Mandatory Ticket Sales (by band) to play gig

Discussion in 'Live Performance & Stage Sound' started by ScurrilousNerd, Jan 13, 2014.

  1. The Reverend

    The Reverend GHETTO KING OF SWAG

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    I hear what you're saying, and I agree up to a point. I don't think it's the promoter's job to do 100% of the legwork, but I think they should do more than create a flyer (that they send bands to print and post everywhere) and a Facebook event page.

    Also, since capitalism is raising its ugly head, I think it's in the interest of everyone involved to do their best to create a thriving scene. When the venues and promoters are only concerned about making sure they make x amount of money a night, you open the door to rampant abuse like we've heard about in this thread, i.e. pre-sale tickets that the band sees no money from. I would almost look at venues and booking agents as curators, in a sense. Instead of deluging the scene with high school kids and their shit bands, because you know each one will draw a good number for their first few shows, help a truly talented band by putting them on shows likely to draw some exposure.

    My experience in Houston was like that. There were a few locals that had grown big enough that putting three of them in headlining spots was good enough to draw a great crowd. That's a result achieved by bands not playing every show they can, and booking agents putting them on tickets that will raise their local profile.

    TL;DR: Help the good bands help themselves, and everyone is a winner.
     
  2. MoshJosh

    MoshJosh SS.org Regular

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    In my town this is pretty standard practice and honestly I totally understand why. The ratio of bands to potential venue goers is way off and many local band aren't ready to play shows and don't have their own gear but still want gigs. Seems like (at least in my area) being a promoter would kinda suck
     
  3. MassNecrophagia

    MassNecrophagia has no friends

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    I keep seeing this "15" popping up for ticket sales, and it makes my stomach churn. Granted, Phoenix is a very large, very populated area, but we're looking at 40-50 for opening slots, 50-100 for "local headliner" on national shows.
     
  4. GunpointMetal

    GunpointMetal SS.org Regular

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    as in you have to sell 100 tickets to play? Man, I'm starting to think I should just quit....or become a booking agent pretending to be a promoter and makes bands do all the work!
     
  5. scottro202

    scottro202 I'm walkin' here!!!

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    That's about it for Atlanta, too. If you're any good anyways :lol:
     
  6. imnotnollynollynolly

    imnotnollynollynolly SS.org Regular

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    OP, where in Ontario are you? At least you guys have something lol, there's literally nothing in Newmarket anymore in terms of local metal/hardcore/metalcore/anything like that shows. Having to sell a few tickets before is reasonable IMO, especially 15 which isn't that bad. What is BS is when you don't get any cut of that, which is usually how it works and is pretty stupid. Lot's of good points made in this thread.
     
  7. WhiteWalls

    WhiteWalls SS.org Regular

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    I forgot to mention in my earlier posts that when you buy tickets from a promoter to resell them, they SHOULD be discounted. It doesn't have to be a huge discount, but something like from 10 to 8 is reasonable, so that you can make a bit of profit to sort of make it worth the time.

    Some years ago I was filling in in a band that was opening for Periphery, and the deal was 20 tickets at 15€, for which we paid 13€ each. That is a deal I consider acceptable, because we easily sold them all and we made the gas money back.
    Being asked to sell 100 tickets to open for a no-name headliner with guaranteed loss would seriously offend me and I would laugh in the promoter's face. And it's disheartening to see how many bands regularly accept those conditions over and over again.
     
  8. ScurrilousNerd

    ScurrilousNerd SS.org Regular

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    We're in the Ottawa area!

    And to the people saying 15 is reasonable, I agree but it can be frustrating when you're selling to the same people every time and playing with the same bands all the time and it turns into "we just came to one of your shows" or "we just played with you guys".

    Especially when we're selling to our age group (teenagers) who have little cash, and don't want to pay $15 to go to a show that they have to drive 30+ minutes to.
     
