That's interesting, since most of the flamewars that break out over getting paid start with one side going ballistic about anyone playing for free, i.e. tips.
Glad you had a good time.
On Tue, Aug 5, 2008 at 2:53 PM, Daryl Shawn <firstname.lastname@example.org>
At the outset of booking for this tour, I had inadvertently helped to launch a very large-scale discussion here about playing for money - or not. Now having a bit more of an informed opinion about income on a no-profile tour, I can share that, perhaps shockingly, it proved possible to cover most of my expenses with what I made, even though I booked my shows without the money being a factor in accepting a show.
The most lucrative situation is, without question, playing for tips. I did a fair amount of coffeehouses where I was somewhat background entertainment, and often felt ignored, but with the proper placement of a tip jar (with a friendly and very visible sign, just to the right of the exit door, is the way to do it) many people feel moved to donate two or three or more dollars on the way out. Playing for a couple of hours, in a reasonably active joint, usually would yield enough for a full tank of gas at 2008 prices. Since I had planned the tour around staying with people that I knew, I'd break even or come out ahead for the day in these situations. Charging a cover at the door generally didn't end up yielding so much.