How Much Do Artists Get Paid?

Discussion in 'Fred's Barcalounge' started by drmilktruck, Sep 11, 2018.

  1. drmilktruck

    drmilktruck Gretschified

    May 17, 2009
    Plymouth, MN
    I have another thread about seeing Gary Clark Jr this past weekend. It was sold out, 5570 people at $45 each. So ticket sales generated $250,650. Anyone have any idea how much Clark gets of that? I assume his manager gets a cut, plus the venue, booking company and others. Does he end up with 10%? Or more? Or less? Out of that I also assume he has to pay his band and crew. (Don't forget the $10 fees on top, which probably doesn't go to him.)
  2. audept

    audept Senior Gretsch-Talker

    Dec 1, 2010
    Sydney, Australia
  3. speedicut

    speedicut Friend of Fred

    Jun 5, 2012
    Seems like it was $40 each per night at Classic's Lounge on 37th st, plus 4 beers per member.
    drmilktruck likes this.
  4. Charlie westside

    Charlie westside Synchromatic

    Jul 27, 2018
    Sylmar Califirnia
    He has to pay for the venue as well. Great question.
    drmilktruck likes this.
  5. HypotenusLuvTriangle

    HypotenusLuvTriangle Country Gent

    Oct 27, 2010
    Whittier, Ca
    I'm guessing there's an industry standard for the band's take but for bigger name artists, they're able to get more.
  6. wabash slim

    wabash slim Friend of Fred

    Feb 10, 2010
    lafayette in

    Destiny's Child, on their first tour, wound up owing the production company more money than they made.

    Often, the ticket prices only cover the costs of putting the show on. All of the lights and special effects eat up profits. The real profits are generated in merchandise. The venues make even more on concessions.
  7. thunder58

    thunder58 I Bleed Orange

    Dec 23, 2010
    tappan ny
    It use to cost Jim Croce money to do concerts . On the flip side .......... wonder what trailer parks the stars of today live at ??
  8. Henry

    Henry Gretschified

    Apr 9, 2014
    On the other hand I hear that touring is now a more important source of profit for musicians as people buy fewer albums. I thought AC/DC made millions a year touring. Of course that may be just the bands that can sell arenas and stadiums.
    Bands like the Grateful Dead certainly relied mostly on touring.
    wabash slim and drmilktruck like this.
  9. loudnlousy

    loudnlousy Friend of Fred

    Oct 18, 2015
    Hildesheim, Germany
    Since they don`t get any good money for their records anymore I do not begrudge them the money they make with the shows.
    In former times they made truckloads with selling records and the tour was done mainly to promote the records.
    Intellectual property rights are not granted anymore. It is a shame.
    drmilktruck likes this.
  10. section2

    section2 Country Gent

    Dec 21, 2016
    Bono was once asked whether there had ever been a time when he thought that he might not make it as a musician. He said yes: in 1997, when they were one of the biggest acts in the world. The production costs on their PopMart tour were vast, and venues weren't selling out as quickly as they'd expected. If I remember correctly, he said that if they'd sold 10% fewer tickets, they'd have been wiped out financially.
  11. larryr

    larryr Gretschie

    Mar 6, 2012
    Camarillo, Ca.
    How do you make a little money in the music business, start with a lot of money.
  12. fender62custom

    fender62custom Gretschified

    Mar 3, 2012
    Helidon, Australia
    i think 5% of any field within the musical sphere make big $$... 15% make a living.... the rest are chasing their tails & only have tales to show for it!!
    drmilktruck likes this.
  13. wabash slim

    wabash slim Friend of Fred

    Feb 10, 2010
    lafayette in
    The Dead also had the world's most loyal fans. They'd let the fans copy their logos free of charge and sell goods and food and everything else at their shows, and didn't charge an arm and a leg for tickets. Turnouts of over 100K at Soldier Field/Chicago were common. The smallest place they played was Deer Creek in Indy---only 20K. The Dead also let fans record their shows--even giving board feeds. They'd play a 6 hour show with the world's largest PA system and give you fireworks afterwards. All with only having one top 40 hit. They also donated money to charities.

    You're not going to see a band like that again.
    NJDevil, Henry, section2 and 2 others like this.
  14. wildeman

    wildeman Gretschified

    May 10, 2015
    Rad. I knew i liked those guys for a reason.
  15. wabash slim

    wabash slim Friend of Fred

    Feb 10, 2010
    lafayette in
    At Soldier Field, the cops were smiling and just leaning against the fence, relaxing.
    "Easy day?", I asked.
    "Hell of a lot better than a Bears crowd," on replied.
    "Especially when they lose.", said his partner.

    The party in the parking lot was, in ways, better than the show. I just have no words to explain what that was like.
  16. Synchro

    Synchro The artist formerly known as: Synchro Staff Member

    Jun 2, 2008
    Admin Post
    The challenge of making a living in music has grown greatly. Sometimes you hear about impressive sums paid to performers, but they also have impressive costs and some of those costs are in effect even on off days. So, a touring artist ends up footing the bill for all sorts of things, has to keep the crew fed along with providing lodging (even on off days). A five figure return for a night's show could be eroded very fast and even one setback, such as a transportation breakdown or a performance that fails to make a profit, can eat up a lot of profit.

    I once met a solo artist that charged a minimum of $3,500 for a single night's show and provided only a guitar, an amp and his voice. It seemed like a lot of money, but I did the math and concluded that he might have made $150,000 profit on a busy year. Everything he did cost a lot out of pocket, from rental cars to lodging to eating all meals in restaurants. Add in a few contingencies, and the fact that his costs remained every bit as high on his non-performing days and that money didn't really go very far.

    The Dead were a rare exception. I don't think they would have been able to pull it off except for having a huge, like-minded fan base of exceptional loyalty. I've heard Dead bootlegs that were of excellent quality. You can buy numerous iterations of their songs based on various concerts throughout the year. Add to this the exceptional caliber of musicianship and they were hard to beat.
    ishtar and section2 like this.
  17. drmilktruck

    drmilktruck Gretschified

    May 17, 2009
    Plymouth, MN
    IIRC Chuck Berry toured in later years with just himself, hiring backing bands and equipment at each stop. Certainly keeps transport costs down.
  18. Synchro

    Synchro The artist formerly known as: Synchro Staff Member

    Jun 2, 2008
    Admin Post
    Every guitarist or bassist already knew his songs. :)
    threevok, NJDevil and drmilktruck like this.
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