Behind The Scenes: Negotiating Terms With A Club

With under a week before the party, our venue was suddenly closed.

Against a wall, the organizers began looking for alternative sites to ensure success. Over the coming days a promising bar a little off the beaten path with plenty of space surfaced. A meeting was quickly arranged with the owners so we could discuss terms and scope out the venue.

As we’d come to discover he’d been promised the world by many, though few actually came through to deliver. As such his primary concerns were as follows:

  • That we wouldn’t show up wasting the bouncer’s time
  • That we would show up, but we’ll bring a rough crowd
  • That we’d abuse a comped bar tab by passing drinks to friends

As such our original agreement settled as:

  • 15% of bar sales
  • $100 taken off the 15% return for the bouncer
  • 1/2 price bar tab for the three DJs (and no passing drinks to friends)

We brought up bringing additional speakers but the owner balked. They already had a decent setup but the sub wasn’t well place and the room had various dead spots. After telling a friend of ours the initial terms he paid his own visit to negotiate a better deal. He was well equipped; he had extensive experience organizing and promoting events. Ultimately we’d be able to bring supplementary sound in addition to

  • Waiving the cost of the bouncer ($100) and
  • Getting a bottle at follow-up events for the DJs, contingent on a successful first night.

The event was centered around House music accompanied by interactive live percussion. And I was the opening DJ.

After all was said and done we ended up with over two grand in bar sales. For a kickoff event series it was a strong success, the place was packed most of the night. Management was happy, we had a blast, and we broke even after bar sales we taken into account. We got to drink for free and rock an awesome party.

We now had a new venue to host parties in a decent location with solid staff, with terms in our favor.