Size Matters

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by bassendworld, Jun 14, 2009.

  1. bassendworld

    bassendworld Member

    Having played and conducted at two seperate engagements yesterday with different music groups both of which were well extremely well attended and well paid, I had a conversation with an old friend today who was bemoaning the fact his band did on paper a reasonably well paid job yesterday to virtually no one.

    So whats more important to you:-

    The Fee size?
    The audience size?
  2. 2nd man down

    2nd man down Moderator Staff Member

    Difficult one to answer really. Fee's keep the band going regardless of how many turn up, but no one wants to play to a load of empty chairs.
    Also, if the fee size is dependant on the audience size then it's a bit of a no brainer.
  3. andyh

    andyh Supporting Member

    Speaking personally, I value audience size over fee - simply because preserving the tradition is more important than profiting from it. All I ask is we can break even as a band. If we make money, then great, because it allows us to buy music and instruments to teach the generation who will take over from us. Anything else implies the death of the British Brass Band movement and is to be totally deplored.

  4. Aussie Tuba

    Aussie Tuba Member

    no one likes playing to an empty room.
  5. MrsDoyle

    MrsDoyle Supporting Member

    Audience size - i'd rather do it for enjoyment than money.
  6. DMBabe

    DMBabe Supporting Member

    We once did a concert and the person who organised it forgot to do any publicity for it (despite us asking for posters and flyers so we could help with publicising it). We ended up with an audience (minus our collective spouses, kids and general hangers on) of 4 dutch tourists. Made about 20 in total in a hall that seated 200+. When we realised we were going to have a small audience we changed the format and made it much more interactive. The percussion box was raided for a few numbers and we even had them dancing! When we asked the tourists how they knew about it it turned out they saw one of the players getting his case out the car and decided to follow to see where he was going. They said that they'd had a great time despite the numbers, as did the band.

    Sometimes its not about the quantity of audience but the quality, after all we've all played to crowds who seem to barely tolerate our presence, but with an inventive MD and a band willing to adapt at the last minute positives can always be found from a negative.
  7. KenIrvin

    KenIrvin Member

    I agree its all about having fun and being entertaining. Still I would rather play for free to a larger audience - but not forget the collection tins. ;)
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 15, 2009
  8. Bungle

    Bungle Member

    I would rather play in a church with a small audience, than for a village fete and being background music.
  9. Andrew Norman

    Andrew Norman Member

    I would be interested to know what people consider a "reasonable" fee for, say, a Bandstand performance by a Community (non-contesting or lower section) Band - or for playing background music to an event (same level of Band).

    A few years ago (10ish) the Isle of Wight Council was paying £110 per concert on their bandstands - they then reduced the number of paid concerts inviting bands to play for the collection on the remainder of the dates.

    The funding was reduced altogether about 5 years ago and in recent years all the concerts have moved to one bandstand where there is a well organised deck chair concession which is highly supportive of the bands and encourages the collection.

    Last year the IW Council threatened to disconnect the electricity from the bandstand because it cost too much (£200 a year) which we had to fight to overturn.

    This year they decided that the performances were too great a risk for them to cover on their own Public Liability Insurance and that all Bands should provide their own. I know that many Bands have their own cover but if not this is an extra cost - incidentally does anyone know of a Band which has ever made a claim on PL Insurance ?
    When asked what the Council considered the risks were no response was recieved.
  10. StellaJohnson

    StellaJohnson Active Member

    I think all bands have some jobs they do purely for the money and is lousy and some jobs we enjoy doing and the money is lousy. We are now at a stage where we are beginning to get rid of some lousy jobs and do good paying gigs with a decent audience.

    We have done some jobs for nowt in return for some good publicity for us and the bigger picture in the future, i,e charity dos.

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