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Encore Gigging Guidelines

So, you've received your first booking through Encore. You've discussed the details with the client and you’re ready to go. 

How can you make sure your booking goes smoothly and you get that all-important 5-star review after the gig? 

At Encore we use four criteria to help you earn great reviews for your musical performances. You can see how you're doing by checking these star ratings on your profile. 

Whether you’re a seasoned pro, or just starting out, we strongly suggest that you read these guidelines before taking your first booking on Encore. 


A happy client is one who’s satisfied that you've provided the desired musical performance for their event.

  • Keep your profile up-to-date. When a client books you for a gig, they want to know that the music they're booking matches the music they see and hear on your profile. 

  • Stick to the brief. You might be the greatest concerto soloist on earth, but if the client has asked for background music for their restaurant then you should probably reign in the Rachmaninov for now. The best professionals are those who are able to adapt to the needs of their clients. 

  • Exceed expectations. People book musicians for some of the most important events in their lives. This may be just another gig for you, but for them, it's a day they've spent months – maybe years –planning. Here’s a few ideas for how you can go the extra mile to ensure the musical side of their event is as perfect as possible.

    • Ask for song requests or their favourite artists in advance

    • If appropriate, consider getting the audience involved

    • Be considerate if it’s clear the event organiser is stressed


Behind every great musician is a work ethic of the utmost professionalism. Allow yourself plenty of time before your gig to prepare and practice. 

  • Preparation. Do you need to source any sheet music or equipment prior to the booking? Do you know the dress code of the event? Have you made travel and eating arrangements? In the words of Scar from The Lion King: “be prepared”. 

  • Practice. While all musicians are busy people, the best professionals make time to thoroughly practice the music they perform before a booking, regardless of its difficulty. Your focus should be on delighting your audience with a brilliant performance, not on reading the notes. 

  • Work ethic. Even though everyone around you may be letting their hair down, you’ve been booked and paid to provide a professional service, so be punctual with your breaks and remember that even during setups and breaks you're on show. 


Responding quickly and politely to your clients shows them that you are an attentive and considerate musician. 

  • Timely responses. Your average time taken to respond to client messages is recorded as your response time. This is shown to clients when you apply for jobs. Clients using Encore tend to expect fast responses, so musicians with lower response times are typically booked more frequently than others.

  • Confirm everything in writing. If you take a phone call with a client, help both of you keep accurate records by sending a follow-up message summarising what has been discussed. 

  • Keep your client updated. If you need to make a change to your booking, such as a alteration of line-up or set timings, let the client know as soon as possible. 

  • Be courteous. Make sure you maintain a polite and courteous tone of voice throughout your communications with a client. It might sound obvious, but just being nice makes a big difference. 

  • Download the Encore app. Download the Encore app on Android or iOS so that you can respond to messages anywhere.

Keep in mind: if your response time is too high, your profile may be not be displayed to clients.  


Make sure your client never has a reason to suspect you’ll not arrive on time. As Woody Allen once said, “80% of life is just showing up”. 

  • Always aim to arrive early. Everyone knows a musician who is always early for gigs and rehearsals - they’re instantly memorable as being reliable and trustworthy. Make sure you’re one of them. 

  • Stick to your setup and performance times. Make sure you begin and end your performance on time and allow plenty of time to set up. 

  • Overtime. Unless agreed with the client beforehand, you are under no obligation to continue performing longer than specified in your Encore booking. If your client asks you to extend your performance by more than 10 minutes beyond the originally agreed finishing time, you are entitled to organise additional payment from the Client at their discretion. (See Clause 9 of our Musician Terms for the full details.) 

  • Late arrival. If for some unavoidable reason you know that you will be late, you should call the client to let them know immediately. 

Keep in mind: if you arrive more than 15 minutes after the agreed arrival time for a booking and no acceptable reason such as injury or car breakdown is given, this is counted as a No Show (see Clause 7 of our Musician Terms for the full details). Your fee will be refunded in full to the client, and you may be charged up to 50% of the value of your performance fee as compensation. Your account may also be suspended or removed from the Encore platform. 


Overall review score

This is an average of all four criteria and is displayed next to each review message on your profile. An average of your Overall review scores is the star rating which appears at the top of your profile and in search results. 

Keep in mind: if you repeatedly receive low overall review scores, then your account may be disabled or removed from the Encore platform. 


Bonus tips

  • Point of contact. Make sure that you have a phone number for a point of contact at the event itself who you can contact at any time. Note: often this is not the client themselves. 

  • Food and drink. Communicate with the client in advance to check if you will be provided with food or refreshments. 

  • Venue requirements. Check in advance if you require anything at the venue such as a nearby parking, music stands, or access to plug sockets. 

  • Code of Conduct. By accepting a booking you are agreeing to the Encore Musicians Code of Conduct, a document outlining the very minimum level of conduct Encore musicians must adhere to when carrying out a booking. You can familiarise yourself with it here.  

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