Frequently Asked Questions

For Clients

Why should we hire CEA?

Our transparent service is designed to secure the best entertainment for the lowest price. We ensure that your budget remains intact while the level of talent increases. We promise that we will get the best act for your event.

How do you get the leverage to secure the bands at such a steep discount?

StarEvents is our parent company that produces festivals throughout the Midwest. They specialize in raising money and awareness for non-profit organizations by producing summer festivals and other large-scale events. StarEvents books a ton of talent every summer, so this relationship provides us with valuable insight and leverage when it comes to booking talent.

Can you guarantee your work?

Absolutely! We are the only agency that will not take a penny for our services if something goes wrong... GUARANTEED! When our clients book entertainment through CEA, they can have peace of mind knowing that we have faith in our services. If we secure talent and they do not fulfill the contract, we will not receive a penny.

How much do you charge?

We charge 20% of the final contracted price for talent we secure, not a penny more. We use our knowledge and size to negotiate the best price possible. Our average client typically saves 20% to 30% of what other agencies charge.

Do I need an account to view all the available talent?

No! Our CEA search engine is available to everyone for free. No need to put in any personal information or payment information!

How far in advance should I book talent?

It depends on the event. For weddings, it is recommended to book talent 12 to 18 months in advance. For other events, book as far in advance as possible. Generally, you need to book within 6 to 12 months of the event to get your preferred talent.

Who should I contact if I have questions?

If you have any questions about how to use the website, feel free to contact [email protected]. If you are interested in booking entertainment, fill out our contact form here, or press "Contact Now" on a specific entertainer's CEA page.

For Talent

Who are you?

Hi! We’re Chicago Entertainment Agency, a talent buying company located here in Chicago. We book talent for all kinds of events around Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin: festivals, weddings, bar gigs, private parties, corporate events, galas, and so much more. We’re the primary talent buyer for all of StarEvents’ summer festivals, including Taste of Randolph Street, Andersonville Midsommarfest, Retro on Roscoe, and Mole de Mayo. We book bands, musicians, face painters, balloon twisters, comedians, drag queens, photographers, and all sorts of other talent for our events. We hope you will join us!

Are you a “real” agency? Do you represent or exclusively control any talent?

We don’t represent you like a “normal” agency. Clients look through our directory of entertainers to find the performer they really want for their event, not just our top-selling performer that makes us the most commission. Our philosophy is to give everyone an equal chance to get booked for gigs, regardless of your experience level, category, or fee. From this, we book over $1,000,000 a year in gigs. Not only do you have access to our extensive database of clients and events, but you also get increased local visibility. For less than your Netflix subscription, you’ll get seen by more local clients than ever before.

Will I get gigs?

The number of leads you’ll get varies depending on your category and experience. But it really depends on what each client is looking for. If you have a fully filled-out profile with up-to-date videos, high quality photos, a great bio, and accurate tags, and you are in good financial standing, you will receive more leads and gig opportunities than if you are not. Read our article about how to create an impressive profile HERE.

So what can you do for me?

Chicago Entertainment Agency does book over $1,000,000 a year in gigs, which we’d love for you to be part of. But, our main priority is increasing your visibility, exposure, and search engine optimization (SEO). Being on our website increases your SEO and Google ranking. This means that more people will see your band and hear your music, whether they find you on Chicago Entertainment Agency or come across your own website or social media pages. More visibility = more gig potential.

Why should I invest in a CEA membership?

  • A great benefit of using CEA is that we are local to Chicago. We book over $1,000,000 worth of events in Chicago and the surrounding suburbs: summer festivals, weddings, bar gigs, private parties, corporate events, and more. Our competitors will charge 3 to 7 times more than we do for visibility all over the United States and Canada. If you’re getting booked all over the country, you should definitely stick with them. But odds are, you’re still only getting gigs in Chicago. Try us out to get seen by more potential local leads for up to 1/7th of the price of our competitors.
  • Our uncloaked website allows you to link your social media to your profile so that clients can reach out to you directly. Joining our website is not just about us getting you gigs. It’s an investment in your career to increase your exposure in the Chicago events market, and a different way to be seen by potential clients.
  • Our experience in the music and events industry combined with our leverage in the marketplace means that you get paid the most money for your performance. We have over 25 years of experience in music and events.

How do I sign up myself or my group for a CEA membership?

  • Go to https://www.ChicagoEntertainmentAgency.com/talent-signup.
  • Choose one of the Membership options. Each of these memberships has the same benefits, including direct links to your social media, full biography, photos, and videos.
  • Below Membership Options, click “Create Account.”
  • Follow the prompts on the screen and enter the information accurately. After filling out all the information, press “Complete Your Order” at the bottom.
  • Once your account has been created, upload your photos, videos, biography, social media links, etc. Click this link for helpful tips about what to include in your profile.

What is included in my membership fee?

  • A listing on Chicago Entertainment Agency’s website.
  • A customizable profile.
  • Marketing exposure.
  • Access to live support from our talent buyers via email and phone.
  • Access to our blog, with helpful articles.
  • Uncloaked profile, so you can add your social media so potential clients can reach out to you directly and keep up with you on Facebook.
  • Ability to get booked for CEA gigs and events.
  • And more!

Does CEA only book events in Chicago?

A majority of the events we book are in Chicago and the surrounding suburbs. But, we have booked gigs in Indiana, Wisconsin, and even Alabama.

What kind of events does CEA book? What is most popular?

We book summer festivals and corporate events more than anything else. But, we also book weddings, galas, private parties, bar gigs, virtual events, and more.

Who are some of CEA’s clients?

Some of CEA’s current and former clients include:

  • StarEvents
  • Andersonville Chamber of Commerce
  • Destination Wisconsin
  • Edgewater Chamber of Commerce
  • Grand Victoria Casino
  • Hilton Hotels
  • HVAC Pub Wrigleyville
  • Interactive Health
  • McDonald’s Corporation
  • Meals on Wheels Chicago
  • NIU Alumni Association
  • The USO of Illinois
  • West Loop Community Organization
  • And so many more!

Where do talent requests go?

When a client requests your appearance at a gig, their Contact for Talent will be sent to personnel at CEA. From there, we will contact you with details of the gig.

Do I pay a commission for getting a gig? How much do you charge?

Nope! We never ask for a commission or percentage of your performance fee. We don’t believe in “double dipping,” which is what the industry calls charging a fee to the client AND to the talent. We charge the client 20% of the final contracted price for talent we secure. We use our knowledge and size to negotiate the best price possible. Our average client typically saves 20% to 30% of what other agencies charge.

Do you have advice for new CEA talent?

  • Keep your social media up-to-date with photos, videos, and show dates. Your fans want to hear your latest music and keep up with your performances! 
  • Add the proper tags to your CEA account. If you are a jazz saxophone performer, you might want to add “jazz,” “saxophone,” and “solo” to your tags. 
  • Check out this article about how to create an impressive profile that clients will love.

We are always available to talk if you have questions- reach out to [email protected] with any questions.

How do I cancel my membership?

You are free to cancel your subscription at any time without a cancellation fee. Please send your cancellation request to Mirella at [email protected].