I had an experience with a music friend of mine who played in a cafe just recently. The first gig was good, the cafe was full and we brought along 6 friends. The second gig the place was not packed but there was good attendance, we had our own group attend of 4 people and 2 more turned up from QLD Australia. They drove 12 hours to see my mate play. The 3rd was not many people. It was not only this cafe but many others as their was a major sporting event in town.
Firstly the owner wanted to lay down ground rules about payment. We told him we can play the first gig free as a trial. He excepted but demanded he pay us for all the gigs following. I quote the owner ” I want to keep this live performances happening every week and build up a reputation”. Fair point, this is what he needs to do. However a few weeks went by and the owner did not get back to us on a schedule for the following gigs. I sent him a number of emails no reply.
Then out of the blue I received one email from him. He stated that he was not happy. he noted that he had complaints about my mate and that he felt my mates style of music did not suite the cafe. He noted that when he has a duo playing e.g. guitar + singer or Keyboard + singer he had better reception and people were coming in off the street to listen and have dinner.
I sent him a follow up email saying to him that my mate is flexible and I have contacted a singer who can play with him acoustic duo. The owner was glad to hear from us and was pleased that we could be flexible. However no explanation to were the complaints came from. Anyhow he wanted my mate to play on a particular date. I arranged my mate to rehearse with my singer friend. All was going good, I even updated the owner as to how our practicing was going. His statement was “I am sure it will be good because your friend is a professional.
He then wanted to know what we should charge. As he paid $100 just for my mate I felt it only fair that we charge $200. Shit hit the fan he complained about the price telling us on other nights he has a guy who was on idol who he pays $100 and some others around $50-$100. I replied by telling him nicely that we can reduce the price between $140-$150. He replied by saying lets get all the cards on the table now. First gig $50 the $100 there after. for 2 musicians that is $25 each for the first gig and then $50 per musician their after.
Does he think musicians should be paid peanuts. My mate is professional who has been playing for 25 years. The owner wants to get young out of work teen musicians and con them in to playing for peanuts.
Let us know your stories if similar
Also read bellow as this is the truth about how a musician is valued based on getting $300 for a performance.