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Sharing the Wealth: Compensating for Band Involvement

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Bands tend to develop certain kind of heirarchies. One or two people emerge who tend to contribute the most money and/or do the most work. In most situations, this asymetrical involvement can create resentment. In the worst cases, it leads to firings or band break-ups.

Having been on both sides of this equation, I recently worked with my own band, Walking Corpse Syndrome, to try to resolve these issues. We came up with a "share" system.

We have three types of shares: round, square, and triangle. I suggested these names rather than number/letter designations because I wanted to avoid any connotation that one type of share is inherently better than another.

    Round Shares deal with time. One hour of work equals one round share.
    Sqare Shares deal with money. Ten dollars equals one square share.
    Triangle shares deal with all the other miscellaneous bands things, including photo shoots, business meetings, practices, loading outs and ins, etc. If a person is more than 15-30 minutes late (depending on the function) they only get half a share.

Our formula: 1 Round Share = 1 Square Share = 3 Triangle Shares

Our initial financial goal includes becoming sustainable. We define sustainability as being able to pay for all band expenses and saving for any band goals within a 3 month period. If we make any money in excess of that, we split it up according to shares.

We also agreed to pay ourselves $10 per show. Most members just donate that back into the band for a square share. But for the members that are strapped for cash, that helps buy extra beer or food.

Time cards are due by the last Thursday of each month. I keep track of all the shares in a spreadsheet and share it at the end of the month.

It took us about 6 weeks to hammer out these and other band charter details. I'd be happy to explain the reasoning or answer any other questions that people might have.
initiated Oct 20, 2011 in Economics by Matthew Bile (1,090 points)   2 6 15
   

1 Response

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"We have three types of shares: round, square, and triangle. I suggested these names rather than number/letter designations because I wanted to avoid any connotation that one type of share is inherently better than another."

That reasoning for the names is brilliant!  

Most of the bands I know use a much simpler method of spliting everything between bandmember payment and band money.  

If one member has the van that hauls the gear, their gas expenses are covered by band money,

If one member pays for the album printing or merch, the bandmoney goes to them untill they are paid back.  

Equiptment like strings and amps are personal - the members own their gear, they pay for it, but PAs and mixers are band gear, and it gets paid for by the pooled money.

response added Oct 20, 2011 by Kyle Clements (2,460 points)   3 9 17

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