5 Mistakes You Must Avoid When Booking Tribute Entertainment

December 27, 2020

Home » 5 Mistakes You Must Avoid When Booking Tribute Entertainment

To prevent wasted money and embarrassing performances, there are 5 mistakes you must avoid when booking tribute entertainment. Tribute entertainers are a big attraction that can bring a lot of entertainment and money to a venue. Would we love to see the Beatles live? Of course! But that’s not going to happen. Other amazing performers like Led Zeppelin or Lady Gaga would also be great, but perhaps that’s not in the budget. Tribute entertainment costs less than the original while still putting on an incredible show. That is unless you make one of these 5 mistakes:

1. Overpaying for your tribute entertainment.

Unless you are hiring your nephew’s garage band, you can’t expect to pay for quality tribute entertainment in drink tickets. Tribute entertainers are talented musicians who do this professionally. Tribute acts like No Quarter – honoring the Led Zeppelin legacy, The Infinity Project – A Tribute To Journey, and Epic Queen – one epic QUEEN tribute provides exceptional entertainment authentically replicating the instrumentals and lyrics, as well as performance, style, and costumes of the original bands. Although there is a cost for acts like these, you need to be wary of overpaying. After releasing our price list, we started to hear from a lot of people and noticed that many were being overcharged. I’m not talking about a few hundred dollars either. The average tribal casino is charged 40% – 60% more than a competing venue of a similar size. That difference in price doesn’t go into the artist’s pocket either (see mistake #5).

2. Hiring Inexperienced Tribute Entertainers.

You need to do your due diligence when hiring a tribute act. There is too much at stake! You don’t want to find out your tribute entertainment isn’t any good while they are on stage in front of a large audience. If you are unsure of the band’s level of skill, look for reviews or testimonials from previous shows. Before hiring, you should also ask for music recordings. Some tribute bands will add their own flair to the music, which is great, but you need to ensure that it is authentic enough to be marketed as a tribute band to avoid disappointing the audience. Tribute bands at Seattle Entertainment Group (SEG) are very experienced. These tribute entertainers played 478 shows last year, earning over $900k! A good quality tribute is worth the investment for tribal casinos and venues, as a tribute show can sell $25K in tickets per night.

3. Forgetting to check them out.

Check out the tribute act before you hire them. This time, I’m not talking about their music – I mean their look. Manage your expectations by requesting photos of the band before you hire them. Many tribute bands will replicate the original group’s look with great costumes, hair, and makeup. A professional looking tribute act is an excellent indication of quality tribute entertainment. Further, you may want these photos for marketing the event, so you want to make sure these are fantastic pictures!

4. Not having the backing of a reliable agency.

There is a lot of risks involved when you don’t go through an agent. Let’s say you book a band directly and advertise it heavily. You sell out, and all is going well until the day off and are told they can’t make it. You are in a terrible situation! An agency will find a last-minute replacement and offer 24-hour support. If and when issues come up, you need an agency that is going to be there to help you through it. Ensure you have direct contact information and are able to reach the agency at any time. Seattle Entertainment Group offers comprehensive talent management for Native American artists and entertainers. The agency supports both parties to ensure mutually beneficial partnerships between artists and the casino.

5. Not requesting fee transparency.

When you request a quote, make sure you ask for a breakdown of the fees. Too often, tribal casinos are being overcharged, and that additional money isn’t going to the artists. In fact, before SEG added talent management, many Native entertainers were receiving less than their agent! The majority of the money you pay should be going to the artist, not the agent. Request transparency so you can ensure you are making a mutually profitable deal with balanced deal points. 


Booking with SEG will give you confidence when hiring tribute entertainment. You are protected with a contract and receive personal service to answer your questions and help you with your entertainment needs. Unexpected events come up, and despite planning and prevention, artists may become ill. In these cases, they will work hard to ensure the event can continue successfully, whether that means replacing a band member or an entirely new band.

They will work with your venue to put on an amazing performance! SEG recently signed the following acts:

  • No Quarter – Honoring The Led Zeppelin Legacy
  • The Ellison Experience – Seattle Based Jimi Hendrix Tribute
  • Whipped Cream – Americas #1 Herb Alpert Tribute Show
  • Janis Lives – A Celebration Of Janis Joplin
  • Epic Queen – One Epic QUEEN – Tribute
  • The Infinity Project – A Tribute To Journey
  • Non-Jovi – The Best Bon Jovi Tribute
  • Jar of Flies – A Tribute To Alice And Chains
  • Outshined – The Original Chris Cornell & Soundgarden Tribute
  • The Neil Youngs & The Harvest Mood Band – The Neil Young Revival
  • Petty Thief – The HeartBreak Experience
  • Beatlemania 64 – The First Original Beatles Tribute

These artists are all very experienced and by booking through a reputable agency like SEG, you will ensure you don’t make any of the mistakes listed here.

Below is a sample of some audio from one of our favorite entertainers. Please subscribe, share, and enjoy.

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