They are likely working off a guarantee so they will be making their asked for money no matter how many people show up.
That's the way it is for most acts now as far as I am aware. I saw a price list a few years back for acts the Casino here was trying to bring in for an outdoor concert and their appearance fee was guaranteed regardless of revenue generated.
Some of these bands have been drawing flies for years now though, so I imagine that the guarantee is pretty damn low. I'm sure the smaller clubs are operating under the premise of just getting a few people in the doors to sell them drinks.
Last night I saw Metal Church, a second tier "New Wave of British Heavy Metal" band even in their prime in the '80s. They were playing B.B. King's. So trying to do the math on this.
There was a local opener from the Bronx that went on first, 5 guys in the band, maybe 50 people in the building at that point. Could they have really gotten paid anything at all, or maybe this was a "pay to play" gig just to get themselves stage time in cool venue.
Next was the "national opener" who are going around for the whole tour, but no one knows them. 5 guys in that band, maybe 150 people in the crowd at that point. Can't imagine how much each guy there could be paid.
Then Metal Church came out, the place "filled up" to 350 people or so. 5 guys in that band that need to be paid. Rowdy crowd, a mosh pit, everyone drinking even though it's a Monday night (and looking at the crowd, I don't think too many have a job to wake up to anyway). So at $9 a beer I guess they made some money, but they have to pay rent in Times Square so how many beers do they need to sell to keep the lights on?
350 people paying $20 a ticket is $7,000. If everyone averages 3 beers (which is doubtful) that's an other $9,500. So out of about $16,500 they have to justify 1/30th of the rent, paying the waiters/bartenders/security, all utilities for the evening, and still pay out the bands. I don't see anyone making money off of this.
The headline band is almost definitely making a few grand in guaranteed money. Smaller bands playing clubs can havr have a few grand in guarantee. They're making something, though not getting rich. The promoters are probably losing their ass though
Last edited on Fri Apr 1st, 2016 03:46 am by BayouBoogie