Sunday

How to build yourself a great band website for free.


First of all- I have done this.
As a matter of fact this entire website was built for free- exactly the way I am descrrbing it to you.

I eventually decided to purchase a domain name and pay for my own hosting which I now know was totally unnecessary. I bought the domain name for the 'easy to remember' URL (MidGaLive.com) but I didn't have to....with all of the tools and resources available, having an easy to remember domain name is not nearly as valuable as it used to be.

So let's get started.

First, go to Blogger.com and sign up. Yes. It's a Blog. Who cares? Does MidGaLive.com look like a blog? It can be a Blog about your band.
 It's free, except you'll have to have a gmail account. There are other free blog services out there...WordPress appears to be very popular, although I have no experience with it; So, for the purpose of this article I'll focus on the one Blogger.com offers.

You can make it appear any way you want, but I suggest using the templates available and just dressing it up with your own color schemes. It's VERY easy. On the 'layout' window, you can move things around or add 'widgets' these are the tools (or toys) of your site. The calendar, the Contact Form, the advertisments, the 'flyers' you want to post, etc. ...are all added here. Copy/paste/done.

Once done, you can add 'pages' which are the tabs at the top of this screen. Here are some suggestions for yours...

Bio  This can give a history of your band....how you met, your influences, your aversion to mustard sauce on your sardines, whatever. Regardless, MAKE IT INTERESTING. Stretch the truth a little. People will forgive a little stretch of the truth for the sake of entertainment.

FanOfTheWeek Reward your most active and 'fanatic' fans by giving them a shout out on a page of their own. Tell them you love them for loving you.

MerchPage You can show pics of the merch you have for sale. Show pics of your T-Shirts, your CD's, koozies, keychains, calendars, condoms, panties, coffee cups, pens, pencils, water bottles, athletic supporters, etc.. You would of course need to go ahead and order one or 2  (I use vistaprint....I get my Tshirts for $5 or less.) Sign up for a PayPal account and then go to the merchant services tab to create a 'button" for your purpose. It'll give you an "HTML code" that you can copy and paste to your page. You have to pay a very small percentage for every transaction- 2.9% plus 30 cents for each transaction. If you sold a ten dollar CD.... your take would be $9.41, not bad.
Your Bands' Merch Store? Done.

GigCalendar I got mine from Brown Bear software. It's free, but you can pay them for a  more advanced version later if you want. It's a brillliant thing to put on your website. It gives you options that you may not realize  you have.
         For one, you can make a contest among a small group to get you gigs. These people will compete with one another for a prize of your choosing. The prize could be a free concert at their house, or a lump sum of cash. The contest can be restarted as often as you like. Each person in the competition can have a color coded 'label' that shows up on the calendar telling EVERYONE who booked it....The one with the most bookings will be the winner.
        It has a hierarchy style of password protection, which means you can set it up so that several people can add gigs, but only YOU can delete them.

Oh- and it's a great way to show your fans where you are playing.

A site like this gives you easy, consistent promotion because it's always in the same place. Share the link with everyone everywhere online. You can make a QR code that links to your website and then put that pic on EVERYTHING. All your merch should have it.....All your business cards, mailers, posters.....stickers....The QR code should be everywhere. It's too easy and too effective to ignore. NOT familiar with it? Check out the tab above labeled QR Code Generator.

You can collect email addresses of your fans (if they want to give them to you). Just by adding a 'Contact Form' like the one on this page.

When you write posts, you can add your latest video, or pics from last nights gig, or a link to your Reverbnation, Facebook, Twitter......whatever.

It's a great FREE tool....and I don't understand why you had not started using it before now. If you have any difficulty.....let me know....I'll help out. Once you get it going, let me know....I'll add a link to your website from your MidGaLive.com page.

Please know that your page here on MidGaLive.com can be turned into a single page website! I can give you access to your own page and you can put anything you want on it. Merch, Links, whatever....
MidGaLive.com averages 2000 pageviews per month....and costs  you nothing.


