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For unsigned bands? is there such a thing?
Any could somebody point me in the right direction??
just get in touch with the venues you want to play and then, ta da, you've booked a tour. easy peasy.
wont touch you until you prove you can pull a crowd/make business for them..or if they happen to completely and passionately love your music and have faith in it. sadly they are not far off record labels in my eyes...if you get one who is good then makesure you keep hold of them!
email@example.com is an independent booking agent.
is that my band are moving to the UK for a year to play gigs lots of gigs!!
So we just wanna make the best of our time!
Hmm this maybe harder than i thought!
not acting in the best long term interests of their clients but only after their commission at the end of whatever deal they strike up.
Avoid at all costs, both as an artist and promoter.
been chatting to one about a gig for ages. had a date sorted and a fee
then have to wait for confirmation
waited some more
chased up and waited
came back to us and said yea fee was fine and date ok just had to double confirm date
came back and date is great but now they want a bigger fee plus big rider plus hotel accomdation
They're the sole reason Nottingham DiS no longer exists Simon.
there are good ones and there are bad ones. blanket generalisations like that are stupid.
but as someone with a lot of past experience in dealing with these people as a percentage I'd say its about 90-10 in favour of the negative aspect of agents.
...you'll be able to get lots of gigs no trouble as long as youre prepared to pester enough promoters and venues. However without an agent getting fee's and playing decent gigs will be hard. You'll likely chance upon the odd good gig, but they may be a rarity.
Agents are hard to come by and as others have said, unless you have either, loads of money behind you, a large fan base or are incredibly lucky, you'll have to put in the leg work yourself.
Looks like a lot of work will need tobe done!!
Although, i was looking at the likes of how Tubelord & Tellison go about there touring, but hey i suppose they can draw a decent crowd ect!
with any morals or principles I'll agree with that. I wouldn't say the same about most of his colleagues though, and believe me, I've had years of experience dealing with these twunts.
Will all go to hell.
she's an assistant to an agent.
I think you're wrong - Coda seem like good guys generally.
but to work with they most definitely aren't!
I've had a few problems with agents and it's always nicer / easier to go through the band themselves.
But I don't think agents themselves are intrinsically bad people, just operating in a potentially messy context.
I think it's slightly immature to vituperate against agents as a whole. If you think they're not representing a band in the correct way, you should tell the band.
Olly at Coda is a lovely fella. Sorted us out with some great bands at decent prices recently.
As is Ed at TheAgencyGroup, although he's now a mate of mine so I would say that...(he did sort us out with bands before that, though...)
But generally speaking, agents are idiots in my book.
Band wants to play. Promoter wants band to play. Agent manages to stop gig going ahead.
Mark from Elastic Artists completely fucked us over, and I certainly don't mind telling all and sundry to ignore him at all costs.
Coda, Elastic and Primary are three whose people spring to mind (individual names with-held for obvious reasons!)
Mark is lovely.
Another of your Fandango colleagues said the very same thing to me, actually.
Maybe it's just us he's been a complete and utter twat to, then...
or ignored emails, general messing us around and going back on his word)...
I'm sure he's a nice guy, really.
say nice things about mark if asked.
I think we've only ever booked them thru their label.
but it looks like it could be worth it. Do you have it?
It's fairly useful especially for venue details as its all standardised.
I bought the first edition a couple of years ago and it was very useful
Is fucking essential for unsigned acts (imo) - and I don't swear lightly.
I use it frequently - it's got everything you need in it from radio pluggers, labels and where to hire a rig.
One point to note if you are posting anything, though - ring and check the names - with the job turnover in the media industry, it's worth checking.
is that it is a book released in editions - and as such will invariably go out of date, when the next edition is released a year (or less?) later. Ok, yeah, so I suppose most venues / promoters / managers etc etc won't disappear and will have the same contact details for a long time. But there's stuff in newer editions that weren't in older ones (things about festivals, for example)
I still think it would be a better option to have it as an online database which is continuously updated, to which you could subscribe, for a flat rate every year. Even better would be one where you could subscribe to individual parts (say, JUST the venues, promoters, and managers), cuz my other complaint is that there's LOTS of things in TUG that I will probably never need, at least not for a long time (lawyers, for example... touch wood).
