April 2008

The contacts listed are sorted into FIVE sections.
    1. Publications that will REVIEW your music
    2. Radio Stations/Shows that will PLAY your songs
    3. Labels, Vendors and Promotional Services that will help you to SELL your CD
    4. Sites where you can UPLOAD your band's MP3s or videos
    5. Helpful Resources for recording artists

indie contact newsletter


All Access Magazine
15981 Yarnell St. #122, Rancho Cascades, CA 91342
PH: 818-833-8852
Debra Stocker allaccessmgzn@aol.com
Bridges the gap by featuring national touring acts and "NEW" breaking acts performing in and around the local club scene.

The Cavedoll of it All
PH: 801-808-9269
Camden Chamberlain camden@kitefishingfamily.com
An MP3 blog focused primarily on Indie Rock, Pop and Electronic. If you think we'll enjoy what you're doing, send us a link to where we can hear your music.

Indie Music Review
Frobenstrasse 74, D-12249 Berlin, Germany
Don Nelson info@indiemusicreview.net
We accept CDs and queries from artists in all genres of popular music including: Pop, Rock, World music, Folk, Reggae, Hip Hop and New Age. We are also looking for writers, reviewers and music journalists.

Department of Virtuosity
ul. Balkonowa 3/11, 03-329 Warsaw, Poland
Mikolaj 'Nicolo' Furmankiewicz nicolo@hmpmag.pl
My editorial colleagues and I write mainly about traditional kinds of hard'n'heavy music plus such genres like: Progressive Rock/Metal, Symphonic, Neoclassical Hard Rock/Metal, Shredding, AOR, Blues-Rock, Jazz/Fusion, Avant-garde, Techno-Thrash, Rock & Metal Operas and Classical Guitar-oriented music. My specialization is phenomenon of virtuosity in music.

Urban Newz
Provides its readers with daily Hip Hop and Urban entertainment newz, rumors, photos, music and interviews. Urban Newz not only works with major labels and artists, it also does a lot of work with independent artists, producers and DJ's all over the world.

The Indie Music Review
Lisa Babick indiemusicreview@sbcglobal.net
Focuses on talent in the indie music scene including punk, rock, zen jazz, folk, alternative and more. As long as it's not commercial we cover it. Live performance reviews/interviews/CD reviews and more.

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Connie's Country Roadhouse
4109 Cedar Ridge Rd. Dayton, OH 45414
PH: 937-274-2924
Connie Bennington blackwolfshadovv@aol.com
I play indie music on my show. I am looking for any of you who want your music heard thoughout the world.

Caribbean Gospel Surf
PO Box 32507, Newark, NJ 07102
PH: 973-280-4677 FX: 973-494-5754
Delroy Souden wcgsradio@yahoo.com
An internet radio station playing Gospel music from the Islands.

SMtv/The Samantha Murphy Show
PH: 323-284-5988
Samantha Murphy sm@smtvmusic.com
A traveling music show for Singer/Songwriters and Pop/Rock bands.

Rapdreams Radio
A new online radio show launching this Spring on FONYE online radio. We are currently looking for new music, drops & interviews. Hip Hop, R&B and Reggaeton artists wanted.

Pureplay Music
34 Wherry Rd. Norwich, NR1 1WS UK
Taylor Golonka info@pureplaymusic.com
Our internet Radio Station features 7 different streams so we can take all genre submissions. We also have deals for music placement of unsigned music and also In-Store streaming of unsigned music all over Europe.

Jamey Wilson indie500show@gmail.com
"The Lucky 13" features the top 13 songs in independent and unsigned music every month as determined by our panel and the ratings of listeners.

ND Lounge
A free internet radio station streaming you the best in Lounge, Downtempo, Ambient and Trip Hop music.

Smokestack Lightnin' Blues Radio WUCF
PO Box 162199, Orlando, FL 32816-2199
PH: 407-823-0899
Norman Thompson nthompsonjr@cfl.rr.com
Features the very best New Blues and newly reissued Classic Blues, Adult R&B, Adult Soul, Blues Rock, Zydeco Blues and Gospel.

You Rock Radio
8539 W. Sanna St., Peoria, AZ 85345
PH: 623-266-0309
Uncle Indie yourock@yourockradio.com
All genre radio. Music. Talk. Variety.

