mudcat.org: Performers fees (% or flat fee?)
Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafeawe

Post to this Thread - Printer Friendly - Home
Page: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7]


Performers fees (% or flat fee?)

GUEST,Andy 17 Feb 07 - 10:31 AM
The Borchester Echo 17 Feb 07 - 10:50 AM
The Villan 17 Feb 07 - 11:35 AM
Linda Kelly 17 Feb 07 - 11:47 AM
Sorcha 17 Feb 07 - 12:05 PM
wysiwyg 17 Feb 07 - 12:10 PM
greg stephens 17 Feb 07 - 12:11 PM
Kevin Sheils 17 Feb 07 - 12:26 PM
selby 17 Feb 07 - 12:26 PM
Bernard 17 Feb 07 - 12:31 PM
Leadfingers 17 Feb 07 - 12:44 PM
Bernard 17 Feb 07 - 12:55 PM
The Borchester Echo 17 Feb 07 - 01:19 PM
Bernard 17 Feb 07 - 01:52 PM
The Borchester Echo 17 Feb 07 - 02:01 PM
The Villan 17 Feb 07 - 02:09 PM
Bernard 17 Feb 07 - 02:14 PM
Bernard 17 Feb 07 - 02:18 PM
GUEST 17 Feb 07 - 02:44 PM
Bernard 17 Feb 07 - 03:12 PM
The Villan 17 Feb 07 - 03:52 PM
Bernard 17 Feb 07 - 04:05 PM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 17 Feb 07 - 04:07 PM
GUEST 17 Feb 07 - 04:09 PM
The Borchester Echo 17 Feb 07 - 04:15 PM
GUEST 17 Feb 07 - 04:18 PM
The Villan 17 Feb 07 - 04:36 PM
The Villan 17 Feb 07 - 04:39 PM
Bernard 17 Feb 07 - 04:39 PM
The Sandman 17 Feb 07 - 04:49 PM
The Borchester Echo 17 Feb 07 - 04:53 PM
The Sandman 17 Feb 07 - 04:54 PM
The Sandman 17 Feb 07 - 04:59 PM
Bernard 17 Feb 07 - 05:01 PM
Bernard 17 Feb 07 - 05:07 PM
Bernard 17 Feb 07 - 05:17 PM
Jim Lad 17 Feb 07 - 05:19 PM
The Borchester Echo 17 Feb 07 - 05:21 PM
Blowzabella 17 Feb 07 - 06:24 PM
Bernard 17 Feb 07 - 06:26 PM
Bernard 17 Feb 07 - 06:26 PM
Leadfingers 17 Feb 07 - 07:10 PM
The Borchester Echo 17 Feb 07 - 07:25 PM
Jim Lad 17 Feb 07 - 07:27 PM
Bernard 17 Feb 07 - 07:38 PM
Tim theTwangler 17 Feb 07 - 09:50 PM
The Fooles Troupe 17 Feb 07 - 10:04 PM
The Borchester Echo 18 Feb 07 - 02:06 AM
The Villan 18 Feb 07 - 03:37 AM
treewind 18 Feb 07 - 05:44 AM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:






Subject: Performers fees (% or flat rate?)
From: GUEST,Andy
Date: 17 Feb 07 - 10:31 AM

What do other club organisers feel about performers asking for a guaranteed flat fee or a percentage of door takings, always meaning 'whichever is the higher'. As a club organiser, I have had this put to me recently, by the agents of two very well known performers, both of whom I would like the members to see. However this 'percentage' thing causes a problem. On our six-weekly guest nights I charge members a bare minimum entrance fee. Non-members, those who've only come to see that particular guest, pay a commercial rate. We're only a small club (55 max.seats) and members will occupy 40 of those, so a percentage of door proceeds will not be very high. We're not short of brass and in both cases I've explained my pricing policy to the agents and willingly offered the flat fee, but been turned down. One asked 'how much more could you offer'(above the guarantee) and the other was insistent that I charge everyone £10 for entry.
I can understand that performers will wish to maximise their earnings and charge more for a gig with an audience of 200, than for a small club of 50 folks. However, it sems to make a mockery of the 'guarantee' figure if the artists are not prepared to perform for that, particularly at small folk clubs, where most of them learned their craft. I've not experienced this before. I book good, nationally known artists who come for an agreed fee, with no conditions. Is it only the 'premier league' ones who operate in such a prescriptive manner? Also, such policies may obviously prevent some venues ever being able to book the folk 'stars'.(Unless you catch them on the way back down!)

Any comments from organisers, performers or others?

Regards
Andy


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Performers fees (% or flat fee?)
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 17 Feb 07 - 10:50 AM

Perhaps organisers who want to pay a performer a percentage of not very much because that are failing to run their venue on an economic basis and charge a realistic entrance fee could arrange for said artists to pay only a percentage of their mortgage or gas bill, or strike a bargain at the supermarket checkout because their earnings from playing such venues are insufficient to pay Mr Tesco.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Performers fees (% or flat fee?)
From: The Villan
Date: 17 Feb 07 - 11:35 AM

I pay a fixed fee agreed with the performer. That gaurantees that the performer gets an agreed rate irrespective of how few might attend. Sometimes I lose money and sometimes I make a profit.

I do not ever pay % of the door, neither do I charge a fee at the door that the performer has dictated. Basically, as much as I might like somebody to appear at the club, I don't book them.

