ALL ABOUT TRIBUTES - An experts guide to booking tribute acts

Whether you're an experienced booker of entertainment or if it's your first foray into booking tribute acts for your event(s), the tribute market is huge. Trying to navigate the good from the maybe 'not so good' can be a bit of a minefield. This is where an experienced hand and an expert comes in to it's own - guiding you towards the best tribute acts out there; also saving you a lot of time in the process!

Henderson Management have been supplying the country's leading tribute acts to venues and events all over the UK and overseas since the mid-80's; so we think we're pretty well placed to provide you with some top tips and the best help out there when it comes to choosing the best acts for your event(s). Henderson Management carefully vet every single act that we work with...

 

'What is a tribute act?'

Well, 'Wikipedia' defines a tribute act or tribute band as:-

'A music group singer, or musician who specifically plays the music of a well-known music act. Tribute acts include individual performers who mimic the songs and style of an artist, such as Elvis impersonators covering the works of Elvis Presley or groups like The Iron Maidens, an all-female band that pays tribute to Iron Maiden. Many tribute bands, in addition to playing the music of an artist or group, also try to emulate the vocal styles and overall appearance of that group, to make as close an approximation as possible'...

...pretty much spot on we would say!

'Which tribute act should I book for my event?'

Given the amount of choice out there (we have one of the larger tribute act rosters available), there can be a temptation to choose your act on gut feel and what you 'think' could prove to be successful. Equally, personal taste can sometimes take over meaning you potentially overlook the right act to suit your audience.

TOP TIP - park your taste at the door. Only ever approach booking a tribute act factoring your audience in mind. Ask yourself, who is my audience? What sort of music do they generally like? What's my demographic? Essentially, what does my audience look like?
A further TOP TIP and one we have seen to be a succesful tool is emailing out a survey to your customer database asking them which acts they would attend if you are hosting a public event. You can do this either using a handy platform like 'SURVEY MONKEY' (www.surveymonkey.co.uk)...

...or of course there are handy surveys which you can run via your Facebook page - www.facebook.com/simple.surveys/

How do you get people to complete your survey? You can certainly incentivise them with an offer of winning free tickets or a free group booking to your next event if they complete your survey. Survey's can offer a useful insight as to what your audience looks like and which way you may want to go with booking your next tribute act.

 

'What are the different types of tribute acts and tribute bands?'

Essentially, they can be split into these categories:-

Tribute bands: a live band playing music only by the artist they’re paying tribute to - matching the instrumentation and performance style of the original artist, as well as featuring authentic costumes and instruments. Some tribute bands try to recruit ‘look-alike’ musicians to get their image as authentic as possible, but this isn’t considered as important as it is with solo tribute artists.

Tribute groups: such as Take That, Spice Girls, Jersey Boys, Little Mix - performing with live vocals and backing tracks. They too often fall into the tribute band bracket as well.

Solo tribute acts/singers: a live singer mimicking the performance and songs of a famous artist, in authentic costume, often a close personal resemblance to the original act - performing over pre-recorded backing tracks.

Duo tribute acts: much like solo tribute acts but featuring two performers i.e Abba duos, Blues Brothers etc.

 

'How much does a tribute act or a tribute band cost?'

'You get what you pay for' and this is no different when it comes to booking tribute acts so we would definitely advise against cutting corners when it comes to the quality of entertainment for your event. A good indicator of what's usual to pay for good standard tribute acts would be:-

Solo tribute acts - £500-£600
Duo tribute acts - £700-£850
Tribute groups - £1000-£1500
Tribute bands - £1000-£2500

 

You will tend to pay more for an established tribute act or tribute band with a high level of experience and demand. It's also worth considering the number of members in a tribute band as this can greatly affect cost - hence why the price bracket for tribute bands is much wider.

 

'Is there anything I need to provide for a tribute act at my event?

Certainly a safe performance area, preferably a raised stage, with power sockets in close proximity.

They will also require parking, and ideally easy access at the front of the venue to park and unload. This will ensure they can load in and set up as quickly as possible.

Food and refreshments are always appreciated (preferably a hot meal as they'll be on the go for approximately 12 hours and wont have had opportunity to eat elsewhere).

More established tribute bands may have a ‘rider’ which lists specific hospitality and/or technical requirements which you must meet at your own expense when you book them.

A changing room though is very important and we would say a standard/bare minimum requirement when it comes to booking a tribute act or tribute band. It should include enough seats for all band members and a mirror. If the band or act need to do costume changes mid-show, the changing room ideally would need to be next to the stage or a seperate 'quick change' area should be considered for costume changes.

 

'Which are the best tribute acts?'

Check out below a list of the top selling and most popular tribute acts in the UK right now; featuring some of our personal favourites as well:-

Nya King as Whitney Houtston

Harry Cambridge as Luther Vandross

Queen II

Vogue - A Tribute to Madonna

Michael Clews - Multi tribute to Neil Diamond, Michael Buble and Elvis Presley

Ultimate Elton

Andrew Browning as George Michael

Bruno - A Tribute To Bruno Mars

Sounds of The 60's - live tribute to The best of the 60's

WestZone - A tribute to Westlife and Boyzone