A band that you’ve booked has arrived late to the gig and has
missed their sound-check as doors are just about to open at the
They are the first band on the stage, on a four billed band night.
What do you do?
How to choose a band for your gig
Do they match your genre?
How many gigs (stage experience) have they played?
Do they actually want to play your gig?
What do they sound like? (live, not just recorded)
What is their stage show like? Entertaining? Colourful?
How many people do they usually bring to their gigs?
Can they supply backline?
How will they help you promote the gig? (Social media,
create their own posters, tell their friends, buy their own
Common Questions a band will ask you when
attempting to book them.
HOW MUCH ARE YOU PAYING ME! Guarantee or door split?
What time is load in?
Is it shared backline? Or do we bring our own drumkits?
How many drinks do I get/Rider request (Or they’ll just send it through
hoping you’ll get the whole kitchen sink for them!)
How long and when is sound check
Who are the supports? How much are you paying them (that’s
Is there a sound engineer at the venue? How much extra cost is that?
Can we bring our own? He’s a mate of the band and he’s really good at
Can we sell merch? Are you taking a cut?
What are set times
Things you’ll need to know or tell the band
Graphic design: font, logo etc for poster
Any underage performers? Under 18? (must tell venue)
How many people in each band?
Who the supports are
Whose doing merch or how much your merch person will cost you. Normally $15/hr or commission 10%
or free if a volunteer (volley’s)
Transport/parking/load in arrangements
Db levels 105 is normal.
Projector/stage design costs
Green room etc
Will you need wristbands?
How many guests/names on the guestlist (one per band member)
Who headlines? Who supports?
Always tricky to figure out who headlines and supports. I.e. do they
all get paid the same fee (an equal billing night) or does one band get
more due to bringing a bigger crowd (hard to assess after the gig/on
the night compared to a pre-determined fee).
Think about having a band who wants to release something. An EP,
LP, Single, App, etc…it always brings more people out.
Think about getting bands who haven't played in a while or don’t play
every weekend. Hopefully then more people will come out to your gig.
Headliners usually have more experience, supports are the ones
starting out….can go the other way though.
Supports may get paid less, but think about how you justify that when
they come and ask you why they got less for doing more promo, they
paid for ad’s, they made and put posters up and yet the headliner did
nothing and got paid more!
Always evaluate the gig afterwards and give feedback to the bands. If
the above happened, I wouldn’t work with that headliner again…..and
would tell others not to either (And probably tell them that I would be
talking to other promoters…watch how fast they try to win you back
Always going to get ego’s and slimy, dodgy characters
where ‘easy money’ can be made.
Bargaining power develops around contractual
relationships. One party has more power and can use that
for good or evil.
Always be professional, respectful, organised and reliable.
Document everything. Save texts, emails, voicemails. Can
all be used to back up any problems that may arise.
Set Times/Sound Check
Sound check: Normally 1-2 hours before doors open.
Just for opening and main band, middle bands can do line checks.
Sound check times (main band up-to one hour, support 20-30 mins)
Set times: Supports normally 30 minute sets, main band one hour.
The Rolling TAFE’s: 8.30PM-9.00PM
The TAFEels: 9.30PM-10.00PM
The TAFE Fighters: 10.30PM-11.30PM
Play genre appropriate music over PA via mixtape to sound desk in between
Door Deal Vs. Guarantee
Door Deal Pro’s
The more punters, the larger band/promoter pay out
Can be a good way to plan and budget your gig to avoid large bills
Emphasis on band bringing their crowd along
Door Deal Con’s
Artists can go either way on caring about bringing their crowd.
Can end up paying more than if the guarantee fee was smaller.
Can end up getting a band for less than on a door deal.
High risk if no one turns up to the gig
End up paying a band a lot more than they are worth
Door Deal vs. Guarantee
If you’re going to charge for tickets, what price will you charge and
what do you need to think about?
One common way to work out a ticket price is to divide the total
amount of funds spent (i.e venue, bands, production etc) by the
capacity of the venue. But this has problems such as if you don’t
1. Band payment. Split or Guarantee
2. Fees to venue
3. Extra costs as the promoter (ad’s, posters, riders etc)
4. How much is your ticket?
Example. Door Deal Vs. Guarantee
1. $1 per ticket door deal for each band or $200 guarantee for each band
2. $2.50 venue booking fee per ticket at The HIFI Bar (plus $3.50 if you purchase online)
3. Lets say $300 (One Ad, 100 colour/B&W poster mix, rider food, your time, mail outs, sound engineer)
4. $10 ticket (remember that’s actually $13.50 if a person buys online!)