There are lots of good performers out there who are willing to agree flat fees and support grass roots.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Performers fees (% or flat fee?)
From: Linda Kelly
Date: 17 Feb 07 - 11:47 AM

people who attend folk clubs have mortgages to pay too, if every 3 weeks charges are so high it makes attendance unaffordable, then who's the winner? we charge generally £6.00 on the door in a small room, it just about cover's the act and the running costs accomodation for artistes, advertising and phone calls are covered by the small sums generated on singers nights- except they dont get covered. The average wage in East Yorkshire is £12000-£13000 and most club members are elderly or retired -no one's making profit off the back of performers here.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Performers fees (% or flat fee?)
From: Sorcha
Date: 17 Feb 07 - 12:05 PM

If you want the Big Guns, remember that they spent years 'paying their dues', years of practice, little gigs, free gigs, etc. They are entitled to what they earn. Don't think the act should be allowed to set the door fee tho.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Performers fees (% or flat fee?)
From: wysiwyg
Date: 17 Feb 07 - 12:10 PM

I don't run a club, but at a workshop by the best businesswoman I know in folk music (she books/agents/promotes for her band and also organizes several successful festivals a year), I learned what I am sure most performers know. And that is-- Performers and agents understand that there are venues they can hold up for high fees, and venues that will pay what they can.

A performer who can fill his/her schedule with only the former venues doesn't have to negotiate. I have yet to meet one! The rest of the working world of folk musicians understands that at best they will have a mix of opportunities, and that if they want to work fulltime in music, they bear the burden of filling their schedule with whatever they can get at the best terms they can negotiate.

The VENUES are in charge of those opportunities. YOU are the person that has to be courted, the person whose requirements and fee policies will have to be followed. If a given performer doesn't see your venue and your policies as a viable opportunity, they are free to look elsewhere.

If you balance this with what your audience is able and willing to pay-- ASK them from time to time if they want you to book people who will cost dearly, and how they will help meet the fee-- then you will be able to keep a schedule and an audience, and continue to be in a position to opportunities to performers.

~Susan


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Performers fees (% or flat fee?)
From: greg stephens
Date: 17 Feb 07 - 12:11 PM

I like to offer the band to a promoter for a flat fee. If the promoter feels they might not be able to afford it, I offer them the chance of a guarantee much smaller than our flat fee, and a percetage deal which means we'll get our proposed fee if the turnout is reasonable. This seems to be fair. I don't like agreeing to a very low flat fee, when the promoter says" We can't afford much", because I've had my fingers burnt too often. Some club organisers have cheerfully admitted to me(unaware of quite what they were saying) that the low fee my band has charged has enabled the club to use the profits to pay more expeensive guests. Well, I'm afraid I'm trying to make a living, and I don't see why a promoter should depress my (low) earnings, in order to raise another performer's(high) earnings.
   I think a guarantee and a percentage deal is an excellent way for a finacially cautious club to afford the guests they want. I can't see any possible objection to the practise. Obviously, it's not the only financial model for running things, but it is one of several possible options.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Performers fees (% or flat fee?)
From: Kevin Sheils
Date: 17 Feb 07 - 12:26 PM

I think I agree with Greg here. And the initial posting on this thread seemed contradictory to me, unless I read it wrong. In my paragraph below the figures are not meant to be typical but for illustration.

AIUI Andy is saying he was offered a performer for a guaranteed fee against a percentage. Lets say for arguments sake you guarantee £150 against, say 90% of the door. So if you take less than £150 then you have to pay the £150 but if you take, say £200 on the door you pay the guest £180 (90%), club keeps 10% ie £20.

Now Andy is saying that at his club the door percentage would be low but he was willing to pay the flat guarantee. Well I'd suggest that, as Greg says, if a percentage is involved it usually means the guarantee has been lowered. If you want to pay flat fees then you need to come in slightly higher than the guarantee. Or maybe somewhere in between with a lower percentage, maybe say £170 against 80% in the above example. There is plenty of room for movement here it is a two way discussion, with a reduced guarantee against a percentage the artist is mostly taking the risk. With a flat fee the promoter is. Between the two you compromise.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Performers fees (% or flat fee?)
From: selby
Date: 17 Feb 07 - 12:26 PM

Try to deal direct with the artist, agents are unforgiving. Above all be honest with youself and the artist they are not daft.We had a very well known performer who did a spot at our club as a warm up the day before his national tour started, with a mutualy agreed fee our club was packed to the rafters an offer of more money was offered to the artist, who refused as the bed for the night a bit of expenses money the oppertunity to feel how is act was recieved was all he really wanted. We had tried to book him before through his agent and definetly could not afford him I was talking to him at a festival and a deal was struck at his request. Hope this helps.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Performers fees (% or flat fee?)
From: Bernard
Date: 17 Feb 07 - 12:31 PM

I suppose it depends on how well off the club is financially.

At the Railway we've always had a fee or 80% of the door with the bigger 'names', but a flat fee for lesser-knowns. Our door prices vary according to the guest - some big names insist on a minimum door charge, too. We also run a raffle, but the takings from that are not included in the 'pot'... first prize is usually the guest's CD, so they still make something on it indirectly.

Greg's point is valid - we are talking about people's livelihood!

Too often people will moan about having to pay, say, seven pounds (UK) - approx 12 US dollars(?) - to see someone at a folk club in far more intimate surroundings than a big concert venue where they wouldn't hesitate to pay double!! And I'm talking about the SAME guest!!

Market forces will always prevail - and there is also the 'Law of Diminishing Returns' to consider, where putting up your prices to cover a shortfall merely increases that shortfall.

