How much do the musical acts make on the county fair circuit?
August 15, 2007 12:18 AM   Subscribe

How much do the musical acts make on the county fair circuit?

This is county fair week where I live (San Mateo, CA), and some of our fair's headliners (REO Speedwagon, Joan Jett) were legitimate concert fodder back in the day. So out of curiosity, how much can an act make as the headliner playing the fair circuit, either gross or net? How much per show, and how many shows a "season?" BTW, I am genuinely curious and not trying to engage in any schadenfreude at the expense of these performers.
posted by mosk to Media & Arts (6 answers total)
Best answer: Fair shows and Casino shows are typically called "soft ticket" concerts. This means the ticket sales of the event are not the sole or main stream of revenue for the event.

A typical show must sell X many tickets to cover all expenses, mostly the artist fee. However casino and fair events have many sponsors or ulterior means to pay for the event. Therefore, these artists that play this circuit are way overpaid...

Devo for $50k anyone?

I might be way off, but I'll take a stab at it and say $25k. Bands that frequent that circuit might play 8-10 in a summer/fall season, or regulars (like ASIA, BÖC, etc) might make tours out of casinos, fairs, private and corporate events, and radio festivals.
posted by blastrid at 1:34 AM on August 15, 2007

Best answer: This list has prices for a lot of more current bands:
I'll bet REO Speedwagon or Joan Jett charge over $50k for a fair concert.
posted by andrewzipp at 6:30 AM on August 15, 2007 [1 favorite]

Best answer: An article in the San Francisco Chronicle answered this question for me a couple of years ago.

I too would like to know how much Joan Jett pulls in at the fair, but, alas, the article isn't *that* specific.

I hear she loves rock 'n' roll.
posted by bisesi at 6:53 AM on August 15, 2007

Response by poster: Thanks, guys -- each answer was excellent, and andrewzipp, that ClearChannel list was fascinating. I remember reading that Chronicle article a few years ago, bisesi, but was having trouble finding it, so thanks.
posted by mosk at 11:20 AM on August 15, 2007

Pauley Shore 15 to 20K!!!!
posted by andywolf at 5:31 PM on August 15, 2007

Response by poster: Heh...yeah, saw that. May need to revise my comment on schadenfreude, although $15k seems overly optimistic on his part.
posted by mosk at 5:47 PM on August 15, 2007

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