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Author Topic: And they're back.....  (Read 1257 times)

Mark Scrivener

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And they're back.....
« on: June 16, 2021, 03:33:49 PM »

Got a call today from a guy looking for sound for his band. Living in the most restrictive county in the most restrictive state, it has been quite a while since anyone called about live sound....

So the band apparently plays 4-5 gigs a month and wants a dedicated sound guy. Gigs are spread out over a pretty large area - so probably 1-2 hours driving each direction for many of these gigs. He claims he has 5-6 guys who bring their own gear and only charge $175/gig. I told him $350 was my minimum to show up, and that's if I don't bring any gear. He understood but here was the interesting part.....

He claims the venues have cut their pay to bands in half since before the pandemic and everyone is getting squeezed. Not surprising, and I told him good luck and no thanks. Fortunately my guitar students put enough dough in my pocket that I don't have to play this game. I really feel for all you that do.

Steve Litcher

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Re: And they're back.....
« Reply #1 on: June 16, 2021, 04:06:00 PM »

It's almost funny, isn't it?

A friend of mine in our area plays in a band, and I know several venue owners/operators in our area as well. During the pandemic the locals were crying for live music - "I need live music!" "I can't live without seeing live music!" "Why can't we just have some live music?!" Facebook/social media was full of cries for *any* type of live music during the entire pandemic... And the venue owners were trying to get bands as best they could during the thick of things...

Now that things are opening up, my friends with bands are saying that the venues are paying really poorly AND people are howling at the idea of *maybe* having to pay a $5-$10 cover for an afternoon/evening of music.

Go figure. Folks "need" live music to live, but only if it's free?

Yoel Klein

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Re: And they're back.....
« Reply #2 on: June 16, 2021, 04:12:17 PM »

It's almost funny, isn't it?

A friend of mine in our area plays in a band, and I know several venue owners/operators in our area as well. During the pandemic the locals were crying for live music - "I need live music!" "I can't live without seeing live music!" "Why can't we just have some live music?!" Facebook/social media was full of cries for *any* type of live music during the entire pandemic... And the venue owners were trying to get bands as best they could during the thick of things...

Now that things are opening up, my friends with bands are saying that the venues are paying really poorly AND people are howling at the idea of *maybe* having to pay a $5-$10 cover for an afternoon/evening of music.

Go figure. Folks "need" live music to live, but only if it's free?

The pandemic gave new meaning to value and labor.
People who can pay their bills are not paying, etc etc etc.
the pandemic song became the new normal to get everything free.
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Bill Hornibrook

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Re: And they're back.....
« Reply #3 on: June 16, 2021, 04:22:21 PM »

He claims the venues have cut their pay to bands in half since before the pandemic and everyone is getting squeezed

If you were actually considering working for these guys, I'd ask him to prove it - with contracts or pay receipts. It's not happening in my area - not what I'm picking up anyway. Business has been really good since reopening. I've raised my prices (club level DJ and karaoke) and no one is batting an eye.
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John L Nobile

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Re: And they're back.....
« Reply #4 on: June 16, 2021, 04:39:53 PM »

If he's got 5 or 6 guys that'll do it for less than peanuts, why is he calling you too? I call BS. He's just trying to get you to lowball yourself.
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Jay Marr

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Re: And they're back.....
« Reply #5 on: June 16, 2021, 05:10:41 PM »

I live outside of Boston.
As soon as they announced bars were opening, my phone was ringing off the hook with people needing bands.
Did our first full band gig 2 weeks ago and it was insane.  Felt like spring break or something.
Kids are dying to get out and drink their wheels off....so be prepared for chaos if/when you step into a bar/club.

After 15 months of nothing, playing loud music again was absolutely awesome.
The crowd is also VERY engaged and receptive to the bands.
I think they actually missed us...:)

The one thing that did NOT change (which I was expecting) was the pay.  I actually expected some bars/clubs to offer less pay, due to their lack of income over the past year.  But the demand for live music (and maybe a lot of bands not being ready, thus less supply) has kept the pay the same.  Happy about that.
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Rick Powell

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Re: And they're back.....
« Reply #6 on: June 16, 2021, 05:45:44 PM »

We have literally had to turn down thousands of dollars of work because we couldn't be in two places at the same time. It went from very limited and socially distanced events to "everyone needs a band on 2 weeks notice" in a hurry.
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Steve-White

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Re: And they're back.....
« Reply #7 on: June 16, 2021, 06:18:15 PM »

If you were actually considering working for these guys, I'd ask him to prove it - with contracts or pay receipts. It's not happening in my area - not what I'm picking up anyway. Business has been really good since reopening. I've raised my prices (club level DJ and karaoke) and no one is batting an eye.

Exactly, my bullshit alarm went off.
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Tim McCulloch

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Re: And they're back.....
« Reply #8 on: June 16, 2021, 06:56:02 PM »

For the most part my shop is already priced out of the bar band market so I can't say what's happening in it, but otherwise we haven't seen any significant downward pressure from existing clients.

The biggest challenge is staffing.  We've still got most of the staff we had 18 months ago but many of them also free lance, take local IA work, or also work for other production shops.  Previously it was uncommon for *all* the various employers to have shows at the same time but now... if we could each have 2 clones of ourselves we might be able to take all the work coming up.

There's no pool to draw from, either.  We lost a year and a half of "up and coming" new folks.  We'll all be working harder.
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"Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven's sake. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possible can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something."  - Kurt Vonnegut

duane massey

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Re: And they're back.....
« Reply #9 on: June 16, 2021, 07:16:07 PM »

Can't speak about sound gigs, as I retired from that a long time back. Clubs and venues are definitely back again, but more than a few are gone for good. Lots of gigs, but more for solos or duos, and these actually pay better than they did. Full bands (4+) are working. and don't seem to be paid less than before, but there are not as many gigs now. Houston and surrounding areas.
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Duane Massey
Technician, musician, stubborn old guy
Houston, Texas

ProSoundWeb Community

Re: And they're back.....
« Reply #9 on: June 16, 2021, 07:16:07 PM »


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