My two cents.
you could just buy the book every year, it'd kinda be like a yearly subscription.
But at £35-£45 a pop, it ain't cheap, i imagine an online version could be much cheaper. And y'know, the environment and all that gubbins.
yup, i have a few contacts, i could send you email addys but...im sure GOOD booking agents will look for bands themselves...if you are good they will come to you.
second to that if you knew your stuff
you'd have details of booking agents, the industry is quite open.
"second to that if you knew your stuff"
I don't think there's any call for patronising someone asking a question, no matter what your 'experience' of said 'industry' is.
My old band played around the UK before for a couple of months and got a decent bit of label interest!
Which at the time we thought was great!
Havin said that it was 4 years ago, alot has changed since!
to JAG your band now...
seem pretty unnecessary to me, and they work to get the bands price as high as possible to get a bigger percentage (as said above).
Ex: Went to book a band (now signed, fairly mid level then). I knew exactly what they charged for a show, as my mate put them on a few months earlier. They got a booking agent. When I offered an extra 25% above their then usual rate said it was a bit low. And who never got back to me, after calls and emails. So band lose a decent paying gig, and I lose the chance to book a band with a decent draw because some leeching bastard wants more for themselves.
Damn (almost all of them) them to hell!
They work to make the most money for their clients (and ultimately THEMSELVES) in the short term.
What a ridiculous generalisation.
Have had good and bad experiences with most of the agents.
Coda seem like one of the better ones in my book, in terms of actually responding to emails to let you know where you stand.
Is not always the agent's fault - labels, managers and bands themselves are often as much to blame. Tried to book one Coda band recently - Coda was up for it (and I should've thought so considering the four-figure fee being offered) but manager said no cos "there's no new product to promote". The band, I later found out, didn't know anything about it...
I'm in a band which has a booking agent. She's lovely and gets us gigs we want, and lets us turn down the shit we get offered without a second thought. Your vitriol on this subject is often embarrassing.
Who is your booking agent? Or at least, which company are they from?
I'm just talking to Natasha from there now. Very nice she seems, too.
I saw your set at the weekend and enjoyed it. However, you've probably never been in the position of a promoter, have had a pretty easy ride thus far as a band, so do not have the nous or experience to enter this debate.
I disagree. Thank you for your compliments though.
From the start we have made it clear to our booking agent that we will do what we want to do. We never looked for one, they came to us.
I think it is a band's responsibility to ensure they work with an agent that they trust and share the same ethos with. We do and are very lucky for this.
I guess my problem is that it often seems your anger is directed at ALL agents, rather than the bad ones you have dealt with, because our agent has become a friend of mine and is damn good at her job.
I hope you enjoyed indie tracks. I really did. For what it's worth, that's a gig that I told our agent I wanted to play and she sorted it for us. So, yeh.
I won't comment on her.
However, that doesn't detract from the experiences I've had with agents for a number of years, and before anyone comments, ask ANY band who has played one of our shows and I guarantee you will not get a negative response about how they were treated or paid, and it didn't need some parasitic middleman to ensure that was the case...
I honestly believe you treat bands perfectly well.
Though there were occasions before we had an agent where we played gigs and then the promoter refused to pay us (THIS NEVER HAPPENED IN NOTTINGHAM).
I would wager there are as many horrible promoters as there are booking agents.
and this is probably one of the reasons why good promoters like ourselves (own trumpets blown!) are suffering.
By the same token though there are also many, many bad agents who do not look after their clients best interests.
If you are a satisfied customer then count yourself(ves) lucky, as I know of many other bands who don't feel the same way and unfortunately, realised this after it was too late.
Nice doing business with you.
So long as you make clear it was the nicest festival ever, I'll be happy.
