Watch recorded webinar about pricing outdoor shows

General Resources

Insights and practical tips on pricing for creation and touring of outdoor shows

Watch the webinar on YouTube

In the latest of a series of online resources developed for creatives in the outdoor arts sector, we brought together a panel of industry experts to share their knowledge and practical advice on how to price your outdoor show to ensure it is viable, sustainable financially, and that it is fit for touring.

The speakers for the session were:

The Session is Chaired by Independent Producer Phil Hargreaves 

During the session, each speaker provides a 15-minute presentation that includes a short introduction to their/ their company’s work and funding structure, as well as their experience and top tips when putting together a creation and touring budget.

We want to say a huge thank you to our Speakers and Chair for an informative and insightful session and welcome their perspectives and approaches to pricing and touring work.

Some of the key topics that are explored include:

  • What to consider when creating an outdoor show and how to budget for it
  • How to formulate a price for touring your show (your presentation fees and how that is different from an indoor show)
  • Examples of tour budgets and key considerations
  • Useful resources and industry standards

1. What is the maximum people that one can tour and the minimum? How do you cost it? 
This depends on the number of people you need, please don’t make savings on this the team is team and whoever you need to make the work and project happen. Please think about explore smaller and large variations to your project and what might be possible.
Think about the more people you tour with sustainable multiple cast or blocks of rehearsals.

2. For bookers, what is the price of NOT booking an outdoor arts show. eg. gathering information on the extended value of production 
When festivals have a festival budget and contingency and an experience for a range of people and experiences. It’s not about costs it can be about a curated programming.

3. Should work for a smaller audience charge a smaller fee? 
No, It’s important to work out the breakdown of what your show costs, it’s not about the numbers in terms of audience, it’s about understanding what your show costs to tour.

4. Large-Scale / Mid-Scale / Small Scale price bands. 
These can really vary, depending on how many people are on tour and the infrastructure that you might need in order to make sure that the project can happen.

5. How to manage covering overheads without pricing yourself out of the market? 
Our speakers shared an insight today around approaches to project managements fees to help support with the overheads of your company this can range between 10-30%.

6. How do you price for rural and not rural or would you keep it the same? 
The Price of the show is the price of the work, it is important to explore what is the minimum you need to make the tour possible and assess from there. Make sure you review this regularly and ensure you can pay yourselves and freelancers fairly.

7. What is the percentage of fee do people charge if a show is pulled while on-site for bad weather or other reasons? 
100% of the costs on it be clear in terms what is possible weather wise. You might want to think about cancellation policy in instalments in the lead up to the event.

8. Do you have any advice for companies that specialise in site specific work, so the creation I site specific, rehearsals on site and performance delivered, usually in open public spaces, obviously costs are much higher especially artist and crew fees etc 
Phil Hargreaves has produced a blog around sites specific work and this covers some of these elements coming soon to the Without walls website.

9.  I make light sculptures for festivals, they are all self-funded, I have no problem working out time and expenses for me/people, but how do I cost the artwork itself in my fee? 
I think is it a commission? That you have been asked to make this – state your rate of pay and work out the time it takes for you to make the work. If you choose to make that be fair on yourself, explore ways in which the project might work. Is it a Commission and you own it or does the festival or event own it for example this will impact on the price.

10. How much time do you cost in for Rehearsals? 
Many artists cost for technical rehearsals/nigh before in prep Pre-tour a week before going out, so we are ready for some shows.

11. Any hints or tips on budgeting for R&D before pricing a finished touring show? 
Think about what you need to make your project happen. Is it time developing and shaping the work outdoors and testing equipment/structures. You might want to consider go see funding – to see other work at festivals.