Ok, now that we’ve talked about the basic ways to make money, let’s talk about how to keep more of that money. If I give one child $5 a week allowance and give them all the free candy they can eat, then I give a second child $10 a week allowance and make them pay for their own candy, which child do think has more money at the end of the week? And which one do think is probably happier? Financial planners will tell you it’s not about what we earn, it’s about what we keep.
Amenities are items that the promoter pays for that the artist receives as partial compensation. Though this can be virtually anything, typically it includes lodging, food, and mileage. Free lodging for a band of 5 members could easily save $30,000 over the course of a year. Free food added into contracts could be another $7,500 in savings. I’ve even seen larger bands contracts where restocking the tour bus is part of the addition compensation.
Mileage is, in essence, a way for the artist to be paid for the gas and expense of traveling to/from a venue. This may be written as $.35 cents a mile reimbursement for mileage with a maximum charge for 1000 miles. If the band drives 400 miles to get to the next venue, then the charge would be $140. For our contracts, we use the most direct route on mapquest.com. This allows us to show what we are charging for while assuring the venue we are not overcharging.
Businesses run on the bottom line, and touring musicians must do so as well. If run improperly, tours can lose a lot of money. Having a contract that guarantees payment with lodging, food, and mileage covered can set a bands mind at ease before they go out on the road.