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Fees (concert admission prices)

stallion 26 Oct 10 - 07:02 AM
MGM∑Lion 26 Oct 10 - 07:35 AM
Colin Randall 26 Oct 10 - 07:54 AM
GUEST,Woodsie 26 Oct 10 - 07:56 AM
GUEST,Desi C 26 Oct 10 - 08:05 AM
GUEST,Girl Friday 26 Oct 10 - 08:09 AM
Tim Leaning 26 Oct 10 - 08:36 AM
DebC 26 Oct 10 - 08:58 AM
Wolfhound person 26 Oct 10 - 09:12 AM
stallion 26 Oct 10 - 09:13 AM
Will Fly 26 Oct 10 - 09:22 AM
GUEST,Banjiman 26 Oct 10 - 09:47 AM
MGM∑Lion 26 Oct 10 - 09:48 AM
GUEST,Banjiman 26 Oct 10 - 09:51 AM
Tim Leaning 26 Oct 10 - 10:09 AM
Will Fly 26 Oct 10 - 10:16 AM
Sarah McQuaid 26 Oct 10 - 10:17 AM
Will Fly 26 Oct 10 - 10:26 AM
Sarah McQuaid 26 Oct 10 - 10:28 AM
GUEST,Banjiman 26 Oct 10 - 10:33 AM
Will Fly 26 Oct 10 - 10:34 AM
C-flat 26 Oct 10 - 10:41 AM
Tim Leaning 26 Oct 10 - 10:45 AM
Tim Leaning 26 Oct 10 - 10:55 AM
C-flat 26 Oct 10 - 10:57 AM
Ruth Archer 26 Oct 10 - 11:33 AM
Folkiedave 26 Oct 10 - 11:42 AM
C-flat 26 Oct 10 - 11:43 AM
Tim Leaning 26 Oct 10 - 11:52 AM
Tim Leaning 26 Oct 10 - 11:56 AM
GUEST,Girl Friday 26 Oct 10 - 11:56 AM
Dave MacKenzie 26 Oct 10 - 12:05 PM
Arthur_itus 26 Oct 10 - 01:05 PM
Will Fly 26 Oct 10 - 01:16 PM
Tim Leaning 26 Oct 10 - 01:20 PM
Arthur_itus 26 Oct 10 - 01:21 PM
GUEST,Woodsie 26 Oct 10 - 01:23 PM
GUEST,chris 26 Oct 10 - 01:24 PM
Tim Leaning 26 Oct 10 - 01:31 PM
Arthur_itus 26 Oct 10 - 01:32 PM
Will Fly 26 Oct 10 - 01:33 PM
GUEST,Tom Bliss 26 Oct 10 - 01:34 PM
Will Fly 26 Oct 10 - 01:39 PM
Tim Leaning 26 Oct 10 - 01:44 PM
Tim Leaning 26 Oct 10 - 01:46 PM
The Sandman 26 Oct 10 - 01:52 PM
Will Fly 26 Oct 10 - 01:55 PM
GUEST,Tom Bliss 26 Oct 10 - 02:05 PM
C-flat 26 Oct 10 - 02:42 PM
C-flat 26 Oct 10 - 02:43 PM
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Subject: RE: Fees (concert admission prices)
From: stallion
Date: 26 Oct 10 - 07:02 AM

It's a long long time since I saw Vin perform, mainly because by the time I get my arse in gear the tickets are sold out. The way i see it he is ensuring the club maximise their profits so that they can survive on half empty nights the rest of the time.


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Subject: RE: Fees (concert admission prices)
From: MGM∑Lion
Date: 26 Oct 10 - 07:35 AM

But that's none of his business, Stallion. It is not his job to ensure the club's survival, merely to fulfil his contract with them. I still feel that for him [or anyone] to dictate their admissions policy to them is an impertinence.

Arthur, your last posting was an accurate account of what can be involved in doing the gig; but I can't see it as relevant to the question at issue, which is, to what extent is it the business of the performer to dictate policy to the organisers?


~Michael~


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Subject: RE: Fees (concert admission prices)
From: Colin Randall
Date: 26 Oct 10 - 07:54 AM

I remember Ewan MacColl demanding a proper stage, absolute quiet during his performance (which would have been with Peggy Seeger), likewise bar firmly closed and no one allowed in or out. The fee was also quite expensive by most standards.

