What: GigSalad connects actors, comedians, DJs, bands and service providers, such as bartenders and photographers, with customers

Expected pay: set by you

Husl$core: $$$

Commissions & fees: $359 to $479 per year, plus a 2.5% – 8% commission on each booking*

Where: Nationwide

Requirements: Be over the age of 18 and have a service that you want to advertise

Review:

GigSalad is among a handful of online platforms that connect entertainers and service providers with people hosting parties and events.  The site promises one-stop shopping for everything from clowns and Disney characters to DJs, bartenders and wedding photographers.

The reviews of entertainers who have been hired through GigSalad are generally positive. But entertainers are less enthusiastic about the platform. The complaints are consistent: The site’s fees are high and are imposed regardless of whether you find work. GigSalad does have a free listing option, but you may have to cancel a paid subscription to get it. 

Subscriptions

GigSalad’s lowest charge — reserved for those who sign up for a year-long subscription — is $359. But users say that the site does little to help you advertise yourself at that rate. Artists say you need to pay $479 annually for a “featured membership” to get any attention. If you sign up for a subscription, it will be automatically renewed until you tell them to cancel.

  • It is worth noting that the site once allowed artists to sign up for free. Now you have to buy a membership. If, however, you cancel your membership, you’ll remain on the site as a “free” member for an indefinite period. If you are a free member, you can still get bookings, but you’ll need to pay the site a 5% booking fee — or up to a 10.5% booking fee, if you collect payment for the booking outside of the site.

Booking fees

In addition to paying monthly or annual fees, performers pay a commission on each booking. The commissions are lower for paid members — 2.5%. 

However, if you have your client pay you outside of GigSalad, but want to mark that listing as “booked,” the fees are higher. In this case, paid members are charged up to 8%. The higher fee accounts for the fact that the customer is not paying GigSalad a booking fee, according to a site spokeswoman.

Should you join?

Some performers get new business through GigSalad — even lucrative and repeat business. That said, the high upfront cost may make this platform too expensive for entertainers whose per-gig rate is low. After all, if you charge $200 for each gig, it would require several gigs just to break even. However, if your band charges, say, $1,000 + each time it’s booked, it might be worth taking a chance. 

Recommendations:

Other sites worth considering for actors and musicians: LessonFace, Heartbeat and Playbill. If you’re a bartender or server, also check out Qwick and Wonolo.

What their users say (from SiteJabber):

I am a performer and have been on GigSalad approx 2 years. I decided to go with the “Free” membership with the intention of upgrading to a paid membership once I got a bit more familiar with the site. But, I’ve received less than a handful of leads and no gigs! Needless to say I have not upgraded to a paid membership. 

As an artist previously listed on GigSalad, I urge you not to use this site. They are all take and no give. Awful. Just awful.

I started out with GigSalad using the free account doing balloon twisting, got some gigs and asked for reviews when each gig was over. Used some of the money to upgrade to the “Pro” membership and got more gigs. Later, I upgraded to the “Featured” level. Now I have achieved “Top Performer” status with them and currently have 126 reviews. For me, they are the best source of income and they are worth all the money I put into the membership.

Over the year or two I have been listed, I have only received about a half dozen events to bid on. It doesn’t work well for photographers.

From Pissed Consumer:

After they changed their algorithm I’ve gotten NO request. Literally, none…to the point where I contacted them through social media and asked them if they were still active. I explained the problem about not receiving leads and the social media person responded with “I see that you’re currently on the free level…paid members do get more leads than others. Our algorithm is aimed at our Featured members, specifically.” So basically they don’t give free members ANY business and from all the other complaints they barely give any to paid members either.

From comedian/actress Stacy Peterson’s review/comments:

I’m still using Gigsalad because it’s fairly simple and at least makes back it’s cost (rarely much more than that). But I get most of my gigs myself through cold calls and word of mouth. Gigsalad introduces me to gigs at private venues I might not be able find on my own.

We are an A Capella group named Tune Up in Northern VA. Booked 2 gigs over 2 months on GigSalad without much social presence. Got 66 views over 90 days which resulted in 8 requests for quotes, of which I submitted 6 quotes and landed 2. All of that was on their ‘free’ account. Yesterday I decided based off of that ‘success’ to triple down and pay for the premium for a year (it was 40% off). I’m anxious to see how traffic goes over the year – but feel i have pretty good metrics to go off of. 

*Updated 2/3/2021