Showing posts with label booking gigs. Show all posts
Showing posts with label booking gigs. Show all posts

Monday

LegenDerry Vs. the Big Hairy Monster

The outrageous frontman for Ran$om has teamed up with the oddball geniuses of Big Hairy Monster to provide Middle Ga. with a much needed kick in the nuts.....(or maybe that was just me).

I want to add more to this article, but I simply can't- If the first sentence doesn't excite you then nothing I say could.

Derry has been a staple a round town for a few years now, and has always put on a great show. The band playing behind him as Ransom, have always been great musicians  able to pull out an obscure cover with no preparation at all. Derry has always taken this quality of the band and highlighted it to the thrill of the crowd. His shows are always fun to watch, as there is rarely a repeat from the gig before.

Big Hairy Monster is band of music afficionados who had gotten tired of the same old music being pandered around town.They started writing originals, and playing covers that lesser bands were afraid to touch. This led to Big Hairy Monster being considered by many to be the "cream on top of the cream of the crop".

Combining these two will undoubtedly be the highlight of the year. I can't wait.

Saturday

Promoting yourself

We all use Facebook as a way of advertising our shows, but we are missing out on MANY opportunities.

This site was built to help us in a variety of ways, and if we will collectively take advantage of it's benefits, we can see even more people supporting  live music!

Now before I go any further, let me point out, that at present, I have GROSSED approximately 4 dollars per month with this site. If I take my yearly domain fee out of that, I have made about 40 dollars for 2012. In June, I plan to take my wife to Outback for a plate of celebratory cheese fries with my earnings. Assuming of course, that the money keeps rolling in.

In other words, my constant attempt at promoting MidGaLive.com, has nothing to do with profit, and everything to do with promoting the music scene in Middle Ga. I would like for all of us to take part in it.

What if you could get other musicians to promote your show at the same time they promote their show? It would increase the visibilty of both ads and almost guarantee you all will have a bigger draw. A good example of this was seen recently!

This is where Lance Rodriguez has a show at Shenanigan's on the same day FailTrain is playing at Friends On The Hill. Lance will post something like.....

"Come to Shenaningan's tonight starting at 7 so that I can get you geared up for hearing FailTrain at Friends on the Hill starting at 10! Get drunk, get crunk, and experience the funk!- Lance "

It's been happening alot lately, and it should continue .......

When you list your show on the MidGaLive Music Schedule, you are promoting live music as a whole. You are drawing people to one place so that they can see the wide variety of music that is being performed. If you are on that schedule, they will, of course see your band as well.

By having your band profile on MidGaLive.com, you get the chance to promote yourself, and at the same time the Live Music Schedule will appear at the bottom of the page.You can post the article I have written for your band, as your advertisement. At the bottom of the screen, the Live Music Schedule shows all of the activity going on. Nothing attracts a crowd, like a crowd.

If you promote ALL live music, you promote the entire scene....This brings more people out to support it, which opens up more opportunities to play.

By using the color codes people will find it easier to seek out the type of music they are interested in....Which means you are making it easier for potential fans to find you.

Win/Win.

You can encourage venues to use the MidGaLive Music Schedule to promote shows as well. This gives them a chance to read about all the bands in the area, and possibly open doors for you in playing new and different clubs, which opens the doors to new and different fans. If they can see what is working for another venue, and maybe they'll try that as well.

The Eleventh Hour has been helpful to a lot of people. Many bands have a loyalty to the Eleventh Hour which makes them hesitant to promote or utilize MidGaLive.com .

Personally, the notion that MidGaLive.com is somehow competition is funny to me. There is simply no comparison. I think the Eleventh Hour does show support for the music scene, but it supports many other things also. They have done well, but they can't focus specifically on every single act while simultaneously selling advertisements for every restaurant, art studio, and massage parlor in Middle Ga.. We coexist and I believe both the Eleventh Hour and MidGaLive.com have a purpose, and we serve it well.

Use every resource you can find to promote yourself. The Eleventh Hour is a  great resource too; and I wouldn't discourage anyone from using it.

Let's work together. Promote each other and we will ALL win.

That should be everyone's goal.....Shouldn't it?

Wednesday

Lance Rodriguez

Lance Rodriguez is the hardest working musician in Middle Ga. these days. He plays bass for American Lesion, drums and vocals for Holocaustion, and for Crescent Moon Dogs AND he performs solo acoustic as Tooley Deviljuice.

One glance at him and you know you're looking at the real deal. In 5 minutes of conversation, you find a humble friendly man with the mind of a poet and the heart of a lion.