The bottom line is 'You can't please all of the people all of the time'!! Come on, Mrs. Lincoln, we're going to the theatre...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Performers fees (% or flat fee?)
From: Leadfingers
Date: 17 Feb 07 - 12:44 PM

The main problem is the agent ! The agent gets a percentage of the artists fee , so has a serious incentive to get the maximum payment .
SOME artists are too greedy , but most are perfectly willing to do a 'cut price' gig , IF it also includes B&B and is en route to the next gig ! Its better to earn a few quid , than pay out for a hotel room if you have a blank night on a tour ! You wont get a deal like that through most of the agencies I have had dealings with , though , only by cotacting the artist direct .


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Performers fees (% or flat fee?)
From: Bernard
Date: 17 Feb 07 - 12:55 PM

Another thing to watch with the agents is their unrealistic demands - bowl of fresh fruit in the dressing room (erm... what dressing room?! Use the bog like anyone else!!) and so on. They also have a PA rider which is usually aimed at large venues, and is inappropriate for a folk club. If they come to the Railway they don't get monitors!! Nowhere to put them!! They don't really need PA, either!!

As Leadfingers said, contact the artiste direct - although most agents will still demand their 'cut', as that is the deal they have with the artiste.

High profile guests such as Martin Carthy are quite happy to kip down overnight at the organisers house, as they appreciate the way things are. Fact!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Performers fees (% or flat fee?)
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 17 Feb 07 - 01:19 PM

A 'high profile' guest may well be able to slot in an unofficial booking in a gap during or at the end of a tour at a reduced fee. They are, after all, better able to afford to do favours for old mates. They might even be glad of accommodation too though they will doubtless hope fervently that their 'profile' will spare them the experience of the dubious mattress and blanket on the floor of an unheated room that many a 'not-so-high-profile guest is expected to endure. And it is surely only common courtesy for an organiser to offer somewhere for their guests to change, to tune up or to eat before the performance.

.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Performers fees (% or flat fee?)
From: Bernard
Date: 17 Feb 07 - 01:52 PM

Common courtesy perhaps, but impractical in a Pub!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Performers fees (% or flat fee?)
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 17 Feb 07 - 02:01 PM

They are your guests, after all. Unless you are viewing them as the hired hands. As for lack of adequate facilities at the venue, perhaps looking for a better one would be a good idea, rather than putting up with an inferior dive as 'good enough for f*lk'. Or at least warning the artists beforehand of the shortcomings and inviting them to your home first. However, don't forget to deduct a percentage from their fee to cover the cost of soap and water used and food consumed.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Performers fees (% or flat fee?)
From: The Villan
Date: 17 Feb 07 - 02:09 PM

>>And it is surely only common courtesy for an organiser to offer somewhere for their guests to change, to tune up or to eat before the performance<<

That really depends on whether you have the facilities.

I think it goes without saying, that if you are paying a fixed fee and you fill the room to the rafters and make a good profit, then it is only polite to give as much extra as is possible to the performer after all expenses have been taken into account.

Having said that, if I lose a £100 on a night (and I have, ecluding expenses)and I have agreed a fixed fee for the performer, I wouldn't dream of paying less. I just have to take it on the chin.

At my club the door price is set as low as it can be, and a restriction on how many can come in so that people can enjoy the night in comfort, and as long as we don't lose too much then I am happy and the performer gets his or her agreed fee.

It does work two ways. If I can't afford them or they don't like the fee, it doesn't happen.

You have to realise that organisers normally put lots of effort in and bear costs themselves out of their own pocket to help keep the club afloat and don't get paid. Costs such as telephone calls, printiong, travel etc. Some of us don't even have a job.

Likewise the club wouldn't be there except for the regular support acts who play for the love of it (and they certainly do at Faldingworth Live and I am sure at any other club) and I can't thank them enough for that. Without their unselfish support, it just wouldn't have happened.

I don't know, I think some of you performers think some of us organisers and support acts make a mint out of it. We don't, we do it for love and devotion to folk music, pays for the backup funding when there is a loss.

Having said all of that - of course artists need to get paid and nobody would deny that, but some are beyond our reach.

I have to say that all the people I have booked in my time have all agreed a fee with me and I have never had any problems that I know of.

Occasionally I cock promises up including Greg Stephens who is as good as his word above.

At the end of the day, its up to the organiser and the performer to be realistic and open about how things are run at a club and set sensible fees.

I do think that most Agents create most of the problems for clubs, but not all.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Performers fees (% or flat fee?)
From: Bernard
Date: 17 Feb 07 - 02:14 PM

Countess, you're being deliberately silly!

'Guests' who appear at the Railway know what to expect - Tom Paxton, Martin Carthy, Vin Garbutt, Martin Simpson, Dave Swarbrick, John Kirkpatrick, Harvey Andrews, Clive Gregson, the list goes on.

It isn't a concert venue, and doesn't pretend to be. Your cheap jibes about deductions make your 'argument' even less convincing!!

;o)

Seriously, though, it isn't an 'inferior dive', but someone else's home... and their business. We are using one room - and the same applies to practically every other folk club, I would suggest.

We could always put a tent in the back yard... oh, sorry, I forgot, we've tried that!! A great big one that held 200 people.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Performers fees (% or flat fee?)
From: Bernard
Date: 17 Feb 07 - 02:18 PM

Les summed it up quite well.

