Best Booking Time Frames

– Posted in: Biz Booster Hot Tip! Book the Gig
Best Booking Time Frames
Best Booking Time Frames - by Jeri Goldstein     

Ever wonder what the best booking time frames are for your specific type of gig?

If you don’t know the best booking time frames, then you could be missing the boat on the gigs you are after because you are contacting the booker either too late or too early.

So why not get a handle on the best booking time frames and be right on schedule with your contacts.

Here’s a list of venue types and the best booking time frames for each.

Festivals: The artistic director starts thinking about next season’s line up while this year’s festival is happening. Start contacting them approximately one month after their festival ends. They attend festivals, showcases and conferences throughout the year but by three to four months before the next festival, they are booked. This also depends on the festival.

Performing Art Centers: The artistic directors often attend booking conferences that occur beginning in August and run through February. They are booking twelve to eighteen months in advance. So, if you are calling in April of this year for a gig this November, you are about a year too late. This is one of those situations why I constantly harp on planning two years ahead for bookings.

Colleges: College campus performing art centers fall into the category above. Student Activities concert and lecture committees attend their own conferences and often plan one semester to one year ahead. So spring is a great time to call for fall, winter or spring of the next year.

Elementary Schools: There are some showcase put on by school districts and they are specific to the district, region, state or province. Spring is perfect for fall bookings, late summer works for fall and winter bookings and mid-fall works for winter and spring bookings. But, each district, region, state or province may have their own time-frame for each academic calendar year, so check with a local school in the area you are trying to book for specifics.

Clubs: Clubs work on a tighter calendar often leaving room for special acts who come through at the last minute. Generally, though, six to eight weeks is often enough time to book club dates, with many now starting to book a little further out. When looking for opening act slots, though, the booker waits for the headliners to be in place.

Museums, Library Concert Series: These may follow the same booking time frames as performing art centers as they often offer season ticket series. Plan on one year to eighteen months for adult series. Children’s series for pre-school, elementary may follow the same booking time frames as the elementary school calendar since they are often in sync.

House Concert Series: Known house concert series are booking at least eight months to one year out. This is different from private events organized by those from your own fan base which might be thrown together at the last minute. Even so, give a host a break and plan ahead.

If you have ever felt like you were out of sync with your bookings, it might be because you are trying for the wrong type of gig at the wrong time in the booking time frame of year. Get on board with the best booking time frames. Plan your booking calls, emails and mailing campaigns accordingly and you just might turn frustration into success.

It’s spring, so best get booking for those fall and winter gigs or start planning to attend one of the fall conferences. Here’s to much better luck now that you know the best booking time frames for your specific type of gig.

Have you been trying to book gigs out of sync? Have you had success knowing when to book during the right time frame?

Leave me a comment below I can’t wait to hear about your success.

Thanks to Carol Ehrlich for this week’s graphic image.
Check out her work at

Now, Thanks to Curfew, for providing This Month’s Biz Booster Theme Music, “Future Dance” Check them out at

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