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  1. #1
    Atomic Punk
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    12.11.17 @ 04:37 PM
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    Default what does your cover band get paid?

    the cover band I used to work for from 92-99 would make about 800-1000 depending on the bar...

    the band I work with now, is anyhwere from 200+cover to 500

    After I take my $120, they divide the rest by 5...

    what does your cover band get paid at your local bars/venues?

  2. #2
    Eruption nitefly5150's Avatar
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    I was in a cover band about 3 years ago, and we normally made $400 a show to play bars in the Raleigh area. I think we could have made a little more if we'd held it together long enough to develop a better reputation.

  3. #3
    Atomic Punk
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    Quote Originally Posted by voivod
    the cover band I used to work for from 92-99 would make about 800-1000 depending on the bar...

    the band I work with now, is anyhwere from 200+cover to 500

    After I take my $120, they divide the rest by 5...

    what does your cover band get paid at your local bars/venues?
    Wow, what city is this?

    In Monterey, the pay runs between $150 to $300 for a gig. Mostly the lower amount. The gig to get around here are the corperate weekend conventions at the resorts, they pay around $900 to $1200. The trick is to get the gig and your band has to be good, plus you need to have a huge, versatile set. 80s, Top 40, oldies and so on. The problem here is that market is dominated by three or four bands who work the circut from here up to the Bay Area (SF).
    "Nothing is ever what it seems but everything is exactly what it is." - B. Banzai


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  4. #4
    Good Enough darthadv's Avatar
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    01.05.12 @ 09:51 PM
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    Default how about tribute bands?

    what's the going rate, on average? is there a difference if you're say, a vh tribute band vs. a u2 one, or bon jovi, etc.?

  5. #5
    Atomic Punk
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    12.11.17 @ 04:37 PM
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    Quote Originally Posted by Axxman300
    Wow, what city is this?

    In Monterey, the pay runs between $150 to $300 for a gig. Mostly the lower amount. The gig to get around here are the corperate weekend conventions at the resorts, they pay around $900 to $1200. The trick is to get the gig and your band has to be good, plus you need to have a huge, versatile set. 80s, Top 40, oldies and so on. The problem here is that market is dominated by three or four bands who work the circut from here up to the Bay Area (SF).
    Eastern Connecticut area...

  6. #6
    Atomic Punk
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    Quote Originally Posted by darthadv
    what's the going rate, on average? is there a difference if you're say, a vh tribute band vs. a u2 one, or bon jovi, etc.?
    I'm sure "good" Tribute bands are in the $1500-2500 range...
    A band like that is not just hired to provide live background music - people will make it a point to go to a "tribute" gig...

    good as in having more than one person who not only sounds like the real thing, but looks like them too... if they can't pull that off, all they are is a one-band cover band...

  7. #7
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    None of us are getting paid enough. For that, my hat is off to karaoke.
    :deep hate and sarcasm:

  8. #8
    Baluchitherium hatchetforce's Avatar
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    limo ride with the band

    Last edited by hatchetforce; 04.05.14 at 02:54 PM.

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  9. #9
    Good Enough
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    12.16.17 @ 10:24 PM
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Axxman300 View Post
    Wow, what city is this?

    In Monterey, the pay runs between $150 to $300 for a gig. Mostly the lower amount.
    Damn. I guess a lot hasn't changed in the 20+ years since I played in that area. That was shit money, even for then.
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  10. #10
    Romeo Delight
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    12.14.17 @ 07:38 PM
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    In the San Antonio area it ranges from 250-350 to play. There isn't a lot of places that pay more than that and those are taken by bands who do this for a living.

    The sad part is the pay is the same as it was when I was playing every weekend back in college (89-91). I've been in the same band for 14 years and as we have gotten (cough, cough) older we'll play 1 or 2 times a month. It's a good thing I have a day job and only do this for fun. I couldn't image trying to live on that pay - my tab has been higher than my take home pay on some gigs. If I invite my staff or friends I'll end up paying for a few rounds.

  11. #11
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    09.23.17 @ 09:09 AM
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    I work at a bar outside of Pittsburgh in the burbs. Among my duties are booking the bands for Friday and Saturday nights. Fridays are mostly acoustic and go about 300 so we don't have to charge a cover at the door. Saturdays bands get paid 400-650. Two bands get 400 plus the door- Both bands have a good sized following and they reap the benefits from that.
    Last edited by Hangman; 11.25.14 at 11:26 AM.

  12. #12
    Niners Fan! SactoFan's Avatar
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    We pull down 600-900 per gig in the Sacramento area...
    Can't stop...addicted to the shindig...

  13. #13
    Romeo Delight Masked Rider's Avatar
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    07.06.17 @ 03:13 AM
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    Cleveland area - we pull in about $500 per gig...

