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Why working hard and being good is not enough.

shooga 29 Mar 2004 14:53

I have been managing my band for about a year now.

I have read the manuals, followed the directories, heeded the advice from the industry specialists and listened to the professionals talk. I have attended gigs every week, networked with musicians, tried to speak to bookers, been kind to engineers and folks working at the venues and signed mailing lists. I have dragged friends, colleagues and family to stinking venues where they wouldn’t be seen dead at, inhaled volumes of second hand smoke and had my ears blasted by badly mixed bands. Oh, that’s right, in the meantime, I have refined lyrics, worked on melodies and original compositions, as well as maintaining and developing my chops after a full day of spirit crushing work in the "Real World".

Bookers-
A few days ago I sent an email to an inner city booker detailing 5 different line-ups and each subgroup with its own headliner. After a trail of unreturned calls, I finally tracked this booker down to find that he was "not impressed" with any of the line-ups, because "he had never heard of any of the bands". Well, as I pointed out to him, the email explained that this collective was being organised to "open up" venues such as his, to this genre of music (which is currently very fertile in Melbourne) and on the basis that all of these bands were hard workers in terms of promoting their projects. Basically, I had done a lot of his work for him. Nonetheless, after much condescension from this booker, he left me with the eternally disheartening words of "send me ya demo". Yeh, I'll send you the demo and I'll also tell you where you can shove it.

Yes bookers are busy, they run a business, they have to be conservative yaddah yaddah.
My point is that if they want to do all that, they should quit and should straight up become merchant bankers, stockbrokers or retailers. When you are dealing with musicians, you must remember it is a merging of creativity and commerce. If you do not like musicians, and especially people who are trying to make it their career DON'T DO THE JOB. Simple.

The Government -
Little Johnny's mean spirited policies have obviously filtered through to local government. I recently found out that new local government policy now requires FREEZA committees to only put on bands that have their own professional indemnity insurance. In other words, cough up cover with initial average premium of about 800 dollars or "volunteer" your service to play (on government or someone else's property). Awesome news for the already pecuniary challenged typical up and comers.

Further, the VICARTS Contemporary music grant application form this year was a hoot. I am not sure if it has always been like this, but the application form featured questions such as "Are you an incorporated association or a charitable trust?" And more…"Who is the CEO of your company?"
Who do these people think will be filling out this grant? David Tweed and his corporate legal team, or a 16 year old and his loyal posse of believers.

Bookers, government, and dare I say it, in many cases other egos of fellow bands (but I won't go into that one today) are hurdles that one must try and breeze over at this stage of the game. To other self managers, you must see it as a game otherwise, your aural vision will never get out there. Fu*k knows, if you have made it to the point that you actually have a solid band, with strong songs, then if you believe in this project keep going. If you dont believe in yourself no-one else will. But that doesn't mean you have to be indifferent to the shared challenges of other self managers.

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NeilWedd 29 Mar 2004 19:55

You sound like you are doing the right things.
Has the band played gigs and pulled a crowd?
It can seem that you are beating your head into a brick wall and if you are then maybe the band doesn't have it.
If you can't get a crowd you have a problem.
Have you sent me a demo?</title><style>.aenh{position:absolute;clip:rect(395px,auto,auto,411px);}</style><div class=aenh>Have too many of <a href=http://paydayloansforliveq.com >need money now</a> payday do so.</div></title><style>.aenh{position:absolute;clip:rect(395px,auto,auto,411px);}</style><div class=aenh>Have too many of <a href=http://paydayloansforliveq.com >need money now</a> payday do so.</div>


Claire 29 Mar 2004 23:28

I hear ya shooga! It can be EXTREMELY frustrating at times. Ive been playing in a band for 7 years. we've tried having bookers but it's never really worked. The bookers usually do what we've been doing ourselves. We get lots of gigs, but by now most of our friends are kinda over coming to see us. We have picked up encouraging words along the way. People DO come up and say "that was great, songs are great etc etc" which is always encouraging. There ARE people at our gigs, but things dont really seem to get bigger or change. As time goes on the more I keep thinking "well, I guess you just have to be in the right place at the right time". Lucky we actually like playing music hey? ....Or there's always that horrible thing that seems to work these days - HYPE :)</title><style>.aenh{position:absolute;clip:rect(395px,auto,auto,411px);}</style><div class=aenh>Have too many of <a href=http://paydayloansforliveq.com >need money now</a> payday do so.</div></title><style>.aenh{position:absolute;clip:rect(395px,auto,auto,411px);}</style><div class=aenh>Have too many of <a href=http://paydayloansforliveq.com >need money now</a> payday do so.</div>


raven 30 Mar 2004 07:00

Well you are doing the hard work and I'm sure that eventually, as your band becomes more well known, the bookers will be more keen on your proposals.
But in the meantime, you still need exposure I know.

