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Booking In General- Press Kits, etc


trmckenz

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So my original band is about to start booking, we are functioning as a business. We want to appeal to local/regional clubs, larger venues, and record labels. We clearly need some sort of press kit... we want both electronic and physical kits.

 

What goes the electronic press kit?

 

What goes in the physical press kit?

 

What are the most effective ways to get booked? Meet in person vs email?

 

We should have a pretty strong draw from the get-go (50+)... when do we demand money?

 

Is it good to be pushy, persistent, or respectful about getting on shows?

 

 

Thanks dudes!

Trent

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Responses in quote...

 


What goes the electronic press kit?

What goes in the physical press kit?


I hear different answers to this all the time. In general, you want:


Presentation Folder

Greeting Letter

Promo Pic

Demo

Bio/Sales Letter

Letter with Client Quotes/Referrals

Calendar

Business Cards


That can take any number of formats from one page to several.


What are the most effective ways to get booked? Meet in person vs email?


An agent...which typically will only work with you when you no longer need one, lol. Meeting in person is by far the best way. Make sure you have your unique selling point, press/audio in hand, and specific dates in mind. The hard part is tracking the bookers down! Really, network at the clubs all you can. It is all about who you know.


We should have a pretty strong draw from the get-go (50+)... when do we demand money?


Is it good to be pushy, persistent, or respectful about getting on shows?


Unless it is for charity, never play for free. You need to be push, persistent, and respectful. It sucks.


Thanks dudes!

Trent

 

 

Not that I am awesome or have a great example even, but you can at least see my current onepage for a new band by following my sig and then clicking on Press Kit.

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For booking, I agree with Mike- The only time an agent comes in handy is at the point you no longer need him/her. It's a frustrating concept, but here's what I did-

 

I go to club "A", introduce myself, ask about who does booking.

I'm persistent, but respectful until I get a name (usually not that difficult)

Then I ask when they will be available .. again, be persistent about WHEN you can reach them. This can be very difficult, although promise to stop back in at that time.

 

Leave a Press kit / demo / business card / etc.. make sure they have PLENTY of material on your band, where to find you online, demos, email, phone numbers, etc.. I know this all sounds first-grade, but you would be amazed at how many people drop off CD's with no contact info, or not enough info for the venue to make an informed decision to book you.

 

They Key to all of it is to return, many times more than once, keep at it! Return when you know the booker will be there - it's not about you getting to know them, but THEM getting to know YOU. They need to know you as the guy who REALLY wants this gig, is prompt, courteous, and respectful, but mostly, just hungry for the gig!

 

They figure anyone who wants to play there that bad would also be equally as prepared in their presentation of their show as they are in their sales.

 

It's a major pain in the ass, especially when you are just starting out, but as you gain each venue, you also gain one more reference for your EPK and you never know if that venue has a major act come thru and needs an opener - if you are the first one who comes to mind as "dependable" to the booker.

 

That really turned out longer than I expected lol.. It takes a lot of work and a "people person" doesn't hurt-

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Regarding original bands- I'm kind of shocked when anybody mentions booking shows in person or by phone, or dropping off physical kits at venues. I remember places doing that stuff maybe as late as 2005 or so, but these days...

 

Anyhow, our physical press kit (for sending to radio stations, labels, etc) consists of a "onesheet" with a brief bio and some press quotes, plus contact info. And our most recent CD, of course. For the radio version we include a track listing with running times, and suggested "go to" tracks.

 

Also, I've encountered some bookers who work with up-and-coming bands. You just need to keep your eyes open.

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Thanks a ton. So basically when we book we can email the clubs, send the EPK their way. Then follow up in person when we can, and be persistent. Building relationships is an important aspect to the whole shabam. sound good so far?

 

what about getting radio play and approaching labels? same thing?

 

do phone calls work well too?

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Great points. The difficulty for me personally, is the fact that I can email all day long, but to get to clubs during the workday, when most bookers are in, is near impossible.

 

 

A lot of people have that same difficulty - & see the same potential solution - which is why the guy who actually makes the time to go out there physically & talks to people in person has a big advantage.

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Thanks a ton. So basically when we book we can email the clubs, send the EPK their way. Then follow up in person when we can, and be persistent. Building relationships is an important aspect to the whole shabam. sound good so far?


what about getting radio play and approaching labels? same thing?


do phone calls work well too?

 

 

Everything "works". The biggest mistake I see people making is trying to find that "magic bullet" that "works" all by itself. You've got to do it all.

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Regarding original bands- I'm kind of shocked when anybody mentions booking shows in person or by phone, or dropping off physical kits at venues. I remember places doing that stuff
maybe
as late as 2005 or so, but these days...

 

 

Hey AC, it's not so much that they want that physical press kit handed to them (although they still do), but the schmoozing process is really important to them. They do nothing but preach about personal relationships and tell stories of how badly they treat the guys who just run and and drop off, or send cd's, links to websites, etc..

