I grappled with all this years ago when I was gigging often. The bigger support gigs paid, the gigs I put on myself usually broke even or paid a few bob, including support acts, but most shows were not financially beneficial. To echo a poster above, it's a hobby and like other hobbies, you usually have to pay for it in some way.
Thats pretty much my philosophy. A lot of us here were in the music as physical media was dying out, which was the traditional revenue source to cover touring. While that has some resurgence, the model of 'not really paying bands unless you have to' never evolved in line with that. Now we live in world where young people are in way more precarious employment scenarios than ever and getting the capital to do anything musically is really really tough. I'd love to hear what the people from BIMM and saying about this in class recently. Its an odd time and not a great one for ensemble based music. Anywhooo - just keep saying it untill it becomes normal.