His music ranges from heavy metal, to soulful acoustic. He delivers it all with the conviction and passion of  a world class performer.

The first time I saw him perform, I was hosting an 'Open Mic Night' at a nice little upscale restaurant in Warner Robins. He signed up to perform a few songs with Tom Harbs; another of the great talents in Middle Ga.

I was immediately nervous.

I didn't know what to expect. I knew that they were both in a heavy metal band called "Holocaustion" which was known for heavy guitar and screaming vocals. Tom shaves his head and Lance hasn't seen a pair of scissors in years. Lance appears to be the offspring of Rob Zombie and Prince. I was so afraid that they were going to rip into some death metal and screaming....I thought I would have to cut their performance short.

Tom grabbed the microphone, and Lance started playing his acoustic....and they BLEW ME AWAY.
Tom's vocals were beautiful, and passionate. Lance's guitar playing was intricate and nice and ....You can't say this about every acoustic player out there;....His playing was musical by it's own merit. They played country/ irish folk songs, and when they finished, I went looking for the original versions of those songs online. Now I know, not to judge a book by it's cover.

Whoever he is performing with, Lance makes the audience take note and his bandmates sound better. He takes the time to promote and push the local music scene like no one else does....

With all this in mind, I consider Lance Rodriguez to be MidGa's Most Valuable Player.

Lance on facebook
Or contact Lance by email~              The138Records@yahoo.com
And Check him out on Reverbnation

Saturday

All In The Name Of Music

I had another spectacular Friday night in down town Macon!

I attended Louise Warren's solo performance at The Opening Act. Louise opened her set with "Charmed," to a small crowd, including musician friend, Amber Marie Pierce of The Vineyard Band. On this night, Louise is particularly pulling at my emotions. She continues to do so with "Colder By The Minute," "Walls," "In My Dreams," and "Lavender Sound." Louise lightens the mood for me with her camp story in regards to sharing "Get To Know You." Louise sang "Oh, So Simple," for the second time in my presence, again tugging at my heart strings. Louise shared her conundrum as to whether a song is better written in light of oneself or if it is better written as a metaphor as pieces of the writer, then she sang, "Every Soldier." Louise closed the set with her witty song, "You're a Dork."

After Louise's set closed, I chatted with another musician who had taken a seat next to me, Bobby Ferguson of Interlude. I will collaborate with Bobby more in the future, as we spoke about his upcoming Cherry Blossom gig, and his plan to release a record in June.

After briefly expressing to Louise Warren her effect on me this evening, I exited The Opening Act talking with Bobby Ferguson, and became distracted by a harmonious sound from Fowl Play! I had to hear more, be closer! That energetic vibe was coming from Farewell Disaster and the music, including "My Little Vulture," (which I quickly became) appears to be original alternative/rock material! You must check these guys out!

I hung around Fowl Play to hear Great White Lion Snake, the 80's/90's cover rock/metal band as they opened with "Round and Round," originally performed by Ratt. The vocalist got off to a shakey start as he was difficult to hear over the instruments for throughout the first song, except for the chorus. It was unclear if there was a mic problem, as I asked the restaurant manager and he stated the bands have their own sound techs. The second song came out clearer as the issue seemed to have resolved, as the band covered "Raise your Hands," a Bon Jovi original. Great White Lion Snake continued with Poison's "Look What The Cat Dragged In," and Skid Row's "18 & Life." I can say Great White Lion Snake kept a happy crowd (and restaurant manager) as I called it a night due to exhaustion and a (pollen induced)headache.

A fantastic night of various genres and a bit of helpful info for my musician friends: if you want to book Fowl Play, contact Brian as he handles bookings and Fowl Play tends to book all genres, including a current crowd favorite Dueling Pianos!

http://www.louisewarrenmusic.com
http://www.reverbnation.com/bobbyfergusonandinterlude
www.m.facebook.com/thevineyardband
www.reverbnation.com/TheVineyardBand
www.m.facebook.com/GreatWhiteLionSnake


Secret to Booking- 20's Pubs and Subs

The trick to booking 20's is all in the Monday night audition....Here's how it works:
First of all- DON'T bother trying to call to book it. Teresa is the one you want to talk to, and she will not talk to you about it over the phone. So the best time to catch her is 3-6 on Mondays. Or between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. Tuesdays Thursdays and Fridays. She takes off Wednesdays (when she takes off). Any other time could still be good, but there is just a better chance of her being busy or short of time.

