[Callers] Caller Fees

William Watson wjw1961 at gmail.com
Thu Jun 23 11:50:31 PDT 2011

Hi Sue,

At the Eugene, Oregon dances, pay is as follows:
Caller: $75 guarantee, travel guarantee based on distance, 20% of
profit (if any - RARE!)
Musician: $75 guarantee if fewer than 4 in band, else split $300
guarantee, travel and profit share similar to caller.
Sound person: a flat $150, to load his own gear, drive an hour, set
up, work all evening, strike, lock up, drive an hour home, and unload.
Our rent has been $114/night, but will go up to $138 in the fall.

Attendance varies, based on weather and conflicting events.  We hold
dances on 2nd & 4th Saturdays, September to early June.  Losses are
too high to dance in the summer, and we lose the use of our regular
facility, as the school system does not rent it out if school is not
in session.  We charge $8 for non-members to attend, $6 for members,
with reciprocal discounts for members of other nearby dance/folklore
societies that provide dance discounts.

Only two or three dances a year make profits and generate any profit
share for the talent.

Wild Asparagus comes out annually in November and negotiates a
different deal.  They run their own sound, and ask for 90% of the net
door receipts, after fixed expenses (rent, insurance, etc.) are paid.
EFS charges a higher admission price for this dance.

The Corvallis, Oregon dances work slightly differently:
The caller gets a guarantee of $50.  Each musician (up to 4) gets a
guarantee of $50; more than four share $200.  The sound man gets $100
(he's local).  The hall costs $80.  Insurance is covered by the parent
organization.  Any profits above the guarantees and fixed costs gets
split between the performers and organization.  Profits happen much
more regularly in Corvallis than in Eugene, due to the lower fixed
costs and lower guarantees.  Wild Asparagus negotiates an agreement
essentially identical to the one used in Eugene when they come out.

On Sat, Jun 18, 2011 at 7:32 PM, Sue Robishaw <sue at manytracks.com> wrote:
> Hi,
>    I know that "it varies" and probably quite widely, but I'm trying to get
> an idea of what is typically charged for one-time or semi-regular dance
> calling (not the high end festivals and balls and camps) or how receipts are
> divided between caller, band, and house. My interest is as caller, band, and
> dance organizer so all input would be appreciated. You can reply off-list to
> sue at manytracks.com.
>    Thanks,
>    Sue Robishaw, Upper Peninsula of Michigan
wjw1961 at gmail.com
This is my bulk mail / mailing list address.
use "williamcallscontras" at the same host in order to reach me more directly.
William J. Watson

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