THE ARTIST: Hona Costello (Los Angeles, CA)
THE QUESTION: Hey! I have a question I cant seem to figure out on my own. I’m starting a 15+ show tour in the Los Angeles area for the release of my new album (Hiphop/Pop). The thing is I have other people on the bill (opening up for me) as well to draw a more diverse crowd. How exactly do I write this to booker? Do i give the bookers their bios as well and their local draw? Or do put it all in the press kit? Or what? I’m really confused about this. The plan is to have 4 other acts open up for me with 10 minutes sets. I would be the main act with a 20-30 minute sett. I’m really confused!
BTW: So far your website has really helped my career TONS! I passed this website on to all my music friends they love it! I spend at least 1-2 hours a day reading almost everything to be as knowledgeable as possible! Thank you so much!
THE ANSWER: Hey Hona! Thanks for reading Grassrooty! If people like you weren’t consistently reading the blog, we would have dropped it a long time ago. Now to answer your questions.
The short answer is YES: Promote yourself and the other artists on the bill! This is something I’ve learned from touring with other artists over the past few years. You don’t need to put them in your press kit, but you should include them in your emails to different venues. Here are some reasons why…
”…the venue only wants to know one thing:
Do you have a draw?”
Consider the venue’s goal…
The venue is concerned about the whole night…not just one of the artists. Their primary goal is to make money off of you (all). You bring people. People bring money. Money buys drinks. The venue only wants to know one thing: “Do you have a draw?” Many times they don’t even care if you sound good. It’s a sorry industry but that’s how it works. Read: “AN INTERVIEW WITH JOE SQUARED – THINGS EVERY VENUE WISHES YOU KNEW“.
So you need to “sell” the whole evening. You need to give the booker a reason to book you; and if he knows that you (and your friends) are pulling in enough people, he’ll feel confident.
In the case that he does care about your sound, that’s just one more reason to “sell” the entire evening.
Consider your goal…
You want to play the room right? You might feel like you’re doing the work for others – promoting them so they can get on the bill. I hear ya. At times I have personally felt like a publicist representing both myself and the artists who are splitting the show with me. It’s extremely frustrating when you feel like you’re doing twice or three times as much work. It seriously feels like extra work!
BUT this is why I always say: only split bills and travel with artists who care as much as you do. Because when you are each promoting each other you cover so much more ground, you go further, and its a success all around.
And lastly, it’s really a trade-off. Maybe you have to promote them, but in return maybe they pull in 20 people. That means new fans for you. Or maybe the fact that they’re on the bill is ultimately what causes the booker to book you for the show. You never know!
So that’s our two cents on the matter. We hope you dig!