Hiring a Booking Agent for Independent Artists

August 26, 2018 | Touring

Organising tours and booking gigs is an essential part of being a musician and especially as an independent artist.

While there’s a lot of opportunity to release your music digitally and leaving it at that with the advent of streaming and YouTube – performing music live will always have its own undeniable charm that can’t be replaced by anything else.

The question, however, is what exactly must a musician do to effectively and successfully book gigs on a consistent basis?

More importantly, is hiring a booking agent the gateway to getting gigs?

We break it down in this article.

Decide on your objective

Hiring a booking agent has more to it than just making the hiring choice. Before you jump into the world of booking agents, ask yourself what exactly your aim is?

Are you looking to perform at venues that operate only through a booking agent? Are you absolutely confident that you’ll be able to pull off a crowd?

It’s important to consider all the questions before hiring a booking agent, so you can maximize the benefits of having one with a clear goal in mind.

Finding the right booking agent for your goals

Finding the right booking agent is all about asking yourself where you stand in your music career, what your genre is, and how much of a crowd you’ll be able to pull off.

There are different types of booking agents for everything from different festivals, venues and genres.

It’s up to you to decide what exactly your demographic is, and which kind of booking agent you can find to cater to your particular situation.

Book with foresight

Whether you’re booking on your own or with the help of an agent – it’s important to ensure that you’re booking in a way that will be convenient for you in terms of distance and time.

All your gigs must be at a close enough distance from each other if you’re organizing a tour.

The more the physical distance between the venues, the higher the chances of getting delayed, getting stuck in traffic, or something similar.

Sign your contract with caution

When booking an agent, you’ll be required to sign a contract that will lay down the terms and conditions you’ll have to follow with your agent. Read through this contract carefully and make sure it doesn’t put you at a disadvantage in any way.

The contract should ideally not oblige you to pay a certain amount or percent of profits from each gig to a booking agent, nor should it bind you to only book gigs through your agent and restrict you from booking gigs on your own.

Also make sure to never fully leave your agent responsible for the tour.

The key is to collaborate instead of blind reliance – so as to ensure that you’re getting the maximum out of your booking efforts and success in your tours and live shows.

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