How venues should really book bands/solo artists to make it easier for us all…

If you think other bands/solo artists, and promoters can be crazy and weird, when it comes to music, the bookers at venues can be much worse. Seriously, I’ve dealt with them over the years! They can be pretty unprofessional, disrespectful and have bad attitudes as well! I’ll leave venue names out, so I won’t get legal threats.

A lot of venues in your area, book shows in different ways. Below I’m going to explain how they do it and why I think it’s wrong. Then, I’ll explain how venues should book bands/artists so they can be more welcoming for us all.

The Way Venues Book Bands and why I think it’s wrong…

  • Venues will sometimes book bands/artists, only if the music is good. They’ll reject the bands/artists that they think are crap. Why I Think It’s Wrong: Simply put, bands/artists don’t like being rejected. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been rejected when I try to book a gig at a certain venue. Trust me, I’ve been rejected a lot over the years, when I tried to send my demo for a possible show booking. All those few gigs I got booked over the years, I got pretty lucky for those venues to actually support my music.
  • Venues will book bands only if you have a large enough following, doesn’t matter if your music is good or not. Why I think it’s wrong: Sometimes it’s hard for a band/artist to pull in more people. I also think it’s disrespectful to unsigned artists getting rejected if the venue think they aren’t able to pull in more people. They should just wait for the night of the show and see what happens. Who knows, more people will come on their own, never know. It is also disrespectful to not let the band/artists perform there again, if they didn’t bring in a large enough crowd at the night of the show.
  • Venues will force you to play an open mic before booking an actual gig. Why I think it’s wrong: I can’t tell you how many fuckin’ times, I tried to book a gig at a venue at a certain place, then they respond back, saying I should play their open mic first before actually booking a show with them. When venues do this, it’ll make me want to avoid that place like the plague. I can understand why the venues want to test the band/artists out to see if he/she can bring in a crowd or see if they are real, those are the reasons, but it’s still disrespectful and rude to a band/artist.

The real way venues should book bands/artists:

  • They should support all local musicians. I know some venues that are supportive of everything, even if the stuff are bad. Believe me, they are out there.
  • Instead of rejecting bands/artists because they don’t have a large enough following or if their music is not good enough, they should book that artist a gig for one night and give them a try out, anyway. Who knows what may happen, and the gig may turn out successful, it’s just a matter of giving them a chance.
  • The person in charge of the booking, should have a professional and good enough attitude. Leaving your egos at the door as well. Seriously guys, bands & artists can have feelings too ’cause us musicians are human beings just like you. I’ve met plenty of rude booking agents over the years.
  • Don’t worry about money, and not worry about how many people, a band/artist brings in. Not all bands & musicians will bring in huge crowds every night. All musicians will play in front of huge crowd to no crowd at all. That’s just the way things are. The venues need to get over their big crowds obsessions. I understand they need to make money and keep the business going, but believe me, they don’t need to be too money hungry. It’s not the end of the world.
  • If a venue feels that a band/artist can’t bring in a crowd, help the band bring in people! I’ve seen this before! I’ve played a few venues where I had trouble getting people in and the venues were on their phones, trying to pull in as many people as possible, so I can have an audience. Why aren’t other venues doing this?
  • When a band artist sends you a link where you can listen to their music and asks to book a gig at the place, reply to all requests. I’ve written to many venues over the years and gotten no response back from a lot of them.

That’s all I can think of as of now. Yeah, the way venues book gigs is bullshit, but it is what it is. This is just local music. I believe people take it too seriously around here.


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