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Why gig rates are so low....


Garrafon

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Saw this ad on my local CL today:

 

BAND -AVAILABLE FOR PARTIES,DANCES,NEW YEARS EVE-WILL BEAT ANY PRICE

 

THE BAND "SILVERHEART" IS AVAILABLE FOR PARTIES .WEDDINGS,EVENTS OR ANY FALL OR WINTER EVENTS OR DANCES.WE HAVE ALL THE PARTY OR TRADITIONAL SONGS FOR ANY OCCASION .WE HAVE THE BEST PRICES GOING TOO.WE WILL TRAVEL ANYWHERE .

 

Travel anywhere for rock bottom prices? I think I'll stay home.

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What do you guys think it's a price limit you shouldn't (or you personally wouldn't ) play below? I'm talking about a local venue, 2x 1h sets or 3x 45min sets, price per musician?

In your opinion where is a limit between a low price and a "rock bottom" price.

 

My number is around 60$, and that's imho pretty low, but unfortunately in today's economy it's hard to pass on gigs. I don't get out of the house if it's not at least that much.

 

Would you play for 60$? Would you play for less?

Custom handmade clocks: www.etsy.com/shop/ClockLight
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Well...considering they are having to compete with these damned record spinners who can promise the same thing and whose "rock bottom prices" are even lower....

 

One of those guys on the cover of Keyboard this month...

When an eel hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that's a Moray.
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Well...considering they are having to compete with these damned record spinners who can promise the same thing and whose "rock bottom prices" are even lower....

 

One of those guys on the cover of Keyboard this month...

 

wow! you're cynical (but not untrue in a way... :(

rates are low 'cause people are not going to see/hear live music anymore. It's as simple as that. In my place if you get 70-80 euros per person you're lucky (unless you play with some popular act)

I have done the dj thing many times, as i also work as a radio dj. It's simpler, easier and better payed - but it's not like playing live music with your band. Dj's are lonely wolves, it's so much better to be in a band and PLAY music instead of pressing the play knob on a laptop.

Be grateful for what you've got - a Nord, a laptop and two hands
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I have nothing against DJs in their proper place and that place is radio. I have taught audio production including DJ skills for about 31 years now. I love radio but live music is a completely different thing. Unfortunately the general public views both as interchangeable commodities and it is all price driven.
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I have nothing against DJs in their proper place and that place is radio. I have taught audio production including DJ skills for about 31 years now. I love radio but live music is a completely different thing. Unfortunately the general public views both as interchangeable commodities and it is all price driven.

 

+1

 

If I walk into an event using a DJ, or someone playing only a $50 MIDI controller hooked up to a laptop, I'm outta there.

 

:mad:

 

 

When an eel hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that's a Moray.
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I believe that if you play for free or reduced rates then you'll establish a reputation for that. If you charge what other bands charge or try to fit into your client's "budget" then you'll always be underpaid, undervalued, and drive a depressed market further south.

 

I personally charge $100 per hour, which is not much different than any professional electrician or plumber. I negotiate for time, not rate - buy two hours and I'll throw in the third for example. For NY Eve I told the client my rate was $100/hour and they said they would need me for four hours. That is different from saying that I would charge $400 for the night.

 

I would set a permanent performance rate and stick to it... negotiate for other portions of your services; such as how many keyboards you'll bring, how many or how long your breaks will be, whether you'll bring lights etc. It's much more professional than saying "the least I will take is $___ ".

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I have nothing against DJs in their proper place and that place is radio. I have taught audio production including DJ skills for about 31 years now. I love radio but live music is a completely different thing. Unfortunately the general public views both as interchangeable commodities and it is all price driven.

 

+1

 

If I walk into an event using a DJ, or someone playing only a $50 MIDI controller hooked up to a laptop, I'm outta there.

 

:mad:

 

 

Why? Don't you consider a DJ-set a valid "form" of entertainment?

I've been in places where a skilled Dj "brought down" the house. And in other places where a bad cover band made me want to leave.

