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Finding that right gig
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How do you book gigs?
Friend of the band books shows
 0%  [ 0 ]
Booking agency
 0%  [ 0 ]
Other? and why?
 0%  [ 0 ]
The Band books the shows
 100%  [ 5 ]
Total Votes : 5

Author Message
Gold Member
Gold Member

Joined: 16 Jul 2007
Posts: 121
Location: Philipsburg Pa

 Post Posted: Friday Jul 17, 2015 
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After the band gets all its members, Gets at least 3 hours of songs, its now time to show what you got and book shows.

Question is:

Do you and your band members look for the shows?

Do you hire somebody close to the band to book shows?

Hire a booking agency?


Or something else?

Personally Been down all these avenues...Ive seen bands go far on almost all the above, but also have seen demise of the group from the same.
These times seem to be tough for a group of musicians to Trudge through the booking aspect.

Whats worked for you?
Whats didn't work?

Every musician has that goal in mind to be the best at what they can be and make it as far as they can. Whats your thoughts on the avenue of booking?
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Platinum Member
Platinum Member

Joined: 13 Jul 2010
Posts: 504
Location: Altoona

 Post Posted: Sunday Jul 19, 2015 
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I think it's important to determine what the "right gig" is for your band. While it is important to "get your name out there" I think that playing the right gigs is better for the longevity of the band.

Personally, I think that having a 3rd party do the booking would avoid most of the drama and inter-band BS that comes from booking your own gigs. But it requires that the band be willing to submit to the terms established by the agent/manager. I've seen many bands bicker endlessly over gig dates/times/prices and it seems that one of the hardest things for many musicians to do is give up that kind of control. For my last project, I did most of the early bookings and it was a royal pain. It's a tough spot to be between the band and venue (each party wants different things). I got pissed at bandmates who didn't want to make the calls or talk to venues or line up production but wanted to make the decisions involving those things.

If someone in the band does the booking, the other members need to accept that that person is in charge of those things.
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Senior Member
Senior Member

Joined: 09 Dec 2002
Posts: 6815
Location: Indiana

 Post Posted: Saturday Jul 25, 2015 
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I'd be hesitant to work with any agent or manager who is gung-ho to work with a fledgling band. Most reputable people aren't going to come on board until a band or artist has proven themselves. Never sign an exclusive deal or anything in which an agent will take a percentage of gigs that they themselves haven't booked. Also, watch out for wonky deals where the agent still owns you after the project has disbanded. I know there were some local players who signed with a less than reputable management company and still had to pay a percentage on gigs after their projects disbanded. Even if they played an acoustic show in a coffee house somewhere, they still owed the management company a percentage for so many years.

Booking is the one and only band job I have no interest in. I negotiate in my day gig, and I just don't want to do it with club owners and promoters. But I think the key to keeping internal band issues with booking to a minimal just comes down to good communication. If everybody only wants to play three times a month, then that needs to be put out on the table. An out of state gig when out of state gigs aren't the norm? That needs a discussion. A benefit gig? That needs a discussion. But if the players agree that they want to play six to eight times a month on Fridays and Saturdays, that needs settled at the onset with no bitching on part of the players when a show gets booked on a Friday or Saturday. It's incredibly cumbersome for the person in charge of bookings to have to go to three or four other people to okay a gig. Plus, it kills that person's credibility with the club owner or promoter. If you have a wedding or graduation you need to be at, let everybody know well in advance of that date being filled.

I'm generally an advocate for only one person handling booking in a band. If a band is very, very organized and can provide up to date information to each other on booking, then multiple people can book. However, 97% of bands aren't that organized, and having multiple people can lead to double-bookings, which doesn't make anybody happy.
"He's the electric horseman, you better back off!" - old sKool making a reference to the culturally relevant 1979 film.
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