Wow, I still remember the first time I booked an artist. We needed a DJ for an event in Turkey and I started googling and asked around. Luckily one of my friends knew some really good DJ’s and put me in touch with him. Later on I discovered that I was indeed lucky because if I would have ended up in negotiation through agents I certainly would have paid much more and probably would have been turned down because I was an unknown player. My friend was a real lifesaver.
Still today I sometimes find it difficult to decide which artist to book or recommend and at what rate. Obviously you want the best for the crowd or the client but you also want to feel sincere and trustworthy. Due to the many bookings we do fortunately we have a close relationship with the agents and management companies now which gives us an advantage.
For everybody in the superyacht industry booking an artist I have collected the following tips. Some from my own experience and some from experts in the industry.
1. Determine Artist Value
Before reaching out to any of those agencies, you are going to want to know your budget, and have a location already in mind. The agents will need the location, type of event, along with what you are offering. You are going to need to be able to tell the agent your budget and extend an official offer for the deal to go further. Many agents typically do not deal with gigs under 10k, so the bigger companies may not work with you in this aspect. Often times, the agent will take care of the flights and everything, and just include it into your price.
Research how many times the artist has been in your market. This can be achieved by either searching professional websites that aggregate this type of information, researching an artist’s website or social networking site, or by asking the artist’s agent for a list of past tour dates that cover your market.
2. Make An Offer
Determine, based on artist value, what you can offer. If the artist is extremely popular you may have to be competitive, whereas unknown acts may bite on a stay and play deal just to get their name in the market.
Submit the offer to the artist’s agent and provide a brief explanation of how you arrived at your current offer, referencing data related to the artist’s current market value, as necessary. The agent may accept your offer or return a counter offer for your review. An artist is only considered “under contract” once signatures have been obtained from both parties.
3. Make Sure You Get A Contract
Draft or ask for a contract that includes contact information for both the venue and the artist. Include band details like performance name, number of performers and requirements. Add a section about the performance itself that includes the date, set-up time, sound-check time, stage time and set length. Include a cancellation clause that determines which party has the right to cancel, under what conditions, and how they will be compensated. Also include a section that outlines both yours and artist obligations.
• When booking an artist, you will want to go ahead and start planning things 6 weeks out to lock the artist in. Artist prices and schedules change pretty frequently, so the sooner you confirm a date, the better.
• Booking an artist successfully is all about proper planning, and making sure that you are working with a reliable booking agent that is going to help you in achieving your goals. Often times, once you have worked with an agent over an extended period of time on different shows, you will be more trusted, and will be able to lock in better deals, and be able to lock them in a lot quicker than before.
• You should never offer to pay the artist a deposit up front on the first round of negotiations. The deposit should only come into play if the agent counters and asks for it.
• Ask for the artist’s stage plot in advance so your sound guys know what to anticipate prior to their arrival.
• The contract must be signed by representatives from each party who have the authority to execute contracts on behalf of the venue and artist.
I discovered that booking an artist for a private event or a client is really fun and I hope that my tips will help you leading you in the right direction.
Onno Ebbens is partner in Zoom International. Zoom believes that their clients should XperienceTheDifference in dedication, professionalism, knowledge and transparency. Zoom International consists of ZoomYachting (Turkish Service Agent) and EventsbyZoom (Superyacht Artist Booking). EventsbyZoom is also known for hosting and participating in Crew Parties.
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