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Topics specific to the localities of Canada.

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#11189 by Irminsul
Sat Aug 11, 2007 12:41 am
Bars/Nightclubs suck. I'm sorry but there is just no prettier way to put it. Many years ago, when club owners were actually paying bands a believable fee and allowing them a cut of the door as well, it was a different story. But for some reason the new philosophy in these sort of venues is that musicians are optional human beings and not worth decent pay.

I prefer special events and festival gigs (Arts festivals and the like). They pay well, they treat you well, if travel is involved you will be comped for that, and they almost always allow you to sell your CDs at the events on top of it all.

Leave the bars to the 21year olds who are cutting their teeth on the performance biz.

#11246 by Jampy
Mon Aug 13, 2007 3:12 am
I have many friends that still play in the bar scene, I think it all boils down to location and the owner of the bar/club. Most are treated well and with respect but as for pay...they still have day jobs :?

#12038 by steam
Mon Sep 03, 2007 9:15 am
Bars dont pay any longer.I grew up playing bars many years ago,when bands were needed.Stick to private venues.If its the money you want,you may want to retire your instrument.Harsh,but true.

#15874 by DNO
Thu Nov 22, 2007 6:00 pm
As far as live playing in bars goes...........pay sucks..........do you know any professional skilled occupation where the wage has gone down in the last 20 years? Here's my take on it...........We had it good and then got lazy....eg: poor product = poor pay. In Alberta the scene is dying and only the dregg's are left, undercutting...guess what happened? No dough!! Called about gig's for next year and was told by the bar manager's we were too expensive, yet it was the same price as we always charged for years...........I played for years and watched it happen. Most of the quality players got a big head and screwed it up. demanding 400 - 600 for a weekend (come on, you're not that good). Now you have 10 guys playing in 10 different bands and get crap music (jamming) that barely passes for the original music we started. Now I'm not saying all the bands are bad, just most of the bands. Sorry guys........................ I guess I'll stay home and play with myself! LOL!!!

#15877 by Starfish Scott
Thu Nov 22, 2007 9:41 pm
LOL HAAA. I hate to say it, but I play to suit ME. f**k the rest of the world, ME FIRST! I am cheap, I'd play for free.

If I can get 100$usd per person/per night, I feel like I did well.

Always an equal split, no criticisms until practice. Never say much, always pay after gig is over, all equipment is loaded and put away.

ie. You leave early, you get paid at practice or not at all.

#15908 by Prevost82
Fri Nov 23, 2007 8:08 pm
LOL ... this comes up allot. There is money to be made out there on: the “A” circuit, corporate functions, cruise ships, gambling joints, Ski lodges, festivals, bar and clubs. If you take on the attitude on Capt. Scott you’ll be lucky to make a hundred bucks a night or even get hired.

This is all about the money …period. If you aren’t making the joint money then you are too expensive. Go out and see what the better bands are doing, that you’re not doing. You’ll see stuff like high energy on stage, floorshow, interaction with the audience; they practice sets as much as they practice songs to get rid on dead air … every second on stage is accounted for and used.

Pay attention to what works (gets their attention) with the audience and what doesn’t. Come up with something that raises your band above the rest. Come up with a groove and sound that sets you apart and most of all, get the dance floor and keep it full until they are having heart-attacks and they are drinking lots and breaking bar sale records. If you can do that you can ask any reasonable price and the bar will be willing to pay.

I’ve played in 8 pc bands that got 2500 to 3000 a night plus rooms at bars and 8000 a night for corporate … how …we put on a floorshow and had pro lighting and sound. We broke bar records every place we played and that rep get out there in the industry, we MADE THEM BIG MONEY. Get rid of your attitude and play what the crowd wants, and do it like a pro band.

Ron

#15920 by Starfish Scott
Sat Nov 24, 2007 12:36 am
LOL@ RON. You remind me of a guy who tried to tell me that we should be playing the BAY CITY ROLLERS and The Authority Song from John Mellencamp.

YOu want to make money and play the disney shows, good luck. I hear HAnnah Montana needs a keys player.

I play what I like and enjoy it. Fact is if you enjoy it, that's enough RON.

PS: How's the plumbing on that bus? Don't forget to crack the window.

#15923 by Prevost82
Sat Nov 24, 2007 2:13 am
I wasn't try to start a fight with you ... Capt. The OP want to know what bars were paying and why they weren't paying very much. I address the question. It about the money.

If you want to play what you play and not worry about money that's fine, I have no beef with that, but sum bands do want to make money for one reason or another. The material we played in the 8 pc was allot of fun.

You can make money and play good material at the same time, it's a matter of finding material that works.

I'll leave it at that .... enough said ...

