Entertainment industry terminology can be daunting. Two terms that industry folks often throw around without explaining to buyers is “hard ticket” vs “soft ticket” events. Let’s break down the two types of events and give a little context:

What is a Hard Ticket Event?

A “hard ticket” event is a ticketed event where the artist is paid either in part or in total from the ticket sales revenue. That means the show is open to any and all public that want to come and purchase a ticket, and the tickets are a fair market value for the artist(s) performing at the event. Examples of hard ticket events are shows at clubs, theaters, arenas, and other public facing venues hosting shows. Sometimes the artist is paid a straight percentage of the ticket revenue. Other times, they are paid a low guarantee PLUS a percentage of the ticket revenue after expenses including that guarantee. In a third example, an artist is offered a “VS (versus) deal” – which means they will receive EITHER a guaranteed agreed-upon amount, OR a percentage of ticket revenue – whichever is higher in the end once all expenses are factored into the net proceeds.

What is a Soft Ticket Event?

A “soft ticket” event means the artist is paid a flat, competitive guaranteed fee regardless of ticket sales for the event. Examples of soft ticket events are typically festivals, corporate or special events, and college campus events. The reason soft ticket events are structured with a flat guarantee is because the event is free or at a discounted rate, is a festival with a larger lineup where the ticket revenue split for every artist makes settlement unreasonably challenging, and/or is on a predetermined, unmovable date where the artist must fly to the event rather than route a tour to the area. This means expenses are higher and the artist has no opportunity to collect additional revenue from ticket sales, so they need a higher fee guarantee to ensure they make up for what they could have made in that geographical area if they had done a hard ticket show.

Still confused? That’s okay! Set up a free consultation with us to see if you could benefit from the services a middle agent like How To Concerts provides.

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]