So, if you're nervous about building one from scratch.....The offer is there....just let me know....Send me a message and say...."I want to use MidGaLive.com as a home for my bands single-page website." I can only do this for 82 more bands so, don't wait long....



Ok.....Breaks over....and your excuses are dead......Get to work.



Monday

Big Daddy and Company



These guys really get the crowd moving. I saw them take a club and turn it completely upside down......The night began with a decent sized crowd, and within 30 minutes, the dance floor was full people were groovin' away.

Paul (Big Daddy) Carreker knows how to get the crowd hoppin'. He picks the right songs at the right time. He lifts them up with the dance grooves and let's them rest with the slow jams. He keeps this combination going all night long, and unlike many frontmen, he'll get out there and dance too!

He can belt out the soul like a man twice his age, and he'll pull rock, blues, or funk out of his backpocket like a surgeon selecting a scalpel. It's on, people; It's ON.

The band has the skills to back him up and everyone walks away spent. They put their heart and soul into all they do and the crowd eats it up. It's no wonder the venues love 'em. They get the crowd sweating and folks have to replenish those liquids somehow. OH. There's a waitress ready to get you hydrated.
What more could you want?

From their facebook bio: We are a hot new Dynamic Variety Band, We play many different types of music. We have a little something for all music likes, and tastes. All the members comprise a wealth of years of music and experience and knowledge on the local music scene.

WE LOVE TO ENTERTAIN YOU!!!!!!!

Lead Singer, Band Leader Paul Carreker "aka" Big Daddy, Percussion, James Hayes, Lead Guitar, Eddie Stevens, Bass Guitar, Vocals Eric MaGouirk, and Keyboards, Mike Harrell.


For booking contact Big Daddy himself at 478-297-1035.....and tell him I sent ya!

Sunday

Keith Patterson

Great lead guitar player with band experience, but is just as much of a showman onstage alone with his acoustic.

Big Mike & The Booty Papas

From the FB page:
 "Whether you’re carrying the world on your shoulders or primed for a good time Big Mike and the Booty Papas know exactly what to do to get you up and moving. One thing is certain, you won’t leave the show the same way you came in. Chances are with Big Mike and the Booty Papas in the house you’ll be shakin’ what your moma gave you before the night is through…dancin’, laughin’ and lovin’ your worries away."

There's not much I could add to that. These guys really know how it's supposed to be done.

I saw him perform at a blues club probably 12 years ago. He had me chuckling at his witicisms and his observations. Early in the night he announced:  "Don't waste yer money on the bubble gum machine in the bathroom! The gum has gone bad ......but it makes one hell of a bubble." Later, I ended up in the bathroom and looking around, I wondered where the bubble gum machine was...and why would anyone put a bubble gum machine in a men's room in the first place? I had given up my search when I saw the condom machine and realized what he was talking about. I laughed so hard that night.....and I still crack up everytime that memory strikes me.

THAT'S what Big Mike does, and does better than anyone else in Middle Ga.: He gives you memories. Every show is special. The music is authentic. The banter is fresh, creative, and hilarious. You leave with a story to tell the next day or a silly comment to talk about 12 years later.

I got the honor of meeting Big Mike a few years ago. Back then, he certainly fit the moniker, BIG Mike, and it appeared to me his heart was even bigger than he was. Everyone I talk to who knows him will pretty much say the same thing -"He is the kindest guy you could hope to find."

Check him out and ask around. You won't find  better live entertainment in these parts than Big Mike and the Booty Papa's.

Big Mike and the Booty Papa's on FB
bootypapa.com

Monday

The Matt Brantley Band


I just heard their debut
WOW! these guys are going to tear it up!
 They will be playing Sept 21 in Sandersville.

I have GOT to check this out!!!