If you are playing somewhere else nearby, let her know and if she can slip away, she'll go to see you. She will be judging whether or not you play the music the crowd likes but also HOW you do it. She is not being critical of your talent or performance. She is judging your "fit" with her patrons.

Teresa will not book you until she has heard you play. If you are not playing anywhere nearby; she will ask you to play an 'audition gig' on a Monday night. Talk to her, book it, show up, and play your best stuff. Their crowd likes to dance and if you play the stuff that she believes their crowd will like, she will put you on the calendar for a weekend spot.

Granted , you may not be playing to a big crowd on that Monday, but at least you are being judged on your performance, and not your salesmanship. Also, What else are you doing on the average Monday night?

I like this because it puts things back into the perspective that we all want: We are paid to entertain their crowd- Although bringing a crowd is encouraged; we are NOT expected to kidnap people and drag them in.

Another plus: they pay all bands a flat fee. That's right; everyone who plays there gets paid the same thing.

 There is no bargaining or trying to sell yourself. No competing with fee. Which means the only way that you could compete with another band is by making the crowd happier, which COULD result in playing more often.

I really like this way of doing things. It puts the focus on pleasing the crowd; and I think that is VERY important. Thoughts?

Friday

Why don’t we all just work for free?

There is definitely, a divide among musicians regarding the subject of fees. Seasoned musicians, usually, understand this part of the business better than the newbies; so here is my attempt to inform. All you veterans feel free to straighten us all out.
Some argue the “business” side of things and try to “compete” with the more established acts by charging less. This goes directly against all business sense. Here’s why:
By undercutting the competition; you are ruining YOUR future business.
First, you don’t know what I get paid, so you will probably guess.  Now if you are trying to undercut me by guessing what I charge, you’ll likely go too low.

Then again, you could just ask the bar owner. Now, the bar owner has a vested interest in telling you that I play for less than I actually do, doesn’t he? So, he’ll know whatever my normal fee is, and subtract $50, and tell you, that he only pays THIS much. You are just DYING to play out so you’ll take it; AND THE BAR OWNER EQUATES YOU WITH THAT PRICE. While the economy is down, he may hire you often. But when the economy picks up, you won’t get called for the weekends- If he calls you at all. If you’re a full band charging the same thing I am, (as a solo act) then, in the bar owners mind you look like chumps. No talent chumps.


Now, put yourself in the bar owners shoes for a moment. If this Friday night, he has a band of no-talent chumps coming to play, WHY WOULD HE ADVERTISE? He knows that new customers are going to see this no talent band play and assume it is par for the course in this bar. He knows that those new customers won’t be back. He also knows that you NEED this gig, so he’ll make YOU ‘bring a crowd’. His logic is that, anyone you bring will like what they hear from you, so it will give those people (your friends) a favorable perception of his club. “This bar let my friend’s band play here. This bar is cool!”


Now you don’t have to believe me- But think about it- How many times have you played for ‘a little less’ and the bar owner DID NOT PROMOTE THE SHOW AT ALL? OR, if he does any advertising, he will do it the CHEAPEST WAY POSSIBLE…..He’ll put out flyers on colored paper that his 3rd grade daughter threw together before soccer practice. He probably won’t even get a free posting in the Eleventh Hour, or The Telegraph. It is because he understands that you are a ‘shade tree businessman’, and he is going to use your inexperience and your misunderstanding of business to his benefit….Which is a nice way of saying, he looks forward to taking advantage of you.
You see, if you charge less, it means there is no demand for you. Isn’t it simple logic? The supply (you) remains the same, so if the price is low then the demand MUST be. Also, he has no incentive really to promote the show: It won’t take very many of your friends to cover the cost of you. Not that it matters-He will inevitably argue that you didn’t draw enough.

 I know, I know. You’re probably thinking “Well, this is temporary. We are just doing this to build a following.” Wrong, again.

How exactly are you building a “crowd”? The only people who are going to hear you play are the bars regulars (they aren’t going to follow you ANYWHERE) and the people you bring (these fans have been around since you started). You will get to play for the occasional new person, but rarely will they return regularly.
 This is not working, is it?
Here’s an alternative….Be warned. It is a harder sell, but totally worth it.
Charge the bar more than the average band gets.
Yes, it sounds crazy, but here’s why :
The bar owner wants to be sure that the night you play is successful because he has to recoup the expense of hiring you. (You charge a lot so you must be in demand).  So he will be sure to promote it.He knows that success requires investment. This means he will tell everyone how great your band is and how people should come out to see you…Specifically, on the night you’re playing at his club.
 You need to look like someone wants you

You can do this with your promo materials, pics of your gigs on facebook, or by having a presence on Itunes or the like….Promotion is not just tshirts and koozies, but those would be a good start.( I’ll give some tips on this later, but for now just get creative) So, if you want to play to larger crowds; Raise your prices,
and invest that extra money in promotion.

