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PostPosted: Thu Sep 28, 2017 5:54 am 
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8) There are not too many times when I post something on this site that I get private communications sent to me. I made an observation as to the amount hosts were getting in may area and communication was sent to me. Something about making blanket statement about the industry as a whole. If there was any confusion I'm sorry, I was only observing what was happening in my area. Also I have read articles that maintain the karaoke Industry has been in a steady state of decline since it's peak in 2002, that was 15 years ago.

If you think about it many KJ's used to get 300.00 a night, then it was 200.00, then it was 150.00, now it is hard sometimes to get 100.00, since you have so many willing to work for 75.00 or even 50.00 a night. The local Elks lodge has a hobbyist volunteer that works for tips, the lodge bought his equipment on the cheap. This volunteer has about 3,000 songs on donated discs, but he can play any disc that is brought in. Believe it or not his show is packed every Tuesday. When faced with those facts the one advantage an old established host has is all of his equipment and library is paid for, so if he can make anything it is profit. So yes given those new realities the only way a host could make more is he would have to work more nights.

I know a host that is still in the business, he is old school disc based, no computer, has about 8,000 songs. He used to tell me that he would never do a show for 50.00. Today that same host is doing shows for 75.00 and even 50.00. What I don't understand is this guy has got money is pushing 70 and still wants to work. For that kind of money I would have hung up the speakers, go figure?

Since I have been hiring local hosts for the American Legion, I have found out that just about every host in town will do a 4 hour gig for about 100.00. I had one host try and get 125.00 and I had to tell him there were too many willing to do the job for less. He took the 100.00, end of story. Once again I would have to state this is just my area I'm seeing this, I'm wondering if it is the same in your part of the country?


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 28, 2017 6:22 am 
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I know a host that is still in the business, he is old school disc based, no computer, has about 8,000 songs. He used to tell me that he would never do a show for 50.00. Today that same host is doing shows for 75.00 and even 50.00. What I don't understand is this guy has got money is pushing 70 and still wants to work. For that kind of money I would have hung up the speakers, go figure?


Maybe an odd concept for you, but did it ever occur that the guy is retired and wants to stay busy, so he does what he loves, and it has nothing to do with money? I retired from weekly KJ and DJ work recently, and I've done a few gigs since for dinner and a few beers, just because I missed playing music. Crazy concept that someone would do it for a reason other than the money :)

In my town, which is a large, but also tourist city, so literally 50-60+ karaoke shows around town, the average rate for 4-5 hours for a KJ bringing his own equipment and music is about $125-150.

Plenty of bars that own their own equipment and music and pay their KJ $50-75, which is somewhat reasonable when they are fronting all of the expense and risk. I avoid those shows because the KJs inevitably beg for tips all night.

Honestly, there may be a few shows with newbies or pirates making $50-75 with their own equipment and music, but not many. They are definitely not the norm, they are usually someone doing a favor for a friend or family or someone brand new trying to get some experience.

I recently retired from karaoke in July after 13+ years, but when I was doing it, I was paid $150 on weekdays and $200 on weekends.

The best paid KJ I know of in town works at a place that does karaoke 7 days a week, and he makes $1400 a week. I loved my gig, but no way in hell I could handle 5-6 hours a day every day, so god bless him.

No one I know of making much more than $225 on weekends.

In summary, the going rate is about $125-150 for a 4-5 hour show.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 28, 2017 6:44 am 
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TopherM wrote:

Maybe an odd concept for you, but did it ever occur that the guy is retired and wants to stay busy, so he does what he loves, and it has nothing to do with money? I retired from weekly KJ and DJ work recently, and I've done a few gigs since for dinner and a few beers, just because I missed playing music. Crazy concept that someone would do it for a reason other than the money :)




8) That is just it Topher, this guy also works selling paper subscriptions, and is a associate at the local Home Depot, besides doing gigs. Don't get me wrong but there is something not right about the guy. Karaoke hosting cost him his wife and kids since he could not divide business from pleasure, and would not even quit to save his wife or his day job. That is taking it a little far in my book, but then again that is just me. Since I have retired I have taken a few gigs here and there to help raise money for good causes, nothing serious, helped out with some parties and weddings. Just to keep my hand in.

P.S. Just saw something interesting happen the local Mexican Restaurant started selling tacos for 99 cents, just like the Elks Lodge that is packed every Tuesday on the same night. I guess they are hoping to get part of the crowd that is over there every Tuesday. This is not a hole in the wall establishment, but a nice eating place, guess it is just sign of the times.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 28, 2017 7:33 am 
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Last stat I saw indicated that only about 30% of retirement aged people in the US have saved enough to actually retire, even with social security.

Maybe he needs the money, and that gig is all he can get. Most people just live for the day and don't plan for the future, and it eventually catches up to them! No one to blame but themselves!

My brother and his wife have averaged about a $130,000 combined income over the time I have averaged about $70,000, yet they spend all of their money and save nothing. I've paid off my house and have $90,000 in retirement (I'm 40), and he has $0 in retirement and owes $340,000 on his $360,000 house. He can't grasp the simple concept that he enjoyed his money in the present, sacrificing his future, and I saved and will enjoy my money in the future, sacrificing some of that enjoyment in the present. He thinks the dreaded "economy" got him.