  9. Alex Kenivel

    Alex Kenivel Psycho, dont engage

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    They suck the money out of our dreams. I've never sold a ticket or paid to play anywhere. I've hopped onto DIY tours with excellent turnouts. You just gotta meet the right ppl at the right time.
     
  10. Blasphemer

    Blasphemer Bird Law expert

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    Damn, that's brutal. I can't imagine selling 40-50 tickets for a show. But, at the same time, the population differences between Arizona and Maine are pretty vast, I would assume.

    Selling 15 tickets in my area is even kind of tough, just due to how the scene is. There is a core group of people who go to shows, some of whom are in bands who may get asked to play the show. Having 5 different bands ask the same 30 kids to buy tickets from them all the time just isn't going to happen, and having your friends and other acquaintances come out to see you every other week or so just isn't going to happen, ether.

    The upside to this, though, is that in Maine, and even moreso in my neck of the woods (literally :lol:), there has been a bit of a reworking of shows and bands playing. More DIY shows and venues have been popping up in what I would assume is a direct retaliation to the "pay to play" style clubs that used to be all there was around. Ticket sales area all at the door, or "donation only" since most of the bands are within an hour drive (which in Maine really isn't that far, considering I usually have to drive 25 minutes to get to the supermarket). When bands from extreme ends of the state play, they'll get paid, though. People who go to shows are actually invested in the scene, and seem to care about both the bands/music, and the people quite a bit.

    It's kind of refreshing to be here and in a mostly DIY scene, but also frustrating for when you're looking to branch out of your area like my band is. Having a following in a state most people think is part of Canada doesn't mean squat when you're talking to venues/booking people in other areas.
     
  11. youngthrasher9

    youngthrasher9 SS.org Regular

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    I can see how some promoters aren't greedy weasels, but this pay to play crap doesn't really make sense.

    A band paying to play is not likely to have a huge following in the first place, so why the hell does the promoter think the idea of pay to play is even feasible? It seems like if the promoter had an idea of how big the band in the scene was he would sweeten the deal for gigs for bands just starting out. Like giving drink discounts with each ticket to the gig sold (assuming it was a bar). 15 tickets isn't to unreasonable but I can understand some bands who aren't totally familiar with the audience not being able to sell more than a couple tickets.

    If the band can sell 50 tickets themselves, WTF do they need a promoter for? Seriously, they can announce a gig online, and put posters on local billboards. Forgive me if I'm mistaken, I've never actually played in a band (besides a church band a few times).

    Just my .02
     
  12. Albionic

    Albionic First of the magi

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    Am i right in thinking this pay to play or selling tickets deal is basically buying your way on to a bill with a national band?

    I like the idea of putting on and promoting your own shows perhaps get your friends who have bands and try to create your own scene. Try and talk some small local bars into doing a rock/metal night during the week on a night when they are not busy offer to play for free perhaps even don't charge an entrance fee. Even if a bar owner hates metal if you can bring in people who are spending money he will be happy as long as the bar isn't trashed.

    This is the first rung of the ladder not playing support to a national band. Use the web to promote the hell out of your band hand out fliers. Do it yourself rather than expect some promoter top do it for you. If it becomes clear that you are able to draw a small crowd then the bigger places who have national bands play won't be able to ignore you.

    You cannot build a reputation in one big show and losing cash every show is unsustainable long term. Swallow your pride play halls/small bars give metal fans something cheap to do on a night with nothing else on.
     
  13. abandonist

    abandonist Banned

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  14. The Reverend

    The Reverend GHETTO KING OF SWAG

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    This is actually a really good article. I agree a lot with the two points about not playing too often and making your shows events. I get event invites from the same bands all too often, and I just completely ignore them now. If you had some kind of hook to get me to go, AND you don't play every other weekend, I might be interested enough to go.

    At the same time, though, I miss how going to shows was how we used to hang out.
     