  14. #14
    Baluchitherium Harpospoke's Avatar
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    12.16.17 @ 05:44 PM
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Hangman View Post
    I work at a bar outside of Pittsburgh in the burbs. Among my duties are booking the bands for Friday and Saturday nights. Fridays are mostly acoustic and go about 300 so we don't have to charge a cover at the door. Saturdays bands get paid 400-650. Two bands get 400 plus the door- Both bands have a good sized following and they reap the benefits from that.
    You're talking original acts as opposed to cover bands, right?

    I'm seeing the "do you bring a crowd" thing a lot these days.

    Is there a reason why employees are expected to bring in customers? Do the bartenders have to bring a crowd too?

    I get it if it's original acts. That seems like the whole point for those bands. But a cover band is supposed to be hired because they provide a good show and entertain your customers. If a club doesn't have costumers...that sounds like the problem is with the club. When a band plays 10+ times a month, you just aren't going to be able to bring your friends and family out to every gig.

    If my band is only being hired to bring in customers, why bother practicing for years, buying gear, and putting a band together? Maybe we should just get a big party of people together and let the clubs bid on who gets to host our party for the night. The club can pay me to bring in customers....we'll go to the place that pays us the most.

    This is a great article on the subject:

    Just the other day I was told by someone who owned a wine bar that they really liked our music and would love for us to play at their place. She then told me the gig paid $75 for a trio. Now $75 used to be bad money per person, let alone $75 for the whole band. It had to be a joke, right? No, she was serious.But it didn’t end there. She then informed us we had to bring 25 people minimum. Didn’t even offer us extra money if we brought 25 people. I would have laughed other than it’s not the first time I’ve gotten this proposal from club owners. But are there musicians really doing this? Yes. They are so desperate to play, they will do anything.

    But lets think about this for a second and turn this around a little bit.What if I told the wine bar owner that I have a great band and we are going to play at my house. I need someone to provide and pour wine while we play. I can’t pay much, just $75 and you must bring at least 25 people who are willing to pay a $10 cover charge at the door. Now wouldn’t they look at you like you are crazy?

    “Why would I do that,” they would ask? Well, because it’s great exposure for you and your wine bar. The people there would see how well you pour wine and see how good your wine is. Then they would come out to your wine bar sometime. “But I brought all the people myself, I already know them,” they would say. Well maybe you could make up some professional looking flyers, pass them out, and get people you don’t know to come on out. “But you are only paying me $75, How can I afford to make up flyers?”

    You see how absurd this sounds, but musicians do this all the time. If they didn’t, then the club owners wouldn’t even think of asking us to do it. So this sounds like a great deal for the club owners, doesn’t it? They get a band and customers for that night, and have to pay very little if anything. But what they don’t realize is that this is NOT in their best interest. Running a restaurant, a club, a bar, is really hard. There is a lot at stake for the owner. You are trying to get loyal customers that will return because you are offering them something special. If you want great food, you hire a great chef. If you want great décor,you hire a great interior decorator. You expect these professionals to do their best at what you are hiring them to do. It needs to be the same with the band.You hire a great band and should expect great music.That should be the end of your expectations for the musicians. The music is another product for the venue to offer, no different from food or beverages.

    When a venue opens it’s doors, it has to market itself. The club owner can’t expect people to just walk in the door. This has to be handled in a professional way. Do you really want to leave something so important up to a musician?

    This is where the club owner needs to take over. It is their success or their failure on the line, not the musician.The musician can just move on to another venue. I’ve played places where for whatever reason only a few people have walked in the door on a Saturday night. The club owner got mad at me, asking where are the people? I turned it around on him asking the same thing? Where are all the people? It’s Saturday night and your venue is empty. Doesn’t that concern you? What are you going to do about it? Usually their answer is to find another band with a larger following. This means the professional bands get run out of the joint in favor of whoever can bring in the most people.

    He then makes the point that professional bands will have a somewhat harder time playing the “friend and family” card because, well… they’re pros! They play every night.

    But here’s where the club owner doesn’t get it. The crowd is following the band, not the venue. The next night you will have to start all over again. And the people that were starting to follow your venue are now turned off because you just made them listen to a bad band. The goal should be to build a fan base of the venue. To get people that will trust that you will have good music in there every night. Instead, you’ve soiled your reputation for a quick fix.

    If you asked a club owner, “who is your target demographic?” I doubt they would answer “the band’s friends and family.” But yet clubs operate like it is.


    … would you expect the chef’s friends and family to eat at your restaurant every night? How about the dishwasher, the waitresses, the hostess? Or how about the club owner’s friends and family? You see,when you start turning this argument around, it becomes silly.

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  15. #15
    Atomic Punk Dave's Dreidel's Avatar
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    A lot of guys I know try to focus on private parties and corporate gigs. I am sure that won't work in many areas, but it works here in DC.
    Taylor Swift is nice to look at. Adele can sing.

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