holiday bonus pay for resident djs
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  1. #1
    Tech Student djheadline's Avatar
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    Default holiday bonus pay for resident djs

    Feedback please from experienced resident djs regarding pay:
    1. On how to negotiate with bar/club owner re holiday pay bonus,
    2. Snow has slowed down business lately - what is the norm so far as pay for the nights when bar closes early on slow or bad weather nights?

    I work six nights a week at this one bar/club (for about 9 months now). Back in Oct, I had asked for bonus pay for three holidays: Halloween, Christmas Eve and New Years Eve. At the time - the owner basically laughed -in that no one else on his "staff" gets extra pay on those big event nights (bouncers, etc).
    Pay on the nights weather closed us early: My pay was turned into hourly pay for the amnt of time I was there (which had never been discussed) - the lead bar tender said she was told by the owner to pay me out that way. Also one night the owner called an hour before I was to show up and said he was not opening at all because he thought it was going to be slow - I got no pay at all.

    Is there a standard that I can bring to the table with the owner regarding these issues. I've been a resident dj at 3 different bar/clubs over the past 4 years - I've never encountered these issues, but also - my other bars -I was only two nights a week. Re me as a dj: I'm quite popular in my region and a few times a month get my night covered to play at "non competing" large events. The owner knows I am a sought after dj with option to go elsewhere with my name and skill - he knows though that six nights a week is "good" for a dj and not offered anywhere else around. The regulars pay high compliments to me as a dj - which the owner has often fed back to me. Still - in my gut, I don't think that closing early should reduce my nightly pay and I think extra pay on certain holiday nights is appropriate.
    Thanks for any feedback.
    Last edited by djheadline; 01-05-2009 at 03:22 AM.

  2. #2
    Dr. Bento BentoSan's Avatar
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    It pays to have a contract so no one can change the deal on you at the last second like you described - its a paper world.

    Edit: Oh by the way welcome to DJTT !
    Last edited by BentoSan; 01-05-2009 at 06:13 AM.

  3. #3
    Tech Student djheadline's Avatar
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    Thanks - I'll attempt at an upcoming meeting with "the boss man" to get these things in writing. I need to know what is "standard" or norm for resident djs. I want to make sure I'm fair when I asked to be paid my full night pay when/if the owner on a whim decides to close early. The holiday pay issue (now after the fact for this season) - but I'm curious if it was reasonable for me to have asked him for a little more pay on holiday nights. I have high paying offers at other events on these big nights and with no $ incentive to stay at my resident spot and it's hard to get big nights covered when I tell the other dj how much the owner is paying for "the big night" - also the owner gets upset when I mention that I'm thinking of possibly having a sub on a big night (like I owe it to him and the regulars to be there) but he offers nothing - knowing I am offered double or triple somewhere else. We do have an agreement that I can get subs to do other events so long as the event is out of "competitive" area, but now it seems as though he wants to restrict my sub use to "no weekends or holiday subs".
    So I really want to hear from someone whose dealt with this long term resident dj dealing.

  4. #4
    Tech Guru Chilly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by djheadline View Post
    Thanks - I'll attempt at an upcoming meeting with "the boss man" to get these things in writing. I need to know what is "standard" or norm for resident djs. I want to make sure I'm fair when I asked to be paid my full night pay when/if the owner on a whim decides to close early. The holiday pay issue (now after the fact for this season) - but I'm curious if it was reasonable for me to have asked him for a little more pay on holiday nights. I have high paying offers at other events on these big nights and with no $ incentive to stay at my resident spot and it's hard to get big nights covered when I tell the other dj how much the owner is paying for "the big night" - also the owner gets upset when I mention that I'm thinking of possibly having a sub on a big night (like I owe it to him and the regulars to be there) but he offers nothing - knowing I am offered double or triple somewhere else. We do have an agreement that I can get subs to do other events so long as the event is out of "competitive" area, but now it seems as though he wants to restrict my sub use to "no weekends or holiday subs".
    So I really want to hear from someone whose dealt with this long term resident dj dealing.
    1) There is no standard for resident DJs. It all depends on the venue. The casino's here pay at least twice what the club/lounge guys get...

    2) At my residency, we have an understanding that if I want to play another show one night, as long as I give them 2 weeks notice, it's not a problem. They find their own replacement for me.

    3) I would just go in there on an off night when the owners/management are there and just explain everything that you've written here. If the 3 nights that you mentioned are always huge, then you should be compensated a bit more for them. If they can't do it, then they can get someone else at your rate, or less, to play. Make them understand that the more exposure people have to you and your skill will bring them back for more on those big nights...and they shouldn't settle for a 'lesser' dj. You follow?

  5. #5
    Tech Student djheadline's Avatar
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    Ok. Yes - I get all that - thank you...and I know that there is no standard pay for resident djs, but here's the particular question that is really on me right now: When a price per night is agreed on - should a bar/club owner feel free to pay out the night per hour (instead of the night's agreed on pay) when he decides to close early?
    I know that if I was doing a wedding and the event closed up an hour early for whatever reason - I'd still get the agreed upon pay - and it would not be converted into an hourly pay where I'd be shorted a hundred for playing 3 out of 4 hours of a $400 dollar gig agreement.
    So what about bar/clubs closing early? Has anyone heard of getting a nights pay converted into hourly pay when a venue closes early on you?

