This Music Business. Class Is In
Money Makes All Things Possible
In this segment, we are going to look at the bottom line. Money is a key factor in the success of any business. This is even true for the music business. Regardless of your feelings on the subject, money matters. It is the major component of tracking your financial success.
Many players jump into the band business and never put in the time to develop a business plan. It is rarely even a second thought and quite frankly this is why many bands break up or fall to the wayside. If you are involved in a project and money is being made and time is being expended, then you should take the time to meet at the start of the endeavor to better plan the adventure. Communication is an important element in developing a well-executed plan.
A lot of bands come together for the FUN factor and don’t split a hair or care about the money, at first! But after some time, as things work out and the band plays more… before long, it’s a few years of time and when adding it up, the money comes to matter.
You need money to keep your gear in tune and sounding the best it can. If you play any stringed instruments you need strings and often picks. Guitar players also need a lot of 9-volt batteries. Drummers need sticks. Everybody has expenses and those things add up over time. Make sure that it is factored in from the start. Also keep in mind how much it costs for travel, including and so often the forgotten costs of wear and tear, along with gas and tolls. (Consider paying .60 per mile travel to anyone who is driving.)
Often times, if your band grows to know some bit of success, you branch out and before long you need money to feed yourself and/or stay overnight if the gig is far away. So after adding up all of the expenses for that, let’s also remember that players need to be paid for their time too. Giving everyone the same wage is a mistake. You will run out of money before all of the expenses are paid.
Don’t act like money is unimportant just because we are all having fun. Let’s not forget a few truths. Money makes and breaks many relationships, it destroys marriages and it devastates many bands too. The key to money management is communication. When money is pooled together, and in any business that is what happens, all of your earnings are put into one account and then you pay out your expenses.
Let’s say I hit the scene with the Tracey Stones Band. I have four members plus myself. I don’t play an instrument, I am just the singer. But I provide the PA and lights for this operation. I also manage the bookings and promotions. Along with that, I own a large vehicle that houses my production equipment and two other players and their equipment, as I always pick up the bass player and lead guitarist who live close by. The drummer and the rhythm guitar player carpool in the drummer’s car. This means you have two cars on the road for this job. $500 job. If the job is 40 miles round trip, then two drivers should be compensated for $24 of travel costs right off the top and before the hourly wages are sorted out. Same holds true for the cost of using the gear and lugging equipment.
As a unit, we are playing out on average, four nights a month and we have a travel radius of 50 miles. At the end of the night, Tracey Stones Band deposits a check for $500 for a three-hour performance. Quite often in this scenario, the leader of the band gets paid and distributes the funds evenly, meaning everyone walks away with $100 in their pocket. Eventually, the person who supplies the production, the one who does the driving and/or the person who manages the business portions of the project will get upset, feel short-changed and quite often quit! The reason is simple, piss poor planning leads to failure every time.
Cultivate Cash and Organize Opportunity
One of the key steps to formulating a good plan is, to identify the ways you will cultivate cash in this business plan. Are all of the earnings coming strictly from live performances? Chances are as the band grows in popularity, the opportunity will come to create more income based opportunities.
Let’s take a minute to identify some income sources. First and foremost, we all came together to play, so of course that is our main objective and revenue source. But being talented performers we have lots of options for cultivating cash. We can teach people our skills and help them develop their own. Teaching lessons is quite often a good source of revenue. Sometimes players sign up to teach students at a local music store, while others are traveling tutors, who visits students in the environment of their choice.
If you are an original band and you are producing products for sale, creating an online presence is important. Create your site just as soon as you have a name, logo and goal in place. This will be your stage set when the amps grow quiet. It is the platform which promotes you when you are not on stage under the bright lights. If you have a product to sell then you will want to create a site that has a store.
Selling products is a great way to generate income. But again, be sure to plan this stage as much as you planned playing on stages. Here are some important things to consider before setting up shop. What items can and will the band offer their fans? Who is going to be responsible for the merchandise? How will the revenue be spent?
If you have a successful band who generates a product, creating a store is a great way to ensure future recordings. Some of the most popular products include CD’s, t-shirts, coozies for beer cans, stickers. Every band model is set up differently, but a good model for merchandising the band is to use the profits for advancing the band’s career.
These are just some things to consider as you get ready to turn the world on its ear with your music. Keep in tune with a plan and the success will come. Tomorrow we will check out a couple of local bands that offer a merch plan worth sharing. Until then, it’s the weekend! Get out and enjoy some live music! CLASS DISMISSED.
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~ Live Music Options ~
Friday, June 14, 2019
JUNE 2019 ARTWALK… Come to downtown New Bern to participate in the festivities at the local ArtWalk businesses. Downtown art galleries and restaurants stay open for extended hours and sponsor special events every second Friday of the month!
Craven Arts Council will host receptions for the following exhibits:
-Main Gallery: Watercolor Society of North Carolina
-Director’s Gallery: Private Schools Exhibition
There is always a reason to head to town and gather for some fun. Tonight’s reason: LIVE MUSIC
Tonight New Bern Parks and Recreation Department welcomes their second show, offering for the series Footloose on the Neuse tonight in Union Point Park. Music will be offered by the BackBeat Band and all are welcome to attend. Pack the chairs or blankets, pets are welcome but must be on a leash. Don’t forget the bug spray and please leave the coolers at home. Vendors will be on site to serve you. The fun starts at 6:30 pm and the music plays until 9:30 pm.
Our Local Clubs and Pubs
The Brown Pelican hosts an evening of great music featuring Rick Huff offering songs from 7-10 pm. Come enjoy a fun night of familiar songs and wonderful originals by this local and regional songwriter. Free music is never free and neither is the gas to get there, please tip the music makers that you meet.
