The following represents notes taken during the BOOKERS & PROMOTERS: GETTING BOOKED & SELLING OUT YOUR SHOW EVERY TIME panel at Indie Week 2015
PANELISTS: Timur Inceoglu (MRG Concerts), Neal Thompson (Focus Wales), Stephanie Purificati (The Agency Group), Mark Armor (Dusty Pop Entertainment), Justin Kwan (Union Events), Jordan Powley (Cloud Empire Creative). Moderated by Kristina “Redd” Neofotistos (The Phoenix).
First, it goes without saying you need great songs and a great live performance. However, promoters also want to see that you have great videos (especially so they can assess your live show) and good social media stats (to see that you have a following).
Sonicbids and the need to pay to play is becoming more commonplace. Some venues/promoters also require you to buy or sell a percentage of tickets.
You need to show your value at the event and away from it. Make every event count. Build a touring history. Become friends with other bands and agents. Look for support slots.
Don’t overplay. Tour outside a certain radius so as to not wear out your fanbase,
Filling a room requires, marketing, a core network of fans and supporters, engagement with other music professionals (do you support other bands with attendance?). Build a community of musicians like yourself. Think of your niche and where that group lives on social media and where they frequent offline. You have to treat filling a room like a business problem. Ask yourself, how do I get bums in seats? Work backwards from your end goal and think of clever ways to promote the show (Facebook, instagram, youtube)> Have a scavenger hunt for your CDS. Be aware of the experience you are trying to create for your fans and the room.
When emailing promoters include the following information (but be brief)
- Your previous history (touring, past attendance draw in that city, social media stats)
- Link to live video
- Your genre
- Soundcloud link
- Brief description of who you are
- Be sure to spell check, get their names right, never mass email / always personalize
- Be politely persistent. If you don’t hear back, follow-up in a few weeks.