Go Back   UG Community @ Ultimate-Guitar.Com > Music > Musician Talk > Bandleading
User Name  
Password
Search:

Reply
Old 11-27-2013, 09:22 PM   #1
Vlaco
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Press Kit/Booking email critique?

Hey guys,

So I've been trying to line up some shows, as my band's first album is currently being mastered. I've sent out 7 emails so far- the only one to get back to me quickly let me know that they'd like to see us develop more of a following first, which I can understand- it's a bigger venue. It's been 2-3 weeks, and I'm planning on following up, but I'm new to this, and I'd like to up my game. So here's the email I've been sending out- for venues I know I've been customizing it more...

Subject: Hey, we're Dover Court, and we'd like to play for you this spring!

Hello!

We're Dover Court, an indie-rock band out of Westfield, WI (about an hour north of Madison). We're working on finishing our first album at the moment and we're trying to line up some shows to get the word out!

We play a mix of hard, driving rock tunes and softer, dreamier songs- originals with some occasional covers thrown in. We're not too picky on dates, but anytime in January would be excellent, since two of us are still in school. We'd be more than happy to open a show, since we haven't played out in Madison yet at all. Attached is a one-sheet PDF press kit. You can listen to our music at these links:

http://www.reverbnation.com/dovercourt
https://soundcloud.com/dover-court

Find us on Facebook here:

https://www.facebook.com/DoverCt

You can reach us here, or at (Phone number). Thanks for considering us, and we hope to hear from you soon!

-Josh Weishaar

---

And here's a link to the presskit. Be brutal, but be specific, I really don"t know what I'm doing.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B3...dit?usp=sharing

So yeah... I know there are some really knowledgeable folks here that have played a ton of gigs. What am I doing wrong?

-Josh
Vlaco is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-28-2013, 02:43 AM   #2
AlanHB
Godin's Resident Groupie
 
AlanHB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Canberra, Australia
Firstly, don't expect a quick response from venues. There are usually a whole heap of bands just like you wanting gigs, all they can do is go through them in order.

That said, I'll give you some constructive criticism.

------------------------------------------------------
I'll be Mr Grumpy booking man.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vlaco
Subject: Hey, we're Dover Court, and we'd like to play for you this spring!


Thanks, "Seeking gigs" would have been enough.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vlaco
Hello!

We're Dover Court, an indie-rock band out of Westfield, WI (about an hour north of Madison). We're working on finishing our first album at the moment and we're trying to line up some shows to get the word out!


You are having trouble getting gigs in your home town to promote your non-existent album.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vlaco
We play a mix of hard, driving rock tunes and softer, dreamier songs- originals with some occasional covers thrown in.


You don't have enough original songs to fill a set so you play covers to fill up the time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vlaco
We're not too picky on dates, but anytime in January would be excellent


Because you don't have any gigs booked at home you have lots of time free.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vlaco
since two of us are still in school.


Underagers. Great. Didn't they read that this is a licensed venue?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vlaco
We'd be more than happy to open a show, since we haven't played out in Madison yet at all.


How noble of you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vlaco
Attached is a one-sheet PDF press kit.


Thanks for filling up my inbox. Does it say anything that's not in this email? (Glances) Oh it doesn't.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vlaco
You can listen to our music at these links:

http://www.reverbnation.com/dovercourt
https://soundcloud.com/dover-court

Find us on Facebook here:

https://www.facebook.com/DoverCt


Thank god finally! I can see from your reverbnation account that you have only played 2 gigs ever, the last of which was 2 months ago. Your soundcloud has extremely little plays, and the singer is way too nasal. Your facebook notes that you have some very exciting news soon 25 days ago.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vlaco
You can reach us here, or at (Phone number). Thanks for considering us, and we hope to hear from you soon!

-Josh Weishaar


No worries.
----------------------------------------------------------------

You can see that too much info and the lack of active online resources really work against you here.

I just glanced through my email to find any recent ones I sent out:

Quote:
Topic: Gig enquiry - Brother Be

Hi guys,

We're Brother Be, a folk band from Canberra. We'd absolutely love to play at [VENUE].

You can find our stuff here:

https://www.reverbnation.com/brotherbemusic
https://www.facebook.com/brotherbemusic

Hopefully you like what you see and we can line something up. We're currently booked out for 2013, and are aiming for Jan/Feb 14 slots.

Feel free to contact us back on this email or Alan on [MOBILE NUMBER].

Thanks,

Brother Be
__________________
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
AlanHB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-28-2013, 03:48 PM   #3
Vlaco
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
That was a little tough to read, but point taken. I'm not going to make excuses, but I think I will be waiting until we've got a little more activity and news, and paring things down, before following up.

As long as I've got your attention, Alan, how long do you usually wait before following up?
Vlaco is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-28-2013, 03:56 PM   #4
AlanHB
Godin's Resident Groupie
 
AlanHB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Canberra, Australia
Oh it varies. I don't think there's any strict rule about when you should follow up. Perhaps one week is good?

