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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,

I am a professional Swing/Rat Pack singer looking to move to Spain. I'm bored with singing at English weddings (I've done over 500) and fancy more cabaret type work.

My act is pretty classy and I am very good at what I do (just for clarification, not to brag) I'm not your average pub singer.

My wife and I have money to buy a property outright and we're wondering how easy or difficult would it be for me to find enough work to live and pay the bills etc.

I can see that things are very difficult over there and that there is a lot of unemployment, but are tourist numbers dwindling too? Do hotels and other entertainment venues still operate and provide entertainment?

Are there opportunities for someone like me to get work? I don't speak Spanish yet (we intend to learn of course) but my act doesn't need a lot of Spanish if I'm performing to internationals or Brits.

We are considering Costa Blanca (Javea, Calpe or Torrevieja), Almeria (Mojacar, Vera), Costa Del Sol. I worry about crime levels I hear about in the Costa Del Sol. Are they mirrored further north? I mean is it the same level everywhere?

If anyone can suggest the best areas (if there are any) from their experience, that would be great.

We are travelling out in two weeks time (24/April/2012) to view properties in the first two areas. This will be our second trip this year. I'm going to check out the work situation very keenly on this trip too.

We can see that property prices have dropped greatly, and are likely to continue a little further at least. With this in mind, if we buy now, I would be negotiating very aggressively, to take that further drop into account. I know this would seem harsh to those who are having to sell but, if we make the move, we'd be foolish to knowlingly and blindly walk into a future negative equity situation.

I feel that, if we can buy a property at the right price and I can get enough work to make a decent living, that it's worth a shot.

Has Spanish life changed for all British Expats? Are any Expats, who are not struggling financially, still enjoying life in Spain and glad they made the move?

I'm expecting life to be different. That's one of the reasons for moving. But is it so unbearable? Some of you must still love it. If you do, what's the secret? Is it simply being financially secure? Are the unfortunate negatives such as potholes, irregular rubbish collection, beggars, crime levels etc., enough to make you want to go back to the UK?

This a brilliant forum, by the way. It's very informative and is making me pay a great deal of attention to more than simply following the sun.

Thank you.
 

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Hello,

I am a professional Swing/Rat Pack singer looking to move to Spain. I'm bored with singing at English weddings (I've done over 500) and fancy more cabaret type work.

My act is pretty classy and I am very good at what I do (just for clarification, not to brag) I'm not your average pub singer.

My wife and I have money to buy a property outright and we're wondering how easy or difficult would it be for me to find enough work to live and pay the bills etc.

I can see that things are very difficult over there and that there is a lot of unemployment, but are tourist numbers dwindling too? Do hotels and other entertainment venues still operate and provide entertainment?

Are there opportunities for someone like me to get work? I don't speak Spanish yet (we intend to learn of course) but my act doesn't need a lot of Spanish if I'm performing to internationals or Brits.

We are considering Costa Blanca (Javea, Calpe or Torrevieja), Almeria (Mojacar, Vera), Costa Del Sol. I worry about crime levels I hear about in the Costa Del Sol. Are they mirrored further north? I mean is it the same level everywhere?

If anyone can suggest the best areas (if there are any) from their experience, that would be great.

We are travelling out in two weeks time (24/April/2012) to view properties in the first two areas. This will be our second trip this year. I'm going to check out the work situation very keenly on this trip too.

We can see that property prices have dropped greatly, and are likely to continue a little further at least. With this in mind, if we buy now, I would be negotiating very aggressively, to take that further drop into account. I know this would seem harsh to those who are having to sell but, if we make the move, we'd be foolish to knowlingly and blindly walk into a future negative equity situation.

I feel that, if we can buy a property at the right price and I can get enough work to make a decent living, that it's worth a shot.

Has Spanish life changed for all British Expats? Are any Expats, who are not struggling financially, still enjoying life in Spain and glad they made the move?

I'm expecting life to be different. That's one of the reasons for moving. But is it so unbearable? Some of you must still love it. If you do, what's the secret? Is it simply being financially secure? Are the unfortunate negatives such as potholes, irregular rubbish collection, beggars, crime levels etc., enough to make you want to go back to the UK?

This a brilliant forum, by the way. It's very informative and is making me pay a great deal of attention to more than simply following the sun.

