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  • Tips for landing festival type gigs

    Hey Everyone,



    After being almost exclusive to the bar scene for a few years now, we want to try to land a couple festival gigs for summer 2013, and I figure now's about the time to start inquiring. So far after gathering a list of about 5 events we'd be interested in (to start), and visiting their websites if I could find them, the only real contact info I can find is directly to the city offices. Is that a good place to start? I'm hoping some cold calling will eventually lead me to the right place, i.e. the people who actually coordinate the events.



    Any other good hints/tips/tricks/etc for landing these types of gigs?
    Christian

    SpaceCat
    www.spacecatband.com

    "When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace." - Jimi Hendrix







    Originally Posted by wheresgrant3


    Our singer is basically butchering the Grade A material into deli meat, but don't fear... the crowd is there for big sandwiches.

  • #2
    Call the city office and ask "Who's in charge of booking entertainment for your (Fall Fest, Spring Fling, etc)? Can I speak to that person?"
    The best piece of advice I ever got was when John Mayer told me, "Don't be a name dropper."

    Comment


    • #3
      contract contract contract and get paid before you play.

      Comment


      • #4
        We started diggin at festivals last summer. Hard for a unknown group to land those. But the way I got in touch with those that matter was spending a lot of time on the phone, hunting down the right ones. I felt like a stalker. But if nothing else, the next time someone mentions us to one of them, they might remember the call and the band name...
        Jack of all trades....Master of none...

        Comment


        • #5
          Guitarguy19, since your profile indicates metro Detroit area, you might check out these folks: Michigan Festivals and Events Association

          If it works like the equivalent in my state, at annual conventions they put on entertainment showcases: two alternating stages, FIFTEEN-minute sets per act! We found the (well liquored-up) attendees to be very enthusiastic, cheering on the acts. You PAY to be there. However, they typically provide a breakout area where you get a table, can hand out CDs, biz cards, brochures, set up display photos, etc.. And all the people there are truly involved in booking entertainment.

          Some folks I know have had pretty good luck with this... IF your act is truly appropriate for the civic summer fair, the local zuchinni festival, old-timey days, the Hooterville street festival, etc. events that these folks put on. If your combo is more an alt-rock original thing, for example, probably not (although there is a university entertainment association you should check out)

          Comment


          • #6






            Quote Originally Posted by Christhee68
            View Post

            Call the city office and ask "Who's in charge of booking entertainment for your (Fall Fest, Spring Fling, etc)? Can I speak to that person?"




            yep. Also the local fire departments and city chamber of commerce/Jaycees organize a lot of the stuff.
            tlbonehead@yahoo.com
            www.myspace.com/tbone_tommy
            -For Sale:
            -set of GFS Dream 90s- gold and black pearl- $40 shipped in the cont. US
            -(2) Celestion G12M-70 16 ohm guitar speakers in good condition $40 ea. + shipping.
            - Vox VT15 Valvetronix very clean - $85 + shipping
            - Hughes Kettner Edition Tube 20 (the early Voxy sounding one) Sounds & looks good. $250 + shipping. SOLD
            - Crate Palomino V8 - 10" Celestion - Very clean - on Ebay (sold)

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            • #7
              Those types of gigs can be a lot of fun and quite lucrative, just be aware that you'll have to jump through a myriad of hoops to land one. It's not like the bar where the bartender pulls a handfull of twenties out of the cash register at the end of the night and hands them to you.



              At one of our gigs we had to put out a couple of hundred up front to pay for "insurance", supposedly to cover any damage the band might cause to the park gazebo (??!?!?). We were reimbursed with our paycheck, but it still was quite surreal. I can't imagine what other bands must have done previously to make the C of C think this was necessary.
              Michael D. www.mdlmusic.webs.com "I'm tired of rock-and-rolling Let's get married, Honey, let's go bowling" --Martin Mull

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              • #8
                I guess my question is (and things may be different in NY) is how a general bar cover band would land a festival. Most of the festivals in NY are either ethnic in origin or revolve around original music. We have Irish festivals, cajun festivals, polish festivals, prog rock festivals. I just don't see where a band like ours would fit in the mix?
                so over this signature BS!!!

                Comment


                • #9






                  Quote Originally Posted by MDLMUSIC
                  View Post

                  Those types of gigs can be a lot of fun and quite lucrative, just be aware that you'll have to jump through a myriad of hoops to land one. It's not like the bar where the bartender pulls a handfull of twenties out of the cash register at the end of the night and hands them to you.



