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SETTING YOUR LIVE FEE

How much should you charge for your live show?

And how do you work out that amount for each different live opportunity?

 

We all have this issue. Whether we’re artists starting out ... or if we’re coming around the block again.

 

Not being able to do it fast and accurately for each different show wastes precious time, leads to missed live opportunities and stops you from building and establishing the value of your live show.

 

Let’s dive in deep, break it down and then build it up with the right questions to ask....until we Connect The Dots near the end of the email.

 
WHO IS BUYING YOUR SHOW?


Focusing our attention on Bookers and Promoters of venue nights and festival bills. They will mostly be basing your fee on how many tickets you can help them to sell for their event.

 

Harsh but true.

 

Only very rarely will there be a Booker or Promoter that loves your act so much that they will pay more than what you can bring them.
 
WHO IS SELLING YOUR SHOW?


Who on your team is responsible for selling your show? This is all about the mindset of Seeking Opportunities and the practice of Booking Shows.


Got an Agent? They should know your value in the territory but don’t bet on it. Ask them how they value it. Is it you booking? It’s ok if it is… most of us start that way.

 

Whoever is responsible for finding new opportunities and booking shows needs to know what and who they’re dealing with:

 

- What’s the value of the show in the territory?
- How important is it for you to play this show?

- What other benefits are there on top of a fee?

 

WHAT QUESTIONS TO ASK BEFORE YOU SET YOU WORK OUT YOUR FEE?


- What’s the capacity of the event?... (how many tickets are on sale?)
- How much are they charging for tickets?
- Who else is on the bill?
- Where are you on the bill? Headliner, 1st support, 2nd support, etc.
- Who is responsible for marketing?
- Will the provide backline gear or do you need to bring all your own?
- If it’s out of town, who will pay for logistics; transport, accommodation, etc.?

 

HOW MANY TICKETS CAN YOU SELL IN THAT TERRITORY?

 

This is the main question because it’s what determines the financial value of your show In the territory.


When you do have an audience that will buy tickets to your show in the territory of the venue or festival, you know how much you can earn if you promote your own night. So if a promoter or booker wants a piece of that, they have to pay you more than what you can earn on your own, to attract you. Unless they have a killer event that you really want to be a part of… which might make you take a lower fee.

 

When you don’t know how many tickets you can sell then you have no real and tangible way of setting your fee in the territory of the venue or the festival. And so you have to ask the promoter or booker... or other artists... what their going rate is for new acts in the territory.

 

Its best to establish your ticket selling capability as soon as you can … by putting on your own shows and selling tickets, first in your home town, then in other towns. It’s almost always better for you to have your audience coming to see your show as the main act of the night or event, rather than them seeing you where you’re a support act or down on a festival bill.

 

But that’s not always possible with all the costs and risk involved in being your own promoter. So often it's best to start out or to enter a new territory with less risk by getting in front of someone else’s audience. But then it’s their audience.

 

The best scenario we as artists look for in touring Outside of our home towns is to find local promoters who are totally into it, professional and hard working, who are willing to build together with us over the years. Even better when you find someone who will run an open book with you, where you risk together and are rewarded together. Building these long term relationships is key.

 
HOW TO CONNECT THE DOTS AND VALUE YOUR SHOW?


The capacity of the event multiplied by the ticket cost is how much the event is earning... the Gross.

 

Where you are on the bill determines how much of the total gross you can get. Headliners get almost all of it…and down it goes from there.


Your fee can go up if you’re investing in promotion, bringing your own gear and paying for all your logistics.

 

At this point you have to be doing your Show Budget.

 

Then you’ll know what your profit and loss is on the show and you can make an informed decision based on all other factors too.... whether or not you want to take the show.

 

Knowing your break even point (where loss becomes profit) makes it easy to give that figure as a last negotiating play to the booker / promoter.

 
WHAT TO DO WITH DEALS THAT ARE “TAKE IT OR LEAVE IT”?


It can get brutal out there … dog eat dog.. with promoters and managers of lead acts leaving little to nothing on the table for acts lower on the bill. If you do get a “take it or leave it” offer where you know you’ll lose money on the show and/or none of you will get paid, ask yourself these questions:


- What other benefits are there to doing this gig?
- Will they lead to a bigger profile and higher fees?
- Are there other shows you can make work around this one to make it worthwhile?


