How Guest List Abuse Is Costing Musicians Much Needed Cash

0001While attendees to small venues and house are usually happy to pay and support the music they're about to hear, larger venues and shows often necessitate a guest list, and while it's an important thing to have, too much generosity in that regard can drastically impact revenue from the show.


Guest post by Chris Robley of DIY Musician

At most small listening venues and house shows, I’ve found your average audience member is expecting, even happy, to pay to hear music. So really it’s been years since I’ve dealt with any major frustrations around a guest list. The closest thing to it might be asking a house concert host if your friends are welcome at their private event.

But I do remember the days of touring with a seven piece band, rolling into some dive, gathering up the guest list names (which always somehow seemed to take hours), and then sad-laughing later about how half our audience got in for free. Oh, the glory of rock and roll.

Images (4)Anyway, I just read a hilarious and spot-on rant by Ryan Kattner about the RIGHT and WRONG way to ask if you can be on a guest list. You should check it out if you’re ever in the position of asking for a guest list spot or, as a musician, granting guest list spots and +1s to your friends, fans, and family.

After all, having too many people on the list can effect the bottom line, or worse, your reputation.

What’s the most ridiculous guest list request you’ve ever gotten? How often do you add someone to your list who never shows up? Let me know in the comments.

Chris Robley is the Editor of CD Baby's DIY Musician Blog. I write Beatlesque indie-pop songsthat've been praised by No Depression, KCRW, The LA Times, & others. My poems have appeared in Poetry Magazine, Prairie Schooner, The Poetry Review, & more. I live in Maine and like peanut butter chocolate chip cookies, a little too much.

Share on: