A thread about putting on DIY gigs

DIY clubs, gigs, fun
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indiehorse
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Re: A thread about putting on DIY gigs

Post by indiehorse » Thu Jan 23, 2014 09:52

alongwaltz wrote:I was talking to a band who have played Indietracks and done a couple opening slots on tour with bigger names. But when they try to book their own gigs with them headlining they can still only get small, mostly-empty bars. So they're definitely thinking of trying to find a booking agent to get them some summer festivals and better shows.

Would you totally dissuade them against it? If so, what would you suggest instead?

If you're not against booking agents in general, can anyone recommend anyone?
As others have said, if they want to play certain festivals, a booking agent is probably not a bad idea. However, it certainly doesn't seem like any kind of solution to them wanting to play busier headline gigs - an agent will get them shows but whether the show is booked through and agent or not isn't going to affect whether anyone turns out for it.

If they're looking for decent promoters in particular cities, the best bet seems to me to ask other bands/friends/fans to recommend them some. (Feel free to point them to this list of promoters as a starting point)

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Re: A thread about putting on DIY gigs

Post by indiehorse » Wed Jan 29, 2014 12:40

I suspect this is probably discussed elsewhere in the thread, but there's too many pages for me to flick through: How do you deal with bands that contact you that you don't want to put on?

Is it best just to ignore them or do you reply to tell them you're not interested?

I have no problem ignoring the mass mailouts, it's the ones specifically sent to you I don't know what to do with.

Ignoring people is obviously rude, but I don't have the tact to tell a band we're not interested without making it sound mean. Like, I could simply say "this isn't really our bag" but I don't really have a bag and if I did have a bag the band might sound like they should be in my bag only more rubbish, in which case it would be clear I was really telling them they're rubbish and they might cry and I don't want to make them cry.

We don't get enough messages for me to justify ignoring any on the basis of not having enough time.

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Re: A thread about putting on DIY gigs

Post by alongwaltz » Wed Jan 29, 2014 13:12

I've done both.

Generally, if they seem like nice and decent people, I write back saying that we book three months in advance but I'll add them to our lists and keep then in mind. Then I promptly forget them. It sounds like a dick move when I write it like that but I can't book every band in the world (even if I wanted to) and at least I'm not hurting their feelings. Maybe they'll keep playing shows and improve and I'll want to do something with them next year. I just know I get incredibly frustrated when I'm booking shows for my artists and nobody responds.

If they seem like tools or they're utterly terrible to the point that I'm offended I usually just delete the e-mail without responding. For example the last one was a band whose lead singer was named "Screaming Cheetah Davey" and their band interests included "music".

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Re: A thread about putting on DIY gigs

Post by carney » Wed Jan 29, 2014 13:14

indiehorse wrote:I suspect this is probably discussed elsewhere in the thread, but there's too many pages for me to flick through: How do you deal with bands that contact you that you don't want to put on?

Is it best just to ignore them or do you reply to tell them you're not interested?

I have no problem ignoring the mass mailouts, it's the ones specifically sent to you I don't know what to do with.

Ignoring people is obviously rude, but I don't have the tact to tell a band we're not interested without making it sound mean. Like, I could simply say "this isn't really our bag" but I don't really have a bag and if I did have a bag the band might sound like they should be in my bag only more rubbish, in which case it would be clear I was really telling them they're rubbish and they might cry and I don't want to make them cry.

We don't get enough messages for me to justify ignoring any on the basis of not having enough time.
My usual feeling about this is that, if you're not into the music, the response should be determined by the intent of the senders. If they seem like decent folks, trying to do things the right way/for the right reasons then I'll usually say that they're not my cup of tea, and will typically suggest one or two people who they might want to contact instead. I find that people are grateful that you at least bother getting back to them, since so many of these emails are ignored, and won't take it badly.

When I get mails from bands who are clearly trying to "make it", or some such nonsense, and who have clearly just found our email address somewhere and made no effort to figure out if what they do might be the kind of thing that we put on then it's perfectly acceptable to be scathing. You get the odd angry response from doing this, and that totally makes my day as it confirms that I have indeed been dealing with a bunch of bad dickheads.

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Re: A thread about putting on DIY gigs

Post by humblebee » Wed Jan 29, 2014 13:59

alongwaltz wrote:and their band interests included "music".
This has tickled me pink. Heh heh heh!

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Re: A thread about putting on DIY gigs

Post by fika_recordings » Thu Jan 30, 2014 20:29

I normally respond to those gig/demo emails in the hope of stemming off the tide of continued emails from them. If it is someone that has a clue who we are and what we do, that have done some research, then they'll get a nice response and I'll try to be as honest as I can if I'm not interested (doesn't fit with what we do, no time; if its a "you're not very good and i don't like it" type email, I'll try and be constructive, pick out something positive and elaborate on it and try to describe what we're looking for suggest some realistic goals, not the world tour and soon-to-be platinum album they want me to put out). I'm always hopeful that people take that sort of stuff in the right way...
The ones asking me to book their Stone Roses tribute band get a fairly curt response and added to my spam filter instantly.
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Re: A thread about putting on DIY gigs

Post by Trev » Thu Jan 30, 2014 20:33

I don't always reply. I get too many requests.

