"A Gig is a Gig"

Discussion in 'Live Performance & Stage Sound' started by scottro202, Mar 13, 2011.

  1. scottro202

    scottro202 I'm walkin' here!!!

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    So, I went to a show at a local-Atlanta venue that won't be named, seeing if my band should book there. In a nuthsell, the answer was NO. But, all the bands I talked to were cool, and bands of my band's style play there. So, the morning after, I'm starting to rethink it. Maybe we should book there, despite the fact I experienced (just as a concertgoer) why all the bands I've talked to who've played there said it's shit. This one venue almost seems like a right of passage for local ATL bands to play, like an initiation of sorts.

    Anyways, my ultimate question is, to you guys, is a gig a gig? In other words, do you guys have "standards" as to where you will book? Or if the place just has a PA and a room will you go for it? I'm mostly asking the local bands here, but I suppose it applies to the big touring acts on here as well.

    TL,DR: Do you have "standards" for booking gigs, ESPECIALLY when first starting out.
     
  2. Explorer

    Explorer He seldomly knows...

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    I have one *huge* standard for a gig being a gig: actually getting paid.

    That's it. If the pay is right, I'll do a wedding or a bar mitzvah.

    Shitty pay and great exposure? Most bands die of exposure.

    If you're a serious professional band (and by "professional," I mean doing it for a living), then you don't play gigs as a hobby. Sure, the venue needs to make money on top of expenses... but so do the bands. If a venue can't afford to hire a real band and *still* make money, don't be the charitable donor who enables them to make money at your expense.

    Oh, one more thing! Written contract!

    Good luck!
     
  3. steve1

    steve1 SS.org Regular

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    try to avoid gigs where you only get paid if you bring a certain amount of people or sell a certain amount of tickets etc, this is an instant sign that the promoter is a lazy ass.
     
  4. Ckackley

    Ckackley SS.org Regular

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    We've always pretty much played anywhere. If there's no PA we bring our own. Pay to play , set amount. Doesn't matter. If you're not out there people don't know who you are. Play anywhere there's an electric plug. Or carry a generator. Done that once or twice too. lol
     
  5. Ckackley

    Ckackley SS.org Regular

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    Almost every club/venure in the US is set up this way unfrotunately. :ugh:
     
  6. Soubi7string

    Soubi7string WOP WOP WOP WOP WOP

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    pay to play NEVER, set amount is ok, first show and you're local = no pay is understandable to a degree
     
  7. lookralphsbak

    lookralphsbak SS.org Regular

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    The only way we won't play a show is if it's with a promoter that has dicked us or if the show is with a band(s) we don't necessarily like or bands that don't fit our style/bands with fans that don't fit our style. Being an extreme band from NY there are a lot of NYHC influenced bands around here. Bands that have 2-3 breakdowns in every song they write. The fans of this style of music are the pit ninjas that only listen to music with breakdowns so they can dance to them. I don't want to be associated with these bands/fans nor do I want my band associated with them. Pay isn't a big deal to us at this point because we are still in the process of building a fan base. Every show we get offered I look at it as "well band A is this genre and band B is this genre, in theory our music is similar enough that their fans will most likely get into our music so we should play this show because we will leave the venue with at least 1 fan". My band as of now is at the point where our "fan base" is mostly made up of family and friends with a handful of people that are legit fans of the music we write and will come see us because we're playing a show. Before we can choose not to play shows for the reasons listed in the original post we need a solid fan base within our hometown.
     
  8. sleepy502

    sleepy502 SS.org Regular

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    We have a couple venues we won't play at just because of acoustics. For example, there is a church venue which is just awful.

    Other than that, I'll play anytime, anywhere for any amount of money, even if it's free or at least for a good cause. I love playing shows.
     
  9. lookralphsbak

    lookralphsbak SS.org Regular

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    Oh yea that too... I love playing shows hahaha
     
  10. Soubi7string

    Soubi7string WOP WOP WOP WOP WOP

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    I love you.....slayer
     
  11. rotebass

    rotebass SS.org Regular

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    I disagree with this to an extent, I would understand not wanting to play with a pop punk band if you're playing death metal or something. But refusing to play with bands that play the same genre, because you don't like the way they play it is a bad attitude IMO. For all you know, there could be some kids at that show that would like your band's music, that just happen to also enjoy the other band's music.
     
  12. Razzy

    Razzy [10]

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    +1

    My band plays with bands of the same genre all the time that don't do it like us so we can steal their fans.

