Rate schedule

I am glad to show you what I charge because I honestly believe that any other musician with a comparable background, skill level, training, following, versatility, professionalism, sound quality and experience will most likely be charging at least three times this amount. Since I have other income sources, I can afford to play for less and have a little fun! To get an exact price quote, you can call me with a description of what your needs are. Prices are flexible and vary according to length of time, frequency of occurrence, location, type of engagement, and other circumstances. The simple fact is "I want to perform at your event." Depending on other circumstances that affect my schedule, I may be able to offer a discount, trade or exchange, etc. to come up with a fee that is acceptable. The best thing to do is to work out a price based on the following fee schedule, then if you feel that is more than you are willing to spend, call me or email me with your offer of how much you are willing to pay. Make sure you listen to the sample music selections, look at my song list, and read other information on this site to make sure I would be perfect for your occasion!

My base fee is $100, which covers cartage, moving the instruments and sound equipment in and out of the venue, setup, tuning and audio adjustments. This is in addition to the hourly performance fee listed below. Please allow 1 1/2 - 2 hours for setup and 1 hour for removal of equipment. If hired for a two-night engagement (such as Friday & Saturday), the setup fee would not be charged the second night if I remain set up from the previous night. This can save a substantial amount of money for venues that are looking for a "house band."

Here's the simple version of the fee schedule:

Cartage, setup, tear-down, loading & unloading:$100
Service & Veteran's Clubs, certain membership organizations such as campgrounds, trailer parks and senior living parks, club events, church festivals and approved non-profit organizations$100 setup fee is waived.
"Steady" engagements (restaurants, night clubs, coffee shops, etc. who hire on a regular weekly or monthly basis)$50 per hour
"Casual" engagements, such as weddings, anniversaries, birthdays, proms, parties, festivals, community functions, car shows and club picnics, church festivals, civic events and special events$100 per hour
Conventions and certain corporate functions$150 per hour
Concerts selling admission tickets$200 - $300 per hour

Discounts are offered for repeat engagements; for example, a one-time booking is at full price, but twice per month, every month, will be at a lower fee, three or more times each month will be even lower. I am also more likely to offer discounts to venues that will advertise the performance in local newspapers, radio or television.

In addition to public performances, I am also available for recording studio work. I can help with your band's recording, or create a demo CD for songwriters and vocalists. The fee for such work varies based on a number of circumstances. If you are interested in hiring me for studio work as a guitarist, vocalist, bass player, arranger, producer or engineer, please call me and we will figure out a cost.

I am a member of the American Federation of Musicians, Local 325. All engagements will require a signed contract to be filed with the AFM office in advance of the performance date.

I hope this information is useful, but the best way to cost out a show is to call me with the details. I support myself through full-time employment as a professor, so I don't have to rely on bookings to support my family, and I am willing to negotiate a fair price. I will say that I have as much schooling and experience as doctors and lawyers, but for some reason people want to pay me less than auto mechanics or plumbers charge! I believe that a professional entertainer should earn a wage similar to other professionals.

Also keep in mind that, although I am a solo entertainer, I use MIDI and other electronic audio equipment to add accompaniment such as bass, drums, keyboards, strings, horns, etc. to my music, so in many cases I would be replacing a 6 to 10 piece band.

You can contact me for a price quote by calling (619)818-2079 or (619)468-3089, or email me at tom@tomsmerk.com.

I'll look forward to seeing you at your event!

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Copyright 1996-2009 by Thomas M. Smerk