I kinda think that really sound booking agents are actually in the minority. But then I also believe that really sound promoters are in the minority, too.
It's just a shame that great promoters have to deal woth shit booking agents, and vice versa.
my old band played one of your dis nights in nottingham.
you asked us to sell tickets so that we could get paid. for a band that aren't based in nottingham, it seems like a bit of an odd request.
We asked you if you REQUIRED any tickets.
Whether you did or didn't was not a pre-requisite as to whether you would get paid, although obviously the more paying customers the higher the split between the four bands on the bill.
However, the gig in question with which you are referring to, did you honestly think that you deserved to be paid more than the other three bands - none of whom were from Nottingham that night I'd like to add - even though less people had come to see your band, because if you did, then you're obviously living in dreamworld and maybe that goes some way towards explaining why your old band no longer exist.
at least, in our experience, which is dave from coda, thats never been the case..
rather than the be all and end all.
See my earlier post. Dave is one of the few that appears to be human.
We booked a band popular on these boards before they got an agent. They said they wanted £100. We knew their fanbase and offered £70, which they accepted. Band then got picked up by an agent, who didn't know we'd been speaking to them already, and agent approached us asking for a gig. "We want £200" agent said. We said "er, like no". We compromised on £100, which is roughly the amount of money they ended up taking on the door anyway.
You are now. Your point is...?
Sorry Dom, but what ACTUALLY is your point?
Read my posts. Or have I touched a nerve somewhere?
I have worked outside of London. This is something which seems to have upset you.
The fact I've obviously poured out a few home truths about your capital-based colleagues seems to have forced you into throwing your toys out the kindegarten though...
Or what I'm supposed to be angry about, dot dot dot. Agents certainly aren't my 'colleagues'.
It's pretty funny.
for daring to criticise agents.
But these people really wind me up.
Wasn't meant to offend you. Honest.
an argument starts about anyone who's a twat in the music industry, it all boils down to the fact that everyone in London must be a dick.
Here's a few pointers for you to consider:
1. Because we all live in London doesn't mean we all know each other, like each other, or have even met each other. There's quite a few people in London.
2. We're not in some big clique where we all look after each other and defend each other against 'the outsiders'
3. Most of us who live in London aren't even from London, so there's no reason to think we're all so London-centric.
4. Adie's a good promoter and a nice person. I agreed with you about most agents being dicks, but it does seem you're on a bit of a weird witch hunt. They're not all bad, just like us promoters aren't all bad...
glasso. From mine, 9 out of every 10 have been bad.
I do agree with you that most are bad!
But as you said, one in ten are good. And it's probably not far off the same ratio for promoters, either....
Did they approach you or did you manage to get them interested?
Would it be better to look for a manager first??
It can't hurt to look for an agent yourself but it's obviously going to make things easier if you've got a deal and a label willing to pay tour support. If you go ahead and book some sweet shows yourself then that will probably pique an agent's interest cos it'll show that there are promoters who actually want to book you!
Er, I dunno. As always, most of them are based in London, so try getting some London shows - first-on slots, midweek - that you can try to get agents along to...
FACT. Regardless of the quality of the promoter/night of the week/ etc etc.
Independent promoters are being forced out by agents who merely go for those with the highest offer rather than the best show. I agree, there are bad promoters, but just because an independent promoter willcannot afford to pay you the same fee on a Thursday night in January as an inhouse promoter for a major promotions company does not make them a bad promoter.
When people ask me why certain bands (no names mentioned!) never make/made it I honestly believe the answer lies here. They get involved with an agent far too early on in their career, londependent promoters get screwed over, they get given rubbish gigs but get paid more than they're worth at that point in their career, no one turns up, as a result they sell no records, they then come back to said local promoters later on with their tails between their legs asking for a show only to be told where to go.
that's largely the band's fault, surely?
Booking agents are doing a job. It mightn't be the most wholesome, but it's bands with ideas above their station that get booking agents when they don't need them necessarily.
I'm a firm believer that if you need an agent, one will find you.
if they think there's a quick buck to be made.
