Stop desperately waiting for that next show offer, and learn how to book a gig yourself. It’s not as hard as you think, you’ll learn plenty in the process, and can strategically increase your band’s profile in the local scene.
If you’re a new band struggling to get show offers (Make sure you’re ready, don’t ruin your rep!)
If you are getting ripped off with low show payments from other bookers
If you’re a band trying to increase you’re profile by headlining gigs
If you’re launching a new product, such as an album release party
If you’re raising money for band projects like touring and recording
Location – Central, near public transport
Capacity – Realistic size, not too big, not too small
Costs – A few dollars per head is good, or a reasonable hire charge or bar split
Scene – Make sure it’s the right type of place for your genre
Pick a theme and a date and be ready to be flexible, then email them something like this;
My name is Brendon and I am writing to enquire about booking a music event at the BandTools Hotel on Saturday 13th August if available?
The concert is a CD Launch for Perth metal band Claim The Throne, and Australian Tour for American band Metallica, We also plan on booking 2 local bands for the show.
Claim The Throne are a highly renowned group with a big following in Perth and have played in Bunbury on three previous occasions. Expected turnout is at least 100+ payers.
We can arrange all booking, promotion, sound engineer etc. Any further info required please just let me know and I will gladly send it through.
For more info on the band, please feel free to visit our press kit at claimthethrone.com/live.
Look forward to hearing from you.
Follow up after a week or so. If still no reply, either give them a call or let it go and find somewhere else.
A good way to do this, is by sending them a spreadsheet or template with the questions you want answered, ask them to fill in the blanks..
Booking confirmations – An email with the agreed terms in writing is fine, or for huge shows it would be worth considering a signed contract.
Sound Engineer & Lighting provided or not
PA & Backline provided or not
Soundchecks available if required, or line checks
Merch area and any associated costs
Is a door person provided
Load in times
Open & close times
See who is playing other shows, be familiar with your scene
If you are a new upcoming band, then consider getting 1 or 2 bands as headliners above you
Contact them – Send a nice facebook message or email
Negotiating payments – Per head door split is easiest and fairest, but if you have a big name headliner to pull the crowd then they may want a guarantee. Pay them a fair figure, but don’t let them take advantage of you. If you’re going to be out of pocket then it’s not worth it, find someone else.
Negotiating set times – Most local bands are happy with half an hour, give the headliner a bit more (within reason). Also allow for changeover times between sets. Something like this usually works;
Doors – 8pm
Band 1 – 8.15pm to 8.45pm
Band 2 – 9.05pm to 9.35pm
Band 3 – 9.50 to 10.30pm
Band 4 – 10.50pm to 11.40pm
Curfew – 12
Print these out and stick around the venue. Tell the bands they cannot go over their end time, if they start late that doesn’t mean they can finish late because it affects the bands after them.
Worksheet created by you, sent to the bands and venue nice and early
Set times printout for sound guy and around venue
Stage plot & tech specs for sound guy
Choosing a date – Check for no clashes
Mailing list mailout – Hopefully you’ve got a small list. If not, it may be worth finding a local industry person to help with email promotion
Ticket sales – Conisder if you want these or not
Templates, examples and guides are available in the BandTools database, to access visit our Patreon page to subscribe!