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Windtalker

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My wife and I plan on living full time in a Class A motor home beginning in about 3 years. I currently give Native American flute performances 1-2 times a week to supplement our income. These concerts are not only music. As a backdrop to the music, I show my wife's photos from our travels/adventures on a large screen.

I am considering continuing these performances once we are in our RV and could use some information/advice as to how many RV parks around the U.S. regularly provide musical entertainment at their parks for their guests?

Is there a database somewhere that lists all the RV parks in the country that provide musical entertainment, and that has contact information so I can contact those responsible for booking the entertainment?

My wife and I also give 1-hour multimedia presentations about some of our adventures, such as thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail. We would also like to find RV parks that would be interested in having us provide this as entertainment for it's park guests.

Any advice or insight you can provide would be greatly appreciated.

"Windtalker & Mom"

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I have not heard of any sort of data base or listing on the internet either, but you might want to contact some of the professional entertainment organizations to see what they have available. I'd suspect that if such exists it is probably only available to members of the providing organization. In our travels, I can only once recall attending a performance such as you offer and that was in Ft. Stephens State Park, in Oregon. I visited with the folks involved and they were members of the park's volunteer staff (as we were) and the amphitheater show was part of what they were doing for their RV site.

 

The biggest challenge that I would see for your idea is locating what parks and campgrounds might be interested in your appearance. If it were me, I would look mostly to the RV parks that provide longer term or "destination" services such as your typical snowbird parks. The other suggestion is to seek advice from others who travel while entertaining. I know there are at least some members of the forums who have done some of this, so hopefully they will see your thread and offer some advice. :)

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I'm a semi-pro musician that paid my living expenses by gigging "full time" during my college days - and have been gigging 45-60 nights a year since then - doing paid performances in bars, summer concert in the park series, and private events such as weddings, school reunions, etc. If there's anything I've learned about the market these days - it is that these days, music has to be a labor of love and that any plan to make a true profit from it is unlikely to bear much fruit. ...and that's if you're performing material that is highly marketable.

 

The # of available gigs has dwindled for a wide variety of reasons - impacted by changing attitudes (and enforcement!) associated with drinking and driving, musical tastes of the younger crowds that are the largest consumers of "live entertainment" as well as the sheer economics associated with delivering live entertainment (ASCAP Fees paid by venue operators, increased insurance premiums for venues that offer life entertainment, trade offs associated with dedicating floor space for a stage area - vs using it for revenue generating purposes like additional client seating, etc.).

 

Even good bands and musicians are constantly being lowballed in terms of fees. I can't tell you how many times I've been asked to play "for exposure".

 

If you don't already know where there's a market for your musical talents - it's a long shot at best that you're going to stumble onto one or create one out of thin air.

 

My advice to anybody looking at music as a potential revenue source would be - play because you love it, pocket the few dollars that may come your way ... but don't make plans that involve making and real money from performance revenues.

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Maybe look at a youtube channel to make some money from and to increase your exposure? Telling a park manager to look at some of your videos with a lot of visitors in the hit counter is going to give them a lot more incentive to let you play that just talking with them.

 

Getting paid is a possibility if you can find the right parks but a lot more are open to a "pass the hat" type arrangement that doesn't cost them.

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At what type of venue do you currently perform? Could you continue with that same type venue while RVing?

 

As to your question about how many parks have musical entertainment, I don't have a number, but I can tell you a lot of the destination parks have an activies program that includes musical entertainment. Some of the entertainers are compensated with an RV site and utilities, some receive pay per gig, and other work for a pass-the-hat collection during the event.

 

I don't know of a data base of campgrounds with music. However, if you look at a general campground directory, it should have information about planned activities.

 

State parks, schools, and museums may be interested in your performances, for educational programs. They may have funds for payment. It is likely they could, at the very least, provide you with an overnight parking site. And, if you have CDs or DVDs of your shows, they may allow you to sell them after your presentation.

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My wife is the activities director for a park near Casa Grande, AZ. suggested this website. http://www.valsd.org/home.html She and a few of the gals in her activity committee have gone to valsd to watch entertainers and decide on whom to get at our park for the next season. She has no idea how much it would cost you. Otherwise most just send out a demo disc or tape with a flyer.

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