Playing live is one of the most important things you will ever do as an artist, there is no denying it. It’s where your reputation is built as an artist, where you gain new fans, how you can create a buzz – gigging frequently and to a high standard will set you apart from the crowd. There will be a point in your career when you have built a large enough fanbase to start headlining your own shows, begin to start looking further than your local clubs for shows, and maybe even start touring. This is when a booking agent comes in.
WHAT THEY DO & THE BENEFITS
Fundamentally, a booking agent has the responsibility of booking gigs for you. They liaise with promoters to get you on the bill, negotiate the gig contract to suit you as best as possible, and they make sure the entire live proceedings run as smooth as possible. An agent will work with promoters to make sure that everything you need will be at the venue, that you have enough time to soundcheck, and most importantly, what the payment will be for your performance. Only want yellow M&Ms on your rider? Your agent is the one who ensures the promoter knows.
Here is a quick run-down of the main responsibilities a booking agent has:
- Liase with promoters to book shows.
- Convince venue owners & promoters that you can pull a crowd.
- Negotiate fees.
- Organise travel & accommodation for gig days.
- Get you as high on the bill as possible.
You may be saying to yourself: “I do all of these things myself already, I don’t need an agent”, this may be true, you might be booking all of your own gigs, however, there comes a time where you want to play bigger and better venues, in towns and cities where you may have no contacts with whatsoever, this is when an agent starts to become more and more helpful.
Here are some of the main benefits of having an agent:
- Allows you to focus on your music by taking the responsibly of booking gigs off your shoulders.
- Books better and bigger gigs for you.
- If the agent is a part of a large agency who represents prominent artists, then they could get you a support slot to a big name artist or band.
So that was a quick run-down on the main responsibilities and benefits of a booking agent, I hope it may be of use to you in the future. With regards to finding a booking agent, a quick Google search will list hundreds, then just browse through their roster, see if they fit your sound, and get in contact. However, the most common way of getting a booking agent is simply by being incredibly tight as a band, gigging relentlessly, and building a large fanbase. Then, an agent will come to you.
Check out MusicBud.co.uk for more.
James is currently working as an Intern at Music Dealers and is the Editor-In-Chief and Founder of MusicBud.co.uk. He considers himself a Music Business Enthusiast, Artist Manager, Music Consultant and Social Media Strategist. For more, follow him on Twitter