I was recently talking to an agent about a show when he brought up an unrelated opportunity.  A big name artist was looking to fill a date that was less than six weeks away.  I recognized that the artist was motivated to fill the date, and in a particular region.  This meant that the artist could be had for a bargain.

I emailed a few colleges in that area, and one jumped on the opportunity immediately.  They scored an artist for about $50,000 less than the artist’s normal asking price.  They saved fifty thousand dollars.  How did they do this?  How can you do the same thing? 

1. Act quickly when opportunities present themselves.  This particular school had the offer to me within 24 hours.  

2.Be flexible on dates.  This school would have preferred a weekend date, but for this special opportunity, they settled for a Thursday.

3.Treat your students.  In order to get the deal, the artist required that the show be limited to students only.  The school knew they could sell out their small capacity space to students, so they were okay with it, even if their tickets were otherwise available to the public.

4.Be willing to incur higher production costs.  Don’t expect an artist to lower their production demands just because they took a routed date.  

5.Be accessible during negotiations.  When you have an active offer, make sure you are able to respond to questions and clarify details quickly.

6.Be ready to walk away.  We gave the artist a short expiration and stood firm.  That put the pressure on the artist to accept the offer or walk away so the school could move on.  That way the school didn’t miss out on other opportunities in the meantime.

7.Use professionalism at all times.  If your school has a reputation of being difficult to work with, the agent and artist may pass on your offer.  No matter what issues come up while you are planning entertainment or running events, be professional and calm.

8.Pay your artists on the day of show.  It is an industry standard, so most artists are budgeting to receive that money immediately after their performance.  

9.Take a risk. The entertainment industry is all about taking a risk and hoping for the best.  No matter what kind of a “deal” you get on an artist, there is no such thing as guaranteed success.  Hope for the best but plan for the worst.

10.Manage your expectations.  Sometimes you strike gold and happen to find an opportunity like this, but know that these situations are rare and you cannot expect them every year.

Jolene Chevalier

Founder & Talent Buyer | How To Concerts

Jolene has been a middle buyer for over a decade, helping colleges and others with their concerts, comedians, and speakers. (And, yes, she is named after the Dolly Parton song.) She would love to talk with you about helping to book, plan, and prepare for your event.

920.764.1200   |   [email protected]

Jolene Chevalier

Founder & Talent Buyer | How To Concerts

Jolene has been a middle buyer for over a decade, helping colleges and others with their concerts, comedians, and speakers. (And, yes, she is named after the Dolly Parton song.) She would love to talk with you about helping to book, plan, and prepare for your event.

920.764.1200   |   [email protected]