BANDS vs DJS

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BANDS vs DJS

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BANDS vs DJS IN BARS/CLUBS/LOUNGES
 
I found your site by searching "how much, as a % of sales, should a bar be spending on entertainment". No clear cut answers... I'm not a bar owner, I'm a singer in a local band. We have a wave of disgruntled musicians around here who have taken to bad mouthing every club around here. One particular venue that had bands just went to a 10% of gross sales for the night for musicians. The manager claims a normal "ring" for them on a Sat. night is $1,700 hence $170 for entertainment... obviously that won't buy much. Opinion?  Thanks for your time
 
 MY RESPONSE:  First, let me say as a 40 year Band Manager, Concert Promoter, Record Label Owner, your BAND banner behind the three of you is outdated and over with.

I realize money is tight, but you should approach a local huge beer Vendor like Bud, or a local liquor Distributor like Southern Wine and Spirits who can make you a plug in Neon sign with the name of their brand on it and in huge much bigger lettering the name of your band. It's a Win Win for both the Beverage Company and your band. It's done all the time!

That Way you could just hang the neon up and do away with the tacky banner.

Also on  your web site, the home page should have a packed club or bar with your band performing and the dance floor packed. That is the first impression visitors to your site should see.

You should post video performances on youtube, utilize twitter and enhance your Face book to give people a reason to go to it. Face book only works when there is energy, and a connection that people feel to click on to your page, otherwise it just becomes another Face book page. 
 

You should be collecting email addresses at every gig you do and build up a data base of at least 1000 to 5000 email addresses of people who love the band.

Now as for being paid, 10% of the gross is nonsense, I never heard of such a financial arrangement for a band.

Here are options:

A. You collect a door charge, and keep it, even if the bar or club does not have a door charge, you , you  put a very hot looking, great personality female on the door to schmooze and ask for the cover.

B. You create a set that is a Tribute Set or sets dedicated to specific Great Acts, that incorporate wardrobe, song list, and you nail to the best of your talents the singing, mannerisms on stage of the Group you are emulating so that you are more than just a cover or cover and original music band. Thus you charge a flat fee for the band's performance.

The National average flat pay for a band today doing A One Nighter, with  4 - 40 minute sets with 15 minute breaks, is anywhere from $600 to $1200 depending on the drawing power of the band, the number of members, the quality of the band, their equipment, their stage presence and the reputation, image and perception in the Community of the club or bar your playing at.

If the bar or club draws in a sleaze or cheap crowd and don't' care about who the band is, I would not suggest playing that bar under any circumstances.

If the bar or club is a hot spot that draws in a good spending crowd, with plenty of women, you should not be paid less than $600 and up.

When a bar or club places the burden of the band on the bar, the Owner is a complete moron and is afraid people won't pay a cover to see live entertainment, when even Regal and AMC Movie Theaters charge $6 up from $5 to see a movie at 10am during the day now.

The best way to implement a cover charge is to have as I said a hot female on the door and also ask the club or bar to give away the first well drink or draft beer free with the cover for the first month, then all of a sudden pull the free drink offer and leaves the cover charge in place.

Bands today are getting their brains beat in like never before from DJs who spin, mix, sample and create their own EDM, BPM and DUBSTEP genres of music, along with spectacular lighting and video.

So the demand for bands is unfortunately at an all time low, unless as I said the band is unique in it's performance, it's broad reach of music, lighting, video, effects, unique tribute sets,  and it's STAND ABOVE AND BEYOND any other local or regional performing bar band.

The Problem is just as owners have become complacent so have bands, they play the same songs in the same sets, over and over, and they play everywhere, so instead of learning new material and being ahead of the curve they use the 1990's mentality of just practicing and playing with nothing that makes them "EDGY" and "ENERGIZED". Most bands are just glad to get a paying gig, they don't understand the less places they play locally, the more in demand they become.