From Their Reverbnation Bio:

Matt Brantley is the 2012 second place winner of the Milledgeville Idol. He's bursting onto the Middle GA. music scene playing covers ranging from classic country gold to edgier newer country. But, don't mistake this boy from Ivey GA. for some spit polished, Music Row boxed and packaged deal. You just have to come to one of his shows and check him out. His band is made up of top notch players from his hometown and out of Sandersville GA. Ken Zeke Dixon also from Ivey is one of his two more than capable guitarist, along with Jason Black. Laying down the groove on bass is Chris Lanthrip. And the foundation of the band is Johnny Brewer on the drums. This is a tight group of musicians breathing life back into a suffocating music scene, not to mention they can throw one helluva party. If you're ever out and you see a flyer for this band, take note and go check 'em out. It'll be well worth your time and money!!!

The Matt Brantley Band on Reverbnation!

Wednesday

Mystery Road




      
If you're looking for a band who can really perform in the spirit and sound of the Allman Brothers, Eric Clapton, and Stevie Ray Vaughn; you must look no further! These guys rock!!Check 'em out!!!


 




 www.facebook.com/mysteryroad  
www.reverbnation.com/mysteryroad1 
 Email: mysteryroad1@yahoo.com


Mystery Road was forged in early 2010, from the ashes of various Middle Georgia bands.

The band plays evocative cover versions of songs by influential blues, rock, soul, and funk artists, and is currently rehearsing original songs that will become its debut album.
In 2011 the band opened for country music legend Marty Stuart at the 2011 Smoke on the Water BBQ and Bluegrass festival, and female blues legend E.G. Kight at the 2011 Barnesville BBQ and Blues Festival. They were also featured on television on Channel 13 WMAZ “Summer Concert Series,” played the Hummingbird’s “Big Bird Bash,” the 2011 Bragg Jam, and Third Street Park for First Friday Fest, all in downtown Macon.

Mystery Road played a large part in the 2011 GABBA Fest, opening the weekend-long celebration with a show at Cox Capitol Theatre and opening for Cowboy, and hosting the “members jam” at the Big House the following day. A New Year’s Eve show at the historic Grant’s Lounge closed out 2011, about the same time the January issue of Hittin’ the Note magazine hit stands, which features a review of Mystery Road’s five-song demo, recorded in August 2011.
The year of 2012 was a promising one, even through various changes in personnel. Again, Mystery Road played a huge part of the 2012 GABBA fest, opening for the band Kettle Of Fish at the Cox Capitol Theatre and again hosting the "members jam" at the Middle Georgia Raceway in Byron, Ga. In 1970, the Raceway was the site of the historic 2nd Annual Atlanta Pop Festival, which included acts such as The Allman Brothers Band, B.B. King, Jimi Hendrix, etc.



Mystery Road is:
Gregg Brooks - vocals
Chance Royal – guitar and slide
Chris Patterson - guitar and slide
Justin Raffield – drums and vocals
Robin Mauldin - bass and vocals
Wayne Pierce – keys

Check out this video by Gregg and Lisa Brooks!


In 2011 and 2012, Guitarist Chance Royal was a District Finalist in the Guitar Center King of the Blues contest, a search for the nation’s best undiscovered guitarist. Chance was one of eight finalists in the GA-SC-NC district, selected from 250 contestants.
Mystery Road creates a genre-bending sound, fusing rock, blues, soul and funk. But their focus is the fun and fellowship enjoyed through powerful, liberating music.
For more information

 email mysteryroad1@yahoo.com
 or call 706-975-3684.

Check the calendar below to find out where to see them next!!!

Sunday

Need Extra Money?...... Be a Booking Agent Part 2

To work as a booking agent......I prefer the term "Booking Partner".....you need to know a little bit about the things the band looks at when they do their own booking. Your results should be greater than the results they had before you came along....but consistent with the bands perspective of the details. Of course you'll do things differently, but hopefully better.

Here are some terms you should be familiar with. You should also find out how and if these things affect your band.
1.The dreaded 1099.
2. House PA
3. Door
4. % of Sales
5. Merch Sales
6. Ticket sales
7. Set up and Tear down situation. (How difficult will it be, how early can you set up and sound check...etc.?)
8.  PRO License- This may not affect your band, per se', but I think it's something to look for.

