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0 comments / Posted by Joel Kiesel

So, you were stiffed on your last performance? Yes, that can really suck, but it is important to understand what you can do to ensure that doesn’t happen to you again, like ever. Let’s just explore some of the reasons why most bands often get stiffed. In a majority of cases, bands get stiffed at the last moment due to either:

  • A failure to negotiate the terms of payment, and as a result agreeing to be paid after the performance
  • Failure to operate with a contract or a pre-defined agreement between host and band
  • Or both

However, there are many bands that do not get their dues after a gig, primarily because of the immense competition they face by other bands. Most don’t even fight for their money – and are only concerned with the survival of their band’s name and being called back again. This has considerably added to the trend of the host of the concert to stiff as many bands as he can.

Did You Get Stiffed On Your Last Gig?

What to Do to Ensure it Doesn’t Happen to You Ever Again

In light of this, mentioned below are some ways you can be sure to get paid for your efforts after you finish performing:

Always present a professional image of yourself to the club manager or booker, and you can do this by bringing forth an agreement or contract, which specifies the terms of your payment. Presenting a professional image of yourself on top of being a professional musician does have a strong impact.

Doing so will ascertain the fact that you are proud of your music, and that you have every intention of enhancing your career.

Talk to the club owner/host/ booker about a deposit. Negotiate the terms of that deposit, get at least half of what they will owe you after the gig before you start setting up. What this will do is allow you to leverage the amount you received against the payment that is owed to you. Similarly, the club will considerably become less likely to default on your payment since they have already given you half of what they owe.

And having something to lose, the owner of the club will try everything in his power to not incur a loss, and the only way he can do that is ensure that you keep performing. This means he will try and use different marketing strategies to promote your band and appearance.

Having a deposit can also help you bear the cost of some basic and necessary expenses like the transportation of all your stuff, loading it and unloading it.

The Bottom Line

All in all, these steps can help you to comfortably perform without having to worry about getting stiffed in the future.


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