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Stephen L. Rich 20 Mar 05 - 07:34 AM
GUEST,Pete 20 Mar 05 - 09:14 AM
Stephen L. Rich 20 Mar 05 - 03:41 PM
Sandra in Sydney 21 Mar 05 - 06:46 AM
MartinRyan 21 Mar 05 - 05:02 PM
GUEST,Mike 23 Mar 05 - 05:04 PM
GUEST,Julian 24 Mar 05 - 08:44 AM
GUEST,Terry Allan Hall 24 Mar 05 - 01:20 PM
GUEST,Some Old Folkie 04 Apr 05 - 06:18 PM
Sandra in Sydney 05 Apr 05 - 10:13 AM
JedMarum 11 Sep 08 - 01:15 AM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 11 Sep 08 - 09:50 AM
DebC 11 Sep 08 - 10:43 PM
Phil Cooper 11 Sep 08 - 10:52 PM
DebC 11 Sep 08 - 11:22 PM
GUEST 12 Sep 08 - 12:00 PM
JedMarum 12 Sep 08 - 12:24 PM
GUEST,Mark 16 Sep 08 - 06:13 PM
babypix 23 Dec 10 - 05:04 PM
michaelr 23 Dec 10 - 10:09 PM
reggie miles 24 Dec 10 - 08:13 AM
DebC 24 Dec 10 - 08:43 AM
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From: Stephen L. Rich
Date: 20 Mar 05 - 07:34 AM

It has been suggested to me that I join As always, I'm a bit cautious about these things. Does anyone know anything about Sonicbids? Have any 'catters done buisness with them? Good? Bad?

Thank in advance,

Stephen Lee

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Subject: RE:
From: GUEST,Pete
Date: 20 Mar 05 - 09:14 AM

I get loads of spam from them asking me to enter various songwriting competitions and the like. Naturally they expect you to pay an entrance fee a bit like those dubious firms who offer to publish your poetry. Personally I'd suggest you avoid them as I'm trying to do. I keep pressing the spam button whenever I get another e-mail from them but somehow their e-mails keep appearing in my inbox rather than my bulk box. Damn annoying.

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Subject: RE:
From: Stephen L. Rich
Date: 20 Mar 05 - 03:41 PM

This wasn't spam. The suggestion was made by another performer. Had it been spam I would have just hit the delete button and that would have been the end of it. When suggested by other actual people, I'm inclined to, at least, check it out.
Thanks for your input, though.

Stephen Lee.

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Subject: RE:
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 21 Mar 05 - 06:46 AM

I've also received unsolicited emails from them & I'm not a songwriter.


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Subject: RE:
From: MartinRyan
Date: 21 Mar 05 - 05:02 PM

Make that one more...


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Subject: RE:
From: GUEST,Mike
Date: 23 Mar 05 - 05:04 PM

I've seen pretty good results from them... I haven't been chosen for anything, but their service definitely made me rethink my processes. I think they'll help me more when I get my stuff together. No complaints here.

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Subject: RE:
From: GUEST,Julian
Date: 24 Mar 05 - 08:44 AM

Sonicbids is the ultimate way to get a paying gig if you're a musician. I've used it for years, and in 2003 just using my electronic press kit and the events on sonicbids I was able to quit my day job and gig full time - I'm working again, but I still gig to about 15-20K a year. Once you create your kit, you can not only use it to automatically submit to every listed event they offer, but you can have your kit sent out to everyone and anyone with an email address. I've even dabbled in hosting my own events, since I can, as a promoter, book gigs quite easily by listing my event on SB for other musicians to apply for.

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Subject: RE:
From: GUEST,Terry Allan Hall
Date: 24 Mar 05 - 01:20 PM

Gotten several nice gigs through them, so, as far as I can tell, they're 100% legit!

