The damage: Rachelle Thackray reveals the cost of setting up a boy band

Ever since The Beatles, boy bands have been a staple of the British pop scene. Members can expect to haul in enough wealth in just a few seasons to keep comfortable until long after those sparkling teeth have fallen out, but there are those who collect their jackpot winnings more quietly: a manager will expect to take 20 per cent of any earnings, and a record company can expect to reap millions, not least in merchandising.

Once a band has been signed, the record company will typically advance each member pounds 30,000 on their first album; that, together with a kitty of pounds 100,000 for recording costs, means that a fledgling foursome could be working with a budget of around pounds 250,000. It could, of course, all be an expensive flop, but below are some of the start-up costs for the first year:

Hey, child Start-up recruitment advert for three weeks in The Stage, pounds 270; hire of venues for a week of auditions, pounds 1,000.

Shooting star Hire of a studio for five weeks of recording, pounds 10,000; clothes budget for four-man band for its first singles, pounds 12,000; a year's weekly pay for band aged under 20, pounds 20,000.

Everything changes Services from professionals to launch the band and first singles: photographer, pounds 500 per day, pounds 12,000; stylist working with band at daily rate of pounds 400, pounds 20,000; personal make-up and hair stylist, daily rate, pounds 250, pounds 12,500; preliminary dance training from a choreographer, pounds 3,000 per week, pounds 9,000; services of a wily lawyer to write record contract and advise, pounds 15,000; commission to graphics company to design album concept, pounds 20,000; salary for promotions manager, pounds 30,000; services of a regional promotions company, pounds 25,000.

Working my way back to you Tour to plug singles, pounds 1,200 per day, pounds 12,000; living expenses for first tour, pounds 700 per day, pounds 14,000.

Take that and party Week-long detox session at rehab clinic after excessive partying, pounds 4,000.

Total pounds 216,770

Sources: Tom Watkins of Massive Management; Backlash Management; The Stapleford Centre

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