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Fees (concert admission prices)

Leadfingers 25 Oct 10 - 04:22 PM
Joe Offer 25 Oct 10 - 04:17 PM
Trapper 25 Oct 10 - 04:17 PM
dick greenhaus 25 Oct 10 - 03:49 PM
C-flat 25 Oct 10 - 03:42 PM
Will Fly 25 Oct 10 - 12:18 PM
Vic Smith 25 Oct 10 - 11:56 AM
greg stephens 25 Oct 10 - 11:56 AM
GUEST,John Routledge 25 Oct 10 - 11:45 AM
GUEST 25 Oct 10 - 11:41 AM
Arthur_itus 25 Oct 10 - 11:17 AM
Will Fly 25 Oct 10 - 11:12 AM
Tim Leaning 25 Oct 10 - 10:52 AM
Tim Leaning 25 Oct 10 - 10:49 AM
Arthur_itus 25 Oct 10 - 10:48 AM
Arthur_itus 25 Oct 10 - 10:47 AM
MGM·Lion 25 Oct 10 - 10:45 AM
C-flat 25 Oct 10 - 10:40 AM
GUEST,BanjoRay 25 Oct 10 - 10:37 AM
C-flat 25 Oct 10 - 10:35 AM
autoharpbob 25 Oct 10 - 10:34 AM
MGM·Lion 25 Oct 10 - 10:21 AM
Arthur_itus 25 Oct 10 - 10:19 AM
C-flat 25 Oct 10 - 09:50 AM
GUEST,chris 25 Oct 10 - 09:48 AM
C-flat 25 Oct 10 - 09:44 AM
C-flat 25 Oct 10 - 09:30 AM
Nick 25 Oct 10 - 09:20 AM
GUEST,Banjiman 25 Oct 10 - 09:17 AM
Arthur_itus 25 Oct 10 - 09:03 AM
Girl Friday 25 Oct 10 - 09:03 AM
Vic Smith 25 Oct 10 - 08:48 AM
C-flat 25 Oct 10 - 08:44 AM
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Subject: RE: Fees (concert admission prices)
From: Leadfingers
Date: 25 Oct 10 - 04:22 PM

Back in The Good Old Days when I was booker for Uxbridge F C we offered a Guaranteed fee agains 80% of the door , whichever wss greatest - SOME artists did very well , but all got AT LEAST the guaranteed fee ! No WAY would I book JUST for a percentage , and No WAY would I do a Gig for just a percentage !
Small Folk Clubs , even today VERY rarely charge any thing like £10 for admission


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Subject: RE: Fees (concert admission prices)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 25 Oct 10 - 04:17 PM

£10 (or the US equivalent) doesn't sound like a whole lot of money. I'd be willing to pay that amount for performers I really want to hear - BUT it's still a significant amount of money. I go to a lot of concerts for what one might consider "charity" reasons - I want to support the venue and ensure it has a full house, I feel it's my duty as a member of the local folk community, it's a new performer and I want to see if he/she is good or not, it's a not-so-good performer and I don't want his/her performance to be a flop, etc.
Some performers are a sure bet, and they're worth £10 - I'm sure Vin Garbutt is one of these. I'd hate to see £10 become the standard price, because it shuts out many performers who may not be considered to be worth £10.

$20 is becoming a fairly common price for folk house concerts in the U.S., and that's a bit steep. I find the price is high enough to discourage me from attending concerts I'm not sure I'll enjoy. $50 or more is now the price for well-known performers in big venues, and I'm rarely willing to pay that. I still regret missing my first chance to see Doc Watson a couple years ago, but the cheapest ticket was $58, and I had to drive an hour each way to get to the concert.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Fees (concert admission prices)
From: Trapper
Date: 25 Oct 10 - 04:17 PM

I assume this thread is about "professional" venues - but I run a house concert series. In our case, in lieu of a guarantee, we give 100% of the gate to the artist, so we ASK the artist to set their price, letting them know that it's far more likely they'll have a full house if the ticket price is on the $10 end vs. the $20 end. Most are reasonable, and keep the price as low as they can. If they are coming a long way for the show, or if the act is more than one or two people, most of my audience understands a higher price.