BUT

If I like them but don't have anything on/suitable I say so. If I think they're good and they're not my thing, I say the same. If they're obviously rubbish, I ignore. And some I miss because of the volume of emails coming in.

Some bands have got shows and or releases this way though so I don't mind the emails coming in.
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Re: A thread about putting on DIY gigs

Post by boney » Thu Jan 30, 2014 22:50

I don't get that many but I try to reply to all, at least to refer them on to more suitable/likely keen promoters in a useful way.

Unless it's through a general booking agent, I kind of figure they're doing their job and I sure as hell ain't going to do it for them.

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Re: A thread about putting on DIY gigs

Post by islandhopper » Mon Feb 03, 2014 14:01

What part of playing a 9 band bill at a 100 capacity venue and being told this means guest spaces will be limited makes you believe you have a god given right to 5 of the buggers!

Enforcing an unofficial ban on any bands with a manager!

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Re: A thread about putting on DIY gigs

Post by a layer of chips » Mon Feb 03, 2014 15:34

We have one golden rule for our all-dayer: it has to be the bands' Mums. Otherwise: no (or you can get in at a reduced rate)

They won't be there all day, Chris. Will they?...

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Re: A thread about putting on DIY gigs

Post by paukl » Mon Feb 03, 2014 15:45

I very rarely do guest list spaces because I think they're silly.

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Re: A thread about putting on DIY gigs

Post by islandhopper » Mon Feb 03, 2014 16:04

Apparently it's reasonable to bring along one friend each when you're working for "considerably less than the minimum wage".

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Re: A thread about putting on DIY gigs

Post by linus » Mon Feb 03, 2014 17:11

whereas you as the promoter are presumably making millions? and not paying tax on those millions? and using child labour?

answer me!!!

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Re: A thread about putting on DIY gigs

Post by paukl » Mon Feb 03, 2014 17:18

islandhopper wrote:Apparently it's reasonable to bring along one friend each when you're working for "considerably less than the minimum wage".
That's outrageous! Bands need to get paid, that's a given (one that an unfortunate number of promoters in the UK seem to think doesn't apply to them, but whatever), but if their mates want to come to a show they can bloody pay for it.

People coming to see the bands is what provides the money to pay the bands. It's not rocket surgery.

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Re: A thread about putting on DIY gigs

Post by Trev » Mon Feb 03, 2014 17:28

islandhopper wrote:Apparently it's reasonable to bring along one friend each when you're working for "considerably less than the minimum wage".
I'd kick them off the bill.
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Re: A thread about putting on DIY gigs

Post by islandhopper » Mon Feb 03, 2014 18:32

a fog of ideas wrote:whereas you as the promoter are presumably making millions? and not paying tax on those millions? and using child labour?

answer me!!!
I'm making meals with my own money so that touring bands can get a decent feed without having to pay for eating out. And not paying any of the people who spend hours of their free time helping me give punters and bands a good time. And, yes, - you got me - using child labour!

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Re: A thread about putting on DIY gigs

Post by islandhopper » Mon Feb 03, 2014 18:39

Trev wrote:
islandhopper wrote:Apparently it's reasonable to bring along one friend each when you're working for "considerably less than the minimum wage".
I'd kick them off the bill.
It would probably involve having to offer refunds at this point. And I'm hoping the actual band are just innocent victims in all this. Still not having anything to do with the fucker after this though!

Anyway, I'll stop now - it's probably unprofessional of me to speak about The Sweet Nothings like this on here! ;-)

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Re: A thread about putting on DIY gigs

Post by Trev » Mon Feb 03, 2014 18:43

I was half joking - but I've had this issue in the past and cheaplist spaces sometimes work in place of free spots.

But yeah, agents/managers are doing what they think is best, often the band have no knowledge of it, either.
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Re: A thread about putting on DIY gigs

Post by a layer of chips » Mon Feb 03, 2014 19:02

I wouldn't mind as much if These People stuck around for the entire gig, instead of just the band whose guest list they're on.

I'm dealing in broad brush strokes here, but yannow...

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Re: A thread about putting on DIY gigs

Post by alongwaltz » Tue Feb 04, 2014 16:06

I've had friends who survey everyone who pays at the door as to which band they came for and divvy up the payments accordingly. So if Band X wants all their friends and family to come in for free that would be reflected in how little they make at the end of the night compared to Band Y.

I tend to just shrug it off and let in whoever they want for free. They're all aware that any money they make is from door cover so if they want to shoot themselves in the feet that's their choice.

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