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Planning Ahead ? (bookings)

Deckman 21 Oct 11 - 07:42 PM
Mo the caller 21 Oct 11 - 07:50 PM
Crowhugger 22 Oct 11 - 12:51 PM
Leadfingers 22 Oct 11 - 01:22 PM
GUEST,bllogward 22 Oct 11 - 02:12 PM
Deckman 22 Oct 11 - 04:31 PM
SteveMansfield 23 Oct 11 - 11:47 AM
Arthur_itus 23 Oct 11 - 12:20 PM
Mo the caller 23 Oct 11 - 01:58 PM
Stewart 23 Oct 11 - 05:32 PM
Phil Cooper 23 Oct 11 - 07:17 PM
Leadfingers 23 Oct 11 - 07:44 PM
Deckman 23 Oct 11 - 09:27 PM
SteveMansfield 24 Oct 11 - 03:32 AM
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Subject: PLANNING AHEAD ?
From: Deckman
Date: 21 Oct 11 - 07:42 PM

I'm hoping this thread will lead to some intersting postings. My question is this: How far ahead from today do you book concerts for yourself?

I ask this as I am now booking concerts well into the Spring of 2012.

I'm surprised sometimes when I offer gigs to friends on such and such a date, and they respond with something like: "WHAT ... that's weeks away! I don't even know what I'm doing tomorrow!"

At the other extreme are several performers I know who do this for a living. I'll not mention names ... that gets boring. But I well remember a conversation I had a couple of years ago with a well known American folksinger who tours a lot. This was in an October. As we visited, he complained that as of "the following June", he had no gigs. He said: "I've got a kid in college and by next June, I'm out of work!"

So ... how do YOU handle your bookings? How far ahead do you plan? cheers, bob(deckman)nelson


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Subject: RE: PLANNING AHEAD ?
From: Mo the caller
Date: 21 Oct 11 - 07:50 PM

If anyone wants me to call for their dance I take it. Furthest ahead are 3 in January, but one of those I've had for a year (since the last one, as it is a regular event).


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Subject: RE: Planning Ahead ? (bookings)
From: Crowhugger
Date: 22 Oct 11 - 12:51 PM

Most of my a cappella quartet gigs are booked 3-10 months ahead, which suits us well. We intend it to be a part time thing and so far--knock on wood--we have no trouble meeting our income targets. Twice a year (roughly January for spring-thru-fall dates, and May or June for fall-thru-spring dates) one of us e-mails our list of previous gigs and new prospects; this always includes a 60-second sampler mp3 that blends clips from 6 or 7 songs characteristic of our full repertoire. Only a couple of regulars hire us by return e-mail while the majority of bookings result from follow-up phone calls. Where applicable (i.e. for organizations) we do check first to obtain the name and direct e-mail address of the person who books talent. I'm starting my 3rd year with this group and we have a blast!


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Subject: RE: Planning Ahead ? (bookings)
From: Leadfingers
Date: 22 Oct 11 - 01:22 PM

Over here , a booking for twelve months time is not unusual , though at present due to the recession , we are getting a few short notice gigs .


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Subject: RE: Planning Ahead ? (bookings)
From: GUEST,bllogward
Date: 22 Oct 11 - 02:12 PM

March 17th any year.


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Subject: RE: Planning Ahead ? (bookings)
From: Deckman
Date: 22 Oct 11 - 04:31 PM

Here is america, I think how far in the future you will comitt to a gig is some kind of a measurement of how professional you are. Or perhaps it's a measurement of how seriously you take your music? bob


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Subject: RE: Planning Ahead ? (bookings)
From: SteveMansfield
Date: 23 Oct 11 - 11:47 AM

If anyone wants me to call for their dance I take it.

Precisely so, same with us.

At the moment the furthest ahead the ceilidh band is booked is July 2012, but if anyone had made us a firm offer for further ahead then that's fine.

Venues get booked up, some publications have got ridiculously long lead times, and people like to get things planned well in advance.

Things are also complicated for us by the fact that we have to work sympathetically with what the morris side is doing, and we're already getting reasonably firm bookings for the side for 2012.

I'd agree, I think it is partly a sign that you take your music seriously. Because if you're taking gigs well in advance, then the other things in life have to fit around the gigs - and although I've never even approached being a professional musician, that's the way it's been for my whole adult life. Anyway it's good for the ego, being wanted well in advance :)

Bottom line - if you offer someone a gig, and they aren't prepared to commit that far ahead ... offer the gig to someone else who *is* prepared to work at the same level of commitment and planning as you! (I originally said 'the same level of professionalism', but took that out as many amateurs are just as 'professional' as the 'professionals').