 

I'm not going to say I approve, or even like, the way things are, considering we have this thing called the interwebz- it baffles me that people still want their ass kissed - but there's your answer- people still want their asses kissed.

 

Gotta go do it.

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Hey AC, it's not so much that they want that physical press kit handed to them (although they still do), but the schmoozing process is really important to them. They do nothing but preach about personal relationships and tell stories of how badly they treat the guys who just run and and drop off, or send cd's, links to websites, etc..


I'm not going to say I approve, or even like, the way things are, considering we have this thing called the interwebz- it baffles me that people still want their ass kissed - but there's your answer- people still want their asses kissed.


Gotta go do it.

 

Actually, most of the booking guys I work with don't want a physical kit. They aren't physically present at the venue with much regularity, and when they are it's often during the day when it's closed. And they definitely don't want to be approached in person about booking, usually because if they are out, they are off the clock, and moreover they're away from their computer with their calendar of everything that's going on. It's "ok, just email me..."

 

Some of my most productive booking relationships are with people I almost never seen in person.

:idk:

 

YMMV...

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I'm with actionsquid on this one, the advice of trying to meet people in person and hand them physical press kits makes little sense. For an original band booking local shows, maybe you'll meet a booker in person. I've never had to use a physical press kit. For doing out of town shows (i.e. 2+ hours from home) meeting in person is completely unrealistic. There, email is really the only way to go.

 

The best advice especially when starting out is to try to partner with more established bands. My last band was well enough established around town that we could email most venues telling them that we wanted to play a gig on a weekend in 2-3 months. We'd be given the date, and could pick any other acts we wanted to put on the bill. Once you've got some good recordings online, email bands that are playing gigs at places you want to be playing and ask if you can get on a bill with them. The other bands are much more likely to listen to your recordings than any booker is.

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I think we might also be talking about two different types of bookers - I'm referring to the individuals who work for the venue, usually the head bartender or mgr who does all the bookings... see - I'm out in the sticks, no booking agencies here- And so what I said is the norm, considering..

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I think we might also be talking about two different types of bookers - I'm referring to the individuals who work for the venue, usually the head bartender or mgr who does all the bookings... see - I'm out in the sticks, no booking agencies here- And so what I said is the norm, considering..

 

 

Generally speaking: around these parts, (also for the venues I've played in Portland and SF) venues do in fact have individual bookers (as opposed to agencies) however, IME it's almost never the bartender or bar manager (maybe occasionally at very small venues)- it's generally a dedicated booker. And like I said, these people generally don't hang around the venue during business hours, or when they do they're usually off the clock and don't want to be bothered about booking.

 

It just goes to show, it's different everywhere. You gotta learn about your own scene.

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indeed. I wish it worked that way around here. Like I said in another thread:

 

It seems like every day here is the first day of 1975.

 

The only thing that convinces me it's not is that we have internet (1995 speed!), and jersey shore on tv (wish I could turn down the clock)

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Most press kits as we know them are outdated. Most successful bands now use a one-sheet, and perhaps a sample CD or links to songs on the web. Some guys I know are using e-kits, putting everything on a CDR- songs, video, pics, and info. One band I know is using flash drives.

The point is, keep it short, sweet and relevant. You don't need folders, 8x10 glossy photos, etc. I just talked t a guy who I asked him if I could send him a promo pak and he said nope, I can get all I need off your web site.

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Most press kits as we know them are outdated. Most successful bands now use a one-sheet, and perhaps a sample CD or links to songs on the web. Some guys I know are using e-kits, putting everything on a CDR- songs, video, pics, and info. One band I know is using flash drives.

The point is, keep it short, sweet and relevant. You don't need folders, 8x10 glossy photos, etc. I just talked t a guy who I asked him if I could send him a promo pak and he said nope, I can get all I need off your web site.

 

 

You really should have everything prepared. We've recently been hustling the band to several different agents and while some are fine with e-mailing them some pics and audio/video files, others still insist on having a hard copy of everything.

 

Haven't done the direct-contact-with-clubowners in awhile, but if I were going to I'd bring a laptop so I could show them the website AND I'd have a traditional promo-pak with pics, bio, songlist, CD/DVD etc to let them look at if they prefer that.

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So my original band is about to start booking, we are functioning as a business. We want to appeal to local/regional clubs, larger venues, and record labels. We clearly need some sort of press kit... we want both electronic and physical kits.


What goes the electronic press kit?


What goes in the physical press kit?


What are the most effective ways to get booked? Meet in person vs email?


We should have a pretty strong draw from the get-go (50+)... when do we demand money?


Is it good to be pushy, persistent, or respectful about getting on shows?



Thanks dudes!

