Setting a Fee for Musical Services is Tricky Business!

Everyone wants to get a good deal.  Musicians are almost always asked to reduce their fee. Because we love the music we play, it seems like we’re getting paid for having fun. That’s true in a way.  But, it takes work to deliver the right music for your event.

Clients sometimes tell us that their event would be great exposure.  What we discovered was that we only got “exposed” to groups who also asked us to provide entertainment for free or a substantial reduction in our fee.  We are reluctant to donate our talent or to significantly reduce our fee as we feel that it is disrespectful both to the music we represent and to us as musicians.

While the fee may seem high on first blush, when all the factors are taken into account our payment often falls below minimum wage.

There are a number of ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ considerations which go into each performance.  It takes a minimum of 40 hours of preparation. This includes:

  1. Correspondence with the client
  2. Selecting the songs for the program
  3. possibly learning new pieces
  4. Rehearsing
  5. More hours if a site visit is required
  6. Our own publicity for the event (if it’s a public event)
  7. Cost of instruments, gear, wardrobe, sound equipment etc.
  8. Wear and tear on instruments, clothing and other equipment
  9. Monetary cost of instruction and dedication in time for practicing and honing skills
  10. Time dedicated on the day of the performance. In addition to the performance itself, time is required for getting ready, travel time, setting up for the performance and taking down afterwards. Locally this could be as little as 4 hours and as much as 6.
  11. Experience and knowledge:
    Gary is acknowledged by his peers for his expertise in the music we play.
    Gary has been playing music for over 40 years. Both he and Amber have lots of experience providing music in festivals, weddings, retirement parties, birthday and other special occasions, coffee houses and concerts.

There is a lot of work, and energy required in bringing a quality musical program to your event.