I probably get this question more than any other and don’t think I have ever answered it. So if you are ever on The Price is Right and you are asked how much a band makes when they play a concert, here is what I know from my experience.
A good rule of thumb is that the band makes between 50-70% of the total amount of ticket sales. So the next time you are at a show, do some quick math about how many people are there and what the average ticket costs. Ex) 10,000 people @ $25 = $250,000 then multiply by 60% leaving the artist with $150,000
Once you figure out how much the band actually makes, then make the following deductions. 10% for the Booking Agent, 15% for the Manager and 5% for the Business Manager or 30%.
$150,000 x 30% (see above) = $45,000 in commissions and $105,000 remaining for the band. But that’s not all…..the band is responsible for paying for the expenses for their crew, buses, hotels, gas etc which can be anywhere from $2,500 to $25,000 per day depending on how many crew and buses the band has on the road. (A band playing for 10,000 people would be on the high end of this seeing as they would have lots of buses, trucks, crew, hotels etc.)
So at the end of the day, the band walks with between $80,000 – $100,000 of $8-10 of the $25 you paid to get in. Assuming the band has 5 members and they split it evenly, they each make $16,000 – 20,000 per person to do what they love. Not as much as you thought but still not a bad day.
Sure that works when they are playing to 10,000 people, but what about when you are playing to 1,000 people? 1,000 @ $15 = $15,000 Total x 60% for the Band = $9,000. Then take out the Commissions of 30% and it leaves the band with $6,300 to pay for the bus, crew, gas, hotels etc. In this case, the additional expenses would be in the $2,500 range resulting in a take home of $3,800 or $760 per person.
No two scenarios are the same and sometimes bands get crazy money to play birthday parties, corporate conventions and weddings but this should get you close enough if you were ever on The Price Is Right and had to guess in the Showcase Showdown. (FYI…this link is a 1:00 video of a man guessing the amount of his Showcase on the nose.)
PS. Drew Copeland from Sister Hazel won a car on The Price is Right in 1999 while the band was in LA recording their album.