How to Book National Entertainment

Are you qualified?

  • Are you prepared to make a 50% deposit when and if a national artist accepts your offer? National artists range in price from $4,000 to $500,000.
  • Do you have a large space for a concert stage? The average concert stage footprint for a national musical artist's performance is 60 by 40 feet. Comedians and less expensive artists have smaller space requirements.
  • Are you prepared and empowered to make a reasonably quick decision? Information on national groups' availability is only good at the moment it is given. There are no "holds" on national groups.

The Basic Process

  • Select an artist
  • Have your agent make an offer to the artist
  • If the offer is accepted, examine and sign a contract with the artist
  • Secure production for the show or have your agent provide the service
  • Have the show, have fun and make money! (Seems simple doesn't it)

The Selection

If your answer to all of the above was yes, then you should contact your Goldberg Entertainment agent. Above all, be prepared to act decisively. Have your committee or partners available to meet or teleconference and decide wisely but quickly. Nothing is more frustrating to both the agent and the client than the artist becoming unavailable while you are locked in the "paralysis of analysis".

The first decision you should make is whether you want Goldberg to fully produce the show or simply help you book the artist. Your choices are:

  • Simple booking - Goldberg helps you make a selection with pricing and availability information. We then use our relationship with the artists, their managers and agents to negotiate the best possible price on your behalf. We help you make the artist a proper and complete offer. After the artist accepts your offer we forward their contract to you and you produce the show.
  • Fully produced show - As above, we help you make a selection with pricing and availability information but in this case the pricing includes everything not provided by the venue. Once the selected artist accepts the offer, we provide everything required to present the show including show management. Except for the very experienced, this all-inclusive method saves you money since many times production costs equal or exceed the artist's fee and we can negotiate those production cost components even more effectively than artist costs.

Whether fully produced or a simple booking the basic selection of an artist is the same. If you know who you want and have a short (20 or less) "wish list" let your Goldberg agent quote you rough prices. If none of those artists are affordable then your agent will provide you a list of alternate artists of the same type, but in your price range. After you narrow the total list down to two or three top choices, your agent will give you availablities and exact prices based on the artist's asking price and, in the case of a fully produced show, all other components required to present the show including all transportation, accommodations, technical production, labor, and production management. After getting all the facts and figures you make a decision. You know your audience better than any agent so your focused input is invaluable. Remember, this information is like fresh fish-it goes bad quickly. Make your decision well but make it quick.

The Offer

Once you have decided your agent will provide you a sample of and have you send, either an offer form or an authorization to make an offer on your behalf. In either case this document is a brief contract that states that you will go forward and execute a detailed contract and post a deposit if, and only if, the artist accepts the offer. If the artist accepts, then you are contractually obligated to go forward. If the artist declines, then there is no further obligation. You may then decide to increase the offer or you may decide to pursue another artist or you may decide not to do the show.

The Contract

Once the offer is accepted the path between simple booking and full production splits somewhat.

In the case of a simple booking, the agent will forward a contract directly from the artist to you along with a bill for the agents services. The agent will help you interpret this multi-page, highly detailed, contract and technical riders (as much as thirty-five pages) plus may suggest some production resources if you need them. At this point, in this type of deal, the agent has done most of his job. The agent will follow up and make sure your deposit and executed contract are timely and will get the contract signed by the artist. He may or may not attend the show depending on your experience and the shows complexity.

With a fully produced show, a simple and concise contract (usually four or five pages and including the agent's fee) follows. This agreement details all basic aspects of the production and who is financially responsible. The agent continues to work closely with you on the details of staging your show for maximum impact and arranges all facets of production including the hiring of appropriate technical services and labor. The agent coordinates the components of the production that he is providing (typically; sound, lights labor, transportation, etc.) with those that may be provided by the venue (typically; staging, dressing rooms, electrical service, etc.) or other vendors, to deliver a seamless show at the lowest possible cost. Although the exact details of who-does-what can vary somewhat from show to show, your responsibilities will be carefully spelled out and you will only receive the pages of the technical riders for which you are financially responsible. The agent or another staff producer provides on-site supervision to insure a hassle-free and polished production.

It's Showtime! Day of show you (in the case of a simple booking) or your agent (in the case of a fully produced show) supervises every aspect including load-in, set-up, sound check, settlement, and finally the house lights dim, spotlights flicker to life...and it's showtime.