Booking shows is tough. Even tougher is being sure to get all the details at a venue before you song play. Some venues will only give you one chance to play there and if you ruin that opportunity by not getting all the information before show time you really have no one to blame but yourself.
The most important issue is finding out if the venue is 21 and over. Some bars do allow underage people in for shows and some do not. Some places allow underage band members into the show, but they have to leave immediately following the groupâ€˜s set. I have seen shows where the band has gotten completely set up and then had to leave because the bar owner found out that the group was underage. The band, the owner, and the fans were all extremely unhappy. This situation is easily avoided with proper communication.
Be sure to also check if the venue expects a certain amount of money from you. You will not want to play the show if you cannot cover the cost to song play with the admission. If you cannot fill the seats (or standing space as the case may be) you probably should not be playing a show anyway. Another scenario is that the owner may want a percentage of whatever is taken in at the door. Not as bad as having to pay the guarantee (not necessarily), but another factor to carefully consider.
Do not forget the obvious questions. What kind of sound equipment will be provided? Will there be a PA or will the band be responsible for sound? It would be very embarrassing to show up without necessary equipment. Also check what time you and whoever else may be playing start and how long each have to song play. If you keep the owner happy then you will be able to come back and play another show.
Each venue has its own rules. Be sure to talk thoroughly with the owner so all, if any, finer aspects of the rules will be covered. This may seem overly cautious, but better to be fully informed instead of being made to pay because of not bringing in enough people or damaging equipment or anything else. While it may be excessive, getting the agreement written out will be a sure way to clear up any misunderstanding after the fact.
Jerrold Lee We provide marketing and promotional services to clients seeking exposure in the music business. We provide Independent Artist and labels with the means to service their records to industry insiders and potential new fans.
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