What Kind Of Money Are Gigging Bands Getting These Days?

TSJMajesty

Rock Star
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I'm curious what the gigging scene is like as far as pay goes. And what would that be for, as in type of place, music style, and your market, like are you in a big city or what? Weddings, parties? Any info would be appreciated. Oh, and if you have to provide your own PA, what's that run?
 
Really varies between the band, venue and situation. I make anything between 100-600 a show. Wouldn’t leave my house under 100 bucks and these days dont want to leave my house for that, either.
 
DIY punk scene in medium/big city: anywhere between free beer - $20 per person.

Big city barfly cover band: $400-500 plus tips (whole band)

Taking that barfly cover band to a private party and providing PA: 600-800 plus tips (whole band)

Still trying to figure out the new band..
 
Disclosing pay publicly is kind of a weird thing overall anyway. Like people asking each other in conversation "Oh how much do you make per year?". Not that you can't talk about it so much as you aren't necessarily going to get a lot of answers. Honest or otherwise.
 
It's really desperate and desolate here. From say the mid 1980's to the mid 1990s you could make decent
coin playing covers, or playing covers with some originals mixed in. You could even do a regional circuit that
would take you around the Midwest, or along the Atlantic Seaboard. Get hooked up with a decent agency
and you could get $750 a night easy. That was really good money 30 to 40 years ago. Now you can't really
ask for more than $100-$200 a person. That means a LOT of acoustic shows and duos strumming their
Yammies and Ovations for the tourists.

So many places in a 100 mile radius from where I live have simply closed and gone out of business. Used
to be an out of the way "Roadhouse" between every small town where you could play a 2 nighter for $1000,
or a New Year's Eve or St. Patty's Day gig for $1000-$1500.

Once upon a time a band could stay busy every weekend of the month (2004-2014 for me). I could easily make
an extra $800-$1000/month to put in my pocket, and festival gigs in the Summer would pay a band $1500 to $3000
for one night.

I bet 7 to 8 out of every 10 places we used to play are shuttered, or don't have "live" music anymore. I know
I sound like a wet blanket, but it's true. Between drunk driving laws, no smoking in bars and restaurants, easy
access to an entire Planet of entertainment at home, and costly insurance for establishments to have "live"
music---because apparently there is more liability involved versus say, karaoke---gigging around here has
taken one blow after another.

Even the places that used to have "live entertainment" 2 to 3 days out of the week now only have it 1 or 2 nights
per month.

Here playing live is on Life Support---especially if you are in a band. You could go get gigs doing the acoustic thing,
but that's what everyone else is doing, and I love the brother/sisterhood of a band. Doing it with other people you
dig is most of the enjoyment for me.

A few of the guys/gals I used to play with are still grinding, but the 8 to 10 dates a month are loooooong gone, and
they are lucky to play 2 to 4 times a month---even in the busy Summer season.

Just glad I have a lot of fun times and good memories to lean back on. :beer
 
I'm curious what the gigging scene is like as far as pay goes. And what would that be for, as in type of place, music style, and your market, like are you in a big city or what? Weddings, parties? Any info would be appreciated. Oh, and if you have to provide your own PA, what's that run?

I have gigged in the Northeast, The South, and now the Southwest and the best paying gigs were in the Northeast. Understand I am talking about weekend warrior bar bands here. In the Northeast we averaged between 450 and 800. In the South the bands I was in averaged about 250-400, in the Southwest the weekend warrior bands I am in average about 200-350. This is not per person. Now the 2 Tributes I am in do a little better here in the Southwest. I haven't been paid less than 200 for myself BUT I also run sound and lights at those shows normally.

Now if I jump in my time machine and go back to 86-90 or so I was playing 5 gigs a week in the Northeast and making over 1200 bucks a week in cash for just me being in a 4 piece cover band.
 
Our live scene is still rebuilding itself, so for the original scene it’s probably just a bucket of beer for the band to split. Not like back in the 00’s when we were making bank playing original metal.

In my last cover band we were getting about $300 a gig to split between 5 of us, which wasn’t bad considering we had zero name recognition and would only play for 60-90 minutes.
 
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