Hypothetical Charging Question

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by Will the Sec, Apr 4, 2004.

  1. Will the Sec

    Will the Sec Active Member


    You have to provide a full band for a midday starting fair on a Sunday. The venue is a private road in the city of London, an exclusive very wealthy area. Parking is limited in the vincinity, and if you're not lucky, it can be a mile walk (with a tuba in my case. And in its case.)

    You play two pieces at a time, in 6 or 7 slots over the length of the fair.

    You do not leave until 5 pm.

    You are a third or fourth section band.

    You routinely play well, but the timetable being so fractured, retuning is needed each time. This means that there is little scope for leaving the venue to (say) get a sherbert. The music you play is naff, typical Sunday "job" stuff, and overall the job is not at all satisfying from the players' point of view, even if the "audience" like it.

    There are no redeeming features to this job, except that it will bring in funds for an important event later in the year.


    Five hours out on a Sunday - (perhaps ignoring the important event later in the year) how much do you charge?
  2. andywooler

    andywooler Supporting Member

    Absolutely no idea!
    But I spotted your reference to Pardew - if you play the B&W selection at this event, the one that includes "bubbles", will it change key half way through like it does at the Boleyn? ;)
  3. bennem

    bennem Member

    175 to 200 quid
  4. lynchie

    lynchie Active Member

    I would think about £200. If it's a particularly wealthy area, and they're not raising for charity, I'd think about pushing for £250...
  5. TheMusicMan

    TheMusicMan tMP Founder Staff Member

    What! ... for 25 or so musicians for 5 hours in a wealthy area in the centre of London... you gotta be kiddin me there eh! :shock: :shock:

    But it does indeed open up a very interesting conversation bennem.

    I'd say with the appropriate business justification and explanation to the relevant paying authority you should be able to charge at least £350 for that Will. Surely you can justify this amount given the parking, transport and man/woman-musician time etc. Don't sell yourself short... far too many bands do that for far too little money.

    If you personally were asked to do this on your own, would you charge just £1.60 per hour.... :?: nah nah nah, I think not... you simply wouldn't do it, you simply couldn't do it - you'd lose money hand over fist. I suppose at the end of the day it's a risk that you might overprice yourself and lose the job, but as I say, don't undersell yourself either. In my opinion, that's worse.

  6. W.Rimmer

    W.Rimmer Member

    If we can widen this discussion a little, what do bands (of various standards) currently charge for doing engagements? It would be interesting to hear what the regional variations are...might prevent bands from being ripped-off too!
  7. MRSH

    MRSH Supporting Member

    The best way to approach it (IMHO) is to ask them if they have a budget or a ceiling amount for the band and go from there.

    In my (very) long experience of negotiating fees etc in the London area I would put up a fee of at least £400.00.

    tMM is right - never sell yourself short 'cos, for one thing, if you're asked back it would be difficult to negotiate an increase.

    One other point - I would insist they provide some parking spaces for you near to the venue at least for the big instruments, drummer and heavy equipment carriers.
  8. ScrapingtheBottom

    ScrapingtheBottom Active Member

    Totally agree.

    Surelyh you could drop off the stuff and go and park elsewhere?????
  9. MRSH

    MRSH Supporting Member

    Yep - you could. But after 5 hours would you want to walk a mile to the car then drive back to the venue - through heavy traffic, no doubt - to load up only to have to drive back out through heavy traffic to get home :?: :?: :?:
  10. ScrapingtheBottom

    ScrapingtheBottom Active Member

    Aren't any of you married? That's what they're for... :twisted:
  11. PeterBale

    PeterBale Moderator Staff Member

    Not directly related to funding, but has anyone checked out if there is enough space to accommodate a full band? In my experience, organisers of such events have little or no idea of how much room a full band takes up, particularly if you are taking a reasonable amount of percussion.

    It may be that, although they requested "a full band", they would in fact be just as happy with a smaller group, say a ten-piece, which makes the logistics easier, as fewer vehicles would be needed.

    Lastly, if I did have to cart my bass a distance I would personally leave the case behind!
  12. MRSH

    MRSH Supporting Member


    But my wife plays as well. :roll: :roll: :roll:
  13. Will the Sec

    Will the Sec Active Member

    Interesting responses.

    OK, you'll have gathered that I've a bee in my bonnet about a real issue - in the past I believe that the event organiser has bullied and brow beaten their former band contact(s).

    They can't do that to me, (6 foot 4, 19 stone with an attitude problem) but as there was an agreement albeit verbal, I've had to accept £275 for a (now) 3 hour set. It's unlikely in the extreme that we'll be going back next year.

    Frankly, the players despise the job so much, that I was going to pull the plug on it if we were offered less than £350, but when you're a qualifier needs must.

    The contact is allegedly (a) funny and (b) a ventriloquist. No prizes for where I'd like to £$%^£&^$**&£&&$&$**%($(£&*$(%* puppet. (Just thought I'd save the mods some work :D )

    So if next year you're offered a "very nice job in an exclusive area of London" I think the minimum anyone should quote is £500...
  14. bennem

    bennem Member

    I fully agree about selling yourself short. But locally if we increase our fee by say £10 then a number of jobs are no longer ours but go to a band who is cheaper.

    The problem is history when you have been doing a job for many many years the expectation is that your fees will remain similar. Why? Because the majority of fetes etc. don't increase their turnover year in year out therefore need/expect to have a similar fee from the band.

    There is little point in pricing yourself out of the market.

    Also, how much rehearsal are you going to put into the job or in fact are capable of putting into a job? Are you going to be able to turn out a full 25 head band? Do you need the fees to survive e.g. pay the rehearsal room rent etc. or do your members pay subs?

    There are many things that need to be balanced when setting a fee.
  15. andyp

    andyp Active Member

    Without getting into actual figures (cos our treasurer would kill me!), we have an excellent arrangement with the local churches where we do a fair few of our concerts. Basically we run a 50-50 split with the church (less whatever they had to pay out for refreshments), but it's down to the church to promote the event/sell tickets and so on, all we have to do is turn up and put on a show (anyone who's ever promoted a concert will know how much hassle this saves!). We know this works as we get pretty much full houses, we get repeat bookings on the night, we usually make more than we would charging a flat fee, and we're also getting more concert bookings by word of mouth (churches tell each other about these things!). We benefit and so do the churches.