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Trying a New Approach for Booking Gigs

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by jive1, May 6, 2010.


  1. jive1

    jive1 Commercial User

    Jan 16, 2003
    Alexandria,VA
    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound
    So, right now I'm trying something different for booking gigs. Instead of just trying to get gigs, I'm trying to get clients. Venues have different needs and wants, as well as budgets and I'm trying to accomodate that.

    Here's the plan:
    I have 4 acts - a variety band, a Rock band, a Jazz combo, and an acoustic duo. The Jazz combo and the acoustic act use players from the other two acts. For example, the 2nd guitarist/percussionist for the acoustic act is the drummer for the Rock band. That makes scheduling and planning a little easier.
    So, when I contact a venue, I sell all four acts. If they can't afford or accomodate a whole band, they can hire a duo. If they don't need Rock, we can provide Jazz. The goal is to sell them something that will fit their budget and needs, increase the chance of walking out with a sale, and get a piece of the action regardless of the act.
    That way, even if I make a small sale, I am at least creating a client relationship with someone that could turn into gigs for the other acts if they like what they see. Hopefully, I can be seen as a one stop shop and bypass the commission I'd give an agency.

    I'm going to give this a try for a while and see how it goes. It may work, it may flop. If anyone has any thoughts, please share.
     
  2. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    Makes sense. That's how one of the agencies I work with books... using the same pool of musicians. Anything from a solo up.
     
  3. lowfreq33

    lowfreq33

    Jan 27, 2010
    Nashville
    Endorsing Artist: Genz Benz Amplification
    Sounds like a good plan.
     
  4. bassbully

    bassbully Endorsed by The PHALEX CORN BASS..mmm...corn!

    Sep 7, 2006
    Blimp City USA
    Well as you know most clubs and venues change owners, managers or mixup the music sometimes at their places. Diffrent one day to the next so i think your idea is great. You hit all the needs one venue could possibly want and if the price structure varys on each act. A venue who is tight on budget and couldnt hire say the varity or rock bands and might be able to budget the jazz or acoustic duo. Good thinking on your part. Let us know how this goes.
     
  5. ElMon

    ElMon Supporting Member

    May 30, 2004
    Oklahoma City, OK
    Been doing it for a litle while to great success. My band Equilibrium, while primarily focused on originals long-term, can be a top-40 cover band, a jazz duo/trio/quartet, and basically ANYTHING the client wants, excepting Poly-Ethnic-Slapgrass or Jazz Fusion on Recorder. The BEST part is that pretty much the only chair that always stays constant is the bass!!!
     
  6. Stranger Danger

    Stranger Danger Feel Like A Stranger Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2010
    Texas

    Sorry for the thread jack, but can you recommend a good poly-ethnic slapgrass band to me?
     
  7. ElMon

    ElMon Supporting Member

    May 30, 2004
    Oklahoma City, OK
    :D
    for all I know my bandmates actually DO play that stuff. I think the key to this idea is having versatile bandmates. My singer/guitarist in particular is versed in ALL styles vocally and on guitar, plus he's a monster on the trombone and believe-it-or-not the conch shells. And Jive is right that this arrangement generates its own gigs. If you do a good job on the duo gig, that club will be much more likely to lean on you for that 4 piece blues band.

    It's amazing that some clubowners assume that you are completely and exclusively dedicated to the particular genre of music you are playing on a given night. At a recent jazz gig I had a clubowner ask me if I knew of any good acoustic cover bands that could play pop/top 40 tunes, and of course I did indeed. The same one he had hired.
     
  8. Passinwind

    Passinwind I know nothing. Commercial User

    Dec 3, 2003
    Columbia River Gorge, WA.
    Owner/Designer &Toaster Tech Passinwind Electronics
    Check out Tony Furtado, he goes out with bands that'd fit that bill occasionally.

    Jive: IME that is a good call as long as all the bands can deliver what's expected convincingly.
     
  9. Leftover Salmon

    ...although they call themselves "Polyethnic Cajun Slamgrass"

    www.leftoversalmon.com

    One of the best live bands I've ever seen.
     
  10. jive1

    jive1 Commercial User

    Jan 16, 2003
    Alexandria,VA
    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound
    Well, I still need to work on my vocals. I'm working with a coach, for this reason. Better vocals, more opportunities for gigs.

    The Jazz thing, I still need to build up my chops for it, but I know some excellent players around here that help make up for it and are always looking for work.
     
