Management and Booking
Management and Booking
I have been in and around the business side of music for about 40 years now. At one time or another I have worn just about every musical hat you can wear. And the one thing that I value above all of that business experience is that I am also a musician. I have played in many bands in my time from some that never made it out of the garage to some that have went on to have gold and platinum records. I have also been a promoter, manager, merchandise company, record label, booking agent, etc. You can click here to read a more detailed bio but it is all of that experience that helps me be able to navigate the music business today. It takes a good team to succeed in music today. Is it time to start building yours?
A band manager works closely with an artist or band to help make major decisions regarding the creative and business direction of the band. The manager is the person the musicians put in charge of the business side of the industry so that they can focus on making music. The decision to hire a manger can be one of the best or worst decisions a band or artist can make.
The duties required of a band manager vary greatly. Some managers focus exclusively on a few duties, such as advising the band on creative, business and personal decisions. Others take on multiple roles, such as booking agent, promoter and travel arranger. Managers often negotiate recording contracts and help the band members understand their responsibilities. Because there are not black and white rules of a managers duties it is critical to make sure everyone involved (artists and manager) understand and agree on responsibilities and expectations.
Do you or your band need a manager? That is a question I believe I could write a book about. The short answer is probably not. I have found that most who believe they need a manager are really looking for a booking agent. Beyond having some threshold level of talent and ability to entertain an audience, there are two situation where I feel like I can contribute as a manager. One is when the band or artists have worked hard to put themselves in a position where their success is literally THE most important thing in their life at that time AND they are willing and able to dedicate 100% of their life to becoming successful at least for the immediate future. The other situation is when a band or artist has worked hard and are playing out live so much that they do not have the time to handle the day to day business side of the organization.
So if you think you need a manager and are looking at Red Arrow, I ask you to decide for yourself if you satisfy one of the two situations above. If you do, reach out and let’s talk. If not, then you may still be ready but Red Arrow is probably not the right fit.
Almost every band or artist I know has at one time or another contemplated trying to hire a booking agent. It can be a very frustrating decision to implement. On the one hand you need to hire someone who is somewhat established in your area and genre, but on the other hand it is difficult to get that level of agent to be on your team if you don’t already have a history of playing a lot of live dates. It is kind of the chicken or the egg thing. You want to hire a booking agent that can keep you busy but it seems the only “booking agents” that are intersted do not have the track record you hope an agent would bring to the table.
Do you actually need a booking agent? From the prospective of a local band or artist, probably not. In fact, your are probably more likely to succeed without one. Booking dates is actually not difficult as long as you are willing to do the things that need to be done.
Especially for young bands or artists (not talking about how old you are), there are three things that I believe will get you booked. First, learn to entertain a crowd. I don’t just mean play music well. Entertain them! Second, make relationships…both with other artists as well as venues. Go out and see bands, visit venues, and make relationships. Third, put together a way to market yourself to the talent buyers and start with the ones you have developed a relationship with as described above. They need to see that you believe in yourself before they are going to take a chance on spending their money to have you in their venue.
If you do those things, with time I believe you will be able to book most all the dates you desire to play. When you get to that point and simply do not have the time to deal with booking the band, then it may be time to bring on someone to help. But remember, the days of getting a gig because someone says “trust me, this band is great” are long gone. I have been asked by more that one band to help with booking, I find the band is plenty good enough to warrant the help, but then find they have no real marketing tools (video, bio, Electronic Press Kit, etc.) to help sell the band. As I said earlier, “trust me, this band is great” is a thing of the past.
You can click the button here to get the details on how you can get your band added to the Music of the Upstate website. We promote this site both to fans and to venues and talent buyers so the bottom line to you…free marketing. No strings, just follow the submission criteria on the website.