Author Topic: Rules for Bar Gigs  (Read 3335 times)

Offline Steve

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Rules for Bar Gigs
« on: January 17, 2013, 06:32:31 PM »
Hi Gang i'm new to these forums and haven't received my gear yet but just wanted to share a little insight for people who aren't used to approaching bar owners. My experience has been in running open mic and fully booked bar comedy shows for the past two years.

Steve Schulte's Rules for Bars:

Get Term: If you are running a weekly show make sure there's an expectation that you are allowed to perform for 3 to 6 months at a reduced rate to give yourself time to build up a fanbase. This is tricky because bars never want to commit $200 - $300 a week to something they haven't tried before. If it's a monthly show try to get 6 months to a year.

If you have one successful trivia night use it to convince other establishments: Invite the owners to see your already successful show but be completely up front about how long it took to build that crowd, owners often only care about bottom line so it's important to make them understand that they need to be in it or the long haul.

Contracts, Contracts, Contracts: I don't know how often I've seen a Karaoke Host, Comedian, DJ get screwed by not having something in writing guaranteeing term. If a bar isn't willing to sign a contract plain and simple don't deal with them.

Beer Reps: Little known fact about the bar industry, most every bar has a beer rep or 3 (I run a show at a craft beer bar that has 78). Beer Reps have a required budget for advertising revenue that they have to spend. When approaching a bar be sure to bring this up in your initial meeting. If it helps squeeze an extra $50 dollars a week per show into your pocket why not throw an advertisement on your screen. Plus being informed about this shows the bar your know what you're doing.

Social Media: This technically falls under the bar's responsibility for advertising but something I plan on doing for my trivia that works at my comedy shows. Tweeting that they are at (insert location here) having a blast playing trivia!!! At comedy shows I pick one person per week and give them a small bar tab at trivia I was going to do it for points! Social media can honestly make a business assuming your venue is behind it. I shy away from bars that aren't active on twitter and facebook.

Understanding your responsibility: This one took forever for me, your job is to provide entertainment, thats it. Your job isn't to help the bar establish drink specials, deliver flyers, or anything to that affect. I'm not saying never do these things but there is always a limit. Technically my rule above this one breaks this rule because I always suggest ways for bar to promote. Just remember that you aren't being paid as a consultant so keep your self limited to avoid being taken advantage of.

I have a million other rules but I have to go do a comedy show lol, what are some of your rules for gigs.