Here is an example of a list ofconcerns that you and the band need to figure out. Feel free to copy and use to make your pitch to the band.


I need 6 things from you…
1. DO NOT BOTHER LIST-List of venues/ cities/ days of the week that I will not be paid for when booked. These should be venues that you have played at before, or venues that you will be able to book yourself with ease. I WILL CHARGE YOU A BOOKING FEE FOR ALL OTHER VENUES BOOKED, NO MATTER WHO BOOKS IT. I am advertising for you through every channel possible and there is no way to know how far my advertising has reached. The alternative would be that I have COMPLETE EXCLUSIVITY in booking you at venues. If you do not provide this list, it means that you do not want to have the option to book yourself anywhere.
List it as :
Venue                                                City                              

2. MILEAGE Starting point for calculating distance. One band members’ address, or landmark centered between band members locations. I will add 1 dollar per mile/per band member to the bands fee for any travel beyond 50 miles from:

_________________________________________________________________________________

3. BAND FEE
Public venue
flat rate*________
OR
 Judgement call-Amount you have charged/would charge….This will help me make a judgement call
Crickets wr (max 75)_____________

Hummingbird(macon) (max 190) ______________

WildWings(northmacon)(max 260) _____________

*if you set a flat rate, I will only charge you 10%.

For private parties-
Flat rate*__________
OR
  Judgement call-Amount you have charged/would charge…. This will help me make a judgement call
pool party 20 -50 ________
small wedding reception 50-100_______
large wedding reception (Or NYE) 100+___________

*if you set a flat rate, I will only charge you 10%.

4. SCHEDULING-
All Thursday, Friday, Saturdays are mine. If you are not available, or if you book something on a Thursday, Friday, or Saturday- I get 10% (unless it is on the DNB list) and you MUST LIST IT ON the Calendar on MidGaLive.com (Password is midga- Do not list an end date)
ALL BOOKINGS for Thursday, Friday, Saturday Will BE LISTED ON THE Calendar. It’s how I’ll get paid.
In the event of double booking, the one listed on the calendar first, will take precedence and the other gig will have to be rescheduled or cancelled.


5. BOOKING FEE- At the beginning of each month, I’ll send you an invoice. You can pay me then….with a check or through paypal.

Note* If you are doing a flat rate my fee will be 10% for all bookings.
If the rate is a judgement call, I’ll get 15% for the first gig at a venue, and 10% for every gig at that venue as long as we work together.

6. PROMO MATERIALS- I’d prefer to create these myself and you pay half the cost. It will consist of a post card sized flyer on card stock. These will direct the venue to my phone number or the band page on MidGa Live.com. All other promo/press will be in digital format that you will maintain.

Wednesday

Need Extra Money? Become a booking agent!


You wanna start Booking Bands? There’s money in it, with a minimum amount of stress.
IF you do it right.

Three things that you need to focus on while you read through:

1. Building Your Stable
2. Scheduling Gigs
3. Getting paid

What’s in it for me?
Booking bands is not too difficult, although there are issues that you’ll have to deal with that you may have never experienced before. The more acts that you have involved, the more issues you’ll encounter. One act is probably best to begin with, but in that case you’ll be limited on the variety you can provide a venue, and you’ll be limited on your income potential; so you may be inclined to stock your stable with more.

I would suggest beginning with no more than 3 full bands, a 2 piece act, and a solo act to complete your stable. That’s 5 acts to pull from, ranging from the biggest outdoor stage to the smallest corner of a coffee shop.

Working with a full band means that you potentially have more people to promote the show, which would give the venue a better return on their investment. They will be able to play bigger, more elaborate events. With solo acts, and most duos, you have more booking opportunities. Venues that host solos and duos typically have live music most days of the week, and you have fewer schedules to work around. Yes, the monetary return is less, but the stress is too.