I'd have paid the money because they were worth it, and I'm sure we could have put some boards on beer crates. But whatever the pub manager would have said about his bar sales, anyone who remembers the Folk Forum at The Castle Hotel, Bishop Auckland will know why, short of hiring bouncers, I couldn't make any confident assurances about silence and comings & goings. So we had to go without.

Can't get excited about the debate on artists insisting on minimum fees, though. I can see no reason why he/she/they shouldn't, and no reason why a club organiser should not regard it as a legitimate reason for not booking them.

As I may have mentioned in a thread long ago, easily our best night, after the club had moved to another Bishop Auckland pub, was when an error led to both Tony Captsick and Christy Moore turning up on the same date (whose fault, Christy's or mine, being the subject of an alcohol-fuelled dispute). We agreed with CM that we'd raise prices and give him whatever remained after TC had been paid. A big crowd came, both got the money they'd originally expected and both also proceeded to share the task of drinking my dad's drinks cabinet dry afterwards.


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Subject: RE: Fees (concert admission prices)
From: GUEST,Woodsie
Date: 26 Oct 10 - 07:56 AM

Exactly my point - the guest is guaranteed his fee whatever! This has never been a problem with the scores of professional artists who have performed at the club over the lawst 15 years or so. It IS to do with image, ego and vanity.


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Subject: RE: Fees (concert admission prices)
From: GUEST,Desi C
Date: 26 Oct 10 - 08:05 AM

It's a free world and all that, and it's not my kind of music, but as one who runs a folk club I'd not book anyone on that premise, and wouldn't knowingly pay to see someone who had that criteria. I've recently attended a conference funded by The Arts Council to look at ways to increase the appeal of Folk Music to a wider audience, and pricing a wider audience out of it I feel is what vin is doing

Desi C
The Circle Folk Club
Coseley UK
WV14 9JH
Every Wed night


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Subject: RE: Fees (concert admission prices)
From: GUEST,Girl Friday
Date: 26 Oct 10 - 08:09 AM

Leadfingers said "Small Folk Clubs , even today VERY rarely charge any thing like £10 for admission ". Thanks for that comment O F F is one such small club. A good audience today is 15 people paying £5 to £7.00 to see a good range of guests, but no true super stars. I know that I can't afford to pay the fees, There are performers who will fill the club, but the audience will only be for that person. Other times most of them don't attend. Even so, I will endeavour to get the best value I can from every booking . One thing I do promise is a guaranteed minimum fee against 100% of the door, whichever is greater. I always am booked one year in advance, and though I lose money sometimes , we manage to tick over. I'll say one thing in defence of clubs (not artists) who charge £10.00. They may have to pay for the room. I do to, but very little.


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Subject: RE: Fees (concert admission prices)
From: Tim Leaning
Date: 26 Oct 10 - 08:36 AM

"But that's none of his business, Stallion. It is not his job to ensure the club's survival, merely to fulfil his contract with them. I still feel that for him [or anyone] to dictate their admissions policy to them is an impertinence."

This word impertinence.
I only have experience of it in the context of 1950's politicians being upset by Robin Day etc.
Could you expand on your use of it in this context please.


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Subject: RE: Fees (concert admission prices)
From: DebC
Date: 26 Oct 10 - 08:58 AM

This is a fascinating discussion. I have always wondered about admission charges in UK folk clubs. They are certainly lower than here in the States. Most US folk societies charge $10-$15 (approx. £7-12) and in Canada it's $20. House concerts use the suggested donation model with the same range of numbers. Even when the exchange rate was 2-1, I was making less in the UK than what I make in the States or Canada.

Also, as someone said above, artist fees are wages and in my experience have not increased in the folk clubs, though costs for artists (and I am sure venues as well) have increased. It's damned expensive to tour in the UK and I certainly don't do it for the money, but it is always interesting to note that to make a UK tour work, I have to book at least 14 or 15 gigs just to break even.

I have always felt that ticket prices are a decision that should be made by the organiser, though some have asked me to suggest a price. I think George made some excellent points above and Vic did as well. Ticket prices are tricky as someone said above: 1) you charge what the market can bear and 2) if you cannot meet the terms of an artist's contract the artist doesn't get booked at that venue.

