Slightly OT: big flats in CCM

David Bruce Murray dredges up some interesting details about 15K minimums in Christian music. It’s a nice diversion for a Saturday morning.

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  1. Gospel Planet » Slightly OT: big flats in CCM on 05 Feb 2007 at 1:26 pm

    […] Original post by averyfineline […]

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  1. burt wrote:

    I’m not completely sure about the accuracy of that “list”. I’ve worked a few concerts including Bob Carlisle, Michael English (2 that were on the list) and Natalie Grant. NONE of these artists required more than $5,000. None of the venues were churches either.

  2. CVH wrote:

    I’ve had occasion to work with a similar agency. Their ‘client’ list was a virtual who’s who of the entertainment industry which seemed a little odd. When I contacted them to book a ‘name’ talent for an event, they simply referred me to the talent’s personal management company, with whom I negotiated the package. The first agency probably garnered a 3-5% finder’s fee. On a $12,000 fee, that was still about $600. Not bad for the time it took them to connect me with the real broker. What they did was save me time tracking down the people I needed to talk with to get the job done.

    In gospel/CCM I’ve worked with a number of the groups on the list and their fees have rarely exceeded several thousand, unless it was an arena event where they were guaranteed a fee plus percentage of the gate.

  3. Tom wrote:

    I usually find that DBM has some keen, intelligent commentary on the industry as well as music itself, but he must have turned his brain off to fall for this whopper. Surely DBM, with all of his industry insider contacts and experience in retailing Christian music and as an sg artist himself, has enough sense to realize that most of the artists on that list would never be able to command $15K flats. Indeed, a lot of those on that list are washed-up has-beens (at least in terms of 2007 pop culture) and would consider themselves lucky to get a booking at all.

    Let’s shoot this down by looking at just a handful of the top CCM artists whose names DBM links to. One of the more prominent booking agencies, used by many top-tier CCM artists, is Creative Artists Agency in Nashville. You can find a list of CCM artists who do their booking through Creative Artists Agency at http://ccm.caa.com/artists/. Many of the gospel artists listed on the De La Font website that DBM found are actually booked by Creative Artists Agency instead–including Amy Grant, Chris Tomlin, Jars of Clay, Michael W. Smith, Nicole C. Mullen, Randy Travis, Relient K, Stacie Orrico, Steven Curtis Chapman, Third Day, and TobyMac. Side diversion: If you’re interested in seeing what some of the top CCM artists require from concert promoters, check out all the tour riders Creative Artists Agency has online at http://ccm.caa.com/artists/riders.asp. I didn’t find any hint of what the flat would be on the riders I looked at–as is common practice, most of them state that the artist will be paid both a pre-determined minimum guarantee and a pre-determined percentage of the sales. These amounts will be stated on the signed contract, and as is often the case, these figures may vary from venue to venue or promoter to promoter. (I’ll bet that almost all sg artists have significantly simpler contracts than what you’ll find here!)

    So what is the deal with this Richard De La Font Agency? Well, take a look at the complete of all the artists that this agency claims it will do booking for: http://www.delafont.com/musical_acts.htm. On this page, you will find a list of GENRES that they book–you have to click on a specific genre to get a full list of artists. And when you do, you find a list of many well-known artists that they’ll do booking for. Invariably, at the end of the each genre’s list, it says: “These are just a few of the acts that are available. We can assist in booking practically any name act you want for your event – if the act is available and within your budget. Who do you want? Contact us with information about your organization and your event. Your business is appreciated.”

    So what does this Richard De La Font Agency do? It “ASSISTS” you in booking any artist you want. That is, if you are gullible enough to be willing to pay double the amount of money it should cost to book any artist of any kind in the entire world, they’ll be glad to step in and be the middle-man for you. You pay them a whole lot more than what it actually costs, and they’ll contact the artist’s actual booking agency and arrange the concert.

    DBM writes: “This link puts things in perspective, doesn’t it?” He also writes that the link provides “a list of artists this agency presumably books with a $15,000 minimum per show on a regular basis.” Come on, DBM, you can do your homework better than this! Your post comes off as an uninformed and illegitimate cheap shot at CCM artists. I mean, really, what kind of “perspective” does this put things in? I dare you to contact any of the artists listed on that link page you provided and find out how many of them have ever done ANY shows booked by this agency with a $15K minimum. If you want to know what kind of “perspective” this puts things in, consider instead how few sg artists have enough name recognition to even warrant having their names show up on this De La Font guy’s website!

  4. David Bruce Murray wrote:

    Tom,
    Did you overlook the word “presumably? I didn’t fall for anything. This agency requires a $15K minimum budget for each event they work on. I never said $15K flats were necessarily going to individual artists, though I’m sure that in a few cases, they are.

    Take Michael W. Smith, for example. I’ve attended a number of his concerts over the years. I doubt I’ve been to ANY of his shows that didn’t require at least a $15K budget to promote.

    The “perspective” I mentioned has nothing to do with taking a cheap shot at CCM. The perspective is that there are many Christian shows where promoters work in the $15K+ budget range rather than the $3-4K or less budget range that many/most SG promoters (including churches) use.

  5. Tom wrote:

    DBM,

    Fair enough about the quasi-hesitancy of the word “presumably.” But in your full context, you said that you were linking to “a list of artists this agency presumably books with a $15,000 minimum per show on a regular basis.” This implies that all of the artists listed on the website you linked to get booked with a $15,000 minimum [presumably] and that this happens for all those artists on a regular basis [presumably].

    Sure, Michael W. Smith, Third Day, Jars of Clay, and Amy Grant probably do have those kinds of dates. They also probably have touring entourages that are three to four times as big as your average sg group, and much more elaborate and expensive stage productions than sg artists. So if that’s your point, then it makes sense.

    But the other 95% of the artists on the website you linked to are nowhere near that. So your implication that it is routine for all artists listed on that website to get $15K minimums on a regular basis [presumably] seems misleading and inaccurate.

  6. David Bruce Murray wrote:

    Tom,
    You wrote:
    “But in your full context, you said that you were linking to “a list of artists this agency presumably books with a $15,000 minimum per show on a regular basis.” This implies that all of the artists listed on the website you linked to get booked with a $15,000 minimum [presumably] and that this happens for all those artists on a regular basis [presumably].”

    No, what I wrote states clearly that every SHOW booked by this agency presumably has a budget in excess of $15K. To further emphasize that I’m talking about the overall budget rather than a specific artist’s flat, the post header reads “$15K Minimum Per SHOW.”

    A single show might include SEVERAL artists. Nowhere do I imply that a show=only one artist.

    If I may add an observation, I merely wrote three sentences. On top of that, the first and third sentences I wrote were purely speculative.

    With your initial 700 word response, you presumed a great deal about my one non-speculative sentence.

    But hey, if you refuse to accept these two attempts at an explanation and prefer to remain convinced I really meant what you assumed I meant, I guess that’s up to you. :o)

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