If you are getting 15% for each booking, here’s the rundown…


BANDS should be booked at a minimum of $120 per person. A DUO should be booked at a minimum of $250. A solo act should see a minimum of $175.


If you have each one working once on a weekend, you are looking at a minimum of ($785 x .15) $118.00 for a Saturday night where you are just sitting at home.

Bands (usually) will play on Thursday, Friday or Saturday nights. If you max out the schedule, one week could bring you…

Three -3 piece bands playing Thursday Friday and Saturday- will see $360 times 3 = $1080
Duo playing 5 nights- wll see $1250 *
Solo act playing 5 nights- will see $875*
(They should have at least 2 nights a week off for rest.)
The money that pays the booking agent comes directly from the above totals, so…

This particular week (at 15%) gives the booking agent…. $480. If you have 5 acts that are willing to keep up that schedule for a full month, you are looking at almost $2000 for talking good about bands you love.

This is not where you would start out, but this sort of schedule is reachable. That is booking 3 different bands, one gig per week, and then getting work for a duo and a solo act 5 days per week. With all the restaurants, and small bars in Middle Ga. This should be almost easy for someone willing to hustle in their free time.

(I would not suggest you work your bands this hard all the time. You don’t want to burn them out.)


 The 15% is negotiable….It could be more….It could be less. Talk to your bands and work out something that makes it worthwhile for both of you.

First things, first. You should get into contact with acts that you enjoy. It is so much easier to book an act if you don’t have to fake your love for them.


Booking for Bands
A band may have 3, 4 or more members. Each one has his/her own personal calendar which you’ll have to accommodate. They will also have their own idiosyncracies that you’ll have to deal with.


Select bands based on their level of professionalism. Availability is important, but don’t fall into the trap of booking gigs that the band is not going to want to play. Some bands have gotten quite accustomed to playing once every two months. If you suddenly have them playing every weekend, they’ll get burned out pretty quick. Most musicians are not assertive, or are passive aggressive. These are exactly the types that won’t ‘cancel’ a gig….They just won’t show. You’ll learn to recognize these types very quickly. Stay away from bands who don’t respect and appreciate your work….

Booking Duos

In Booking Duos, you must follow the same basic guidelines as you would a full band, or solo acts, depending on the situation. The stress is diminished, because, there are, of course, fewer personalities at play than with a band. Also, in the event that a member of a BAND or SOLO ACT is absent, the gig will usually be cancelled, But when dealing with Duos, the missing member can usually be replaced temporarily, without much headache and little notice.

Booking a Solo Act
Solo acts have changed over the last few years. Many use backing music, looping devices, and digital instruments to augment their sound. In some cases, a ‘solo’ performer will have the sound of a full band.

Many venue managers consider a solo performer to have the impact of ¼ of a full band at most.  Some venues welcome this; especially if they are concerned about the volume of the music or the space where an act may setup. Many restaurants, and smaller clubs prefer a solo or duo. Larger clubs, with a dedicated room for live music, prefer full bands; so pressing them to book a solo act is usually a waste of time.



Finding The Right Acts
There simply is no substitute for going out to see a band perform. What they do when you are not involved with them, is exactly what they will do when you are. You cannot change them. You cannot give them tips to get better that they will follow. You cannot expect to have an impact on their set list, or stage show. You will not be asking to be their ‘manager’. Your job will be to get them gigs, and this should be your primary concern.

Choose acts that put on a show that people will talk about the next day.

 So, the question that you should be asking is whether or not you feel you can sell the product that they are providing. If you think that they ALMOST have everything they need to succeed, then keep on looking. It is not worth your time or the stress involved. Musicians have fragile egos. If you start trying to make changes, they will HEAR you saying that they aren’t good enough as they are. Eventually, they will abandon you: leaving you with dates that must be filled, and both of your reputations will take a hit.

People who are motivated by money, can be depended on to show up where they are getting paid THE MOST.

