A lot of artists these days are capable of working independently – with no label that is. However, many artists such as yourself do in fact still need a booking agent. Not only will a booking agent help keep you on track, but they will work hard to get you gigs and shows you might have thought you couldn’t get. They will make connections for you and build bridges with the right people in the industry.
When it comes to any artist in the music industry, you all need one thing – organization. Without this, your meetings, plans, interviews and more would be difficult to manage, and shows would be harder to remember. So, with that being said, start looking into getting a booking agent. Not only will it help make your job as an artist a lot easier, but shows will run more smoothly with someone in charge of helping you out with booking. They will help you book shows, get you interviews, and talk to venue owners to persuade them why you are a good fit for performing at their venue.
DUTIES OF A BOOKING AGENT
You wouldn’t believe how many tasks fall into the job of a booker:
- Spends time searching for gigs
- Negotiates deals with venues and managers
- Follows up with calls and e-mails
- Will discuss time of your performance
- Will discuss payment for you
- Collect deposit before performance, to make sure you get paid
- Possible responsibility with promoting your performance
- Possible arrangement of transportation for you
- Arrange interview with you if the interviewer shows up at the venue where you perform
- Makes sure that you’re well-respected and appropriately paid out
- Makes sure that before communicating with managers and venue owners that your EPK ready to show
- Provide the road manager (if you have one) when and where the gig is taking place
- Provides the road manager with contacts available at the venue they perform at
- Makes sure that you make it to your show on time
- If contract is available, make sure that if you are travelling far from home that they have accommodations for you
- Accommodations include securing hospitality needs
- Carefully read the contract to make sure all parties helping you are readily able to do what is stated in the contract
BENEFITS OF A BOOKING AGENT
As you can see in the list above, there are many responsibilities that a booking agent has, and it is not as simple as just ‘booking a show or gig’ for you. There are many benefits to hiring a booking agent, and it is up to you to decide if you need one or not. So why should you hire a booking agent?
As an artist, you are good at one thing – being the artist. Whether that is creating the music, writing, performing or practicing gigs, you should stick to being an artist. So getting someone on the business side of things to help you out is crucial. A booking agent will be your spokesperson that will handle different venues and get on the owner’s good side. You will want this as an artist, so they will be happy to have you back to perform and put in a good word to other owners. Although, most booking agents will already have relationships with certain venues, but if they do not, they will surely have the skills to communicate appropriately with each owner. They can also discuss the cost of what you will be paid for performing, and to ensure that you do not get screwed over because it does indeed happen in the music industry.
WHAT YOU NEED TO DO AS THE ARTIST
Now you might think that you should actually hire a booking agent; especially if you want to gain more of a buzz with your music. Booking shows and tours will become harder. But what should you be looking for in a good booking agent or agency?
First, don’t just get anyone for the sake of it. Make sure that the booking agent you do end up getting understands your vision as an artist, and your primary needs that you will need to have when performing. This is key because this person will be working for you, and for a long time hopefully, so make sure you get along.
Negotiating on a rate with your booking agent is another factor, so make sure you discuss this ahead of time and ensure them that you can pay them as well. If not, you will need to negotiate into a better deal with someone else.
You also need to be honest with your booking agent about where you are in your music career, your genre, types of shows you have performed and more. You should never start off a business relationship with lies about who you are and where your career is currently.
Lastly, if a booking agent has worked hard in getting you show or gig, take it. They work just as hard as you and want to help you succeed, so take as many offers as possible.
Be friendly from the start of your partnership, communicate with your booking agent, and work hard together and you will be surprised to see just how much your music career will succeed.
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