FAQ performing with a band

Would you like to start with small shows to gain experience? Or would you like to organise a one-off showcase in order to show what you are capable of to interested parties from the music industry. Or is it an idea to take part in a competition?

Where would you like to play?

The venue and what type of shows you would like to do is all about the audience that you want to reach. Are you making music for a ‘listening audience’, would you prefer to play at a busy festival, or do you want to showcase yourself to the music industry?

Are you not ready for that yet and would you like to gain experience first? Begin in your own neighbourhood and ensure that you build a solid base there, with your fans, of course, but also with other contacts in the industry, such as programmers, sound technicians, etc. Bar owners see a well-organised local band with a loyal audience as guaranteed bar sales. You may well have a nice band, but if the bar or the venue earns no money, you can forget getting another show. In addition, you will incur less travel expenses, of course, close to home.

A booking agency will help you with all matters related to show, from the questions and considerations above, to the preparations for a tour.

Types of shows

It is important to make a distinction between the different types of shows.

  • Promotional shows
    Shows to promote an album, single or yourself. Often on radio or television. As a beginning artist, perhaps a support slot. These types of shows are sometimes the starting point for a marketing campaign. There is often no money available or only limited reimbursement of expenses. If you decide to take part in a competition or the Popronde (a nationwide traveling festival for unknown bands), the shows often have a promotional character. There is little or no money available, but you will have the opportunity to promote yourself to new fans and the music industry, and to gain experience on stage. In the case of a performance at a showcase event like EuroSonic Noorderslag, inJazz, or SXSW, you are mainly promoting yourself to the music industry.
  • Club shows
    These are shows that take place in a venue or theatre, often as part of a tour or the start of a tour (for example, an album release). People buy a ticket to see you, so you usually only do these types of shows once you have made a name for yourself. Your fee is linked to the amount of tickets that you sell. A solid marketing plan is essential for a successful tour. You should also take into account that you have to approach a venue at least seven months in advance.
  • Festival shows
    In this case, people buy a ticket for the festival or, if they are a very loyal fan, for you. The programmer has an artistic assignment to book artists who fit in well with the atmosphere of the festival. The live reputation of an artist is also very important. For many festivals, the connection with the festival (for non-headliners) is more important than the number of visitors that an artist attracts, as most people buy a ticket for the main act. The majority of the budget goes towards that. Because your fee is not linked to the number of tickets sold, the fees are usually higher than for club shows.
  • Private shows
    These are shows that you do in the business-to-business circuit. Examples include staff outings, drinks receptions, trade fairs and conferences. They are called private shows, because it is often not possible for members of the general public to attend these shows. These shows are also not promoted to the outside world. Due to the lack of possibilities for your own fans to come and the lack of promotion, the fees are often considerably higher.

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Music festivals