Hiring Local Entertainment vs Travel Entertainment

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?

Air travel

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.

Ground Transportation

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.

Per Diem

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

Cost: $1,100.00+

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!

Travel Time:

Cost: $2,000.00-$4,0000.00

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.

Bottom Line:

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

Jukebox Travel Rider


The following is a list of the minimum needs for the different acts for Jukebox Productions. All of these needs are for the stage only. This document makes the assumption that there is a company that is contracted to provide front-of-house (FOH), and will provide a dedicated person(s) to set up all PA equipment, provide a person to run monitors, and a person to run FOH mix. This document also makes the assumption the stage and lighting are contracted by a third party.

Package includes: 10 Piece band Includes DJ/MC, Guitar, Bass, Drums, 3 Vocals, 3 Horns

Drums - Full pro-quality acoustic set (DW Preferred) 22” Kick, Snare, 10” 12” 14” & 16” toms, Hi-Hat with 14” cymbals, 22” Ride, 16” & two -18” Crashes - all on booms, (Paiste preferred) kick pedal,( DW Preferred), drum throne, spare heads for kick and snare, and spare kick pedal. All mics and stands for drum kit

- (1) Fender Twin 100-watt 2-12’s

- (2) EGTR stands

- (1) Ampeg (4x10) or similar bass cab and head

- (1) Bass GTR stand

- (7) DI’s for instrument inputs (generally provided by FOH company)

- (3) vocal mics , Hardwired (generally provided by FOH company)

- (3) High Quality Wireless mics (Vocals)

- (2) Instrument mics and stands

- (7) mic boom stands and (3) straight mics stands (generally provided by FOH company)

- (3) Sennheiser 421 mics (or similar)for horns and stands (generally provided by FOH company)

- (1) 32-channel board w/ 6-monitor mixes (generally provided by FOH company)

- (10) wedge monitors (generally provided by FOH company)


Overhead stage lighting - at least 32 par 64’s on truss, 4 Motion lights, and one spotlight. (suggestions only)

16’ X 24’ stage, plus 8’ X 8’ (or 8’ X 6’) drum riser.


Purchaser agrees to provide a private dressing area or room equipped with mirrors and adequate seating for Artist and crew. Purchaser also agrees to provide hot meals for Artist and crew. Purchaser agrees to provide the following non-alcoholic items: Ice, Still bottled water, Hot Coffee, Tea, and Assorted Soft Drinks.

Below are general rider requirements. Actual requirements to be discussed and included in the contract.

Client to Provide: To be provided at no additional cost to producer

TRAVEL (When Applicable)

• Round trip coach airfares for all band and crew from San Diego

• On-site* hotel accommodations for band and crew. (All non-smoking) If accommodations are off site, Hotel MUST be rated 4 stars or better and be approved by Producer. Hotel room breakdown to be provided based on client request of band arrangement.

• All necessary ground transportation – one 15-passenger van per 10 cast/crew. Charter shuttles or taxis may be used, providing they can accommodate large pieces of equipment and up to 30 bags.


• Breakfast, Lunch and (or) dinner (hot meals) for band and crew on all production days depending on schedule. Refreshments available throughout the day. Meals may be substituted through cash per diem of $25.00 per meal per person, but MUST be approved by Producer.

• Dressing room with power outlets or generator, 4 power strips, 3 clothing racks per room, 6 six foot tables, 12 chairs, 6 full length mirrors, iron, ironing board, steamer, adequate lighting, restrooms nearby, heaters or air conditioning if appropriate, 20 hand towels, bottled water and light snacks (bananas, fruit and energy bars). Additional clothing racks, lights and mirrors for quick-change areas (TBD)


• All power charges, applicable permits and security charges and Parking Fees

• Minimum of four (2) hours to load-in and perform sound check after all tech is set up and prior to performance.