You have an event on the horizon and you have found the perfect entertainment! Problem is, the band is in DallasTexas and your event is in Los Angeles California. Obviously, you are going to have to fly the band in but what other seen and unforeseen issues and costs can arise from this scenario?
It's not unusual for clients to be overwhelmed or unprepared to handle the financial and personal responsibilities that come with a travel engagement.
If you are hiring a professional band, you will receive a rider that outlines the various aspects of the agreement and your responsibilities. This will be your outline of expectations. I will attach one here at the end of this blog.
So what are these responsibilities?
Cost: Average 346.00 roundtrip (2018 Statistics from Conde' Nast)
Challenge: You will likely fly in the entire group. Again, if you have hired a professional band, they will be on time to the airport and will alert you to any issues (delays, etc) that might occur with their departure. If there are delays, you are faced with another set of problems. If the singer misses the flight.. Well, that is a breach of contract but that does not solve the issue for you and your event tonight or tomorrow.
Cost: 150.00 per day, plus fuel (2018 Kayak Rentals)
Challenge: Somehow, once the performer arrives, they (and lots of bags, guitars, etc) are going to need to be transported to their Hotel or performance Venue. Most of the time, this will require a 12 passenger van or 2 minivans. Oh and by the way, they will need to get back to the airport at some point!
Cost: 150.00-250.00 per night, 2 nights
Challenge: If your band has a friendly cast, they may be willing to bunk up with 2 to a room. If not, you may want to suggest that they "get friendly" before the event. The band rider will likely indicate the quality or star rating requirements for their accommodations. Most reasonable entertainers are happy with mid-level accommodations.
Cost: 35.00-50.00 per day, per band member (3 days)
Challenge: Per Diem is a daily allowance, per performer, that can be used by the individual for things like meals, sundries, etc. The range varies but this is often a negotiable feature of a rider. Check to see if you feel like the amount is fair, all things considered. If so, great. If not, talk to your band leader and see what you can do.
Cost: $800- $1,250.00
Challenge: The Backline consists of everything the performer needs for the performance, minus whatever they can bring. It's likely that they guitarists will bring their guitars and the drummer will bring sticks... but that's about it. Most entertainers are willing to assist in the procurement of a production company that offers this service. They are motivated to make sure they get the right gear!
Front of house P.A., Monitors and Sound Man
The P.A. is a fundamental element in the overall sound for your event. The quality and technology provided by various production companies varies significantly. Same goes for Sound Engineers. Some are OK and some are great. It matters because, in the end, the P.A. and sound man dictate what your clients or attendees will hear. You do not want to skimp on this, in any way! The size of the system will be dictated by the environment (Indoor/Outdoor, Size of performance area, number of attendees, proximity of attendees to the performers, etc). A professional production company will ask you for specific details and will present the option that is best for you. Get a second opinion!
A travel event requires your entertainers to be on the road for 2-3 days. Usually 3 days if a plane is involved. That means that the performers are not available for other events while they are on the clock for you. Our 3 day travel rates are 1.5 times our daily rate to help offset the liability. Whatever the case may be, you will likely pay for downtime while the band is traveling and performing for your event.
When you add up all of the additional expenses, you can expect to pay from $7,000-$10,000 dollars for the services and requirements outlined in a rider for a travel engagement. This does not include the actual band rate.
Now for the comparrison
There are many services that a local band can offer but this varies largely from band to band. I have found that most bands do not charge for travel within a 100 mi radius of their home location. Most bands will also provide a P.A. for your event as part of their regular quote. Most professional bands will also have a sound man that is part of their crew. All bands (local) will provide their own backline. The travel elements, lodging, per diem and overtime obviously do not apply to local bands.
Dollars and Sense!
Sometimes, the right band for your event is a travel band. The financial and logistical matters are not important because you have the time, staff and budget to accommodate. Excellent!
However, If you are budget conscious and limited in staff or time, look local first. The time and money you save will be significant if you can find a good match.
Jukebox Productions provides a Band DJ Combo, with production and specializes in live entertainment for weddings and corporate events in San Diego, Orange County, Los Angeles, Riverside County, Fresno County, Ventura County, San Louis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Marin County, San Francisco, Lake Tahoe, Las Vegas, Phoenix and Hawaii