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Using a booking agent?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Stinsok, Feb 18, 2013.

  1. Stinsok

    Stinsok Supporting Member

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    I know some of the pitfalls of using them (had a bad experience back in the '80's.) Looking to play more corporate gigs,etc. but my schedule really doesn't allow me time to hunt those up. Do you use one?
  2. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather Supporting Member

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    Disclosures:
    Kohlman Bassworks
    I've been in several bands that used them. A legitimate, established agency can do wonders for a really good band playing Variety Top40. There's a lot of money to be made and it's in their best interest to get you nice paydays as it gets them higher commissions. However, do NOT sign anything that excludes your band from using other agencies or contacts!
  3. DiabolicLow B

    DiabolicLow B

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    Yes we use an agent and it has worked out great.

    He is from an agency and only takes 10%, we started with him about three years ago playing small bars and clubs and now we are playing regularly as well as A rooms downtown Toronto, weddings and corporate gigs.

    Starting this May we are getting booked into the casinos in Niagara Falls (Canada) for very good cash.

    We have never signed any contracts with the agency only one offs for certain venues.

    My point is we never would have gotten this far without his connections and support, it has worked out really well, he even helped us find a new singer after we fired our last one!
  4. jive1

    jive1 Moderator Supporting Member

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    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound
    I've used agents for years, and it's my preferred method of booking gigs. They have better connections than I, and have the more time than I to book gigs, since it's their job. Let's me focus on the band and the music, moreso than booking shows.
  5. jumblemind

    jumblemind I also answer to Bryan Supporting Member

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    We augment our regular bookings with an agent. +1 on the comment to make sure you don't sign away your ability to book with through other avenues. We had concerns at first, but the result has been bookings at places we wouldn't have played for prices higher than we normally would have been paid.
  6. Flyingfrets

    Flyingfrets

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    Amen to this.

    My current band is the first experience I've had with a booking agency, but it's been such a relief that I can't imagine going back to doing it myself.

    Worth every penny (I think they're getting 12%). They don't book dives, they collect all fees due, take their percentage and we get paid within 24 - 48 hours. They can arrange federal tax with-holding if we want them to (the 2 of us who live in the state where the agency is based can also have their state income tax with-held as well. Don't know if they've opted to do so...) which makes filing at the end of the year a little simpler.

    And as noted in another thread, because we have a decent rapport with the guy who's repped us from day 1, when we had to replace a member last year, he hooked us up with a guy who's band were former clients.

    Maybe we've just been really fortunate, but it's been a win-win all the way around...for us and them.
  7. carvinbassplyr

    carvinbassplyr

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    Also make sure you don't use an agent that charges a retainer fee. Full commission based agents will be more motivated to get you more/better bookings because if you're not making money they're not making money. Guys who charge retainer fees can collect your monthly fee and sit on their a$$.
  8. Tx Basser

    Tx Basser

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    A country band I was in last year used an agent and she was worth every penny. Very professional and she got the band into venues that we had difficulty getting into before she came along. Like anything, there are positives and negatives but all my experiences with agents have been positive. She got 15% commission with no retainer.
  9. DwaynieAD

    DwaynieAD

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    find out where a booking agents books and what other bands they book before you get in to bed with them. do your homework. that being said. they do often have ins at places that have told you no in the past.
  10. rtslinger

    rtslinger

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    Yes and I agree it has been a +
  11. sleeplessknight

    sleeplessknight Supporting Member

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    After doing my damndest booking my funk cover band for the past two years, I would give my left nut for a good agent. The one thing that seems to give pause to every agent I've spoken to, is that we're not a Top 40 band. If anyone has any tips (or hell, could recommend a good agent in the Boston area) on FINDING a good agent (my Craigslist ads have returned slim pickings) I personally would be eternally grateful :)
  12. Dash Rantic

    Dash Rantic

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    I'm in the same boat as sleeplessknight. Does anyone have any experiences on how much a booking agent might help an originals band--not a top40 covers group? Also being able to /find/ these booking agents does seem to be quite the issue in of itself :)

    --
  13. derrico1

    derrico1 Supporting Member

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    A good booking agent matches demand with bands. Any decent agency can get work for good GB bands, b/c there's demand for good GB bands. But IME an agent probably won't help an originals band much until there's already some demand for that band.
  14. Flyingfrets

    Flyingfrets

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    We're not a Top 40 band (all Beatles covers), but still apparently a fairly easy act to sell as we've had offers from several agencies (though we've stayed with the original agency from day 1 - no contractual obligation, just our choice as it's worked well for us & them).

    Unfortunately, derrico hit the nail on the head. Originals are a hard sell in the venues the agencies typically book. They're not making money unless the band is working, but the effort involved in getting an unknown original band into an upscale venue isn't worth the return so most won't bother with them.

    Sad but true...
  15. truecanadian04

    truecanadian04

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    How does a person become an agent.
  16. QORC

    QORC

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    beware of the douchebags -- they are rampant. They will lie to you, rip you off, and destroy your reputation and smile while doing it.

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