Glossary of

Music industry terms

If you are new to the entertainment world, it may feel like the music industry has its own language. We simplified the definitions for commonly used terms to make it easier for you.

Middle Agent / Middle Buyer

An intermediary between the buying entity/organization planning an event and artist representatives in the entertainment industry. Learn more…


Offers / Contracts / Marketing



Sending a formal invitation to perform, with all of the details clearly outlined. 


When an Artist wants to confirm your offer, but with some contingencies.


Your offer is considered mutually-binding, and both parties are agreeing to move forward with contracting, marketing and advancing the show.


Referring to the size, presence, and prominence of a performer’s name and image on any advertisements, in relation to other performers. Learn more…

Fully Executed

Final copy of a contract, where both parties have reviewed, edited, and signed. See our editing contracts blog.

Hard Ticket vs. Soft Ticket

A “hard ticket” event is a ticketed event where the artist is paid either in part or in total from the ticket sales revenue. A “soft ticket” event is usually a non-ticketed, low priced ticket or festival event where the artist is paid a flat, competitive guaranteed fee regardless of ticket sales for the event. Learn more…


Asking for pricing and availability, or asking for more information about someone.

Radius Clause

A contractual deal point that ensures an artist does not perform within a certain number of miles surrounding your venue, within a certain time frame before and after the event. Radius clauses protect the buyer so that multiple shows do not compete for ticket sales or attendees by having multiple shows in one area too close together. Learn more…


When Artists perform at multiple venues (aka a tour) that geographically line up, with any performances being less than 500 miles between them if they are on back to back dates. Learn more…





Short-hand for complimentary tickets. Most Artists request a few for family/friends who may be in the area of the performance. 


Identification of some kind that is clearly visible to all security, indicating they are allowed backstage or in working areas of a performance. Learn more…

Event Map

An image created for the Artist team indicating the venue location, parking, cross streets, and other important information. Learn more…

Green Room

A private space dedicated to the performers where they can change, eat, rest, and do any pre-show prep they need to do (ie vocal warmups, makeup and hair, etc). Green room example… 


Any food, beverage, and personal care items Artists need to be able to have a successful show and a healthy lifestyle while on the road. Learn more…

Media Policy

This is referring to the rules and regulations Artists want all professional cameras and video cameras to abide by. There are often certain locations and time frames to which Artists want to restrict pro cameras. The most common is for Artists to want pro cameras allowed only for the “first 3 songs from the pit, no flash, no stage access” in order to not be distracting, capture them at their best appearance, and to not scare the onstage performers.


Short-hand for merchandise. Anything with the Artist’s name, image, likeness, etc that is being sold at a show by the Artist team. The Buyer may be entitled to a  percentage of sales if that was contractually agreed to. Who sells or assists with the selling is also usually listed on a contract. Soft goods are things like t-shirts, tote bags, hats, etc. Hard goods are cds, vinyl, dvds. (Example: 80/20 soft goods, 90/10 hard, venue sells.) Learn more… 

Paper the House

Increasing the audience size by offering ticket deals, giveaways, etc. when ticket sales are low. Learn more…


After a performance, Artists have the right to ask for a ticket audit (if your event is ticketed) and any final ticket counts and attendance/drop counts. For a hard ticket event, where an Artist is being paid a % of the net or gross ticket revenue, a more detailed list of expenses, revenue, and more is required for the settlement, as well as receipts and proof of the ticket revenue and expensesassociated with the show.


A private dedicated time for performers to make sure all of their equipment is properly hooked into the sound system and monitors (so they can hear themselves) to ensure the highest quality performance. Learn more…

Stage Towels

Hand towel sized black towels that artists use to wipe sweat, dampen instruments, clean up small spills, etc during a show. They are typically black so that they can blend into the stage and not look messy to the audience. Example here…

Production / Stage



Communication about all the day-of details specific to your event. Learn more…


The personal musical instruments and equipment that an Artist needs for their set. Learn more…


A barrier for separating the audience from the performers in order to ensure the safety of everyone involved and to prevent interruptions / interference with production and other show operations. Learn more…


Short-hand for “Stage hands” or folks helping to move equipment on/off stage, arrange backline gear, run cables, and more.


These are similar to stage hands, but can often carry more weight, and are trained to load semis and other production vehicles with road cases.


All sound and lights (and sometimes video wall or special effects elements) related to a performance.


A set of production and hospitality requests an Artist wants in order to perform a successful show. These can be somewhat negotiable. See the difference between a tech and hospitality rider below. Learn more…

Tech Rider

A set of technical requests an Artist needs in order to perform a successful show. Typically includes sound, stage, lighting, and backline needs as well as a stage plot and input list.

Hospitality Rider

All hospitality requests. Typically includes snacks, beverages, meals, and any miscellaneous things needed for the day.

Stage Manager

Someone that organizes and coordinates the schedule and moving parts of what is happening onstage at an event. The primary goal of a stage manager is to keep things running on time, make sure people are where they need to be when they need to be there, and to effectively communicate any changes to all parties involved. Learn more…

Freebie Alert!

Show Planning Guide

Your free guide to planning successful shows.

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Want to learn more about music industry terms? Visit our glossary:

Jolene Chevalier

Founder & Talent Buyer | How To Concerts

Jolene has been a middle buyer for over 15 years, 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   |

Jolene Chevalier

Founder & Talent Buyer | How To Concerts

Jolene has been a middle buyer for over 15 years, 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   |