Returning to Live: A Conversation about Booking Shows, Safety, and Live Streaming

The pandemic is hard-hit live music. The music industry has been affected in many ways.

We thought that it would be helpful to talk to Kyle Weber, the founder of the live show and tour booking platform Indie On The Move, and Kristen Ford to get a better understanding of how artists book or rebook tours.

If you would like to view this conversation, it is available on the Bandzoogle channel. We wanted to share the information on our blog because it was so rich with questions and viewpoints.

If you are thinking of booking more shows or if your goal is to get back into live music, then here are a few things that we discussed.

The book shows now!

Musicians kept themselves busy in various ways during the pandemic. Now is the perfect time to begin promoting your live shows.

If you are unsure of how to begin booking again, review what you have accomplished in the past year. Update your pitch based on all the work you’ve done, whether it was recording, writing, or live streaming. Your music website and EPK to make it relevant again.

Indie on the Move began to see an increase in bookings in March as venues started planning for the summer. Bookings are active. If you’re planning to see a show, then get out and look for them.

Booking venues can be difficult to predict. It is worth reaching out to different venues in order to find out when the shows will be taking place. Kyle says that he would rather hear “I’m still not there yet” than “I booked the show yesterday.” You can always contact me again.

Prepare to hit the road again with a professional EPK and website for your music. Try Bandzoogle today!

Dream big about your trip.

As we learn to live with the new norm, you will need more time to plan and book the shows.

Prepare your pitch and update your website. Also, decide what you’d like to do in two months. Look at the anchor dates of those places that you’d like to play and how far in advance they are booking.

If music isn’t their primary focus, as in a restaurant with music at weekends, they likely want to focus on other things, like serving food or brewing beer. Many venues in every city have not yet been built, but some already exist.

Some venues are already planning events for the fall or January 2022, which is just seven months away. It doesn’t harm to ask in 2 months if you already have your pitch and website ready.

Some venues will fill in the gaps by booking new artists. New venues are opening up all the time. As restrictions ease and the new norm becomes more normal, we are seeing an increase in live music venues.

Cleaning off the rust to get back into it

Plan your strategy. What do you plan to do with your free time now? Determine what you wish to achieve and which resources will assist you in achieving that goal.

Create a video of yourself playing live if you’ve not played in a while and you want to get into it again. It could be in a well-set-up living room, a soundstage, a closed area, or even a radio program.

You can promote your livestream as you practice your performance if your set is not yet perfect. You can also record it and put it on your site as a show. This can be used to book other shows.

You can also do a few low-pressure gigs in order to regain your confidence. Some venues fill in the gaps maybe three weeks before. Can you promote a three-week-old show? You may or may not.

It could be an opportunity to get into the game again. You can use these gigs to gain confidence and become accustomed to performing in front of an audience.

Restore your website to its former glory.

It’s important to keep your online presence up-to-date to ensure you are prepared. You may have to take on the role of your manager when booking shows. Independent artists are often multi-faceted. Consider how you would like to present yourself and ensure that this is reflected on your website.

It would be best if you were critical, but you shouldn’t be so essential that nothing gets out there. Include your great video, new photos, and a concise EPK for your music.

You will have a good background to not only do outreach but also to help venues promote shows more easily once they are booked.

Bandzoogle offers website reviews. If you are feeling overwhelmed by the idea of updating your site, please get in touch with our customer service team. Also, you can take a look at Bandzoogle’s website reviews: A 15-point checklist. We want to make sure you are putting your best foot forward.

You can reach out to new markets that you’ve never played before

It’s harder to get a booking now that clubs are booking all the artists who had to cancel. Keep your booking requests short and simple. Refer to your EPK for your best photos, content, etc. Show people that you respect their time. The entire music industry is starting from a halt, and many people are feeling overwhelmed.

Do not suffer from imposter syndrome. Feel really proud of what you do, and keep on reaching out. There are a lot of ways to get into the club.

Use your newfound knowledge of live streaming to your advantage. If you’ve always wanted to play Chicago but can’t find a date, then stream some songs from Millennium Park. Your fans will want to know that you have made it.

Original music artists vs. cover bands

Look at the venues in your area to see what’s on offer. If your set is short, you can put together a bill with three other bands.

An evening cover band could play for 3 hours. You can also create a set in which every third or fourth track is a cover and tell the booking agent about it.

It will help you to play longer, and if the song is not one that the audience knows, it will give them something to relate to and hold on to. They’ll then have a better ear for your original music.

As the world resumes, artists will be faced with challenges.

In many parts of the world, live shows are undergoing a transition. It could be reduced hours or reduced capacity for a nightclub.

The guarantees that artists receive may be less. Venues don’t feel as confident in what they can do until people are inside.

This is a period of transition. It is important to show patience and love to each other as we emerge from the shadows and dust. This includes musicians, promoters, and staff.

Be prepared for cancellations at the last minute and other issues.

Try to protect your health as an artist. We now know that travel can be exhausting, and we are more aware of germs.

Wearing a mask and getting vaccinated will give you an extra level of protection. You should also bring your microphone. Just be extra patient and show goodwill. Everyone will experience cancellations or issues.

Find out what the rules are in advance to avoid any surprises. For example, New York requires a vaccination pass. Masks may not be necessary in some states, but private establishments within those states may insist on them. Do your research and be ready.

You should pass on this information to those you are promoting your shows to. Don’t let your fans be turned away because they lack a vaccination certificate. It’s not harmful to keep people informed.

It’s important to communicate a lot. This is how you can add value to the product that is your tour. Set up an email for fans to ask questions if the show is open to all ages or if alcohol will served.

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