Musicians Promoting Your Live Show | BandHacks

Published on August 23rd, 2014 | by Dylan Lott


Promoting Shows: Whose Job Is It Anyway?

This is always one of my favorite subjects as a booking agent.

Something that Facebook bands typically post about or pissed off, loud mouth promoters.

Whose job is it to get people to the show?

I could write all night about this, and I could try and stay neutral by covering the different points of views and keep everyone’s feelings in mind, but let’s face it: This is 2014, the era of emotions-core.

Everyone’s feelings get hurt and truth is what you read on a TheMindUnleashed article. So let’s talk about this.


Whose job is it to promote shows?

Promoting Your Live Show | BandHacks

There’s Josh with his stupid guitar again. 


Is it the band’s job or the booking agent / promoter’s?

Let’s start with the booking agent / promoter: First of all, finding a real ” promoter” these days is very rare.

Why is that? Aren’t there tons of bands who want to play shows all the time? Well, yeah, but it’s not that simple, either.

There’s absolutely no money to be made, it’s a thankless job, you’re always the bad guy, and oh yeah, again, there’s no money in it. So most of the time the show falls on the “in-house ” booking agent.

An in-house booking agent is like a promoter, except he has 18-20+ dates to fill a month for one specific venue.


What does that mean to bands?

I Should Masturbate | BandHacks

I should masturbate.

Well it means that your show isn’t the only show he has booked that month and that your show is one of many he has to promote.

So how does he promote? Some venues still have hand bills but most the time there will be an 11×17 flyer, an event on Facebook and something on the calendar that you can find on the website. There really isn’t much more that a venue / booking agent can do for your ONE show.


What do the bands need to do?

Selling Concert Tickets | BandHacks


I shouldn’t have to say this, but maybe let people know every once in a while.  

Here’s what seems to be normal. Flyer post, status update (a day before the show) and maybe a couple texts messages (maybe).

Well in this current formula the day after the show the bands start posting ” that venue sucked , the promoter sucks, thanks Greg for coming out last night, thanks to ( insert venue) for letting us practice there last night” and a ton of other shitty passive aggressive posts.

With that being said: Bands, who really suffers here? Is the booking agent going to build an awesome fan base and tour and get famous ? No.

So why the fuck would he care whether  your one show sucked or not? He has 15-20 other shows. In essence, it falls on the band to get people to the show.

If you are playing original music and plan on doing this for a living then why wouldn’t you make sure that you are successful instead of depending on booking agents, or even worse, the other bands to do your job for you.

Don’t like it, but still want to play shows? No problem, play covers at a bar and get paid to play other peoples music! C’mon you know you love 80s night!


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