Houston Music

How Much Do Local Bands Get Paid At Shows?

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Anyone who understand the existence of overhead costs should know that much. But what about bands' beginning asking prices?

"As a solo act, I usually ask [for] at least $50 to $75 a show, unless I know the promotional opportunity outweighs the money value," says local rapper Hollywood FLOSS. While FLOSS occasionally performs by himself, he usually plays with a full band.

"As a rock band, [we ask for] $300 to 600 - more members and the work put into the show causes the rates to go up."

Understandably so. Never mind the effort put into coordinating schedules, the difficulty of which is usually determined by how many people are involved. When on tour, prices continue to rise, because bands don't have the luxury of eating and sleeping at their own homes. And gas prices have gone up, too.

"The money is equal or a little bit greater in out-of-town areas, because they understand you have to pay for travel and ways to get to the venue," FLOSS says. "They want you to feel comfortable and tell other acts about the venue."

But it isn't all about money. While every act expects to collect a different amount per gig, almost all of them are willing to play for almost nothing if the incentive is right.

"An average pay would be around $200 for a well planned out show, but sometimes we play for less, or for free, if it's a very good lineup, venue or (the proceeds go) toward a greater cause," says Tax the Wolf lead vocalist Mario Rodriguez.

"We've gotten really lucky when we book our own shows, because we see a lot more money in our direction. It all depends on choosing the right places and dates.

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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