

Our solution has been to come up with the "bandmate special" price - which is we'll play 'em at a reduced fee ($100 per man - which means $500 to the band) - assuming that the requesting bandmate is donating his time. The "bandmate special" pricing lets a bandmate offer the band to family at a significantly discounted rate / and bolster his "rock star" status with family that might never see the band otherwise - without killing the rest of us.

How do you guys handle similar situations?
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The SpaceNorman

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