Urban Newz Radio
Yeah you heard it right, UrbanNewz has its own LIVE Hip Hop radio show. It goes down EVERY Thursday night at 11pm est / 8pm pst. Send us your Hip Hop MP3s!

Moozikoo Radio
PO Box 50322, Nashville, TN 37205-0322
Anthony Bates anthony@moozikoo.com
Our goal is to bring you the best music from today's independent artists. We focus on music in the Americana, Alt. Rock, Bluegrass, Blues, and Alt. Country genres.

PH: 303-808-8140
Ryan Smith webmaster@eoradio.com
The best free music from unsigned artists from around the globe. We require all artists to register online and sign a release form before submitting. Visit online for details.

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Outlandos Music
PO Box 415, Saugerties, NY 12477
PH: 202-316-1193
Kate Bradley Kate@outlandosmusic.com
Guided DIY artist consulting - an insider's view on what's what & who's who in the music business.

Crusade Records
Level 8, 100 Walker St., North Sydney, NSW 2060 Australia
PH: +61 (0)2-8404-4175 FX: +61 (0)2-8404-4170
Tom info@crusade.com.au
A label that houses Australian and international bands in Metal, Hardcore and Rock genres. Bands ? head over to our Demos page to submit your demo via the online submission form.

Vision Promotions
22 Upper Grosvenor St., London W1K 7PE UK
PH: 44 (0)207-199-0101
Alan alan@visionmusic.co.uk
PR / press / radio / dj promotion for albums / singles / labels / events + artists digital / online marketing / pr / podcast production / video + audio streaming / encoding dj / artist / remix booking agency.

Megaphone Records
PO Box 8446 Woolloongabba QLD 4102 Australia
PH: +61738912577 FX: +61738911797
Cindy-Leigh Boske info@megaphonerecords.net
"the voice of the future"... Megaphone Records is an Australian indie label that promotes and markets new exciting artists.

Mr.Kite Records
Van der Woudestraat 226, 1815 VZ, Alkmaar, Noord-Holland, The Netherlands
PH: +31648529427
Gerhardt Heusinkveld info@mrkiterecords.com
A record company that supplies an internet platform for authentic and wilful music.

LILI IS PI Records
Place du Marche no. 8, 4621 Differdange, Luxembourg
PH (Europe): 352-621395551 PH (US): 201-204-9513
Remo Bei info@lili-is-pi.com
Small independent record label accepting demo submissions into Alternative Pop, Electro Rock, Electronica, Chill Out, Acoustic and Singer/Songwriter only.

Six Nights Music/Six Nights Records
PO Box 400817, Las Vegas, NV 89140-0817
PH: 702 561-1249
We have substantial backing from a pool of investors, so we are the real deal and are seriously looking for artists and songwriters to promote. Please see our website for our submission procedure. Only submissions accompanied by our forms will be reviewed.

Bobby Dee Management Co.
Ocala Fla.34483
PH: 352-653-3107
Bobby Dee homeofc@bobbydeemusic.com
Full artist management and radio promotion. Our focus is on Country, Bluegrass and Gospel music.

Tomahawk Records
PH: 216-659-1513
Javon Bates tomahawkrecordsllc1@yahoo.com
We make hits and make musical moves. If you need duplication, music production or consultants.

Bryan Farrish Radio Promotion
1828 Broadway, 2nd Fl, Santa Monica, CA 90404
PH: 310-998-8305 FX: 310-998-8323
Bryan Farrish airplay@radio-media.com
Indie airplay promotion to commercial, commercial specialty, and college radio stations in the U.S. and Canada.

259 W. 30th St. #12FR, New York, NY 10001-2809
PH: 212-564-4611 FX: 212-564-4448
Stevie MiMiMus@aol.com
Radio tracking and working with CMJ and R&R surveyed radio stations.

Apocrypha Records
PO Box 2570, San Francisco, CA 94126
PH: 503-616-3247 FX: 866-395-9752
John MacMurphy info@ApocryphaRecords.com
Metal only record company that provides label and distribution services for artists and other labels.

Ariel Publicity Artist Relations and Cyber Promotions
325 W. 38th St. #505, New York, NY 10018
PH: 212-239-8384 FX: 212-239-8380
Ariel Hyatt ariel@arielpublicity.net
Professional promotional services for Indie artists.