However, if the artist's rate is contractually fixed in advance, then I agree with most here that say the artist should no longer have any say in the ticket price, or the minimum number in the audience.

- Al


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Subject: RE: Fees (Vin Garbutt and admission prices)
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 25 Oct 10 - 03:49 PM

Wothehell. Perormers (or organizations) can charge anything they please. If the folks don't like it, they simply won't come. Neither the performer nor the organization owes the general public anything; they owe the paying public a satisfactory presentation and performance.


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Subject: RE: Fees (Vin Garbutt and admission prices)
From: C-flat
Date: 25 Oct 10 - 03:42 PM

For some reason a helpful Mud-elf has adjusted the name of this thread to include Vin Garbutts'name.
When I began this topic my intention was not to hold Vin Garbutt to scrutiny, far be it from me!
The inclusion of the name in the title suggests this is about Vin rather than the practice of controlling ticket prices.
So as not to inflame those who seek to find offence, can the thread please be re-titled simply "Fees and Admission Prices"??
Thanks
C-flat


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Subject: RE: Fees
From: Will Fly
Date: 25 Oct 10 - 12:18 PM

I suspect that the minimum guarantee/percentage of the door take is probably more prevalent in folk clubs than others. In my (30+) years playing music other than folk (jazz, rock'n roll, funk), the bands I worked in either agreed a fixed price directly with the venue or, if going through an agent, accepted the fee proposed by the agent. Once the contract was signed, that was it - the fee was paid whether the venue made money or lost money.

As a matter of routine, we generally rejected gigs where the promoter or the venue offered door percentages, as we'd seen too many scams with other bands at some venues.


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Subject: RE: Fees
From: Vic Smith
Date: 25 Oct 10 - 11:56 AM

The local circumstances should be the thing that determines the entrance price and the local promoters/organisers should know how to set these. We all know that London event prices are higher than outside of that city - but then salaries in London are generally much higher because of the cost of living in the metropolis.

Conversely, quite a few years ago I went to an event on the Fylde coast. Innocently, I mentioned the low admission prices to the organiser and was told firmly, "Do you know what the unemployment rate is in Fleetwood?" Well, no, I didn't - but the next morning I took a walk round the local market and by the look of the poor quality and low prices of the goods, I did get the impression that there was not a lot of money around.


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Subject: RE: Fees
From: greg stephens
Date: 25 Oct 10 - 11:56 AM

Occasions where I have asked for a certain ticket price when playing at a venue: when the venue charges variable ticket prices according to the status/popularity/cuteness of the guest. Makes you look a bit cheap if they want to put you at their bottom range of ticket prices. I take a glance at their prices and suggest we are put where I feel we look best, not too pricy, not too cheap!


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Subject: Fees
From: GUEST,John Routledge
Date: 25 Oct 10 - 11:45 AM

Above was me :0(


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Subject: RE: Fees
From: GUEST
Date: 25 Oct 10 - 11:41 AM

Spot on Arthur.

As I recall in earlier times artists were booked on a percentage of the door basis and in some cases clubs were crammed at an artificially low admission price.

This is unfair to the more "popular" guests!!


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Subject: RE: Fees
From: Arthur_itus
Date: 25 Oct 10 - 11:17 AM

Most artists at that level tend do do a fixed guarantee (lets say for arguments sake £500) or a 80% of the door whichever is the greatest.

Therefore if you only charge £5 a ticket, you are in a way limiting the artists earnings.

100 @ £5 x 80% = £400

100 @ £10 x 80% = £800

All an artist has to do is ask how many you can seat amd then multiply it by £10 and charge that as the fixed fee.


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Subject: RE: Fees
From: Will Fly
Date: 25 Oct 10 - 11:12 AM

This phenomenon isn't uncommon. It happened with another well-known musician down in Sussex last year. A local club had booked the artist as part of his national tour and, contractually, had to have both a minimum number of people in the audience and a fixed ticket price. In order to fulfill the guarantee, tickets were on sale at the club months in advance and were "pushed", as the trade has it, at every opportunity.

The regular club attendees had obviously asked the organiser some awkwards questions because, at one point in a club evening, he stood up to make a special announcement that all monies from club takings went to the running of the club and performer fees, and that no money was being used for personal profit. It was quite embarrassing for him and he was obviously not too happy with the arrangement as the club, though generally popular and well-attended, was not that big.

