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Event Inspiration/Articles/Tips/How to Hire a Tribute Act

How to Hire a Tribute Act

Nicole Steeger

Nicole Steeger


Tribute acts are a very popular form of event entertainment. These acts specialize in playing all of your favorite tunes from a specific band or musical act. Finding talented Tribute Acts can be easy, if you know where to look and what questions to ask. GigMasters has hundreds of phenomenal Tribute Acts that cover a wide variety of memorable groups and eras. To help you find the perfect Tribute Act for your event, we asked our top members to offer a few tips that will help you find the right fit for your event. Here's what they had to say.

Consider the Audience

Beatles Tribute Band, Pepperland (Sebastopol, California), suggests that you must think about who will be attending the event, before you lock into a specific musical act. While you may absolutely love a band and think that hiring a Tribute Act is a great idea, you must also think about the other guests that will be in attendance. Pepperland advises clients to consider, "How well matched the music will be to the audience. After all, they will be getting an entire night of just one musical style." Meet the Beetles (Chicago, Illinois) added, "It is extremely important to ask yourself if the people attending your event will enjoy the music you are considering.  I know that seems like common sense, but we have (rarely, but nonetheless) found ourselves performing at an event where the only fan of the music was the person who hired us." When planning entertainment for an event, you should always think of your guests/audience. The success of an event is often measured by whether or not the guests enjoy themselves. For that reason, you should always consider those in attendance during the planning process.

Authenticity Counts

If you decide that a Tribute Act is the perfect fit for your event, you should do a lot of research before booking. Kiss Tribute Band, Gods of Thunder (Los Angeles, California) shared, "When hiring any tribute band, the one thing that all clients should look for is authenticity. If the band is not 100% on their game when it comes to the look, energy, musical/vocal abilities and overall show (and I speak mostly for KISS tribute acts, but this applies to ALL), then most of the performance excitement will be lost. Everyone will have that feeling...something's wrong or missing. No client should have to go through the trouble and expense of hiring a tribute act and find out...to their dismay...they hired the wrong band because the band didn't have "all their bases covered". One act might come in with a lower bid and not have what it takes. My motto with everything in life - you get what you pay for!"

Reviews and Videos

When you are searching for a Tribute Act, you should spend a great deal of time on their GigMasters profile. You can find a lot of information on a member's profile that will help you learn more about their act and their past bookings. Rat Pack Tribute Show, The Sultans of Swing (St. Louis, Missouri) believe the first thing a client should do is, " Look for an act with overwhelmingly positive customer reviews. The artist/client relationship is key to the success of any event. You should also consider if the artist's song list is a good collection of songs by the original artist that the band is paying tribute to. Finally, studio recordings are great, but live recordings (or actually seeing the artist live) is better because you will actually hear and see what you are hiring." Many GigMasters members have video on their profiles, so you can easily see a sample of their show. Watching video is extremely important when you are deciding on booking an act."

Questions are Key

Once you have narrowed down your search to a few select acts, you should always talk to the performer(s) before booking. Prepare a list of questions so you will have all the information you need for making an informed entertainment decision. Frank Sinatra Tribute Act, Matt Snow (Cincinnati, Ohio) provided a list of questions you should review with a potential performer:

  • How long have you done this tribute show?
  • Is this a full-time business for you?
  • How many shows do you do each year?
  • What do you do to maintain your skills and improve on your professionalism?
  • What professional training have you had?
  • Do you have liability insurance?
  • Will we have a written agreement?
  • Do you work only with sound tracks, or can you bring live musicians?
  • Does your price include Travel? Lodging? Booking fees? Other musicians? Other performers?
  • Will you provide all needed sound equipment?
  • If needed can you provide stage lighting and/or spotlighting?
  • Can you also provide MC and/or DJ service when not performing, if needed?
  • How long is the performance?
  • Do you take breaks? How many and for how long?
  • Will you need a place (greenroom) to get into costumes, do makeup, etc.?
  • Will we be charged extra if we want the show to go longer than originally planned? How much?

You should always do your due diligence before booking entertainment for your event. Making an informed decision regarding your entertainment selection will allow you to have peace of mind during your event and minimize stress.