Thank you.
A few years ago you could probably walk into any bar or music venue and pull off a gig but the truth now is that its so very hard (I know people in your business). There are tons of entertainers with no work and ttons of bars who need entertainers but have no money - lots of supply and no demand = low pay!

The truth is that there are gigs going if you go to some of the busier areas like Benidown, Torevieja but its going to be so much harder to get the work - excellent performers working for peanuts, and many bars taking on the most awful acts jsut because they are cheap.

There are still expats here who live a good life but far less , far far less!

My advise would be to come over, spend a few weeks going round venues, talking with the owners, and seeing what you can get. That's the only way to know if it will work for yoU! Good luck!
 

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Hi there, and welcome!

Please don't be put off the CDS by reports of crime. It is no less safe to live there than in other regions you mention (the Marbella mafiosi keep themselves to themselves ... )Wherever there are wealthy-looking foreigners there will be opportunistic crime, but just use your commonsense and you'll be fine.

As for getting work as an entertainer, I guess if you are good (and have a good agent) you might find something in a holiday resort, but it is likely to be poorly paid and seasonal. The financial situation has hit everyone, and people tend to stay at home more.
I'm expecting life to be different. That's one of the reasons for moving. But is it so unbearable? Some of you must still love it. If you do, what's the secret? Is it simply being financially secure? Are the unfortunate negatives such as potholes, irregular rubbish collection, beggars, crime levels etc., enough to make you want to go back to the UK?
The negatives you mention are all found in the UK! I still love it here because of the scenery, the climate, the food, the language, the naturaleza but above all the people. But I don't live in an expat area, so I can't comment on life there.

We are financially secure because we own our house outright and have a small pension so don't need to work. The recent huge price rises for petrol and electricity are scary, but I know we can live on very little here, if necessary. I wouldn't contemplate returning to the UK.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you Steve.

I guess I won't need to earn as much as I do to survive in the UK, as I won't have a mortgage but I would need to earn something to pay for everything else. I'm pretty sure I'd be able to get work but I wouldn't be happy simply doing the "fish and chip" circuit.

I've heard that there are some awful acts out there. I've seen a few too.

You're right about coming out to knock on doors etc. That's what I plan to do.

Another concern of mine is: would my wife be happy living there? We would need to buy a villa so that we have a proper family home for us to rattle around in. An apartment, although cheaper, simply wouldn't do long term. She doesn't speak Spanish either and I wouldn't want her to have to go out to work. We'd go with the mindset that I would get enough work to support us because there is no other work available anyway.

Thanks again.

Clive
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hi there, and welcome!

Please don't be put off the CDS by reports of crime. It is no less safe to live there than in other regions you mention (the Marbella mafiosi keep themselves to themselves ... )Wherever there are wealthy-looking foreigners there will be opportunistic crime, but just use your commonsense and you'll be fine.

As for getting work as an entertainer, I guess if you are good (and have a good agent) you might find something in a holiday resort, but it is likely to be poorly paid and seasonal. The financial situation has hit everyone, and people tend to stay at home more.


The negatives you mention are all found in the UK! I still love it here because of the scenery, the climate, the food, the language, the naturaleza but above all the people. But I don't live in an expat area, so I can't comment on life there.

We are financially secure because we own our house outright and have a small pension so don't need to work. The recent huge price rises for petrol and electricity are scary, but I know we can live on very little here, if necessary. I wouldn't contemplate returning to the UK.
Thank you for your reply.

I'm pleased that you are still enjoying life and living in Spain.

We would own our home outright but we have no pension so I would need to work. We're in our 50's so our kids are all grown up.

I guess we need to be able to calculate the difference between our likely annual outgoings and my realistic probable annual income.

Thanks again. No doubt I shall have some other thoughts and questions.

Clive
 

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Thank you Steve.

I guess I won't need to earn as much as I do to survive in the UK, as I won't have a mortgage but I would need to earn something to pay for everything else. I'm pretty sure I'd be able to get work but I wouldn't be happy simply doing the "fish and chip" circuit.

I've heard that there are some awful acts out there. I've seen a few too.

You're right about coming out to knock on doors etc. That's what I plan to do.

