Booking help, venue lists, consultations…Indie on the Move has it all
When it comes to booking shows, there are numerous challenges, from contacting venues to promotion and marketing, but many of these difficulties can be made simple by using a feature WordPlay T. Jay has utilized — www.indieonthemove.com.
Spokesman and part-owner of the site, Kyle Weber, said it started when he and his brother were in a former band and took off when MySpace began to take a nosedive.
“People were looking for something else, and we introduced our product mostly through MySpace and built a membership of 10,000 in one year, and word of mouth helped us grow from there,” Weber said. “Demand from other artists is mostly why we started because we had people asking how to book shows and what the good spots were. We had that info, so we made it public and interactive.”
Weber said the site started as just a database but grew to include a college touring function and includes festivals, media resources, radio resources and consulting services.
“We have 9,000 venues and 1,000 colleges, plus hundreds of festivals and other info,” Weber said.
WordPlay T. Jay said he has used the site for years and even used the consulting services to book shows. He said the Indie on the Move helped him to surpass the number of bookings he was getting on his own.
When it comes to landing a booking, Weber said there are some main points that artists need to consider. First and foremost, it’s important to show value beyond just the music.
“You have music, and that’s valuable and great, but to a vendor, you have to offer additional value beyond entertainment, be that through your way of marketing and bringing people to the show,” Weber said. “It’s also important to find venues that cater to your style. Hip hop, metal and punk shows can be more aggressive, and that’s something venues worry about. Try to give the venue an idea of the audience you’re bringing in.”
Weber said making yourself stand out is also key.
“Be persistent,” he said. “Send an email, then follow up with a phone call and maybe another email or social media posts.”
Weber and WordPlay T. Jay agreed booking is a business transaction, as in what marketing, promotion and liabilities are you bringing to another entity as a ‘musicpreneur’?
Another challenge for many artists is breaking outside of their home markets. Weber said to expand, artists may want to consider doing a free show or door deal show.
“The trade off with that is you have to build a bit before you get any guarantees for bookings,” Weber said. “You have to put in the work to get the reward.”
Weber advised being smart about planning by using contacts outside of the home market, like family and friends, to help get new people out to shows. Venue size and day of the week also play a role.
“Anything less than 10 people is probably no good,” Weber said. “Even for a venue that holds 300, if you say you can bring 30-50 on a Friday night, that may not be enough for them. Now, if you move that to a Monday and get another band or two that can also bring 30-50, a show of 150 on a Monday night, they might work with that. You have to play the scenarios.”
Weber also said traveling artists looking to build a larger fanbase should never headline. Instead, play in the middle of a multi-artist show and get some of the overflow from the other artists.
Themed shows, especially around holidays, can also be a benefit, if done right. Weber advised against doing shows on the actual holiday.
“Don’t do a show on the Fourth of July, because people are going to be out watching fireworks,” he said. “It’s the same type of thing on Halloween. People get preoccupied with holiday events. You also have to know the local market. If there’s a band that always does a Halloween show, you don’t want to compete with them.”
When it comes to touring colleges, many larger schools belong to nationwide conferences where they set up booths, listen to acts and book that way. Weber said most of the successes on Indie on the Move came from smaller colleges.
“The big state university may be enticing, but you’ll have a better chance at the community college down the road that can throw you $300 or $400 out of their own budget for a show,” he said. “In the end, doing colleges are not a way to build long-lasting relationships because you end up being a victim of whoever is in charge of the bookings.”
Thankfully, Indie on the Move offers a plethora of services to help make bookings simple. Beyond being a member, a premium subscription, at $6.99 per month, offers extra services like emailing talent buyers directly through the site, advanced filtering options, QuickPitch Emailing and the Do It Together Tour Booking Services.
For the Do It Together Tour Booking Services, 10 markets is $475, 20 markets is $625 and more than 20 markets will require a quote.
The site also offers a la carte services like a booking pitch consultation for $150, website evaluation for $130 or a phone call consultation for $175 for 30 minutes or $300 per hour.
For more information about their services, people can visit www.indieonthemove.com.