Bands are suppose to fill dance floors so that patrons dance, then drink, dance, then drink.  It's not just a band performing on stage, going through the motions, dressing like slobs, drinking during their performance, cursing, it all diminishes their onstage presence.

When a band plays anywhere and everywhere they make their value next to nothing.

Bad mouthing club Owners is tacky, D class A, meaning trashy attitudes, you don't lower yourself to that nonsense. It serves no purpose.

An alternative to relying on clubs or bars, would be to rent out a hall or venue where you could have two to four bands perform and charge $10 to get in, have a bar, and host your own events. DJs do it and make thousands of dollars a night.

Another concept is to have a unique looking tip jar in addition to what the owner will agree to pay you.

In 40 years in this industry I have never ever heard of a bar or club giving a band any % of the bar sales, gross or net.

That is not your concern nor it is feasible financially or even respecting your band or any band, that this clown owner pulls this schtick.

Bottom line find other venues to play, travel out of your local area, build up the reputation of the band and the talent, skills, and theater of the band's performance.

The hottest genres of entertainment for bars, clubs right now are DJs and Burlesque shows.

Bands have to create a demand. Best Of Luck.

PS 20 years ago, I was paying my house band of 9,  $3000 a week for Five nights a week. We had a line outside those five nights and the band learned new material every single week. They also were wireless so that they played not just on the stage, but on the bar, and all over the club.

My Concerns with Residency DJs, ( DJs who play night after night at the same bar, club, lounge, restaurant attempting night life, are the following:

A. The DJ plays music that he likes, that he is indoctrinated into, but that the patrons do not relate to.

B. The DJ does not pack the dance floor, there is a simple premise and "DJ DYNAMIC" always in play, IF THE PLACE IS PACKED, IF THE DANCE FLOOR IS NOT SLAMMED WITH PATRONS, THEN THE DJ STINKS. It's not rocket science, if a DJ cannot get patrons up and moving, they will not drink. One feeds off the other.

C. A DJ who dresses like a slob, T shirt, baseball cap, baggy, sloppy jeans, dirty sneakers. Why can't a DJ dress in a nice stylish loose fitting Shirt, a Beret, a Fedora, Pressed, clean Jeans and White shining Sneakers? Why does the DJ have to dress below the dress code, and look like a guy who just got turned away at the door?

D. Cursing, What purpose does it serve for a DJ to "F this" and "F that" in an atmosphere where the Owner keeps the interior looking sparkling, only to have some DJ spouting out foul language whenever they want? Does that give the DJ a better quality spin, a more energized mix? NO, of course not.

E. The failure of a DJ who has a regular gig @ a Night Life Experience to enhance his performance with lighting, with props, with interaction. Now you can tell me all you want that a DJ can't do more than one action at a time, and I will respond, then let him bring in an assistant. Don't  give me excuses,  just make it happen.

F. "VIDEO", no longer can a DJ simply spin, "VIDEO" is now a mandatory must in a DJ's nightly presentation.  I am not going to explain myself, it is the most updated technique of DJ Delivering their best performance.

H. How much do you pay a DJ, very simple, what are they worth? Some DJs think that if you let them leave, your bar, club, lounge, or Restaurant with Night Life will go out of business. WRONG. The graveyards are full of indispensable  DJs. Nobody comes into a Night Life Establishment and looks to see who is spinning, WRONG, they come in, they hear what is being spun, if they relate to it, connect to it, want to dance to it, they stay, if it's off the wall, they walk out. This is not rocket science.

I. Drinking while spinning, NO, NO and more NO, the same goes for having female companionship in his DJ Space, I do not call it a booth, because booths are before your time, and if where you spin there is a booth, ask your Owner to tear it down or email me. There is no drinking while spinning and no women in your DJ area while mixing. You are being paid to perform. I have seen DJs passed out, barely able to mix, involved with women in their DJ Area, I mean, seriously, it's your job, it's your love to mix, spin, dub, visualize, conceptualize, keep your focus on your talent.

