Why people spent thousands on VIP access to Coachella, we’ll never know. The real event of the season was Andrew’s bar mitzvah.
The teen’s Chicago-area celebration earlier this year boasted top musical talent, too — rapper Flo Rida was ferried in by private jet from (where else?) Florida to perform at the event, per The New Yorker.
The fees were not “Low”
Flo Rida charges $150k-$300k for private US gigs (fees approach $1m for overseas engagements).
He is but the tip of a fast-growing iceberg; for-hire performances are booming.
- Top talent agency CAA’s private-events department is bustling — once booking 100-200 dates a year, they ballooned to ~600 events last year.
The number of billionaires in America has tripled since 2000, widening the customer base willing to shell out obscene prices for one glorious night.
That cash infusion helped change musicians’ minds — private shows once seen as the territory of desperate, over-the-hill artists are now viewed by entrepreneurial stars as lucrative revenue sources.
Reports that Beyonce made $24m+ for an hourlong January set in Dubai likely didn’t hurt there.
Not everyone makes Beyonce-level bucks…
… but their hauls ain’t shabby. A private Bruno Mars show, for instance, starts at $4m, per Rolling Stone.
- Artists taking private gigs include: Paul McCartney, Elton John, Sting, Andrea Bocelli, Jon Bon Jovi, Diana Ross, Black Eyed Peas, and Eric Clapton.
- Bruce Springsteen, Taylor Swift, and AC/DC are known for being rare holdouts in the private-show trend.
But be careful who you sing for: Accepting private gigs isn’t without risk for artists. Jennifer Lopez once apologized for performing for Turkmenistan’s authoritarian leader. (For her trouble, JLo was paid $1m+ — for just a three-song set.)
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