I’ve been working with recording “artists” and musicians most of my adult life. For the past 10 years exclusively I’ve been either managing or developing (or both) artists and bands in the USA and around the world. Since the music industry is going through a major paradigm shift (mainly thanks to digital downloads) it’s always interesting to see how musicians adapt and how their expectations change.
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Entries in booking (16)
Today, Pare Booking announces the launch of an innovative new tool that allows artists to book live shows directly through a clean and easy to use iOS application. By streamlining the booking process and putting power back in the artists’ hands, Pare transforms an outdated system that has burdened the music industry for years.
With the Pare app, any artist, regardless of demand, can view the details of their past and upcoming shows, control their schedule, submit counter-offers, sign contracts, and accept payments, all in one digital space.
“Pare Booking is a booking agency for the 21st century,” says CEO & Founder Brandon Breitenbach. “Over the years, every aspect of the music industry has changed–except the way shows are booked. With the growth of online streaming services, it makes more sense now than ever for artists to be able to control their greatest source of income: live shows.”
As a professional road manager for touring artists, Breitenbach experienced firsthand the frustrations that come with booking shows, a process that often overlooks independent artists. Partnering with a team of music industry experts and software engineers, he created Pare, a tool that empowers artists to manage every aspect of the booking process from the palm of their hand.
“The goal is to increase artists’ profitability and productivity through a simple website and mobile application,” says Breitenbach. “We want Pare to champion every artist, from aspiring musicians to well-known acts.”
Pare will launch with artists spanning all genres of music and is expected to get the most traction in cities known for live music like Austin, Nashville, New York, and Los Angeles. The app is available for any artist in the United States, but will soon be open to artists around the world.
Booking regular shows is an essential part of being a musician when expecting to be heard by the public, and a question we here at Phosphene Productions get asked a lot about. Though everyone has their own technique when it comes to finding the perfect show, many artists new to the scene should devise a “template” to work by and to keep yourself organized when contacting so many different people.
Our goal in this article is to give you a sort of template to use when beginning to develop your own booking strategy, and by the end you should have all the necessary information to kick off your gig.
One way to grow your music’s reach is to break into new markets. This could be taken a number of ways: new geographical areas (cities, states, countries, etc.) or simply new audiences in general (by demographic, interest, psychographic, etc). Before you try and expand your reach through new markets, it’s important to take a few things into consideration:
Return on Investment: What is the cost or effort required to break into this market? Is the return on investment worthwhile or would you be better off using those resources to grow an existing market?
Goals: What kind of role will this market play in your S.M.A.R.T.E.R Goals?
Money. Let’s face it: most artists aren’t very good with it. Most of us don’t have much to invest into our music career (relatively speaking), and when we do, we tend to throw it at some random opportunities without a larger strategy in mind.
Take, for instance, submission fees to music festivals. Each year, thousands of artists spend over $100 in application fees or subscription costs to EPK sites, in hopes of getting a show at SXSW, CMJ, Bumbershoot, or other large festivals. Personally, I think festivals are overrated in terms of importance for your career, but if you really want to get in, try reading this guide: How to Get Into SXSW.
You can easily spend $100 on strings, picks, or sticks. You could even buy a cheap electric guitar. Or, if you were riding in my tour bus, $100 almost covers the gas from Portland, OR to Seattle, WA.
For some reason, I’ve been getting a lot of emails this week from artists asking me to sponsor them directly. I’m guessing it’s a combination of me writing about the subject and laziness where they don’t realize that I don’t provide those services directly, I simply provide tools for artists to aid them in that area.
Music Booking Platform Revolutionizes Outdated Processes
Muzeek and its “book button” take on paper trails, wasted time and green M&M’s
Bondi, February 26, 2013 - Artists, venues and everyone inbetween can safely writeoff hours of unnecessary paperwork, days of back and forth emails and countless curseridden tirades aimed at a venue that didn’t pay or an artist that didn’t play, as Muzeek, the world’s most progressive, digital booking platform launches its website and the first and only embeddable “book” button to the music industry.
Every few years, promoters and venues begin trying new ideas to make their show successful:
Pay to Play
In the 80’s, “pay to play” was a trend that forced artists to pre-sell tickets for their shows to help made up money lost for shows with a low turnout. This is something that still continues today (especially in Los Angeles, where the movement was birthed) and in the UK. The concept is pretty simple: you guarantee to sell a certain number of tickets for your show. However, if you don’t meet the quota, you’re personally liable for the difference. In most cases, even if you sell the prerequisite number of tickets (it can be 15-50 tickets or more), you only get paid a fragment of whatever you sell above the agreed minimum (usually 50%), not the entire batch of sales.
A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of being interviewed by John Lee Dumas of Entrepreneur on Fire. He was launching a new podcast series called “The Great Business Experiment: Kickstarter.” It featured interviews with ten successful Kickstarter campaigns to talk about what worked, what was learned, and what can be done for the future.
Rejection. It can sting. Whether it is a promoter or a record label who doesn’t want to give you the opportunity to shine or it is a critic who writes a bad review of your music, the reality is that sooner or later, you’re going to face rejection. How you deal with that rejection can ultimately determine your success.
Do you have a tour or one-off show coming up? Let’s talk about how to promote it.
Now, I understand that there are many debates on where the responsibility of promoting lies (some argue the venue/promoter, some argue the artist). Those debates aside, let me say this: the time and money that goes into strategically promoting your shows will always provide a good return on investment. Who doesn’t want to gain a reputation as a hard-working artist willing to do nearly whatever it takes to make the show a success?
Last week, I received several questions about bands or venues cancelling last minute and what the repercussions were. Between that and taking law classes at night, I’ve had a lot of contracts on the mind. Hopefully this will help answer some of your questions about band contracts, if you need them, and how to create one.
I’ll cover some of the more popular questions below:
If you were presented with the opportunity to pitch your band directly to the Chief A&R representative for Capital Records, what would you say? If there was a venture capitalist looking to invest into the dreams of one band, how would you convince them to choose you? If your favorite band was in town and looking for an opener, what would you tell the promoter about your act?
Being able to pitch your band is one of the most important steps in being able to book shows, secure sponsorships, get a booking agent/manager, receive press, and even to getting on a label. It’s also one of the areas that I see independent musicians struggling with the most. Even though I have a disclaimer on LastStopBooking.com that we are not accepting submissions, I still receive about 50-100 EPK submissions and query letters per week. 90% of these sound the same: the band describes themselves as having “great music,” and they almost always say they are different than other artists because they are “hardworking.”
Bands want to perform at good venues, and venues want to bring in business by booking great bands, but the relationship between bands and venues is oftentimes strained at best. This is in part due to the fact that there isn’t a good, central system in place that facilitates communication between the two sides. In2ne, a new San Diego-based start up, aims to solve this problem for both musicians and music venues. In2ne is a new site that provides musicians with the tools they need to kick start their performing career, all entirely for free.