Mudcat Café message #3016555 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #133063   Message #3016555
Posted By: Joe Offer
27-Oct-10 - 05:55 AM
Thread Name: Fees (concert admission prices)
Subject: RE: Fees (concert admission prices)
Will Fly asks:
Well, here in Northern California, the folk clubs I know are the Freight & Salvage in Berkeley; and the Palms Playhouse in Winters. I'd guess these venues hold 150-200 people. Most shows are right around $20, with a few performers going for $30 or so - the performers I prefer are in the $20 bracket, and the higher-priced performers are usually too commercial for me.

My son's band used to do punk, but I guess what you call his current music is something like "techno-dance music." He did a concert at a bar/concert venue in Sacramento last month, and drew an audience of about 200, at $20 a head. Not a whole lot for a band with five members that travelled from New York to California. I think they usually do larger venues, but this was a hometown thing. They went for 22 Euros in Madrid in August, and about 18 Euros in Berlin and 195 Krone ($36 US) in Copenhagen in November. I think they often play for an audience of about 1,500, but that varies widely. I think they generally do much better financially when they're performing outside the US. They travel to some interesting places - maybe I should volunteer to be their roadie.

House concerts in this area are $10 to $15, occasionally $20. In most cases, the performer gets 100% of admission fees at house concerts. A friend of mine charges $20 for all the concerts she hosts, because she thinks $10 to $15 isn't enough - and she gets 40-50 people at every concert.

There's an old theater in Sacramento that I like - I'd say it has 500 seats. I see they're charging $50 for a benefit performance by comedian Robin Williams, and I think they charge $35 when Arlo Guthrie comes to town. I wanted to see Doc Watson there without an advance ticket, and he was sold out (and the people going in looked like they were in their 20s and 30s, which pleased me to see such a young audience). One thing I like about this theater is that they sell their own tickets, and don't charge me a 20 percent surcharge for the privilege of buying a ticket - for many of the larger venues, you have to buy tickets through a ticket agency and pay a surcharge. I passed up a chance to see Doc Watson last year because it would have cost me $60, with the surcharge....but I'm still kicking myself because I've never had the chance to see him. And I've never seen Pete Seeger, either, because he was always too far away and too expensive.

But I'm spoiled by house concerts. I can hear wonderful performances in an audience of 50 people (where I know half the audience or more). I feel $20 is a fair price for a house concert - but if the performance is really good, I'll sometimes spend $50 on CDs.