Festival Booking Tips from Robert Richter – Alberta St. Pub

Robert-Richter-FI

Good news for local musicians – local industry professionals, venues, and promoters are getting on board to offer tips and assistance with the business side of the music industry. Putting together a great band and playing amazing music is not enough anymore. How does a band get booked at festivals and outdoor events in the Northwest? Robert Richter spoke to a group of eager musicians Wednesday night at the Alberta Street Pub to address this question. His targeted seminar will be offered again, with an exclusive list of tips and advice. Portland Notes is just offering a few tidbits of information that we found particularly revealing and helpful. For more specific information, contact Robert Richter.

Robert Richter, host of the popular Local Roots live concert series, is a devoted lover of Northwest artists. He offers seminars and consulting services on a regular basis, and can be reached at his email address or through Facebook on the Excel Talent page. Robert has an insider’s knowledge of the festival scene. We were surprised to hear that Robert’s suggestions are completely achievable for any local band – very encouraging!

Some common sense ideas from an experienced musician, music consultant, promoter, radio show host, and lover of local music:

  • Know your music and where your band fits well.
  • Have a short, to-the-point email that can be tailored to each festival application.
  • Keep an email introduction simple – those reading applications and emails are not necessarily familiar with music jargon.
  • HAVE A GREAT VIDEO – live performance produced without distraction. This is creating a picture in the booker’s mind of what your band will look like on their stage at their event.
  • Include video and links to band bio, photos, etc. within the short introductory email.
  • Don’t be afraid to follow up with a phone call – festival bookers can get overwhelmed with applications, email can get lost…

Things that aren’t so obvious:

  • Black Friday is the day to start booking Summer events.
  • Most festival bookers are only bookers during one season – they have other full-time jobs.
  • Many events are run by the local Chamber of Commerce or City Personnel.
  • Budgets vary by event, by town, by year, etc. There is no set pay rate.

How to get started:

  • Research town by town – repeated events.
  • Identify festivals or events that match your genre/style by reviewing past events.
  • Create content – links, VIDEO, easy contact information.
  • Always be positive – you can’t spell “festival” without “festiv”.
  • Remember that you are dealing with people who WANT to help you. They will be kind.

Robert also pointed out that opportunities exist beyond festivals – most cities have outdoor concert series and events. Research is key – festivals and outdoor events are plentiful, but vary immensely in size, budget, and level of organization. The key is to find out where the band fits, identify the contact, make a good introduction, and follow up.

Thanks to Robert Richter and the Alberta Street Pub for hosting this informational seminar!

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