Another concern of mine is: would my wife be happy living there? We would need to buy a villa so that we have a proper family home for us to rattle around in. An apartment, although cheaper, simply wouldn't do long term. She doesn't speak Spanish either and I wouldn't want her to have to go out to work. We'd go with the mindset that I would get enough work to support us because there is no other work available anyway.

Thanks again.

Clive
I was at a benefit last night, for one of our local entertainers who is seriously ill

there were at least a dozen excellent singers, comedians, magicians & other types of entertainers giving their time for free last night

but that wasn't even a majority of the local entertainers - just a small percentage of them & Jávea isn't that big a place

the very best of them will get maybe 2 or 3 gigs a week in the season - but they are long established here - newbies would have to obvioulsy build up a following - & there really aren't that many venues - I know some of them get no work at all 6 months of the year & most of them - even the best - have a 'day job' labouring or similar

don't forget also that from the moment you start to work you will have to pay +/- 250€ a month self employment NI/autonomo...... before you even pay tax........ and even if you don't make that much in a month
 

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Thank you Steve.

I guess I won't need to earn as much as I do to survive in the UK, as I won't have a mortgage but I would need to earn something to pay for everything else. I'm pretty sure I'd be able to get work but I wouldn't be happy simply doing the "fish and chip" circuit.

I've heard that there are some awful acts out there. I've seen a few too.

You're right about coming out to knock on doors etc. That's what I plan to do.

Another concern of mine is: would my wife be happy living there? We would need to buy a villa so that we have a proper family home for us to rattle around in. An apartment, although cheaper, simply wouldn't do long term. She doesn't speak Spanish either and I wouldn't want her to have to go out to work. We'd go with the mindset that I would get enough work to support us because there is no other work available anyway.

Thanks again.

Clive
You would have to be autonomo which is around 250€ a month - otherwise you'd not get any healthcare. Thats would be the first thing. ~As for entertainment, I lived in Benalmadena and met a few musicians who were fighting for work - literally!. A new person on the scene wouldnt be welcome and I'd be surprised if you could earn enough to pay that autonomo. In Nerja, the musicians tend to do open mike nights in different bars every night. They tend to be folk who dont need to earn, which is just as well, cos they have to pay a euro to join in lol. There seems to be a lack of proper gigs!! I also have a friend who is an agent for the hotels on the costa del sol, I'm not sure he'd want to take on any more acts and he supplements his income by renting out PA systems.

That all said, I also know of one chap who is doing well, he's a one man singing act, he's single and has been in Spain doing this for 10 years. I believe he makes around 50€ a night. But he has the contacts, speaks spanish fluently and the knowledge of the system


Jo xxx
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thank you for your replies xabiachica and Jo.

I can see that it is going to be very difficult to find work in such competitive environment. That, in itself doesn't worry me because I have that in the UK. That's normal, although I'm not ignoring the fact that it might be tougher there. It all depends on how much I want to live in Spain and how hard I'm willing to work to make a success of it.

Yes, I am aware of the 250€ autonomo.

I do appreciate you sharing your experiences with me. It's vital information and it is certainly making me take this very seriously.
 

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Just a thought, the larger Canary Islands are experiencing somewhat of a tourist boom. Now I know this location is nearly one thousand miles away from the Costas, but we are still part of Spain, and the tourist season is year round!

Perhaps you should take a fact finding visit to the south of the larger islands, that is where most of the tourists are.

Hope this helps, good luck,

Hepa
 

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It certainly wouldn't be an easy way to earn a living, but perhaps it isn't very easy anyway.

Perhaps there would be more chance of success away from the Costas because your product isn't restricted to the UK immigrant market, is it?

Oh, and the demos should be making their way to agents and possible venues now!
 

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Unfortunately, the amount of effort one is prepared to put into finding work is of little account when you are competing with very many others in the same situation who are also puttinjg in a lot of effort...:)

Like many contented people here, we took early retirement and don't need to find work. We are not considering a return to the UK. However....I read in a report in the FT recently that one-third of British immigrants have returned to the UK, presumably either because of poor employment prospects or, if retired, because their pensions/investments were no longer sufficient to enable them to live a care-free life.

Property prices have indeed dropped but an Open Europe report recently suggested a further fall of around 35% was likely in the next few years.

