Last week’s post “Booking A Show – From Start to Finish” got alot of feedback! I guess there are some things that you just learn by experience, but knowing them ahead of time never hurts…especially if they can give you the extra advantage.
Bassist Seth Jackson who runs the blog How to Run a Band offered some additional advice for things you should know when you’re looking to book yourself or your band at a new venue. I especially like his very last point…because in this business its important to remember that a venue is booking you so they can sell tickets and drinks…not because you have a pretty voice.
I’ve booked shows for my band up and down the West Coast, and here’s a few additional thoughts to what you wrote in “Booking A Show – From Start to Finish” .
1. Research other, similar bands and what they play in that city. (see “Mimic The Artists You Respect“)
2. In your contacts with the club, always include the following:
- phone number
- links to music and website
- what your draw is in that city
- a one-sentence sum
- mary of your band.
- Easy to understand music genre (like Rock, Punk, Metal, Hip Hop)
3. Follow up with the club after the initial booking. Especially when it gets closer to your show. I’ve had a few clubs go out of business and not send any notice to the bands they booked.
4. After booking, follow up with both the club and the bands about promotion. Where to mail fliers and other promo material? I’ve mailed posters and post cards to clubs only to have the material returned.
5. Book well in advance of touring. 4 months ahead of time at least for a one to two week tour.
6. For small or new bands, try to book directly with the club. Avoid “promoters” or “booking agencies”. They take what little money the show earns and put in their pockets.
7. Make sure to list the show in the local papers. Don’t rely on the club.
8. Create e-mail templates. One template for initial contact. Another for post-booking.
9. Keep it friendly and don’t flake!
10. Only book where it’s reasonable to travel. If you need to travel over 6 hours to get to the club, really question if you can make it in time (or can afford the gas money).
11. Remember: You’re not selling your music, you’re selling beer and drinks for the bar. Frame your contact accordingly. (See “An Interview with Joe Squared – Things Every Venue Wishes You Knew“)