What is a talent buyer and why use one?

Here at 542 Entertainment, we run into this question ALL THE TIME. “Why would I use a talent buyer when I can just do it myself or have someone on my board do it?” It’s a good question and here are the reasons why:


Talent buying is relationship management at its finest. It takes a  person who is skilled at managing those relationships to get the best pricing, deal with numerous personality types, advance a show and have the inside scoop on who is doing what and what artists are on the cusp of becoming the next big one. Moreover, talent buyers have a much better chance of being able to route your show and get your pricing to where it needs to be. If an artist is routed they are able to do several shows in close proximity to each other which provides for a lower cost. A talent buyer will work with agents and other buyers to establish routing to obtain these benefits. When you’re spending so much money on talent, you need to make sure that you have the best person in your corner.


I can’t tell you how many times bands have shown up to a show and the person who was on the board or in charge of the talent didn’t read the rider correctly and the band didn’t play. The stage was wrong, they didn’t have the payment ready to go, they didn’t have appropriate dressing rooms and numerous other snafus.  Guess what? The show didn’t happen and the venue still needed to pay –  IN FULL. What happens next? You have a whole lot of people wanting refunds that you can’t afford and ‘Poof!’ there goes your event. If you work with a great buyer – they do all of this for you so you have no mistakes and no surprises.


That’s right. 542 Entertainment is completely hands on and we do it all. Firstly, we save you money on talent – we know what they are worth so you won’t just be following what the guy on the other line says. Second, we fly in and run your backstage management – this means you don’t have to pay someone an hourly rate to be there because we’ve got you covered. And last, but definitely not least, we go through your budget with you and are here for you every day with any questions you might have. Prime example: A client called us because she was concerned about at $26,000.00 catering bill and thought she should run it by us before she signed off – smart move! By the time we were done, the caterer’s quote was at $5,700.00 and stayed there.

Look, finding a good talent buyer that you can trust is like finding a good business partner – it’s imperative and can make or break you. Make sure whoever you work with is 100% honest and actually does the work. I built 542 Entertainment because I have been there. I’ve not only owned my own festival but I have worked in the agency world as well. The 542 crew knows what works and what doesn’t. But most importantly, we aren’t afraid to get our hands dirty and work. That’s why our slogan is ‘We aren’t an agent on the other line, we are your partner in the trenches’.

Ill end with a quote:

‘They say it takes a village to raise a child. Think of festivals as 100 children – you need an army’

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