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See How Much It Costs to Hire Your Favorite Band…Or Your Least Favorite, For That Matter

May 20, 2014 By Abraham

Thanks to Priceonomics and an anonymous source at the booking agency Degy Entertainment, we have a list of the asking prices of hundreds of musical acts, from the ones who are just slightly more successful than a bar band to the the elite few who ask a million dollars just to show up…

Million-dollar acts

Find your favorites (or the ones you hate) and see if the price seems about what you’d expect….

*               *               *


Cost of Booking Musicians - 100k - 01

Cost of Booking Musicians - 100k - 02

*               *               *

$50,000 – $100,000

Cost of Booking Musicians - 50k - 01

Cost of Booking Musicians - 50k - 02

*               *               *

$30,000 – $50,000

Cost of Booking Musicians - 30k - 01

Cost of Booking Musicians - 30k - 02

*               *               *

$20,000 – $30,000

Cost of Booking Musicians - 20k - 01

Cost of Booking Musicians - 20k - 02

*               *               *

$10,000 – $20,000

Cost of Booking Musicians - 10k - 01

Cost of Booking Musicians - 10k - 02

*               *               *

$1,000 – $10,000

Cost of Booking Musicians - 1k - 01

Cost of Booking Musicians - 1k - 02

Read more at Priceonomics, where they discuss this in more detail, including a few mistakes in the above lists.


  1. Animal says:

    Kaki King is in both 1-10k and 10 to 20k. She’s a solo act so the price difference can’t be because there’s a band.

  2. Mattie says:

    What about Beyonce? Mariah Carey? Aretha Franklin? Shania Twain? Celine Dion? Pink? Jay Z? Pricing these Titans of the music industry would be interesting

      1. egregiou says:

        What’s wrong with those two? You seem to be partial to black entertainers. Let me guess, you’re black.

        1. egrezizou says:

          It’s got nothing to do with race, dude. They’re just comparatively small time in that list. It’d be like whacking Chas n Dave on the end. There’s nothing “wrong” with them, but they’re hardly “Titans of the music industry”

          1. bobby d says:

            bro shania twain is pretty big, even though her prime days of being the top female artist, which she was she had one of the top albums of all time, and NO album since, made by any artist, including beyonce or whoever you are a fan of, has sold more copies than her 1997 album ‘come on over’ (40 million copies..) and while she isn’t in her hayday, just look at the list and notice how much money top country music acts get paid, which is a lot…it’s a huge market,,…i am not a fan of country music at all but I understand how big it is, and shania twain is the most successful country artist of all time, and nobody has come close in terms of album sales…. So, while she isn’t currently a pop artist played on MTV, she surely still is as pricey as most of todays top artists, i would say in the 500 range, so not quite a >1 Mil act…still will always be a titan of the music industry…

            And pink is a pretty big artist too…you don’t give her enough credit, she has stayed pretty damn relevant and had continued putting out hit songs for 15 years straight without ever falling off the radar… Pretty damn close to whatever your definition of a ‘titan’ is…..

            So don’t hate on someone for simply saying they are curious to see how much this handful of artists make, and act like Pink and Shania Twain are less than superstars….because they definitely are, and I am no fan of pop or country music but I keeps it real….

  3. Mary says:

    Wait, I can hire Bastille for “only” $40,000-60,000? I’d better hurry before their fee skyrockets!

  4. Dweav says:

    Too Short was going to play at our college for 8K and it was being set up by students, but then school administration pulled it

    1. Berder says:

      Red Hot Chili Peppers did a concert in Vancouver last summer for the owner of Lululemon. It cost them 1 million.

  5. John doe says:

    Wasn’t on the list but Daft Punk played my birthday.
    Cost: $10k up front
    first class airfare from France (not cheap) extra $ for music equipment in cargo hold of airplane,
    5 day stay at a 5 star hotel, food, insurance, transportation to and from the venue, and security.

    We also had to keep it very low key to keep party crashes and daft punk fans from randomly showing up .
    This was 5 years ago and before they blew up again so I’m sure their rate has since skyrocketed .

    Total cost was almost 29k$

    How we did it:
    My girlfriend at the time found the contact for their manager and she set up all the logistics.
    Paid their fee and did all of the logistics ourselves, plus we pulled a few strings to keep costs low.

    1. Ron Obvious says:


      I recall reading that The Turtles did this in the late sixties once. The lead singer was on every possible drug and tons of booze… after muddling through a scant number of tunes, he unleashed a hateful diatribe against the rich warmongers in the room!

      he was ejected asap.