I didn't mean to make that tough to read, I'm just writing what I see.
__________________
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
AlanHB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-28-2013, 04:08 PM   #5
Vlaco
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
No, I understand. I was tired when I first read it- I was up til 5 with a newborn this morning. Impending fatherhood is part of why I let the social media presence slip as much as I have. I'm also a little self conscious about my voice, so I took that a little personally at first, even though I know that it's not everybody's cup of tea.

Do you find it even worth it to have a press kit anymore? I know mine isn't super professional anyway...
Vlaco is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-28-2013, 06:01 PM   #6
AlanHB
Godin's Resident Groupie
 
AlanHB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Canberra, Australia
^^^ Yeah you got lots of stuff on, that's all good. We split the responsibilites for our online media stuff between us so we all have access to our FB/Revernation/Twitter etc. we also have a communal band email that everyone has access to for contacting venues and other bands. The band email is really cool because we can all see what comes in and goes out too. So it may be something you guys want to talk about - sharing the responsibility for the online material.

As a protip, reverbnation lets you put in past gigs too, so if you have ever had any gigs that are not listed there, I'd put them in now.

Media kits are pretty much a requirement for festival applications and higher level gigs, so it's good to have one. However for your average local pub etc it's just excess paperwork/using up email download limits.

As for your voice, you have a pretty good tone so I wouldn't worry too much. The nasality in your voice is so simple to fix because on the nasal spectrum of things you aren't that bad. If you hooked up with the right teacher and just said "fix the nasality in my voice" you would be totally awesome within 2-3 months.
__________________
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
AlanHB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-28-2013, 09:35 PM   #7
scguitarking927
Time for a revolution
 
scguitarking927's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: SC
Easiest way to get gigs out of town especially the first time, is to get in touch with other bands in those respective areas and share gigs. They play in westfield, you play in their town. The idea is the share fan bases and help expose each others music. It's the easiest way to get on a bill in another town.

Think of it this way, if you go to a booker, with two bands, of a similar genre that come to you, one is headlining material, it makes their job 100% easier to book you based on their recommendation
__________________
Owner of United Studios

Music Blog
Follow me on Twitter
scguitarking927 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-29-2013, 01:38 AM   #8
AlanHB
Godin's Resident Groupie
 
AlanHB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Canberra, Australia
^^^ Yep that's correct. Go to more local gigs and introduce yourself to the bands that play after. Pay attention especially to bands that would be a good fit for a show with your band. Contact the bands when you think you have a lineup about doing a show. If they're all good then start approaching local venues with an idea for a show rather than nagging them for slots.

It's hard getting a band up and running. Constantly seek out new opportunities and take anything. Some open mic nights even let bands play after the solo guys do (call in advance). Slowly but surely more opportunities will come up.
__________________
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
AlanHB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-30-2013, 12:08 AM   #9
scguitarking927
Time for a revolution
 
scguitarking927's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: SC
My philosophy is, the less work a venue has to do the more likely they are to book you lol. They're lazy, arrogant, and a few other choice words haha. Having a lineup, and a history of attendance from all or most of the bands, greatly increases your chance of the venue just sending you a reply asking which date you want.

And yea, make your opportunities, you're selling yourself. If you can play, do it. I don't care what people say about over saturating a market, you get an opportunity to play, take it. In the beginning, you're trying to get exposure. You can't really over saturate something where you don't have a lot of fans in the first place. Now if you were a much larger band, that would be a different story, in the beginning though...Play, Play, Play!!!
__________________
Owner of United Studios

Music Blog
Follow me on Twitter
scguitarking927 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-30-2013, 01:57 PM   #10
Vlaco
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Good points- Thanks guys! I've actually heard back from one venue now, tentatively- feeling a little better about things now.

I did want to ask- Alan picked up on my brothers/bandmates being underage- they're over 18, but under 21. I thought it would be fair to the venue to make this clear from the start- is this smart, or am I just shooting myself in the foot?
Vlaco is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2013, 03:11 AM   #11
scguitarking927
Time for a revolution
 
scguitarking927's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: SC
9/10 times it's fine. And being honest up front will help. At the very least they'll just have the underage members X their hands or wear some sort of wristband...at the worst, they'll have to wait until you're about to play to come in and have to leave immediately as soon as your done.

And of course there's always a chance where they have zero tolerance for minors. Just ask their policy.
__________________
Owner of United Studios

Music Blog
Follow me on Twitter
scguitarking927 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-03-2013, 12:54 AM   #12
AlanHB
Godin's Resident Groupie
 
AlanHB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Canberra, Australia
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vlaco
I did want to ask- Alan picked up on my brothers/bandmates being underage- they're over 18, but under 21. I thought it would be fair to the venue to make this clear from the start- is this smart, or am I just shooting myself in the foot?


It's good to tell them, but not in the initial email/phonecall selling spree. Wait until the venue shows some interest, and then bring it up. There' s no need to draw attention to your faults from the start.

When you do tell them, offer solutions like bringing a guardian or the methods scguitar mentioned. It'll make the decision process easier for them.
__________________
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
AlanHB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-04-2013, 11:29 PM   #13
axemanchris
Awwww.... NOW what?!
 
axemanchris's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Lots of good advice above.

I'll add this, though...

1. Make sure the venues you are contacting book original bands. If they book cover bands, you're not going to hear back from them.

