So you telling me you want me to stop what I'm doing at 5:00. Get dressed up and load up my $1500 keyboard, $400 amp, $100 microphone, $45 mic stand, $50 keyboard stand, 2 $25 cables, and that's just my stuff. Then I have to load up other band members' equipment worth thousands of dollars. Not to mention the equipment is HEAVY. We have to load up and unload TWICE that night. Drive out to your event to get there by 6:30 for sound check. Give a great couple hours of show at 8:00. Sacrifice my weekend. And you want to under pay me? Or WORSE do it for FREE???!!!
If you are a musician then you most likely already know what I'm talking about. But if you aren't, you may not know where we are coming from with this. So because I'm so understanding... I want to explain why it's absurd to ask for this free and under payed labor. I'm not talking about the artist promotional 15 minute performance with a DJ. I'm talking about playing a couple hours at your Frat party, your family reunion, your club... etc.
THIS is 6 reasons you should pay your BAND well!
As previously stated, band expenses are high. The equipment is expensive. Worth thousands and thousands of dollars once you factor in maintenance. Every gig we play takes a toll on our equipment. Things get broken while playing and transporting. I must also mention here that SOUND EQUIPMENT is SEPARATE from BAND INSTRUMENTS. When you ask the band to bring sound you are asking for thousands of dollars more and more hard work and skill. Sound is a craft and trade in itself. People go to universities for four years to learn how to properly work it. Many bands have to pay a sound man if you don't have one. Plus there are traveling expenses. GAS PEPOLE!!! All the same reasons you don't ask your neighbor to mow your lawn with his brand new expensive lawn mower and not offer any compensation. The same reason why you don't show up to work for free.
People tend to want the band for between an hour and a half to 3 hours. Factor in set up time, breaks between sets, sound check, loading and unloading, breaking down time, and driving then we have devoted a whole work day to your cause (and usually a weekend day). Anywhere between 5 to 10 hours! Let us also mention rehearsal time here especially if you want to hear a specific song(s).
3. Make or Break
Let's talk about the reason why you want this band. You most likely feel it will enhance your event. You're right! A band adds a special touch that a DJ or CD player can not. A great musician/vocalist/performer has studied their craft intensely for years. This is not just a hobby, it's a trade. This talent has the power to make or break your event. It is your job to get people there and the band's job to keep them there and coming back. We have seen how a bad band can have people running out of the building. So why not show a good band monetary appreciation. Who knows, they may actually want to come back and play again. BTW TIPS ARE WELCOME.
4. Bills, Bills, Bills
Wish it were all about the music folks but sorry. The men and women you want to sing and play all have bills to pay and families to support. That's all I need to say here.
5. We Don't Need an Hour to Promote
Before you tell the band leader, "This is really going to get your names out there! There's gonna be a lot of people there!" let me say this. If you are truly concerned about promoting the band, word of mouth works wonders. However, if you think your event is a great place to be promoted then we don't need to play for 2 to 3 hours for people to decide whether they like us. A 15 to 20 minute slot is good enough. So to you out there, please erase this element from your pitch to the band from now on.
6. You Get What You Pay For
Since when has this not been the case? My band and I give our performances 110% every time. No matter who is in the audience or the type of venue, we give it our all. We all are students of our craft. We leave most events sweating and out of breath. We love what we do and we know that we are always branding ourselves and developing a reputation because there is always at least one person in the audience who has never seen you before. There are good plumbers and bad plumbers. Good technicians and great technicians. Speaking up for anyone with a skill or trade, you should be rewarded for your talents, skill, and all the hard work you put into it. No one should devalue what you do because you do it well and you do something others cant.
Given all this information I would like to give you some tips if you are thinking of having a band at your next event.
- When working out a price with the band, be prepared with important information that is accurate regarding the event and venue such as: start and end time of event, time the band would need to be setup, type of event, demographic and preferred genre or types of music, relative size of venue, etc. then ask the band leader what his/her rates are.
- If your event has a set budget for entertainment or the band asks you to pitch them an offer, make an offer after considering ALL things. Time, travels, equipment, band's following etc. and compare that to your budget. If you only have enough money to buy a boom box then... buy a boom box.
- Be clear, open and honest. Musicians love what they do and you will find that they are willing to help you out more if you are honest. If you can't promise something for sure then don't promise it.
- Show your band that you are appreciative. If you can provide food, help with equipment and transportation, and make sure they are comfortable--it will go a long way.
- A Happy band makes a more successful event.
Thanks For Reading
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OTHER NOTES and FUN FACTS
-A full polished band can cost anywhere between $1,000-$9,000 depending on the event, band size, and required equipment.
-A small Jazz combo may charge $500 and up (without sound)
-Most national touring acts can cost anywhere between $9,000 to $50,000 or more