Festival Bookings When To Book Festivals
Timing is everything in festival bookings when to book festivals is particularly challenging. So to have some idea of when artistic directors are most likely to focus on booking next year’s festival will certainly give you an edge.
Since so many artists and agents are attempting to contact the festival, their booking schedule is not likely one of those items announced on their website. So here are a few guidelines to follow:
- One month prior to the festival, they are busy and will be very unreceptive to booking calls.
- Never call during the week prior to the festival or during the festival.
- The week after the festival is usually a bad time since they are recuperating, regrouping or just plain relaxing.
- Three weeks to one month after the festival might be a great time to do some connecting. Explore the festival site for contact info and see if there is any news on the site about how the festival turned out, get names of artists that played and get names of workshops that were presented. You can use this information during your discussions to let the director know you have been following the festival’s progress. This makes you seem more interested in the festival than someone who just looked them up on a list of hundreds of festivals.
- Now you can make an initial call and even if you get an assistant, find out if the artistic director attends any specific booking conferences or showcases and when they might be starting their booking research for next year’s festival.
- Once you know that they plan on attending a specific conference and when that conference occurs, you know that they wait until that conference to finish the festival bookings. With that information, send your material and contact them anytime up until that conference and you have a good chance of having your material reviewed and considered. Unless you plan on attending the conference they are attending, make contact well before the conference. If you are attending, then set up a meeting while at the conference or invite them to a showcase if your are scheduled for one.
- Once a festival director attends their selected conferences, they shore up their bookings fairly quickly so they may begin marketing and selling advance tickets.
- There are some last minute bookings that may occur between the last conference attended and perhaps a month out from the festival date, but those are probably rare, so I wouldn’t wait that long if you want to have any chance of making a successful pitch.
Have you nailed your timing down when trying to book festivals?
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