Hello Music Family!! It has been a while since my last blog entry, but I’m still alive. I’ve just been busy living life. However, posting more frequently is definitely one of my goals in 2016 so wish me luck!
This particular entry is a result of my recently coming across an article entitled “5 Ways to Keep Musicians Coming Back (& your seats full!)”that truly spoke to me. The process of booking gigs remains a frustrating and befuddling one. I would like to say I “get it” and am a pro at securing gigs, but my recent experiences reminded me that plenty about the process still leaves me scratching my head. This article took a different approach than other articles which generally provide suggestions to artists in how to book gigs. This article is addressing club owners and promoters. It’s about time since it is a mutually beneficial dynamic! Therefore, I had to share this article in my blog entry. Please read it and share your feedback:
“We live in an age where DIY (Do It Yourself) is the name of the game. The music industry is no exception. Companies like CD Baby and Disc Makers along with music blogs, podcasts and websites such as “Ari’s Take”, “Indie on the Move” and “Music Think Tank” provide musicians of all genres with the dos & don’ts on how to navigate and succeed in the world of music entertainment. From songwriting to distributing their newly-recorded projects, the information is readily available.
What’s interesting is how most of the information found in these articles, blogs and/or posts are directed at only the musicians: what is considered correct ‘etiquette’ to use to successfully book shows and sell their recordings. Very seldom if ever, is attention placed on the owners, promoters and/or booking agents responsible for filling the seats at these venues featuring live music; and to keep these patrons coming back for more.
Well not this one!
Here are 5 ways that venue owners/promoters can not only bring quality musicians to their doors but can also build a relationship with them to secure their return.
#1 – RESPOND in a timely manner. Whatever method your venue uses to accept musical artists’ submissions and to communicate with them, answer their emails and/or voice mail messages. Whether you’re interested in booking them at your place or not, let them know! Vocalists/bands may contact several venues simultaneously in order to book gigs and fill their calendars. It’s first come, first serve! Whichever club offers them the most acceptable booking gets their attention and their confirmation for a performance! A musicians’ time is valuable too.
#2 – TREAT ALL MUSICIANS/BANDS THE SAME regardless of their popularity or level of fame. Don’t bend over backwards to cater to the Grammy Award nominees but barely recognize the local unrecorded musical artist. That same unknown could very well refuse to perform at your club once their notoriety builds.
#3 – Actually LISTEN to the vocalist’s or bands’ music before declining or accepting them to play your venue. You don’t know what great music you may miss out on presenting to your patrons. Also, how foolish do you look referring to a male vocalist as ‘she’ just because you haven’t bothered to listen to their music?
#4 – OFFER the musicians REALISTIC MONETARY COMPENSATION for playing your venue. Giving a four-piece band $40 to do a 60 – 90 minute set on a Friday or Saturday night is an insult to not only their talent, but to the use of their time as well. Even though free meals, free drinks and/or comp tickets may be included, nothing beats being paid fairly. Nothing worse than trying to get something for nothing.
#5 – Once the decision is made to book a group at your venue, BE SPECIFIC AND HONEST about your venue and the upcoming performance without the band or their manager having to beg for it. Is the backline equipment operating properly? When will the venue be open for sound-check? Who will be the contact person? How will they be paid, cash or check? It makes the entire gig run smoother and lessens the chance for mishaps and malfunctions.
Remember, the club owner – musician relationship is one of mutual benefit: venues need artists to fill the seats and bring in the money; artists need venues to perform in to assist in promoting their music and to be paid. One role is no more important or necessary than the other. In order to get and keep the venue’s seats full, there can be no room for egos or “superstar” bravado; only mutual respect.
Remember, MUSICIANS HAVE A CHOICE TOO!”