Pricing for non-traditional performances/what am I worth???

Discussion in 'General Music Discussion' started by wheresthefbomb, Jun 13, 2021.

  1. wheresthefbomb

    wheresthefbomb SS.org Regular

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    Greetings, havers of opinions!

    I am in a bit of a quandary here. I've done a few events with a yoga instructor in the past where I would provide live ambient music for her workshops, we both really enjoyed them and they were well received but splitting her usual rate in half was no good for either of us and the rates we could charge working out of the studio were fairly inflexible.

    We were planning to seek out options that allowed for us both to make decent money, and then lockdown happened. Fast forward, she invited me to play at an event she is doing with a local healthy eatery later this summer. The instructor and the person providing meals are both charging flat fees per person ($30 for the instructor, pretty standard for yoga, not sure of food person but I assume $30+) and she asked how much I want to charge.

    Now, I'm not really in any doubt about that, the time I've invested in my skills are well worth the same price she is asking, and I am confident that we are providing a unique experience. I also feel like at the price point they're already at between the two of them, the clientele they're dealing with can easily afford another $30 for an added layer of novelty.

    ......but somehow I still have immense apprehension about charging that much.

    Mostly I suppose this stems from the fact that I'm used to getting $5 a person at the door split between 5 bands and 15 people after the bar takes their 10%, and that's if I'm getting paid at all.

    I'm not so much looking for advice, I'm going to charge $30 and learn from whatever results that yields, but I'm curious what people's thoughts are. Share your experiences with non-traditional attempts to monetize your creativity!
     
  2. GunpointMetal

    GunpointMetal SS.org Regular

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    How long is the performance and how much crap do you have to bring and set up? Instead of worrying about the per student cost just charge a flat event fee.
     
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  3. budda

    budda Do not criticize as this Contributor

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    Yeah I would be billing based on length of performance and overhead (bringing equipment, setup, etc).
     
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  4. Kwert

    Kwert SS.org Regular

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    When it comes to playing events/functions/weddings etc. I always start with a flat fee just to show up and work up to the first hour. Everything past that is an additional X dollars per hour (not pro-rated). I also include an overtime fee for every half-hour beyond our agreed duration (also not pro-rated).

    Depending on how far outside of town the gig is and how much gear I have to bring, I might also include a cartage/travel fee.

    This might be a bit more difficult since you already have an existing relationship/payment model with this person, but I’m just giving you my own experience with these things.

    For concerts it’s usually a bit different as the majority of concert gigs I work are under AFM guidelines, so there is a bare minimum I’m required to be paid (and thankfully a lot of orgs pay above union scale).
     
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  5. ArtDecade

    ArtDecade John Bohlinger's Dank Stash

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    If the price spiked from $60 a session to $90 because some bloke was making synth washes, I would expect people to drop out - regardless of their expendable cash. People are there for the Yoga and food while ambient music can just as easily be played on a flash drive. Music in these cases is literally intended as background.
     
  6. Demiurge

    Demiurge Intrepid Jackass

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    Best of luck getting $30/head but that may be a bit much. The yoga instructor is the "headliner" so their fee makes sense. The food, a prominent offering at that price, needs to be sourced & prepared which costs money. The music is, as pointed-out above, ambience, and $30/head is comparable to seeing a national act at a club; I just pulled-up the website for one of the bigger clubs in my city and ticket prices for upcoming shows: Between the Buried and Me, $20; Black Dahlia Murder $27, Black Label Society, $35.
     
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  7. TedEH

    TedEH Cromulent

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    I'm not a big fan of tying the discussion of "what should I charge" with "what am I worth". Charging less doesn't mean you are worth less, it means that's where you (and others) potentially value that particular transaction.

    To me, it's a simple question of why you're doing it, and then what you think that's worth. Are you doing it because you just want to? Then the money doesn't matter. Are you doing it expressly to make some money? Then how much would you need to make in order for it to be worth your time? Charge at least that, and if that price isn't accepted, either by the people you're working with or the spending public, then just go spend your time doing something else.

    That being said, I'm in the camp of probably not wanting to add $30 to whatever random activity I'm already doing so that I can add a solo musician to the background.
     
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  8. Jonathan20022

    Jonathan20022 Engineer

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    100 times this, you are going to see a massive drop in clients by doing this and you're really not bringing much unique to the table. Having live music is absolutely a novelty, but at that price there's a few playlists on youtube someone can hook up to a $50 bluetooth speaker from their phone.

    The substantial aspect of the session is the actual Yoga Lesson and the Food. People aren't really there to see you perform, so if you're going to charge a large amount to cover your services expect some negative reception.
     
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  9. wheresthefbomb

    wheresthefbomb SS.org Regular

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    Haha, okay yeah that's totally fair.

    Also a great point. Thank you.

    I meant that in a somewhat ironic sense ("what does it all mean???") but your perspective is well received regardless.

    Much thanks for the input thus far. This event seems like it may be falling through for unrelated reasons but I very much appreciate y'all's perspectives. I came for opinions and you all delivered, I will certainly be taking this feedback into consideration as I plan other events.
     
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  10. Jacksonluvr636

    Jacksonluvr636 SS.org Regular

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    This.

    Old thread I know lol.

    But ehhh, I would be looking at it as how many more people will you be bringing for the yoga instructor?

    As it seems people are there for yoga and not your music. If the instructor is willing to give you half of her $30 per head that is VERY generous and I would have expected it to be $5.
     
  11. Winspear

    Winspear Tom Winspear

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    Put a price on your time. At the end of the day unless you are selling digital downloads, time for money is how you survive. What will it be, a few hours? I think most non established musicians, or indeed workers in general, would be very happy to take 100 for that. So how many people will there be? If it's a 20 person class or whatever then the ticket price only needs to go up $5 which is perfectly reasonable.

    I always approach things by asking myself how much I'd need to charge to do this thing full time and pay the bills. That's the price. If I think it seems market low and I can get more then I will. If it seems high then the product/service isn't necessarily viable full-time and it comes down to how much do I enjoy the job and just want to do it?
     

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