[Dixielandjazz] Re: was First Night/ Now New Years Eve Fees.

TCASHWIGG at aol.com TCASHWIGG at aol.com
Fri Dec 12 21:40:20 PST 2003

In a message dated 12/12/03 5:13:08 PM Pacific Standard Time, 
jazzfact at ozemail.com.au writes:

> Hi Tom, and Others.
> New Year's Eve, Weddings, Conferences and other private gigs often should
> pay more, as the employer's EXPECTATION is greater. Particularly at weddings
> where the photographer gets $2000 and the Caterer $25 per head. People are
> happy to pay extra to get exactly what they want. My band will often learn
> new tunes for a wedding as we charge extra to provide what they want. We
> also don’t pack up until we have consulted the host and never charge
> "overtime," it's all in the large fee!
> This year as we have done the past at our regular Wednesday Night gig we
> have redone the deal for the night. Instead of hitting our venue for a
> larger fee we are doing a door deal. Ticket sales so far indicate the band
> will receive triple our normal fee however as far as the venue is concerned
> it's "Free"! 
> Ps the admission including a seafood buffet is $35 Australian.
> regards,
> Richard Stevens
> www.thejazzfactory.net

Great Reply Richard,

But I would expect that from you since from previous posts I know that you 
folks are a first rate professional working band that enjoys good business 
success, and no doubt from your treating the business and your employers like a 

I agree many special situation gigs do and should pay more than a  regular 
nightclub gig, especially when one thinks about the hassels of breaking down and 
transporting equipment to a special (often unfriendly venue).   It must be 
worked into the pricing for such gigs and understood that the buyer is being 
treated special at all times and that the band is going to do everything to make 
that special event special, which includes learning specific songs, wearing 
the proper attire and conducting themselves in a proper manner to contribute to 
the ambieance and theme of the event.    

However many musicians just think that because it is a one off gig that they 
are entitled to get a lot more money, it is indeed on these kind of gigs that 
any good bandleader earns every penny of any extra money he charges for the 
services of the band.   Most sidemen have no clue what a band leader and or 
agent must do to get these good higher paying gigs, and then they must live up to 
the requests and expectations of the employer.

As you obviously do, we must all understand that we are Partners with the 
promoters and or club owners or restaurateurs and while we are entitled to our 
fair share of what we bring to the establishment, they too must make a 
respectable profit to stay in business and keep us employed or at best have an 
opportunity to perform and share in the income.

The admission fees and the share of same should be negotiated carefully with 
the proprietor by the band leader to make sure they both have reasonable cut 
of any extra revenue generated by their joint efforts, taking into 
consideration that they are talking primarily about additional found revenue from folks 
coming to the event that normally do not frequent the place or follow the band.  
One should also be careful not to gouge your regular fans and customers who 
support you all year long just for the sake of one big payday.

I may sometimes sound like I am harping on about these kind of things, but I 
am always amazed at just how many musicians and bands do not know or think 
about these important things when trying to operate a band.

Once you get your act established, you know under most situations exactly 
what your act is worth and can indeed charge accordingly, unfortunately many 
other sidemen and bands with less experience who do nothing to promote themselves 
just observe the results of groups like ours and others on the list and think 
they are entitled to get the same pay and or treatment.

As you know all well mate it certainly did not come easy.

And Happy Holidays to you and your guys.  Look forward to seeing you someday, 

  "If the Good Lord Willin' and the Creek don't Rise."

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