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Live Engagement Rates of Pay

Most gig fees are negotiated on a case-by-case basis. In the MU we produce recommended minimum rates for a variety of use cases for live and gigging freelance musicians.

Last updated: 17 April 2024

Examples of the payment deals you may be offered or able to negotiate

  • A straightforward guaranteed fee (paid in advance, on the night or within an agreed timescale).
  • A guaranteed fee plus a percentage of the door / box office takings
  • The entire door take, whatever that might be.
  • A split of the gig’s profits. This could include box office and/or bar takings. We have a MU L10 Profit Sharing Agreement for use.

Hidden costs: Make sure there are no hidden deductions, such as payments for the hire of PA, lights, promotion or other unnamed expenses.

Written terms of engagement

Having written confirmation of the terms of the gig ensures both sides know what is expected e.g., what time to arrive and how much you’re going to get paid etc. Without written evidence of the contracted terms, if a problem arises, recovering your fee is made far more difficult.

Fair Pay for live musicians

The Musicians' Union helps to make sure musicians are paid when doing any live work. That includes recommended rates, contract advice and the union’s Work Not Play campaign

Contact the Musicians' Union today

The MU has a network of experienced teams available to help musicians in all areas of the industry. If you have any questions about our services, membership or how the MU could help you, please don't hesitate to get in touch.

Live musicians' rates of pay

Member benefits for live musicians

Get involved with live performance issues across the UK

The MU is a democratic organisation and we are always looking for new voices within our member community.

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Have your say on live performance issues across the UK, such as international touring issues, festivals, street busking, parking in city centres, and sexual harassment.  

If you are a live performer, gigging musician in a band or a busker, join our Live Performance Section or a Section Commitee.

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Get involved with live performance issues across the UK