Yet, somehow, even though I've sacrificed while he splurged, he always comes to me with his hand out when he has a big expense, like a recent roof leek and a pending knee surgery. He claims that I'm "lucky" to be well off.

Funny how that works. It's a microcosm of our society, in many (not saying all) respects.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 28, 2017 7:39 am 
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8) Sort of reminds me of that story about the "The Grasshopper And The Ant". It is lucky for your brother he is related to an ant, it is good of you to help him out.

P.S. It is a good feeling to get that mortgage monkey off your back, isn't it?


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 28, 2017 8:19 am 
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I currently have 3 shows ranging from $175 to $400 nightly. The $175 show is a 3 hour show. The other 2 are 4 hour.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 28, 2017 9:49 am 
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The Lone Ranger wrote:
P.S. It is a good feeling to get that mortgage monkey off your back, isn't it?

Amen! No mortgage = Great feeling, indeed! monthly military pension + social security - I feel good!

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 28, 2017 4:50 pm 
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Working for next to nothing? Interesting concept. Doing something for the pure love of it and not for the money??? Wow! Who would do such a thing? Helping out a total stranger by making him a karaoke track from scratch for FREE? That would NEVER Happen. You can't make this stuff up!


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 29, 2017 12:55 am 
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Karaoke Croaker wrote:
Working for next to nothing? Interesting concept. Doing something for the pure love of it and not for the money??? Wow! Who would do such a thing? Helping out a total stranger by making him a karaoke track from scratch for FREE? That would NEVER Happen. You can't make this stuff up!



8) Just remember Croaker "No Good Deed Goes Unpunished". :angel: :angel: :angel:


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 29, 2017 10:34 am 
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Like many of you on this board, I strive to be one of the best hosts in my area. I update music, sound, lights, etc. on a regular basis and always communicate with my audience the best I can. Therefore, I am on the higher side of the pay scale for my area here in SW Florida.

I get $200.00 minimum for a three hour weekly show
I get $250.00 minimum for a four hour weekly show.
I have two Friday night/weekend shows that pay $250.00 for three hours.

Most country club karaoke shows I do are usually once a month and pay $100.00 and hour.

Obviously in season down here things are busier and one-time shows can pay up to 150.00 to 200.00 and hour depending on the venue.



P.S. I would never work at a venue for free no matter how much I enjoy it or not. Doesn't matter whether or not I know the owner, need the money, etc. I run a business and any free shows I do make it tougher for the next guy down the road to get a decent rate.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 29, 2017 10:52 am 
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I have been retired for 7 years, love Karaoke and have only done a couple of free shows at friends homes.

My rates are identical to Spotlighter's. We in the general same vicinity.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 29, 2017 11:02 am 
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I get $450 for 2 nights, Fri & Sat (5 hr show @ $225 per). My wife is with me, a one-woman ‘PR welcoming committee’ to help pass the books, explain the rotation, laptop kiosk, get people to dance, etc.

Permanent rig fixture, no set-up, no tear down. Free dinner for two, anything from the restaurant menu - to go. :wink:

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 29, 2017 2:17 pm 
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8) From what I have read so far it would seem that other areas of the country are better for hosts than where I happen to be. Probably it is also true of counties in states as well. I would imagine that L.A. County or Orange County would have higher per show rates than Riverside county. Then of course the cost of living has always been cheaper in Riverside County, or Kern County for that matter. Florida seems to be a good place to be, the Pacific Northwest, Eastern Seaboard. What about places down South, and the Rust Belt?


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 29, 2017 8:44 pm 
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I do an elks lodge on a Thursday night 6-10pm. I get $150 + dinner + all I can drink soda + shift drink at the end of the night.

like everywhere else we have the scabs that play for $50 and free drinks. and have ruined the industry for us honest ones. when in talks about taking a new gig I tell them up front that I can't/won't do a show for less then $150 a night, they can take or leave it. I explain my situation and that I have invested a lot of time and MONEY and just can't charge any less or I wouldn't be able to update music and equipment. I don't play the dance and try to negotiate lower fee's, I've already played the game of promised increases when I brought in more customers and increased sales for the bar. I'm almost 50 and just not into the games that bar owners want to play.

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 30, 2017 10:47 am 
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I donate ALL my gigs for FREE... Scouts honour Mr. Revenue Man! Would this face lie to you?
:twisted:

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 01, 2017 1:39 am 
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I get a Tax Form 1099-Misc from my gig employer every end of the year, so I charge my venue a bit more because Uncle Sam takes a good bite out of that miscellaneous income. :twisted:

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 01, 2017 7:13 am 
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Brian A wrote:
I get a Tax Form 1099-Misc from my gig employer every end of the year, so I charge my venue a bit more because Uncle Sam takes a good bite out of that miscellaneous income. :twisted:

Yes, mostly self employment taxes.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 01, 2017 8:58 am 
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Yeah, when I first started doing this, it was pretty tough getting decent paying gigs around here. Once our company was established things sorta took off and we were getting offered better wages.

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