Morphius Records
100 E. 23rd St., Baltimore MD 21218
PH: 410-662-0112 FX: 410-662-0116
Simeon Walunas simeon@morphius.com
Over 13 years of great Pop, Rock, Punk & Hip Hop releases. Sell your CDs and MP3s!

C.P. St Dorothee, PO Box 69023, Laval, QC H7X 3M2
PH/FX: 450-689-7106
Rob Cotter rob@blistering.com
Metal music community. Submit your CDs and demos. Bands can sell their CDs at our store. We also feature downloads.

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130 Shaftsbury Ave. London, W1D 5EU UK
PH: 020-7031-4288 FX: 020-7031-4302
Mark Sando Mark@corp.rawrip.com
Online store designed for unsigned artists to sell their music direct to fans.

Austin Music Download
2013 Wells Branch Pkwy. #302, Austin, TX 78728
PH: 512-388-1998 FX: 512-251-1107
Carolyn Holzman info@austinmusicdownload.com
A digital consignment website for MP3s featuring diverse music recorded, marketed or performed in Texas.

PO Box 935, Angleton, TX 77516
PH: 979-849-1279 FX: 979-849-1278
John McNerney john@xiie.net
Offers original music by original artists via the web - selling around the world 7 days a week, 24 hours a day. Huge pay outs.

Boost Independent Music
Level 6 220 Pacific Highway CrowsNest, NSW 2065 Australia
PH: +612-9460-1400 FX: +612-9460-0044
Graeme Logan graeme@boostdigital.com
MP3 music downloads store for independent & unsigned artists & bands to sell, host, promote & download all MP3 music online. A MP3 store to buy & sell all independent & unsigned music online

150 Delmar Rd. Rochester, NY 14616
PH: 585-314-2826 FX: 585-458-9611
Dan Regna dan@bonxo.com
An alternative avenue for artists to get their music heard. Our goal is to create a sub-culture of music that is not tainted by the giant corporate spinning wheel. Feature CD sales and MP3 "album" downloads, no singles. The goal is to give artists complete control over their music.

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PH: 514-227-8500 x201 FX: 309-424-9094
Marc Tanguay marc@tibconcerts.com
The world's largest online concert listing site that focuses on both mainstream shows and independent music. TiBconcerts.com receives over 500,000 unique visitors per month and powers the concert listing sites for AOL Canada, Yahoo, MSN Canada, dozens of websites, and even Mobile concert listings. This means when you add your shows to TiBconcerts.com, they will not only show up on TiB, but accross our entire network! Now that is exposure! Adding your concerts is easy and completely FREE. Our focus is getting more people to local shows, not nickel and diming bands. So visit our site today and get the word out!

Indie Buzz Bootcamp
Bob Baker mrbuzzfactor@gmail.com
Bob Baker, author of "Guerrilla Music Marketing Handbook" and TheBuzzFactor.com, will present a new music career development weekend workshop June 20-22 in St. Louis, MO. Speakers will include CD Baby founder Derek Sivers, NYC music publicist Ariel Hyatt, Nashville singer-songwriter Nancy Moran, indie musician John Taglieri, and more. "I want this to be a different type of music conference, with a focus on education and real-world success strategies," explains Baker, who says this event will do away with panels and the typical emphasis on parties and showcases. "I'll feature top-notch solo speakers and lots of interactivity and networking among attendees." There is room for only 150 paid attendees, so seating is limited.

Animoto Productions
247 Centre St. #3B, New York, NY 10013
Rebecca Brooks rebecca@animoto.com
Produces MTV-style videos using the images and music our users choose. The founders include former producers at MTV, Comedy Central & ABC, so the videos look uber-professional but are extremely easy to make. Well over half of our users choose the music we provide on our site (in lieu of uploading their own). We've only been up as a site since August of 2007, but our videos have already been viewed millions of times on the web. People put these videos on their personal blogs, MySpace pages, and we even have a Facebook app, so it definitely offers the musicians we feature a way to get their music out there virally.

City In Tune
Randy Gaudreau randy@cityintune.com
An all-in-one resource dedicated to empowering independent artists and unifying the Vancouver music scene.