You should also choose an act who is mature enough to recognize the monetary potential.
Indeed, most musicians are lazy and immature and use ‘being a musician’ as an excuse for not getting a conventional 40 hour a week job. (‘
Know thyself, right? ;) )

There are, however, many musicians who have found music to be a great option. Some have ‘real’ jobs and use music as a 2nd source of income.

 Unfortunately, if they are taking time off of their primary job to perform, they may end up losing money. This type will resent that loss and will not allow that to happen very often. Dealing with someone who’s primary source of income is not music, could result in a cancelled gig, in the event they get the opportunity to work overtime at their primary job.

I would suggest choosing musicians that either use music as their primary source of income, OR have real jobs that won’t influence their gig schedule. Many government jobs lack the potential for overtime, so musicians who work for the post office, on base, etc. would be good choices also.

Musicians who treat music as nothing more than a hobby are RIGHT OUT.


You must take this approach with every member of the band, duo, or the solo performer. You must gauge their level of commitment to you, and your work. Do not try to book an act unless everyone involved has the same level of commitment that you do.

They way a musician cares for his gear, shows you how much he depends on it.

One way to determine the level of commitment the musician has to his career, is the level of commitment he has made to his equipment. The amount of investment says something... But how he treats his equipment shows the real deal.

A musician who has a good ‘real job’ is likely to have spent a lot on high quality equipment. A musician whose primary source of income is music probably has less disposable income, and will make do with the cheapest options available out of necessity.
 

In either case, it is not so much HOW MUCH is spent….as it is HOW WELL his gear is protected, and cared for.

These are just guidelines I’ve used. Feel free come up with your own.

Scheduling
There are a few ways to schedule a gig for a band.
You may do it over the phone or online. Usually, these will require an EPK (electronic press kit) If your band doesn’t have one, they need to have something that represents what they do. Whether audio, video, or simply an article about them on a shamelessly self promoted blog such as MidGaLive.com .
 

The other way is to talk to the booking manager in person. In my opinion, this is the most effective method for smaller clubs or restaurants.

Tell them you enjoy the live music they’ve hosted, and that you think your band will fit well in this venue.

They will ask what type of music your band plays….be descriptive, but not too much.
If your band plays Last Dance with Mary Jane, tell them Tom Petty. Highway to Hell, tell them AC/DC…The reason for the question is to determine how well your band fits with their clientele….not to critique your setlist. Tell them what bands best describe the style your band brings to the table. This person usually has more important things to do, so don’t be forceful, but be direct and quick.

Know when your band is available, and be ready to fill whatever slot the venue has open.
Use a calendar that both you and the band can check and edit at a moment’s notice. The MidGaLive Music Schedule works great for that. If the band is not available, they can list that date as “not available”. Preferably, they will list that date as being a “Private Party”, or ‘Practice’. Nobody needs to know about the drummer’s colonoscopy. Either way, you will know at a glance when your band is available, and the band won’t have to track you down to make sure you know what they’re doing.

Of course, you should maintain close contact with your bands. But when booking with a venue, it is best to get things done and over with. Having the venue hold interest until you get a chance to settle on a date with all 5 members of the band, is inefficient at best….and once you do, you’ll have to pray that the venue doesn’t have something booked for that date already. REQUIRE THE ACTS IN YOUR STABLE TO KEEP YOU INFORMED OF AVAILABLE DATES. The MidGaLive Music Schedule is the quickest, easiest, most effective way to do that.


This schedule is also available for owners to look at when they decide to book your band later….They’ll know your availability before they call you, which translates into more bookings.

It is also a good way to be on the lookout for ‘double bookings’. Since it is updated in real time, and available to all, it is easy to see when a venue already has a band scheduled. This will help you keep surprises to a minimum.


MidGaLive.com has articles on most of the best local bands with links to all of their promo materials, EPK’s and videos. Emailing the link to your bands article on MidGaLive.com will give the venue everything they need.

Know the going rate for the act you are booking, and what they are worth.

I came up with a formula for determining the ‘worth’ of a band. It goes like this.

Number of years of stage experience of the members of the band.

plus  the Number of people the band will bring in.

