Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Gig for a quid

I was thinking recently that pretty much the only thing inflation hasn't hit is the money bands demand for gigs. There's always talk of the ongoing decline in recorded music sales along with a certain defiance about the success of live shows, yet touring support bands have been receiving £50 a night for as long as I can remember. Even during those crazy petrol price doubling times last year, everyone was still paid the same low rate.

As an occasional promoter I can see it from that point of view too. Just because fuel costs have gone through the roof it doesn't mean that all of a sudden their attendances are doubling - there's simply no extra money available in most cases. So what can the bands do? With a rise in their fees unlikely to happen anytime soon the options seem limited to (a) relying on merch to cover their extra costs, (b) cycling to gigs, (c) limiting themselves to shows no further than a few miles from their homes or (d) put up or shut up. The poor buggers.

When bands get a certain size and stature they'll likely take on a booking agent to help them out with securing tour supports and higher guarantees for their shows, a vital helping-hand in keeping the wolf from the door, although it must be said that this mob of stardom-chasing fools should probably be re-thinking their choice of staff. £100 guarantee in a 20,000 capacity venue? What were they thinking?

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