707 Miamisburg-Centerville Rd. #103, Dayton, OH 45459
Shawn Fields editor@getsigned.com
EVERYTHING you ever wanted to know about the music biz.

Music Industry News Network (mi2n)
1814 Astoria Blvd. Astoria, NY 11102
PH: 718-278-0662
Eric de Fontenay editor@mi2n.com
Submit your press releases for free.

Musician's Cyber Cooler
PH: 888-563-3228
Jammin Dave Jackson musicianscooler@gmail.com
Features promotional tools, resources and an informative podcast for musicians.

Music Network USA
2118 Wilshire Blvd. #368, Santa Monica, CA 90403
Your gateway to music industry resources! the worlds largest free music classifieds. music business newswire with hourly updates. Directory of recording studios, music publishers, talent agencies, musicians unions, transportation services, artist itineraries, record manufacturers, musical instruments and services for all your production needs.

Don Reed Music Seminar
3200 West End Ave. #500, Nashville, TN 37203
PH: 615-216-0589 FX: 866-618-6112
Don Reed don@affinitymusic.com
This seminar is a roadmap to a successful music career.

MusicPro Insurance Agency
45 Crossways Park Dr. Woodbury, NY 11797-2002
PH: 800-605-3187 FX: 888-290-0302
Julie insurance@MusicProInsurance.com
Affordable and convenient insurance for musicians, including instruments, equipment, studio, tour, composer's liability, travel accident and health.

13027 Brittmoore Park Dr. Houston, TX 77041
PH: 713-466-6414 FX: 713-466-5803
America's premier guitar and bass parts supplier.

Festival Network Online
There's nothing like a live performance! FNO lists more than 7,000 events throughout the U.S. and Canada seeking performers, from local & regional to national & international. @_festivalnet Search by 22 different music genres, event attendance, zip code radius & more. Plug in festival dates with club dates.

Westone Music Products
2235 Executive Circle, Colorado Springs, CO 80906
PH: 719-540-9333 FX: 719-540-9183
Paul Carhart music@westone.com
In-ear musicians monitoring and hearing protection products.

ABC Pictures
1867 E. Florida St., Springfield, MO 65803-4583
PH: 888-526-5336
Quality publicity picture reproduction, posters, 8x10's, headshots & composites for the entertainment industry

Abet Disc
1938 S. Myrtle Ave. Monrovia, CA 91016
PH: 626-303-4114 FX: 626-236-5591
Specializes in CD replication, DVD replication, CD duplication, DVD duplication, Audio Cassette and Video Duplication services for independent companies worldwide.

Tape & Disc Services
7570 Springhill Ct. Gladstone, OR 97027
PH: 888-655-2272 FX: 503-656-4742
Steve Zielger info@tapeanddisc.com
A full-service CD duplication and replication company that also specializes in DVD replication and duplication.

Le Grand Fromage
PO Box L, Atlantic City, NJ 08401
Michael Messina thebigcheeseac@msn.com
Atlantic City venue trying to build the local scene. If you would like to book your band at the club, send us an e-mail.

Music Manufacturing Services
Can: 25 Defries St., Toronto, ON M5A 3N4 PH: 416-364-1943
US: 20 W. 20th St. #302, New York, NY 10011 PH: 212-337-0252
Dave Larson dave@musicmanufacturing.com
Since 1988, we have been the manufacturer of choice for thousands of musicians, bands and labels throughout North America.

Disc Makers
7905 N. Rte 130, Pennsauken, NJ 08110-1402
PH: 856-663-9030 FX: 856-661-3458
The nation's leading CD / DVD duplicator, replicator and printer. When you're ready to make CDs, we're ready to make it happen. We're musicians too, so we know what you need to make it in this business: The best-looking product, the hottest-sounding audio and the most valuable (and free) promotional tools, including free distribution, a free UPC bar code and much more!

The Brink
350 W. Simpson St., Tucson, AZ 85701
PH: 646-213-0900 FX: 520-623-6395
Danny Vinik danny@brink.com
An e-zine about life on the edge. Our passions are pop-culture, indie-film and travel. We think radically and play hard. Our users send us digital photos, films, music etc.

