Tip jars/buckets

CRobbins

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I guess these guys:

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or in case of a big venue, this:

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That looks like happy hour. :cheers2::beer::cheers::cheers2:
 

Nard

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Not something I’ve witnessed over here unless you are a street player. A band I saw in Mexico had a tips bucket so I assumed it was because they were either playing for free or very little money.
 

meatball

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We use it for gigs thst are low pay,, make about 80 bucks every time ... its worth it . 20 bucks a man is a tank of gas ,,, so it doesnt hurt either ... but for the more upscale gigs. We prefer the crowd just like us and compliment us ,, that is a better payment ...
 

freebyrd 69

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Why not? If the gig doesn't pay as well as it ought to, those few bucks don't hurt. Heck, I've pulled the tips out of my own jar at the end of the night, and found darn near a hundred bucks in it.

If the gig doesn't pay as well as it ought to then you shouldn't take the gig. Tip jars are tacky.
 

freebyrd 69

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I also think they're tacky, although depends on the type of band/act we're talking about. Makes me think of a street performer honestly..

Yep, agree...go see any act that worth a sh!t, and you won't see one, unless it's Nashville, where they play for tips only. I like to be professional at gigs (even though it's not my main source of income). Tip jars scream amateur. I sell for a living, and I don't set a tip jar on my desk.

I can also see where there are always exceptions, but, few and far between IMO.
 

Big John

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When I was doing the cover band thing years ago, we got hired to do a number of weddings. The bass player once brought a 5 gal bucket labelled "Song Request Tips" to a high paying reception. The rest of us thought it was tacky as hell, but we changed our minds by the end of the night. Drunk wedding dancers have no problem throwing in 10's & 20's to hear a 4 minute song get butchered. We cleared over 300 clams out of that damn bucket, and even got more a few gigs out of the deal.
 

Thumpalumpacus

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... but for the more upscale gigs. We prefer the crowd just like us and compliment us ,, that is a better payment ...

Yeah, a tip-jar at a casual is not really appropriate, to me. Weddings and that sort of thing ain't quite the place for one.
 

Chango Malo

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We stick out a tip jar for "requests". We're not you're average bar dwelling cover band though. We play Scots/Irish stuff, trad through modern with about 50% original stuff. Jigs, reels, and hornpipes for the Irish step dancers that follow us around, Chanties to get the entire bar singing, and even some paddypunk to get the scouse at the end of bar off his damned barstool once in a while. We'll even play something from the Clancy Brothers that your parents sang to you when you were a kid if you're nice.
What we do differently is donate all of that tip money to charity. The charity is chosen by having someone (the hot chick in the front row usually) spin a wheel filled with local charities. Last year we donated over $4000.00 to local charities. Cheesy? You might think so, but the Jubilee Battered Women's shelter doesn't think so. Nor does The Lighthouse shelter for homeless youths, J. and M Marsch whose parents were killed in a house fire, or the rest of the organizations that got a check from the band last year.
 

freebyrd 69

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We stick out a tip jar for "requests". We're not you're average bar dwelling cover band though. We play Scots/Irish stuff, trad through modern with about 50% original stuff. Jigs, reels, and hornpipes for the Irish step dancers that follow us around, Chanties to get the entire bar singing, and even some paddypunk to get the scouse at the end of bar off his damned barstool once in a while. We'll even play something from the Clancy Brothers that your parents sang to you when you were a kid if you're nice.
What we do differently is donate all of that tip money to charity. The charity is chosen by having someone (the hot chick in the front row usually) spin a wheel filled with local charities. Last year we donated over $4000.00 to local charities. Cheesy? You might think so, but the Jubilee Battered Women's shelter doesn't think so. Nor does The Lighthouse shelter for homeless youths, J. and M Marsch whose parents were killed in a house fire, or the rest of the organizations that got a check from the band last year.

Now that's not tacky or cheesy, that's good stuff!
 

Jymbopalyse

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My wife plays piano at cocktail hours, weddings, dinner events, etc. She never sets out a "tip jar", but routinely brings home $40-$100 in tips.

If she doesn't put out a Tip Jar . . . . where do you think they put the tips :hmm:
 

freebyrd 69

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When I was doing the cover band thing years ago, we got hired to do a number of weddings. The bass player once brought a 5 gal bucket labelled "Song Request Tips" to a high paying reception. The rest of us thought it was tacky as hell, but we changed our minds by the end of the night. Drunk wedding dancers have no problem throwing in 10's & 20's to hear a 4 minute song get butchered. We cleared over 300 clams out of that damn bucket, and even got more a few gigs out of the deal.

You probably would have gotten the gigs anyway.....and you could probably make $300 at the local highway rest stop too if you wanted too. LOL. I don't know.....not saying it doesn't work, but, that doesn't detract from the tackiness of it, IMO.
 