I could understand it if a promoter/artist/agent was worried about clubs being unable to meet an agreed fee or welching on a contract, but this sort of occasion would be, to my mind - and knowing the integrity of folk club organisers - extremely rare. I also personally don't think it right that the promoter/artist/agent should dictate a ticket price. Agree a fee with the club, sign a contract, and then let the club get on with it.


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Subject: RE: Fees
From: Tim Leaning
Date: 25 Oct 10 - 10:52 AM

ooer Arthur!


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Subject: RE: Fees
From: Tim Leaning
Date: 25 Oct 10 - 10:49 AM

Oh Michael
LOL


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Subject: RE: Fees
From: Arthur_itus
Date: 25 Oct 10 - 10:48 AM

So sorry that last comment should have read

Exactly Banjo Ray it is a two way thing.


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Subject: RE: Fees
From: Arthur_itus
Date: 25 Oct 10 - 10:47 AM

Exactly BJ it is a two way thing.


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Subject: RE: Fees
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 25 Oct 10 - 10:45 AM

BanjoRay ~~ Disagree. Don't think it is any part of their job even to ask what the entrance charge will be, so long as they are guaranteed to receive their agreed fee. Can't see how their 'image' will be affected at all.

~M~


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Subject: RE: Fees
From: C-flat
Date: 25 Oct 10 - 10:40 AM

Is that it? Image?
Is the artist diminished by appearing for less?


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Subject: RE: Fees
From: GUEST,BanjoRay
Date: 25 Oct 10 - 10:37 AM

It is the guest singer's job to decide where they're prepared to sing if invited. If they don't want to perform in a club which charges less than a tenner, it's up to them. They've got their own image to consider.


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Subject: RE: Fees
From: C-flat
Date: 25 Oct 10 - 10:35 AM

"If it's not really mean't to be about Vin, then why the hell mention him?"

Arthur Itis, please read my inital post again and you will clearly see where the reference to Vin Garbutt originated.

I'm not knocking Vin, if you read my posts again without colouring between the lines you'll see that!

Nor do I doubt his ability to fill a room. It's not about that!!


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Subject: RE: Fees
From: autoharpbob
Date: 25 Oct 10 - 10:34 AM

I sort of agree with Michael. Market economics should dictate that the singer sets his/her fee for the event, and the organiser sets what price he/she sells tickets at. I would and have paid £10 to see Vin and don't see this as an attack on him. But maybe there is a difference between saying "I think I am worth £10 a ticket" and saying "I won't come if the entrance fee is less than ....". I have heard other artists set a minimum fee in this way though and don't quite understand the reasons. Surely it can't be that the artist feels they are being sold short, as their fee for the night is unaffected. Is it something to do with standardizing prices - punters could see a person for £10 at one event and £5 at another? But surely this just reflects capacities of venues, amounts clubs are willing to subsidize, fee structures for belonging to clubs and so on? I just don't see the reasons why an artist would want to set a minimum ticket price. Please enlighten me.


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Subject: RE: Fees
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 25 Oct 10 - 10:21 AM

I am reminded of the moment in a Rumpole story where he tries to discuss a possible sentence one of his clients might incur with the judge trying the case, who happens to be an old acquaintance. "You will defend your client," the judge says with some dignity, "and if he is convicted, I will sentence him. You have your job and I have mine."

A guest singer's job is to sing. A club organiser's job is to organise all aspects of the occasion at which this singing takes place, including what entrance fee should be charged. I regard it as a gross impertinence for the guest singer to interfere to any extent whatever in such a decision. It is not his job.

~Michael~


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Subject: RE: Fees
From: Arthur_itus
Date: 25 Oct 10 - 10:19 AM

C Flat
If it's not really mean't to be about Vin, then why the hell mention him?

You can guarantee a full house with Vin, even at £10 beleive me.


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Subject: RE: Fees
From: C-flat
Date: 25 Oct 10 - 09:50 AM

It says nothing at all if the venue is subsidising......