FANBRIDGE.COM - FREE email & mobile list management
PH: 845-306-9370 FX: 610-200-2700
Noah contact@FanBridge.com
FanBridge gives bands the tools and resources needed to easily build their email and mobile fan lists and create/send highly customizable and targeted campaigns and newsletters via email and text messaging, all from one account!
- Create custom signup forms for your website, Myspace, Purevolume etc.
- Have all your fan info in a single searchable database
- Schedule campaigns/newsletters/text messages to be sent in the future
- Geo-target campaigns/newsletter to specific areas along your tour route
- And much more!

250 Cumberland St. #214, Rochester, NY 14605
PH: 585-260-2488
Joe inquires@fizzkicks.com
Our exclusive Music Card Builder? is the only "Do-It-Yourself" online service empowering musicians to design and print their own custom Music Cards at home ready for sale or promotional distribution instantly. No more expensive duplication runs or waiting for large shipments to arrive. Make over 100 Professional Band-Direct? Music Cards in less than 15 minutes at home!

Affordable Sound and CD Duplication
1029 Reinli St. #3, Austin, TX 78723
PH: 512-459-5253 FX: 512-451-9584
Fast turns, high quality and on time delivery is simply how we do business!

White Dove Recording Studios
18675 Toehee St., Perris, CA 92570
PH: 909-437-6928
Bob Logan bobtheguitarman@yahoo.com
We offer professional recording at reasonable rates in a comfortable atmosphere. We offer mixing on a full size 32 channel console or computer based digital mixing and editing using the award winning Sonar Software. We also offer CD production and duplication. CD packages available.

1522 N. Ainsworth St., Portland, OR 97217
PH: 503-233-7284 FX: 503-234-5305
Over the years, Cravedog has developed an international reputation for excellent service, manufacturing millions of discs for our clients. Whether you are a long standing corporation, a small company, an independent artist or record label or a filmmaker, we know how to meet your needs.

United Label Coalition / 7 Key Code
PH: 413-323-6178 FX: 978-867-9283
Jonah Fialkoff jonahf@charter.net
If you are serious about going after success, freedom and a fulfilling lifestyle by building a successful music career, get the details of this unprecedented program in a special report: "How to Crack the Music Industry Code, 7 Keys Never Before Reveled to Unlock the Code!"

PO Box 217, Loveland, OH 45140-0217
PH: 513-833-9025
Jim Mason jimmason@songmastering.com
I see songmastering.com as the final step in the recording process, it is a way to give yourself that extra bit of confidence before you post your tune on the net. I see my service as an audio Jiffy Lube, where you can get your song fine tuned for public consumption. I am an independent artist like you and know how important it can be to have the best sounding recordings possible.

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by Jeri Goldstein, Performingbiz.com
? 2008 All Rights Reserved. Used By Permission

What is the first thing I should do if I'm just getting started?
Take stock of your current situation. Determine the style of music or field of performance to help decide the types of venues you will likely be interested in playing. The most important thing to do is to set some realistic goals for where you would like to be with your performance career in 1 year, 2 years, 5 years and 10 years. Begin to do house concerts, open mics, showcase at conferences and once you are comfortable with your stage performance try getting some opening gigs for more established performers.

What is the most common mistake most young performers make and what can they do to avoid it or fix it?
Young performers perceive themselves on par with established entertainers visible to them from known media and entertainment venues. They assume that because the acts they see performing at local venues, then those venues are right for their own act. This may or may not be so. Young artists need to take the time to develop their performance skills, their goals for their future and determine how they want their careers to progress. The biggest mistake new artists make is to assume that the first step in the process is getting an agent or a manager to take care of their career. In order to have a long and fruitful career, an artist must have a realistic picture of themselves as artists, understand who their audience is and allow themselves time to develop their skills, their professionalism and their fan base.

Is it better to have a third party booking your gigs, like an agent, another person or yourself posing as an agent, or should we do it ourselves?
It is not a question of better, but rather, what are you ready for, or what is best for the type of performance you are doing or the types of audiences you perform for generally. As you are beginning to develop your market recognition it will be necessary to book yourself at first. As you grow a loyal fan base, play more often and make more money at each gig, getting some help may be necessary. Finding someone to hire part time and train as an in-house agent or assistant to work with you and help you book your gigs, may be the next step to expand your performance territory. Posing as an agent, using another name may be more comfortable for you when speaking with bookers, but then presents an awkward situation when they actually meet you at the gig you booked. Honesty is best from the start. Try using a phase like, "Hi, I'm (your name) and I'm representing my (group, band, act, ensemble, show, etc.)."