Multiply that number by 10.

I explain this in greater detail here, but to put it simply.
 
A more experienced performer should be able to entertain people who are not familiar with him. A less experienced performer should promote more to make up for the customers that will leave due to his inexperience.

If your band is not worth at least 120 dollars per person, you should reconsider booking this band for now.
 

It is better to overdeliver than oversell.

Do not promise the venue your band will bring 20 people if you can’t get 2 people to share the event. Your job is not necessarily considered ‘promotion’, but the way you sell your band does affect the expectations the venue will have in the bands performance. The best promotion for this week’s show…..is last week’s show and if they deliver more than you promised, you’ll find it easier to get the booking again.

Getting Paid
Most small venues will pay cash at the end of the night. Some would prefer to pay with a check. If the band takes the payment at the end of the night, you’ll need to get with the band to get your cut. This is probably the easiest way to get paid, although there’s a level of trust involved. If you’re dealing with mature responsible, musicians, this is the method I suggest. Of course, everyone involved is responsible for understanding their tax responsibilities.

Some booking agents or managers choose to send an invoice to the venue. Doing this has it’s risks, too. If a venue is struggling, you may not be able to cash the check for a few weeks, if at all. Venues who cut checks are more likely to issue 1099’s at the end of the year. Before you book the band, you should find out if the venue does this and charge accordingly. If you are having the venue mail you a check, understand that you will be required to account for all the money that they’ve sent you… not just your take.


Any band you have booked, will be expecting you to make sure they are paid. If the venue decides to pay less at the end of the night, or if the venue tells the band that they will just be paying you later, you’ll be in the hotseat. Know how to handle the situation and become familiar with small claims court. Venues that play this sort of game are not that common, but they do exist. If you run across one, let people know.

There are MANY issues, that I just don’t have the time to cover…..and even if I could….it may not do you any good. The only way to learn how to do this, is to do it.

So do it.

Select a band you are familiar with and ask them to let you do their booking.
Find a venue you like that regularly hosts a similar style of music.
Book the gig.
Party like a Rock Star.

The High Points 

When you discuss this with the band you've selected, here are some things that should be addressed:

1. Area- bands will not want you to book them in places that they've already booked themselves. They will most likely prefer that you book them somewhere out of town.
Also, you want to be paid for your work, so I suggest an agreement .
I would organize it this way. Before you begin, ask the band to list the venues that they have played before. Anything you booked outside of this list, you get paid for every gig played there for one year. The year starts on the day of the first gig played there. If either of you dissolve the relationship, then the gigs in venues you have introduced the band to, will still be listed as the venues you will be paid for booking until the year is out IF other gigs are played there.The decisions are to be made betwen you and the band....These are only my suggestions!
2.Scheduling- Most booking agents limit the gigs that the bands can book on their own. The reason is usually due to scheduling conflicts. Solution; Require that the band and Booking agent use the MidGaLive Music Schedule. Whatever gig is listed first gets that date. This way the band is free to book on their own, and the booking agent doesn't have to worry about conflicts. If the band is unwilling, or too immature to keep this caveat, you probably shouldn't be booking for them anyway.
If a member of the band is busy, or cannot play on a date in question, he can book his band as "Unavailable", "Private Party", or "Practice". This will provide a little advertisement for anyone watching the schedule and inform the rest of the band and booking agent of availability. Any member of the band can post to the schedule, and if he is not available he should list the BAND as not available if the band can't perform without him.
Also, don't forget to discuss 'time' issues with the band. If someone doesn't get off from their 'regular job' until five, don't book them for a gig 50 miles away at 5:30 on a Friday Afternoon. A rushed band is not as prepared as a relaxed one. This is only my suggestion. The decision should be made between you and the band.
3. Fee - Bands need to charge more for travel.  I suggest anything beyond 50 miles gets an extra 1$ per member/per mile. In other words, a solo act performing 55 miles away will be paid $180 instead of $175.....a 3 piece band will be paid $375 instead of $360. Choose a landmark and Google maps to determine the distance to the venue in question. Charge the venue the amount the band agrees to, and you'll make everyone happy.
Everyone involved wants to be paid as much as possible, so find out what the band considers to be their bare minimum before you get started. Later is not the time to find out that you are booking the band too cheap. Get the most possible for your bands and you'll rarely have loyalty issues.
Also, regarding your 15% fee....You might consider offering to the band a discount in your fee for repeat gigs....For example; the first time a band plays at a venue, You charge 15%. Everytime they play there after (for the next year) You only take 10%. Or even as low as 5%.Granted, you need to continue to recieve passive income from the venues you introduce the band to, but the amount is up to you and the band! These are only my suggestions.

