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.