I don't know Vin personally, but I have seen him perform. Like many others who have been in the biz for years and years and can guarantee a full house, IMO he and they have every right to run their business the way they see fit. If that means dictating a certain price for tickets, so be it.

Debra Cowan


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Subject: RE: Fees (concert admission prices)
From: Wolfhound person
Date: 26 Oct 10 - 09:12 AM

Arthur-itus

I understand your point about artist input time and all that: I know a gig is not just the hour or so the artiste is on stage. I understand that organisers of whatever venues have to make ends meet, and that performers have to pay bills etc.

I have to live too, and do so on very little, but that means NOT being able to afford nights out with 10 quid ticket prices, just for starters.
I'm not the only one by a long way, and for some it's a lot harder than for me - I don't have to pay rent or mortgage.

This type of audience is effectively being excluded from most "arts venues" in whatever art form, and that's just not right.

Paws


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Subject: RE: Fees (concert admission prices)
From: stallion
Date: 26 Oct 10 - 09:13 AM

I am afraid that a few of guest booking folk clubs have gone the way local floor singing sessions and many more will do so I fear. I didn't neccessarily agree with what I was putting forward just adding a new dimension to the debate. I am full of cold and a bug at the moment and too tired to rant on. I think people should be asked to pay what they can afford to pay. I know there will be dishonest people but that is far better than means testing, pensioners and students dispensations are ok but the students next door are running cars and at least one spent the summer in Italy at Mum and Dads villa, and I know at least a dozen pensioners that own second homes in europe and even one with a Flat in london and house in Florida as well as the house he lives in in Devon. I am interested to know why it is, maybe it is to give the support artist more money. Dare I ask? Nah !!!


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Subject: RE: Fees (concert admission prices)
From: Will Fly
Date: 26 Oct 10 - 09:22 AM

they have every right to run their business the way they see fit. If that means dictating a certain price for tickets, so be it.

Every performer does indeed have the right to conduct his or her own business as they see fit. And so does every club organiser. The problem arises when one tries to conduct the business of the other.

I know several clubs where admission fees for singers' nights (no guests) help to pay the fees for professional guests on other nights. This isn't just a question of subsidising the contracted guest fee to make the admission charge more palatable. Such small clubs, often with limited seating capacity, can't afford a sky-high admission charge to pay for a guest's high fee. Their strategy is to pay the guest's fee by calculating a capacity seat price that, when added to the "subsidy" obtained from the singers' nights, makes up the sum required. This is a calculation that is the business of the club organiser.

It's perfectly acceptable for a club organiser and potential guest to discuss such things as the venue capacity and the possible ticket price range that the club's public will accept when discussing a fee, and whether it's a set fee or a percentage or some combination of the two. But when the price has been agreed and the contract signed, it's up to the club to do what it things best.


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Subject: RE: Fees (concert admission prices)
From: GUEST,Banjiman
Date: 26 Oct 10 - 09:47 AM

The KFFC model is to charge a lowish (usually £5) admission charge. We then ask people to be as generous with their raffle ticket buying as they see fit....... this works. We had 70 plus in for an act last month and had a licensed bar (we keep profits towards club funds, these are quite gigh with a large number of people in) and only took £55 on the raffle.

We were in a really tight spot with only 13 paying audience month this month for a lesser known act...... but we took £44 on the raffle. We did not have a licensed bar.

The audience really responded to help the club (and performers) out. Very heartening as a club organiser.

We only put on a concert once a month and do not have singarounds to subsidise performer costs.


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Subject: RE: Fees (concert admission prices)
From: MGM∑Lion
Date: 26 Oct 10 - 09:48 AM

Tim Leaning ~~ I use the word as follows

>im∑per∑ti∑nent †(m-pŻrtn-nt)
adj.
1. Exceeding the limits of propriety or good manners; improperly forward or bold: e.g. impertinent of a child to lecture a grownup.

Free Online Dictionary<

as I think a guest who tries to dictate the policy of the venue at which he appears is going beyound his brief, & trying to pre-empt someone else's job and prerogative, in a manner I would call "improperly forward or bold".

~Michael~


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Subject: RE: Fees (concert admission prices)
From: GUEST,Banjiman
Date: 26 Oct 10 - 09:51 AM

p.s. An artist dictating ticket prices just wouldn't work with the model I describe above.