  6. #6
    Tech Guru Monika.mhz's Avatar
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    No, the club owner should NOT have the right. Unless you've already agreed on an hourly wage, it is NOT ok to dock your pay because the club shutdown early.

    As far as you're concerned, he's booking you for the evening. It's not like if he shuts down early, you can pick up your gear and go get another gig.
    Monika.mhz - I do things. Also stuff.
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  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by djheadline View Post
    Feedback please from experienced resident djs regarding pay:
    1. On how to negotiate with bar/club owner re holiday pay bonus,
    2. Snow has slowed down business lately - what is the norm so far as pay for the nights when bar closes early on slow or bad weather nights?

    I work six nights a week at this one bar/club (for about 9 months now). Back in Oct, I had asked for bonus pay for three holidays: Halloween, Christmas Eve and New Years Eve. At the time - the owner basically laughed -in that no one else on his "staff" gets extra pay on those big event nights (bouncers, etc).
    Pay on the nights weather closed us early: My pay was turned into hourly pay for the amnt of time I was there (which had never been discussed) - the lead bar tender said she was told by the owner to pay me out that way. Also one night the owner called an hour before I was to show up and said he was not opening at all because he thought it was going to be slow - I got no pay at all.

    Is there a standard that I can bring to the table with the owner regarding these issues. I've been a resident dj at 3 different bar/clubs over the past 4 years - I've never encountered these issues, but also - my other bars -I was only two nights a week. Re me as a dj: I'm quite popular in my region and a few times a month get my night covered to play at "non competing" large events. The owner knows I am a sought after dj with option to go elsewhere with my name and skill - he knows though that six nights a week is "good" for a dj and not offered anywhere else around. The regulars pay high compliments to me as a dj - which the owner has often fed back to me. Still - in my gut, I don't think that closing early should reduce my nightly pay and I think extra pay on certain holiday nights is appropriate.
    Thanks for any feedback.
    I'd say go find some other gigs in multiple venues rather than having all your eggs in one basket . I'd also say that the club owner seems to lack respect for his employees so get the hell out of there (I've been in that situation and it's just not worth it ) .

  8. #8
    Tech Guru Chilly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RSDJMoniker View Post
    No, the club owner should NOT have the right. Unless you've already agreed on an hourly wage, it is NOT ok to dock your pay because the club shutdown early.

    As far as you're concerned, he's booking you for the evening. It's not like if he shuts down early, you can pick up your gear and go get another gig.
    +1

    The flipside would be your relationship with the owner. If they treat you well and kick a few extra bucks every now and again for something, you might think to do the same on a real slow night...even if they don't close early. Again, this should be strictly a judgment call on your end.

  9. #9
    Tech Wizard
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    I play as one of two resident dj's at my club and was originally just getting paid in my alcohol which is great for a while as i can do 2 things i enjoy at once without going to overboard on the drinking. Meanwhile i have also spent a rediculous amount of time fixing up the club gear and still have a lot more to go. I have only just asked to start getting some type of actual payment as not every night i work i am able to drink and at times it would be a small benefit to just pay for my drinks anyway as obviously you can't get smashed off your face while djing as it only leads to magnificent train wrecks in most cases.

    I was supposed to DJ a New Years Eve ball for the club which failed miserably due to high entry cost as well as many people being out of town or working. They shut the club at 10pm and we all went elsewhere ourselves. I still expect to get payed a full wage for this due to the setup time and the holiday time. It was not my fault it was a flop as i self promoted the event seperately also and the people who did turn up early in the night and also others i spoke to who turned up a little later in the night after we had shut were all people who had decided to come to the event due to my promotion otherwise they would have had no idea it was on at all.

    I will be coming up with a verbal contract with the manager as she is known to be difficult with these types of situations and i dont believe she would sign off on anything and this would also lead to me risking my own ass at times because of other work commitments. Also if at some time i am sick of the situation i can always walk away or just stop coming as myself and the other DJ work out who is doing what nights between ourselves. Part of my agreement will be to hand over some money for more improvements and to replace our booth window with a full framed window for safety of our gear and also put in a full sized door due to bad experiences with assholes.

    Hence if this is not going to happen i can walk away because at the end of the day it is my gear and i don't want it wrecked on someone elses time. Generally with my mobile jobs i can pick and choose what i believe is safe and people know i don't stuff around when it comes to my gear so they give me the security i need or find another dj which usually means they give me it as there are very little other options in town.

    I'd say have a good look at your situation. Work out some real figures and speak to some of the other venues you are able to get into, even ask the other venues if they have any contracts written up for other dj's and talk about what you would like yourself and if they would be willing to make some sort of compromise.

    9 times out of 10 if your gut instinct is saying you should be doing something else or you feel you are getting screwed over then you are generally correct.
    There are so many options out there it is just a matter of finding your calling and applying yourself without getting jibbed.

    Hope this info helps and i'm sure some of the others on here will have plenty more helpful information to pass on.

    I'm pretty sure ean wrote an article on contracts and the different types of places you can find work at so have a look through the previous articles and see what you can find and good luck with your decisions!

  10. #10

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    My bonus this year was pretty cool the owner of the gentleman's club I work at bailed me and a couple of the girls who dance there out of jail lol . No seriously .

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