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A couple of years back, I joined a Facebook group for dep musicians. We were looking for a guitarist at the time. I didn’t leave the group so still see the posts on my feed. Yesterday a guy put up an ad looking for a dep guitarist in Bristol for a pub gig. He made the mistake of including the word ‘function’ in the ad, as the fee was/is only £50. He’s since changed it to pub gig, I think he more meant, it’s a pub gig with the standard function type set list. For the last 24 hours; it’s turned into one big argument amongst group members about the fee. Being from Bristol, I know only too well that most pubs here will only pay £250-350 for a band, this particular gig is £250. The OP has remained polite throughout, but he’s been absolutely hammered by some people. So I thought I’d seek the opinion of the BC membership, which generally seems to be a level headed bunch. Are pub gigs paying significantly more than that where you are from? 

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2 minutes ago, fleabag said:

He made a mistake by using the word function ?  I dont get it.  Whats that got to do with anything ?

 

You would expect a 'function' gig to pay a lot more than a standard pub gig. You would also expect it to be more work and there to be different expectations. 

 

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2 minutes ago, fleabag said:

He made a mistake by using the word function ?  I dont get it.  Whats that got to do with anything ?

Function gigs would normally command a much higher fee than a pub gig, so everyone assumed he was offering £50 for a high paying gig. 

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Here in Northamptonshire it's about the same for pub gigs. I'm not currently playing live so I don't know if there's any post-covid restructuring of the price scale by wily landlords trying to bash down the cash due to bands being desperate to get out there and play again.

Edited by upside downer
clarity
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Wily landlords ...Who'd thought eh ?

 

Like the garage fuel suppliers raising their prices from £1.34 a litre to £1.50 blaming covid / shortages. There wasnt any shortage.  Just a lack of drivers

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3 minutes ago, neepheid said:

Presumably you're talking about covers band fees here.

 

Aberdeen city and shire - £250-400 depending on distance/ballache to get to the venue.  Out in the sticks tends to pay better than the city.

Yes, it’s just a standard local pub covers band he’s in. The fee for covers bands doing pub gigs seems to be fairly uniform. Although, you wouldn’t think so by some of the replies he’s getting 

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2 minutes ago, ern500evo said:

Yes, it’s just a standard local pub covers band he’s in. The fee for covers bands doing pub gigs seems to be fairly uniform. Although, you wouldn’t think so by some of the replies he’s getting 

 

Just thought I'd check and take the opportunity to make the distinction - as I'm sure you're aware (not everyone is, it seems) it's wildly different for originals bands, you're minted if you "make it", but at the other end of the scale it's £50 after doing the promoter's job for them and expected to be grateful that your existence was acknowledged, nothing or even worse ... pay to play.

 

I physically shuddered as I typed that last bit!

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57 minutes ago, fleabag said:

Like the garage fuel suppliers raising their prices from £1.34 a litre to £1.50 blaming covid / shortages. There wasnt any shortage.  Just a lack of drivers

 

But there was a shortage of fuel getting to the pumps, only it was caused there being a lack of drivers. Sill a shortage though. 

 

57 minutes ago, ern500evo said:

Yes, it’s just a standard local pub covers band he’s in. The fee for covers bands doing pub gigs seems to be fairly uniform. Although, you wouldn’t think so by some of the replies he’s getting 

 

To be fair, I haven't seen that happening so far. Landlords seem generally pleased to be able to put on an attraction that they hope will encourage punters down to the pub in a difficult period. 

 

What happens in a few months when things start to settle down will be interesting. Will gig fees be forced down if there are less punters going to see bands in pubs?? 

 

Edited by peteb
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27 minutes ago, ern500evo said:

A couple of years back, I joined a Facebook group for dep musicians. We were looking for a guitarist at the time. I didn’t leave the group so still see the posts on my feed. Yesterday a guy put up an ad looking for a dep guitarist in Bristol for a pub gig. He made the mistake of including the word ‘function’ in the ad, as the fee was/is only £50. He’s since changed it to pub gig, I think he more meant, it’s a pub gig with the standard function type set list. For the last 24 hours; it’s turned into one big argument amongst group members about the fee. Being from Bristol, I know only too well that most pubs here will only pay £250-350 for a band, this particular gig is £250. The OP has remained polite throughout, but he’s been absolutely hammered by some people. So I thought I’d seek the opinion of the BC membership, which generally seems to be a level headed bunch. Are pub gigs paying significantly more than that where you are from? 