Accept the artist has the right to run their business as they see fit though. But it would make it difficult for me to book someone who wouldn't work with me in finding a compromise though (hasn't happened yet though).


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Subject: RE: Fees (concert admission prices)
From: Tim Leaning
Date: 26 Oct 10 - 10:09 AM

"merely to fulfil his contract with them"
MtGM
I would not consider it impertinent to put forward my terms and conditions whilst in the process of negotiating my contract.
Why do you ?
Both sides are able to discuss the contract and decide if it is suitable or not .
Your use of the word seems to denote a master servant or adult child sort of a relationship not a prospective service user and provider coming to an arrangement.


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Subject: RE: Fees (concert admission prices)
From: Will Fly
Date: 26 Oct 10 - 10:16 AM

Whether it's 'impertinent' or not depends, I suppose, on your view of the fine dividing line between the business of the performer and the business of the club. In my view, ticket prices are the business of the club, not the performer.

In the example I quoted at a local Sussex club, the forced ticket price wasn't the subject of a discussion - it was a mandate by the performer's agent. 'Charge this ticket price or you don't get the performer.' I wouldn't have done business on those terms.


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Subject: RE: Fees (concert admission prices)
From: Sarah McQuaid
Date: 26 Oct 10 - 10:17 AM

Thanks to Debra Cowan for alerting me to this discussion, which is highly relevant to conversations I've been having over the past few weeks. I've just finished a 25-date UK tour, am now setting off on an equally long US tour, and have been having repeated discussions with my road manager about the ticket price issue -- have been considering setting a similar minimum ticket price rule myself. Basically I find -- both on my UK tours and on the US tour I did last Feb-March -- that the higher the ticket price, the bigger the audience. I don't know whether this is because people see a high ticket price and think the gig must be worth going to, or because the venues that charge more on the door tend to be better venues and therefore get better crowds. Either way, it seems to be a pretty good rule of thumb, for me anyway, that if a gig carries a low ticket price it's probably not a good idea to do it. It's also not very nice for punters who've forked out good money for a ticket if they then see that people 50 miles down the road can pay half the price for the same show.

I'll be interested in continuing to follow this discussion, and might raise the same issue on assorted other fora as I'd like to know what others have to say about it!

Sarah McQuaid

http://www.sarahmcquaid.com


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Subject: RE: Fees (concert admission prices)
From: Will Fly
Date: 26 Oct 10 - 10:26 AM

Interesting, Sarah. I've recently seen an excellent performer at a local club in Sussex, for which I booked in advance. In a few weeks' time, I'm going to see that same performer at another local club - I've also booked in advance, and the cost for this ticket is 20% less than the first one. The first gig was packed to the gills, and I'm absolutely sure that the second gig (same capacity) will be similarly packed to the gills. The difference in price means absolutely nothing to me - I'm just really glad of the opportunity to see the performer again in a venue near me!


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Subject: RE: Fees (concert admission prices)
From: Sarah McQuaid
Date: 26 Oct 10 - 10:28 AM

Further to previous -- After sending my last post, I realise I'd better clarify -- by "tend to be better venues" I don't mean to imply that there's anything wrong with venues that charge little or nothing on the door -- some of my favourite places to play in the world, run by my favourite people in the world, are places that charge little or nothing on the door! By "better venues" I mean larger clubs that host concerts on a regular basis that host high-profile acts. Deep breath, mop brow ....

Sarah


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Subject: RE: Fees (concert admission prices)
From: GUEST,Banjiman
Date: 26 Oct 10 - 10:33 AM

Sarah,

I'd be interested in discussing the phenomena you describe and experimenting a little for the gig you are likely to be doing for us next year ....... we'd have to agree on how the risk could be shared though!

Paul Arrowsmith


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Subject: RE: Fees (concert admission prices)
From: Will Fly
Date: 26 Oct 10 - 10:34 AM

Breath taken in? Brow mopped? :-)

"Better" is a moveable feast, isn't it? Depending on the viewpoint. For me, a small, intimate club, where the audience and performer are fairly close - however rough'n ready the ambiance might be - is often a joy. For a performer, I can see that a reasonably sophisticated club with, say, a separate area to relax in, a decent stage, PA system if necessary, and high capacity seating, can be a more attractive proposition.


