[Dixielandjazz] Church Gigs

Steve Barbone barbonestreet at earthlink.net
Sat Jun 16 22:20:23 PDT 2007

A while back in a discussion of church gigs, some opined that they didn't
pay much and could be done FREE by hobby bands. (I disagreed)

Tonight we just finished our 3rd church gig out of 5 for this month. Three
vesper services and two fund raiser carnivals. Being a Saturday Night, we
asked for and got a rather hefty fee. One of the sidemen said when told what
the pay would be several weeks ago, said "Gee, I thought Churches didn't
spend much money on music.

His eyes were opened tonight. It was the fourth and final day of a annual
fund raiser carnival complete with rides, gambling booths, fortune tellers,
bake sale booths, a dinner tent, snack food etc.

Catholic Church in a working class neighborhood. When we finished up at 10
PM, they asked if they could use my sound system for prize drawings. Gave
away several baskets of cheer (paid for and then some, by chances). Then
they did their 50-50 drawing. Chances sold, 50% to church, 50% to winners.
Five cash prizes awarded were $2500, $1500, $750, $500 and $250. That's
$5,500 for the church too.

Now I don't know how much they raised overall by I'll bet it was upwards of
$25,000, net after all expenses. And the Carnies made money too.

Great parish, great people, they love us (our 3rd year there) and they
rebooked us for 2008. (We had originally replaced a free music band that
couldn't cut the mustard)

Play Free at church gigs? If you do, you are foolish. And forget artsy soft
music. With all the ambient noise of the rides, bingo, diners, dancers etc.,
you need heat and lots of it, as well as a sound system. But my oh my, what
fun. Especially with the girls we give beads to for dancing. We pretend to
ask them to flash and they shyly say. "I would downtown, but Father's right
next to the band stand." (Selling chances for dinner with the Parish Priests
in a booth behind us)

Steve Barbone

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