Mark Runyon | ConcertTour.org
We’ve all idly fantasized about it, whether we’d like to admit it or not — everyone would secretly love to have their favorite band or musician pop up at their birthday bash and rock out. But how viable is that option? A recently-released “price list” for a huge number of musicians, and what they’d charge for private show, might reveal that your dream is closer than you thought… or, you know, just much farther than you ever imagined. Either way, chin up, and start saving now, especially if you want to have a chance of booking Madonna for your thirtieth.
If Your Budget is Less Than $10,000
The biggest band you could probably book for this puny budget is The 88, who would apparently show up to your shindig for over $5,000. And if you’re a fan of DJs, then you’re in for a treat — DJs Earworm, Logic, Scribble, Fereoh and Green Lantern would all purportedly spin their discs at your party for less than ten grand. To be honest, if this is your budget, you’re better off sticking to local acts who’ll play the hits for cheap. Or just queue up your custom Spotify playlist and spend the money on some particularly good speakers. Though I’d be tempted to pick a band at random and throw the money at them just to see what they’d be like. Hey, you only live once, right? OLTL!
If Your Budget is Between $20,000-30,000
Now, this is the price range where things get a little bit more interesting. What you see cropping up in this tier is mostly bands who used to be really popular but have sort of been forgotten about in the years since their heyday — Kaiser Chiefs, Flogging Molly, Five for Fighting, Simple Plan — so if you’re planning some sort of nostalgia-fest gig, then this might be the group you’re aiming for. Although you can get hold of a few pretty decent bands for this price too — St Vincent, Gaslight Anthem, and Rufus Wainwright all fall into this group, marking it as the price to aim for for those who are looking for either a blast from the past or a chance to revel in some top-quality indie music.
If Your Budget is Between $30,000-50,000
Okay, so now we’re cooking with fire here. Are you looking for brash pop? We’ve got that covered in the form of Cher Lloyd, Ok Go and Cobra Starship. But what if you’re more of a miserable-music, shoegazer kind of guy? You can hook up with The National, Dashboard Confessional or 2 Door Cinema Club. And if you’re looking for a blast from the past? Say hello to The Dandy Warhols, Phil Spektor and Joan Jett, depending on what kind of retro you’re actually looking for. My pick from this bunch? If I could gather together the required $35,000 to convince Regina Spektor to turn up to my next party. I’m counting up my spare change as we speak.
If Your Budget is Between $50,000-100,000
You’ve basically got your pick of the big bands at this point, provided you still consider people with hits from seven years ago “big bands”. Think bands in the vein of All American Rejects, Death Cab for Cutie, and Barenaked Ladies (hey, remember “One Week?” Of course you do, because we’ve never been allowed to forget it). There are some legitimate big names in this group too — from Snoop Dog/Lion, Jason Derulo, Arctic Monkeys and Creedence Clearwater Revival — and at this price you can expect proper quality (or at least some kind of vague modicum of fame). And hey, worst comes to worst you can afford Carly Rae Jepsen and get her to sing “Call Me Maybe” all night long to put you in that summer mood! If I had this kind of money, there’s only one band that I know for certain I’d be booking as we speak, and that’s the incredible Gogol Bordello (saw them in London, loved it, would plunk down my cast to have them produce that set every night for my pleasure).
If Your Budget is Over $100,000
At this point, there are some pretty big jumps in budget. You can get Madonna for a mere, um, million dollars — but if you’ve got this kind of money to throw around then you get your pick of the litter. You want Lady Gaga? Yours for $750,000. Green Day, kings of stoner rock, cost an ironic and jaw-dropping half a million. While fun. will put in an appearance for somewhere between $200,000-400,000. Fall Out Boy are yours for a comparatively cheap $150,000, while both Justin Bieber and Justin Timberlake will put you out over a million dollars (I know which one I’d pay for).
So, are you tempted to hire any of the bands mentioned above? How much would you pay to have your favorite band play for you?