I still don't see what they do that a hardworking band cannot attain with adamn sight more integrity for themselves.
That I could not book our tours myself.
But bands starting out and looking for one, is annoying.
Congrats on still not giving away what band you're in ;)
I'm genuinely interested now.
but the industry has changed somewhat in terms of live promotion, and as someone who booked his first show nearly a decade and a half ago, I can assure you that bands I booked back then had considerably higher profiles (not necessarily better artists before anyone starts getting uppity!) yet were approachable direct and seemed more grateful to the fact that smalltown promoters had actually heard of let alone wanted to book their band!
I liken the post-millennium music industry obsession with agents to that of football players. My friend plays in the Unibond League Division One, holds down a full-time job and only trains two days a week yet still has an agent. Why? You tell me...
too that a lot of agents and their colleagues post on here as well, so there will always be strong retorts at any criticism of what they do.
They do have some uses, I agree, but sadly the good ones who probably set out to work in an appropriate manner for their clients have been usurped by a deluge of Johnny-come-Latelys who see it as an easy way to increase their monthly commission.
As many have said, you ideally need to have an album or single out / coming out, and have a pretty decent profile in order to get a good agent.
Agents need a product to sell to promoters (when putting a tour together) - if you haven't got a record out or you don't have a reasonable profile (to attract a crowd) then it makes it more difficult to get promoters interested in putting you on, because if there's no profile for the band it is likely very few people will turn up to the show.
Yes, there are some promoters who run nights with a regular crowd, but if you're trying to get into the Barfly on a Thursday night those guys will need some guarantee of a crowd.
You can try and get in touch with agents, but I can tell you I deal with the demos etc. at a well-known booking agent, and have about 400 emails from various bands looking for an agent.
It's easier just to go to promoters directly yourself - best off to look for good clubnights where people turn up every week regardless of who's on - of course these nights are usually however very popular and have a lot of bands wanting to play too
I'm rambling - it's a visicious circle -all I can do is say good luck! :-)
they'll only look for a booking agent for you.
just find peoples emails and ask, there's no real mystique. it's a business so everyone has to earn money but not every agent is as heartless as this thread makes out. before we went on coda we played loads of one of shows that various kind agents let us slip on the bill.
if your music is that good and you can cut the mustard...work hard and people will try and help out as much as possible.
if you need an agent then its probably due to being a bit wet, sometimes lame, and willing to give up10%-25% of your earnings.
but im not saying its a bad idea..but it can be done without.
of putting on gigs, the majority of booking agnets I've dealt with have been reasonable and helpful if it's something they're interested in, or at very least polite in replying when it's something they're not. Some have been less so, but I guess you can expect that sometimes.
I'm a promoter, I'm a booking agent and I tour often... so I guess I'm lucky to understand the difficulties that arise from all sides. I just try to be as honest with people as possible.
As a promoter I'll pay bands as much as I can afford and try to maintain free entry if possible. Something which seems quite unique in the UK.
Agents in general have been fine to work with although they are far too detached sometimes from the artists they represent. I'm 24/7 thinking about mine.
I'd also agree with some folk on here that Dave from Coda is the best I've dealt with.
UK for a year to and play music, what would be peoples advice??
-Book our own gigs, but still actively seek a booking agent??
As I know very little about booking agents, and in the two years I've been promoting I've only had to deal with two, but...it's unlikely you're going to pick up an agency deal if you're a small time band that nobody has heard of. I'm sure there are exceptions to this but perhaps the best thing to do is hassle a few promoters, get some gigs, and see where it goes from there. My friend started playing about 100-150 shows a year, and has since been asked back to venues as well as being offered gigs in different places. Now he's playing roughly 200-250 a year, and I'm sure you could do something similar on a smaller scale.
without sounding like an arse, why would an agent be interested in a band with no record deal over here, no profile (I'm assuming you've never played in the UK before), and who are planning to leave within a year?
I can't for the life of me figure out why you've posted that there, or even in this thread for that matter, but that's a pretty special poster.