No, £250-£300 for pubs in Hertfordshire IME.

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The real issue I suppose is would you as a dep either be experienced enough to just turn up and play (v experienced player), or have the time to put in to learning a set (different keys, song endings, etc. Time spent depends on experience as a player and of the set list) just for £50?

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3 minutes ago, neepheid said:

 

Just thought I'd check and take the opportunity to make the distinction - as I'm sure you're aware (not everyone is, it seems) it's wildly different for originals bands, you're minted if you "make it", but at the other end of the scale it's £50 after doing the promoter's job for them and expected to be grateful that your existence was acknowledged, nothing or even worse ... pay to play.

 

I physically shuddered as I typed that last bit!

I remember those days! I was happy to be out playing our own music back then, at about 19yrs old. I’m not sure I’d be so keen now!

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I've got 60 gigs in the 2022 diary just now, running in an arc around NW London from Ware to Woking. Average fee across those 60 gigs is £300 a pop. Slightly more pubs than clubs, no posh functions.

 

As to pub-rock wannabees pontificating on the ENORMOUS fees they get paid, there's no shortage of bloke-in-a-pub guys prepared to bore the pants off you with complete cow poop. When you try to find their high-paying gigs on social media it usually turns out that they haven't played a live gig in years.

 

Ignore and move on.

 

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1 minute ago, uk_lefty said:

The real issue I suppose is would you as a dep either be experienced enough to just turn up and play (v experienced player), or have the time to put in to learning a set (different keys, song endings, etc. Time spent depends on experience as a player and of the set list) just for £50?

I do understand that. I think, from reading the guys posts, he’s assuming most guitarists that play in the local cover bands will know 90% of the songs on the set list anyway. He seems pretty humble about it, kind of “look, I know the moneys not great, but it’s a £250 gig and our guitarist can’t make it, does anyone fancy it?” Some of the replies he’s had have been so rude. 

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Where I come from the local bands all had a kind of unwritten rule that we would all charge the same. Made for no one getting ripped off if we all stuck to our guns on price. All was well until a new band started undercutting everyone. There are always mercenary bands out there who will sell their souls for gigs.

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Sounds like the guy posting the ad is getting a load of flack from what is likely to be a bunch of keyboard warriors who likely don't gig in a covers band with any great frequency!  :(  

 

I've played the pub scene (originals and covers) for over 40 years and pub covers bands around here get £200 - £300(ish).  The lower end of that is generally at the kind of venues where they don't give a t*ss about the bands or the quality of the musicianship.  The top end is negotiable depending on your following / popularity.  I've done a fair few deps in my time and I'm at a point now where I'll politely decline gigs that I get offered where there are 5 in the band and they are getting £200-£250.  My regular gig is a 3 piece band and we do gigs where we will get £250 minimum and we aim for £300... bearing in mind that bands I was in 25 years ago were doing gigs for £250.  :/  

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7 minutes ago, ern500evo said:

I do understand that. I think, from reading the guys posts, he’s assuming most guitarists that play in the local cover bands will know 90% of the songs on the set list anyway. He seems pretty humble about it, kind of “look, I know the moneys not great, but it’s a £250 gig and our guitarist can’t make it, does anyone fancy it?” Some of the replies he’s had have been so rude. 

 

Hate to say it because I wish it would change, but "welcome to the Internet".

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2 minutes ago, ubit said:

Where I come from the local bands all had a kind of unwritten rule that we would all charge the same. 

 

There are some really 5h1t bands out there. I wouldn't want to be charging the same as them ... I'm better than that and I would want to charge what I'm worth.

 

After a while it might look as if they were 'undercutting' my band, whereas in fact they would merely be charging what they're worth.

 

I'm not really a big believer in applying socialist principles to matters involving talent. 😉

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1 minute ago, Happy Jack said:

 

There are some really 5h1t bands out there. I wouldn't want to be charging the same as them ... I'm better than that and I would want to charge what I'm worth.

 

After a while it might look as if they were 'undercutting' my band, whereas in fact they would merely be charging what they're worth.

 

I'm not really a big believer in applying socialist principles to matters involving talent. 😉

 

 

At the time pretty much all of the bands were quite good. There was no 5h1t bands certainly. Every band had a healthy calendar and got plenty of gigs. We just thought it was the decent thing to do to charge a going rate.

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In a previous band, about 10 years ago we would get £250 - £300. One band member was always saying we were worth more, at least £400/£450, so we said fine, get us a gig paying that. Still waiting.

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