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Subject: RE:
From: GUEST,Some Old Folkie
Date: 04 Apr 05 - 06:18 PM

Getting gigs for people and acting as a spammer are two entirely seperate aspects of their business plan. I too have asked them to stop sending their spam to my address, and in defiance of the intent of law and simple common sense they keep shoveling it. After a few months of the kind of treatment I won't get involved with a company even if they have something I want; spam is a huge portion of internet traffic and hurts us all. So deal with them if you must, but here's some advice; don't give them an email address you care about. Get an address just for their traffic.

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Subject: RE:
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 05 Apr 05 - 10:13 AM

I noticed another email from them today at work when I looked at my email on the website, however it was not in my intray tonight when I logged on at home. It obviously went straight into trash.

It's good to know some folks have received assistance from them, but ...


Google seems to have an opinion, too - there are links below for Corporate Spam Filter & Spam Filter!! I just love these google ads.

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Subject: RE:
From: JedMarum
Date: 11 Sep 08 - 01:15 AM

Anyone still using Sonicbids?

One of the festivals I am talking to says that is their preferred method of application - so I am giving it a try. I don't mind paying for bookings through an agent, so I have no problem paying a reduced fee for an opportunity - and to be fair a mailed promo package has a cost ... I am taking only very careful shots at opportunities that look like I'd be a very good fit - and I research each on through Sonicbids and directly on the web.

Still, it could be a waste of time. We'll see.

I'd love to hear feedback from anyone using this service. It does look pretty good, by the way; both the EPK facilities and the database of opportunities. IF the venues are really looking for people and not just trying to earn a few dollars for every application - it could prove worthwhile ...

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Subject: RE:
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 11 Sep 08 - 09:50 AM

As a presenter, I like Sonicbids for a number of reasons. The EPK is very helpful as well as having audio and even more importantly - video samples.

I get very few e-mails from Sonicbids, but then again, I am not a musician.

I know there are complaints about having to submit to events through Sonicbids, but from a presenters point of view it makes my job easier. There is a cost of doing business.

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Subject: RE:
From: DebC
Date: 11 Sep 08 - 10:43 PM

Hoo boy. here we go :-) First off, Sonicbids is a legitimate company and not a scam.

Sonicbids may work for some, but I don't like them. I have tried them and I have found that the expense is not worth it for me. Most of the opportunities that come up don't apply to me as I am a FOLKsinger not a rock goddess, and not a songwriter. When I did try them I found that it became pretty darn easy to burn through a lot of money applying for gigs. I research vbenues pretty thoroughly and with most of the opportunities that they said were a "match" it was pretty apparent after I looked into the venue that I was far from a match.

It may be great for presenters, but for artists, IMO, I think it comes down to pay-for-play. What I am especially irritated at are some of the organizers that will *only* accept submission through Sonicbids. I guess that is their perogative, but it sure does shut out a lot of artists who don't use Sonicbids who might be a nice addition to their venue or festival.

The other thing that Sonicbids does is it's pretty much a one-size-fits-all situation. With the basic SB account you are only allowed three songs (that might have changed) but for me, this is certainly not enough to showcase my versatility as an artist.

I HAVE found a FREE (did I say FREE??? YEP, FREE!!) place for an online EPK. I think it's much better than Sonicbids (did I say that it's FREE?) and you can showcase more than three songs. I was able to put up a 14 minute live performance on my EPK. The site is and you can look at my EPK HERE.

Maybe Sonicbids works for some artists like the guy above. I am sure that it does make a presenter's job a bit easier. But this business is difficult enough and for me atleast, Sonicbids makes it more so.

Debra Cowan

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Subject: RE:
From: Phil Cooper
Date: 11 Sep 08 - 10:52 PM

My significant other has a sonci bids account for our February Sky band. We are listed on myspace and other places as folk/celtic/acoustic. She keeps getting invites to submit to places looking for alternative rap and other places not appropriate to what we actually play. I did say that we did do alternative rap, it's called singing. But I suspect that the venues getting our stuff looking for something else won't go for it. It is also clear that some venues haven't bothered to listen to the sonicbids. It seems a shame that they still charge us, even if the place can't be bothered to see what we do.

