This is the second part of our chat with John Wilder, Ain’t Yo Mama‘s guitarist (the first part is here). Here he explains how his band makes money with gigs, as well as the type of scheduling they put in place to optimize their earnings.
How they deal with gig-revenue and merchandise sales:
- When we handle the door we charge $7.50 a head, that’s $1875-$2250 a night.
- Some clubs give us all the door, some I have to give up to $300 to get the venue, but if I go back usually I get it free the second time.
- I’m spending around $300 on ads, swag to the girls.
- I don’t account for all the running around I do.
- And don’t forget merchandise. You need a full complement of stuff to sell people. #1 is a cd. Even a cd of covers is worth $5. T-shirts, we have sunglasses, beer huggies, lanyards with backstage pass on them. I’m currently trying to find some guitar pics with our name on them.
- You need stuff starting at $1-$2, all the way up to t-shirts for $15-20, I found these cheap tote bags that we stuff with a bunch of stuff for $30, and yes people will spend the money. Last Saturday we played a wrestling event and sold $660 worth of swag. Get some kind of merch to sell. At our gigs we gross $400-800 in swag sells.
As you can see our band can gross around $3000 a night in places where you might get $300. It’s all in how you handle it.
How they manage their gig schedule:
Concluding words of wisdom: