Talent Buying and Artist Relations Guide


Talent Buying and Artist Relations are closely tied together as what comes out of the negotiations and contracting with the artist defines what the Artist Relations team will need to do during the event. Below you will find templates to help you create offers for artists as well as guides for what you’ll want to provide them.

Talent Buying:

  • Determine what sort of acts you’d like to see at your event, and what sort of talent budget you have
  • Research into your preferred list of acts’ availability, and make inquiries into ones that are available to their respective agencies
    • Utilize resources such as PollstarPro and others to do your research
  • Negotiate the proper amount of compensation and allowances (hotels, ground, backline, specific rider requests, production needs, etc)
  • Have the offer sheet (FEP-Blank-Offer-Form – .xls format) prepared and send the formal offer the agency. Note that any offer you send is usually legally binding; you must be prepared to send a deposit immediately upon their approval. Because of this, making multiple offers simultaneously for the same event / timeslot is not recommended as you may end up double booking.
    • Offer Sheet Example – Main Contents:
      • Performer information
      • Venue information
      • Ticket Pricing
      • Event Expenses
      • Break Event Ticket Goal
      • Any backend profit sharing
      • Total gross potential to Artist and Promoter offer-form-ss
  • If approved, move toward formal contracting (smaller acts / events may not need this step; the signed offer sheet may be enough).
    • Most agencies will require you to use their contracts; this is fine, just make sure you or someone you trust (i.e., legal counsel) goes through the contract line by line so you are not agreeing to anything you can’t or don’t wish to fulfill.
      • Examples of items to watch out for in contracts
        • Make sure you add in “per advance” for items you do not wish to agree to up front, including any hospitality or production items you may not be or want to be able to provide.  
      • Example of contracts – download the Word Doc version of a simple  talent agreement
  • Send the riders to the proper event staff (hospitality rider usually goes to the Artist Relations Manager, and the technical rider goes to the Production Manager / Stage Manager)

Artist Relations:

  • After what is provided for the artists is determined in the contracting / negotiation phase of Talent Buying, this sets up the foundation for the Artist Relations Team. They will need to organize some or all of the following:
    • Hotels
    • Flights
    • Ground Transportation
    • Fulfilling Hospitality Riders
      • Coordinating with the stage manager for items that will be on/near stage
      • Fleshing out any backstage trailer designated for the artist
      • Below is an example of a hospitality rider for a mid-level touring band:
    • Hiring and coordinating runners (and runner vehicles)
    • Providing an area for artists to lounge / relax – artist relations compound
      IMG_1698 IMG_1695
      Festival Style Catering Area / Lounge Area for Artists
    • Catering / Meals
    • Transportation to/from the artist relations compound to the stage
    • Coordinating any interviews / meet-and-greets (usually in conjunction with the media team)