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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:
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.
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-
bands that people will want to see.home unpaid which will make them reluctant to play anymore benefit gigs for you.
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
Try to use a venue that is already established as a music venue.
There are many advantages to this -
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
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 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-
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.
You have to advertise your event -
Advertise on the wider media -
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.
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.
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 -
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