Working with a booker and live professionals can involve a minefield of decisions. And while most artists WANT to work and collaborate with hired guns, they rarely think about etiquette.
What is meant by this is a set of mutual necessities. It’s easy to form a new professional relationship, expecting to get the most out of it. It’s harder to accept the reality that there are also certain demands, things expected from a given artist.
To prep you for your first encounter and maybe even ongoing relationship with a booker or booking team, we collected some definite DON’T’s. Obviously, we didn’t’ want to leave it at that, so you also get the upside of how to avoid these dealbreakers.
So, let’s dive into it.
Live growth 0-100
Working with a booker probably will open some doors. It might get you heard by people that would otherwise merely stumble across your music. It also means you have somebody on the live frontline, pitching your music.
What it DOESN’T mean, though, is that it’s smooth sailing to world-live-domination. The path is still insanely rocky. A huge way to scare away any booker is to level up your expectancies from 0- 100. Things won’t drastically change at first. They will develop gradually.
So try to keep your expectancies in check. The work you put into your art and development of a musical brand goes hand in hand with any booking help you grow comfortable with.
Demand comfy routing
Getting from venue to venue, city to city in a most direct and convenient routing is NOT something you should just expect to happen. Especially if you’re a new artist without a lot of live-rep, even bookers will have to scramble to design a tour.
Try not to demand comfortable routing right away. Be aware that your booker obviously has the best and shortest travel-paths in mind. But also be aware that the realities of booking unknown acts can be harsh.
Give your booker some slack. Expect some weird, counter-intuitive routes. Be open to surprises and most importantly – be patient.
Be smug about streaming stats
You’re streaming game is strong. You just got placements on some major playlists, and your monthly listeners are going nowhere but up. Obviously, your musical brand is steadily growing, there’s a demand. That will translate to live success, right? Not necessarily.
While some artist get huge by consistently being placed within top playlists, most have to work their way up to actually gain some live credibility.
Audiences on streaming services are disperse. Even if you have a bunch of listeners in one region, it doesn’t mean that they will actually show up to a live event, let alone pay for it.
You see there’s a huge gap between playcount and live performance. Try not to be smug about your streaming stats, about the way that elevates our chances of playing for large audiences, right off the bat.
Great streaming stats will indicate that there’s a potential for relevance. It can act as one argument – next to various others. It’s a tool within your booker’s toolbox, that he or she can pull out. But it’s not a guarantee for live success, nor expansive booking endeavors.
Be aware that your streaming stats may greatly diverge from the realities of your live audience. Make sure you put in the extra work to expand your digital, artistic brand. Go the extra mile and record video material, so potential live-goers can actually get a teaser of what might happen.
Remember- your audience buys into an endless catalogue of music via streaming services for about $10 per month. Why should they pay double that for an unknown act?
Be realistic, be humble!