FRIG – a GIG which is FREE entry with income generated from other avenues, such as sponsorship or cut of the bar profit.

this is an idea that i have tried out a few times to great effect.
the idea was born from knowing MANY MANY skint people. who just simply cant afford entry prices on a lot of the gigs happening in my home town, and probably wouldn’t risk paying entry fee for an act they didnt know.

so, in 2006 i tried out the concept, booking a 1000 capacity venue, i put it to the test.
I made the event FREE. the line up was full of fairly unkown acts and i managed to get a sponsorship from a local music shop called Only 1 Music. They gave me £700 which paid for my flyers and all of my PA and lighting costs.
The venue hire fee was £1000. After a bit of bartering i managed to score a deal:if the bar took less then 5k, i would pay £1000 (which i never had!), if the bar took over 5k i would get the venue for FREE. if it took 10k i would get a kick back on the bar. 
I told all the bands that i had penciled in, about my concept, and that the party was FREE and there was no money, but would be a great promo exercise.

All of the acts agreed to go with it. Apart from one local promoter, who pulled out because he thought i was crazy and a band from out of town who demanded £300.

I had a nervous breakdown in the lead up to the event. and everybody and i mean EVERYBODY told me i was mental and shouldnt do it, coz it was a bit of a jump up from the usual size venues i’d promoted in.

The gig was a massive success. 1200 people turned up and people couldn’t get in.
The bar took over 12k, i paid everyone who needed to be paid and managed to just breakeven. And in the process i had put my band on a massive stage, through a 20k rig in front of 1000 people and helped give exposure to many other local bands and DJs.

This is Frigging in action.

We repeated the concept with an event ‘FREE 4 ALL’, in the same venue, again to great success. We have done similar things in various other venues, again, all to great success. and the venue each time, always very happy!

Now, after many conversations with new local venue, The Globe, they have offered us their venue for Free for the 4th April. the deal here? I told bands they do it for nowt. the venue keep the bar take (no kick backs for our efforts), and we organise and promote the whole thing for nothing…

in time, when people realise this is a good way of working, i will be able to make deals where beers are supplied by the venue for the bands, and i get a cut of the bar take to help pay bands a little and pay me a little. But at the moment in the current mind set of the way gigs are organised, The Globe think they are doing me a favour. If i had more time on my hands i could probably get a local sponsor to help out with some of the costs too. Anyway I’ll let you know how this goes!

Instead of trying to sell unknown bands to punters.
What i am suggesting you do is sell punters to venues. Change the focus. Swing those doors open, generate a buzz and ask the venue to share some of that profit!!!

please share your thoughts below.

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