For detailed information about working with agents, please see my article: How To Approach Booking Agents or listen to my recent teleseminar, Hot Tips About Working with Agents.

Do you need a license to be a booking agent?
Check with your local and state government agencies for specific licensing requirements for a talent agency. In California, a booking agent must have a license and post a bond to book gigs for an artist. A manager may not book gigs or act as a booking agent for their clients in CA. New York has licensing rules as does Florida. Each state has specific licensing fees and requirements, but NY, FL and CA are the most specific and regulated.

What is the best way to attract a booking agent?
The best methods of attracting an agent are to perform as much as possible, showcase at conferences where agents are likely to be selling the acts on their current roster. Remember to invite any industry professionals to gigs you have lined up, especially in industry heavy cities like, NY, LA, Nashville, London, Toronto. No matter where you play, research that city for agencies, venue bookers, media people and invite them to any gig or showcase.

Again, check out my article, How to Approach Booking Agents.

When should I get a booking agent?
You might be ready to work with a booking agent if most or all of the following factors are happening in your career:
? You have a large regional following
? You are earning $50,000 from performance fees a year
? You perform in the types of venues agents regularly book; Clubs, festivals, performing arts centers, concert sheds, concert halls, colleges
? You are able to tour professionally and have some support team members helping to keep you informed, in contact with the media, in regular contact with your fans.
? There is documented demand for your act such as your previous two years of contracts, performance fees and merchandise records.

Listen to the Hot Tips About Working with Agents teleseminar for more details.

Should I start my own booking agency?
Starting an agency is starting a business. First determine if this is the type of business you would like to be doing. When you decide to run your own booking agency, not only are you attempting to build your career and make a living for yourself, but you are responsible for the livelihood of those artists you work with as well. Choose those artists wisely. Do they have enough income potential to make money for themselves and for you? Remember you get only a small percentage of what they earn. If your artists are earning $500 or less and you are getting 10%, 15% or even 20% of their fees, can you build your career on those amounts?

How do I attract a manager?
Are you ready to be managed? Being managed is sharing your goals with someone who can help you maintain a career overview, "the big picture," and works towards helping you achieve those goals. This person doesn't have to be part of an established management firm. Many artists, from known major acts to those lesser known, work with family members, trusted friends or highly enthusiastic fans to help them manage their careers. This can last until an established management firm becomes interested in the act or it can last throughout the artist's entire career. The best management relationship is one that is trusted, enthusiastic and committed to the artist's success. There are plenty of resources available for anyone to access and use to grow an artist's career; there are fewer people in your inner circle of supporters. Look to them first before handing over your career to someone unknown to you.

Check out my teleseminar Hot Tips about Working with Managers .

How can I find out how much a venue will pay?
Check the website of any potential venue to see the schedule of upcoming performers. If you recognize the performers as being much more established than you, this may not be the right venue for you at this time. If you recognize most of the artists as your friends and those whom you know to be at about the same performance level as you are, then check with some of them to see what they've been paid in the past, or what kind of deals they've been getting. Ask them what they got the first time they played the venue. If it's a new market that you never played before, you will simply have to first make your own budget to determine what you need to do the date, then rather than asking them what they pay, try letting them know what you normally get based on your budget, to give them a starting point. They will quickly let you know what they are willing to pay or how they normally work their deals. Now you have a place where you can meet somewhere in the middle, or you can determine if you can afford to play for what they are offering. There's a lot more to this negotiation game.

Check out my two articles on the Art of Negotiation. Negotiation Techniques, Part 1 and Negotiation Techniques, Part 2 to become a more, savvy negotiator.

How do you know if you are setting your fees appropriately?
Research your potential venue's upcoming programming to see who else is on the calendar. Your fees are in direct relation to your market value. Have you played the market before? Have you kept records of how you did? Do you have a following in the market? Have you created a working budget for your tour? All these factors help determine how much to ask when negotiating.

How do I negotiate fees with a promoter or booking person?
Negotiation is a partnership. You must work to create win-win deals making sure you get what you need and they get what they need and you meet somewhere in the middle to make sure the audience gets what they need.