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Subject: RE: Fees (concert admission prices)
From: C-flat
Date: 26 Oct 10 - 10:41 AM

It's a really interesting point that Sarah makes and follows my initial instinct that the policy has more to do with the type of customer than anything else.
I know from my work experience how critical "price points" are, too cheap and it's false economy, not worth having, too expensive and it'll turn other folk away, so I don't see why folk music or any other form of entertainment would be any different.
Maybe it's about "pitching" it to where the artists believes his or her level should be?
Maybe there's a lot of us out there under-selling ourselves???


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Subject: RE: Fees (concert admission prices)
From: Tim Leaning
Date: 26 Oct 10 - 10:45 AM

I am sorry Will and Michael both.
But I just see the word as derogatory in the context.
The word mandate Will?
The point I was making was just that however unpleasant this act's agent was, or if you think that the performer should leave the ticket pricing to the club organizer,if the parties agree to it than neither side could be impertinent.
If the act turned up then wanted free beer or the organizer decided not to pay the full amount......


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Subject: RE: Fees (concert admission prices)
From: Tim Leaning
Date: 26 Oct 10 - 10:55 AM

C flat
There a lot of performers I have met who feel the world is against them and should recognize their true greatness and will try to get paid even if they are just at their local for the weekly open mic.
There are also plenty of people who have no respect at all for the hard work and dedication it takes to be able to sing and play like a lot of the contributors to mudcat can.
I know a very good local performer who will no longer play for free at charity do,s, after the one he did for free and discovered the organizer took very hefty chunk of the money raised for their own "expenses"
He insists on being payed then donates as he feels able.
Seems fair in the circumstances.
its a cold old world sometimes innit?


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Subject: RE: Fees (concert admission prices)
From: C-flat
Date: 26 Oct 10 - 10:57 AM

Sad but very true.....


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Subject: RE: Fees (concert admission prices)
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 26 Oct 10 - 11:33 AM

"It's a free world and all that, and it's not my kind of music, but as one who runs a folk club I'd not book anyone on that premise, and wouldn't knowingly pay to see someone who had that criteria. I've recently attended a conference funded by The Arts Council to look at ways to increase the appeal of Folk Music to a wider audience, and pricing a wider audience out of it I feel is what vin is doing"


I was at that conference, too. Really? A tenner to see someone who headlines at many festivals is "pricing a wider audience out of it"?

People pay £3 for a pint of beer. Fish and chips will set you back £7. A cinema ticket costs £7. A gig at a local arts centre will start at around £12 or £14. And that's not even beginning to consider arena concerts, football matches...but you can go to a folk club and see a concert for £2 or £3.

Why do we in the folk community place so little value on our product, and by extension, our artists? We think they're great, and we love what they do - so how come we think they're worth less than a bag of chips?

Maybe, as Sarah has suggested, devaluing our product actually lessens its worth in the mind of the potential customer. I can tell you that in terms of basic marketing theory and practice, lowest price does not guarantee maximum, or even bigger, audiences. It's to do with the perceived value of the product. In any case, artificially low prices does not seem to be increasing folk club attendance at the moment, does it? Maybe it's time to try a different approach...


In any case, Vin doesn't appear to be pricing himself out of the market - as people have said, he specifies a minimum charge, and the gigs are rammed.


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Subject: RE: Fees (concert admission prices)
From: Folkiedave
Date: 26 Oct 10 - 11:42 AM

Ruth A. is absolutely correct. I remember a number of years ago a well-known group were lined up for a BBC appearance. When the BBC were told their fee (they wee naive in those days) the producer said - "If that is all they charge they can't be very good". Or words to that effect.

We do not value our music highly enough.


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Subject: RE: Fees (concert admission prices)
From: C-flat
Date: 26 Oct 10 - 11:43 AM

worth less than a bag of chips

Brilliantly put!!

In the context of other everyday purchases it seems we do undervalue the "product".
By putting a realistic price on it (i.e. not less than £10) maybe it's adding percieved worth/value to the buyer?


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Subject: RE: Fees (concert admission prices)
From: Tim Leaning
Date: 26 Oct 10 - 11:52 AM

Its amazing who I can agree with sometimes....