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Subject: RE: Fees
From: GUEST,chris
Date: 25 Oct 10 - 09:48 AM

Charging £2 or £3 entrance doesn't say much about how a performer is valued- or does it!
chris


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Subject: RE: Fees
From: C-flat
Date: 25 Oct 10 - 09:44 AM

Nick,
We've most certainly played the same venues around Teesside and East Cleveland and I completely get it when landlords want to play safe and book bands or acts that bring an audience and fill the place.
Simple economics.
But determining that audience by way of pricing is quite a different matter.
I'm not saying that it's necessarily a bad thing, just interested in how common this sort of thing is.


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Subject: RE: Fees
From: C-flat
Date: 25 Oct 10 - 09:30 AM

Wow!! Seemed to have touched a nerve or two?

Firstly let me state that this is in no way a "thinly veiled attack" on anyone at all!!
I'm a fan of Vin Garbutt, never been in a situation involving booking or fees, nor do I know him or, for that matter, have his phone number to ring him and ask him, as suggested???

In fact this thread isn't necessarily about Vin at all, rather the practice of setting fees and the motive behind it.

My initial assumption, as already stated, is that it guarantees a certain audience, i.e. the converted, if, as Arthur Itis states, "it has nothing to do with that", then what? And is it right to do that?


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Subject: RE: Fees
From: Nick
Date: 25 Oct 10 - 09:20 AM

There is a pub between Guisborough and Whitby that I was in when I was playing in a blues/rock band a while back and was tentatively asking about gigs. I got chatting to the landlord about bookings and he was talking about the risk he took booking people. There were two acts that were exceptions and he was always safe with - one being Vin Garbutt and the other being the Blueflies.

Both always packed the place - people will pay for an evening that they know they will be entertained by and Vin delivers. Presumably people would not fill the place and believe they get value for money continually unless it was.


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Subject: RE: Fees
From: GUEST,Banjiman
Date: 25 Oct 10 - 09:17 AM

I would rather see a subject like this discussed without using the name of the artist involved.

A valid subject for organisers and artists alike..... but not as a thinly veiled attack on a specific artist.


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Subject: RE: Fees
From: Arthur_itus
Date: 25 Oct 10 - 09:03 AM

If Vin wants to make each venue charge a minimum of £10, then that is up to him.
If you do not want to adhere to that, you don't book him.
That's how things work.

Quote from C-Flat
I can only assume his logic being that anyone who pays at least £10 for a ticket is coming to listen, whereas a token £1 or £2 entry, subsidised by the venue or whatever, may guarantee a full house but not necessarily a good audience?


C-Flat it has nothing to do with that. May I suggest that rather than start a thread like this, why don't you ring Vin and ask him. This sort of thread does not do any artist any good, especially when the Mudcat Mob get stuck in.

Vin has a very shrewd head on him, and talks a lot of sense and knows what he is doing. You would do well to take time to listen to him and learn. I did and learn't an aweful lot about putting on an event and making it worthwhile for the organiser and the artist.

I'll get me coat.


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Subject: RE: Fees
From: Girl Friday
Date: 25 Oct 10 - 09:03 AM

As Vic says, other performers stipulate an entry fee. I think it's wrong of them, as it does put off people who haven't so far heard them, preventing a potential increase in their fan base. It has happened to me before, but I reasoned with the performer and got a compromise.


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Subject: RE: Fees
From: Vic Smith
Date: 25 Oct 10 - 08:48 AM

This is not a new situation. The reason that we have never booked him is for that very reason.... that he wanted to dictate to us what the admission price should be.


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Subject: Fees
From: C-flat
Date: 25 Oct 10 - 08:44 AM

In a current thread about Vin Garbutt there's comment (unchecked) stating that Vin insists that the venue does not charge less than £10 per ticket, regardless of whether his fee is guaranteed by the venue.
I can only assume his logic being that anyone who pays at least £10 for a ticket is coming to listen, whereas a token £1 or £2 entry, subsidised by the venue or whatever, may guarantee a full house but not necessarily a good audience?
To be fair to him, he's paid his dues over the years and should be able to expect a little respect from a crowd, and a paltry entrance fee could attract the merely "curious" or even "disinterested", but should he be expected to take that in his stride and win them over?
Or is it fair to set pricing so that he's only "preaching to the converted"?
Maybe there's some other reason altogether that I've failed to see?


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