SHOULD I PAY TO PLAY?


It get’s worse if you don’t already know. Some promoters and bookers will demand that you “pay to play“ where you have to guarantee the sale of tickets or pay up if they don’t sell. Do whatever you can to avoid those situations. How?:

 

- Don’t do the show
- Find other ways of getting into that territory… another promoter, another venue, a house concert, busking.

 

Bottom line - don’t take away their risk and make it your own. Rather just have your own risk and put on a show yourself… if you can.
 

WHAT ABOUT AN AGENT?

 

Finding the right agent can really help to build the value of your live show faster and strategically. But the wrong agent will slow you down even more. The power of your act is in your hands... the artist and core team. Only trust someone else with some of that power when you’re sure that they will add more power to your overall music mission.

How much should you charge for your live show?

And how do you work out that amount for each different live opportunity?

We all have this issue. Whether we’re artists starting out ... or if we’re coming around the block again.

Not being able to do it fast and accurately for each different show wastes precious time, leads to missed live opportunities and stops you from building and establishing the value of your live show.

Let’s dive in deep, break it down and then build it up with the right questions to ask....until we Connect The Dots near the end of the email.

 
WHO IS BUYING YOUR SHOW?


Focusing our attention on Bookers and Promoters of venue nights and festival bills. They will mostly be basing your fee on how many tickets you can help them to sell for their event.

Harsh but true.

Only very rarely will there be a Booker or Promoter that loves your act so much that they will pay more than what you can bring them.
 
WHO IS SELLING YOUR SHOW?


Who on your team is responsible for selling your show? This is all about the mindset of Seeking Opportunities and the practice of Booking Shows.


Got an Agent? They should know your value in the territory but don’t bet on it. Ask them how they value it. Is it you booking? It’s ok if it is… most of us start that way.

Whoever is responsible for finding new opportunities and booking shows needs to know what and who they’re dealing with:

- What’s the value of the show in the territory?
- How important is it for you to play this show?

- What other benefits are there on top of a fee?

WHAT QUESTIONS TO ASK BEFORE YOU SET YOU WORK OUT YOUR FEE?


- What’s the capacity of the event?... (how many tickets are on sale?)
- How much are they charging for tickets?
- Who else is on the bill?
- Where are you on the bill? Headliner, 1st support, 2nd support, etc.
- Who is responsible for marketing?
- Will the provide backline gear or do you need to bring all your own?
- If it’s out of town, who will pay for logistics; transport, accommodation, etc.?

HOW MANY TICKETS CAN YOU SELL IN THAT TERRITORY?

This is the main question because it’s what determines the financial value of your show In the territory.


When you do have an audience that will buy tickets to your show in the territory of the venue or festival, you know how much you can earn if you promote your own night. So if a promoter or booker wants a piece of that, they have to pay you more than what you can earn on your own, to attract you. Unless they have a killer event that you really want to be a part of… which might make you take a lower fee.

When you don’t know how many tickets you can sell then you have no real and tangible way of setting your fee in the territory of the venue or the festival. And so you have to ask the promoter or booker... or other artists... what their going rate is for new acts in the territory.

Its best to establish your ticket selling capability as soon as you can … by putting on your own shows and selling tickets, first in your home town, then in other towns. It’s almost always better for you to have your audience coming to see your show as the main act of the night or event, rather than them seeing you where you’re a support act or down on a festival bill.

But that’s not always possible with all the costs and risk involved in being your own promoter. So often it's best to start out or to enter a new territory with less risk by getting in front of someone else’s audience. But then it’s their audience.

The best scenario we as artists look for in touring Outside of our home towns is to find local promoters who are totally into it, professional and hard working, who are willing to build together with us over the years. Even better when you find someone who will run an open book with you, where you risk together and are rewarded together. Building these long term relationships is key.

 
HOW TO CONNECT THE DOTS AND VALUE YOUR SHOW?


The capacity of the event multiplied by the ticket cost is how much the event is earning... the Gross.

Where you are on the bill determines how much of the total gross you can get. Headliners get almost all of it…and down it goes from there.


Your fee can go up if you’re investing in promotion, bringing your own gear and paying for all your logistics.

At this point you have to be doing your Show Budget.

Then you’ll know what your profit and loss is on the show and you can make an informed decision based on all other factors too.... whether or not you want to take the show.

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