Please check my articles for greater detail on the Art of Negotiation. Negotiation Techniques, Part 1 and Negotiation Techniques, Part 2.

There is a large chapter in my book, How to Be Your Own Booking Agent that goes into even more detail with resources for further reading to build your negotiation chops.

Do you always use contracts and get a deposit for shows?
You should get into the habit of having a written historical document, a contract for each show. The contract can be as simple as a letter written very informally, outlining what your agreement was. Or, it can be a formal legal document with multiple paragraphs outlining your agreement. However you write it, the important thing, is to, "GET IT IN WRITING." When it is written, you can refer to the details should there be any questions. It protects you and it protects them.

Now for deposits-once you start making $500 or more, it would be good to start asking for a deposit. 50% of the total fee is the norm, but you may ask for any percentage lower than 50% if you like. A deposit then needs to be put in an escrow account and not spent before the date is played. Should something go wrong, and the gig gets cancelled, and you need to return the deposit, it's good to keep it in escrow so you'll have it. Deposits are not meant for buying plane tickets or paying for expenses prior to playing the date. Deposits are a good faith payment ensuring that the venue will do what it takes to make the gig work and you are expected to do what it takes to show up and do a great performance.

How do festivals set their fees?
There are no standards here. Some festivals pay according to how they perceive the artist is valued in the market. A major act, that will help bring in the crowds, is likely to get a lot more money than peripheral performers. Some festivals have set fees for lesser known acts and pay by the number of people in the group. Other festivals may simply negotiate a fee based on how many performers they want to play at the festival and how much money they have in the budget.

Why are so many venues charging artists to showcase or "Pay to Play?"
Today's market is crowded with new artists all vying to play at the same venues, competing for a limited amount of money. The venues have their pick of the crop. Until you have established your value to the venue, (you can attract a large audience that buys tickets, drinks and food), they can and do make the rules for how they will choose among so many performers. If a new act is trying to break into a market and will pay the fee to do their showcase, then the venue gets a new a new act and covers their bills at virtually no cost to the venue. The act, if they use their showcase opportunity well, has a chance to play a recognized venue and hopefully invite industry people to the gig. It is the old supply and demand problem. Right now there are more artists wanting to play and not enough venues for them to play. The venues have the upper hand in this situation and can create methods of sifting through the many artists who want to play.

How do you get opening act gigs for a major headliner?
There are three possible methods.
1. Check the venue schedule and determine who among the upcoming main acts you would be compatible with and add to their show. Ask the venue booker if that act is traveling with support or if you can open the show. They may have to check with the main act's management or agency for the OK. They may get approval and they may not.
2. Check with the venue and get a contact for the artist's agent. Contact the agent and introduce yourself by way of sending press materials and pitching them your act to open for the specific date in question.
3. Determine your choice list of main acts that you feel compatible with and for whom you would like to open. Research Pollstar's management directory or Billboard Talent and Touring Directory to find the act's management or label. Contact them with your press kit and a really great letter of introduction. Often management will have an "A" list of potential openers that they regularly turn to when they need a support act.

For more details check my article: Three Methods of Getting Openers and Support Act Slots.

What's the best way to build credibility with top clubs and get booked?
Club bookers always pay attention to who is selling out at the various clubs. They read Pollstar's Box Office Scores which lists how many tickets an act sold on a tour. The best thing for you to do is to start keeping track of your final fees paid, your ticket sales and your merchandise sales and begin using those numbers to build your value in the markets you want to play. Get references from previous bookers at the clubs where you've done well and use those in your pitch. When you play in the area of a venue you are hoping to play in the future, invite the booker to your gig. They may not come, since they are probably busy, but if you keep doing well, the booker will probably hear about it and the invitation is appreciated. When you do well, you should mention that in a note to them after the gig. Keep them informed about how things are going in your career.

How can you benefit from sharing the bill with a local artist when you are new to a market?
Sharing the bill with a local artist who has built a loyal fan base can introduce you to their fans. Make sure you choose the right artist whose fans will likely appreciate your act. If the local act gets media coverage, you may also get them to hear you when they show up for the main act. Make sure you send a press release and let them know who you are opening for, the date and time.

Are there any good ways to open a new market?
One of the more creative and highly effective ways to open a new market is to find an act with whom you are compatible and swap audiences. You open for them in their market and they open for you in your market.