All too often you get self-righteous sods who think folk club organisers are raking it in... which would be nice, of course, if it were true!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Performers fees (% or flat fee?)
From: GUEST
Date: 17 Feb 07 - 02:44 PM

Although a regular here. I will remain a GUEST for this post, if that's OK.
Having never been a solo performer, but have always played in duos, trios, quartets, and more, it's a bit of a toughie. My current band (a UK trio), because of where we live. (Kent, Wiltshire, Leics) have the problem that, wherever we perform in the country, it involves (on average) a round trip, between us, of at least 1000 miles.
Last year, we were offered a one-off gig Newcastle way for £150. Wouldn't even cover the petrol.
Lovely people, probably would have been a great gig.
But financial suicide!! (and three days out of all our lives to boot)

A previous poster above, couldn't understand why people would pay a pittance to see their favourite artists in a pub (and be really pissed off if they were charged more), have a chat with them, etc, etc..(surely the best way to get involved), but would happily pay twice or sometimes three times as much to see the same perfomer 200 yards away, with a rubbish sound system, and no hope of meeting said "Star".

Sorry, the UK club scene is dying, because it's consisently failed to keep it's door pricing policy in line with inflation over the past two decades. (With a few wonderful exceptions).

For Gods sake, Mr Carthy for a fiver on the door in your local pub, and you can discuss guitar techniques with him in the interval? The South Bank would sting you for £20. (And overpriced rubbish lager)

Way back in the 1970's. John Kirkpatrick wrote a song called "What do you do in the day?" What do think that was about?

If you can find a copy of it, all you club organisers. LISTEN WELL TO IT.

Then put your door prices up.

As the countess says, as musicians, we don't get a reduction on our mortgages or at the till in Tescos.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Performers fees (% or flat fee?)
From: Bernard
Date: 17 Feb 07 - 03:12 PM

JK's song title is also the title of his songbook containing that very song... I have a copy!

Let's now be realistic. The 'Folk Industry' doesn't pay very well for most people, like it or lump it. The few fortunate ones who manage to make a living at it do other things to supplement their income. Fact.

Many folk performers have 'day jobs'...

Typical example - Bernard Wrigley. He has an Equity card, and has appeared on 'Coronation Street' in numerous guises, and as the 'rocket scientist' on 'Emmerdale', amongst other things. Gary Aspey (of Gary and Very) has also appeared in 'Heartbeat' and other programmes.

I haven't 'gone pro', Stanley Accrington has a 'day job' once more... trying to tell folk clubs to make more money to pay the guests is fatuous. Sad, but true.

Ask Harvey Andrews - he often tells of the 60s and 70s when you could do two folk clubs in one evening if you wished, but festivals are dragging the rug from under the clubs.

Sme clubs do quite well - and I'm pleased to say I'm part of one such. But it's a very fine line - some clubs aren't so fortunate, and there seems to be no particular 'formula' to make a club work.

It's more down to good luck than good management, and screaming self-righteous crap won't make any difference!

Fact,,, the Railway is quite off the beaten track - no public transport. It does very well - even on a Singers Night we have more than fifty in the room. The Open Door (another club I help run) is on major bus and train routes, and struggles. On a good night we may even have twenty in the room - including the guest.

Our average door charge at the Railway is six quid. We daren't charge more than four quid at the Open Door.

Another club I'm involved with is 'Songs in the Snug'. We don't book guests, and we don't charge. We have between eight and fifteen people attending fortnightly... venue? The Railway...!

Nowt so queer as folk...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Performers fees (% or flat fee?)
From: The Villan
Date: 17 Feb 07 - 03:52 PM

>>If you can find a copy of it, all you club organisers. LISTEN WELL TO IT<<

>>as musicians, we don't get a reduction on our mortgages or at the till in Tescos<<

Neither do the organsisers and if you are like me, I don't work and I don't take money off the job centre either or the folk club - rather put it in.

So lets get real, we are all in the same boat, except I am not complaining, just getting on with it.

Do performers ever say to the organiser - hey matey - heres £20 for all you have done for me. Stick it in your back pocket. I think not and neither would I expect it.

As it is, at the end of the year, I won't be carrying on my position as club organiser for personal reasons. If somebody doesn't take over my responsibilities then you will lose another club.

For anybody reading this who is booked at the club for this year, don't worry, this year will go ahead. It will only affect next year.

Now all you performers who think you have a right, think on. You could be the reason for clubs folding. It would certainly not be the majority of very nice and decent performers who still are prepared to support grass roots.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Performers fees (% or flat fee?)
From: Bernard
Date: 17 Feb 07 - 04:05 PM

Well said, Les. Sorry to hear you're stepping down - you've battled against the odds for a long while!

Maybe people aren't aware of it, but Westhoughton Folk Club, one of the North West's most successful concert clubs for over thirty years, closes its doors this year...

Unless someone else wants to take it over, that is...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Performers fees (% or flat fee?)
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 17 Feb 07 - 04:07 PM

This is another example of how different our "business" is on both sides of the pond.

In the U.S. we do not have "clubs" in the same fashion that you do. However, there are folk clubs and societies that are involved in putting on concerts and evenings of music in small rooms. We also have a growing house concert circuit.

I am a booker for the Hurdy Gurdy Folk Music Club. We present monthly concerts at a church, using either a 100 seat room (a tight squeeze if we get that many!) and a 400 seat room (where attendance varies, peaking around 200 for "big" names.)

We pay a guarantee VERSUS a percentage of the gate, minus expenses. Our expenses are agreed upon before we sign the contract - a couple of hundred dollars to cover our rent and equipment costs. We then ageree upon a set fee. Our "members", who pay an annual fee, get a percentage discount of the ticket - if we sell a ticket for #25 they pay $22.

At the end of the evening we count up tickets sold, subtract our expenses, and then figure out the percentage. If the percentage is higher than the guarantee, the performer gets the higher figure.   It usually works out so that the performer is pleased and we do not lose money.

House concerts, which may be closer to the spirit if not the design of your folk clubs, usually have audiences of 25 to 30 people and the artist keeps all the door.   The host merely donates their home and time, and expenses are covered.