Be grateful for what you've got - a Nord, a laptop and two hands
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If I walk into an event using a DJ, or someone playing only a $50 MIDI controller hooked up to a laptop, I'm outta there.

 

:mad:

 

 

Why? Don't you consider a DJ-set a valid "form" of entertainment?

 

Let me clarify... if I know in advance there is a DJ playing tunes, no problem, but if I'm led to believe there will be a band, it's a real letdown.

When an eel hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that's a Moray.
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If I walk into an event using a DJ, or someone playing only a $50 MIDI controller hooked up to a laptop, I'm outta there.

 

:mad:

 

 

Why? Don't you consider a DJ-set a valid "form" of entertainment?

 

Let me clarify... if I know in advance there is a DJ playing tunes, no problem, but if I'm led to believe there will be a band, it's a real letdown.

 

 

Right, this is another story. Waiting for a band and seeing a Dj is a turnoff...

Be grateful for what you've got - a Nord, a laptop and two hands
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I would set a permanent performance rate and stick to it... negotiate for other portions of your services;

 

Yes! This is the single best thing you can do - - it's not even opinion, it's a fact. Major companies do it, hot dogs stands do it - - even the birds and the bees .. . sorry . .. .

 

It's trick to find that number for yourself. You have to consider what your market will bear, but more importantly, you have to understand that you will inevitably turn away some folks who can't afford you. You will also, in some instances, work for less than what a client is willing to pay.

 

But - -if you can find that number for youself, it'll bring you some serious gig zen. Clients will pick up on that - -and voila, they'll dig working with you - -and you'll get more gigs.

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rates are low 'cause people are not going to see/hear live music anymore. It's as simple as that.

 

Yes re: people not going for live music as much. Not so sure on "it's as simple as that."

 

DJ's are less expensive, but they are now a permanent part of live entertainment. Is it just the cost? No - - the real thing that DJ's enable for the crowd is something people always want from the moment they see their first performance - - to BE the show. (heck, it's the same thing that drove most of us into being musicians, right?)

 

Think about today's "club" - -it's yesterday's band gig in reverse. Today, the lights and focus are on the crowd, which is now the actual show. The show takes place on the dancefloor, which is now the "stage." The DJ - -even the popular ones - -are basically "backstage", supporting and enabling this show.

 

 

 

 

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Think about today's "club" - -it's yesterday's band gig in reverse. Today, the lights and focus are on the crowd, which is now the actual show. The show takes place on the dancefloor, which is now the "stage." The DJ - -even the popular ones - -are basically "backstage", supporting and enabling this show.

 

 

 

 

What you say is really clever and stimulating. People want to dance, participate, be part of the show - I feel it every time I DJ. I provide the music, but I don't get the lights on me.

That's what I always say to my die-hard-jazz musician friends of mine every time I attend one of their shows (and after the 10nth bass solo). Try to make your audience part of the show, don't show off...

Be grateful for what you've got - a Nord, a laptop and two hands
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Why? Don't you consider a DJ-set a valid "form" of entertainment?

I've been in places where a skilled Dj "brought down" the house. And in other places where a bad cover band made me want to leave.

 

Have seen a Berlin "Festival Concert 2011" in german MTV last week.

Stage large like made for the Rolling Stones, gigantic sound system and lights,- the audience 50.000 people if not more.

One man on the stage, a laptop and 2 turntables.

Crowd went crazy and celebrated him like the Rolling Stones !

Same gesture and behaviour of the crowd like in a large rock event, standing in front of the stage and filling the area for hrs..

 

For the young generations, it doesn´t matter whether there´s music coming out of a can or from a live band,- they don´t differenciate.

 

That´s the facts and it´s also a fact such DJ grabs between 15.000.- and 25.000.- EUR a night these days.

Already in the 90th, a DJ like Sven Väth grabbed DM 15.000.- up and plus VAT for a night.

 

So, the money is there and is been spent for music events, but not for live performing musicians unless these are been played in the clubs, the radio and in TV and have lots of payed downloads, album sales and internet presentation.

 

There´s no need to play for 50 bucks when the audience doesn´t want to hear you at all because they want to hear the stuff they know from hip clubs.

