TheBash, formerly GigMasters, connects entertainers — comedians, speakers, bands, etc — and service providers, such as event planners and photographers, with customers
Expected pay: You set it
Commissions & fees: $99-$199 annually, plus 5% commission on bookings
Requirements: A valid credit card
TheBash, formerly known as GigMasters, advertises your entertainment-related service — band, DJ, comedy act, photography services, etc. — to people who need it. To register, however, you must pay for an annual subscription.
How it works
The site allows vendors, ranging from bands and DJs to bartenders and photographers, to create a profile on the site. This profile will be listed under your service to local or regional consumers looking for that service.
There’s no guarantee that your service will get booked but site says vendors get an average of 23 leads a month.
However, to list, you must pay for an annual membership.
There are two membership options. The “basic membership” — $99 annually — which connects you with jobs that are within 100 miles of you; and a “pro” membership — $199 annually — that connects you with jobs within 500 miles of your location.
You’re able to list up to 4 different services with the basic membership and up to 6 services with the pro membership.
Vendors also pay a 5% commission on bookings.
The Bash says you can cancel within 30 days and get your money back. However, if you don’t cancel within that time and request your money back, your fees become non refundable.
And the site with automatically renew your subscription every year.
Are the memberships worth the cost? That’s hard to answer for a couple of reasons. The first is that TheBash is the renamed version of GigMasters. GigMasters was widely panned for charging high fees (about twice what TheBash now charges) and for providing few valid leads.
Since then, TheBash has been purchased by TheKnot/WeddingWire, which may bring in more customers.
However, when you look for vendor reviews of TheBash, you get reviews of the parent company — TheKnot. And TheKnot and WeddingWire reviews filed with the Better Business Bureau are absolutely miserable. Vendors complain that they’re charged thousands of dollars for spam and are locked into impossible-to-cancel year-long contracts.
There are a handful of reviews of TheBash alone and those are a mixed bag. (See what their users say from SiteJabber — and SideHusl readers — below. We’ve also retained the reviews for GigMasters, since they may still provide helpful information.)
But, the real question is this: Does this site generate enough bookings to make paying the annual fee worthwhile? For that, we looked at the site’s “Rising Star Awards.” These awards were given to the sites that got the most bookings in their category during 2022.
The top A Cappella group had received 5 verified bookings since 2016.
The top comedian had received 93 verified bookings and has been a member since 2017.
Dance Band winner, “Those Guys,” had 266 verified bookings and have been members since 2011.
Winning DJ had 80 verified bookings since 2018.
The top bartending site had 188 bookings since 2021.
So, our view is that this site could bring in sufficient business to make the fees worthwhile. But the complaints about the parent company make us cautious. So, if you sign up, be careful about the auto renewals and please let us know how well this site serves you.
As mentioned above, we think this site might be worth a try to advertise your band, DJ or bartending service. However, you may also want to register with StageRush, a relatively new site aimed at helping you book your band. StageRush doesn’t charge to list. It simply imposes a commission on bookings.
If you’re a musician looking for extra work and you’re willing to teach, check out LessonFace, a great site for online music tutoring.
What their users say (from SiteJabber)
It took a while to start getting bookings on the site, but once it starts to work I got more than enough to pay for the advertising fee. You have really patient, don’t expect immediate results. It’s actually pretty cheap. If you get into the top ranking you will start getting leads.
When COVID19 hit, all of our jobs cancelled. Since large assemblies of people were banned at the local/state/federal levels, we were not getting any new leads or bookings. We asked TheBash-Gigmasters to “share the burden” and suspend our account for a couple of months, and let us reinstate with the same account credit later. They refused, saying “you can suspend your account, but we’ll continue to debit your annual membership”. In other words, THEY CONTINUE TO MAKE PROFIT FROM VENDORS DURING THE COVID19 crisis. (By the way, their competitor GigSalad offers this “suspension” feature with no hassle to the vendor.)
(from Pissed Consumer):
I joined Gigmasters in November 27th 2016, but realized that it was a mistake to sign up and deactivated account. I called and tried to reach someone, which did not work then went online and deactivated account. 11/27/2017 – got a charge again from Gigmasters for renewal. I called and sent email asking to cancel my account and refund my money. They did not cancel my account and now I received another charge. It’s not easy to get rid off a blood sucker like Gigmasters. I was charged more than $1100 and not a single benefit or call.
My DUO was on there for a year and NOTHING. 15 years together and we have opened for National Acts like The Drifters, The Duprees, The Skyliners, Danny & The Juniors, Bobby Rydell and NOTHING! I probably answered 50 gigs asap with a REASONABLE price and NOT ONE GIG! Like gigsalad, I believe that some of these gigs are PHONY, MADE UP to make you think there’s something on the other end.
We signed up with Gigmasters for transportation leads (i.e. party buses and shuttle buses). Customer is supposed to pay a deposit upon booking. However, customers click on booking in the Gigmasters website and never pay the deposit. Gigmasters requires a 5% booking fee for the lead (on top of the $300 yearly fee ). The big problem is that Gigmasters immediately freezes our account for non-payment of the booking fee for a booking that was never confirmed. For weeks, our account is on hold. We cannot reply to leads until this issue resolved. We dealt with this problem at least 5 times. This is a horrible site to advertise on. We never received any bookings from their site due to customers that press book and never followup paying a deposit.
I signed up for Gigmasters last year with hopes of getting bookings. Came close a few times but nothing panned out. I am in LA so the clients get inundated with bands wanting the gig. With 92 referrals and not one booking just makes me believe this isn’t a good match for me. I had no idea they were auto renewing me. When it came up on my bill they refused to give me a refund. It is like they hold you hostage. You are much better off getting your own gigs. They make it virtually impossible to cancel.