  6. No Use For A Name says:

    Of course, this list doesn’t tell the whole story. Some (many?) of these artists have other requirements other than money when deciding which show to play / not to play. Some may only play a show if it is a benefit / fundraiser. Others might require a venue that is not controlled by Ticketmaster, etc… Many artists recognize the ethical issues involved, and will only play a show if the staff is union labor, for example.

    1. DeathRap says:

      word, very true. Also some artists don’t even have much control over where/what they play. They’re kept on some label’s leash.

  7. DeathRap says:

    Give me Cage Kennylz or gtfo. lol

    lot of good ones excluded, as pointed out by the other commentators.

    interesting list. you should expand it and POST A VERSION THAT ISN’T IMAGES because searching through this without the find feature at your disposal is a f%$ing pain.

    Also it would interesting to include more underground artists
    I’d love to see necro, ill bill, earl sweatshirt, cage, tame one, high and mighty, ra scion, geologic, hilltop hoods, bliss n eso, sweatshop union, on this list ,just to name a few.

  8. none says:

    This isn’t a list, it is a bunch of .png’s filled with text. If you wanted your article to be somewhat useful, you should have pulled out the text and formatted it. This is just lazy and unreadable.

  9. jollyRodger says:

    i went to a wedding with the Pouges once. lead singer and main fiddle player never turned up and after the band played a few tunes, they stopped and demanded that unless some one found then a sh*t load of expensive stimulants they would not play any more..

    1. NightGod says:

      There’s plenty in the 30-50K group that are well known and a handful in the 20-30K and 10-20K ranges. There’s even a couple in the 1-10K range that most people have at least heard of (The Verve Pipe being the stand out, you could probably make an argument for DJ Earworm once you remind people that he’s the guy who does the United State of Pop videos every year and people who were around in the early 90s probably remember The Bodeans, or at least would recognize “Good Things” if you played it for them).

    2. trent says:

      what are you talking about 10-20k
      – drowning pool, a oldish popular metal band “bodies” being one of their songs that comes to mind.
      – alien ant farm most famous for their michael jackson remake “smooth criminal” in my opinion the worst song on their album.
      – reel big fish, song that comes to mind is “beer” as featured on the movie bastketball (movie staring the craters of south park)

      – P.O.D, “youth of the nation” is a popular song by them.
      – simply plan, if you dont know who simple plan are then well did you listen to music in the late 90’s to early 2000?
      – xzibit, an older rapper used to be fairly popular.
      – fountains of wayne, best known for i think “stacy’s mum”
      – far east movement, looks familiar oh yeah “like a g6”

      30-50k has a fair few more also like ja rule, sum41 , t-pain and a fair few others

      im not even a music buff and i knew all this and im not overly old at 25

    1. WMA says:

      Don’t think they’re together anymore because I just saw Pusha T solo. Makes me wonder how old this is.

  10. MikeS says:

    I must be old. I don’t know who many of these people are and most of the ones I do are, IMHO, asking FAR too much.

  11. Tyler says:

    For everyone asking, “Where’s X?”:

    This list it populated from a list that Degy commonly send out to colleges and other venues looking to book shows. They act as a middle agent between the venues and the artist agencies. As such, they may not have relationships with agents to book Beyonce, or P!nk, or whomever you are inserting into the above question. Their prices, however, wouldn’t stray too far off from the people in this list.

    By the way, Beyonce can be anywhere from 1m to 3m depending on the nature of the gig.

    Additionally, consideration needs to be made that these prices are for single dates through the middle agent rather than directly booking the show yourself. When organizing a tour, price cuts, merch cuts, ticket sales percentages, etc., all come into play and affect what the artist is actually costing a promoter.

    Neat article, no doubt, but hopefully this sheds a little more light on some of the questions.

  12. Pedro Santos says:

    Where the hell is Dream Theater? And Snarky Puppy? (The highlights of jazz in Europe)
    And sooooo many other.
    This list is bulls**it

  13. NR says:

    It breaks my heart to see that Paramore would cost over 100k. Not just because it’s expensive, but because they used to be such an admirable band. Turns out they’re nothing more than a corporate creation with red-head Haley Williams leading the pack. So sad.

  14. Kay A. Ess says:

    I think this list is a bit out of date. Ryan Star has had a couple Top 20 Hits in recent years. I doubt he’s schlepping to your birthday party for $7k.

  15. Cake3k says:

    Coyote Kisses for 5-10k? Sign me up!
    Some pretty good stuff between 10 and 30k too.. Brb, winning the lottery.

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