In today’s post we discuss some of the pet peeves artists encounter when working with venues, booking agents, event planners, and the average lay person looking to book them for a show. This stuff also applies to your fellow artist.
As a working artist my goals are to keep my fans up to speed what I’m doing, to let them know where they can find me, and to put on a great show. While I am independent and often work alone, there are tons of things that you as the organizer can do to help me provide a quality event for you, make the establishment you work for happy with how the show went, and help me keep my peace of mind.
1. Don’t Tell me this Show is For Exposure
Using the word exposure is a very easy and immediate way to lose my attention. If you don’t actually think this gig is going to move mountains in the way of “massive exposure” , please don’t make empty promises or use those words. Our working relationship will be alot better if you can give me a realistic expectation of what the event will really look like.
2. Please Use Email
Text Messaging is alot of fun and all, but if this is important, and you want me to take it seriously, please email me with the facts. I don’t mean to be difficult, but sending me 10 text messages in a row, because you had alot of information to share, feels like one big joke. Help me by creating a paper trail so that we can keep a record of who said what, when the contract needs to be turned in, and day-of-show details. I have 15 other shows on the horizon, so that email thread is super important for my sanity and organization. Also Facebook inboxing is not email. Lets stick with email.
3. Talk about the Money
I get it – no one likes to talk about money. But please be up front about the money situation. If you cant pay me or don’t have funding from the higher ups, then just tell me that. Don’t pretend you forgot to talk about it or that it’s a non-issue..I’m more willing to play a free show when someone directly addresses the money situation (or lack thereof). If you act like I’m just supposed to want to play the gig for free, I will most likely decline. See #1 above.
4. Please Tell Me There is a Sound System
You will need a sound system. You may even need to hire a sound man. Depending on the type and scale of event, you may even need to ask me to bring some or all of my own equipment. But you cant just assume we’ll figure it out day-of. Also…the podium’s microphone is not a sound system.
5. Please Put Together a Bill that Makes Sense
The show will be alot easier to promote if the other artists on the bill are comparable or if they appeal to a relatively similar audience. I love listening to all types of music, but I have fans who are 5x more likely to come out to my show if they like the other artists as well. It’s a fact. Just know that pairing me with a thrash metal band will hurt your expected draw and it will just be plain weird.
6. Please Spearhead Promotion
If you are the event planner, talent buyer, marketing person, or whatever they call you, please connect all the artists on the bill and help coordinate a promotional game plan. You are our common denominator. If you can tell us when the ticket link goes live, any specific details you think we should stick on our websites, when the artwork is created, and when the Facebook event is setup, we can all collaborate and use the same resources to collectively promote the show. In fact, you will get extra bonus points if you send us a group email with everyone’s Twitter/Instagram handles, and Facebook Pages. That will remind us that we need to tag each other for the sake of cross promotion.
Dont book me for the show and then fall off the grid. If you’re simply the booker and don’t handle day-of Production Manager type stuff, please connect me to the person I should be hashing out details with. It will make the planning go much smoother.
I really want the venue, the audience, and myself to have a great experience.
Thank you for reading.