2. Do some word-smithing. Two hundred people at a county fair makes me think that you must have scared off the other first two hundred people, because at any given fair, there are usually hundreds of people. Somehow, a lot of them weren't there when you played. Maybe "played to a large and appreciative crowd at such-and-such county fair grounds."

3. I still don't know what you sound like. Indie rock, as in independent? Or as in the genre? I know the clientele at the club I am booking and am not sure if you're going to be "their thing" or not.

4. The first commandment of booking a gig: Thou shalt make money for the person who books you. So, you need to convince me that I am going to make money when I bring you in. I don't care if you fart Amazing Grace through a plastic tube attached to a funnel. If my pockets are jingling with the sweet sound of shiny gold pieces, I'm a happy camper. So, if I book you in, what's in it for me?

In short, convince me that:
- you're not going to drive out the existing patrons that are going to be there anyways
- people who wouldn't otherwise be there anyways will come out because you are there.
-for both of the above, they are going to stay long enough to consume multiple drinks, a few plates of nachos, a few more drinks, and then a big basket of wings just before the ******* closes.

5. Follow-up is important. The closer you get to them, the harder it is for them to say no. If I'm kind of a soft-hearted optimist, I might have a hard time saying no to your face when you come in and seem really eager and polite. At least make a phone call. Ignoring an email is easier than replying.

Now, you are doing a number of things right:

1. Your tone is cordial and eager - friendly, bordering on professional. Everything is spelled correctly, and you know how to put a sentence together. This gives me confidence that, when you show up to the gig that you won't show up on the wrong weekend, or forget to bring a drum kit.

2. You actually have all the requirements of a press kit: a one-page sheet, photo, contact info, and recordings. (The one-page info sheet can be expanded upon if you want, with a photo sent as a separate page / separate file.) You've given me multiple ways to contact you. I don't have a useless envelope and CD taking up space and cluttering my desk, just so I can lose it, or have it obfuscate the hydro bill that I need to pay today. (however, you should have one to send out in physical format in case my dinosaur neighbour actually wants to have a physical copy)

3. Testimonials are good. I don't know who the heck "Two metals guys" are, but at least it beats "The bass player's mom."

That's a pretty good start.

As a point of comparison, here is our site:

http://www.twistedpretty.ca/

The bio, I think, inspires most of that confidence, and rather overtly asserts ourselves as being not-just-another-cover-band. We have a gig history of playing 17 shows in the last six months, with more booked for the future. Everywhere we have played has booked us for subsequent gigs. Our social media presence has about 200 followers and is fairly active.

Our cardinal sin right now is that we don't have a demo (which is ironic as hell, seeing that I have a home studio), but we've been so busy learning new material and gigging that we just haven't had time. So far, all of our gigs have been gotten by word-of-mouth and personal connections.

A key difference is that a cover band has less of an expectation to bring people out. The venues that book cover bands have a regular clientele for the most part, so we just need to keep them there, drinking and dancing and having fun. With original bands, there is a LOT more pressure to bring people.

CT
__________________
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Quote:
Originally Posted by firehawk
Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.

Last edited by axemanchris : 12-04-2013 at 11:39 PM.
axemanchris is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-05-2013, 02:11 AM   #14
AlanHB
Godin's Resident Groupie
 
AlanHB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Canberra, Australia
^^^ 16 gigs in the last six months is good for a cover band. That's about 3 a month so you get weekends off too which is cool.

My originals band linked above played 27 gigs in the last six months, which is pretty ridiculous.

I am going to guess that we both came from more advantaged positions than the TS, already knew where we wanted to play and who to talk to to play there etc.

Oh and your bio is one of the best band bios I've ever read.
__________________
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
AlanHB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-05-2013, 08:40 AM   #15
axemanchris
Awwww.... NOW what?!
 
axemanchris's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Yeah, we're on the high end of "as busy as I want to be." Twenty-seven is nuts. haha. Mind you, I think every single gig we've done has been on a Friday or Saturday, and when you finish at 2:00, pack up, and drive an hour home, I'm rolling in at 3:30 or even later. Weekends tend to be busy for us. haha.

Agreed about having a bit of an advantage, though in my case, the advantage is not coming from me in that regard. Hamilton is almost an hour away from St. Catherine's, and all of our gigs are in St. Catherine's - but yes, gotten because people know people. Without a demo, there's really no other way. Once we do get a demo, I'll pretty much be starting cold here in Hamilton, though, because nearly all of my contacts for gigs are at places that book original bands.

Thanks for the feedback on the bio. I was in a funny mood when I wrote it, and I'm really happy with how it turned out. I started from a place of "why I joined this band" and in the process, kind of poked fun at all the kinds of bands that I *didn't* want to be in. haha

CT
__________________
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Quote:
Originally Posted by firehawk
Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.

Last edited by axemanchris : 12-05-2013 at 08:43 AM.
axemanchris is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump



All times are GMT -4. The time now is 01:05 PM.

Forum Archives / About / Terms of Use / Advertise / Contact / Ultimate-Guitar.Com © 2014
Powered by: vBulletin Version 3.0.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.