Starting a Folk Club
The Guestlist Directory, run by Jim Hancock, (email@example.com) issued every autumn and sent free to all clubs, gives you masses of contacts, as does the new Direct Roots Directory.
A good way to work is a basic, affordable fee against 75% of the net door. That way if a guest pulls in a good crowd, they go home with more and you have some profit for the club. Most of the artists who command larger fees, get their extra money in this way. If they pull a good crowd they get the extra cash.
You take the gross door takings, pay out your immediate expenses (room charge, publicity, PA etc) and then give the artist 75% of what's left. If that comes to less than the minimum guaranteed fee, you pay the guarantee in full.
There's no standard deal, some artists may take a lower guarantee but want a higher percentage - say 90%. It still leaves you in profit at the end of the night. Some clubs offer 100% of the door because they can't offer huge guarantees. Whatever works for you and your artists is fine. It's usually negotiable within reason.