Check out my article on for the details on how Co-operative Audience Swaps to Break Into New Markets to make this work for you.

How do I get gigs at colleges?
There are a number of organizations that cater to college gigs: Association for the Promotion of Campus Activities, APCA.com and National Association for Campus activities, NACA.org each have major booking conferences with exhibit halls and showcases. There are agencies that deal with the college markets as well. You can also simply begin getting in touch with colleges in your area to get bookings in the various performance situations available on college campuses.

For in-depth information about booking college gigs read my article: How Your Band Can Break Into the (Lucrative) College Market .

What is the best way to plan a tour route?
I always recommend starting from your home base and building out from there in widening concentric circles. By expanding in this method, you are able to build on your successes in the towns nearby. Fans are able to follow with you from one nearby town to another helping your ticket sales at a new venue.
If you are planning to tour far from your home base, I would first get a good anchor date in the target market furthest on your tour route. Then I would plot a route based on the following factors:
1. Pick towns that are media-rich so you can stop for radio promotions
2. Pick towns where you have friends or relatives to help with housing costs and to have more of an audience at your gig. Also friends, relatives and fans can suggest local venues to contact.
3. Pick towns with venues that have a reputation.
4. Plot out your tour route in advance to be the most direct factoring in 1-3 above.
5. I also recommend planning tours based on what your reason or goal for the tour might be. A promotional tour may necessitate a much different route than a college tour.

To keep whatever tour route being booked an efficient one check, out my article on How To Use a Tour "Off-Day" Creatively to maximize your efforts .

How can foreign artists tour in the US legally?
You must apply for a Visa from the USCIS, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. www.uscis.gov If you already have gigs booked with festivals, clubs or concert venues, they may be able to help you with the application for work permits. One organization that does charge for their services to help foreign touring artists get their work permits is Traffic Control Group. www.trafficcontrolgroup.com If you are a Canadian artist and a member of the AFM, the branch offices of the AFM are also able to help you file for your work permit. www.afm.org

How do you keep in touch with your contacts for maximum results?
I recommend that you have your contact lists organized by categories such as Media, Clubs, Festivals, Colleges, Concert Venues and Alternative Niches Organizations. You may further divide your media contacts into Radio, Newspapers and Trade Magazines. Each category may require a different time frame for being contacted. No matter who you are attempting to build a relationship with, the first priority should always be to regularly keep your contacts updated with your career developments. Then make sure you invite key people to promotional gigs and regular dates whenever you are in their area.

Here are two articles packed with details to help you stay connected. Nurture Your Contacts to Maximize Publicity and Booking and Are You Following Up Properly with Your Music Biz Contacts

How do you approach churches for gigs?
Churches fall under the category of a niche market. The best way to play any niche market is to get a referral through a known contact. Play a gig for your church first. Offer to do a benefit concert to help them raise funds for a project they are working on. Make sure you include a fee for your performance, but most of the money will go towards the church's project. Once you have a successful event under your belt, get a letter of reference from the church organizer and have them refer you to a few of their colleagues. Have them make a call on your behalf to introduce you and then you take it from there. Once you identify a specific niche market and approach someone you know who is an organizer in that niche, use that contact to refer you to others within the niche. Find out if they have conferences or meetings where they might need entertainment. This is the most effective way of getting your act in front of many other churches or chapters of an organization to get more gigs in the future.

Are there any time management solutions to help artists be more effective?
Planning your day can be effective for some and restrictive for others. Prioritizing your most important things is a must no matter who you are.

Here are two of my Biz Booster Audio Hot Tips on this very topic that will help you work more effectively. Time Management for Performing Artists - Part 1 and Time Management for Performing Artists - Part 2.

Jeri Goldstein is the author of, How To Be Your Own Booking Agent The Musician's & Performing Artist's Guide To Successful Touring 2nd Edition UPDATED. She had been an agent and artist's manager for 20 years. Currently she consults with artists, agents and managers through her consultation program Manager-In-A-Box and presents The Performing Biz, seminars and workshops at conferences, universities, for arts councils and to organizations. Her book, CD-ROM and information about her other programs are available at are available at www.Performingbiz.com or phone (434) 591-1335 or e-mail Jeri at jg@performingbiz.com

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