Pappy58

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We put a bucket out in bars and at the many benefits we play. We dont call it out or shake it in anyones face. It's pretty common practice around here. Festivals and bigger events we don't put it out. Al though even then sometime folks comes up waving money asking where the tip jar is. Venue owners don't like paying bands, but the customers appreciate the effort so they seem happy to pitch in....so we take it! :beer:
 

bad565ss

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We don't accept tips at our gigs. We will however suggest a round of beers or shots might be more appropriate lol. I'm not opposed to the practice but don't really see anybody doing it on our circuit.
 

edro

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I have no issue with a tip bucket. It gets folks more involved...
We put a beer bucket in front on a stool...

Tip: Every break, always say something to the effect of "Remember to tip your bartenders and waitresses. They are working real hard to take care of you. We have a band tip bucket up front if you feel so inclined. We appreciate you coming out to be with us." Then shut up and clear. Always mention bartenders and waitresses. They can make or break you coming back or getting a raise, a free beer or vittles every now and then. Head bartender is the most powerful person in the building. The owner/mgr listens to the head bartender... Never ever piss off the bartender. It's usually fatal...

Trip to the bathroom is an opportunity to say hello to folks along the way and back.
Every trip to smoke break outside is an opportunity to say hello to folks.
Take every opportunity. Engage. It pays off. It's marketing and networking...
 

OHIOSTEVE

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I have no issue with a tip bucket. It gets folks more involved...
We put a beer bucket in front on a stool...

Tip: Every break, always say something to the effect of "Remember to tip your bartenders and waitresses. They are working real hard to take care of you. We have a band tip bucket up front if you feel so inclined. We appreciate you coming out to be with us." Then shut up and clear. Always mention bartenders and waitresses. They can make or break you coming back or getting a raise, a free beer or vittles every now and then. Head bartender is the most powerful person in the building. The owner/mgr listens to the head bartender... Never ever piss off the bartender. It's usually fatal...

Trip to the bathroom is an opportunity to say hello to folks along the way and back.
Every trip to smoke break outside is an opportunity to say hello to folks.
Take every opportunity. Engage. It pays off. It's marketing and networking...
I usually take 2 fifteen minute breaks in a 3 hour show. All 15 mins is generally shaking hands and asking people how things sound and if there is anything in particular they wanna hear..Always always always push tips for the bartenders. I am conflicted on the tip bucket.
 

edro

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No need to be conflicted.
 

Chango Malo

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I usually take 2 fifteen minute breaks in a 3 hour show. All 15 mins is generally shaking hands and asking people how things sound and if there is anything in particular they wanna hear..Always always always push tips for the bartenders. I am conflicted on the tip bucket.

Always refer to the bartenders and waitstaff by name. "don't forget Rory behind the bar, he's gonna have his arm on ice in the morning you bastards are drinkin' so much beer". We stick their names on the set list as a tune; "thanks to Rory/Brittany/Rachel" so we don't forget.
Calling them by name makes them feel like they matter to you, and as someone mentioned above, the staff can get you repeat gigs, raises, free booze, food, and hookups of all sorts. Our main venue in town won't let us pay for anything, even on nights we are there just checking out other bands. When we are on the bill, we have drinks and snacks arrive on stage as we set up. They know us and what we drink and we don't ever have to ask for anything. We call the two waitresses that work the nights we play (turns out there's a standing request for shifts when we're playing there) "Danger Girl" and "The Enabler". Danger Girl takes it as a personal affront if your drink is empty and will swap it out just as you're finishing the last sip. I've had her take the empty glass out of my hand as I take it away from my lips. The Enabler somehow gets rounds of whisky and scotch bought for the band every damned show. It may help that she's a gorgeous Irish redhead, but she's always hitting the stage with a tray full of glasses. At least she's good about knowing when it's time to give the mandolin player apple juice instead of Yellow Spot.
 

freebyrd 69

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I have no issue with a tip bucket. It gets folks more involved...
We put a beer bucket in front on a stool...

Tip: Every break, always say something to the effect of "Remember to tip your bartenders and waitresses. They are working real hard to take care of you. We have a band tip bucket up front if you feel so inclined. We appreciate you coming out to be with us." Then shut up and clear. Always mention bartenders and waitresses. They can make or break you coming back or getting a raise, a free beer or vittles every now and then. Head bartender is the most powerful person in the building. The owner/mgr listens to the head bartender... Never ever piss off the bartender. It's usually fatal...

Trip to the bathroom is an opportunity to say hello to folks along the way and back.
Every trip to smoke break outside is an opportunity to say hello to folks.
Take every opportunity. Engage. It pays off. It's marketing and networking...

Yes on everything.....except the tip bucket. The only thing more amateur hour than setting one out is letting anyone know you did. Even most street musicians don't go as far as to ask for money in their open guitar case. Tip buckets are for kids at Dairy Queen working their summer job, not professional musicians (which you are if you are getting paid to play) hired to entertain.

Have you ever been to a play and seen a "tip jar" at the foot of the stage? So tacky.
Bands that do that should be playing an acoustic gig off of the highway exit with a "will play for food" sign. LOL

Also, I'm not sure how you figure it "gets people more involved"? I can see maybe a dual piano act or something, where requests are part of the show, but other than that.....

If you want free shit from the crowd, AT LEAST make a joke out of it and say "who wants to buy the band a round"? At least then, you are increasing sales for the bar and tips for the wait staff.
 
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