Basic rule of thumb- you get the performer you can afford and know that you can attract an audience for.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Performers fees (% or flat fee?)
From: GUEST
Date: 17 Feb 07 - 04:09 PM

"Sorry, the UK club scene is dying, because it's consisently failed to keep its door pricing policy in line with inflation over the past two decades. (With a few wonderful exceptions)*."


I've spent the last 5 years of my life flogging the motorways playing clubs full time.

I've given it everything. Everything I've got. Gave up a well-paid job. Invested savings, effort, friendships, time, love, talent and all the skill I can squeeze from my throat, brain and my fingers (and, according to the reviews, I'm not half bad).

But. It has made me nearly bankrupt, and I can only go on one more year. Then there has to be some kind of break-through, or I'll have to stop. Or my wife will leave me.

Why? Because clubs can only afford to pay £100-150 for what averages out (when you take sales, admin, rehearsal, travel, CD prodution, website maintenance, depreciation on instruments and kit, AND performance into account) as an 18 hour day - and I can't play every day because there are no longer enough clubs even if I wanted to be a single man (which is what would happen if I did).

I did 67 clubs last year, and my accountant tells me I didn't even break even.

If audiences are not lying, then the thrill they get at my gigs is, for some, one of the high points of their year. But they only expect to pay, on average, £4 for the experience.

Yes. The clubs are dying - becuase the people who run them, and the people who visit them, are getting old. And they no longer notice how fast the world is turning, and what needs to be done to keep up.

Somwhere back there in the 80s or 90s they failed to see that they needed drastic action to involve younger people. And now it's too late.


* ageed!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Performers fees (% or flat fee?)
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 17 Feb 07 - 04:15 PM

Bernard, I am being deliberately realistic. Many organisers(not all - Kevin Sheils certainly excepted) are extremely silly and indeed selfish and short-sighted on this issue, even if they're not 'raking it in'. And no, I can well believe that you are not with such tinpot, slipshod, unprofessional attitudes. I'm not talking about has-been comedians who supplement their dole with bit parts in soaps but of serious, highly-skilled musicians scraping a precarious living while battling against the combined uncaring and unaware stance of certain unwittingly mean-spirted organisers and punters alike who are, quite frankly, exploiting them shamelessly but are unable to see it like like that. The growing circuit of alternative venues, decently accommodated and properly funded, are a glimmer of light in the doomed, hopeless morass that the UK 'f*lk scene' (whatever that is/was) is becoming. In short, find decent, properly run venues, charge realistic prices and pay artists accordingly.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Performers fees (% or flat fee?)
From: GUEST
Date: 17 Feb 07 - 04:18 PM

Countess. When I'm suddenly single. Marry me!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Performers fees (% or flat fee?)
From: The Villan
Date: 17 Feb 07 - 04:36 PM

It could well be that only singarounds and sessions are the only thing that survive as they cost very little to run. Likewise they tend to book less performers.

Festivals seem to be big business, but not sure if that is profitable for performers.

We as organsiers cannot help the way things are going. I have done my best to get youngsters involved, including my own daughters - but they don't like folk music, and when they go, its under sufference.

I have one resident performer who is 16 and the rest differ in age getting eventually up to my age of 62.

I think a lot of the problem in some ways is to do with people who refuse to try and get youngsters involved. As Guest says people are getting older and are also less prepared to pay enough to watch folk singers.

I have had quite a few youngsters on over the 4/5 years I have been running a club.

I do feel very sorry for professional performers who find they can't survive. Its not nice.

There is a lot of very good young talent out there, but are the old folkies prepared to listen to them - are they prepared to listen to you.

A lot of youngsters nowadays just want to do their spot and go. Life is so much different these days than in the 60's. Are us oldies able to step aside and let them take over and do their kind of music?

Having said that, the youngsters who have played at my club, do tend to stay on as long as possible. Can't complain.

I think the day of performers travelling long distances is going to die, as it is becoming too expensive for everyone and for bands, its even worse.

if there was only an answer.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Performers fees (% or flat fee?)
From: The Villan
Date: 17 Feb 07 - 04:39 PM

>>Many organisers(not all - Kevin Sheils certainly excepted) are extremely silly and indeed selfish and short-sighted on this issue<<

Countess Richard go f*** yourself. You insulting person, and I don't give a toss who you are.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Performers fees (% or flat fee?)
From: Bernard
Date: 17 Feb 07 - 04:39 PM

Odd, that, Ron! Folk Clubs often used to be run that way this side of the puddle... I think Westhoughton still is. Very few have a membership system now, though.

The house concert idea is something that has intrigued me for a while... I know of a few performers who do that over here - but driven by the performer rather than the householder, if you follow?

Sometimes you can attract a bigger audience by booking someone you cannot afford... but the risk of burnt fingers is high! If it works you look good, if it doesn't, no-one volunteers to pick up the bits.

I was in that situation in the mid 1980s - I was out of work at the time, running a modestly successful folk club. One performer (who shall remain nameless, but people who know me know who it was!) went back on his word. He had agreed to work for a percentage of the door, but demanded his full fee - in my absence.

Needless to say, we had nothing in writing, and as a result my young family had to suffer because of his greed. The club had to close, as I couldn't risk any more debt. I learned the hard way that people aren't always as trustworthy as they seem.

Before anyone takes me to task, I was much younger and more trusting (naive?) in thse days. He was a fellow club organiser, and knew the score. He'd asked me for the gig, and I'd told him we couldn't afford it. So he made the offer.

What was worse, he even went back on his word of offering me a reciprocal booking at his club, which says little for his integrity.

