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Booking Major Acts FAQ

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This FAQ has been written in an effort to provide you with the basic qualifications you will need to secure an “A” list artist.

What do I need to have in place before I make contact with an agent for the acquisition of an artist?

1) Money

You need to have at least 50% of your total production budget in the bank prior to making any offers.

How much do I have to pay the artist up front?

At the point a contract is issued by the artist or agent, you will need to send a full 50% deposit at the time you send the contract back after you have signed it. This is usually within 2 weeks of the offer being made.

Can I pay 10% now and more later as we sell tickets?

Absolutely not! Setting the fact aside you need the 50% up front, by even asking this question, you are telling the agent you are not in a financial position to promote a concert.

When do I have to pay the balance of the artist fee?

Unless you have a “Door Deal” where the artist manager has control over the box office, the balance of the artist fee will be required when the tour manager gets off the bus.

What if our pre sales were slow and we know we will have the money after the show from walk up ticket sales?

This is not the artist’s problem. If the balance in not paid to the artist in cash or certified funds when they arrive on the day of the concert, they will get back on the bus and leave. Secondly, they get to keep the deposit AND they can sue you for the balance. So in other words, if you do not have the financial means you guarantee the performance fees, read no further as you should not be creating this event.

What else should we be prepared to pay when we pay the deposit to the artist?

Generally there will be a deposit for the venue along with any pre-production fees and talent acquisition costs.

2) A Date Chosen

Generally speaking, you should allow at the very least, 90 days for marketing your event from the date you have a signed contract with the artist.

Why is it important to book at least 90 days out?

Statistics show you need at least a full 90 days to market an event. You cannot promote an event until you have contracted the artist with the deposit.

Are there any benefits to booking 6 months out?

Yes, If you have at least 6 months, you could possibly save money on the artist by choosing a date within the artists tour routing. Secondly, they would probably have all of their backline equipment with them.

What is “backline”?

If your artist is flying in to perform at your concert, they are generally only bringing their guitars and horns. At your expense, you would need to provide the drum set, keyboards, amplifiers, risers, special monitor equipment and other items listed on their performance rider.

3) Contract with a Venue

Artists will not contract until you have a written contract with the venue for the performance. First, you have to research to see if the venue you have chosen, based upon your forecast of ticket sales, will be available on the date you have chosen or the date that fits with a specific artists schedule.

Other then the venue rental cost, are there any other costs related to the venue that I need to be aware of?

Yes, there are many other costs to consider which you should allow for in your proposed budget. First, in addition to the venue rental fee, they may require a ticket fee or a small percentage of the gross revenue. They may require the ticket sales to go through Ticketmaster or other ticketing agency which would also have a ticket processing fee attached.

They may have insurance requirements, security requirements and may require you to use a specific stage, sound and lighting requirements. And, you will most likely be having to pay union labor rates. It is good to know all of these costs before proceeding to the talent acquisition.

4) Research

Do not ask for a specific artist until you have researched the artist. When was the last time that artist was in your city? Do they already have a gig scheduled in your city? Are they even available based upon their tour schedule?

What other events are scheduled the day/night of the show? You would not want to schedule a concert on the start of the World Series. What other similar Genre concerts are scheduled 2 weeks prior or after the show? In other words, if you are planning a County music concert, is Tim and Faith scheduled to perform a week before your concert? If so, the concert goers you were expecting already spent their money they could have paid you.

additional information on how to book a national act is available by calling us. 

Can’t I just make contact with the RA to get a list of all the artists and their prices?  (call us for the answer)

Not usually. There is no set pricelist for artists. There are many things for the artist to consider ......(call us for details)

So what are my options?

If you do an internet search to book a specific artist, you will come up with a long list of sub-agents, entertainment brokers and promoters all “claiming” to represent the artist you are seeking....BUT....(call for answer)

1) Look over their contract for these items:... (call us for details)

2) When you make your initial contact, be aware of an immediate response ...

3) GET EVERYTHING IN WRITING. If any details are discussed over the phone or promises are made orally, ask them to send you the details by ...

4) Never pay more then a 10% deposit prior to a performance contract being issued...why?

Next, at the point the offer has been accepted and you have the contract in your hand, then and ONLY then would you send in the remaining ...

To recap…

Have the Money
Choose a Date
Choose a Venue
Know what you are doing or Hire a Pro Make an offer

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