Want Taylor Swift to perform at your party? It'll cost you $1M

Friday, August 7, 2015, Vol. 39, No. 32
By Ellen Margulies

Pam Tillis has one of the greatest voices in country music, and if you’ve got $20,000 in your entertainment budget, you might be able to hire her for your private party.

That’s a mere song compared to some of the other greats, whose private appearance fees can range as high as $1 million or more.

And even then, there’s never a guarantee you can get them at all.

“It just depends on what level of artist you’re looking at,” says Zinnia Martinez, an agent for Buddy Lee Attractions Inc., which represents such artists as Darryl Worley, Tim Rushlow, George Ducas and Daryle Singletary. “Even if it’s an act you’ve never heard of, if they’re getting play on the radio, it’s probably going to cost you more.”

Pinning down the exact cost isn’t easy because there are so many variables, Martinez says.

“It’s so specific to the artist and the event,” she says. “There are a lot of artists in town who are attainable if it fits into their schedule. A lot of them like to do it.”

The amount of time they perform and whether an event might be raising funds for a cause near and dear to an artist’s heart also makes a difference, she says.

So how do you know whether you’ll need $75,000 for a half-hour of Clint Black, a half-million for a 90-minute Rascal Flatts set or a cool million to entice Taylor Swift?

Go to the artist’s website and try to find a contact for their management company or agent, for starters.

And to get an idea of whether you might need a second job – or a second mortgage – to pull in some serious star power for your kid’s quinceanera or bar mitzvah, radio station K99 (k99.com) posted a handy list online of some appearance fees. You’ll want to call and check first, of course.

Some examples:

  • Diamond Rio, $40,000 to $60,000
  • Eric Church, $150,000 to $200,000
  • Lady Antellebellum, $250,000 to $400,000
  • Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, $25,000 to $30,000

Pam Tillis and Clint Black photos: s_bukley / Shutterstock.com; Taylor Swift and Lady Antebellum photos: Jaguar PS / Shutterstock.com