In what feels like lifetimes ago, I launched the Gig After Gas Online Calculator in 2008 (shout out to Jason Heath for his help then). The tool was a response to rising costs of gas prices following the housing meltdown.
In hindsight it was super simple but at the time, required a good bit of code to work reliably. A musician could enter their per-service pay, gas mileage, price per gallon, and a field for additional miscellaneous expenses.
It was wildly popular at the time, but it eventually became obsolete. Remember, the iPhone was released in 2007 so the notion of mobile devices and apps to make these things easier to track wasn’t even an idea.
Even though the code is much easier to write these days, I have far less time than I did in 2008 but I have no doubt these issues are very much on the minds of traveling orchestra musicians. Here’s how much gas price increases cut into a per-service musician’s income 14 years ago:
In order to put some concrete figures on just how much impact the increase in gas prices have on gross pay, I created the Gig After Gas Online Calculator. Using figures from the WCO’s current master agreement and average gas prices, I used the Super Deluxe version of the calculator to calculate players traveling as far as Jelen pay as much as 24 percent of their gross compensation toward gas, tolls, and parking expenses.