How do I get my band more gigs? (part 1)
Most promoting these days, and certainly all the larger scale shows including music festivals and stadium shows, are done by promotion companies who will have several people working for them putting on shows around the country each night. The main ones in the UK are companies such as Mean Fiddler Music Group, Live Nation, SJM and Metropolis Music Group. Getting shows with promotion companies as apposed to a one man promoter is not at easily done as they will only put you on if they think that you will draw enough people. This could be from a proven track record of live shows or, more likely, due to record sales and how well known you are.
If you do tick the above boxes and you think a promotion company would be interested, this would done by your manager/agent contacting the promoters directly. This could be done by yourself but at this stage in the game you really should have someone professional to handle matters such as these. Do not just ring the front desk of a company demanding a show because this person will probably have no say into band hire. Instead find out first the name of the person who can help as well as how they would would prefer to be contacted and how how they would like your information to be sent. Doing this with a good old fashioned phone call surprisingly will probably give you the edge rather than just e-mailing them. Once you have spoken to them on the phone then send a follow up email a few days later thanking them and attempt to progress things further. If you are well known this could be enough to get the ball rolling but if not I suggest you put together an attractive press pack in a nice folder containing the following;
- Cover letter
- Fact sheet/ news clipping
- Art work
Don’t forget to put your contact details on EVERY part of the press pack. Promotion companies will usually hire 3-4 people who will keep their “ear to the street” trying to find out which bands are popular and so should be hired. These are the people you need to some how get into contact with in order to get these shows.
NOTE: If you manage to track down one of these talent scouts and they listen to you and decide that you aren’t what they are looking for whatever reason, don’t try and go round that person as this will only annoy people at the company and give you a bad name. Instead ask for constructive criticism, go away and get better then return 6 months down the line (Or try again with different companies). Returning to the same company further down the line showing marked improvement in the areas has its benefits as it shows that you are committed, you evidently greatly valued their opinion and you have shown what appears to be a degree of loyalty for returning back to that company.
The promoter will examine the costs involved in putting together an event and the profit potential. If the numbers add up in their favour then the artist may find themselves receiving a proposed financial offer. This offer will be minus the technical costs involved and will only have an estimate of the extra costs that the artist will call for in the contract that would eventually get drawn up. The company would estimate these costs by using an amount they would be prepared to offer for similar bands of the same level.
If the promotion company is happy with the performance and the turn out from your first show they are likely to want to hire you for more. As long as you can get more and more people to each of these shows then the sky really is the limit in terms of the size of shows you could be playing if you get on the right side of a promotion company.
By Alex Kehoe
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If you would like further and more in depth information on how to put together a press folder check out Tom Hess who has been of great help to me over the years at www.tomhess.net.
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Copyright 2012 Alex Kehoe