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KCMetroGnome

How Much Do You Charge For Gigs?

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Hey all,

 

I have been gigging for quite some time. It is not my day job, but I do consider myself an accomplished player (mostly of accordion, but excusable on concertina. It's irrelevant for my question anyway). I am curious: what do others charge when they play gigs? I feel like I ask for a reasonable price, but I don't really have anything to compare it to.

 

Rob

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Hey all,

 

I have been gigging for quite some time. It is not my day job, but I do consider myself an accomplished player (mostly of accordion, but excusable on concertina. It's irrelevant for my question anyway). I am curious: what do others charge when they play gigs? I feel like I ask for a reasonable price, but I don't really have anything to compare it to.

 

Rob

 

I guess the rule is whatever people are willing to pay and you're willing to accept.

 

I've worked for tips, I've done gigs for $25 for nonprofit groups, I once did a bride and groom who wanted 8 minutes of music and gave us (a fiddler and me) $800. I'll accept less for a gig that's really fun, demand more for gigs that seem like actual work to me.

 

When I"m negotiating gigs for bands, I try to find out what the person/organization has paid for previous performances, to get a sense of what they can afford, and use that as a base.

 

Really, I don't think there are rules for this.

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It's a difficult question. One point I would make is, don't undervalue yourself. Because playing music is fun, and we'll happily do it for nothing, it's easy to undercharge but this devalues you, and it devalues other musicians.

 

It's tempting to feel flattered that people want to pay to hear you, but don't do it just because you've been asked if what they're offering isn't reasonable. You should charge what is appropriate - the difficulty is determining what that is. If it's a commercial gig, whether music in a bar or a concert where people will pay for tickets, you can negotiate a price at a figure the promoter reckons is the value of the music to him. If you don't think the fee is worth it to you, don't do it.

 

With non-commercial/private gigs it can be more difficult, and it comes down to what their willing and able to pay. My band always charges more for weddings - people spend vast sums, and whatever you'r charging will be insignificant compared with what other suppliers are charging for their services.

 

Charity gigs are the most difficult. In my view, unless it's for in an organisation you are connected with, you should charge a reasonable fee. By all means offer some or all of it back as a donation, but make them work to raise the funds, otherwise you will be the principal donor.

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Put yourself in the place of the client/organizer and ask yourself... what you would be willing to pay, if you were doing the hiring? That's what you should be asking for... plus 20%

Edited by Jody Kruskal

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