Booking Gigs Around Festivals Part Two

– Posted in: Biz Booster Hot Tip! Book the Gig
Booking gigs Around Festivals Part Two
Booking Gigs Around FestivalsPartTwo - by Jeri Goldstein     

Booking gigs around festivals part two helps build demand for your act in the markets where your choice festivals take place?

I’m talking about enough demand so that the festival can no longer ignore you. How do you create that buzz so that the festival wants to book you?

Step 1: Identify your favorite festivals where you would like to be booked. Check out their previous year’s list of artists, their programming schedule and their list of workshops. This gives you an understanding of what the festival is all about. Review their submission policies if they have them listed on their site. Mark your calendar to make sure you plan your submission in time with their deadlines.

Step 2: Now, let’s look at the community, city or region in which these festivals take place. Are the festivals in college towns or near them? What local venues are in the area? Are there other events that take place in the area that you might be able to play before you contact the festival? What are the local media outlets in the area? And finally, do you have an already existing fan base in the festival’s market?

Step 3: Start with your existing fan base since this is something can access immediately. Your fans just might be the best place to begin building a relationship within this community. A few strategic emails or notices to any of your social media accounts might be the first best place to begin to do Step 4.

Ask Your Fans To Help Build Demand

Step 4: Ask your fans for three important things.

  1. With specific dates in mind, suggest the possibility of playing a few house concerts. Discuss how they can participate or host such an intimate performance for their friends, neighbors and relatives.
  2. Ask you fans if any of them can refer you to local organizations or businesses they might be involved with or where they work. Perhaps they have upcoming events where you can be the talent. Ask them for a referral to the event organizer.
  1. Ask your fans for their favorite place nearby to see live performances. Suggest they call those places and ask when they intend to book your act. These calls plant a seed of interest so when you do call, the place has already heard of you and there is growing support.

Begin building your buzz in the surrounding area of a festival with these three strategies. With enough people and enough advanced media coverage creating the desired demand in the market the festival’s interest will be piqued.  By the time you contact the festival, they will have heard of you and have greater interest in booking you. This is not an overnight process, but rather a strategic ongoing process. My experience has been that this will certainly pay off more rapidly than just calling the festival every year in the hopes they’ll book you.

Creating a demand and buzz in a market can be used for festivals as well as any major venue you would like to eventually play. Start now and give the process a try.

Have a great festival season.

Are you implementing any of the above strategies to build demand for your act around your desired festivals?
How have these strategies helped, or not helped? What else are you doing to get noticed by festival programmers?

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

Now, Thanks to the Band Curfew from the UK for providing the Biz Booster theme Music, Future Dance. Check them out at

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