Booking is in the Details

“I’d like to perform at your venue, how do I go about doing that?”

“Send us a press-kit”

End.

I’ve heard this exchange MANY MANY MANY times.  The truth is, a lot of beginning artists don’t know how to go about trying to get booked for shows.  I like to liken getting booked for a show (in the early stages) to job hunting and job interviews.

When you are trying to get booked for a show a lot of times you are trying to find the venue that has the right fit, just like a job that is the right fit.  If you are a BRAND NEW artist your first venue should be in your area.  A little basics real quick, capture your market (city) first. Once you find the venue that you feel is a good fit for you, there are a few options to explore.

One, you could try to book a show on your own night, this is good for people who have a decently established fan base.  But, here I want to talk to the young artists.

The other way is to try to book as an opener for a larger act.  This is where it is also like a job interview, going in to speak to the booker, you should already know the date and who you are trying to open for (i.e. know the company).  Also, a lot of times promoters are the ones who determine who is at the concert, so find out whether the venue is booking the acts or if an outside promoter is.

The reason I say booking is in the details is because the more you know, the less you’re asking the booker to research.  If you know the name of a group performing, the date they’re playing, and you think your style compliments them, you’ll be leaps and bounds ahead of the new guys who call up and say “I’d love to play a show, what do I need to do to do this?”

By knowing exactly what you’re after you are taking out a lot of guess work.  Most bookers are still going to need music, so also try to find out when the person booking the acts will be in so that you can deliver a sample of your music to them.  This will raise your chances of booking a show a lot more than the person who decides to just leave it at the venue for booking to pick up when they get a chance.

Remember, it starts with one.  Once you get that first show booked and you can build a following of people to show up, you’ll keep building your leverage for other shows.  Just make sure when you’re doing shows, you capitalize on the opportunity!

-Eric Phillipson

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They shut the power off but they can’t stop the party

Wow, so I don’t know if any of you all heard about Kentucky getting KO’d by the winter ice storm, but after about a week with no power except in one area of my house (I was lucky), I finally got my power back up and working.

I’ll be honest, after the storm hit, I was freaking out because I didn’t know how I was going to get everything done that I needed to get done.  I had music marketing and networking conference calls to be on, but seemingly no place to charge a phone,  plans to write but no computers to write them on… blah blah blah.

That was until I stopped to think about it, I do this music stuff because I have fun doing it.

Honestly, thats what it’s all about, it’s all about having fun.  Sometimes we get caught up in the business aspect of music so much that we forget why we’re in the industry in the first place.

There was an artist the other day who approached one of my partners and I to buy his CD.  We got to talking a little bit about his presentation, and who he is.  Finally, my partner came out and said it “So, are you doing this cause you have a passion to make music, or is it because you want to make music?” to which the artist replied “I wanna make money.”

Now, there is nothing wrong with wanting to make money from your passion, but we quickly told the artist we would be unable to help him.  Not because we can’t help artists make money, but because I can’t help people make money who are only in it for the money.

Here is what I have learned over the years, if you try to make money with something you don’t have a passion for, you’ll be discouraged quickly.  When all of your luck is down and your back is against the wall, sometimes a passion is the only drive you will have to propel you over the barriers.

Ask yourself if you’re having fun as an artist, because you always should.  This blog is a lot about the business, but its also about the lifestyle.  Being an independent artist is HARD!  There will be times when you get screwed over, when people turn their back on you, and when you feel like you can’t deal with chasing the dream anymore.  Its times like these when the passionate and the ones who are having fun survive.

Be fun, have energy, be passionate… thats part of how you make it happen.

-Eric Phillipson

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Importance of Creating an Experience For Your Fans

You know what I really don’t like…

Yawning at a show.

Honestly, many artists fail to try and capture their audience.  Why? Because they forget to put feeling behind the music they are performing. I mean, I can’t tell you how many times I have been to a show where an artist barely moves.

It is so important to GIVE YOUR ALL to your fans when you perform.  One artist who I really respect and love seeing live is P.O.S. from Rhyme Sayers.  He goes IN! Here is a clip from the warped tour… notice that he’s in the middle of the crowd… he did his whole set in the middle.

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These are the type of shows you should strive to put on for your fans.  Give them a reason to constantly seek out your shows because they know that they will have an experience.  Performing isn’t about JUST the music you provide to your fans, it’s about the EXPERIENCE you provide them

Now I know that the P.O.S. clip was more of a hype song.  So what if you play slower music?

Get your crowd involved, give them an experience. Make it personal.  If they wanted the music they’d listen to it on cd, they want that experience and that personal touch.

You owe it to the fans.

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