J. EGO, DJs are like Musicians, while they have every right to be self confident, and project that image, they also have a responsibility to respect your staff and your patrons. I read an interview in "Rolling Stone" from Deadmau5, his attitude , no matter how much so called talent he has, his attitude overshadows his creativity. His EGO and arrogance are more prevalent, than his real wheels of steel abilities.

SO, the bottom line is, as an Owner you have to take out a legal pad, draw a line down the middle on one side put the TITLE "DJ" and on the other side put the TITLE "BAND", you write down the pros and cons of each. You weigh the impact, the reach, the fit for your format, the cost, the drawing power, the bottom line.

Finally, when I owned my Clubs, I always and still believe now, you use both on Friday and Saturday Nights. That's right the Ideal DJ with the High Energy Live Band, add "THE FUN", "THE WOW FACTORS" and "THE FAB", TRIPLE YOUR WEEKEND NIGHTS BOTH FINANCIALLY and CROWD WISE. Get your guests coming earlier and staying later. It always works,when you do it my way. Email, RichUnger@promotingnightclubs.com

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 My partner and I have a big new Seafood Restaurant with a very large bar, that opened in Feb.  it is really struggling.  We would like a night club after hours? How do we go about this?
 Ron
 
 MY RESPONSE: Ron, you have a "NATURAL FIT"!
Seafood and Music, a huge bar and nite life what a foursome!
You focus on four nights a week, Wed- Sat Nights.
You create an atmosphere to is totally "Female Friendly", no outdated bouncers or ugh the word "security" bulky guys out front in high profile. Nope, you hire good looking, very fit,  either off duty LEO or former Soldiers who are not going through war hell, they are HEROS and if they can transform into easy going, casual kind of Male Hosts, these are the kind of individuals you employ to be in the background and to oversee the huge crowds you are going to experience. Ron, from Seafood Fests, to Shell Fish Festivals to Shrimp Fiestas you should be tying in "SEAFOOD/MUSIC/DRINKS/FUN/DANCE/WOW . It takes a FULL MONTH for an operator like you to accomplish a wide swath of your Market with a high impact media reach. 
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Rich,    We have a family owned nite club in ________. Capacity is 300+, carpeted walls, decent lighting & sound, open thur[over-under], fri[can�t get pp in door], & sat[over-under]. Thurs & Sat are good nts with radio DJ playing videos. Fri is a bust[always has been]. Our problem is: owners are older [pushing70], no visual change in interior in 20yrs, carpeted walls, everything is brown in color', & things are pretty much the same. The place has been for sale [no sign] but pp know. We have the #1 radio station & dj. We have always changed with the times [bands,disco,now music,etc]. My bros & I are pushing 70 & don�t want to make a major change in venue. Any suggestions? Thank You, David
 
 
MY RESPONSE:
                        DAVID, YOU ARE PUTTING YOURSELVES IN A "CATCH 22". BUYERS WANT A CLUB THAT IS DOING BUSINESS, HAS THE RIGHT CROWD AND IS FRESH, UP TO DATE AND READY TO TURN KEY.
UNFORTUNATELY, YOU, YOUR BROTHER HAVE CHOSEN TO SIMPLY STAY THE SAME, BUT PAY A RADIO STATION DJ TO PLAY VIDEOS.
 
RADIO STATIONS AND RADIO DJS, UNLESS THEY ARE HOWARD STERN, OPIE AND ANTHONY, RYAN SEACREST, BUBBA THE LOVE SPONGE, MEAN NOTHING.
 
CLEAR CHANNEL RADIO IS $2BILLION IN DEBT. WITH THE ADVENT OF IPODS, IPADS, DOWNLOADS, SIRUS/XM SATELLITE RADIO, REGULAR RADIO MEANS NOTHING ANYMORE.
WHY HAVE A DJ SPIN VIDEOS, WHO THE NEXT DAY IS GOING TO DO A REMOTE @ A FORD DEALER, TRYING TO SELL TRUCKS? YOUR INTERIOR IS DATED, OR OUTDATED, YOU SOUND FRUSTRATED, BURNT OUT, AND TIRED.
NOBODY IS RUSHING TO PARTY AT YOUR CLUB, NOBODY IS APPROACHING YOU ABOUT BUYING THE CLUB.
 