5. 400 people PAID to be at the gig. Which equals a gross sum of $4000
$400 x 3 bands = $1200
$2.50 x 400 people = $1000
$300 Promoter Expenses
Total Cost on Door Deal = $2500 (You gross $1500)
$200 x 3 bands = $600
$2.50 x 400 people = $1000
$300 Promoter Expenses
Total Cost on Guarantee = $1900 (You gross $2100)
You don’t have to get them ANYTHING that’s on their rider list.
Venue will most likely give them 2 house/local drinks for each
Most bands probably wont even have a separate rider
Things you could get the bands to share.
Extra carton of beer (buy direct from venue to save $ if they
Platter of sliced fruits, meats, cheeses, crackers/chips, nuts,
dips (If you buy from Coles/Woolies when on sale, you can get
a big selection for about $20)
Make sure you use gloves, keep perishable food in a fridge.
Normal common sense food prep stuff. Separate
Approaching a band: Script
Bands can be hard to get hold of due to music commitments or work commitments. Most
have emails, so use that to shoot them an initial email to assess how keen they are for your
If they are apart of a booking agency (Such as Harbor, Select Music, New World Artists etc)
then one of the bands agents (who take a 10% booking fee from the band’s gig fee) will
help you by asking the band on your behalf. They’ll want to know everything about the gig,
from backline to supports and how much you’re paying the band.
Find the bands number/band manager or email (if emailing, keep it super simple/concise).
Hi, I’m from (your booking/PR company) and we’re putting on (your show/name/event etc)
on (day, date, time) at (Venue).
Talk about why you’ve thought to choose them (you saw them live, like their sound, think
they are just awesome….whatever!) Get on their side, stroke their ego a bit and that will get
them inside right away. List the things that your group/booking business will do for them for the
show (From PR, Reviews, ticketing, advertising etc).
We’re interested in booking your band for the show and we’re prepared to offer you
We would be keen to hear if you’re interested in our proposal.
The details again are (list in bullet point date, time, supports/headliner/production
etc/clear/concise and easy to read)
Please and Thank you!
Backline: Easiest way to sort this out.
Ask the headliner to supply their drum kit for the whole night.
This way the headliner gets to the venue first, they set up the
kit and then get to sound-check first.
Any damages by other bands are to sorted out between
Normally drummers respect other drummers kits. That’s what
drummers do well! Keeping in time….another story!
Hiring Backline can be expensive. See invoice for Brisbane
Backline in Green Box.
When cleaning up, help the bands out, make sure no gear is
left behind at the end of the gig. If it is, hold onto it and pass
onto the band after the gig if they have left.
You are not responsible for broken or lost equipment.
If your band tours, you need a stage plot. Even if you don’t tour, you’ll be making
the lives of club owners, bookers, and live-sound engineers easier in your home
town by sending them an accurate stage plot and input list well in advance of
A stage plot is a graphic representation that illustrates your band’s setup when
you perform live, your placement on stage, what gear you use, and some other
helpful information. Be sure to include:
A basic visual that shows where each member is positioned on stage.
The names of each member and what instruments they play.
How many mics, DIs, monitors, and cables (XLRs or 1/4 inch) you’ll need the
venue to provide.
What sound gear (DIs, mics, etc), if any, you’ll be providing.
Whether or not bass and keyboard amplifiers have balanced outputs. Will they
be mic’d or run direct?
Where the amps will be placed in relation to the players.
Providing a stage plot will make your load-in, setup, and soundcheck experience
quick and efficient. The sound person won’t have to do any last minute
scrambling, either. You both want to save your energy for the show!
Hypothetical Gig Problem: Drummers
It’s 4pm on a Saturday and during sound-check the drummer of
the headliner band breaks his snare drum and also realises he
doesn’t have any drumsticks.
What can he/she do to solve this problem?
Venue Booking Guide
You are required to search and document a new venue each
week, answer these questions and:
Include the name of the venue
Include a photo of the venue
Include the venues contact details including phone, street
address, mailing address, website, social media sites, fax
number, email address
Include any history/notable facts about the venue/ kind of like a bit
of a bio but no more than a couple of sentences.
Brisbane Band List
Your job each week is to fill in the following on the class forum.
You are to do this twice for two different bands/artists. Include as
many responses as you can.
Find a local (Brisbane) band/artist
Post a photo of the artist/band
List the artist/bands’ links to social media such as Facebook,
MySpace etc..whatever you want to include
List the genre of the band/artist
List the bands location if known
List the amount of members in the band
Include their biography