[Dixielandjazz] Youth Band Festivals ASTA / IAJE- Kid Players - Pipa

TCASHWIGG at aol.com TCASHWIGG at aol.com
Sat Mar 5 11:08:25 PST 2005

In a message dated 3/5/05 7:55:15 AM Pacific Standard Time, 
barbonestreet at earthlink.net writes:

> Where did the kids learn that it was OK or beneficial to do that sort of
> thing? At these pay to play H.S. Festivals with "adjudicators" etc. Where
> everybody gets paid except the performers.
> If that happens a lot in California (it does not here in the eastern US),
> then no wonder you have all those OKOM bands out there playing for nothing.
> You figure that's the right thing to do as you still seek out that exposure
> or fame through some kind of lucky break. Better you should invest in a
> Nigerian Money Transfer Scam.

Hi Folks:

I was going through my Festival data base yesterday doing a market study for 
setting up a tour in the USA and came across a very interesting Event,  

Attendance 350,000+ 
admission $10.00 a person
Arts & Craft exhibitors   350 booths  @ $350.00 per booth.
The event also has major sponsorship money.
Entertainment:  Six stages   All kinds of music
Pay for entertainers:    They play for free for exposure  no money

Another one was more generous:
Attendance:   23,000 people
They offered the group a booth at the event to promote themselves in exchange 
for playing.

Now there are times and places and way to make some of these kind of events 
worthwhile for certain acts, but you damned sure better know what and why you 
are doing it or you will just be wasting your time and paying to play so others 
can and will make all the money.

I know how to take that gig and make more money off of it than they would 
more than likely offer to pay us anyway, but unfortunately most band leaders do 
not know how to do these kind of events because nobody has ever taught them how 
or why they might consider doing them.  When I do take a gig like that I 
still pay my men to keep them from bitching about playing for free, but I 
guarantee you I make a lot more money as a leader and business man from that gig than 
do on a normal performance booking at a negotiated fee.

You do have to know how and why and where and when to take one like that, and 
you need to negotiate other forms of compensation to offset the cash you are 
not getting, like guaranteed articles and photos of your show in the major 
media which you cannot buy, good placement in and on the advertising of all kind 
of the event with photos and information about the band.  A receipt for your 
services at the value placed upon it by YOU for tax expense purposes for your 

That is if you treat it like a Business, and if you don't you deserve to get 
what you get, and should not complain if you don't get paid what your band is 
actually worth, as it just might be worth a lot less than you are already 
getting. :))

Three days ago I received a request from the San Francisco Symphony 
organization for Saint Gabriel's Celestial Brass Band to come and perform at their 
annual Black & White Ball gala Fundraiser which attracts thousands of people at 
high ticket prices and employees major artist headliners.  They wanted us 
because we are such a "High Profile Group" their words, however they wanted us to 
perform as Volunteers, ha ha, I told them that the day the San Francisco 
Symphony performs for free will be the day we perform for free.
The Symphony is performing at the event as well and you can bet they are 
getting paid to do so.

I told them my volunteer price and Benefit price was the same as my personal 
appearance price because we have high "EXPENSES" to meet just like them.  They 
should tap one of their big corporate sponsors or wealthy patrons to pay our 
expenses, or give me their sponsor and donor list and I would go get the money 
directly.   I have not received the list yet :))   I thanked them for the 
wonderful opportunity and invited them to come out and see and hear us for FREE 
at the San Francisco Easter Parade on Union Street on March 27th. for which we 
are being paid by an organization with a lot less support and money than the 


Tom Wiggins

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