Most people think getting paid is dollars in the pocket. That’s a reasonable assumption. This usually comes in the for of a fee, guarantee, ticket split, or tips. Let’s just briefly look at these methods of payment.
Fee: A prearranged amount between promoter (venue or 3rd party) and talent (artist) paid to the talent for services rendered. Example: Artist agrees to play a 90-minute show for a sum of $5,000.
Ticket Split: Promoter and artist agree to charge a fee at the door per ticket and split revenue at the end of the night. Example: Artist agrees to 70% of the door; $10,000 of tickets are sold; and artist is paid $7,000 (70% of $10,000).
Guarantee: A guarantee can be added to a ticket split so the artist is promised a minimum set amount. Example: Artist agrees to play a new venue for 50% of the door with a $3,000 guarantee. If $4,000 in tickets are sold, the ticket split would be $2,000. However, the guarantee states that the venue agreed to pay a minimum of $3,000. Usually, an artist will give up a larger percentage of the night to secure a guarantee.
Tips: Compensation provided by fans at time of the show. If you’ve ever played on Broadway, you understand that tips are important to the financial success of many shows. Dueling piano players can make thousands a night on tips that fans attach to song requests.