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What is the best policy for dividing gig $$ if one band member owns & can rent FoH & Mon gear?

Charge for gear rental at 50% discount (band expense comes off the top), then divide remaining funds amongst players.
- 10 (47.6%)
Bring ONLY your own instrument(s) (or mic); tell band to rent FoH & Mon gear from 3rd party.
- 2 (9.5%)
Share everything you can that contributes to the band's gig - at no charge; divide gross evenly.
- 6 (28.6%)
As Option [1], but offer a bigger discount (smaller rental charge).
- 3 (14.3%)
As Option [1], but everyone is responsible to supply their own wedge (or IEM); FoH remains a collective burden.
- 0 (0%)

Total Members Voted: 21


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Author Topic: Policy for renting gear to a band in which you yourself play.  (Read 9557 times)

Bradford "BJ" James

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Re: Policy for renting gear to a band in which you yourself play.
« Reply #10 on: December 28, 2016, 04:47:22 pm »

I've been lucky- mostly. The last few bands I've been in have had no problem paying me a (ridiculously low) rental fee for bringing in pretty decent gear, and being spoiled with it turning over every 6 months or so for new.
Only once did an issue arise when a bass player thought I should only charge one nights rent when we played 2 separate one-nighters in 2 different venues. We talked about it, agreed that with the low rate I was renting to them, they still couldn't rent elsewhere for cheaper for the weekend, plus I never asked for extra on really good paying gigs and never asked for gas money on long distance gigs. The bands rarely seem to know how much this stuff actually costs, plus all the upkeep of a vehicle to haul it around in, plus insurance...it goes on and on. I'd happily let a band rent the gear elsewhere so they get an appreciation for having a good system always available to them, dirt cheap.
The band I'm in now has players who are in or know the production world and have no problem paying a reasonable rate. And they're really good for helping setup/strike too, although the singer must know magic as he always pulls a disappearing act during strike.)
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Bradford "BJ" James

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Re: Policy for renting gear to a band in which you yourself play.
« Reply #11 on: December 28, 2016, 04:49:48 pm »

If you did not own a PA, the band would have to rent one and it would come out of the gross pay.
How does your ownership of the PA equipment change that?
Maybe cut a deal but charge for the PA.

You said what I meant, but more efficiently.
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Bill Harvey

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Re: Policy for renting gear to a band in which you yourself play.
« Reply #12 on: December 28, 2016, 06:18:29 pm »

If the band is indeed a business, then the overhead expenses should be the responsibility of all members equally unless other arrangements have been made. Lacking such arrangements, the band members in general should perhaps be responsible for their own instruments, mics, and backline equipment, and any "common use" equipment such as FoH, effects, amps, speakers, etc., should be the responsibility of all. The fact that you already own such equipment is irrelevant.

I would suggest that you determine what an equivalent amount of rental equipment would cost. That is the baseline group liability. If the group wants to make an agreement with you for the rental of your equipment, that is certainly an option. But you should realize that you're playing two roles here: (1) a member of the band, and (2) a provider of common equipment.

This is a difficult thing to do, especially if you have been providing such equipment gratis, but that equipment is not cheap and you are short-changing yourself in your present arrangement. You can, if you wish, make the band a good deal on rental of your equipment, but all of this should have been discussed in advance and should almost certainly be formalized to account for unexpected conditions and circumstances. For example, what happens if your equipment gets damaged? Do you expect other members to help pay for replacements? In what proportion? Or are you stuck for the entire repair/replacement costs yourself? After all, you are carrying a financial risk, and that risk should certainly be formally identified and compensated for in some manner.

This is much harder when everyone is friends and the arrangements (such as they are) are already existing, but you really need to have some kind of formal agreement in place so that everyone knows who is responsible for what.

On the other hand, I'm a data center manager by trade, and we're known to be professional pessimists...  :)

EDIT: (In other words, what Kieth said...)
« Last Edit: December 28, 2016, 06:23:32 pm by Bill Harvey »
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Rick Powell

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Re: Policy for renting gear to a band in which you yourself play.
« Reply #13 on: December 28, 2016, 06:39:00 pm »

For example, what happens if your equipment gets damaged? Do you expect other members to help pay for replacements? In what proportion? Or are you stuck for the entire repair/replacement costs yourself? After all, you are carrying a financial risk, and that risk should certainly be formally identified and compensated for in some manner.

When you charge what a normal hire would charge, it becomes clear that you are responsible for everything that goes wrong. Maybe that's why my arrangement is understood and accepted by the other band members. If I ever got any guff like "your equipment is paid off now, could you give us a break on the price?" I would point out that the band has never had to fix a speaker cord, replace an LED light that quit working, buy a vocal or instrument mic (except that the singer did get a personal wireless), and the equipment is really good and keeps on getting upgraded a little every year. And for every gig that we make a little less than we wanted, there's a gig that paid great, and I didn't gouge the band on the price because the money was good.  Same price...every gig.
« Last Edit: December 28, 2016, 07:28:33 pm by Rick Powell »
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Scott Levine

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Re: Policy for renting gear to a band in which you yourself play.
« Reply #14 on: December 28, 2016, 11:50:58 pm »

Always a divisive issue!

Think you have to accept that each band member has a different investment/liability as a given.

Provision of PA is at a different level, though.  Of course, no-one will complain if you provide PA at no cost, but I suspect you don't fancy being used as a charity.

The way we ended up was to treat the PA provision as an additional band member.  So, for a four piece, each member took 20%, so the PA providing member ended up with 40%.  Which is actually still cheap for the other members, given the cost of PA provision.