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Subject: RE: Fees (concert admission prices)
From: Tim Leaning
Date: 26 Oct 10 - 11:56 AM

Arts Council?
Is folky stuff arts or crafts?
artiste or artisan
Hey another thread?


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Subject: RE: Fees (concert admission prices)
From: GUEST,Girl Friday
Date: 26 Oct 10 - 11:56 AM

Sarah, I think we had a lot of discussion about your gig next year at Orpington. I believe you sent me if not a contract as such, certainly a questionnaire. Would you p. m. me please


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Subject: RE: Fees (concert admission prices)
From: Dave MacKenzie
Date: 26 Oct 10 - 12:05 PM

"People pay £3 for a pint of beer."

If I'm being charged that at the bar, I'll probably avoid the venue unless it's an artist I wouldn't be able to see otherwise. The ticket price is often secondary.


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Subject: RE: Fees (concert admission prices)
From: Arthur_itus
Date: 26 Oct 10 - 01:05 PM

If as an organiser, you decide to try and book somebody, you should already have an idea of how much you want to pay for said artist and of course what price you want to put on the tickets.

As a decent organiser, you would normally see how much the artist wants to charge first, assuming they can make the date you want to book them. If the fee seems OK or somewhere near what you can afford, you have a starting point. It's only polite to check with the artist if they are OK with a said ticket price. That is part of the negotiations. If you get past that hurdle, you probably have a booking. There are quite a few other things to discuss as well, before either agreeing to go ahead or not. What you decide between the two of you, has nothing to do with anybody else.

Your job as the organiser is to then make sure you deliver the goods as far as audience is concerned and the performers job from that point, is to entertain the said audience.

All the person wanting to go to the event needs to know, is how much the tickets are. They can then vote with their feet if they want to go or not.

There are many ways that a chat with an artist can lead to. e.g.

"We will do it for the door, but you need to charge £20 per ticket, but we won't demand a guarantee" That is normally performers who know and beleive that just their names will ensure a sell out for the venue.

"We will do it for £5 a ticket but you need to get 200 people through the door, however, we want £500 guarantee or 80% of the door, whichever is the greatest"

"You can charge whatever you like for a ticket and my fee is a flat guarantee of £400. No %"

Some artists will try to do a gig at a low fee if it is a new venue on the basis that they get future bookings.

However as an organiser, you need to respect the artists viewpoint and also not disclose to the general public your contract or what you discussed. If you do, then you run the risk of artists not wanting to come to your venue. You should also try and look after you performers in the best way you can.

It's all negotiation. If you can't charge £10 then don't book an artist who wants that. Book somebody within your budget. However don't slag the artist who didn't see it your way.

LOL I remember trying to book Barbara Dickson 2 or 3 years ago, having bumped into the agent, and asked the agent how much she would charge. The agent asked about the venue and numbers of people who could get in said "You can't afford her". I laughed and agreed, but I thought it was worth a try.

Basically, stick to who you can afford and who agrees with your policies, then nobody gets offended.


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Subject: RE: Fees (concert admission prices)
From: Will Fly
Date: 26 Oct 10 - 01:16 PM

Sorry folks, but the whole point of this thread is not the actual fee level for a performance. If someone wants to charge £25 for me to get into their venue to see a particular performer, then the only question is whether I value that performer enough to want to pay it - and now and then I have.I've actually flown to Ireland to see a particular performer's only European appearance in a decade - and it was worth the ticket price, the air fare, the car hire, the hotel, the food and drink... for two of us...

The point is that the venue's ticket price should not be dictated by the performer. He/she can demand whatever fee they like - and why not? - but it's up to the venue organiser to pay that fee and get the money for it in whatever mode they choose. It's not a question of undervaluing a performer, it's a question of practical economics. If I run a folk club with a maximum seating capacity of 50 people and I really want to engage a performer whose negotiated fee is £600 then, unless I have other funds, minimum seat price is £12. I don't want the performer then telling me what seat price I have to charge, purely to suit his or her personal image.


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Subject: RE: Fees (concert admission prices)
From: Tim Leaning
Date: 26 Oct 10 - 01:20 PM

Maybe that is why organizers need thick skins mate.


