Gettin' paid to play records at the bar

SnagglepusSnagglepus 1,756 Posts
edited January 2008 in Strut Central
I have a weekly DJ night at a bar in New London, CT. There's no cover to get in, so I get paid a percentage of the bar $$$. The advantage to this setup is that I end up being paid more on busier nights. The disadvantage is that they don't deal with the $$$ until the next day (or sometimes later) and, depending on who's workin' the calculations, they sometimes forget to pull out my pay. I'll always get it eventually but it means popping in a couple of times to remind people.I'm just curious how other people get paid for regular DJ nights. Do you just agree on a set amount, or does it vary with the success of the evening? Do you get paid that night, or do you have to chase after it?I'm considering demanding a set amount at the end of the night to eliminate the BS (even though I may lose out on busier nights).

  Comments


  • FatbackFatback 6,746 Posts
    i get paid in puddie-tang and i let them keep it.

  • SnagglepusSnagglepus 1,756 Posts
    i get paid in puddie-tang and i let them keep it.

    Personally, I get paid a lot more puddie-tang if I just stay home with the lady. Of course, I let her keep it as well.

  • djkingottodjkingotto 1,704 Posts
    that bar percentage stuff is wavy. i used to play at a place that gave us $100 flat and then 10% of the bar and we played a sunday to very few people. my guy plays there on fridays and gets $150 flat and 20% of the bar IF they go over some threshold like $2000, which, knowing this place should be easy to do - except he hardly does it. it ended up that we made more playing for no one than he did rocking the damn full house!

    either way, we always got paid at the end of the night after they did all the totals and shit so, we just had to wait around. the place i play now, thurs through sat i get a check for all 3 nights after close on saturday.

    the percentage thing can be cool but also bites you in the ass. i prefer to have a flat amount, try to find an average and just ask them to pay you that and just have a check ready so you don't have to waste time coming back multiple times to get paid.

  • FatbackFatback 6,746 Posts
    OK. Sorry. I've been over reading the braeks.com. I'm in kiddie mode.

    I don't like the percentage of the bar type shit. They always make shit up anyhow. You think they want you to know how much they are bringing in?

    You should get a set amount and get it at or around last call.

    Watch your crowd over several months and if it's solid and increasing, use that to get more money.

    Always remind managers that while you may not be breaking their fire-code, you've noticed that people who are there stay for a long(er) time. I think that's the best argument for places that don't keep lines around the block. You want to do your best to keep the crowd that is already there happy and enjoying themselves. Don't get trapped into making your pay contingent on bringing in way more people. Just tell them that you will build up on their preexisting clientele over time. Otherwise they need to start booking people like Cosmo Bake-me-a-cake and REALLY get out some cashmoney. LOL.


  • the percentage thing can be cool but also bites you in the ass.

    tried it once. worked well for a month, but then the promoter started getting less people and it got real bad for a few weeks. see ya later. maybe if its your own night with all your friends it could be worth it to stick it out through some rough weeks. if that is not the case, i would definitely demand getting paid a flat rate.

  • FatbackFatback 6,746 Posts

    thurs through sat

    every week? damn.

  • FatbackFatback 6,746 Posts
    Also remember that bar managers are usually coke-head retards.

  • verb606verb606 2,518 Posts
    Also remember that bar managers are usually coke-head retards.



    This is a good thing to keep in mind.

    Unless you've got a real good relationship with a place like kingotto has (I assume, since he's there three nights a week) your best bet is a flat rate. And only in rare instances have I not been paid that night. Again, if you're in good with the place and they're trustworthy, then you can wait to get paid. Otherwise, wait around that night. They know what their totals are after they Z out the registers or whatever. Plus if it's a flat rate, the bartenders (who you probably haven't been dealing with before) don't have to do any math. They can pay you out, write the shit down, and you can bounce.

  • deLYSdeLYS 388 Posts
    Also remember that bar managers are usually coke-head retards.
    and sometimes susceptible to silly shit you might acquire.


  • mannybolonemannybolone 15,032 Posts

    You should get a set amount and get it at or around last call.



  • SnagglepusSnagglepus 1,756 Posts
    Thanks for all of the feedback. The bar owner is a pretty cool guy (though probably a cokehead) ... and the money is usually handled by this sweet Indian lady in the mornings (unlikely cokehead). She's rarely in the bar on Thursday evenings when I do my night. I'll speak with her about a set amount the next time I see her. And the idea of getting a percentage if they make above a certain amount is a good one.

    Again, thanks for all of the advice.

  • DJFerrariDJFerrari 2,411 Posts
    i get paid in puddie-tang and i let them keep it.

    I glanced at this and read puddle-tang... then I decided I'm going to start using that phrase. If it catches on, please remember this post.

  • DeeRockDeeRock 1,836 Posts
    Get it together and re-negotiate player. I get CASHOLA at the end of the night. The entire door and a bar percentage and no pay outs except for my promo team. Club covers security, sound man if there is one and we split flyer costs.

  • Also remember that bar managers are usually coke-head retards.



    This is a good thing to keep in mind.

    Unless you've got a real good relationship with a place like kingotto has (I assume, since he's there three nights a week) your best bet is a flat rate. And only in rare instances have I not been paid that night. Again, if you're in good with the place and they're trustworthy, then you can wait to get paid. Otherwise, wait around that night. They know what their totals are after they Z out the registers or whatever. Plus if it's a flat rate, the bartenders (who you probably haven't been dealing with before) don't have to do any math. They can pay you out, write the shit down, and you can bounce.



    If you play percent - ALWAYS see the tape.

    "I dont give a fuck, I want to see the Z."

  • I dj'd every friday in August at a korean dive bar for homies in a local rap group. The bartenders gave me free drinks all night and got free greenery from the homies rappin. I was cool with that. It'd be dope to get paid some real $$ for a real gig though... wish i could relate on that topic. haha

  • SnagglepusSnagglepus 1,756 Posts
    The bartenders gave me free drinks all night

    That's one nice perk about this place ... I never pay for drinks anymore (any night of the week). Though, of course, I always tip heavy.

  • PunditPundit 438 Posts
    I played a few times at a bar that pulled the percentage deal. Took 3 months to pay us, we repeatedly asked to see the bar receipts. The bar staff gave us a million free drinks tho - I've still got about 15 free drink cards in my wallet so it wasn't too bad. Most bars/clubs around (this) town pay $50/hr flat, send an invoice, get paid a week later. I fell asleep for a minute and ended up sending about 5 weeks of invoices in one hit - no problem. Been a very handy income supplement so I ain't mad at all.

  • the_dLthe_dL 1,531 Posts
    In a bar situation i have always gone with the $50 per hour minimum of 2 hours and as much free booze as i decide i need to get through the night, has worked well for me for years. Of course clubs are a different rule.

  • wooshiewooshie 490 Posts
    Yeah, you always want a copy of the "X read" in exchange for your invoice when you're getting paid percentage, Just tell whoever handles the money that it is for tax purposes. It's okay getting paid a percentage as long as you get paid the next day or the day after. The worst part about DJing is chasing money, I find bars and regular nights usually pretty reliable for getting paid, it's usually support gigs and one-offs where it'll be three months before you get paid which never ceases to drive me mad. when I do my own night I pay the DJ's before they even start playing. ha.
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