Didn't stop other band members trying to short me, mind.  Like trying to deduct an expense from the "PA member share", rather than from the top.  Cheeky gits.  The easiest counter to this is to suggest that you'll have to reduce the PA provision accordingly, like subtract the mixer from the provided package...
It seems to be that with a collection of personalities, you will never fully find a perfect solution.  A band PA should be exactly that.  It belongs to the band, paid for by the band equally with the exception of personal equipment.  Set aside a portion of all revenue for that purpose and assign tasks to each band member so that there is no disappearing members before the load-out is done.  To start, work out a price for your existing equipment and use that equal portion of the gig to make your payments.  EVERYTHING done on paper.  No verbal agreements.  Just an alternative suggestion.

"Not so mean" Scott Levine
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William Schnake

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Re: Policy for renting gear to a band in which you yourself play.
« Reply #15 on: December 29, 2016, 09:32:13 am »

Back in the day...30 plus years ago, I was playing in a band and all of the PA was owned by me and one other individual.  Here is what we did.

He and I split the equivalent of 1 share of the gross for the night and the 'band' was responsible for all repairs to equipment.  This was a 4 piece band and we made between $1,200 - $1,500 per night and we played 2 - 3 times a weeks sometimes more.  Everyone provided all of their own personal equipment, amps, keys, fiddle, drum set, guitars.  We provided monitors, mics, stands, speakers, mixer, effects, cable, lights, et.   So at that point we were each making between $300 - $450 for PA rental a week along with $600 - $900 for our share of the band cut.  If we had to repair any equipment we got it repaired and presented the bill to the band at our monthly meeting and the bill was paid out of the band portion of the next show.  Seemed to work for us.

Bill
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Rick Powell

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Re: Policy for renting gear to a band in which you yourself play.
« Reply #16 on: December 29, 2016, 10:25:11 am »

Back in the day...30 plus years ago, I was playing in a band and all of the PA was owned by me and one other individual.  Here is what we did.

He and I split the equivalent of 1 share of the gross for the night and the 'band' was responsible for all repairs to equipment.  This was a 4 piece band and we made between $1,200 - $1,500 per night and we played 2 - 3 times a weeks sometimes more.  Everyone provided all of their own personal equipment, amps, keys, fiddle, drum set, guitars.  We provided monitors, mics, stands, speakers, mixer, effects, cable, lights, et.   So at that point we were each making between $300 - $450 for PA rental a week along with $600 - $900 for our share of the band cut.  If we had to repair any equipment we got it repaired and presented the bill to the band at our monthly meeting and the bill was paid out of the band portion of the next show.  Seemed to work for us.

Bill

With our arrangement it usually works out to more than a band share, but not always - anywhere from 12% to 30% of the gross depending on what the gig pay is, because we charge a fixed price (there's 5 of us onstage and one sound/light guy). For that price, they are getting the sound/light guy, load in/out and setup of sound/lights by me and the sound guy, and any new purchase or repair expenses for the sound/light rigs. If we were to count the sound/light guy as a share, and also the equipment as a share (with our set-up and tear down labor being part of our shares), we'd come out ahead on higher paying gigs and behind on lower paying gigs, but we prefer the steadiness of a fixed income per gig. The fixed price also incentivizes the band to not go after cheap paying gigs.

So, for  band running sound from the stage with no additional person, a band share for the equipment, with everybody pitching in for load in/load out, seems fair. Whether the band share takes care of repair or not could go either way; the more you play the faster the payoff of equipment, but also the more chances for stuff to break down or wear out.
« Last Edit: December 29, 2016, 10:29:22 am by Rick Powell »
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John Roberts {JR}

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Re: Policy for renting gear to a band in which you yourself play.
« Reply #17 on: December 29, 2016, 10:39:21 am »

Short term do whatever it takes.

Long term pick one.

Good luck.

JR
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Bob Leonard

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Re: Policy for renting gear to a band in which you yourself play.
« Reply #18 on: December 29, 2016, 11:00:34 am »

I've always deducted for hardware and transportation expenses and then divided equally among all band members. The system is mine, not the bands and implying that the band becomes a share holder through payment leads to problems in all cases.

In other words, you come to play through my system, you'll make whatever, the rest goes to me after transportation and repair costs (if any) are paid. If you leave the band or if I shitcan your ass, good luck, and I owe you nothing. The other benefit is I'll upgrade as I see fit, I'll replace hardware when needed, and all I ask is that you do your job to the best of your ability with the quality tools you've been given. It's my rep and I won't see it tarnished over who owns what or who wants to spend what.
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Rick Powell

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Re: Policy for renting gear to a band in which you yourself play.
« Reply #19 on: December 29, 2016, 11:23:31 am »

I've always deducted for hardware and transportation expenses and then divided equally among all band members. The system is mine, not the bands and implying that the band becomes a share holder through payment leads to problems in all cases.

In other words, you come to play through my system, you'll make whatever, the rest goes to me after transportation and repair costs (if any) are paid. If you leave the band or if I shitcan your ass, good luck, and I owe you nothing. The other benefit is I'll upgrade as I see fit, I'll replace hardware when needed, and all I ask is that you do your job to the best of your ability with the quality tools you've been given. It's my rep and I won't see it tarnished over who owns what or who wants to spend what.

Yes, it needs to be stated upfront if the equipment payment is a rental payment or an ownership share. In my experience, it works way better where it is treated as a rental, either to a single band member or an outside provider, rather than "everyone in the band owns a piece", but YMMV.
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Re: Policy for renting gear to a band in which you yourself play.
« Reply #19 on: December 29, 2016, 11:23:31 am »


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