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Subject: RE: Fees (concert admission prices)
From: Arthur_itus
Date: 26 Oct 10 - 01:21 PM

They sure do Tim, becuase, sometimes people drive them to despair :-)


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Subject: RE: Fees (concert admission prices)
From: GUEST,Woodsie
Date: 26 Oct 10 - 01:23 PM

The above post misses the point - The club can pay this person's Fee and expenses etc,- no problem - but he insists on a minimum of £10 a ticket! That's the point. Nothing to do with costs to the club or artiste whatsoever. It is more than any guest in this club or clubs in the area EVER!- remember I'm talking amateur folk clubs here - in a high unemployment, mainly council estate, poorer area of South London.


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Subject: RE: Fees (concert admission prices)
From: GUEST,chris
Date: 26 Oct 10 - 01:24 PM

I've tried a number ways to say this politely but I can't think of any other way - folk audiences are stingy they want everything for nothing. Fine - but at the end of the day all that will be left will be singarounds. 'Professionals' are likely to fade out because they, like a lot of the audiences, may want a mortgage and a family- how they would afford one at the moment is a mystery to me.
If a singer goes to a Building society and says I may get X amount next year but it depends on how much more than a basic guarantee I get - in other words, the singer probably can't predict his/her earnings for the next 12 months let alone any further. What chance would they have of getting out of the Building Society without anything but the sound of laughter ringing in their ears is beyond me. Do we deserve the musicians we get? Do we look after them?
chris


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Subject: RE: Fees (concert admission prices)
From: Tim Leaning
Date: 26 Oct 10 - 01:31 PM

"but the whole point of this thread is not the actual fee level for a performance."
True its at the top of the thread.
"The point is that the venue's ticket price should not be dictated by the performer."
Hmmm I think you may be getting you opinion and what was actually in the OP Mixed up.
I shall have to disagree but hey who cares...:-)


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Subject: RE: Fees (concert admission prices)
From: Arthur_itus
Date: 26 Oct 10 - 01:32 PM

Some do!


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Subject: RE: Fees (concert admission prices)
From: Will Fly
Date: 26 Oct 10 - 01:33 PM

I don't think folk audiences are any stingier or more profligate than any other. It's simply that, festivals aside, the workaday, bread and butter of it all is rooted in what are often very modest clubs. Audiences tend to be smaller. I used to play (rock'n roll) regularly in working men's clubs, trades and labour clubs, etc., all over the South of England, and many of them - in those days - were large venues and paid well. We went through an agency and got a good, standard fee for most of the venues we played. These clubs charged members a modest entrance fee, if any fee at all because, through members' annual subs, there was a healthy entertainments fund. Bar prices were always far below pub prices in these places.

It was just a different world. As far as folk club audiences are concerned, I think they're far from stingy - and often a damned sight more enthusiastic for their music.


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Subject: RE: Fees (concert admission prices)
From: GUEST,Tom Bliss
Date: 26 Oct 10 - 01:34 PM

I fear that once again people are forgetting the massive divergence of systems, values, sizes, profiles and other factors that fall loosely under the title 'Concert Admission Prices.'

An artist approached by a promoter to perform at a venue is absolutely not being impertinent or exclusive in setting out, honestly, the terms under which he's prepared to consider the transaction. If it then emerges that this particular venue chooses to operate in a way which precludes the performance from taking place, then that may be unfortunate for the venue, but it is no reflection on the performer. And if the artist is setting his price too high and fails to get enough work, then that's his look-out and his look-out alone.

Take this example:

Supposing I ran a small bar and asked the Rolling Stones to perform there. Chances are they'd not even reply, but if they did and by some miracle decided they'd like to give it a go, they might quite reasonably say - go on then, but you'll have to give us £10,000 - or, if you can only seat 100, then make it 100 quid a pop and we'll take a risk on the door.

Who would call that impertinent or exclusive?

This is effectively all that these artists are doing - setting a price that their market can stand, for which they are prepared to give up a night in front of the telly and all that goes with it.

Now, if I habitually only charge £1 on the door of my bar, and think my regulars won't pay £100, I can either decide to say no thanks, or take a risk that some richer folks will turn up and pay - and trust me there's plenty who would pay a lot more to see the Stones in a tiny bar.

