To Save Money, Think Local
We all want to fly in Adele for a show, but unless you've got the budget of a record company, major musicians are probably out of reach for someone just starting out.
The fact is, even a lesser-known act might be tough to swing if getting them to your show would require travel. Travel costs, including transportation and lodging, add significantly to the cost of a performance, so if you're on a pretty tight budget, your best bet is probably going to be a local act. It will cost you a lot less to book performers who live close by.
If there's a an out-of-town band you've got your heart set on, it's worthwhile to find out if they're already scheduled to be in your town for a different performance and see if you can book them in that time-frame sans transportation fees, since they've already been covered. You never know.
Next, don't book anybody until ...