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Historic Demos

Posted: Thu Feb 22, 2007 6:02 pm
by Gobae
Just out of curiosity how many groups charge to do demos?

Our group does not (heck we don't even have a treasurer). But I've heard of a couple of groups that do. So, I was just trying to get a feel for what the prevailing modus operandi is.

Posted: Thu Feb 22, 2007 6:05 pm
by m300572
Depends on what you mean by 'demos' I suppose. Most groups charge a fee for appearances at events but will often send one or two people into a school (say) on a voluntary basis.

Posted: Thu Feb 22, 2007 7:17 pm
by Gobae
Either. I was also interested to learn if there was a threshold or distinction for charging based on event type.


Posted: Fri Feb 23, 2007 1:11 am
by timbobarnacle
If you are doing a demonstration in a school as a re-enactor, and in fact are delivering lessons, then you should certainly be charging. the fee depends on the activity. for exaple, if the topic is part of Key stage 2, then you should tailor the lesson to suit.

On average, for a school, if they want half a day, the fee should be around £100.00, and the whole day around £200.00 dependent on location and the number of people you take (max 3)

For a school or village fete - fees around £250.00 and again very dependent on what you do. a large event with max living history over two days with my Viking group would not be cheap, for that you need to be able to entertain the public all day with LH and combat

Posted: Fri Feb 23, 2007 2:11 pm
by Chris, yclept John Barber
There's a big difference in fees depending on how many overheads the group has and the kind of shows they 'normally' do.

Our society is one of the more expensive. We bring a lot of communal kit to the event (24'x12' dining tent, full kitchen, tables, etc, couple of standard Past Tents round pavilions) as well as personal tents etc. This is two Transit-van loads, so we have to hire the vans. We also have year-round weekly practice facilities to pay for, and we subsidise travel expenses. We even subsidise travel to a few non-paying events, like Tewkesbury. To keep ourselves solvent, we need to charge at least £750 for a weekend, and because of the time van hire places open it's usually no different even if they only want a day - we still need two days' hire.

Other groups may not hire transport: enough of them have trailers that they don't need to hire vans. They may say that no-one can join unless they have their own transport. [If we got everyone with cars to buy trailers and fit towbars, we may be able to manage without the vans - but a lot of our members are youngsters who don't have their own transport. The seats people would have to fill with kit to empty the vans would mean that we can't bring them along.] They may not have practice facilities, or they may charge to attend practices to pay for the hall. Even so, they still have overheads: public liability insurance isn't cheap! So their rates might be at the £250 level mentioned earlier. We've decided not to go down this route.

We don't feel our rates are unreasonable. I caught a bit of a programme last night in which someone set himself up as a Cliff Richard impersonator. He charged £700 a night from the start! For not much more, you get an encampment and 15-20 re-enactors for the full day.

And our rates definitely aren't excessive in the 'showmen' area. Compare us with motorcycle stunt acts, the Dog & Duck Roadshow, or even just a couple of nice big Shire horses who'll stand in a corner all day and be petted by the public. We work for an agency who cover all those things, and know that even at our prices we're a bargain.

It's the same as in the guidelines for film and TV work. You have to consider that just because you can work for a bare minimum and do it for the joy of doing so, should you? Or should the organisers pay what you are really worth?

Posted: Sat Feb 24, 2007 12:25 am
by timbobarnacle
when I mention £250.00 this is a abre minimum for a village fete, two arena pieces, no LH. we have a props vehicle with 30 plus tents loaded for the big shows. as a rough guide for a weekend, at least £500.00 a day. Liability insurance and kit insurance, as well as transport are the big costs

Posted: Sat Feb 24, 2007 1:32 am
by Phil the Grips
plus the cost of regular CRB/Disclosure applications for doing school demos.

Not actually necessary (unless you intend to work 1-to-1 in private with someone under 18 ) but a lot of places insist on them as a precaution.

Posted: Mon Feb 26, 2007 2:25 pm
by Marcus Woodhouse
Though you may have to wait a long time for them to come through.

Posted: Tue Feb 27, 2007 8:24 am
by Kate Tiler
Also, the situation is different in the States, I'm not sure that you have the Criminal Records Bureau check over there...

Posted: Tue Feb 27, 2007 3:12 pm
by Gobae
Not for demonstrators in schools. But, all school staff have to have one before they're hired (at least in NY state).

Posted: Thu Apr 26, 2007 8:07 am
by X
We have two charging rates.
1. A flat rate of £250 per day or £300 for a single day. This means you will get an unspecified number of re-enactors doing whatever the hell they like. We turn up, we do our own thing, we go home.
2. You pay per-person. Level 1 craftsmen £120 per day, level 2 craftsmen £80 per day, plus a surcharge for extra kit and people who will be there but not doing anything I could justify charging large amounts of money for. If we do an arena turn there's a surcharge for that, too, depending on what it is.

Rate 1 is for smaller events who want a lot for very little; the lower rate reflects the fact that they have to do the worrying regarding who is going to turn up instead of me. We have very good turn-out rates, so this rate generally provides value for money as the organiser generally ends up getting more than they would have had they paid the same amount of money under rate 2. But you don't know that until the day...

Rate 2 reflects the fact that some organisers like to be certain what they are going to get, and have a lot of demands. If they're going to specify what we do, they are going to pay for the privilege. And they are also going to pay for making me worry about whether the people who said they would turn up actually will. We have never yet had someone fail to show who said they would be there - our people are very, very reliable and I am unbelieveably grateful for it - but this doesn't stop me worrying about it.

Regarding transport, we too have a lot of kit, but we do own our own vans (a Merc Sprinter and a Leyland Pilot).