How to Organise a Gig or a Live Music Event - the Budget

Three times in the last month I've been asked the question, "what do I need to do to organise a gig?" In reality, when this question is asked it can mean several things: How do I find a venue? How do I sort out the PA? How do I get an audience? And so on.

But there is a stage before all of this: the budget. I would suggest that the moment you start thinking about organising an event you should write a budget. This budget spreadsheet informs you of most things that you will need to consider and will also show you the risk, projected profit and the breakeven point. A sample spreadshhet is available to download from this address http://www.josaka.com/features/2005/Organise-A-Gig/Event-PandL.pdf

If the budget numbers don't look like they are working perhaps the event is not the right thing to be running. If you don't like the level of risk, perhaps you aren't cut out to be a promoter.

So the start point is a spreadsheet. This should include all costs and all incomes. The key headings for costs should include: performer cost, PA, lighting, venue hire, marketing, box office costs etc. The income is likely to be largely ticket sales but don't forget the opportunity to add a sponsor to the event.

The spreadsheet will help you work out the breakeven point for the event i.e. how many tickets you need to sell to cover all costs. Every sale beyond breakeven is of course profit (exluding any box office commision). The added bonus of creating an event spreadsheet is that helps define all the key tasks to be performed.

The realisation of the forecasted numbers becoming actual figures suggests that all parties have got the deal they were looking for or agreed to. The sample speadsheet also illustrates that everyone else involved in the gig is largely earning a fixed fee and therefore the only person taking a financial risk is the promoter.

So if you are thinking of organising a live event I coomed you to work on the numbers first. This will help ensure you deliver a great show and have control over the money.

Kevin Harrington is the founder of josaka http://www.josaka.com the site that supports live music in Berkshire, UK. He is also director of marketing for Arkade http://www.arkade.com the mp3 distribution business.

In The News:


Music Munndays is wrapping up the season with one last concert
News Chief
LAKELAND — Today is the last opportunity this season to start out the work week with Music Munndays, a lunchtime concert in downtown Lakeland's Munn Park. The Imperial Orchestra and the Lakeland Downtown Development Authority sponsor the weekly ...

and more »

Chron.com

Houston music landmark razed
Chron.com
Country musician Johnny Bush in front of the building at the corner of Erastus and Wylie, which was home to the Bronze Peacock nightclub, and later the site of music mogul Don Robey's Duke/Peacock music empire. >>Keep clicking for a look at Houston's ...


Facing the music: Benjamin Appl
The Guardian
As a selected scholar of Yehudi Menuhin's organisation Live Music Now, I once was asked to perform an afternoon of German operetta arias in a prison near Munich. We were all anxious beforehand about singing in front of inmates, but it was an important ...


USA TODAY

Exclusive music video premiere: Cole Swindell and Dierks Bentley's 'Flatliner'
USA TODAY
Cole Swindell and Dierks Bentley sing their high energy pretty girl party anthem Flatliner side-by-side every night on Bentley's What the Hell World Tour. In February, they brought cameras on the road to capture the song in action for its music video ...

and more »

The Verge

Exclusive: How Drake and Apple Music broke streaming records with More Life
The Verge
Drake's latest project More Life was streamed 300 million times worldwide in its first week on Apple Music, Republic Records tells The Verge, surpassing the 250 million streams the label said Views, an Apple Music exclusive, did in its first week last ...
Beats 1 is 'the Biggest Radio Station in the World', Says Apple MusicMac Rumors
Apple Music execs say Beats 1 is 'the biggest radio station in the world'9 to 5 Mac
Drake's 'More Life' Has Already Broken an Epic RecordBET
Billboard
all 87 news articles »

Music education is now only for the white and the wealthy
The Guardian
Despite the enormous contribution of the music industry to the UK economy, with the creative industries overall estimated to generate £85bn net a year to GDP, the government remains placid about its importance in schools. The Conservatives are too ...

and more »

The Independent

BBC 6 Music festival review – Depeche Mode preach post-watershed pop in Glasgow
The Guardian
A steadily more popular haven on the airwaves for fans of time-honoured and emerging alternative sounds, it seems strange now to think that BBC 6 Music was on the verge of closing seven years ago. The station's annual city festival came to an ...
BBC 6 Music Festival, Glasgow, review: Depeche Mode close event with a fiery performance at BarrowlandsThe Independent

all 30 news articles »