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Subject: RE:
From: DebC
Date: 11 Sep 08 - 11:22 PM

Phil said
"I did say that we did do alternative rap, it's called singing."


Your buddy,

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Subject: RE:
Date: 12 Sep 08 - 12:00 PM

Thanks for the feedback, Ron and Deb.

It does look like a good idea, and looks helpful to the promoter - possibly to the artists. Like Deb, I may find sonicbids more focused on the world beyond folk - we'll just have to see how it goes.

The link looks worthwhile - I'll take a serious look at that too.


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Subject: RE:
From: JedMarum
Date: 12 Sep 08 - 12:24 PM

Oops - that was me, cookieless, for some reason.

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Subject: RE:
From: GUEST,Mark
Date: 16 Sep 08 - 06:13 PM

Sonicbids is a total scam. Our band was stupid enough to fall into it to. It didn't take us long to figure out that they keep accepting submission money for events that the promoter has already CLOSED, they have never fixed their tracking service because they don't want you to know that the promoter you just paid $50 to never even viewed your kit, and they have NO customer service. You never hear back or maybe after four months.

We found a MUCH better service that doesn't have the BS, doesn't look like a cartoon, understands the struggling musician and works FOR us, and has customer service reps online up to 20 hours a day, seven days a week. Even on holidays!

myPPK Power Press Kits. NO per-use fees, no pay-to-play. Graphic themes are great and you can make your own theme for cheap. We STRONGLY recommend everyone who has been scammed by soncibids check out Power Press Kits.

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Subject: RE:
From: babypix
Date: 23 Dec 10 - 05:04 PM

Gentle Colleagues:

One thing that I'm finding about Sonicbids, is, that, as with Debra Cowan, I (and Larry Hanks), sing FOLK music, and several of the desirable FOLK festivals are now exclusively using Sonicbids for applications.

It's kind of disappointing, as if the festivals are now in collusion with this moneymaking scheme which seems to prey mostly on the musicians, and not get fees flowing through from the website, itself.

Eek. Maybe it's time for the folk festivals to STOP using this service, hopefully out of respect for the performers. Why can't each festival just set up a space on their OWN websites where performers may apply?

Arggggh. (Just swallowed annual Humbug Pill, by the way!)

Deborah Robins

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Subject: RE:
From: michaelr
Date: 23 Dec 10 - 10:09 PM

Oasis Disc Manufacturing offers a one-year free Sonicbids membership when you use their CD pressing service. I signed up for it and have been getting an average of three or four emails a day. Very few of the gigs offered are folk at all. I don't expect to continue my membership when the year is up.

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Subject: RE:
From: reggie miles
Date: 24 Dec 10 - 08:13 AM

Upon receiving a spam from this event, requesting that I apply via Sonic_ _ _ _, I offered the following.


Hi C_ _,

Thanks for the note and your kind consideration in sending me this info about the R_ _G_ _ _ _ _ _ Festival. I like that you mentioned the fact that this is a free, no cover charge event to attend. I believe in that concept and have offered my music freely on many occasions to benefit others.

As a musical artist/songwriter struggling to gain notice for my efforts, I can't help but wonder why, if this event is free to attend, why can't it also be free for musician's who wish to apply to perform at it? Why is there a fee attached to my application to play at this event?

This is a disturbing new trend, that I've seen happening more and more at events across the US. They want musicians to pay to apply to perform with no guarantee of any opportunity being offered in return, whatsoever. There is never even an offer to return the application fees to those who are not selected to perform at these events. Event organizers have found yet another means to profit. Now, it's on the backs of those hoping for recognition and networking opportunities via their musical pursuits.

Here's what I think would be much more fair, to those of us who already earn far too little via our efforts. How about having the folks at the R_ _G_ _ _ _ _ _ Festival return our application fee if we don't get booked for this event? So, they get to keep our money if we do get a spot in the lineup but if we don't get booked we get our application fee reimbursed.