If the artist is on a flat fee, then of course it is up to the promoter to decide the door price - but the people we're talking about work on a percentage, in which case the door price is absolutely crucial to the viability or otherwise of the deal. And they have no moral or other duty to accept a booking with a low door price because some people feel that 'folk' gigs should not cost a lot of money.

Would we expect Springsteen or Turfel to play for a door price of £3 in a 50 seater room? Of course not.

Now bear in mind that there is no ring fence round the 'folk' world. It has permeable boundaries and is not immune to the economics of the wider entertainment industry. Many 'folk' artists play clubs, theatres, arts centres, village halls and festivals - in the UK and elsewhere, and in all these situations they will be radically different terms.

They have every right to decide what they are prepared to accept - and if they get it wrong and wind up having to give up music and go do an MA in Landscape Architecture or something [gin + big wink] then that's merely poor judgement on their part, not impertinence.

Tom


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Subject: RE: Fees (concert admission prices)
From: Will Fly
Date: 26 Oct 10 - 01:39 PM

This is effectively all that these artists are doing - setting a price that their market can stand, for which they are prepared to give up a night in front of the telly and all that goes with it.

Tom - who could argue with that principle? My only contention is that, if I guarantee the Rolling Stones £10,000, then how I get that sum is my business.


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Subject: RE: Fees (concert admission prices)
From: Tim Leaning
Date: 26 Oct 10 - 01:44 PM

and if they don't like it they don't play.

No Ronnie it was all a dream now get in the transit we gotta be at Toms bar now we played the Scunny gig.


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Subject: RE: Fees (concert admission prices)
From: Tim Leaning
Date: 26 Oct 10 - 01:46 PM

Well Mr Itus when you were doing that job and I said it must be like herding cats?

LOL Your skin may not be as thick as you would like but your hearts in the right place..


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Subject: RE: Fees (concert admission prices)
From: The Sandman
Date: 26 Oct 10 - 01:52 PM

It is[IMO] more important that the artists get their fees.
How that is achieved should be open to negotiation between artist and organiser.
Vin Garbutt has every right to stipulate an entrance fee, if people like Vic Smith dont like it thats ok too, Vic doesnt book him, whats the problem?
what the folk world can do without are people like Simon Boak who organise something, take peoples money then cancel the artists, and not refund everyone.


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Subject: RE: Fees (concert admission prices)
From: Will Fly
Date: 26 Oct 10 - 01:55 PM

No Ronnie it was all a dream now get in the transit we gotta be at Toms bar now we played the Scunny gig.

It's a beautiful picture... just imagine, eh...?


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Subject: RE: Fees (concert admission prices)
From: GUEST,Tom Bliss
Date: 26 Oct 10 - 02:05 PM

Will, I'm not naming names, but this issue was raised in connection with artists who gave up playing for a flat fee long long ago. The OP was referring to performers who operate exclusively on a percentage system - as is their right. Yes, there will be a minimum fee, to guard against those very very few rogue promoters who do no promoting (we call the result 'secret' gigs), but this will be way below the sum that both parties anticipate and upon which both the deal is being struck.

If the act has accepted a flat fee then, as I said above, of course it is the promoters business - though I don't think there's anything wrong with anyone - promoter, artist or audient - agitating politely for ticket prices to keep up with inflation and/or parity with events which offer a similar entertainment value.

Artists fee options are discussed here


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Subject: RE: Fees (concert admission prices)
From: C-flat
Date: 26 Oct 10 - 02:42 PM

Still a lot of people missing the point here...

Forget the economics, that's simple maths, i.e. artist fees against venue capacity and overheads deducted.
Forget the actual fee, whether it's flat rate or percentage, who cares? If the artist is good enough he'll charge what he thinks and venues will either book him or they won't.

My question, to which there has been a tiny handful of posters who offered an answer, is :-

Why, after fees are agreed/guaranteed and an artist booked, would the artist want to control what the minimum ticket price should be?
It won't affect his fee either way.
George Paparavgis thinks it may be to do with pricing consistency between venues. A fair point.
Sarah McQaid makes another when she says she's considering it because, in her experience, she gets a better audience when the ticket price is higher.
This isn't about how much things cost. That's relative to what's affordable or how high a priority you place upon it.


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Subject: RE: Fees (concert admission prices)
From: C-flat
Date: 26 Oct 10 - 02:43 PM

I'll take 100


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