The Etiquette of Sound Checks

Playing a show will usually involve some kind of sound check. This check will take place before the public arrive and involves setting up your equipment, having the sound engineers place appropriate microphones and DI boxes, cabling everything into the mixing console and playing a  couple of songs in order that the front-of-house engineer can … Read more

How much do musicians and their road crew earn?

If you are curious as to how much money you could be earning from your music, producing other people’s music or working as part of the road crew you should check out the new study from Berklee College of Music, Music Careers in Dollars and Cents. Originally released in 2010, this revised study by the … Read more

The band road crew dilemma – work for less or lose the work?

A quick tip based on recent experience – do not be afraid to stick to your guns when setting a price for touring crew work.

If a potential client (artist manager, booking agent or musical director) says he cannot afford your price, you should not drop your daily rate just to get the tour. Dropping your price can make you appear desperate in the eyes of your client and also sets a precedent when trying to negotiate a contract in the future.

For example, say you are a FOH engineer and your rate is $250 a day. You are offered a 32 date tour andthe  bands management inform you they can pay no more than $175 a day. If you say ‘yes’ to this offer they will then  know that they can reasonably expect you to drop your price whenever they ask you in the future. That is not good for you. However, if you say ‘no’ you run the risk of losing 32 days of paid work. What should you do?

Read moreThe band road crew dilemma – work for less or lose the work?

14 Things You Should Know About Touring On A Sleeper Bus

It is festival season again which means bands and their crews are clambering aboard sleeper buses in order to travel around Europe and sit in muddy fields for hours on end. Of course, touring by sleeper bus goes on throughout the year on both sides of the pond; it is by far the most convenient … Read more

Do you have a tattoo? Then you can become a roadie!

This article comes from the Guardian newspaper. It is a concise and irreverent description of the ‘rock’n’roll’ jobs in the live music business. I’m not sure if I amused or annoyed at the suggestion all touring road crew are tattoo covered, drug-taking baby sitters. There have been quite a few pieces written about ‘roadies’ and … Read more

What does a music booking agent do – and how can you get one?

Finding and organising shows for your band can be a time consuming and frustrating experience. You have to play live and you need to reach as many existing and new fans as possible. Yet, with all the indications that the live music business will continue to grow (worldwide concert ticket sales were $4.4bn in 2009, up 17% from 2008), actually getting those gigs can be difficult. Once you are offered a show by a promoter you still need to agree a payment and sort out a contract.

A music agent is a live music business professional who will find you paid gigs and other live engagements. These gigs are known as bookings, hence the term booking agent. (It is generally accepted that a talent agent is any agent who can find work for their client – film, TV, book writing for instance. A talent agent who concentrates on finding gigs and tours for their client is a booking agent [Waddel, Barnet, & Berry, 2007]. This article shall deal with booking agents.)

The booking agent does not actually put on shows. An agent acts as an intermediary between the thousands of artists and the limited worldwide body of promoters of concert venues, festival, clubs and colleges. [Hopewell & Hanlon, 2003]

Read moreWhat does a music booking agent do – and how can you get one?

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