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FDP Forum / Performer's Corner / How "pro-active" and how "professionally organized" is your band?

Tony Wright
Contributing Member

Stillwater, OK

I never met a calorie I didn't like.
Dec 27th, 2016 12:05 AM   Edit   Profile  

My "day job" is with the local city government. My job title is Tech Services meaning "theater tech, lighting and sound" AND when there is a slack in those activities, I work in the office.

In the office, I work as a general "assistant" doing anything I am instructed to do...but one thing that I have gladly taken on as MY responsibility is "talent buying" (Booking live music entertainers for events sponsored by the local municipal government.

My point?

I am already in communications with several entertainers that I plan to engage for events that start in April thru September.

I have contact names, expected compensation and have been trying to pair like entertainers in the same genre for the various events.

Every year, I get calls in May, June...monthly thru the end of October asking if we need any other bands for those cool gigs downtown.

Sorry Charlie, we book in January and February. SMART "talent buyers" will work in the quiet months getting their performance contracts, any Arts & Humanities Grants that are available filed hoping for awards of funds...and generally having everything for that concert series completed before the first note is played.

I am not saying I have EVERYONE lined out "quite yet" as bands do break up...key personnel quit...and when hit with the required IRS information to accompany the contract, strangely several "week end warrior bands" will choke and withdraw from consideration.

In our situation, we (the hosting organization) provide all advertising, all necessary ASCAP and other licensing and production of the event. Production includes stage lighting, electrical power, stage, sound system.

We have a cancellation clause in the contract to protect the performers AND our organization.

"I AM NOT SEEKING PERFORMERS!!!" Feel free to contact me, but I can tell you now that if you live more than a couple of hours away, the pay is not worth it.

MY POINT was to encourage the musicians to address the task of booking their band as a business venture. PROACTIVE and WELL IN ADVANCE. (We are already discussing events in July or next fall and as far in advance as Christmas 2017.)

You should be contacting those organizations that have Downtown Friday Night Concerts or Saturday In The Park...or whatever your area has going...get in there and hustle. And someone needs to step up and sign the IRS forms OR you need to create a legal business identity and have a company tax ID.

6 Cylinder Slim

north woods

It just needs more voltage
Dec 27th, 2016 07:03 AM   Edit   Profile  

Glad to hear there's still some music business going on. For myself and most everyone else I know it's backed off to hobby status. Even GBs are relying on tracks and pickups to stay in the black.

Juice Nichols
Contributing Member

Panama City, FL

I'm just a dude, playing a dude...
Dec 27th, 2016 07:24 AM   Edit   Profile  


I play at several downtown festivals, concert in the park, etc. during the summer months. They are always accompanied with the associated performance agreements. I haven't had to fill out a W-4 for the street festivals because they only pay $300 a gig. There are several venues that we do play that I have to fill out tax paperwork for though. Since I'm the leader, I take the tax hit. It doesn't amount to much when it's all said and done and my right-offs more than offset the income. If it gets to the point that it doesn't, you can better believe my band members will be getting 1099's!

Yes these gigs are booked months in advance.

(This message was last edited by Juice Nichols at 09:27 AM, Dec 27th, 2016)


Grand Prairie, TX

Americana Singer/Songwriter
Dec 27th, 2016 02:35 PM   Edit   Profile  

Have I told you lately that you're not only a brilliant businessman but you're also ruggedly handsome!

Contributing Member

American Patriot

About as ordinary as you can get.
Dec 27th, 2016 07:31 PM   Edit   Profile  

Not very pro-active. If I don't say "get ready" they don't get ready.



Say what one more time!
Dec 27th, 2016 08:34 PM   Edit   Profile  

We are very proactive and professional with booking our gigs. We have contracts set for just about any situation. We are booking into 2018 and beyond. We have a very solid core of musicians and everyone is a professional outside of the band as well.

Tony Wright
Contributing Member

Stillwater, OK

I never met a calorie I didn't like.
Dec 29th, 2016 06:41 AM   Edit   Profile  

6 Cylinder Slim, not sure how much business. I was informed in the last couple of weeks that one 2 day festival we has produced for 15 plus years will no longer be a function of City government in 2018. Either some other organization picks it up and covers the cost or it ceases to exist. I won't bore you with the "economics of the times" lecture that we were given.

Juice Nichols: That is basically the way it is supposed to be...but our City pays slightly better so they want all the paper work in hand, even if the vendor (band) does not exceed the Fed limit. "House rules" and I work for the "house".

JuiceDaddy, you say the nicest things. But when I wake up the next morning...you're gone. You don't call, you don't write...but I will always remember our time in Paris.

BbenderFender, I know the feeling. My current musical partner (sorry JuiceDaddy, I've moved on) said he knew a VA facility in western Oklahoma where he had an "in"...2 months later, I had to give him the phone number to the place...after pushing him out the door, he finally called. We are booked in late January. (can you say ice and snow season?)

Gawkdawg, I have watched several video of your band...very nice. You can see that the professional polish shines thru in those examples.


Look at my hair ...

Dec 31st, 2016 05:46 PM   Edit   Profile  

I do all promotions and booking for our 10-piece, aand we do roughly 21 gigs a year. We're all educators, so we only play once per month during the school year, and book the other 12 in the summer.

I am usually finished booking for the year in February or March at the latest, and start booking for the next year in July-ish.

Tony Wright
Contributing Member

Stillwater, OK

I never met a calorie I didn't like.
Jan 1st, 2017 10:34 AM   Edit   Profile  

tepperson: I like your style. Considering the size of the band, I assume you use contracts. Don't load out for a gig without a contract.

I have started the first round of "confirmation" for the April 3 day event. No one has wanted out, but I have a couple of groups I have not reached yet...I should have them confirmed by mid week at the rate work is going. (Regular office duties and tech responsibilities get in the way of "Tony Wright, Agent to the Stars".

Or should that be "the tight wad (deleted) between the band eating tonight and simply paying for their gas?"


Look at my hair ...

Jan 1st, 2017 10:44 AM   Edit   Profile  

Mr. Wright-ABSOLUTELY on the contracts; in 16 years we've never had an issue nor has anyone ever broken one. It's a pretty straight-forward instrument, time, date, venue, # of performers, fee and any extras they may need (DJ during dinner, announcements, other bands using our system, etc.) We have our own PA, lighting and sound tech, who we pay as part of the band (he is amazing). We don't play bars anymore, so no issues there.

My three-piece, on the other hand, is a little looser, since we do play mostly bars. I promo and book for that as well, but rarely use contracts, as the club owners are friends. Obviously, the pay is a bit less as well ...

FDP Forum / Performer's Corner / How "pro-active" and how "professionally organized" is your band?

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