We live in a fairly large villa with pool in a quiet seaside village between Marbella and Estepona.
There are two of us and a large dog and we live a comfortable but fairly modest lifestyle. For our utilities alone we need at least 3 - 400 euros a month. Added to that are the usual insurances, car tax, repairs, health care -we are registered with the excellent regional health service but my partner prefers private provision - fuel for your car, the usual replacement of domestic objects: everything you had to do in the UK, in short.

Clothes, dining out, trips and holidays...and that's before you eat!

The cost of all of the above will vary depending on your tastes and what you have been used to in the UK but I would estimate you would need an assured income of at least 1500 euros a month, depending on the amount of capital and any income derived from it you may have at your disposal.

I cannot see that kind of income at this time resulting from your line of work.

As for the other factors you mention: Spain is a developed country with the fourth largest economy in the EU and the ten or twelve largest in the world, depending on the source. It has far superior refuse collection than the UK, a functioning and efficient health service, better infrastructure in some respects than other EU states and a crime rate which, whilst no worse than in some parts of the UK, because of high unemployment is a factor to be taken into account in some areas.

If you have the means to support a comfortable life style, Spain is a wonderful place to live. The economic situation is approaching crisis point and it's hard to predict an improvement for many years to come. So...if you need to work to pay your bills, I wouldn't advise a move at this time.

But I'm no expert...it's just my opinion and I have frequently been accused of being uber-cautious and prudent.:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thank you for suggesting the Canaries Hepa. I've never been there but I have heard that tourism is on the increase there.

I shall have a serious think about it and look into it.

With regards to working away from the Costas "Pesky Wesky", I guess I would be making an assumption (possibly incorrectly) that that is where the bulk of my work would come from. I have heard that there are corporate events and other work elsewhere, just like in the UK and other countries of course. Again, I shall look into that.

A good starting point would be to source contact details for relevant agents.

Can anyone help me with names/details of entertainment agencies?
 

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We were working as a duo 12 years ago in the southern CDS - and to be honest I'm glad we're not trying to do it now.

One point I should add to the others (which I agree with) they tend to expect blood here. Venues are open until the small hours and you will often expected to entertain for up to four hours.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
There's no doubt about it. The income to support oneself sufficiently is paramount. As with every country of course, but more so if it's not your native country i.e. the UK

If I create a situation that matches yours "mrypg9" that would do. That's something to aim at.

Thank you jimenato. I'm aware of the nightly blood donation required. That doesn't appeal, I must admit so I shall be checking out the corporate scene too and also see if there is more upmarket work, away from the costas, as suggested.
 

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With regards to working away from the Costas "Pesky Wesky", I guess I would be making an assumption (possibly incorrectly) that that is where the bulk of my work would come from. I have heard that there are corporate events and other work elsewhere, just like in the UK and other countries of course. Again, I shall look into that.
Yes and no.
If it's a saturated market with the UK immigrant market shrinking you may be better off thinking about a different audience to capture - or a different country...
 

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Thank you for suggesting the Canaries Hepa. I've never been there but I have heard that tourism is on the increase there.

I shall have a serious think about it and look into it.

With regards to working away from the Costas "Pesky Wesky", I guess I would be making an assumption (possibly incorrectly) that that is where the bulk of my work would come from. I have heard that there are corporate events and other work elsewhere, just like in the UK and other countries of course. Again, I shall look into that.

A good starting point would be to source contact details for relevant agents.

Can anyone help me with names/details of entertainment agencies?
Marbella Entertainments Spain Fuengirola Malaga Benalmadena Estepona AV PA Lighting Hire

Jo xxx
 

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Ha Ha!! That tells a few stories about the entertainment scene around here. The top featured act is one called "Three's a Crowd" the singing waiters.

That is the fourth act I've known with that same name in the last ten years. We were the third one and we still use it when we do the odd gig. I think I'll sue:mad:
Wait until they're rich and famous, then sue lol!!!

Jo xxx
 

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Hold on Clive, the greatest attrition rate in Spain is amongst Entertainers. I would go so far as to say that if Elvis Presley and Frank Sinatra rose from the dead and their double act put together as of each when in his prime, they would find it difficult to survive in Spain. Good Entertainers are dime-a-dozen in Spain. I am even fearful of those I know waiting to be "discovered overnight" after decades of trying.

You seem to have a good act and an excellent living in the UK. Cherish it, love it, stroke it, enjoy it . . . it could (and probably would) all come tumbling down in Spain.
 
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