  11. Passinwind

    Passinwind I know nothing. Commercial User

    Dec 3, 2003
    Columbia River Gorge, WA.
    Owner/Designer &Toaster Tech Passinwind Electronics
    Cool, at least you know which parts need work. So many killer players just don't want the booking hassles that I think you're on the right track there. I can easily put together a sweet jazz gig on short notice where I'm the weakest link but still keep the other guys in the band and the client satisfied.
     
  12. Passinwind

    Passinwind I know nothing. Commercial User

    Dec 3, 2003
    Columbia River Gorge, WA.
    Owner/Designer &Toaster Tech Passinwind Electronics
    Some of those guys play with Tony pretty often, and they are great players in of out of LOS. They're a great illustration of doing what Jive is talking about too -- you''l see them in all sorts of musical settings around here.
     
  13. Bassist4Life

    Bassist4Life

    Dec 17, 2004
    Buffalo, NY
    Sounds like a great idea. My band is kind of like that. We have several different modes:
    1. Jazz Combo w/or w/out vocals
    2. Rock covers
    3. Original funk jazz (w/some covers)

    What I've found is that it's very hard to market ourselves... and that's partially our own fault. We have a press kit that contains some original funk jazz and a couple jazzy/bluesy vocal covers.

    I think it confuses our clients more than anything. I believe that we need 3 separate press kits. That's a lot of work/time/money. Probably the reason why it hasn't been done yet.

    Do you plan on making separate press kits?

    Joe
     
  14. jive1

    jive1 Commercial User

    Jan 16, 2003
    Alexandria,VA
    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound
    Yes, 4 different brands (band names) same manufacturer. Similar to Kelloggs. One manufacturer, but different brands depending on whether you're kid who wants sugared cereal, an old guy who eats shredded wheat, or a health nut that wants some fruit and bran thing. I find that a band that does everything confuses the customer (especially a new one) that they have a hard time placing you.

    I have a press kit, and website for each band. Each one is for a different segment, and has a different look. The variety band (The Tonics) is branded as a professional act that can do high dollar events and clubs, and the promo material is geared toward that. The Rock band (King Comfy) is a branded as a club band, and the image is a fun party image for the bar going crowd. The Jazz quartet is branded generically like background music, although we also do some mean Blues as well. The acoustic act will be a simple too with a "grass-roots" feel for the smaller folky venues. I have 3 of the sites and kits done, and working on the one for the acoustic act. Once that's done, I'm going to give this thing a try.
     
  15. Mojo-Man

    Mojo-Man

    Feb 11, 2003
    :cool:

    I did this for years.
    Band price was based, on number of players.
    Our band offered solo, duo, three piece, four piece, five piece, six piece.
    We worked all over the Northeast.
    When the economy got bad two years ago.
    The five, and six piece were less requested.
    It worked well for a long time.
     
  16. Oh yeah, they play with everyone.

    I used to see them pretty often when I lived out in Portland (and before they went on hiatus)...
     
  17. gig-getter

    gig-getter

    Oct 5, 2007
    Author of Gig-Getter & Rouse the Crowd
    Appealing to as wide a range of audience members as possible has always worked for our band booking success and that of many other bands I help out. Normally this is wide range of eras (60's/70's etc )but similar musical genre so as to appeal to more age groups. Am very interested to hear how you get on offering venues a choice of genres ...
     
  18. jive1

    jive1 Commercial User

    Jan 16, 2003
    Alexandria,VA
    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound
    It's not so much a choice of genres, but a choice of formats. Not every venue can take a loud rock band, or have a stage that can fit a 5 piece band, but there are some that can hold an acoustic duo. All bands, except for the Jazz band can appeal to a wide range of audiences, and even the Jazz band can play a selection of hits if we wanted to.

    Like I said, I'm trying to build a clientele moreso than just gigs. That way even if bands evolve or dissolve, I can still keep in on the action.

    This is just an experiment for me, so I'm not sure how it will work. I'm planning and hoping that it will work well. Just one more promo pack to complete, and the experiment will begin.
     
  19. jive1

    jive1 Commercial User

    Jan 16, 2003
    Alexandria,VA
    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound
    My last project that I'm putting together the materials for is an acoustic duo that focuses on Soul music - think Stax, Motown, Funk, etc. Cool music that reaches a wide range of audiences, but has a unique format. In keeping with scalability, I can use musicians from the other projects to do a full-on Soul Revue. I can also trim down and do the act solo, or expand by playing repertoire outside our main genre. Luckily my partner in the duo is extremely versatile.

    There's a lot of prep work in all this, so I hope it pays off.
     

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