Ever wondered how the cogs in the machine work and what goes on behind the scenes, when it comes to curating well-planned gigs, and how we go about booking artists? Though there isn’t a guidebook with written fundamentals on how to program a venue ,there are certain ethics followed depending on the venue you work with.
In this article lets take a look some of the typical scenarios we as an artist management angency come across.
Situation 1: Crowd Pullers
In this case, we have to book someone that can bring in the crowd and has a good social following, we have compromised on the music in many instances just to retain our business with the venue, but in that case, we use really deserving opening DJs and maybe sometimes a closing DJ too, who hasn’t ever had the chance to play for so many people, while the headliner plays a clever slot time that ensures people come early. So everybody wins here, bar sales are assured, headliner attracts a huge crowd, fresh DJs get to open for them and talented but underexposed DJs get to close the night.
Situation 2: Sponsored Showcase
Here we have absolutely no pressure of making any money in case of a sponsor covering all the expenses incurred in creating/curating an event. Here we are only responsible to program the night at a particular venue and have good music flowing, we don’t give too much importance to the number of guests each artist can bring.
Here we can book a wide range of talented DJs that will all compliment each other musically. Usually, gigs like this are genre-specific, for example like an agency showcase where you highlight artists from an agency.
Situation 3: Self-curated gig
it’s our own party, we call the shots, we make money from ticket sales and(or) get a percentage from the bar sales. Then it’s a bit of mix and match of the previous two situations. When we throw our own party the motive mainly is to showcase the sound we believe in and support, because we are a brand and we stand by a particular identity.
So here we have to be ultra-specific about our music policy, more than sales, and the DJs who play for a gig like this very well understand the purpose of it and most often will be happy to play for a reduced fee.
Be consistent. If a promoter went to your artist or Soundcloud page, he should be able to hear at least 4 to 5 solid sets from you. Make sure your sets are categorized genre-wise and don’t be afraid of being versatile and showcasing genres outside your comfort zone. The more genres you play, the higher a chance you will be recognized by agencies and promoters.
Do you have any tips for us that we haven’t covered? Let us know in the comments below.
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I have been in the entertainment business for more than a decade. From playing in clubs to managing them and from being a part of competitions to judging them, I’ve come a long way in being on both sides of the industry. A headstrong personality to deal with and a perfectionist. I monitor DJ student progress, help them find placements, and brand building activities.