Fees for performers: our survey results

The results of a survey we commissioned about performance fees are set out in the chart and table below. Almost 200 musicians provided information about the fees they charged for various categories of performance in 2011. The survey was carried out externally for us in January and February 2012 by independent statistician Gary Eggleton.

In setting your current rates, you might want to also take into account:

  • your growing personal experience and skill
  • the type of venue where the performance is to take place
  • price inflation since the survey period (official data published monthly)
  • the general economic environment and its impact on demand for musicians’ services and
  • any information you have about the general level of fees musicians are charging for that type of performance.

As the chart below shows, almost half of respondents charged a typical performance fee of between £100 and £250.

Breakdown of Typical Fee

Typical fees by type of performer

We also looked at the different level of fees typically charged by different types of performer. This table shows the mid-point and the central range of responses for each category.

Mid-point*Central range**
£ per engagement£ per engagement
Conductor150100 - 500
Solo instrumentalist150100 – 250
Duo or ensemble player150100 – 200
Orchestral player11590 – 150
Solo singer250150 – 325
Ensemble singer15090 - 150

*Half the respondents charged this amount or more and half charged this amount or less.
** Half the respondents charged fees within this range. (Only 25% charged more and 25% charged less).

In each performance category, a number of respondents told us that they charged considerably more than the figures shown in this table. This meant that the survey data as a whole was skewed higher than the central range rather than lower.

Type of venue

The survey responses suggest that, compared to performers in all other venues, musicians playing in international concert halls were paid on average roughly 7.5 times more and musicians playing in regional concert venues were paid on average roughly twice as much.

Rehearsal fees

Although most survey respondents were typically not paid an additional fee for rehearsals, over one quarter did receive an additional fee for rehearsals. In over two thirds of cases, the amount of this additional fee was in the £26-£100 range. The average fee was just under £70 but in one case the rehearsal fee was as high as £250.