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Subject: RE: Planning Ahead ? (bookings)
From: Arthur_itus
Date: 23 Oct 11 - 12:20 PM

Well this is our diary. Scroll down.

http://www.faldingworthlive.co.uk/

Whilst it is possible that things could change, due to illness, death etc, it does help acts to plan tours around thos edates, which normally takes time to build up.


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Subject: RE: Planning Ahead ? (bookings)
From: Mo the caller
Date: 23 Oct 11 - 01:58 PM

Ceilidh bands and callers are often booked for weddings, which usually take months to organise.


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Subject: RE: Planning Ahead ? (bookings)
From: Stewart
Date: 23 Oct 11 - 05:32 PM

Bob, as you know, I book a lot of gigs for other people (more than for myself). For the Pacific NW Folklore Society monthly Coffeehouse Concerts I try to book them at least 2 months in advance (right now I've already booked one for next May). That's necessary to do the proper promotion - posters and fliers, event postings on various websites and print calendars (most require that information at least a month in advance), and email lists, etc.

When I was booking for the Haller Lake concert series I would book up to a year in advance in order to get the good performers who might otherwise be booked if I waited too long, and to get our publicity out in advance for the year-long series.

But we all know many part-time musicians who book a gig at a coffeehouse, for example, and then send out a few emails a day or two before the gig and wonder why only a few people show up. I figure it takes at the minimum a month to do proper promotion for a concert. With all the events going on here in the Seattle area there's a lot of competition and people need to know well in advance in order to decide which events they want to go to.

Cheers, S. in Seattle


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Subject: RE: Planning Ahead ? (bookings)
From: Phil Cooper
Date: 23 Oct 11 - 07:17 PM

We book as far ahead as someone wants to books us. We have several going into 2012 so far. If we're around and someone calls on short notice, we do that, too. As stated previously, if we commit to being somewhere, we show up. As they say word of who blows off gigs at the last minute to do something else gets around faster than who's sleeping with whom.


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Subject: RE: Planning Ahead ? (bookings)
From: Leadfingers
Date: 23 Oct 11 - 07:44 PM

Just got St Patricks for next year !!


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Subject: RE: Planning Ahead ? (bookings)
From: Deckman
Date: 23 Oct 11 - 09:27 PM

As I started this thread, I'll go ahead and twist it a little into another topic that really fits the original subject .... "preparation."

Occasinally I'm quite amazed, and not in a pleasant way, when someone shows up for the gig unprepared. There are several perfprmers whom I no longer even consider because they do NOT prepare. I see them sitting to one side in the "green room" ... looking around for paper and pencil, and trying to plan a set list 5 minutes before they go on.

And then, amazingly, they'll go on stage with a scribbled set list thrown on the floor, and refer to it between songs, with comments like: "Hmmm ... maybe I'll sing this one?"

It all goes back to professionality.

Am I being overlly critical ... or do some of you have the same frustrations? bob(deckman)nelson


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Subject: RE: Planning Ahead ? (bookings)
From: SteveMansfield
Date: 24 Oct 11 - 03:32 AM

Am I being overlly critical ... or do some of you have the same frustrations?

Ah well that's a different kettle of fish.

Chris Wood & Andy Cutting, for one, seem to make up their set list as they go along, but that's because they've got a repertoire of well-rehearsed pieces they can pull out at the drop of the proverbial hat, and if the whim takes them to do such-and-such it still sounds, well, brilliant.

I've seen some fabulous performances by soloists and by groups large and small where the set list is fluid, and a good reaction to song A means that song B suddenly gets added to the set.

If, however, your performer works on this spur-of-the-moment basis and then turns in a set that is under-rehearsed and unacceptably rough round the edges, then they've sold both themselves and the audience short.

But as a (hopefully reasonably discerning) audience member I really don't care whether the set list is beautifully word-processed and laminated and hasn't changed since the tour began, or is scribbled on the back of a beermat 5 minutes before onstage and then substantially altered on the fly, so long as the resulting performance is worth watching and hearing. In the past few months I've seen bands so well rehearsed that they'd sucked every single last piece of life out of the performance, and bands teetering on the edge of organisational chaos who turned in an absolutely brilliant performance.


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