Posted in fanteraction, tagged band's email, bands, battle of the bands, emails, emergenza, facebook, manager, myspace, paris, U2 on June 17, 2009 |
6 Comments »
I haven’t been very active on the blog these two past weeks. Greg and I have been fairly busy partnering up with Emergenza, that international battle-of-the-bands you probably might have heard of. We contacted them about a month ago asking if they would be interested in trying out our Fanteraction service. I pitched the idea to one of the organizers, and he said they would give it a shot for the finals in Paris.
So about 3 weeks ago we focused our efforts on getting an “Emergenza profile” fired-up, discussing features with the organizers, handling many other logistical tasks, and making sure all the bands created accounts and filled-up their profiles.
Since the organizers kinda took way too much time to give us all of the bands’ emails (in order for us to invite them to the site and get certain technical formalities handled specifically for the Emergenza event), we decided to fetch those email addresses ourselves. Well I’ll be damned ’cause what I thought would be an easy one or two hour task (there were 24 band in total divided in two dates) took me twice that time. You see, I thought finding a band’s email address was easy thanks to basic searches on myspace and facebook. I discovered to my grand demise that many bands like to hide their emails – not hide in the sense “I’m afraid of spammers, so you’ll just have to myspace me”, rather hide as in “let’s see were the most incoherent place to hide my email would be, just because I don’t quite grasp the concept of being easily contacted”.
Because seriously, let’s face it, bands don’t really reply on myspace anymore. Well some do, but myspace has really become this virtual junk yard were bands barely even update their shows anymore. Maybe it’s not the case for you, or you, but I can confidently say that it’s the friggin’ case for tons of bands. Facebook generates a bit more reaction in terms of messages and replies, but not always. It seems to me that most bands believe that just by creating a fan page and creating a group for each show, they are mastering social media.
To get to the point of this post, put your band’s email, or primary band member’s email where you want people to see that you exist!
There is this one solo singer songwriter playing in the Emergenza Paris finals who has an active myspace, an active website, has apparently sent out press releases about his gigs, or has at least had some press coverage for his events, and who just doesn’t want people to email him. It’s crazy. This guy is in the top 200 charts in France, and by the way he promotes himself online you can see he’s screaming to get noticed, yet I can’t get a hold of his email address, at all, and of course he is not replying to my myspace message either. I could be U2′s manager wanting to put him up as an opening act that I wouldn’t know how to reach him.
I just don’t get it.
Read Full Post »
Posted in Booking & Promotion, tagged band, club management, club owners, dealing with club owners, fill a club, gear, manager, packed club, play music, professional, sessions, sound-man, wait staff on October 6, 2008 |
2 Comments »
“I once was house sound-man for a club in Toronto.
When I started, all of the wait staff kept asking me if I lived in residence. (I lived at home, quite close to the club). Finally I asked what residence was, it was employee housing (which $300/month was deducted from their wage to live in a craphole where everything you did was monitored). I was invited to a weekly after-hours staff party at another one of their clubs. They were charging $6/beer and more for mixed drinks.
I watched as the other employees lined up to get their wages (in cash) and blow every last cent of it right there and then, some advancing into the next week. This happened every week without fail. I was stunned.
I finally left after finding out their “peeler” clubs were just a front for a major prostitution ring. A few years later law enforcement dropped the hammer on all their clubs and owners.”
Once playing a club in Tucson, AZ in the 70′s (On Speedway), “Max” the club owner had a red phone, complete with blinking light, installed on stage and would call the band to tell them when to play a slow song (so he could get the disco ball going).
It was the strangest thing ever, but he outdid himself. One night he was shooing out the customers and pulled a chrome plated 9mm from his waistband and ‘urged’ the remaining table to leave the premises.
Who knows what evil lurks in their minds. I know that dealing with them is treacherous and it is a weird symbiotic relationship between the ‘entertainment’ and the club management. Usually the manager is the cool go-between and the owner just wants to minimize his costs and maximize his profits. Another free beer…. I don’t think so.
“The same can’t be said for all club owners.