Blackbeard’s Triple Play Restaurant, 415 S Front St. The party comes courtesy of Jan Michael Fields Band, they will bring the music to life tomorrow night on the deck with all the grooves you will love. Music plays at 7:30 pm- 11 pm. For more info please reach out and call the club at 252-635-0322.
Live music will be offered is at The Bruin Craft Beer and Wine each Friday from 8-10:30 pm.
On the James City Side of that Confounded Bridge
The Garage welcomes the music of Ryan Cain. Live music is offered from 7-10 pm for FREE! But I suggest, you feel free to tip the servers and musicians you meet along the way!
BrÜtopia offers the freshest brewed beer and the good grooves of Gene Gregory live, who will be sharing songs tonight and jamming from 7-10 pm. Free music for your listening pleasure. Come out and support local music, while you enjoy the freshest new beer on tap!
The Upsetters will play music over at Triple Play Restaurant & Sports Bar this evening featuring the guitar work of Big Jim Kohler. No one else in the band is worth mentioning on my watch. Music starts at 9 pm.
Cruising the Crystal Coast
Atlantic Beach 2016
Cedar Point, NC
Treehouse Beer Company welcomes the music of Pure T Mommicked grooving in the garden from 7-10 pm. Sip on a cold beer and groove to the rock blues and country grooves of this popular local duo.
Carolina Home and Garden welcomes the weekend with Cecil Gillikin in the garden, offering songs and sharing the grooves we all know and love. Come grab a bite to eat from Dem Boyz BBQ, a cold beer and relax as you settle into the weekend.
The Boro Restaurant & Bar offers live music each Wednesday, Friday and Saturday night. You are invited to bring the whole family and enjoy a great night of fine dining with awesome music. This Friday you can enjoy the music of Steel Shot. Music plays at 8-11 pm.
Morehead City, NC
Floyds 1921 Restaurant and Catering welcomes 4 EverAll for your dining entertainment this evening. Music plays from 7-10 pm. You are welcome to come early for a delicious dinner and stay late for fun music.
Off The Hook welcomes the fun grooves of Groove Fetish tonight on the deck. Music starts at 10 pm and the fun jams last until it’s time to head home. Come out and dance the night away under the stars!
There is a good time every time you visit Jack’s Waterfront Bar.
Friday June 14th
~ OPEN at noon
~ Happy Hour 5pm – 7pm hosted by Beaufort Proper
~ Live Music by Chocolate Chip and Company
~ Be sure to wish our very own Jeff McCann Happy Birthday today!
Saturday June 15th
~ OPEN at noon
~ Live Music by Jukebox Revolver
Sunday June 16th
~ Happy Father’s Day
~ OPEN at noon for Sunday Funday
See you at Jack’s!
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Blue Moon Jazz, Fri June 14th, 8:30-11:30, No Cover charge
BLUE MOON JAZZ is a NC Jazz Ensemble *perfect* for a wine bar setting!
Please come early for best seating!
Surf City, NC
JM’s Place PUB welcomes the rocking grooves of Foundation Stone. The fun grooves play from 9 pm until 12 am.
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Rocking Around the Region
Locked & Loaded Bar & Grill opens the stage to Kings of the Highway Band, offering the pop and rock grooves we all know and love. Music is free and kicks off at 10 pm and lasts until 2 am.
With his fiery guitar and lap steel playing, his trailblazing, instantly memorable songs and gritty, unvarnished vocals, Selwyn Birchwood is among the most extraordinary young star in the blues. Birchwood’s high-octane blues—at once deeply rooted, funky and up-to-the-minute—are played with passion and honest emotion. With his band feeding off his drive and exuberance, the striking 6’3” young man with his trademark Afro roams the stage (often barefoot), ripping out memorable guitar licks with ease, his soulful, rocks-and-gravel vocals firing up the crowd.
For additional info see http://www.selwynbirchwood.com/
The show starts at 9 pm and music plays until 11 pm. Come early for the good eats and stay late to enjoy the music.
The Red Room welcomes Clay Whittington to the stage this evening for the music. Live sounds play from 10 pm until the closing hour. There is a $5.00 cover charge payable at the door. Support live music and pay the cover charge. That money helps to bring music.
The New Village Brewery & Taproom invites you to gather in their backyard to enjoy the tasty eats of Mari’sHellaFat Food Truck, the freshest brewed beer on the block served with live music from their talented friend Mac McWilliams, who will be offering his own mix of TexMexBluesabilly music for your listening pleasure. Music plays from 5:30-7:30 pm
It is going to be a night not to be missed by southern rock n blues fans, as AJ McMurphy’s welcomes Jupiter Jones to the stage! Come grab yourself some good food and a cold drink at one of the coolest places in Greenville. Music plays from 8:30-11:30 pm. This show is free!
There are some live music choices up to our North tonight. There is a new room to welcome the bands during the winter months at Backwater Jack’s Tiki Bar & Grill. And that is where music is served from 7-10 pm each Thursday, Friday and Saturday night. On Thursdays they welcome all players with a Low Key Open Mic night, hosted by Brian Burke. On Fridays and Saturdays, it’s the finest local acts on the list to entertain you, while you dine and drink and unwind. Tonight on the Pebble Stage is John “Singer” Benson. Music plays 7-10 pm.
Friends and fans of Bria Burke are invited to come out to Market Street Pub this evening. Come out and enjoy a cold beer and country sounds offered by this talented artist. Music starts at 10 pm.
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Answering the Call
Checking things out around the rest of the region, I ask my Facebook followers each week where we can go to hear them play. This is what they said this week.
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Do you like live music videos? Check out my Live Stream Page on Facebook.
Searching for more events around the region:
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