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That question.... Money

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Hi all

I know this is always the topic of much debate and I am probably throwing a grenade here!

I've played lots of pub gigs over the years and have recently started playing in wedding / function band. I understand the fees vary drastically! We charge approx £1000 for a wedding or corporate gig and tend to take what we can get with pub gigs, if and when we chose to do them.. Usually getting around £250-300.

My question is, Social / Members clubs.... I have never played any before, but have been asked for a quote. I don't want to shoot myself in the foot here. I assume that these would usually pay similar to a pub, rather than a private function? - Or would they fall somewhere in between?

I would be interested to know the experiences of you guys on this!

Cheers. Jim

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In my experience most social clubs pay same as pubs or maybe a little more.

What you have to be careful of is how long you play for. Pubs aren't too fussed about breaks but a lot of clubs like the entertainment all night so make sure you agree performance times. Some clubs have bingo inbetween which is fine but otherwise they be looking for 4 hours to fill. I normally offer to DJ inbetween sets and charge them additional for the Disco.

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Guest subaudio

I used to do a lot of working mens club gigs in the late 80's but haven't for a long time so a pinch of salt is wise.

It used to be two 45 minute sets, the clubs did have set times for the band due to bingo etc that varied club to club.

We averaged about £300/£375 per gig whereas a pub would be about £150.

Maybe have a look at the musicians union site, they have a lot of info. They also do a set of contracts for various gigs for free.

We had an agent but if your booking yourself a contract comes in handy and prevents problems.

I'd recommend joining as you get free insurance up to a grand, preferable rates over a grand and free personal indemnity insurance up to a million quid plus legal advice etc.

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This is going back about 10 years now, but back then the Surrey/Hampshire working men's clubs and Royal British Legions were paying around £300.

Some are really strict with the timings and others are a bit more chill.  

I did some really great gigs and also others where the band is just there to fill in the time between the bingo and the meat raffle!  Also don't inadvertently sit in one of the regular's favourite chairs, etc. :lol:

Edited by jrixn1
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25 minutes ago, bonzodog said:

In my experience most social clubs pay same as pubs or maybe a little more.

What you have to be careful of is how long you play for. Pubs aren't too fussed about breaks but a lot of clubs like the entertainment all night so make sure you agree performance times. Some clubs have bingo inbetween which is fine but otherwise they be looking for 4 hours to fill. I normally offer to DJ inbetween sets and charge them additional for the Disco.

IIRC, we did a social club gig ,  got £300 , roughtly the same as a pub gig  ( although we also did pubs that paid £200 and £250 ) but since they were virtually paying pub prices, our playing lasted the same time.  If they wanted more playing time they can pay for it.

I wouldn't call a plumber out and expect to pay him the same for 4 hours work as i would if he worked for 2 hours

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We have charged around £250 for social clubs which is about £50 more than the average pub.

There are usually some particular times to work with. Unfortunately for us we have done 1 social club too many where the audience, or members!, are at the other end watching the sport on the tv so we aren't going to accept anymore as it not worth the hassle. Quality, not quantity for us.  

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I'm going back a bit too. Nearly all (if not all) club gigs were through an agent. Certainly round here they didn't like to work directly with bands. 

As has been mention, you need to be *very* careful about performance times. It's too easy to get a "9pm to 1am with a 20 min break for the bingo" chucked at you. I've always tended to apply a cost break to playing after midnight - mostly because I don't want to. £300-400 quid used to be the going rate for clubs with £200-250 for pubs. It still is the going rate come to think of it. 

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I was doing the clubs in the south east until a couple of years ago. The average fee for a 4 piece was £350 - £450. I know larger bands got more.

This was for a normal Fri/Sat night. For special events it went up a bit, but depending on the club. playing time  varied between 2- 2 1/2 hours.

On top of that we had to give the agent between 15-20%. All our club gigs were booked through agents, and we were told how much we woudl get paid.

Edited by dave_bass5

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My band pretty much plays the social club circuit 90% of the time. We play 40 gigs a year and the rate around here (Surrey/Sussex) is typically £320/£350. Pubs are a bit less, around £200/£250. Hope that helps? 😁

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1 hour ago, fleabag said:

 

I wouldn't call a plumber out and expect to pay him the same for 4 hours work as i would if he worked for 2 hours

Neither would I but I've met several entertainment secretaries over the years who are oblivious to what the norm is and what the contract may state. They want entertainment from as soon as the room is full until everyone goes home.

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Yeah thats fine if the band has enough tunes and the band agree to extra time played. But the venue can still pay for it, otherwise, no ( but thats just me )

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We used to get £250 the first time we played going up to £300 once they'd decided we weren't just "a bluddy noise" and booked us to come back. A couple of places offered £350 but £300 seemed to be the norm. Start at nine, break for't bingo and then curfew at twelve. Strike down and out by 12:30 cos Howard has to lock up and he's on shift again at six....

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Band i was in 2 yrs ago was taking £500 for a club gig but they were regulars on the club circuit. Not sure what they took for a pub gig as i never actually played a pub with them but i know it was less. For a new band in a club i would be expecting £300 upwards from what other musicians have told me.

We've just been offered £1200 at a social club for a first gig as Glam Rock covers band altho our singer has played this club solo with backing tracks for £300. The gig is also on 28th Dec so that's gonna make a big difference. This is a new band and looking to start gigging in April this year. (new keys player starts next week)

The band are all pertty well known on their respective circuits and have come together to do this project as we all have a love of 70's Glam Rock. They are talking gigs £1k upwards doings clubs and theatres. Drummer ex-Glitterband (1990's era) and keys from Racey (circa 90's era)

I'm really quite excited about this wee band. Great fun so far.

Dave

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Thanks for all the responses guys! It looks like we are pitching at the right ball park at just above pub prices. And I have already stated the set times 🙂 - been stung there before! 

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