We'd had guests such as The Yetties (mates of mine - a special rate!), 'Big' Pete Rodger, Brian Osborne, Harry Boardman, John Howarth, Ted Edwards (just after his Sahara expedition!), Fiona Simpson and others I can't just recall... but folk audiences are notoriously fickle...

The club had grown from being a singaround to booking guests, and the regulars had a say in the guests we booked.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Performers fees (% or flat fee?)
From: The Sandman
Date: 17 Feb 07 - 04:49 PM

the best arrangement in my opinion is a flat fee.
the more people there are in a club the more chance in theory, of selling cds.
however many years ago I played at lowestoft folk club therewere 25 people in the club ,but I sold 20 vinyl lps.
The next night I sold 3 lps,there were sixty people in the club.
I love folk clubs ,and love performing,but I got tired of travelling up and down motorways.
I come to England twice a year,and really enjoy the clubs that I do,and would like to thank all the organisers who make it possible for me to earn money playing the music I love.
I sympathise with the guest before me,Isuffered a broken marriage through the pressures of trying to work as a duo with my partner,and then later, when I was away from home a lot playing solo gigs,because I was never there, we drifted apart.
earning a living as a musician has always been hard,but I knew that when I started andlike Edith Piaf Iregret nothinga href="http://www.dickmiles.com">http://www.dickmiles.com


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Performers fees (% or flat fee?)
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 17 Feb 07 - 04:53 PM

I am consulting my agent on which of the two offers to pursue.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Performers fees (% or flat fee?)
From: The Sandman
Date: 17 Feb 07 - 04:54 PM

I believe Bernard you booked me, was this the railway at lymm.a href="http://www.dickmiles.com">http://www.dickmiles.com


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Performers fees (% or flat fee?)
From: The Sandman
Date: 17 Feb 07 - 04:59 PM

well countess richard,I like your sense of humour.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Performers fees (% or flat fee?)
From: Bernard
Date: 17 Feb 07 - 05:01 PM

Countess - greed is greed no matter how you try to disguise it.

You want to be realistic? Nobody forced these performers to 'go pro'. It was their choice, and they are at the mercy of market forces. They knew what they were getting into. They wanted to make money. Some are lucky enough to do so, but to suggest that maybe concert venues are the only answer is plain stupid. You're off your trolley!!

If you read my posts you will realise that I am not a club organiser, and have not been for over twenty years... being involved in their running is different. I maintain the websites and perform as a 'resident'.

As someone once said... 'I refuse to be drawn into a battle of wits with someone who is unarmed...'


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Performers fees (% or flat fee?)
From: Bernard
Date: 17 Feb 07 - 05:07 PM

No, Dick, I haven't booked you. I don't book anyone, I'm a performer myself - you were booked by Pauline and John from the Open Door in Oldham.

Yes, Countess's humour creases me, too...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Performers fees (% or flat fee?)
From: Bernard
Date: 17 Feb 07 - 05:17 PM

Having given this matter a little sideways thought, I wonder what would happen if food producers took the Countess's advice...

Instead of little corner shops with their friendly service, we'd have great big sanitised hypermarkets who would grind the prices down as much as they could, putting everyone else out of business.

Good job that isn't going to happen...

Dum-di-dum-di-dum...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Performers fees (% or flat fee?)
From: Jim Lad
Date: 17 Feb 07 - 05:19 PM

I rarely work for anything other than a flat rate. I've never been a fan of percentages because it leaves the organizer with no incentive to promote. Having said that, if the numbers are too low on the night and it's clearly not their fault, I offer them a break and have often been given bonuses when the opposite was true.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Performers fees (% or flat fee?)
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 17 Feb 07 - 05:21 PM

to suggest that maybe concert venues are the only answer is plain stupid. You're off your trolley!!

Thanks,
But I said no such thing.
Whatever hapened to the Campaign To Get People To Read The Thread?
I said 'decent, properly run venues', which includes any of whatever type that are just that. And which pay the going rate, preferably without whingeing.

Why is it 'greedy' to expect the (not exactly huge) fee for the job? This shows a remarkable contempt for professional musicians.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Performers fees (% or flat fee?)
From: Blowzabella
Date: 17 Feb 07 - 06:24 PM

I think that the idea of a % split is quite good in some circs eg:

A performer or band is well known ish, but not on the front page of every mag all the time. They are looking to raise their profile out of their normal area (geographically or venue type). The promoter is tempted but not convinced. The performers say - well - we would normally get £x but will give you a first visit for a guarantee of £y against a % split of a/b.

The promoter isn't taking too big a risk, but the performer, confident of their fan base, should do ok too - the bigger their fan base, the better they do. It also encourages the performers to be sure to do what they can themselves in terms of promoting etc. The hard work does not end with securing the gig. Whether they do it themselves or pay an agent to do it, getting the gig is just the start of it.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Performers fees (% or flat fee?)
From: Bernard
Date: 17 Feb 07 - 06:26 PM

Jim Lad, percentages should give incentives if done properly - the idea is the flat fee is a minimum, and 80% of the door is a bonus on top of that for both artiste and organiser if more punters are attracted in.

Unfortunately, not all performers are diligent in exploiting their mailing lists - they should let people know they are about to appear in their area. Folk Club publicity is difficult, as local newspapers are notorious for printing the wrong information, if they print anything at all.

Local radio? Don't make me laugh! We had a perfectly good Folk programme on BBC GMR before they decided to change the station's name to 'Radio Manchester' and take everything Manchester off it!

