Does your band have a booking agent?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by jmattbassplaya, Dec 12, 2012.

  1. jmattbassplaya

    jmattbassplaya Supporting Member

    Jan 13, 2008
    Tampa, FL.
    I'm going to springboard this off of Matt's thread asking about whether or not anyone here has a manager.

    My band has recently started to get serious about playing more out of town gigs since we've really begun to lock down our home turf. For awhile, we've been trying to book these out of town gigs ourselves (and even I started a thread about doing gig swaps with other TB'ers) but so far our ability to make anything happen has been less than stellar.

    We've thought about hiring a legit booking agency to help us do our bookings, and I just wanted to ask you guys' opinions on them, what kind of deal you can expect, and just any other tips you guys might have when it comes to dealing with them. AC Entertainment is actually located here in Knoxville (they're the guys who do Bonnaroo), so we're thinking about contacting them.
  2. I've found it very hard to get in the door at a lot of places. most bars around here have a dude, or dudes they work with and that's the only way you are getting in. so it definitely couldn't hurt to have a legit booking agent that has an "in" at places.
  3. jonas_24112


    Jul 11, 2011
    Our manager is our booking manager.

    Most booking manager's I know don't want to mess with you unless your band is booking gigs for more than $1500-2000. There are some clubs who book strictly through entertainment agencies as well and these are even harder to get into.

    And as anyone will tell you, they're pretty much all scum, but also a necessary evil once you get to a certain level.
  4. jonas_24112


    Jul 11, 2011
    Don't hire a dude to work with their dude. Just go directly to their dude. You'll end up paying double percentages.
  5. jonas_24112


    Jul 11, 2011
    If they are legit and you're playing at a $$$ level they are willing to work with, then go for it. Be prepared for 1099's and a lot of BS.
  6. not at all what I said.
  7. jmattbassplaya

    jmattbassplaya Supporting Member

    Jan 13, 2008
    Tampa, FL.
    They're beyond legit.

    We definitely aren't at a $$$ level, but we are at the point where we should be opening for bigger named acts who come through our area (and that is already starting to happen for us). We've already got an 'in' at two of the bigger venues in town, but there are several others we'd like to begin working with, too. I guess finding out who handles the bookings at those places would be a start, but honestly, we're less interested in an agency or agent helping us book gigs in our home town. We've already got this area fairly well figured out. We're more or less looking to find people who can book us good, paying out of town gigs with bands who are already playing at a regional level.
  8. jondog


    Mar 14, 2002
    NYC metro area
    A young guy started a booking agency nearby. I contacted him about my cover band and also sent his contact info to the leader of my original band. Both bands have decent online demos. He said he would come check out my cover band at the next show. He missed it. In the meantime the leader of my original band contacted him, he signed us without needing to see a show. He asked the original band to play 1 set at his agency launch, for free. We didn't have to, but it's original music and we play free 50% of the time so we did it. I asked him at his launch about my cover band, he said sorry his mom was ill, he'll have to catch another show. He booked the original band a low paying show in a happening area, 50/50 covers/originals. We would not get in there without him. He quoted the leader a price via email, and when asked if that included his fee there was no response. Before the start of the show I asked him again about seeing my cover band and he told me he's very busy. He is still advertising on CL for new bands. The leader was parking his van so he handed me the fee in advance. Just over 25% was missing. I said does my BL know about this? He said yes the knows the %age and left to go collect from his two other acts working that night.

    So, that's my current booking agent experience. Kinda meh.
  9. lowfreq33


    Jan 27, 2010
    Endorsing Artist: Genz Benz Amplification
    25%? No way. 15% is standard, you can get that down a bit if they really want you. A brand new agency should be taking 10%.

    We work with two different agencies right now. If you're serious about staying busy a good agent is pretty valuable. The relationships they've built give you an instant in to new places, and you've got someone to be the bad guy about money and accommodations. How many threads have there been about getting shorted or stiffed at the end of the night? If your agent has other bands booked at that place they can pull ALL their acts if the club breaches contract. Agents also usually know the best hotel deals in certain areas, and sometimes can get special rates in return for sending them business.
  10. johng999


    Jul 14, 2008
    How many gigs a month are you wanting/willing to play? How much money can you bring in? It's all economics. The big agents aren't going to touch you unless you play a lot and can bring in good money. They also will want to know what your "selling" attraction is. I was told over 100 shows a year and $1500 and up per show. If you can't do this then no one is making any money. 15% is what I am hearing, although we have begun working with an agent just starting out at 10%. We currently are booking through two agents (do not sign an exclusive arrangement so early), our more experienced agents gets a higher percentage.
    Do you have a publicist? This can also be invaluable. The agents that we have talked to say that many clubs won't book you unless they have heard of you, and that is where the publicist comes in - press kit, news and updates in publications, etc. Press kit and CD to clubs early, with follow up calls, etc sets things up for the agent when they are trying to book. It all adds up to $$ but my band is really beginning to see the benefits, as we are now booking out of town in some key cities (Nashville, Louisville, Indianapolis) at key venues, and have two solid road trips lined up.
    Good luck!