There are a “few” good ones. Very little in my experience. But the one thing you really need to understand is that they are business men and having you play at their club is a business investment. Sooooo….. Be very professional when you deal with them, make sure to discuss responsibilities in detail (set length, start time, end time, PAYMENT!!), leave them with a card to reach you for a future gig (they won’t look YOU up cause their are a million other bands), don’t be late showing up, have your gear ready and in shape, don’t get drunk, and try your damn best to make a REALLY GOOD FIRST IMPRESSION. That’s means bring as many people as possible.”
“The “rules” kind of differ depending on the gig. If you’re a cover band you don’t wanna spend half the night playing originals. Just make sure you know what’s expected of you and try to deliver. If they don’t like it, you can’t help it. Look for another club. Just make sure you’re professional. They don’t care about your music or look at it as art. It’s money and business and you should handle it in that manner.
After all that’s said and done. Don’t forget to F###ING ROCK.”
“Club owners for the most part don’t care about you or your band, they are bottom line men. Either you are a known commodity or you invite everyone you know to come out and see you.
I played sessions where the club is not to packed and the owner comes out and tries to beat your price down,well am I there to play music or pack this club, it’s not my fault his club is a failure and most clubs are out of business in 6 months.
We sometimes split the bill with friends who have newly forming bands. They have higher enthusiasm and by using them for openers they bring out all their friends to double the crowd. If you think hard there are many ways to fill a club, just remember club owners are usually desperate because they made a bad investment and are looking to cut costs like bands pay.”
Read Full Post »
Posted in Booking & Promotion, tagged band booking, band gigs, band on the road, book the talent, booking agent, booking gigs, business sense, club owners, gig promotion, gigs, mailing list, manager, press release, promote my band, promoter, promoter sets up a show, promotion, venue promoter on July 11, 2008 |
17 Comments »
I haven’t dealt much with booking agents and venue promoters, and for some reason I imagine booking agents resembling someone like that guy on the right. Anyways, I went about asking bands their experiences on the subject so I’ll leave you with two quotes on the matter. I’ll post up more of these in future topics. Please feel free to leave some insights . Mruff !
Q: Why do some bands have booking agents, while others depend on venue promoters?”
A: Some bands get paid enough to interest a booking agent. Others have to do their own booking, which means working with the venue or venue promoter. NEVER TRUST or DEPEND ON the venue promoter… he works for the venue, not you. But do politely negotiate with him to get what you want.
Q: I know venue promoters find the bands and actively promote the shows, but do some venues only work with their promoters to fill up the slots?”
A: A real promoter sets up a show, gets financing for it, books the talent, hires appropriate support (sound, lights, etc.), puts on the show, and pays the talent.
A “venue promoter” is just a booking agent for the venue.
You should always do your own promotion to the extent that you can. Posting flyers, mailing your mailing list, sending press releases to the press, are all part of this. If your cash flow supports it you might hire a publicist ($100-$250 / hr, ouch) to do some of this for you.
Most venues will do some promotion – at least to the extent of informing the local press of their schedule. But you’ll get better coverage if you do your own promotion.
Q: Should booking agents be promoting the show as well?
A: A booking agent’s job is get you gigs… but the more money you bring in, the more the booking agent gets paid, so most booking agents will do some promotion or at least give you some guidance on what to do.
Q: Whats the best way to deal with these ppl?
A: Build your business to a point where you have plenty of money for the booking agent to take a cut of and then negotiate the best contract you can (hire a music attorney to negotiate your booking contract – if you’re making enough to benefit from an agent you won’t have any problem affording the attorney)
David Smith- an acquaintance from the SonicBids website.
My groups always worked through agents…some were amazing…some sucked. My main guy ended up as a Las Vegas show booker working with the William Morris Agency out of L.A. – he’s a Chartered Accountant from Montreal by trade and last time we spoke he had become the Business Manager for Natalie Cole.
I worked with one agent who booked us into a hotel gig in Cleveland and then we ended up driving approx 1,500 km to Northern Ontario for the next venue. Or like being not booked for 3 weeks due to all talk – no action. I busted one Manager through the New York Musicians’ Union for attempting to defraud the group with personal and living expenses which he claimed were to promote my band. He’s known locally and elsewhere so I won’t mention names. Like if you’re going to screw me at least ask me to dance first…
Don’t even get me started on the dumb-ass club owners – many of them still don’t have the good business sense to put it in the Mirror, Hour, Gazette or whatever the local rag is anywhere.
Bartholomew – www.myspace.com/bartholomew3
Read Full Post »