Because, here's the way it looks to me. There are only so many spots on the bill. I don't know what that number is. Say it's 10. There may be more but there may in fact only be 10 good showcases. I don't really know. I merely use this simple number to illustrate my point.

Now, perhaps the selection committee already has a few ideas about who they want to fill those stage slots and they pass their requests directly onto their previously chosen hopefuls. Then, once they receive whatever confirmations are answered, there may only be a few spaces left over. They then advertise across the planet, via the web, for applicants and perhaps get a thousand or more who apply for what in reality is only a small handful of chances to participate.

What happens, of course, is the event ends up with a lot of extra money, perhaps thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars. It all depends upon how many they can get to bite their bait and pay to apply for the event. They cull this wealth largely from all those applicants that they had no intention of inviting in the first place. Meanwhile, those not selected, that were hoping for a chance to play at the event, are now just that much poorer and feeling that much less about themselves due to their inability to get invited. If these applicants were to at least get their money returned, when they were notified that they were not selected to perform at the event, they wouldn't feel so sucker punched via their efforts. I think this method of seeking applicants is leaving a bad taste in the mouths of a lot of potential players seeking opportunities and may well come back to bite those who practice this avaricious methodology.

Is this event and it's organizers transparent, regarding how much money it actually reaps via it's campaign to attract applicants? Does it offer real numbers regarding how many apply and how many are actually invited to perform there? If so, I ,for one, would like to know what those numbers are. Publishing those numbers, along with their advertising for applicants, would at least allow those who apply to know what kind of lottery they're actually getting involved with before they fork over their hard earned cash.

I imagine, like the fees being charged for the, so called, songwriting contests that are now so plentiful, the profits from this kind of exploitation of musical hopefuls is handsome. Otherwise, there wouldn't be so many others willing to follow this same pattern of charging players to apply to play. Personally, I find the idea rather distasteful that there are so many that are so willing to take advantage of others in this way.

I hope that my thoughts about this issue will perhaps at least spark some kind of dialog that might eventually result in the reversal of this current trend of exploitation. Surely, with all of the many wonderful new tools at our disposal today, we can find leaders in our field with vision enough to offer us all a better means to help everyone gain more success via their pursuits without resorting to the practice of predation.   

Sincerely, Reggie Miles


Let's not paint this sad picture with a false brush. This method of reaping vast amounts of cash, for doing nothing, is greed, plain and simple. That's why so many events have jumped on the bandwagon. The event gets to share in the profits raised via this scam. It's a shame, that so many here are trying to justify it. This is the industry, once again, using the web to scheme and scam as much money as they can, before the roof caves in and someone sues the pants off of them for being thieves. They, no doubt, have taken their business plan directly from some visit to a casino and merely expanded upon the concept using spam emails to ensnare who they can in their cyber slot machine.

I would gladly pay an agent or manager their percentage to work at securing me 'real' opportunities to perform, rather than offer these hucksters a dime.

Oh and btw, the person from the above email never responded to my note. Of course, I didn't really expect them to do so. Who wants to openly discuss the fact that they're lettin' their greed show.

Let me pose this question to all interested in this thread. How did festivals get along before Sb? It seems to me, that there were plenty of events, that managed to feature a wonderful array of talented artists, before this Sb method of robbing from the poor was enacted.

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Subject: RE:
From: DebC
Date: 24 Dec 10 - 08:43 AM

Thank you, Reggie. Great post. Venues can choose to conduct their businesses as they see fit and if they choose to use SB in choosing artists for their stages, then that is their choice.

As I said above, venues who use these methods (and more are cropping up everyday!) exclusively are creating a "class" system in the industry: those that can pay to submit and those who cannot or choose not to pay.

I agree, Reggie. It's pretty sad that the industry has come to this. I seem to be doing okay without SB and I do know of a few organisers who will not have anything to do with SB. Good for them.

Debra Cowan

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