Never mind, the programme is on Radio Britfolk now - but we can't do 'diary dates' because the programme is aimed at a wider audience, and recorded around two weeks in advance. We will be broadcasting on Oldham Community Radio from March - our old GMR Monday night slot - on 99.7 FM, and the diary dates will be back - albeit to a smaller catchment.

Posters in public libraries, shop windows and factory/office noticeboards are all very well, but not very effective.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Performers fees (% or flat fee?)
From: Bernard
Date: 17 Feb 07 - 06:26 PM

Your words, Countess, are an insult to anyone who works hard for a living.

You said 'decent, properly run venues' in the context of your previous posts... 'lack of adequate facilities at the venue'.

As most pubs cannot offer the 'adequate facilities' you suggest, a reasonable extrapolation is that you want folk venues to move out of pubs into concert venues.

Very few pubs have a suitably sized room away from the noise of the jukebox and 'big screen sport' these days, so a school hall, church hall, village hall or theatre seems to be what you are advocating.

This may work for an occasional event, but on a week-to-week basis is very costly - financial suicide.

The suggestion that you could invite the guest to your home prior to a gig is often unreasonable, as the club organiser usually has a day job and rushes around like a mad thing to get home from work and out to the venue.

Stewart (Railway organiser) was on holiday for a few weeks, so I was running the club in his absence. I arrive home from work at about 6.30pm usually, and need to be at the Railway by 7.30 on a Guest Night. It's a half-hour drive from here... so I tended to go there straight from work. You did say 'realistic', didn't you? Just checking!

It's all very well up on that high horse, pontificating about ideals. We don't live in an ideal world!

In the ideal world, the folk club organiser would wave a magic wand and a 'suitable venue' would appear... sorry, does that sound ridiculous? It's not as far-fetched as your suggestion, my dear...

As a sound engineer by day (and sometimes by night, too), I often have to work in less than ideal conditions to complete a job. It goes with the territory. I'm skilled at what I do, but I can't say 'It's raining. I don't want to get wet putting up loudspeakers in a field'. The client expects the job to be done, and also expects that we take such things into consideration when planning the job.

Last week I was working in a prison doing the AV for a staff seminar. A comfy, cushy job for the most part... but I had to wait two hours before I could drive my car out of the 'sterile' area, as there had been an incident. It goes with the turf...

You seem to think these performers are gods... poor things, they mustn't be inconvenienced! They certainly are not, and should not expect to be treated as if they are!

'A fair day's pay for a fair day's work' is what we all hope for, but few of us ever feel we are given it.

Musicians and singers are no different. It's a job - okay, being paid for what you enjoy doing - and that, in itself, is a bonus.

If you wish to construe that as treating them like hired hands, then I'm sorry - they knew what they were getting into. How many postmen complain about having to be at work by 4.00am? Probably all of them...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Performers fees (% or flat fee?)
From: Leadfingers
Date: 17 Feb 07 - 07:10 PM

Back in the 'Good Old Days' (The late eighties) I was booking for Uxbridge Folk Club . We were fortunate in having members who could provide comfortable B & B for Booked Artists who neeeded overnight accomodation . We also had the advantage of a Pub with a reasonable room , good parking and a Bar Meals facility . For most of the five years I was Bookings Member , we were offering a Guaranteed Minimum
(Usually £40) against a percentage of the door take . We were confident of being able to cover the minimum from the Door , and took advantage of Touring Performers who were passing through the area .
The Club worked well , and Artists we had booked were telling their friends to try us if they were in the area and needed the gap filling ! This got us people like Tom McConville , who heard about us from Jez Lowe . Very seldom did an artist leave with only the £40 , and we had no difficulty in maintaining a good selection of varied music . The Artists were happy , because they knew that they were not going to have to book in to paid accomodation on their way to the next gig for at least that one night !


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Performers fees (% or flat fee?)
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 17 Feb 07 - 07:25 PM

Bernard

my dear...

Patronising git.
May you plug the wrong thing into the wrong socket (oo er missus) in a heavy shower . . . and fry.
Bloody sound engineers. Pah!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Performers fees (% or flat fee?)
From: Jim Lad
Date: 17 Feb 07 - 07:27 PM

Bernard:
       Oh, I suppose if I was doing one or two gigs per year, I could get into promoting but that's not what I'm up to. Folk venues are limited, as are the funds available to both the organizers and entertainers. Folk is by comparison to other genres, not very lucrative.
Others have suggested that even professional folk singers have to find other jobs. For me, this means playing in the "Hospitality" industry.   i.e. Pubs & Restaurants where you have to accommodate the needs of the business as well as the patrons.
Over the years "Hospitality" has become the mainstay and true folk venues are a real treat when I can fit them in.
I have a great deal of respect for anyone who chooses to run a folk club or festival. They are not going to get rich doing it and I believe, get seriously gouged by many of the big names.
So I give them a break when I can but working for a percentage is pretty well out of the question, for the reason I stated earlier.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Performers fees (% or flat fee?)
From: Bernard
Date: 17 Feb 07 - 07:38 PM

Leadfingers... despite what the Countess seems to want to believe, that's pretty much exactly what we still can offer at the Railway. The fee is somewhat larger, though...!

What's getting her ladyship's knickers in a twist is our lack of 'suitable facilities' - i.e. a dressing room. Big deal!

She'd be mortified if she'd seen the Witches of Elswick the other week - they got changed behind the upstairs bar! How disgraceful!!

Admittedly the bar isn't used on a club night, but it's hardly private. A bit like changing on the beach, really... when we use the sound system I run it from there (not that particular evening), and the club residents park their instruments, cases and stuff there, too.

