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A sab guide to organising a benefit gig

An all you need to know guide to putting on a gig to raise vital funds to help keep sabs out in the field saving lives and have a cracking good night out too:


The Audience

You need to put on something that people want to see, so to get people in you need a theme or a particular type of music like punk, metal, folk, ska etc. If you have a local scene for any of these things it will help, as that means there are already some people who will be interested in what you are organising and it will give you other events to advertise your gig at. Find out what sort of music has a good amount of local interest and book something that will appeal to them.


The performers

Once you know what sort of music you are going to promote at your gig, find some bands that people will be interested in. Depending on how much time you have you will need anything

from three to five bands. Don't book too many as it will add to your costs and make time really tight. Try to book a couple of local bands that who will have mates who will come and watch them; will probably help to spread the word, and they may also be able to help with backline etc. However, don't book all local bands as most people will not want to pay to see local acts that play all the time

at every event. Try to book a couple of well established bands from out of town that will get people interested in coming to your gig, try looking on twitter / facebook for bands that may be interestedlandlord may be pro-hunt. However, most places are happy with whatever music is played as long as people are parting with their hard earned money at the bar.the higher the costs will be. Also ask local bands if they know any

bands that people will want to see.home unpaid which will make them reluctant to play anymore benefit gigs for you.



The Venue


Look for a venue that is convenient for punters to get to. You’ll put potential gig goers off if your venue is in the middle of nowhere or a very long walk from the train station. Fewer punters mean fewer takings, after all the aim of night is make money for your sab


group.


Try to use a venue that is already established as a music venue.


There are many advantages to this - one being that they will more


than likely have their own PA system and sound person. Another


advantage is that if it’s well established it will be well known and


easier for punters to find. If you haven’t got a local music venue or haven't got one that is prepared to let you have a benefit gig, try to find a local pub with space to have bands play or even use a youth club or church hall or Community Centre.


Choose your venue wisely and when you book the venue make


sure that the manager or landlord knows what you are organising


before you confirm the booking. The last thing you want is for the


night to be cancelled by angry staff or landlords unhappy with the


type of music to be played or punters you are bringing in, the



The Date

When you pick a date make sure it doesn't clash with any other events, local or otherwise, that are similar to yours. If you book it on the same day or within a few days of another gig it may take punters away from your event and leave you out of pocket, this is often a gamble but a quick search around on the internet or local gig guide before you confirm is always recommended.


Budgeting and making a profit When you put on a gig there will be costs to cover. You need to make sure you work out what your costs are before you put the gig on, and work out how much you need to charge to cover your costs whilst still making a profit. You need to make sure that when you set a door price it’s not so expensive that it puts punters off but not so cheap that you can’t make the costs back.


When booking bands you will need to know how much they cost. Some will just want petrol costs and some bands charge a standard amount to play, others may do you a deal because its a benefit gig. Don't book a band that wants £500 if you won't make the money back on the door to pay for them.

When you book a venue don't book one that’s so expensive you need to put the door price up to cover it, try to keep costs as low as you can. For example; If you think you will get a hundred punters in, and you have to pay £200 in petrol costs for bands, plus you have to pay £50 for venue hire, £80 for a PA and £20 on flyering, you need to work out a door price that is cheap enough to keep the punters interested but is enough to cover all the costs that are involved. So if you charge £5, after costs you will be left with £150 profit to go towards the benefit.


The Equipment

The two main items needed for music events are a PA system and a backline. Some venues have their own PA system (microphones, mixer speakers etc) when you book a venue always check to see if they have an in-house PA and if it is suitable for your needs, if they don't, you will need to hire one. Some music shops will have them for hire but check online or the free ads to find the best deal or ask your bands for recommendations.


If the venue has a PA but you don't know how to work the equipment you will need to find someone who does, the venue may have somebody you can hire. If not ask around at local gigs or ask local bands to see if they can help or know anyone who can. Backline equipment is amp heads, cabs and drums etc. This is something you can normally beg or borrow from people. You need to find out what gear you will need, for example, if a band has two guitars and a bass player, you will need two guitar amps and a bass

amp. Check the requirements of each band. You can normally borrow this sort of thing from local bands or ask each band that is playing if they can each bring one thing and share it with each other. This will often depend on the attitude / helpfulness of the bands or if you are lucky a band might be able

to supply the whole backline.


Advertising

You have to advertise your event - don't rely on word of mouth, social networking websites or hope the bands will promote it, because those things on their own don’t work. You have to use every possible form of advertising you can. Networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace will get the word out about your gig and web links to the bands playing. Make use of local sab/AR email lists. Ask the bands to spread the word and to promote it via their web page or facebook page too. Tell everyone you know – word of mouth is a great way to tell your friends about your benefit gig, spread the word. Maybe send a text to all your local friends a couple of days before the event and ask them to forward it. Flyering - giving out flyers at other gigs and local events and leaving them in places where people might see them. You can target your audience by flyering at clubs and pubs where the type of punters that will be interested in your gig would normally go. Put up large flyers in local music shops, charity shops, pubs, notice boards, anywhere you think people will look to see what gigs are going on.


Advertise on the wider media - inform your local gig guide, newspaper and radio station, and put something on your local Indymedia calendar. Most local newspapers and radio stations are happy to tell people about local events and it doesn't normally cost anything.The design of your adverts need to include the following things: the date, time, the venue and the address of the venue, who or what is performing at the event, the entry fee and any other info that is important to let potential punters know what is going on and when its going on.


Making it work on the night

On the night you need to make sure of a few things to make it run smoothly. You need to work out how long your gig will last and how long each band’s set will be. If each band plays for forty five minutes you need to allow for at least ten minutes change over time in between each one. Make sure each band starts on time and finishes on time, and that the gig ends on time so punters can get last buses / trains home etc.


Make sure you have got someone on the door at all times taking the money off punters as they are coming in, and make sure you have plenty of change.



Hopefully this will help you put on a gig that will raise a few quid for your group ..

Networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter will get the word

Special Thanks To the Hunt Saboteur Association for providing this Guide.

Organising A Benefit Gig

the higher the costs will be. Also ask local bands if they know anybands that people will want to see. The more people that are

interested in a band the more people who are willing to pay to get in which means you will make more money for your benefit. Don't book bands that nobody is interested in as on the night you won’t get many people paying to get in the door, you wont raise any money for your benefit, and you will end up having to put your hand into your own pocket or sending bands home unpaid which will make them reluctant to play anymore benefit gigs for you.


The Venue


Look for a venue that is convenient for punters to get to. You’ll put potential gig goers off if your venue is in the middle of nowhere or a very long walk from the train station. Fewer punters mean fewer takings, after all the aim of night is make money for your sab group. Try to use a venue that is already established as a music venue.  There are many advantages to this - one being that they will more than likely have their own PA system and sound person. Another advantage is that if it’s well established it will be well known and easier for punters to find. If you haven’t got a local music venue or haven't got one that is prepared to let you have a benefit gig, try to find a local pub with space to have bands play or even use a youth club or church hall or Community Centre.

Choose your venue wisely and when you book the venue make sure that the manager or landlord knows what you are organising before you confirm the booking. The last thing you want is for the night to be cancelled by angry staff or landlords unhappy with the type of music to be played or punters you are bringing in, the landlord may be pro-hunt. However, most places are happy with whatever music is played as long as people are parting with their hard earned money at the bar.

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