                  At one of our gigs we had to put out a couple of hundred up front to pay for "insurance", supposedly to cover any damage the band might cause to the park gazebo (??!?!?). We were reimbursed with our paycheck, but it still was quite surreal. I can't imagine what other bands must have done previously to make the C of C think this was necessary.




                  we've done a ton of them and have never had to jump thru hoops. And at least half the time we've been paid in cash, although I'd just as soon have a check when you get in the $1K plus range.
                  tlbonehead@yahoo.com
                  www.myspace.com/tbone_tommy
                  -For Sale:
                  -set of GFS Dream 90s- gold and black pearl- $40 shipped in the cont. US
                  -(2) Celestion G12M-70 16 ohm guitar speakers in good condition $40 ea. + shipping.
                  - Vox VT15 Valvetronix very clean - $85 + shipping
                  - Hughes Kettner Edition Tube 20 (the early Voxy sounding one) Sounds & looks good. $250 + shipping. SOLD
                  - Crate Palomino V8 - 10" Celestion - Very clean - on Ebay (sold)

                  Comment


                  • #10






                    Quote Originally Posted by wheresgrant3
                    View Post

                    I guess my question is (and things may be different in NY) is how a general bar cover band would land a festival. Most of the festivals in NY are either ethnic in origin or revolve around original music. We have Irish festivals, cajun festivals, polish festivals, prog rock festivals. I just don't see where a band like ours would fit in the mix?




                    when I lived in kalmazoo they had a pretty solid event sched down town. great band shell, a good piece of property where they could charge at the gate, good parking.



                    They had blues fests, rib fests, ethnic fests with all kinds of food booths, They circle the food wagons and have a big party. Beer , bands and food. I could see the nuts on the roster. Most of these festivals had several bands. play. Put on some local favorites and their crowd comes to see them play the big stage. Brings people in. At least they know one band.
                    "you mess with him and you mess with the whole trailer park"

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                    • #11
                      I live on the southside of Chicago (burbs) and I have 120 festivals listed in the Chicagoland area that go from early May to early October. Most hire cover bands and pay well. Here they start booking bands for next summer starting in Sept thru Jan. Sometimes you can secure a slot if a band breaks up before summer but they usually book bands that have been around a while. What I try to do is contact the local Chamber of Commerce, look at the township's website which might list a "special event coordinator" and if all else fails call the city's offices trying to find out who hires the festival's entertainment. Not an easy route but the first one is always the hardest. I know in a lot of cases the festivals contact the bands directly (word of mouth) to book or re-book them again for next year.



                      Good luck with this, I'm curious to hear how you do!!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Just an update on this...I've contacted (or at least left messages with) a few different festival coordinators. I feel like we're close...although we haven't officially landed anything yet. I'm optimistic that if I stay on it and keep following up something will come of it.









                        Quote Originally Posted by nchangin
                        View Post

                        contract contract contract and get paid before you play.




                        This may have been talked about here before...but what type of contract is used in such a case? Anyone have a template?
                        Christian

                        SpaceCat
                        www.spacecatband.com

                        "When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace." - Jimi Hendrix







                        Originally Posted by wheresgrant3


                        Our singer is basically butchering the Grade A material into deli meat, but don't fear... the crowd is there for big sandwiches.

                        Comment


                        • #13






                          Quote Originally Posted by wheresgrant3
                          View Post

                          I guess my question is (and things may be different in NY) is how a general bar cover band would land a festival. Most of the festivals in NY are either ethnic in origin or revolve around original music. We have Irish festivals, cajun festivals, polish festivals, prog rock festivals. I just don't see where a band like ours would fit in the mix?






                          Region/locale plays a massive difference in this... tommy guns summed it up for around here: there are fests and what some might consider street fairs (although often corp sponsored and budgeted very well) in excess in and around Chicago, and practically ALL of them are heavy on cover bands...it's basically how a number of acts keep in the green, because they all can pay well. Beyond Taste of Chicago are dozens and dozens of neighborhood fest from spring through fall





                          For perspective, a major fest in the far flung burbs, Naperville Ribfest, runs like 5 days/nights leading up to July 4. A quick check of their site shows next year's headliners will include Joe Walsh, Steve Miller, moe., and ZZ Top.



                          the World's Largest Block Party is as the name implies, benefitting a church parish in Chicago. This summer they had Ben Folds 5 (reunited) and Lifehouse as headliners.



                          In any case, in both of those examples, there are probably a couple dozen cover acts of all sorts supporting and playing all day long...most stages for these type of events start around 110 AM or by 10 PM and go until 100 pm with 45-75 minute sets.
                          For cripe's sake, somebody buy that kid a freaking DICTIONARY already!

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