Tips on keeping musician fees down!
Why are musicians so expensive? And where can I save some money when hiring them? This post aims at candidly answering those questions.
The factors that are primarily taken into account when a performer provides a quote are:
Distance to the gig
Length of time performing
I'll start by mentioning some tips for saving money.
Hire local: If a musician has to travel far distances to a gig it means they will inevitably incur additional costs. This will often involve spending part of their fee on petrol or on other modes of transport. This expense if at all avoidable can really help cut down on the overall cost of the booking. The distance travelled also means the musician will end up spending the majority of their day on the road and can diminish their chances of taking another booking for that morning/evening. Make sure to ask where the musician is based to have an idea of how much travelling expenses they might expect, or simply hire local.
Use their set list: Musicians provide their repertoires or set lists to show you what pieces they have arranged, practiced & performed. If you have special songs in mind, first ask if they have performed them before, and if not, then expect to be paying for the cost of arranging or buying the music should it prove hard to source, and in certain circumstances you may be asked to pay for the rehearsals needed to ensure the piece sounds the best. We really recommend using the options provided by the musicians to ensure the music at your event sounds the best and to reduce any additional costs.
Keep the performance length under 1-2 hours: Performing can be quite the exercise! Usually performances for string quartets and many other musicians are around 1-1.5 hours long. Long performances can be quite arduous and the longer the time performing, the higher the fee will be. Small breaks may be taken if the performance is over an hour. If you wish to really keep the musicians happy, make sure some light refreshments are made available for them (even glasses of water). They will be forever in your debt!
Get multiple quotes: There are a lot of performers out there, and competition is tight. Make sure to shop around to find the right musicians for your event. Musicians starting out often offer reduced rates as they lack recorded content and reviews to provide the quality assurance that you may so desire. If possible ask to hear some recordings or speak to previous clients to make sure you are in good hands. Should you want the peace of mind of booking an experienced professional performer expect to pay a premium price as you will receive a far better customer experience dealing with someone well versed in organising bookings.
As a side note, most musicians have been honing their craft for many many years, often at great expense. Tuition fees to study music are astronomical, as well as the hours and commitment put in to ensure a performer reaches a high standard. Their equipment also is often extremely expensive and often needs to be upgraded or repaired. It is these hidden costs that a professional musician needs to take into account to ensure they can make a livelihood from performing.
If you would like any help finding the right musicians for your event feel free to send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I will do my utmost to find the right musicians for your event within your budget for free.