Houston Music

How Much Do Local Bands Get Paid At Shows?

Most of us go to concerts, stand in the crowd and gaze in awe at performers onstage. While we're there, we might even become a little green with envy. Lights, cameras, confidence and everyone's attention - who wouldn't want that? Rocks Off, however, would like to point out that it's not all glitz and glamour. These hard-working men and women, put in long hours and diligently toil for your love and affection, oftentimes without much payoff - literally.

"Every band has a different deal for every show," says Omar Afra, Fitzgerald's partner and Free Press Houston publisher. "Sometimes the bands make the show free and get a cut of the bar, that way we're totally in business with one another. It's a you-do-well-and-we-do-well mentality."

Depending on the deal they makes with the venue, Afra says, the band can end up getting as much as 80 percent of the bar. But what he says some bands don't like to hear is the hard truth: If people don't show up to see an act perform, its members aren't going to get paid much. That's just business, folks.

"Ultimately, there's a correlation behind how much bands make and how many people they bring," Afra says.

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Matt is a regular contributor to the Houston Press’ music section. He graduated from the University of Houston with a degree in print journalism and global business. Matt first began writing for the Press as an intern, having accidentally sent his resume to the publication's music editor instead of the news chief. After half a decade of attending concerts and interviewing musicians, he has credited this fortuitous mistake to divine intervention.
Contact: Matthew Keever