Pricing has always been a topic discussed, debated and argued about for years among the indie music circles. I don’t normally get involved in these debates, however, a recent post from my good friend and entertainer, Charlie Sansom, had me weigh in on this. Like anything, the prices of acts vary based on several things:
- The experience level of said act
- The number of people involved within the act
- (sometimes) The quality of the act
I’m going to break down all of these things, giving my opinion on these areas and how I feel they impact the price of an act.
This is certainly something that can impact how much an act will charge for performances. The acts that are trying to get themselves established on the circuit will charge less for their services. For example, for Carehome performances, I charge £25 per hour. Some of my fellow musicians would argue that this is too cheap, I Disagree. I disagree due to one simple reason , it’s working. One advantage (or what I see as an advantage) I have over my competitors is that I am an act of high quality (according to clients) yet I am cheaper and more affordable.
For other performances such as gigs on the pub scene, I charge £150 for two 45 minute sets. Again some may disagree with this, but it’s working for me so far so I have no need to charge more.
On the flip side of this however, bands or musicians that have been playing the circuit for years may charge £300 or more for performances. This can be a good thing to do but sometimes these acts lose out on gigs because cheaper acts with less experience are getting them.
The number of people within the act
This is a big thing that acts consider when charging potential clients. The more people within the act, the more they are going to charge, this is simply because everyone involved needs an equal split of pay. I have two examples, my function band “The 45’s” charge £160 for our performances, we are a four piece, this means we get £40 each. Another example is the Pink Floyd tribute I am a part of. I’m not entirely sure what we charge but there are seven of us within the band, this means we will be charging quite a lot, probably are £500 or more.
The quality of the act
This is the section of the article that could cause debate. I personally don’t believe that the quality of the act SHOULD impact the price, at least not as much as it does. I say this because I don’t believe that just because the act is expensive, that they are promise to be good or entertaining. A lot of musicians contest this. I have been told that because I charge so little, I do not value myself as an artist or performer, this is miles away from the truth. I completely value myself as a performer, I just don’t feel that I have the experience level needed to justify charging £500 plus for my performances. Not to mention that I don’t have a family to provide for, or bills to pay (yet) when these things happen, I will obviously charge more.
I honestly believe that I am an act of high quality and that me charging less for my shows, is more of an advantage currently, than a setback. Another line I’ve had before is “think long term”. I am thinking long term, I’m thinking long term because I have recurring clients re-booking time and time again because of I am cheap yet high quality, that is my selling point, and so far its working. I’d much rather have regular work charging less (which would earn me more over time) than less regular work whilst charging more, which would obviously earn me less over time.
This method makes business sense to me. I don’t profess to be a business expert by any stretch, but it’s just common sense! To some, their price may reflect the quality of service. I believe that if you have client reviews that show potential clients how good you are, you don’t need to rely on your price to prove your quality. If you don’t have raving reviews and are one of those performers that say “I charge so and so amount, this alone should show how good I am”, then you really can’t be as good as you think you are.
Check out Charlie’s post and other links, here:
Charlie’s Twitter: @charliesansom