Booking Gigs Around Festivals

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

Booking gigs around festivals can maximize your tour dates, build audiences and help leverage prime time performance slots at the festivals.

Since the spring and summer outdoor event season is upon us, I thought I’d kick off a multi-part series to help you make the most out of this prime touring season.

In part one I’ll focus on two things you need to be aware of when trying to book dates near festivals where you are already set to play.

The first concern that many festival promoters have with nearby dates in their market is that your other dates do not impact their audience draw.

Often you will find a clause in a festival contract that is labeled, Mileage Restriction. Simply put, this means that the festival would like you to not book anything within the indicated mileage radius, such as 50 miles, 100 miles or 150 miles. Often these mileage restrictions are very reasonable. Depending on the size of the festival, the mileage restriction will expand as the festival caters to larger audiences and covers a wider area.

Your best policy when trying to book around a festival is to find out exactly what that festival’s mileage restriction is, if any, and be mindful of that as you book your tour dates.

The second concern that festival promoters have is regarding media coverage. The mileage restriction often takes into consideration the various media outlets they use to promote their festival within their market. If you play a public gig within their market, media coverage of that event may adversely impact the festival’s ticket sales.

Your goal in surrounding the festival with tour dates is to help grow the festival’s ticket buyers as well as your own fan base. Remember that you are attempting to be an asset to the festival so they will invite you back again.

Pay attention to these mileage restrictions and be up front with the festival promoter. If you have a date that you are considering, and you are not sure whether it is too close to the festival, call the promoter and discuss the date in question. Talk about the type of performance, the venue and the organization who is promoting it. It just might work out so that you can do the extra date and the festival won’t have any problem with it. And, if they do, reschedule the date for another time after the festival when you will have built up some additional new fans from your festival performances. Everyone wins!

Next week I’ll talk about how to book dates in a festival’s market so that you build enough demand to interest the festival in booking you.

How have you approached your festival bookings? Have you ever run into mileage restrictions? How did you handle it?

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 the Band Curfew from the UK for providing the Biz Booster theme Music, “Future Dance.” Check them out at

2 comments… add one
  • John Stringer April 25, 2019, 9:42 am

    Solid advice, Jerry. I’ve played several gigs with this type of restriction with my former band and we routed our tours so we’d honor these clauses. We didn’t want to “oversaturate” our best markets anyway, so these clauses can have value for buyer/promoter and artists. Now, gigs I do (e.g. spiritual centers, retreats, conferences, house concerts) are far less restrictive, but I still do the occasional festival.. and we still do our best to book smart. I’ll be checking out more of your work to help us do that!!!

    • Jeri Goldstein April 25, 2019, 9:49 am

      Hey John,
      Great to hear from you again and thanks for your comment. Hope all your music efforts are bringing you much joy.

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