Getting paid for a gig

The genius artist Picasso was once walking through a park when a woman recognised and approached him, and asked if he’d sketch her. He agreed, and after studying her for a minute, drew her in just one pencil stroke. She was amazed at the picture, and asked how much it was. “£5000,” said Picasso. “But it only took you a second to draw it!” she said, flabbergasted. “Madame,” he responded, “It took my entire life.”

Take a leaf from Picasso’s book when it comes to getting paid. Always try and remember what you’re worth.

How hard is to get paid gig in London? Very! People are happy to pay their plumber, mechanic, gardener…but when comes to the band….they are almost insulted when you ask. So please keep asking… Things need to change!

How to get a paid gig 7 Golden Rules Rule 1: If you want a gig that pays, get one in a place where bands are already being paid. Rule 2: Know how much the other bands are getting paid. Rule 3: Make sure you’re negotiating with the person who has the power to say yes. Rule 4: Don’t forget that being a musician is a job and people who do jobs get paid. Rule 5: Deliver the most value you can for the money you are paid. Rule 6: Your crowd are great potential customers. Make sure they know who you are and can get in touch with you. Rule 7: Know who’s paying you and who can give you another booking, and secure both things before they leave.

Musicians Union recommended live rates (updated April 2015) – rates per musician

  • Casual engagements for groups performing in pubs/clubs for up to 3 hours: £112.50
  • Casual engagements for groups performing at functions of up to 4 hours: £150.50
  • Overtime: hourly rate of £37.50 payable at time and a half
  • Setting up time: The engagement is payable at the hourly rate from whatever time the musician is required to have his/her instruments and equipment set up.

Good luck. It is never easy!



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