Building a following
Now, we all know that some people are not loyal to one bar. The advertising will get their attention and they’ll show up. If you’re any good, they’ll stay, and if they have a good time, THEY WILL COME OUT WHEN YOU PLAY SOMEWHERE ELSE.

WHO are the most expensive acts in Middle Ga.? Now, are they expensive because they are in demand, or are they in demand because they are expensive? How did they get to be “in demand”  in the first place? We all know how hard it is to raise your price once it has been set, so this is definitely something to think about.
Booking a gig is not the same thing as selling yourself. ANYBODY can book a gig. You need to learn how to get the venues calling YOU. The only way to do that is by looking like you are in demand.

So when they ask the question- “What do you charge?” Maybe you should answer the real question…”What are you worth?”

Tuesday

$10 for me to book you a gig?

Yep. Let me explain.
I have been approached by 17 different musicians on the subject of booking. Each one of them tells me that I have a knack for sales. They say that I have been missing my calling, and my calling is as a booking agent or a promoter.

I have experience in sales and I seem to remember that I was pretty good at it. The problem that I ran into with sales is how mundane the field can be. It’s a numbers game and you have to get a certain number of no’s in order to reach your goal of yes’s.

It is also important to be a fan of the product. If you believe in something, it will come out in your conversation with the potential buyer. Once they believe that you believe in your product…you’re at least half way to closing the sale.
The number one problem salesmen have is asking for the money. A salesman can deliver the best sales pitch the world has ever seen, and the potential buyer is absolutely aching to make the purchase, and suddenly the salesman gets nervous. He gets nervous because he has finally reached the moment of truth. It all comes down to this. All the preparation, all the practicing, all of the cold calls have brought him to this one defining moment- and no matter how sure the salesman is that the sale is in the bag, he will get nervous at this moment. A “no” at this point will be devastating; so he’ll do almost anything to get a yes.

Chances are; he’ll totally blow it.
He’ll likely accept less than his asking price….Or he’ll agree to less than optimum circumstances, just to relieve some of the pressure and make the product or service EVEN MORE inviting. What he doesn’t realize is that the potential customer sees these “accommodations” as evidence that the salesman believes that the product isn’t worth the asking price; so he’ll lower it and ask again. The buyer now has it in his head that the prices are too high. He thinks this because this is what the salesman sold him on.
Knowing how to close the sale, and ask for the money have always been somewhat easy for me. At least, that’s what my supervisors, customers and coworkers have always thought.

Another problem salesmen have to confront is choosing a customer who would most likely be interested in the product for sale. Obviously, if you are selling 4 wheelers, a retiree is probably not going to be your optimum target.
 In order to leverage the odds in his favor, a car salesman will set up a lot full of cars that are for sale where potential customers will COME TO HIM! He knows they need his product, so part of the work is done. This is why this MidGaLIVE Music database is such a promising idea.

Booking bands is just another type of sales job. A good Booking agent will find a venue where your style would be popular with the patrons. Don’t send Holocaustion to a country and western night at some restaurant. The fact is-Lance will be fine and he will totally entertain these people -but that is not what he had in mind when it was booked.

Another thing the booking agent has to deal with is ensuring that the band doesn’t have any underlying issues at this particular venue. If the bass players ex-wife is the bar manager, chances are pretty good that the gig is going to suck. People can be very petty sometimes. Of course. You can’t be expected to know things like this….but you can bet that the bass player knows, and when the booking agent says; “I’ve got you booked at Rivalry’s Friday night.” The band will savor cancelling the gig at the last minute.

Finally, a problem that seems to always be an issue is the date of the gig. I don’t know how many times bands have told me that a particular date is available, and then after I book the gig- “Oh, damn. I forgot about the drummer’s girlfriend’s birthday….sorry.”
So; We finally come down to my explanation. You were wanting to know how I could book you a gig and you would only have to pay me $10. How I can I do this?….You are going to help me make the sale.

STEP ONE: Tell me WHERE you want to play.

