Photo by Erica Torres Photography
In Photograph: Matthew Slusser, Bassist of Phantom Party 

If your band is performing live you may think all you need are your instruments and a killer live set, which might have been true 30 years ago; to book your band effectively today, you really need to master the internet and hone your communication skills.  The following is a list that will not only make getting gigs easier for your band, it will make working with your band a breeze for all the industry folk.

  • EMAIL ADDRESS with SIGNATURE+LINKS
    Having a “BANDNAME@gmail.com” address is the most common.  You MUST have a signature that lists the following:
    CONTACT NAME
    BAND NAME
    BAND GENRE
    LOCATION (CITY, STATE)
    WEBSITE
    PHONE NUMBER
    SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS
  • MUSIC AVAILABLE TO STREAM
    Streaming services like Spotify and Soundcloud are the easiest to use.  Never attach a song file to an email unless it is specifically asked for.
  • STAGE PLOT & EQUIPMENT/INPUT LIST
    A simple stage plot done in word is fine, though it must be clear and easy to read with a header stating your contact information.  If you’ll be performing larger venues where EVERYTHING is mic’d, not just vocals, then an equipment list and your monitor preferences will give the sound engineer a good starting point, making sound check quick.  The stage plot should be emailed to the sound engineer prior to the show and a copy printed out and brought with you.
  • SOCIAL MEDIA
    Other than flyering and word-of-mouth promotion, the promoter and venue often use social media to inform fans of your performance.  The most common used are: Bandsintown, Facebook, Instagram & Twitter.  If you don’t have at least two of these, you are missing out on valuable fan interactions.
  • MEDIA/PRESS
    High quality photos and logos for your band should be easily accessible.  If you have a website, you can dedicate a page with images available for download.  Promoters, bloggers and anyone working with you may need these at any time.  If they email you requesting this info you must respond quickly as most will be on a deadline and they might have to settle for a tired photo pulled from Facebook.
  • MERCH
    Don’t let your fans leave the show saying ” I love your music!” and all you give them is a “Thanks for your support!”  They would love a Sticker, Pin, CD/Tape/Record, T-Shirt, Poster and would definitely sign up for your mailing list.
  • PERFORMING RIGHTS ORGANIZATION
    Signing up for BMI is free, for ASCAP there is a fee; you can only sign up for one of them so do your research.  If you are performing large venues, most of them are affiliated with these organizations and you are due royalties for the performance of your songs.  Smaller venues generally aren’t affiliated with a PRO.
    You’ll only be paid if you own the copyright, are the writer, were signed up with a PRO prior to the performance and submit your setlist for the show on BMILive or ASCAP OnStage.    This is also how you will be paid as a writer if your songs are played on the radio or used on television or in movies.

 

These are the basics for booking your independent band, regardless of genre.  Please leave any comments or questions below.  I can be contacted at socalindiemusicians@gmail.com if you would like to ask something specific. You can also find me on Facebook, Instagram & Twitter!

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