Cornell University The Cornell Daily Sun

X Ambassadors Bringing Music Festival to Ithaca This Fall
Cornell University The Cornell Daily Sun
This fall, after school is in full swing and the August heat subsides, Ithacan band X Ambassadors are bringing a music festival to Stewart Park in Ithaca. Focused on drawing diverse national acts to the town and showcasing music, food and drink in ...
X Ambassadors announces their own music festival... in Ithacaithaca.com
X Ambassadors announce fall music festival in IthacaThe Ithaca Voice

all 7 news articles »

Good4Utah

London terror attack victim's life celebrated through music
Good4Utah
BOUNTIFUL, Utah (ABC4 Utah) - Dozens of friends and fellow musicians gathered inside the Bountiful Davis Art Center to celebrate the life of Kurt Cochran the only way they saw fit -- through music. Kurt and his wife Melissa Payne Cochran, were ...
Kurt Cochran remembered as lover of life, music after death in London attackStandard-Examiner

all 808 news articles »

Fortune

Justices won't hear appeal in music copyright dispute
ABC News
The Supreme Court won't hear an appeal from record companies that want to pursue copyright infringement claims against music site Vimeo for hosting unauthorized recordings from the Beatles, Elvis Presley and other classic artists. The justice on Monday ...
US Supreme Court refuses to hear Vimeo music copyright disputeNasdaq

all 9 news articles »
Google News

Guitar Humidification

Problems with humidity can lead to heartbreak for the classical... Read More

Jazzing Up Your Leadership Style

I met New York jazzman Tim Armacost in college almost... Read More

Does Your CD Cover $ell (Or Suck)?

Oh, I know the last part of the title (Suck)... Read More

Interested in Improving the Sound of Your Stereo? Consider Records

Introduced in 1982, the compact disc was intended to provide... Read More

College Radio: The Most Important Radio Level for Musicians

For the self-promoting independent artist, the idea of taking on... Read More

Live Music!

"Live music." That common saying may contain some truth, but... Read More

Do you really need college to learn to play music?

Music courses are a great way to learn about virtually... Read More

50 Cent G Unit

His lockjaw delivery makes him look as gangsta as Marlon... Read More

Formation of a Song (Recording)

As industry insiders, we sometimes forget that when discussing the... Read More

Performance and Gigs

"For optimum amp tone onstage, plug your amp into your... Read More

Playing The Violin Is For Everyone Who Loves Music

Every day musical instruments enrich the lives of people around... Read More

Music Mini Course: Learn The Basics Of Reading Music On A Keyboard Instrument

Welcome to the wonderful world of music. As you begin... Read More

Tips for a Great Recording Session

You know your songs are great (and so does your... Read More

So You Want to be President? Learn to Play a Musical Instrument!

President Harry S. Truman, the man in the White House... Read More

Music: Uniting Nations, Dividing Generations

Cultures around the world since the beginning of time have... Read More

Right-Hand Techniques for New Age Piano

Recently, I had a student ask me to offer some... Read More

Flaming Guitars! Minarik Fuels The Excitement Of A New Generation Of Musicians

Celebrating an endorsement between G-Man Music and the fiery axe-makers... Read More

Zen and the Art of New Age Piano

We all want to be in the moment. That's where... Read More

Music for Cross Cultural Accelerated Learning

The Search for the Right MusicEver since Georgi Lozonav, the... Read More

Memorizing Music - How Is It Best Achieved?

When memorizing music there are several things you can do... Read More

Beginner Guitar Lessons - Learn Guitar without Ever Leaving Your Home!

So, you think you'd like to learn to play guitar,... Read More

Repetition is the Key to Learning Something Deeply

Repetition is the key to learning something deeply. It works... Read More

Music Licensing: The Cold Cash Facts About Money for your Music

Where music meets licensing, there's money to be made. How... Read More

A Quick and Easy Composition Method

Here's the method I use every time I want to... Read More

Taking iPod Culture into Clubs as Well as Cyberspace: Jonny Rocket Interviewed by The G-Man

Already making plenty of noise in the marketplace is a... Read More