  15. robare99

    robare99 SS.org Regular

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    As a local sound guy, normally lights & sound for a hall event would run you $1000. But I'd do it for $600, to help out the scene. But that's still a pretty good chunk of change.

    Gives you a nice playground though. The bad news is, it would take 40 tickets to cover the cost. Then there's the hall as well. That's before trying to pay any of the bands.

    No haze:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    With haze, depending on the headroom:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I'll make ya look and sound good, but it's not free.
     
  16. ke7mix

    ke7mix SS.org Regular

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    There are two main venues that my band plays in Seattle, both of which give you presale tickets one is mandatory (50) one is optional (35) and both venues let you keep 3 dollars a ticket. I personally see no problem in this at all. If there are 5 bands on the bill and the 3 locals are bringing in 150+ people as well as the headliners thats nothing but good publicity for you. My 5 piece band works our A$$ off to sell all of the tickets for every show and there are few instinces where we have under sold.
    This can go for any town - If you can sell all of your pre-sales and have a reputation for it, you will get good shows. Im playing with SoulFly next week.
    Pre-sales can really help your band, and if you cant sell them, it is your own fault.
     
  17. GunpointMetal

    GunpointMetal SS.org Regular

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    The thing that pisses me off about is the bands that sell the tickets all the time usually suck. Sorry if this is your band, but people shouldn't be given the opportunity to open for these big bands if you can barely tune your damn guitar. When I was 15/16 and still sucking at guitar, it was super easy for use to sell tickets to shit.
    We did a local show at a firehouse, rented sound, payed four bands $250 each (not including ourselves) and still made $400 at the end of the day, and we were fvcking terrible.
    But now people actually have to be interested in the music you're making, which there just isn't a whole lot of around here, and everybody is in a goddamn band, so they're all out traveling or playing, too.
    I agree with that article about Facebook, too, but people also ignore real flyers and nobody listens to the radio (at least not people who would come see us, for the most part), so how the fVck do you advertise well for shit.
     
  18. WarMachine

    WarMachine SS.org Regular

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    It all sucks. Been there several times and im not doing that shit anymore. I agree with 100% of what you guys said on here, primarily yes and no with the "if you suck, you should sell" mindset. That's not true, not by a long shot. You can kick all kinds of ass and still be screwed by 1) selling tickets,usually to a venue hours away that you KNOW people you sell to can't/won't make it and 2) because of the music style. Im not bashing anyone here or anywhere, but lets face it dudes, how many screamo/fill in the blank "core" bands are there? About as many, if not more, than there are guitarists on this forum lol. Believe it or not, people get tired of the same old shit. That's what music's about, variety, something different. I remember when i first started gigging hard i used to get so pissed because places would be empty. I'd be thinking, "The ....?! If i wasn't in a band right now i'd like to go see live shows!" But then i played shows....and more shows....and a few years worth. And in the end i realized why people stopped coming to them and i can't blame them for it...reason? Lack of variety. If people can't groove, relate/click and generally feel the song then its not getting it done. Period.
     
  19. ScurrilousNerd

    ScurrilousNerd SS.org Regular

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    Oh man - if we got to play with a setup, I would understand the "promoter" worrying about covering costs. Our setup usually looks more like one guy from a band brings a 400 watt PA and two speakers and maybe two vocal mics. If we're extra lucky there's monitors and a bass drum mic!
     
  20. GunpointMetal

    GunpointMetal SS.org Regular

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    Yeah, especially for metal thats what its like for us...powered mixer, two 15's, and whatever mics the bands bring, or if we're really unlucky, the promotor hits us up (we are an instrumental band, btw) to the bring our rig for a PA, which is actually better than most bars around here (two 2x15s' 1000 watts mains/500 watts monitors, 8 XLR channels) but we usually get paid a little something if thats the case, cause who asks the band with no vocalist to bring the PA to a bar that doesn't need a PA unless you have a singer.
     

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