Better don´t play for cheap, you´ll burn out from that and it´s a big frustration knowing the fees of DJs.

 

It´s not a matter of the economy we all get low money, the reason is the change in taste and what the masses expect from a event today.

 

My former crewguy works for Rammstein since 3 years and worldwide and we meet this week ´cause there´s a tour break.

It is a rock band and they are sold out everywhere.

Let´s say, it´s also some arts to establish something that way.

The audience wants a spectacular event, not only for the ears but also for the eyes and THEY define what´s spectacular and what´s not.

There are more examples ...

 

In the past, dance music was, a small ensemble playing live in a bar, pub or club.

Then it was a top 40 band playing live w/ all the complexity and investment a original rock band had, playing the stuff the audience knew from records.

 

Today, the music the audience knows from records is in most cases made with computers/machines and w/o a band.

Very often there´s no singer at all and thus no identification w/ a "frontman".

It´s clear, this music can be done w/ machines live too.

Times changed and the audience pays the tickets.

For what they pay is totally uninteresting for a concert tour agency and that also rules for club owners.

 

If you fill the clubs and stadiums,- you´ll get all the money you want for sure.

 

A.C.

 

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Rammstein is not only a great band, but their videos/show presentation is very artistic as well. There are many aspects of german expressionism and russian avant guard there, and there's too much team work behind each show ( i prefer the word "concert" in their case)

People pay to see one of their concert 'cause they know that they'll get back what they payed for and more.

Be grateful for what you've got - a Nord, a laptop and two hands
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That´s the facts and it´s also a fact such DJ grabs between 15.000.- and 25.000.- EUR a night these days.

 

:freak:

 

One person makes that much... per night?

 

Now that's a "Martha Stewart" job!

 

Τhere must be around 20 Djs that make this money. After this... chaos :freak:

 

Be grateful for what you've got - a Nord, a laptop and two hands
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You get what you pay for.

 

WARNING: Women, please do not be offended, as the terms I'm using below are not gender specific in any way shape or form.

 

You can be a slut or a whore; I prefer being a whore.

 

Plus, there's the reasonable expectation that a whore knows what he/she is doing, unlike a slut who may or may not have a clue, but is generally so lacking in self-esteem that any port in a storm as they say.

Hitting "Play" does NOT constitute live performance. -Me.
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I agree with the statement, "Hitting "play" does not constitute live performance."

 

As mentioned before, I sometimes perform solo gigs in coffeehouses (and similar settings). Some of my material is electronic in nature, but I'm not a DJ... I bring along 2 keyboards and actually play as much of my music as possible. When I see videos of electronic musicians who compose and play their tunes with actual gear in the studio, but are "performing" live as a DJ, that just seems phony to me. I want to see synths onstage and some talent when I go to a show.

 

:rolleyes:

 

 

When an eel hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that's a Moray.
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If I'm being hired to play, I want to get at least $100. That's not to say I haven't worked for $75 or even $50...but if there are any expectations from my band to draw people..I want to get at least $100. That being said, some of the most fun gigs I've ever played have been freebees. I think it's because all ties between a club owner's expectations and my actual performance were completely severed.

A.J. Blues

Manager and Keyboardist

The Tash Brothers Band

www.myspace.com/TheTashBrothersBand

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Rammstein is not only a great band, but their videos/show presentation is very artistic as well. There are many aspects of german expressionism and russian avant guard there, and there's too much team work behind each show ( i prefer the word "concert" in their case)

People pay to see one of their concert 'cause they know that they'll get back what they payed for and more.

 

Totally agree and Rammstein was only one example.

There are more examples in other styles of music too.

We have top acts everywhere.

The difference is, even for some jazz and rock or fusion top acts, the income went down, but not for the top DJs which replaced the popstars since 2 decades now.

It started slow mid 80th already,- and grew w/ a exponential curve.

But also in the DJ scene rules, not the best makes the most of the money, the one w/ the best marketing does and that´s teamwork always.

 

Rammstein stated very poor as a band from east germany and for many people in germany they rule as a Nazi band (what they are NOT) up today.

