How Much Do Singers Earn On Tour?

As a singer you can earn anything from $5,000 to $100,000 on tour.

This is usually earned by a variety of methods and also depends on how big of an artist or singer you are.

Things such as being a lead singer, are you a backup singer, singing original songs, costs of logistics in setting up the concerts in tour, live or playback singing, how much the tickets cost, marketing and lastly how much you pay in taxes as a singer.

All in all, as a singer you can earn as much as $500 per concert on tour to several millions and it all depends on all the factors which I listed above.

So in this article, I will be showing you how all these factors affect the amount of money you will earn as a singer.

1. How big a singer are you?

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The first factor that plays a huge role in how much you earn is how big a singer you are.

Think about it for a second

A major hit singer with millions of fans downloading your songs will definitely command a higher appearance fee for concerts and tours than a local celebrity that is known only in your city or town.

For example, Taylor Swift makes around $1 million dollars per concert, Adele makes about $500k per concert while Pink made about $100 million dollars from her famed concert “Trauma”

Now this is not bad for a couple weeks and hours of singing but you need to take into consideration the fact that these are international well known singers that can command high fees and people want to hear perform.

While the particular amount they get to take home and keep will depend on the contracts they have with their record labels, there is no doubting the fact that at the end of the tour, these singers will be smiling home with a substantial amount of money.

My advice to you is to ensure that you develop yourself and put out more hit songs

Build your fanbase to a respectable size and then gradually transition to becoming an international star that can command high tour fees.

Related: check out this article I wrote on should I eat a banana before singing

2. Are you a lead singer or a backup singer?

Beginner singers who are talented actually start off as backup singers for some established singer, if they are lucky. 

Sometimes these do have contracts with the recording labels although not always. 

Generally, speaking backup singers do not get an actual percentage of the earnings from the concert, rather they get paid a set fee. 

This set fee will depend almost entirely on the lead singer’s ability to attract people, simply put some singers who are more popular than others.

For backup singers who do not sing for very well established singers, the payout per concert can be as low as $150, on the other side, being a backup singer for someone like Adele could earn them anything between $3000 to $8000. 

Most established singers do have backup singers, for example, Taylor Swift. 

As for how much do Taylor Swift’s backup singers get paid the answer is around a couple of thousand dollars per concert.

Also check out this article I wrote on how to be a gospel singer

3. Are you singing original songs?

Another factor you need to consider that will affect how much you earn on tour, is whether you are singing original songs that have not been heard before.

If as a singer you are not singing your own original songs then the amount of money you are likely to earn will decrease.

This is because you will definitely have to pay royalties and fees to the original creators of the songs.

Which is why if you want to earn the big bucks as a singer, you need to ensure that you are singing your own original songs and not songs from others.

In the case that you perform your own original songs then the payout is usually higher than performing other people’s songs as the royalties is usually higher.

4. Cost of concert and logistics

One of the biggest factors when it comes to how much money a singer makes per concert is the actual cost of the concert. 

While most people think that a concert can be simply put together by a couple of people and a simple stage this is far from the truth. 

Project managers have to plan everything in detail, like how will they get the stage to the location, who will assemble it, how many toilets will there be needed, who will be in charge of the security and what are the costs of renting out the place where the concert will be held.

Most people forget about concert logistics, but these can quickly add up and lower the amount of money which a singer makes. 

Large trucks have to be rented to haul the stage, busses also for the sound engineers, engineers to make the stage and even hotel bookings if for each member of the staff. 

All these can add up faster, on the other hand, concerts which do need a large amount of money with logistics tend to make a lot more money in profit due to the singer.

5. Sales and marketing

Another way to make money while on tour is through the sales or tickets

And the cost of the sales plays a huge role in how much you earn on tour.

Another thing is most people may try to have a large concert where few people attend and then the price is fairly cheap or smaller concerts with fewer people and expensive ticket prices

Another thing that affects how much you earn on tour is the marketing involved as a singer

On the other hand, record labels will pay a lot of money for promoting the concert especially if the singer is famous. 

As the record label’s main goal is to make money it will want to attract as many people to the concert. 

Some record labels also think that even a mediocre singer can make a good amount of profit provided that they pump enough money into the promotion, although this doesn’t always work.

6. How much do you pay as taxes?

Finally how much you pay as taxes will also determine how much you get to keep for yourself at the end of the day.

Although I am not an accountant and not familiar as to how much famous singers actually pay, it is a safe bet that it will probably be around 30% of their entire revenue. 

This, of course, will also depend on the state where the singer lives, simply put some states have higher taxes than others.

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