I WOULD SUGGEST ONE OF THE FIVE FOLLOWING CONCEPTS:
 
A. YOU HIRE A TRUSTED, DRUG/ALCOHOL FREE, RELIABLE, FAMILY MEMBER, WHO IS HIGHLY EDUCATED AND INTELLIGENT, TO IMPLEMENT THE NEW REBRAND, REPOSITION, REINVENT, RENEW OF THIS CLUB.
 
B. YOU HIRE AN EXPERIENCED, BACKGROUND CHECK COMPLETELY, CREDIT GOOD, CRIMINAL FREE, INDIVIDUAL, WHO YOU HAVE MANAGE THIS CLUB, INSTALL A CAMERA SYSTEM, KEEP A TIGHT HAND ON THE CASH, AND LET THIS PERSON TAKE OVER THE DAY TO DAY OPERATION OF THE CLUB.
 
C. YOU NEGOIATE WITH A GROUP, WHO WANT TO MANAGE THE CLUB, THEY MUST BE FINANCIALLY STRONG, HAVE GREAT REFERENCES, BE CHECKED THROUGH AND THROUGH, AND PUT UP A LARGE SUM OF CASH TO OPERATE THE CLUB. YOU BASICALLY LEASE THE CLUB TO THEM.
 
 
D. YOU AND YOUR BROTHER DECIDE YOUR GOING TO MAKE THE NECCESSARY CHANGES, AND OPERATE A VIBRANT UPSWING CLUB, SO THAT BUYERS ARE ATTRACTED TO BUY IT.
 
 
E. YOU LOWER THE PRICE YOU ARE ASKING FOR THE CLUB
 
F.  YOU CLOSE THE CLUB DOWN. 
 
OF COURSE, THE LAST TWO CHOICES ARE NOT REALLY VIABLE OPTIONS, BUT SOME OWNERS DO RESORT TO THEM. I WISH YOU MUCH SUCCESS, AND CONTINUED GOOD HEALTH.
 
ANY OWNERS GOING THROUGH MID LIFE CRISIS IN THEIR FOOD ONLY OR FOOD AND BEVERAGE OR BEVERAGE ONLY ESTABLISHMENT, EMAIL RichUnger@promotingnightclubs.com
I DON'T HAVE YOUR HEARTACHES AND HEADACHES, I LOVE THIS INDUSTRY. BRING IT ON ! 
 
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I RECENTLY WROTE THE OWNERS OF A CHAIN OF CASUAL BAR & GRILLS ABOUT ONE OF THEIR UNITS THAT WAS NOT UP TO PAR IN A NUMBER OF AREAS OF THEIR OPERATION.
I WAS POLITE, BUT I MADE MY POINTS WITH EMPHASIS, SO THAT IT HAD IMPACT ON THEIR THINKING.
HERE IS THEIR RESPONSE:
 
Rich,
The truth shall set us free!  Thank you for being painfully honest.  I have copied all 3 Dannys so they can get moving on all your comments and valid points.
You know we love you!  Happy Sunday.
Monica
 
