Pay To Play…..

There’s been a lot of talk in Glasgow recently regarding bands being made to ‘Pay To Play’ gigs.  A couple of the promoters that were targeted were NOT actually making bands pay them money to get a gig.

The deal is this;

-Accept the gig

-Get X amount of tickets to sell to your fans

-Pay the promoter 50% of what you earn from ticket sales

If you don’t sell all your tickets, you don’t have to pay money to the promoter.  If it was Pay To Play, the musician would have to buy the tickets from the promoter and hope to sell them all to recoup their costs.

So it’s not.

Anyway, with all this in mind, it really irritates me that there are so many Pay To Play ‘opportunities’ online that everyone seems happy to pay for.

I recently signed up to Sonicbids

I signed up with them for a free trial period, just to see what it’s all about.  Basically, you upload your details/music/videos etc and they give you a nice Electronic Press Kit (which you simply MUST have, apparently).  After the month free trial, you have to pay them between $4.99 and $6.99 a month, depending on whether you pay it all upfront or not.  This is for a service, so it depends how much each musician feels they need an online EPK.  Then, the musician can use their EPK to get gigs with promoters that have signed up with Sonic Bids.

This is where my real issue is;

Each available gig opportunity costs from $0 to $20 to apply for.  The $0 will still cost one ‘token’, of which you get a limited number but can buy more.   The gig application is just that, there is no guarantee you will get the gig.  So, it’s not even Pay To Play, it’s Pay To Be Considered To Play!  The promoter is supposed to give each musician feedback as to why they didn’t get the gig but, from what I’ve read, they don’t even bother doing that.

Potentially, it’s a nice little earner for little work and open to abuse.

Reverbnation also have an EPK available costing $5.95 a month or $59.95 a year.  Again, this is for a service so each individual has to decide whether they need one or not.  I don’t need one, and don’t care if they charge $1000 a week for it if bands want to pay it.

BUT, I am signed to Reverbnation (for the Facebook player thingy) and every week I get an opportunity in my email inbox.  This can be anything from a gig to radio airplay. FREE TO ENTER (with a Reverbnation Electronic Press Kit)  So, not really a free opportunity.  I viewed one of these web links this morning and it said “Free with Reverbnation EPK OR $10 entrance fee to cover administration”.

Again, all for a band/musician just to be considered.

No guarantees.

No refunds if you’re unsuccessful.

No explanation.

Why on earth are musicians the world over signing up and, more importantly, paying for these kind of deals?

Who can afford it?  Not me, that’s for sure!!

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