“Money, it’s a gas. Grab that cash with both hands and make a stash.”- Pink Floyd, Money
When you perform at a paying gig, there is an expectation that you will be compensated in a timely and professional manner.
This can be difficult to navigate: sometimes you don’t know when that check will arrive, less when that cash will get to the band.
Generally speaking, it’s a good idea for the bandleader to pay the group as promptly as possible. That way, no one is left hanging, and they can do fun things, like eat.
Here we’ll discuss the do’s and don’ts of dishing out the cash.
State Your Rates Ahead of Time
If you’re the one leading the band, tell them how much you intend to pay them, and stick to it. If some change dictates that you end up getting paid list, explain that carefully. Better yet, if you promised them a set fee and end up getting low balled at a later date (it happens), eat the cost and pay them the original amount anyhow. In the long run, it will be worth the rapport you build with your bandmates.
It can be disheartening when the bandleader is evasive about the payment process. Whether or not it’s actually the case, it can feel dishonest when they’re withholding information or funds.
Instead of shirking the responsibility, communicate openly about when you can expect to see that check, and when you will be able to get it to the band.
Of course the dynamic can vary. If it’s more of a passion project, and less a source of much-needed income, then payment may be less urgent. If, however, your band is relying on this check for normal day-to-day expenses, you should be sure to compensate them with more a sense of urgency.
Some gigs are closer than others. I’ve been in the position where the band used my vehicle to get to the show, racking up $50 in fuel costs when I wasn’t earning much more than that at the show.
Travel costs should never be the responsibility of the person who owns the car, they are a business cost. If you’re accepting payment, and it’s your group, be sure to factor travel into your payment.
Lucky for you BookLive has a feature to automatically factor mileage via Google Maps and calculate costs for your gig quote! Now that’s a feature that can really take you places.
A few other costs you could consider factoring into your budget:
- Emergency gear replacement
- Vehicle wear and tear
- Other emergency funds
It’s nice being the person having cash handed to you, but it comes with a certain responsibility. Make sure that you live up to that obligation and effectively pass profits to your players. Be scrupulous about expectations and obligations, be mindful of additional unexpected costs, and things should be smooth sailing from there.
Be sure to use BookLive’s convenient platform, both to accept payment, and to pay your bandmates as well. Free of charge.
At BookLive, we want to help take the head out of getting paid and paying others, letting you focus on the music.
May all your performances be spectacular.