Ron

#16049 by BL0TT0911
Tue Nov 27, 2007 8:20 am
I agree with Captain Scott. ironic, how Captain Scott has music on his page.....your not even serious enough to get a ghetto blaster and record urself? at least hes not gonna be one of those guys whos in 10 bands at once, and each gig he plays is gonna sound like a jam night. If you wanna make it, u need HEART and DESIRE to make it. I know that much at least.
the bar scene is sh*t, now that canned music is the norm.
or when they can pay some wannabe DJ 10% of the door to do his mixmeister crap.
If u wann make cash, find a good band to be in, then make a CD, pump it out everwhere, internet is a good place to start. (after copywriting it of course) and either try for a record deal, where they will get you gigs, or, get a manager and have to pay him, like 20% to get u gigs at festavals, like one guy said, or do everything, INdipendant, which you will need alot of cash up front, Remember, u need money to make money.
You cant just call up bars anymore and ask em for 300 bux for a weekend show :(

we need to find a better way people, money isnt everything....

#16070 by Irminsul
Tue Nov 27, 2007 7:55 pm
DNO wrote:As far as live playing in bars goes...........pay sucks..........do you know any professional skilled occupation where the wage has gone down in the last 20 years? Here's my take on it...........We had it good and then got lazy....eg: poor product = poor pay. In Alberta the scene is dying and only the dregg's are left, undercutting...guess what happened? No dough!! Called about gig's for next year and was told by the bar manager's we were too expensive, yet it was the same price as we always charged for years...........I played for years and watched it happen. Most of the quality players got a big head and screwed it up. demanding 400 - 600 for a weekend (come on, you're not that good). Now you have 10 guys playing in 10 different bands and get crap music (jamming) that barely passes for the original music we started. Now I'm not saying all the bands are bad, just most of the bands. Sorry guys........................ I guess I'll stay home and play with myself! LOL!!!


DNO I have to disagree with you on the cause of it. I don't think it was deteriorating product on the part of the musicians. I think it was a glut of musicians available to play limited bar venues and the bar owners got greedy. Typical labor exploitation, but in our arena.

Of course, I cannot speak for Canada up in your area, but as far as my region, that's pretty much what started happening. Oddly enough, I believe the practice of paying bands nothing, or charging them to play, originated in L.A.

#16071 by Irminsul
Tue Nov 27, 2007 7:57 pm
BL0TT0911 wrote:<snip>...

we need to find a better way people, money isnt everything....



Tell that to your creditors.

I advocate that performers and composers get more business savvy and improve their income from music, instead of giving up to the sheisters who run the venues and most record labels.

#16086 by Irminsul
Wed Nov 28, 2007 12:59 am
I don't think you were wrong at all. These jackasses have been anally raping us now for decades and maybe a good knocking in the dirt would do them good now and again. I am not surprised at his reaction though, 99% of these blowhards are great with the talk until it looks like they'll get a little action out of it, then they.....back on down.

#16090 by Starfish Scott
Wed Nov 28, 2007 5:52 am
(GULP) I know this woman that tends bar in the place. Turns out it's a good thing that he didn't call Vinny and Rocco out to settle for him.

They are hired hands and it turns out he does this all the time. (unconscious bodies go in the dumpster out back)

(eeekkkk) lol Call in the SPECIAL FORCES. lol

(I need coffee and an air strike, over!) lol

#16176 by TheDeepEnd1
Fri Nov 30, 2007 5:01 am
Very interesting forum. I've just reactivated myself in the business over the last 6 years and conditions sure have changed.
I can appreciate the views by the likes of Captain Scot and Prevost82.

Stricking a balanced perspective appears to be the way to approach this supported with some major canvasing/marketing for live music.
I think that everyone on this forum can agree that we will all have different ways of looking at the business and that there are all types out there with which we will have to content with. The fact remains that we are musician/performers and due to our creative nature we will be a bit on the flacky side. Getting organised for some of us is a tall order.

Much can be said for being a good showman as well as standing up for the material that you decide to perform. The most enjoyable performances that I remember are the ones that comprised a reasonable amount of showmanship which was usually overshadowed by a awesome performance.

Some of us will lean more towards showmanship than artist and vice versa. Different strokes for different folks!

The biggest change that I can see is that bars or clubs have fallen into the hands of short term investment types who are looking for a qick return on their investment and you have people managing these places who are looking to satisfy those investors more than satisfy the client. Canned music, get 'em in and get 'em out.
Drinks are too expensive. People are drinking at home before going out.
It appears as though the bar/club venue is not seeing the live performers as an investment component right now.
We are better to culture the festival venues. People will eventually return to live music.

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