Like any profession, Mariachi Alegre do Tucson is a business. We have bills to pay and families to feed, just like anyone else. This is why haggling can be damaging to our business. This is not to say we overcharge or anything, we just know what our time and quality is worth. Our rates for your entertainment are not extreme and we promise we are not trying to rip you off. Just remember, if you want quality you have to pay for it.
People often ask questions like “Why can’t you play for free?” Or “Are you sure you can’t do it for $40 less?” Our rates have increased, but that is partly due to inflation. Thirty years ago we charged a base rate of $160, but with the inflation of the dollar as well as the prices for gas, food, materials, instruments, and more, we had no choice but to raise our prices a little. For a one hour performance our mariachi are making $50 per member. This is includes the half-hour or more for preparation (not counting rehearsal of our repertoire and maintaining instruments, clothing, etc) and at least half an hour for travel. This is why we charge extra for out of town gigs to account for the extra travel time and cost. If you are in town, we usually do not charge for travel, so the gas and travel time are coming out of our wallets.
In the beginning we donated our time to a Catholic Church for 10 years, free of charge. This helped us gain a reputation for our quality and kindness. Periodically we will play certain functions (like carnivals, church fiestas, and civic functions) for more exposure and publicity, but with our experience it only makes sense for us to take a step back to let new groups have their chance to gain some notoriety performing for little to no money. Asking anyone to perform a service free (especially when it’s their career) can be harmful. Would you ask a doctor to perform a surgery for free? Would you do your job for free regularly? Would you ask your grocery clerk for a free cart of groceries—and mean it? Think about that the next time you try to haggle for free entertainment.
What makes us different from juvenile groups? Why are we worth the payment we are asking? Here’s why!
- Experience: Our extensive repertoire coupled with our professional quality means you are always getting your money’s worth. Our performers can read a crowd and are willing to take photos, participate closely with guest, and know when to stand-off.
- Cheaper isn’t always better: If you are paying less for a Mariachi group, they may take advantage of that and take extra breaks, stop in the middle of the agreed upon performance time to tune, or try to slack off and eat the food and drink the beverages for your guests (regardless of previous instructions). The mentality for this thinking is “I’m not getting paid what I’m worth, so I’ll do what I think is worth the pay.”
- Punctuality: For 40 years we have taken pride in our quality as well as punctuality. When the entertainment is late the entire party suffers! If we aren’t early, we’re late!
- Time Killing: This concept can ruin a party. We know how to make sure the client gets their money’s worth from us and our entire performance is meaningful and heartfelt. We aim to please.
- Good business practices: We make a concerted effort to answer all calls, voice mails, and messages regarding bookings. We follow-up on inquiries for potential business, and we will contact clients to offer our thanks and gratitude for being hired. We understand that a little bit goes a long way and we want you to feel like friends and family. We are professional and respectful to everyone.
After reading this, I’m sure you are a little more interested in hiring us. Contact George Mejarano for more information, booking inquiries, or to let us know a performance was not to your expectations. We will always try to make it right so you leave satisfied with our services. Our Mariachi perform for various events, including: birthdays, anniversaries, quinceneras, serenatas, weddings, and funerals. Great entertainment comes at a price, but don’t fall victim of paying the price of a terrible performance!