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RICHIE REFLECTIONS: 
I am still amazed that People who read my Articles still contact me asking for Club Promoters, still use Club Promoters, and even Club Promoters ask me for my Expertise???????????????????????
I think the use of Club Promoters are the worse inclusion to operating a Nightclub.
Any Owner that relies on total strangers to run their door, to handle the safety of their club, to bring in their own DJ , to  also have their own friends, family work at a Club they have no Ownership of, yet have total authority over for that specific night is just beyond my comprehension. Why own a club if you, your General Manager, your Bar Manager, your Staff cannot market it, promote it, present "THE FUN", "THE WOWSER" and "THE FAB"? 
Is it easy to implement consistent Premier Promotions, Concepts, Contests, Parties, Themes, Events, Celebrations, Gatherings, Happenings, and Unique Entertainment.
Answer YES, YES, YES, YES, YES IT IS !!!
What happened to your "MOXIE"? ( look it up it's a Yiddish word".
What happened to your Tenacity?
What happened to your Relentlessness?
What happened to your Creativity?
What happened to YOU?
Your an Owner, email RichUnger@promotingnightclubs.com the next 2 months are going to be a Challenge to survive let alone thrive, don't let them pass you buy with pathetic nights, and closed nights.
Don't let them pass you by with just "BAR BEGGING" drinks and beer.
Don't let them pass you by, thinking RADIO is the answer.
ON the subject of RADIO, as I tuned in to Clear Channel Stations for a week to hear if their spots are even attention grabbing? I have never heard so many poorly produced, ineffective, weak, as well as
worthless RADIO SPOTS ever!!!!!
I use to cut three different sixty second spots a week for almost 34 years, and I never ever wrote my spots, I did them off the top of my head, and I used different music on each spot and was meticulous  about the music I used. No radio station DJ, or Production DJ ever did my spots. They just run through making spots, because they are inundated with so many to get done during their work day, they don't care. Try having a Radio Spot, that you are unhappy with and do not approve, REDONE, and watch the attitude and the time it takes for Clear Channel Sales and Production to REDO your spot?
Radio is no longer the RAINBOW for drawing Crowds for Night Life.
That Entertainment Section, That local Night Scene Magazine, free or paid, nobody reads them anymore. Your print ads are once again, wasting your money.
Recently, I followed the Grand Opening of an Ultra Lounge that maybe can hold 200 if they are packed in and out on their patio, wall to wall, shoulder to shoulder with barely enough room to hold your drink up to your lips. So, this new Owner, puts in a very expensive fish tank with exotic fish, WOW, just what Night Life Guests want to do is marvel @ the fish all night. That is the "FOCAL POINT" for this ultra lounge. The new Owner remodels the DJ booth, that's very smart, considering it was elevated in a corner, it now has the viability and no walls around it. But the actual white vinyl couches and love seats are filthy dirty from the previous Ownership's failure to upkeep the lounge. The Grand Opening  consists of a DJs, no known talent outside the regional area, the only hint of any Customer Connection for interaction, is to wear "ORANGE", do not ask me why, I can't see any correlation to the Ultra Lounge, it's Name or that color. Finally,this Ultra Lounge takes the entire back page of a Free Night Life Weekly Publication. That's the extent of their marketing. They are going to be open seven nights a week, ( give that about a week and watch that change to 4 nights tops) they are going to have a Happy Hour, drink prices $5 no significance at all. That's the extent of their Grand Opening Marketing and Format. This is the third Ownership Turnover of this ultra lounge. It has seen it's best Nights come and go. I wish it the best of success, but I also know very well, it is lucky to last a year. The Mayor of the small City this Ultra Lounge is located in, will "CUT THE RIBBON" to inaugurate it's "GRAND OPENING", the only problem is Madam Mayor will never set foot again, in this Ultra Lounge, she is about as Ultra Conservative as you can be.     

   

Copyright � 2012 Rich Unger

[ Home ]

This web site, its contents, graphics and text are � 2005, Promoting Nightclubs.com.
All Rights Reserved. For comments, questions, or suggestions about this site, contact the webmaster.

[ Home ]

This web site, its contents, graphics and text are � 2005, Promoting Nightclubs.com.
All Rights Reserved. For comments, questions, or suggestions about this site, contact the webmaster.

[ Home ]

This web site, its contents, graphics and text are � 2005, Promoting Nightclubs.com.
All Rights Reserved. For comments, questions, or suggestions about this site, contact the webmaster.