The Vocalist Magazine SPRING 2013 ISSUE - Page 68

How To Get Booked at by Darren Gallop Landing festival gigs is one of the most attainable ways to get your live show in front of larger crowds. Every artist and manager should want to know how to get booked at music festivals. The fact is, most festival artistic directors start their planning by securing their headliners. Then they start to fill the other slots with up and coming talent, even musicians they’ve never heard of before. These slots are fairly competitive. The larger the profile of the festival the more competition there is. It’s not uncommon to see as many as 1000 submissions for a small/medium-sized festival and upwards of 20,000 for larger international events. In both cases these submissions compete for anywhere from 20 to 400 performance slots. It may sound discouraging but 20% to 75% of these submissions are an instant “NO! NOT A CHANCE!” You can avoid being instantly rejected by understanding WHY festival programmers ignore so many applications. It’s usually because these applications or the artists submitting them: * Are not a style or genre that the festival even programs (failure to research the events you’re applying to is a great way to NOT get booked at music festivals) * Are not ready (if you’ve only played shows in your home town and haven’t released a professional recording you are probably not ready to hit the festival scene) * Do not have the tools and marketing collateral to properly pitch * Do not know how to pitch All of these submissions are automatically and rapidly declined, sometimes even before festival staff has a chance to hear your music. The objective of this article is to educate DIY artists and emerging managers and agents on the tools and processes that answer the question of how to get booked at music festivals and dramatically improve their festival booking success rate. The Vocalist Magazine 68