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FINALLY -
The Indie bible of venues and booking agents for the indie artist.  Over 26,000 venues and 2000 booking agents.   Everything you need to book a massive amount of shows and map out a great tour. 5 out of 5 stars.

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AMEG

Tour Consulting

How to Put decent shows and a tour together

The most frequent concern by far that I hear from Independent artists on a daily basis is how to get shows or put together a tour. Independent bands are extremely frustrated with not being able to get the shows they need to really promote themselves live. 

A lot of independent artists and bands know all too well that getting quality shows or putting together a significant venue or concert tour is not as easy as it sounds.  And getting to the shows with gas prices the way they are today is rough. There are ways available to save gasoline that you should probably look into.  Most also know, or should, that in conjunction with publicity, music marketing, and radio play, this can be the most valuable asset to your career.  You must get out there and promote yourself through live performance and create a tour history.   And the performance needs to be superior!  This can only be obtained by getting the road and stage experience.

What Does a Booking Agent Do?
Brad Wavra, Vice President of Touring at Live Nation,
the worlds largest concert promotion company, discusses
the role of a booking agency in advancing an artistís career

There are resources available to help you do this but your first contact with a venue. concert promoter, must be professionally put together.   I'm sure you've heard of Sonicbids, the online EPK, it's by far the most popular tool used by, at last count, 160,000 indie artists and musicians.  If you're not using it, you are probably one of the last hold-outs.  Sonicbids is the website that helps bands get gigs. Join now free for festivals, contests, licensing and more.  It's the easiest way to connect with and expose yourself to venues, concert promoters, and labels.  Sonic bids offers thie members priority submission opportunities to all the major festivals in the world. 

You should also use a professional program or some kind of spread sheet/database that will help keep you organized while you are attempting to put together a tour.  Keeping track of your contacts is crucial in order to stay organized. Most venues primary and first concern is to be assured that you will draw a significant crowd to your show, no matter where it is.  Venues are not out to give you exposure, they are out for themselves.  A lot don't even care how good or bad you are.  It is crucial that you are able to truthfully assure them that you will draw people to your performance at their venue.  This too, may or may not be as easy as it may sound depending upon your current fan base. 

The good news is that there are many ways and strategies that you can use to actually get shows booked, coordinate a regional or national venue tour, and then do the all important .... Bring people out to your shows.  A professionally designed booking proposal is the first step, then putting together a marketing campaign in the city of the performance is key.  All this can be obtained though a street team, and the help of a professional music media releations firm that does the vital tour P/R duties that you will desperately need to make your tour a success and actually worth doing.  If at all possible, try to get some sort of booking agreement in writing to assure the show is in place and you get your guarantee.

Touring and Career Development
Brad Wavra, Vice President of Touring at Live Nation

There is a multitude of strategies you can implement.  Just booking the shows ..  which is difficult enough in itself, and hitting the road playing the shows without anyone knowing you or knowing you're coming may be a futile effort on your part.  Make sure you promote and market the tour or have a professional tour promotion company do it.   You can do your Music Promotion with musicSUBMIT.com!   They have a special service that is strictly for promoting your tour.  Have or acquire street teams in the regions and cities you will be performing in.  If it's within your budget, and you should make this a priority, engage a music media relations and promotions firm to fully support the tour.  Make it worth your while, or don't waste your time.  If you are lucky enough to acquire national distribution prior to your tour, this will be your key to selling records and digital downloads in retail outlets and online digital portals.  Not to mention the the CD's and merchandise you can sell at shows.

Here are some strategies, tactics, and tips, you should keep
in mind when doing shows and putting a tour together.

Maximize Each Tour Stop
A brief video synopsis by Jerry Goolsby professor
of the music industry program at Loyola University

* Compose a professional email booking inquiry (most venues only accept submissions via email)  Here's a sample inquiry

* Acquire a database of venues in the region you want to tour.  We highly recommend The Indie Venue Bible.  It has over 26,000 venues listed with contact information and over 2000 booking agents.  This truly is your bible for getting shows and putting a tour together.

* Put together a list of venues contacted, keep notes on everything.  Do this regionally.  The best way to do this is by using a database or system of contacts.  One of the best venue and contact management systems that we have come across is by far The Online Gigs system.  Here you can keep all your music marketing, tour, and other information in one, easy accessible place.  When you're organized you can get things done and THINGS HAPPEN

* Sytematically contact each venue with your inquiry

* Wait for a response (which in most cases you surely won't get right away) then follow up by email and by telephone in about a week.

* Book the shows in a logical manner along your tour route.  With today's gas prices and expenses involved in hitting the route, you want to book your route in the most cost effective manner.  There are methods you can use to save an enormous amount of money on gas such as conversion kits.  Most indie bands who tour a lot are doing this.  It doesn't make sense to book a show in New York, then one in Florida, followed by one in Boston.  Get the idea?

* If you are lucky enough to engage the help of a decent booking agent, this could be a huge asset and save you a lot of trouble.  Although getting a booking agent of any significance on your side is not an easy task for unknown independent bands.

Promote the shows

* Implement a regional press campaign in each city that you will perform.  Contact local media, and regional Internet media. Do your tour Music Promotion with musicSUBMIT.com!   They have a specialized service for promoting your tour.  A good strategy is to get your CD reviewed on a regional Internet portal prior to playing a city.  A great resource for getting this done is the original Indie Bible.  There are thousands on portals that accept CDs for review listed with all their contact information.

* Do you have a mailing list?  You should.  Blast every appearance to your fans

* Form a street team in as many cities as possible.  Your street teams should bring posters and flyers to the venues a couple weeks prior to your show.  Your street teams can perform a variety of marketing and show promotion tactics. 

* Needless to say, post all shows on your websites

 AMEG provides tour consulting services, tour P/R and media support for many independent bands looking to tour.  We can advise you on all the methods and strategies to coordinate a decent regional venue tour from how to get the shows, coordinate, and vigorously promote and publicize the performances.  We will also recommend resources that will help you immensely.  If you would like our help, contact us for more details.

 

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