The Cost of Performing at a Comic Book Festival in Las Vegas

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The reason I wasn’t in my apartment on Halloween was because I spent the weekend as a guest at the Vegas Valley Comic Book Festival. The festival took place in a library, which made it extra wonderful. It was also a library with a fully-functioning stage in the middle, which was a nice change from my usual experience of performing in hotel conference rooms.

I earned $710 for one day of performing and selling merch at the festival, which, you know, makes independent musicianry look like a sustainable career. But let’s take a look at my expenses and see if I made any profit:

$5.60: September 11 Security Fee, paid out of pocket, for the Southwest SEA-LAS flight leg I booked on points

$243.10: Southwest LAS-SEA flight I did not book on points

$4.99: Uber to metro stop (I can take the metro to the airport, but it was raining and I had a lot of bags, so I took an Uber to the metro)

$13.32: Pallino, lunch at Seatac airport before flying out (I didn’t eat lunch at home because I would have had to eat lunch at 9:30 a.m.)

$8.00: Internet on outbound Southwest flight (wrote one piece)

$30.60: Taxi, airport to Bally’s Las Vegas

$0.00: Bally’s (the convention put me up at Bally’s for free, which was the best thing ever)

$43.23: The Buffet at The Bellagio (and when did Las Vegas buffets get so expensive?)

$0.00: I was going to tip The Buffet, but they told me not to

$3.50: Bottle of water (sigh)

$18.24: Taxi from Bally’s to the convention venue

$0.00: Got a ride from a fellow convention guest back to Bally’s

$0.00: Apparently if you ask for things in Bally’s, you have a good chance of getting them for free. I got free in-room internet. One of the other convention musicians got free tickets to the High Roller, a 550-foot Ferris wheel ride. So we went. It was amazing.

$21.08: Yard House, one plastic cup of beer and one plastic cup of wine (Las Vegas is one of the few places where you can drink while walking outside—which they encourage—but this is really much less exciting than it sounds, and I spilled most of my wine on myself while walking)

$65.24: Public House, dinner—I told my friend, when we were walking in, “you know this is going to cost $70 each, right?” But that seems to be the case in all Vegas restaurants, because I was totally comparing prices online before we went. And the sad thing is that the food was only okay.

$10.00: Housekeeping tip (always tip your housekeepers)

$14.30: Taxi, Bally’s to airport (why was it so much cheaper this time?)

$10.57: Breakfast at Vegas airport

$8.00: Internet on return Southwest flight (wrote two pieces)

$4.92: Sbarro, lunch at Seatac airport (if I had waited to have lunch until I got home, I would have eaten lunch at 5 p.m.)

$10.00: Taxi from metro to home (looks like Uber is cheaper, at least on this short trip)

Total Expenses: $514.69

Net Profit (before taxes): $195.31

YAY! I came out ahead!

Photo credit: Paul Gorman

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