I went into the month of June with only 2 gigs on the books, but it quickly changed to 21 paying gigs just in June. Today is the 21st gig of the month – a wedding this afternoon. How can this change so quickly? By getting in front of the right people with a unique act that they can sell again and again.
On June 1, my group VioChic performed for the Silver Anniversary Black and White Gala benefitting Give Kids the World. This was a paid event (just because it’s for charity does NOT mean musicians should not be paid), but I did offer a deeply discounted rate since it is for charity. Side note – when you play for charity events, be sure to get a letter recognizing your equivalent cash donation so you can write that amount off your taxes. The reason I still ask to be paid is because although I can freely donate my own time, I do not feel right asking my musicians who work with me to work for “free.” They are still paid according to my contracts with them, and I choose to volunteer my services. This is how most organizations/companies do things for charitable events. Their staff and employees are still paid as usual, and the company selects the option to provide those services as a “sponsorship” or donation to the charity.
At this event, there were photographers and press, along with the 1700+ attendees at a minimum of $350 a person. Even with the many expenses of putting on such a huge event, GKTW raised over $665,000 that night alone. Entertainers donated talent, hotels donated space and food and labor for the event, businesses donated items for the silent auction, and hundreds of volunteers donated their time. The local news television stations featured scenes from the event on the news that night and the next day, and our group VioChic was the only live entertainment featured in the coverages that night. This coverage immediately led to 2 more corporate event bookings in June, as well as others later this year. Official video
Last week, I represented my group Fretless Rock as a solo violin for a live, on-air television performance promoting the Pine Street Rock and Stroll, benefitting New Hope for Kids. From this broadcast alone, I booked another private event the following week, as well as confirmed two more weddings later this year.
Last night, my group Fretless Rock performed for the Pine Street Rock and Stroll. Photos here Again, we were paid for this performance at a deeply discounted rate as it is for charity. I volunteered my time and services, but my musicians were still paid. From this event, we gained hundreds of new fans, and have already booked another event later this year.
Yes, there are many benefits to the musicians to do public events like street festivals and charity events, including future paid bookings. But the best reasons I know are to donate your time and talents for organizations you choose to support based on their missions and accomplishments. You cannot put a price on karma.