4. Promo Materials -find out what the band has available for promo. This may include flyers, demo's, or Press Packs.Use these as needed but be sure you discuss with the band who is responsible for maintaining the stock. These can be a substantial cost to reproduce so someone will need to come out of pocket to provide them. I suggest that the person who can get it done the cheapest be responsible for maintaining the stock and every member of the band plus the booking agent split the cost evenly. All of these decisions should be made between you and the band.

These are only my suggestions, and if I can help you out let me know!!

Monday

Finding Your Niche

Have you ever heard of Joey Holiday?

If you're a trucker you probably have. He plays "Truckin' Music", and he stays within that. Listening to these songs, you can almost feel the wind in your hair and the pride of being the lion of the highway. It's Country twang, and you can almost hear the shifting of gears, while the songs set the tone for your 8 hours of  getting the job done.

Joey has found a niche that fits him.....If you don't live this lifestyle, they'd see right through you. He has found a market that is constantly out there working, while listening to music. He has a customer base that is fanatic, and growing. The fans of this music LIVE it.....and the musicians they support do too.

 This what I mean by differentiating yourself from the rest of the pack. Choose a style that fits you, so that you can be yourself, and never have a need to compromise your values (or lack thereof). But choose a way of presenting that style to focus your energy on people who will appreciate what you do, and support it.

Look at it this way......

James Taylor and Eric Clapton seem to be the choice for a certain group of listener.
Jimmy Buffet and Kenny Chesney seem to play a style that appeals to people of a certain attitude (or 'latitude', if you will).
Waylon Jennings, Johnny Cash, Jamey Johnson speak for a particular group of people.
If you can recognize how these examples apply, I think you will be on your way to forming a BRAND. By playing it in your style, you will not please everyone......but those that do love you will be fanatic about it.

Find out where your heart is and play there. Most may not like you, but there are a few others who will have a voracious appetite for your presentation.......

.......and isn't that what we all want?

Sunday

Fiddlers Blues Band

Fiddlers Blues band out of Columbus brings the 'Kit Shickin'" back to Middle Ga.
Check out their website!

http://fiddlersbluesband.com/

Pull on yer boots and get ready for the kind of hoe down you write home about!

They read the crowd (cause readin' print is fer city folk) and give you what you came for.....A moonshine swillin', dance floor killin', rockin' good time! The keep it focused on real music. From classic and new country to southern rock..... from bluegrass stomps to jazz standards. And, of course, the blues.

Git in, Git down, and be proud of your country roots....Fiddlers Blues Band will make you pine for that old pickup truck, the sweet smell of fresh cut grass, and swimmin' in the crick.

Wayne Minor Band

2 keyboards, guitar and drums. An unusual setup to be sure, but the Wayne Minor Band makes full use of this setup to rock the crowd.

The songwriting will remind you of Leon Russell. The execution is flawless and the arrangement is painstakingly tight and purposeful, but doesn't lose that all to elusive feel.You won't spend a moment at a Wayne Minor Band show, wondering who else is playing around town. These guys know how to craft the soundtrack of your night. Check out this live recording done by Mark Foley:
 Wayne Minor Band Live at Fountainfest

This is one of the rare bands that other bands seek out to learn from.Don't pass up an opportunity to check them out live.
 
 

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...