First, you are going to find a venue that you believe you will do well in. Maybe you’re a biker, and this club has a “Bike Night”. Maybe most of the bands that play at this venue play a similar type of music but your band plays it better.  Whatever. It’s totally your decision, and one that I am not qualified to make.
Step Two: Tell me WHEN you want to play there.
Tip: When you are trying to make a sale, it sometimes helps to get the potential customer to say yes to you a few times leading up to the close. The idea is that the customer is agreeing with you which establishes a positive connection to you. So when you follow it with; “You’re going to love hearing my band.” The venue manager thinks, “You know what?.... I will!”
 If I try to book your band on a night that they historically have other things going on ( such as karaoke, open mic, trivia, poker, etc.) she will have to tell me no. At that point, I will have lost momentum. It is easy enough to find out if a day’s event is pre planned: while you’re there checking out the band, ASK SOMEBODY about the other things they do besides live music.

Step Three: How much do you want to charge this venue?
There are no set rules on this sort of thing. I know that some bands charge $100 per member of the band and encourage others to go no lower. This is totally your call, but if you are playing a venue that is out of town, you don’t want me to suggest you for $400 when everyone else is getting $600. Not only is it leaving money on the table, it makes you appear to offer a lower quality service than the next guy. Also, if they think that your band is of lower quality, they are not going to spend money to promote it. THEY WILL ONLY WORK HARD TO PROMOTE BANDS THAT THEY BELIEVE ARE GOING TO BE AMAZING. Setting the right price will help you convince them that you are just that AMAZING. Ask the band that is playing, about the bars budget, or act like a non-musician and ask a waitress “So how much do bands get paid?”

Step Four: Give me $10.
I will be paid before I do any work, AND I will be paid whether you get the gig or not.
I will NOT be booking your band. I WILL, however, contact the venue and tell them I am your booking agent. I will tell them that you are available on a certain date (the one you choose) which will be 2 months in advance. I will tell them that you normally play for more, but that you would be willing to play their venue for ‘X’ dollars which happens to be a little more than what the band that played last week did it for. I will tell them that, if they are interested, they will have to call you to confirm the details.
THEN, I will tell YOU the deal and YOU will book the gig.

Now, it is possible that you will pick a venue that doesn’t cater to your style. You may choose a venue that doesn’t consistently cater live music. Or, you may choose a venue who can barely afford $250 plus bar tab while you demand $500. Normally, a booking agent will be responsible for getting these details right and he will be able to navigate around these simple issues.
I am not a booking agent. I am a salesman.
I will sell the venue on the idea of you. That is all I promise. It is up to you to make your product and service worthwhile to the customer. I just tell them all about how your band is perfect for their venue. I tell them when YOU are available, and how fortunate they are to have this opportunity. I will tell them that your band is one of the best bands in Ga. and that your frontman makes the women go crazy. I will tell them that they are going to LOVE your band and let’s go ahead and nail this thing down.

Together, we won’t book every venue we try. But we will succeed sometimes, and the more we try, the better we will get at it. The more you try to find the venues that are good for you, the better you’ll get. No one can do this with %100 success.
 But with practice, we will get good at it won’t we?
Do you want more gigs?

Do you want to play out more often?
Do you want to make more money?
$10 per phone call is cheap, isn’t it?
Ok, then, let’s get started.
Now, at this point, you are probably itching to contact me. Don't. I don't do booking. This article should have given you ALL you need to know to do it yourself. Once you do it a few times, you'll realize how expensive the offer above is.
Get to work and quit trying to find someone else to do your job for you.

Good Luck! 

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Thursday

Celebration

Celebration was originated in 1995 by a collection of professional musicians from several rock 'n roll bands. We all have the same interest to provide the best music for a diverse audience. Our approach has proven to be extremely successful in that we are not one type of band providing one type of music. Celebration offers you a variety of music styles to choose from. You pick the music that is right for your event, everything from the hottest music on the charts today to classics from the 50s and 60s.

The band consist of high level professional entertainers including:

Sharron Wilhelm
Bill O'Neal
John Cornacchione
Keith Smith
Chuck Hutcheson
Dennis Herbert
Foster McMullen
Tim Alexander

This band is crazy good, and can play it all with heart and soul. They are the perfect addition to Wedding Receptions, Corporate Events, Fund Raisers, Festivals, Fairs, Dance Events, Conventions, Class Reunions, Anniversaries, and Birthday Parties.
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Contact John for booking:

What is Mid Ga Live?

I'm glad you asked. MidGaLive is now a brick and mortar live music venue for all of you fresh local bands who need a place to gig....But...