What: This site connects entertainers (actors, DJs, bands, etc) and service providers (bartenders and photographers) with paying customers
Expected pay: Set by You
Commissions & fees: $30–$40/month; or $359-$479/year, plus a 2.5% – 10.5% commission on each booking
Requirements: Must be 18 or older and have a service you want to advertise
GigSalad is an online platform that connect entertainers and service providers with individuals hosting parties and events. The site claims it is a one-stop shop for everything from clowns, Disney characters to DJs, bartenders, and wedding photographers.
Reviews of entertainers hired through GigSalad are mostly positive, however the entertainers looking for gigs on the site do not seem as positive. Typically, the complaints are: Fees are high, they are imposed regardless of whether work is found. A free listing option exists, however a paid subscription must be cancelled first to get it.
The lowest fee, only for those wanting a year-long subscription is $359. Users claim GigSalad does very little to help advertise yourself at that rate. Artists who have paid the $479/year subscription say the higher subscription rate is required before GigSalad features the artist’s work. Signing up for a monthly subscription means it will be automatically renewed until cancelled.
At one point, artists were able to sign up for free. A membership is now required. If you cancel your subscription, you remain on the site as a “free” member indefinitely.
Besides the monthly or annual fees, workers pay a commission on each booking. Commissions are lower for paid members, ranging from 2.5% to 8% while free members pay 5% to 10.5%.
Some users say new business comes in through GigSalad, even repeat and lucrative business. High upfront costs may make the platform too expensive for artists whose per-gig rate is low.
What their users say (from SiteJabber):
“I paid for a month of Gig Salad. It said that you could have multiple categories yet there are only a couple of categories available for photographers. During the month, I received absolutely no events to bid on. You can list on Gig Salad for free, but you are only allowed one category. Over the year or two I have been listed, I have only received about a half dozen events to bid on. Ironically, I did engage one event as a free member which I appreciate, but I won’t pay $30 a month (plus any booking fees) for no events to bid on. Gig Salad does not work for photographers.”
“In my experience to date, GigSalad does not reach any viable market for my band and the kind of music we offer.
We play original blues-rock, jazz, and Christian rock.
Not one of the inquiries I have received was looking for what we do.
They were always looking for something else, that we don’t do.
At this point, the inquiries have become nothing but time-consuming background noise.”
“As an independent event entertainer, I use this site for booking leads, but I’m quickly learning that their fees are really, really high. Example: someone booked me for a gig where my total fee was $150. After GigSalad took their portion and deducted another fee for PayPal, my total was only $124.50 and they still charged the client an additional fee as well!
–And this isn’t even their subscription service (I don’t live in an area with clientele that could support the event fees required to make GigSalad’s subscription anywhere near affordable.) You also have to pay a fee to list other events on the site calendar, leading to booking leads you can’t use because the time is already blocked (last check, that fee was between $5-8). I either have to raise my prices to use this service (which will impact the number of clients I can help) or find another way to get my name out there. If you’re just starting out, it’s a helpful way to find leads, but I wouldn’t recommend this as a long-term plan.”