Trent

 

 

Getting booked: The initial approach these days is by email mostly or if they are not electronically active, then by phone. The next step would be to try to meet face to face.

 

Pushy, persistent or respectful: Never be pushy but always be respectfully persistent.

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should we discuss how much we're being paid before or after we play our show? any guidance on that situation for a band just starting out?

 

 

I'm alot like Jimmy Thudpucker when it comes to the money aspect of this sport. I don't leave the house if I don't know what I'm getting paid (it doesn't have to be tons of money ... but I do have to know how much it is!).

 

Each bar has it's own protocol about the mechanics of payment so bars you'll have to play by ear.

 

When it comes to a wedding / private party / corporate thing - our performance agreement stipulates that we be paid in full before we take to the stage for the first set. We've shown our good faith / commitment by showing up and setting up - and expect our client to show their's by paying us then and there.

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When it comes to a wedding / private party / corporate thing - our performance agreement stipulates that we be paid in full
before
we take to the stage for the first set. We've shown our good faith / commitment by showing up and setting up - and expect our client to show their's by paying us then and there.

 

 

While I fully understand the reasoning for this, I've found I prefer to get paid after the gig because our chances of getting a bonus are significantly higher. I'm not sure why they even feel compelled to do so (although it is MUCH appreciated!) but 3 out of our last 4 weddings resulted in paychecks received at the end of the night with an extra $500, $1000 and $500 attached respectively. But at the wedding we played this last weekend the mother of the bride handed me a check when we first arrived. We all smiled and thanked her and then looked at each other knowing that, no matter how much effort we put out, the chances of us seeing any extra money at the end of the night was greatly decreased.

 

We were each handed a couple of bottles of wine on our way out though!

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While I fully understand the reasoning for this, I've found I prefer to get paid after the gig because our chances of getting a bonus are significantly higher. I'm not sure why they even feel compelled to do so (although it is MUCH appreciated!) but 3 out of our last 4 weddings resulted in paychecks received at the end of the night with an extra $500, $1000 and $500 attached respectively. But at the wedding we played this last weekend the mother of the bride handed me a check when we first arrived. We all smiled and thanked her and then looked at each other knowing that, no matter how much effort we put out, the chances of us seeing any extra money at the end of the night was greatly decreased.


We
were
each handed a couple of bottles of wine on our way out though!

 

 

I always get paid before on any agency deals I do. I get paid well enough that I don't expect a bonus, but I've seen way too many guys I know get stiffed at weddings as the person responsible for paying gets drunk and disappears or gets way too consumed with other details of the reception and "forgets' to pay the band before they leave. My duo partner just got hosed because three different people all thought someone else was paying him. Getting paid up front eliminates that. :cool:

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should we discuss how much we're being paid before or after we play our show? any guidance on that situation for a band just starting out?

 

You're an unsigned, original rock band that hasn't played any shows yet, correct?

 

My guess is right now, in most bar/club situations you're going to be playing for a cut of the door, split between several other bands.

 

You could always try for a guarantee, but to me it doesn't sound like you're in much of a position to expect one.

:idk:

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Most press kits as we know them are outdated. Most successful bands now use a one-sheet, and perhaps a sample CD or links to songs on the web.

 

 

I use the same short bio and press quotes for our onesheet, MySpace, Facebook, blah blah. I have a "master" word document that I'll make changes to to keep it current, and that one gets printed out, or for online stuff, cut and pasted into wherever its needed. Saves a lot of typing.

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I always get paid before on any agency deals I do. I get paid well enough that I don't expect a bonus, but I've seen way too many guys I know get stiffed at weddings as the person responsible for paying gets drunk and disappears or gets way too consumed with other details of the reception and "forgets' to pay the band before they leave. My duo partner just got hosed because three different people all thought someone else was paying him. Getting paid up front eliminates that.
:cool:

 

I get paid well enough that I don't expect a bonus either but, for some reason, they've been happening lately. Why, after already paying us $2500 or $3000 they feel generous enough to throw in another several hundred dollars, I don't know. A combination of the celebratory feeling of a wedding and all the alcohol, I suppose. I think maybe it's also because whatever fee we're playing for has usually been negotiated from an original higher asking fee and maybe there's a feeling of "hey, these guys WERE worth that much!" (These aren't usually agency gigs, BTW. The majority of our weddings come either through Gigmasters or directly through our website.)

 

 

 

I'm sure my attitude will change the first time we have to hunt down a paycheck at the end of the night, but so far that's never happened. The father of the bride (or whoever) is usually right there waiting to pay us.

 

Part of that, too, might be the amount of detail we go to prior to the event. Many contacts back and forth and a contract/rider/wedding planner that ends up being several pages long sends a good message that this isn't some backyard band you pass around the hat for. I think they understand we're a professional endeavor that they wouldn't think of stiffing anymore than they would the caterer or photographer.

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