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I am trying to get my project going, and was wondering, for 8 par 56 cans, what would you charge? How about for ADJ movers? Trusses? Time? Just curious what a good base would be to start at, epsecially considering I am trying to market to smaller lower budget groups and shows. Also, any tips for marketing to DJ's? Thanks in advance!

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I've actually heard that 10% of the total value of your gear (lighting, dimmers, truss, movers, control) is a good price to charge for equipment. That number would include labor of set up and tear down.

5% is probably a number for someone to pick up and return to you. A straight gear rental.

When it comes to movers, programming of the lighting is a different fee. And the fee also changes if the programmer would be on site durring the event.
Well, here's some useless injection:

Idiots around here throw 4 Par 56's on a floor mounted square truss section with a dimmer/power pack running a random patter. Repeat on the other side of the stage. The Asians around here pay $800/night for that crap.

For sound, they whine at me bringing in sound AND lighting AND monitors for $800. Go figure.

For me, I just come up with a flate rate and leae it at that. Something I can live with. If I went with the 10% number, I would be charging $3500/day. My old day rate(just me alone, gedar extra) was $2400/day. But people around where I live are cheap.

If people want a custom light show, it should be billed HOURLY for the pre-show programming(done BEFORE the day of the show).

What I'd do is see what the competition charges, and then stay competitive. If you've got better gear and skills, charge a bit more. You may not get jobs right away, but once you do and they notice a better product offering, you'll be good.
my 2 cents...

I am just starting to freelance small shows & festivals.

Have about 3K in lighting - 4 Scanners, 5 LED P64, 2 sets of par cans on dimmers, 2 spectrum LEDs, & 4 Chauvet Color Palettes...all on 4 T stands and trussing....controlled by Operator 192.

I charge $250-500 per gig depending who it's for...but I also uuse the same lights for weekly gigs at a small venue I run as I typically have to disassemble the entire rig, do the freelance gig, then immediately (sometimes the SAME night) re-assemble the lights in that small venue.

Lots of hours of work for me by myself! ;-)
My advice:

Don't book 2 gigs for the same day.

In my situation, it's too much back-ache to dismantle a full sound and lighting rig, only to move it, set and strike it again, then to bring it right back again. For me, that's too much time lost.

My average time from arrival to full sound and lights is often 3 hours. LOTS of sound, lots of lights. Strike is also around 3 hours.

I'm not saying don't do it, but in my opinion, I ain't gonna do that. Did it for some small things, not pleased with how it went, despite going well.
The 5% and 10% guidelines are just that, guidelines. There are some things we can charge 50% of purchase price on, and others that barely sell when we charge 2% of purchase. You'll need to build some experience with pricing and constantly tweak it. Your competition will be doing that as well. You also have to consider that equipment goes in and out of style like everything else. What was once popular may not be tomorrow, and vice versa. If I had some HES Emulators I could rent those out 8 days a week right now (yes, 8 days a week).

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