Types of deals
When making an offer to set up an engagement there are a few types of deals that are typically structured. Fully Delivered, Closed, Door Deals, etc.
Fully Delivered vs. Partially Delivered
This deal has more to do with the overall financial terms and what is expected by the artist and what is expected by the promoter. A fully delivered deal is where you as the promoter offer a sum of money to cover ALL expenses related to the performance, and the artist/representative is expected to take care of all technical arrangements, flight bookings, hotels, transportation, per diems, artist visa’s, etc. You are providing the venue/the promotion/the sound/lights/some equipment.
The partially delivered deal is more or less what it sounds like: the promoter offers a sum of money and is expected to cover a partial list of production needs but not all of them. For example: The promoter may purchase the accommodations for the act and book/pay for the flights, while the artist will cover the artist visa petition, per diems for the support musicians and the local transportation to and from the airport or from the hotel to the venue or both! The partially delivered deal is typically agreed upon when the artist/representative may not have the capacity or knowledge to book many aspects of their personal travel without your support.
The Closed Show
This type of deal covers a basic black and white deal structure – where the performance fee is set no matter how many people come to the show. In this deal- you offer a flat fee for a single performance, and the artist is not concerned with the box office numbers or how many tickets remained to be sold on the night of the concert. Closed shows are common when the promoter is looking to do a free event, as a budget from the community or sponsorship allows for the sum of money to cover the performance fee and the production budget.
The Minimum Guarantee
The minimum guarantee deal is a middle-of-the-road fee arrangement where the promoter guarantees a minimum amount of money to the artist to perform, based on a specific ticket price.
If the final amount of money earned at the end of the night doesn’t cover the costs of the production, the artist is guaranteed at least a minimum amount of money. On the other hand, if the total revenue from ticket sales exceeds the artist’s minimum guarantee and production costs, both the artist and the promoter share the existing revenue. The terms of the shared revenue can be anything from 50-50 to 60-40 to 70-30 and so on, usually in favor of the artist.
The Door Deal
This is the most basic type of deal that usually takes place when an artist happens to be routing themselves through your community and the leverage is more or less on your side. You see the value in presenting a show, but it is still unclear to you if this artist merits a guaranteed amount of money. Its kind of like: “well, you are in town anyways- I will organize a show, but you will make money only if I make money”.
Typically the deal structure is the equivalent to a 70-30 split; where 70% of the profit generated from the performance will go to the artist/act performing, and yes, the remaining 30% goes back to the promoter. These deals are usually completely undelivered, meaning the band is expected to provide their own equipment, or at least some of it. Many promoters that do a door deal offer the band a warm meal on the night of the show and some gas money, and help the band find a couch to surf on if at all possible, no matter what the ticket sales are like. This is a courtesy, or a unwritten rule.