It’s not everyday you encounter or do dealings with a live entertainer. It’s nothing like going to the cinema, theatre or concert hall and purchasing a ticket without much thought. If you’re booking a live entertainer, chances are this is your first time (and hopefully won’t be your last). This guide will help break down the process so you know what you’re getting into and hopefully avoid a scam or a hobbyist. This is a guide to doing business with a PROFESSIONAL!
Chances are that you found your chosen entertainer through either word of mouth, you been to a performances or you came across the performer’s website through a Google search. Let’s assume its the website. Hopefully you KNOW what the entertainer is about. There should be a contact form and or a booking form/ page somewhere on the website.
Using my own booking form, you will see there will be places to fill out information about your event, what you want/expect and a chance for you the inquiring client to ask questions or give more detail. This helps the performer in preparing for your event (as well as making sure your event is something they are competent enough to do. This is a BIG give away that you are dealing with a PROFESSIONAL. A professional won’t take every gig offered to them because a professional knows their strength and weaknesses.
After submitting the information on the form, you should receive a response of some form – be it a phone call or a email from the performer acknowledging they received your inquiry. One of 3 things will happen; 1) the performer will accept your request and send you an invoice immediately. 2) the performer may ask for clarity and understanding on what you want if it isn’t clear from the form and they will either accept or decline your request or 3) The performer will decline your request (in the case of a time conflict will try to work with you for a different day and time). It is crucial for you to be as thorough as you can when submitting a form.
Upon the acceptance for your request you will also receive a invoice and a contract, rider or both. Sometimes it maybe requested that you print, sign, scan and return the contract part but often times once a invoice is sent out, the performer has accepted. Upon you receiving the invoice, rider & or contract it is fairly custom to secure the engagement with a Save The Date / Security Deposit. Details on the deposit, total amount and cancellation causes will be listed in the invoice, contract / rider. In the document you will notice a reiteration of the details you provided the performer in the inquiry phase.
The performer will then ask who should be listed as an additionally insured party for the liability insurance. Most entertainer liability insurances can cover performer, venue & or client for up to $2,000,000. You will also receive appropriate tax paperwork pertaining to the performer for your tax record in the form of a W9 in addition to the insurance if requested to be covered. Once the invoice has been sent, contract signed (if applicable) and the security deposit is made and received, the performer may email and or call a week or a few days before the scheduled performance as a reminder. After the performance, the performer will call, email or snail mail a thank you letter along with a business card or two.
That’s it! That’s the process of booking PROFESSIONAL LIVE ENTERTAINMENT!