In fact, they have much more success all over the world than in germany and you rarely see ´em in TV (except MTV) or hear ´em in the radio here.

Even their management isn´t the most established in germany we all know, it´s a formerly unknown one from east germany too.

They all never gave up in all the early years and now there´s the success.

It´s all possible everywhere, but only a few will survive.

 

For the gigging weekend warrior like in the past, it´s bad times and there´s eventually no end.

There´s also the generation problem.

I made my income w/ relatively big and sometimes big acts only which worked for more than a quarter of a century, than it changed.

The old acts disappeared, recording in rented studios w/ rented musicians disappeared, the age became a factor too because a younger generation of musicians came up w/ less demands to enter the more rare jobs now.

They simply started doing the same work for much less money and very often they didn´t know what they do there.

They survived some years and new ones came working more cheaper.

It started to become a paradise for organizers, presenters, ticket sellers and promoters and if you watched the ticket prices over the past 2 decades, there was never a price drop, the opposite is the case.

So, the money is there, it´s only the question to where it goes.

Playing for cheap is the wrong way, if it begins it will never end.

I know the fees and I´d never play for EUR 50.- to be "in".

If I have to do that, I make music for fun but not for the public.

Now, many musicians work for that amount of money but I made 10-20x more per day from late 70th ´til 2003 and that pricedrop is too much.

Every hr. I´m out from home counts.

Sitting in a tourbus or in a hotel even at off-days to me means I cannot do any other job,- so it has to be payed.

It makes no sence doing inefficient work.

It´s a profession like any other.

 

A.C.

 

 

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What do you guys think it's a price limit you shouldn't (or you personally wouldn't ) play below? I'm talking about a local venue, 2x 1h sets or 3x 45min sets, price per musician?

In your opinion where is a limit between a low price and a "rock bottom" price.

 

My number is around 60$, and that's imho pretty low, but unfortunately in today's economy it's hard to pass on gigs. I don't get out of the house if it's not at least that much.

 

Would you play for 60$? Would you play for less?

 

I would play for it, and have if the band are musicians I want to play with. If it was a gig I w

We are all slave's to our brain chemistry!

 

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Think about today's "club" - -it's yesterday's band gig in reverse. Today, the lights and focus are on the crowd, which is now the actual show. The show takes place on the dancefloor, which is now the "stage." The DJ - -even the popular ones - -are basically "backstage", supporting and enabling this show.

 

This post could have been written in 1978. Everything that goes around, comes around.

 

 

 

 

 

 

____________________________________
Rod

victoria bc

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Think about today's "club" - -it's yesterday's band gig in reverse. Today, the lights and focus are on the crowd, which is now the actual show. The show takes place on the dancefloor, which is now the "stage." The DJ - -even the popular ones - -are basically "backstage", supporting and enabling this show.

 

This post could have been written in 1978. Everything that goes around, comes around.

 

 

 

 

 

 

except that there was no internet, or PCs, or Macs

We are all slave's to our brain chemistry!

 

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I won't go out the door for under $100, and then only for a gig with great players/friends, or hosting a jam night, where I only play the first set and the odd song here or there.

 

If it's a "real" gig, my minimum is $150, and I turn down work regularly.

 

My normal take is definitely higher than my minimum. :thu:

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I have nothing against DJs in their proper place and that place is radio. I have taught audio production including DJ skills for about 31 years now. I love radio but live music is a completely different thing. Unfortunately the general public views both as interchangeable commodities and it is all price driven.

 

+1

 

If I walk into an event using a DJ, or someone playing only a $50 MIDI controller hooked up to a laptop, I'm outta there.

 

:mad:

 

 

Why? Don't you consider a DJ-set a valid "form" of entertainment?

I've been in places where a skilled Dj "brought down" the house. And in other places where a bad cover band made me want to leave.

 

Not even close. There is nothing like spending your life to try an learn and instrument. Don't get me started.

"Danny, ci manchi a tutti. La E-Street Band non e' la stessa senza di te. Riposa in pace, fratello"

 

 

noblevibes.com

 

 

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