Come to think of it, many festivals are singularly lacking in such 'adequate facilities'... a couple of years ago I was support for Fairport at Poynton Festival, and we were all crammed into a little back kitchen... very friendly...!

Most people aren't 'precious' about such things, y'know. A dressing room with a star on the door? In yer dreams...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Performers fees (% or flat fee?)
From: Tim theTwangler
Date: 17 Feb 07 - 09:50 PM

>>Many organisers(not all - Kevin Sheils certainly excepted) are extremely silly and indeed selfish and short-sighted on this issue<<

Countess Richard go f*** yourself. You insulting person, and I don't give a toss who you are.

V I am shocked!
Also think you are justified in that reaction if you took the comment personaly.
Now I happen to know Villan and love going to his well run friendly village hall /club.
I have played there and hope to again shortly.
He can advertise his events.
He can get good deals from great well know performers.
He is a true gent and has put a great deal of effort into providing a service both to the regular performers and to the audience.
But there is nothing further
he can do to make people want to come and listen.
The trouble is as stated further up the thread the diehard folkies.
The ones with a snotty attitiude.
The ones with the fixed opinions and tedious definitions.
Have managed to kill the interest of any young inovative new people into forming the new bedrock that the scene needs.
There are so few performers in their teens and twenties who see any fun or enjoyment in attending the museums of ancient music that you short sighted narrow minded officious prats have created.
I know most of you on here will have been doing what you do for fourty years or thirty years and probably about ready to jack it in after all that solid service to the cause.
It is a shame that you didnt tell these dead weight self satisfied boring and meaningless passengers where to get of while there was still time for the good ones among you to find the next generation of club goers.
It is all very well having the few on the telly or handpicked for stardom by the watersons or the Carthys or smooth ops etc.
But you needed to have a supply of new blood in the clubs to keep them going between the extra special visits of the near famous.
They are not there around these parts.Have you got them at your clubs?
IF you have try and keep em.
The trouble with selling any product is that someone must want to buy it.
reclaiming songs from the refuse bin of history is fine.
But dont forget they were dead and thrown away by the generations that knew them when they were traditional.
Now they are revitalised relics.
If you want them to live and be heard you need somewhere to play them and an audience to listen.
I know you may like the extra status you imagine you gain by knowing obscure and elite musical forms.
and maybe you only want to keep it for yourselves so it can be used for making you feel special.
But if it is truly folk it needs to be heard and the local folk clubs are the best way of acheiving that.
WHo will the customers be in thirty years?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Performers fees (% or flat fee?)
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 17 Feb 07 - 10:04 PM

"But you needed to have a supply of new blood in the clubs to keep them going between the extra special visits of the near famous."

We're not talking about English Cricket now are we?


:-P


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Performers fees (% or flat fee?)
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 18 Feb 07 - 02:06 AM

Most people aren't 'precious' about such things

Indeed. Anything's 'good enough for f*lk', innit?
The thread started out with someone seeking tips on how to screw artists.
Then continued with organisers swapping ideas on how to treat them like shit.
Haven't been to this Railway nor the Villan's dump, nor do I now want to.
Can't see why anyone would when they risk such 'precious' lack of consideration.
And I can't actually decide whether this is just an extension of the intrinsically English lack of respect for the tradarts, absent everywhere else I have been or if it is simply that you are nasty, blinkered, uncaring people, full stop.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Performers fees (% or flat fee?)
From: The Villan
Date: 18 Feb 07 - 03:37 AM

>>The thread started out with someone seeking tips on how to screw artists<<

I dont think so countess. Just finding out what other clubs do.

>>Villan's dump<< How do you know that, you haven't been.

>>or if it is simply that you are nasty, blinkered, uncaring people<<

Well that certainly isn't me Countess. I treat all performers with the greatest respect when they come to Faldingworth Live and previously Market Rasen Folk Club. I will do anything I can to make all performers visits as pleasurable as possible and pay them what I can afford. My club is not in a main town, but very rural with just a few hundred inhabitants.

Finally - who are you Countess Richard ? Are you a performer who can't get the gigs becuase you are not good enough or a successful folk performer who is earning a lot of money. Why don't you tell us who you really are.

Incidentally, here is a link to my Gallery photo's of Faldingworth Live. Is it such a dump. I think not. Its a village hall out in the sticks with an ageing population. People come from other areas in Lincolnshire but very few from the village.http://www.faldingworthlive.co.uk/Gallery.htm


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Performers fees (% or flat fee?)
From: treewind
Date: 18 Feb 07 - 05:44 AM

If I read it correctly, the original poster (and I think I know who he is) runs a small club that has mostly singarounds which raise some of the money to pay a guest one week in six. There are many clubs that operate this way, and dealing on a percentage for the night is obviously impractical because the total door income from the guest night isn't enough to pay the performer's usual fee. It has to be subsidised by the singer's nights that precede it, and everybody cheerfully accepts that.

I'm quite happy with that arrangement - we've had some splendid evenings at clubs that operate this way, and it often involves excellent hospitality from the hosts too. But if I think a club is big enough to raise a lot more than our usual "opening negotiations" fee I'll ask for a percentage. That way we all share the bonus if the evening goes well audience wise.

By the way, there are well run and less well run clubs, and it's sometimes hard to know exactly why some are getting it right and others aren't, but instances of raking in money by deliberately ripping off anybody in this businesss are extremely rare and success in such ventures is likely to be short-lived.

Anahata


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
Next Page

  Share Thread:
More...

Reply to Thread
Subject:  Help
From:
Preview   Automatic Linebreaks   Make a link ("blue clicky")


Mudcat time: 22 January 10:39 PM EST

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.