How to get booked for festivals

Do your research!

Before you send off your application, you need to know a few things about the festival in question. Do your research; find out the theme, or what the festival is about. If you are a jazz band, you don’t want to apply for a metal festival. It’s also important to know who you’re sending your application to. And try to find out how many slots there are in total, and how many of them are still up for grabs.

Keep it short!

Time is short for most people, and especially for promoters, so keep your band bio short and sweet. It would be a shame – and a huge waste of your time – if your application was not read, or even opened. So get straight to the point, and keep the focus on your music. Festival organisers get loads of e-mails every day, so some of them can fall through the cracks. Be unique and convincing.

Start small and local!

Of course it’s every musician’s dream to perform on a big stage before screaming masses. But don’t forget that when it comes to big and renowned festivals, competition is fierce. It’s not easy for newcomers to push through. That’s why it’s advisable to raise your fame factor by playing in smaller local festivals, which you’ll then be able to use as a reference. Even if the fee doesn’t quite live up to your expectations – when you get the chance to play, you should go for it.

Prove yourself!

All musicians think they’re the absolute best, but how many can actually put their money where their mouth is? Make sure that your application, (your EPK), includes a link to a video of you performing live. That way bookers/promoters can form a better impression of you, your talent and your performance, and it will help them make up their minds faster. Just make sure the video is of good quality – that means that good image and excellent sound are a must.

Have an online presence!

Work hard to keep all your social media channels, such as Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter and YouTube, up to date. In the digital age, using these tools to build up your internet presence is a MUST. It will increase your chances of getting a gig, because your fans are not the only ones who use social media, promoters do it as well, and they will turn to them to confirm your fanbase and check out the way you interact with your fans.

Keep in mind all costs and expenses!

Don’t forget that playing at a festival is expensive. Be prepared, and calculate in advance exactly what the gig will cost you (insurance, accommodation, food, equipment, travel costs, etc.). The first fees you’ll get as a struggling artist are not that high – so make sure you know what you’ll make and what you’ll eventually have to spend.

Network till you drop!

Networking is king! Especially if you want to be successful in the music business, you must make the most of every chance to get to know other musicians, bookers, managers, etc., and to expand your network. Start with the local music scene, and keep going, slowly but steadily. Arrange cool collaborations, and make sure you’re always present.

Stay up-to-date and be quick to act!

Some slots can be up for grabs up to the last minute. So make sure you’re always ready to pounce, and check your e-mails regularly.

Now booking doesn’t sound too hard, does it? So what are you waiting for?

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