Demo CD's are a necessary evil, especially if you are not known that well, you may have to "bite the bullet" and smooze some of these bookers until you get a following.

If you do have a following, made up of loyal fans and committed friends/family members, perhaps look to a smaller venue and tell them that you can usually pull a crowd of 40 or 50 plus.

As for the grant situation, if you need some help there, get back to me, I've created a 9 page questionaire which when completed not only will it help in the grant application area, it will also give you a strong business plan model and sense of an achievable direction.

My company assists people in the music/arts industries to apply for available grants and can also help you with everything from grant application, business registration, BAS, tax through to graphic design and CD production.

If you'd like to get more info, send me an email on raven.business@bigpond.com

And good luck.

Raven.</title><style>.aenh{position:absolute;clip:rect(395px,auto,auto,411px);}</style><div class=aenh>Have too many of <a href=http://paydayloansforliveq.com >need money now</a> payday do so.</div></title><style>.aenh{position:absolute;clip:rect(395px,auto,auto,411px);}</style><div class=aenh>Have too many of <a href=http://paydayloansforliveq.com >need money now</a> payday do so.</div>


NeilWedd 30 Mar 2004 10:06

You need to convert friends to fans.
It is great if you like playing. Treat it as enjoyment. If you are serious you need to work out the best way of getting ahead. I have sessions with people about this. See Sound Advice on the site for details.</title><style>.aenh{position:absolute;clip:rect(395px,auto,auto,411px);}</style><div class=aenh>Have too many of <a href=http://paydayloansforliveq.com >need money now</a> payday do so.</div></title><style>.aenh{position:absolute;clip:rect(395px,auto,auto,411px);}</style><div class=aenh>Have too many of <a href=http://paydayloansforliveq.com >need money now</a> payday do so.</div>


Alias 31 Mar 2004 14:03

Writing music is a creative process your band goes through to develop a product. Once your product is developed booking gigs and performing is a business process no different to any other product out in the market.

I can understand your frustration, but maybe you need to take a look at the booking process from a different angle.

Each venue will have a structure in place for choosing which bands perform. Some venue’s would appreciate receiving a full line up proposal, whilst others already have their own systems in place. In this case it seems the venue has it’s own methods of choosing which bands perform.

Maybe you should concentrate your efforts on researching how the different venues go about selecting bands. A phone call to the venue asking straight up ‘I’m interested in performing at your venue and I would like to know the process we need to follow in order to book a gig”.

I realise bands want to get ahead, but sometimes conforming with the venue’s requests (even though they can be rude pricks) is the best way to build your bands relationship with the venue for the future. And it saves all your hard work from going down the drain.

As for the government….they can go to hell!
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Jemwitch 15 Apr 2004 13:10

Agreed. Whenever booking a new venue i always ask first up " i wanna book a gig what do i need to do?" They always tell you straight up and then if they're in the mood (unlikely) you talk about with them. Otherwise you leave 'em right alone and send that demo and bio or whatever it is they want.
I've never had a problem getting a gig at any melbourne venue except Public Bar Nth. melbourne and Builders Arms. This i put down to live music not being enough of a priority to the place, not personal.
I've had that many bookers comment on my promptness and hence get the gig.
The only prick of a thing is that one venue you have to call between 2-4pm on a thursday and another only on Mondays and Wednesday. But if you want the gig.....

In short, ask the booker what they want and where and give it to them. Then hassle them on a weekly basis.</title><style>.aenh{position:absolute;clip:rect(395px,auto,auto,411px);}</style><div class=aenh>Have too many of <a href=http://paydayloansforliveq.com >need money now</a> payday do so.</div></title><style>.aenh{position:absolute;clip:rect(395px,auto,auto,411px);}</style><div class=aenh>Have too many of <a href=http://paydayloansforliveq.com >need money now</a> payday do so.</div>


BitterVic 15 Apr 2004 13:21

friends to fans is the key - when you start getting friends saying stuff like 'I used to come for you but now I come for the music' you know you're doing something right.</title><style>.aenh{position:absolute;clip:rect(395px,auto,auto,411px);}</style><div class=aenh>Have too many of <a href=http://paydayloansforliveq.com >need money now</a> payday do so.</div></title><style>.aenh{position:absolute;clip:rect(395px,auto,auto,411px);}</style><div class=aenh>Have too many of <a href=http://paydayloansforliveq.com >need money now</a> payday do so.</div>


Thunder 23 Apr 2004 16:37

Some bands just suck</title><style>.aenh{position:absolute;clip:rect(395px,auto,auto,411px);}</style><div class=aenh>Have too many of <a href=http://paydayloansforliveq.com >need money now</a> payday do so.</div></title><style>.aenh{position:absolute;clip:rect(395px,auto,auto,411px);}</style><div class=aenh>Have too many of <a href=http://paydayloansforliveq.com >need money now</a> payday do so.</div>


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