Guide to getting and playing better gigs


Benefit Gigs

Gigging Tips
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Stage Act
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Set List
Book it
Survive on Tour
Talent Nights
Band in Trouble
The Frontman
Big Break
Band on a Budget
Band Business
Cancelling a Gig
Touring in Europe
Buzz Factor
Check your Gear
Bad Gigs
Benefit Gigs
Gig Fees
Gig Kit
Gigs that Pay
Gig Attendance
Know your Audience
Lies in Music
Mailing List
Outdoor Gigs
Performance Tips
Tour Preparation
Press Kit
Contracts and Riders
Rules of the Road
Band on the Rocks
Play Safe
Gig Sharing
Solo Gigs
Support Band

Many performers today shy away from doing benefit shows, most often because they think "benefit" means they don't get paid. In reality, most organizations that attempt to use a concert as a means of raising money for their cause, are likely to select a performer with some recognition in the community, but not always. Most notable performers charge a fee for their performance. Sometimes it's their usual fee and other times they may lower their fee for the situation. If the cause is particularly important to the performer, they may donate back all or a portion of their fee.

If the organization presenting the concert is a proper promoter, they'll seek sponsorships, donations and advertising to pay for most of the production expenses including the performer's fee. By finding sponsors to pay for these expenses, monies generated from ticket sales are then able to be used for the fundraising purpose originally intended by the organization, instead of paying for the expenses to present the event. Most often organizations that fundraise are non-profit organizations, therefore sponsorships and donations may be tax deductible for the sponsor.

In some cases, presenters may be inexperienced at seeking sponsors to offset expenses and will ask performers to play for free. Depending on your involvement or interest in the cause being promoted, you may choose to donate your performance.

Benefits offer you an opportunity to give back to the community, whether it's your home community or not. When selecting a charitable cause that is meaningful to you, you make a statement that you choose to use your talent in ways that may help others. This has a circular effect. When you become recognized as a concerned artist, other organizations may seek you out. New performance opportunities become available, new audiences become accessible and you're using your talent for a meaningful endeavour beyond simply "playing a gig".

By lending your name and your music to specific causes, you're able to reach people that may not normally read the entertainment section of the paper or listen to the radio station that plays your music. The organization's benefit might get a feature story in the main news section of the paper. Your name and information are included and even featured since you're the featured performer. You may have had to work for a long time before getting a feature in the paper. This feature reaches a larger segment of the general population in the community, once again expanding your name recognition in that market. Similarly, radio and television may get involved in promoting the event and again you're included in all of these promotions.

When you get involved with charitable organizations that raise money for noteworthy causes, you're part of something larger than yourself. The cause being promoted has a purpose beyond simply promoting your career. You become swept up in the momentum of promoting the cause. Many more people may respond to requests for supporting the cause by way of purchasing tickets, thus expanding the number of people that will see your performance. At first, if you're not necessarily well known, you may need to donate your services or offer your performance for a low fee.

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