We recognize that artists sometimes achieve a point in their career where they have to establish minimums, and Listening Room Network does not object to the practice of asking for minimums.
In general, setting a guarantee price can be tricky for artists. Set it too high and you can lose surprisingly fruitful opportunities, simply because a host isn’t willing to guarantee an amount that is still very likely to be delivered. Set your guarantee too low and you might create a weak impression.
In addition, guarantees in the house concert world require a little extra care.
Here are some important points to consider:
- Hosts are volunteers, and are not trying to make money off your performance.
- Hosts add value in many ways, including lodging, meals, and a listening audience of whatever size.
- Hosts belong to a wide spectrum of income levels – what sounds reasonable to one will make another blush.
- The capacity of the room and history of the host should be considered when asking for your guarantee. Do the math – unless the host is already a big fan of your music, they are unlikely to accept a guarantee that exceeds the potential of the room!
Note: Some artists have presented guarantees in terms of people, rather than dollars, softening (but maybe obscuring) the $ value it implies. Make sure your expectations are clear.
With the exercise of sensitivity, a minimum guarantee can prevent financial loss and some uncomfortable moments. It’s important to be clear and concise. Five-page riders can be an unreasonable expectation for all but the most experienced house concert hosts.
Most important: BE GRACIOUS AND ACCEPTING WHEN HOSTS REFUSE YOUR GUARANTEE. If you cannot politely offer a lower amount, thank them and move on. Negotiate your house concerts with care and empathy. Some hosts will have a financial situation that is not a good fit for your needs. That needs to be O.K.
Here’s what I recommend from the host point of view. https://livemusictribe.wordpress.com/2009/07/01/financial-guarantees-for-artistsperformers/