    We had one band in particular get PISSED at us because a lot of THEIR fans left after we played, which was BEFORE they played.
     
  13. AvantGuardian

    AvantGuardian Orange Vigilante

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    To the OP - I didn't really see in your post WHY you don't want to play the venue.

    I think the largest factor that goes into choosing gigs for me is whether or not people will show up, which obviously depends on a lot more than the venue, but the venue does impact that to some extent (i.e. - do people wander in off the street? do my friends like to come out to that neighborhood? is it a place people go hang out whether they know who is playing or not?).

    Things like sound quality, guaranteed money, overall reasonableness of the staff, etc. are important, but in general, lots of people = good gig. If it was pay to play or there was some real asshole running the booking or something, I could see why you'd want to stay away, but if you think you can play there and draw a crowd, why not?
     
  14. Explorer

    Explorer He seldomly knows...

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    I have a question, since I clearly don't understand something.

    I've been in groups where we had an agent, who would get us paying gigs. We'd sell merchandise as well.

    If I was in a group which hadn't built up to a certain level, we didn't get gigs.

    *However*... if we were playing out, and had our shit together, we'd be booked for gigs.

    ----

    I've seen book "publishers" who charge someone to print up a bunch of copies. This type of publisher is known as a vanity press.

    Is there currently a system where bands pay money in order to play on a stage?

    And, if you're not yet good enough to get a paying gig, what's the angle? Why pay to play on a stage?

    If you think you can bring in the crowd, why not just hire a venue and run a show? I've gone that route, and it works out okay.

    Just curious!
     
  15. AvantGuardian

    AvantGuardian Orange Vigilante

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    ^

    Here's a little blog/writeup about pay to play:

    Pay to Play? - Psychology

    Its not mine, but it basically sums it up. I lived in Hollywood for a couple of years and it was annoying as hell when your friends would be begging you to buy tickets to go see them play the Whisky on a Tuesday at like 1am. I don't know of pay to play existing in Seattle, but it was rampant in Hollywood, and basically a scam (i.e. if your band is good enough to make money at a pay to play venue, you're probably too good to be playing that venue). I mean, if its your dream to play at the Roxy for like 10 people and you're willing to pay like $300 to make it happen, fine, but otherwise I'd probably avoid that kind of a deal.
     
  16. Explorer

    Explorer He seldomly knows...

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    Oh my god, a vanity venue.

    Excellent blog link. +1 to your rep, good sir.
     
  17. troyguitar

    troyguitar SS.org Regular

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    A lot of venues are like that - bands have to buy X tickets to play. Often the playing order is determined entirely by the number of tickets each band buys. In fact I know of very few venues around here that aren't like that...
     
  18. Soubi7string

    Soubi7string WOP WOP WOP WOP WOP

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    The Masquerade in atlanta only pays you if you sell enough tickets and if you don't you don't get paid and you are stuck with a heap of tickets you have to buy, last I remember that is.
     
  19. Ryan-ZenGtr-

    Ryan-ZenGtr- SS.org Regular

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    I think Explorer said it best .... Don't enable the exploiters... A culture has grown up globally of the venue exploiting amateur musicians. I doubt anyone here falls into that category. If the musician's unions were still strong, it couldn't happen...

    Who else gives their work for free? Don't do it unless it works for you... And again, as Explorer says, hire the venue yourself if you want to put on an event.

    I've seen great venues in my area and further afield literally KILL their business with pay to play. Only the noobs will do it, so of course, any one with ears stops visiting the venue randomly and ONLY go at gunpoint or if there is a "worthy" advertised event on.

    By noobs, I'm talking about teeny bands in schools or colleges, singers with still breaking voices.... I'm not painting a picture here, but you get the idea. These used to be places of heritage, but now.... *sigh*

    Nothing new though, the London music scene has always been a corrupt hive of villainy. All the famous Brits Americans hear about (1960's) played in Reggie Kray's club, a notorious gangster. 1 example is enough for today.

    Mini rant + call to arms my musician brothers & sisters! I hope no one minds. :)
     
    Mr. Big Noodles likes this.
  20. Ryan-ZenGtr-

    Ryan-ZenGtr- SS.org Regular

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    Don't what I wrote, go ready the article AvantGuardian suggested:

    Pay to Play? - Psychology

    by Scott James

    Very cool!

    +1 for Ericcsonian affirment PMA stylings!

    Looks like an interesting site, too.
     

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