Why use a Booking Agent

Established booking agents have several advantages over bands that handle their own booking. First and foremost, they know what they’re doing. They aren’t learning as they go like bands that represent themselves. Think about it like playing your instrument; when you first started you were no virtuoso, but as you continued, you learned the “tricks of the trade” and you got better as you got more experienced. Same thing goes for a booking agent.

Another advantage established agents have over bands that do their own booking is they already have working relationships with the people who book the clubs. This is a huge advantage (provided the agent isn’t unreputable) because the agent doesn’t have to start from scratch for each club or venue they call. The agent’s previous work with the promoter or talent buyer is what opens the door for your band.

Club talent buyers know agents work on a percentage basis and aren’t going to represent an unsuccessful artist. While having a booking agent is not a defining characteristic of a successful band, it certainly lends a degree of status to your band. Bands that don’t draw, or lack potential are rarely represented by agents…and clubs know this.

Most booking agents represent multiple bands which is often a huge bartering chip when an agent is trying to get a new client gigs. Often an agent will use booking a show with a popular band on their roster as a carrot to get the club to book a new, or less-popular band that’s just starting out. Club talent buyers know if they give your band a gig, the agent is more likely to book that really popular band at their club, too.

Since an agent may represent several bands the club wants to book, it’s also much easier for a booking agent to get the club talent buyer on the phone than a band member. Club talent buyers have hundreds of bands calling for a limited number of shows which is why they are usually hard to reach. So to a club talent buyer, all bands they don’t know personally all lumped together and usually ignored until the artist makes contact with them. Most bands who book their own shows have to talk to the talent buyer on the phone several times before landing a gig because they have to build up that personal relationship themselves, and that takes time.

Although booking agents work for the band, early on it’s the agent’s reputation that opens doors for a band. For that reason, a band’s actions at a show can have an effect on the agent and the other artists the agent represents. When a band trashes their dressing room, harasses the wait staff, blows off the show, badmouths the sound man, etc…it makes it that much harder for the agent to book the other bands they represent at that club as well.

So if you’re touring on a regular basis and the time you have for booking shows isn’t enough to get the job done, an agent may be the solution to your problem. Make sure you are comfortable with the agent you select and be sure to communicate your band’s goals with the agent as well. An agent may take a different approach or route you in certain regions if they know what goals and direction the band has.

Contact Jaybees Entertainment and Booking Agency
Phone: (02) 4443 3422
Email: jaybees@jaybees.com.au

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