BEFORE YOU CONTACT US, PLEASE NOTE
THESE FOUR THINGS:
1. We reserve the right to determine if we agree with the
REASON for holding the benefit. If we don't agree, we probably
won't play. For instance...if you are holding a benefit for
Uncle Clem because Uncle Clem was a butthead and smoked 6 packs
of cigarettes a day and now he has cancer and/or needs an iron
lung...then don't bother calling us. Sorry if that sounds harsh,
but we feel that it is our right to be a bit selective regarding
donating our time to any one cause.
2. If people will be smoking
in (or in close proximity to) the area we are expected to perform
in, we reserve the right to pack up and go home without playing.
3. If there isn't a House PA (that is, if there is no PA system
being provided to sing/play though, and we have to lug ours
there)...unless we have agreed to HOST the benefit, then your
chances of us playing are pretty slim.
4. If you don't have your benefit well-planned, we probably
aren't interested. We will usually ask you all of the above
questions when you contact us, and will probably also want
to know who else (band-wise) is playing before we sign on.
If you don't have the answers to those questions...please do
not contact us, because all we're
going to do is ask you the questions directly.
And now...some handy dandy tips for getting your event off the
ground...and believe us, they work pretty well. You might even
want to print and save a copy in your wallet. Here it is...is
our (semi-famous) BENEFITS CHECKLIST...!!
DANDY CHECKLIST FOR ORGANIZERS OF BENEFITS:
TWO MONTHS IN ADVANCE:
1. Set a date (some
dates are better than others, and if you live in the North, better
be mindful about booking a date during the real snowy months).
2. Find a location
- be sure they have adequate power for hosting a musical performance
if you're going to have bands! (And again, location is key -
the closer it is to civilization, the better...if the place has
a liquor license, that might be good, too)
3. See if you can
get a House PA and/or a soundman to run it for the day. Call
local music stores or sound companies and ask for prices - be
sure to mention that it is for a benefit. Or, perhaps one of
the bands will offer to act as the "host" band and will allow
all bands to use theirs - never hurts to ask (and if you're not
a family member/good friend of someone in our band or yours is
not a cause that is near and dear to us, we probably won't offer
to host your benefit...sorry about that, but it's a LOT of work).
ONCE THESE THINGS ARE IN PLACE, THEN:
4. Determine your
initial budget (what YOU can afford to spend to get this thing
rolling along) and also, try to find sponsors who will donate
something to the cause (food, beverages, raffle items, etc.)
Sometimes a local radio station will donate something. ASK!
5. Think of creative
ways to make people want to show up and donate cash - for instance,
don't "just" have
a benefit, make it a more interesting event...such as a Bike
Rally/Poker Run/Pig Roast/Chicken BBQ/Casino Night.
6. Hire at least
3 bands - they should each get at least 1 hour to play, and 15
to 20 minutes on either side of that for set-up and break down
time. Again, securing a House PA System is a good idea since
it cuts down on set-up and break down time. And for that time
in-between bands, if you can get a local celebrity of some kind
to come and function as the emcee (host) of the event, then all
7. Recruit friends and relatives for assistance
with bands, prizes, raffles, accepting donations/admission fees
at the door, and keeping food and beverages stocked. You'll also
need an enthusiastic set-up and tear-down crew to help you
because (again) it's a LOT of work.
ONE MONTH TO THREE WEEKS IN ADVANCE:
8. Send updates to all bands and key people with time slots,
and information on where they can load their equipment in and
out. They will need to know all the details listed above, so
9. If you have had no luck in getting donations for food and/or
prizes, then either order food and beverages or start asking
your buddies to bring a dish to pass and/or make some crafty
things to raffle off. Another creative idea would be to dream
up other ways to make money. for instance, ask people to bring
stuff from home for a post benefit garage sale! Advertise
your idea, so that people can plan to bring something.
10. Design, print, and hang posters. Also, make
and distribute donation canisters at local businesses and elsewhere
(be sure to ask a manager or business owner if it is OK to do
11. Send advertisements out to the local media
(radio stations, newspapers, TV stations). Email is a great way
to spread the word, too. Many stations have email addresses,
and you can send them announcements FOR FREE! Be clear
and concise because long emails do not get read on the air very
often. They just need the basics: The date, time,
place, and cause. Mention that there will be entertainment
and prizes. Again, we KNOW some local radio station personalities,
and you can be sure that if your info is not short and to the
point, then they probably won't bother reading it!
TWO WEEKS IN ADVANCE:
12. Call relatives and friends and ask for a commitment to come.
Ask them to spread the word. Give them posters or flyers to post
or hand out to their friends and co-workers.
13. Begin sales of advance 50/50 raffle tickets
(tell people they must be present to win and if they aren't,
then the half that they won gets donated back to the cause).
ONE WEEK IN ADVANCE:
14. Send reminders/updates to all bands and key people. Re-emphasize
time slots, and send information on where they can load their
equipment in and out (ask the people at the place you are having
the benefit where to set up bands, and which doors they will
need to enter and exit by - be sure that they can back up large
vehicles in order to unload their equipment). They will need
to know all the details listed above, so be prepared.
15. Make a large sign of some kind for pre-event advertisement
and/or to put out front on the day of the benefit. WRITING IN
BLOCK LETTERS WORKS BEST.
THE DAY/NIGHT BEFORE THE BENEFIT:
16. IF POSSIBLE, set up anything you can in advance
(for instance the chairs, tables, posters, and some non-perishable
food items). See if the person (or band) that is donating the
House PA System can get in and set up the night before. This
way there is less room for error if they have to rush to get
things set up that day. Sometimes this is possible and sometimes
not. But, if it IS possible, it's one less thing to deal
with on the day of the benefit.
THE DAY OF THE BENEFIT:
17. Rope off the load in/load out area for bands
so that no-one else parks there - bands have a lot of heavy equipment
to carry, and they are being nice and donating time, so make
their load in and out easier on them by clearing a path for them.
18. Collect donations at door and while you are at it, sell
some 50/50 raffle tickets at door - hit them up while they have
their money out!
19. Have two (or more) 50/50 raffles (depending
on the length of the benefit show) - draw for the first one about
half way through, and the last one at the end of the evening. AGAIN...STRESS
THAT THEY MUST BE PRESENT TO WIN!
20. THANK all the people that came to the benefit
and donated something throughout the day and at the end of the
day. Also, don't forget to thank your performers, helpers, donation
sources, the media, and the place that hosted your benefit.
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