How to Book Your Own Tour: Part 3

09May08

Yesterday I shared with you how I selected what cities to go to on my tour. I decided I wanted to start in South Dakota, work my way to Milwaukee, WI and then loop back around. This allowed me to hit about 10 or 11 cities in 14 days.

So now you should have your list of cities to play….and also a list of possible venues…..here is a copy of the exact script I used to call venues and book myself:

“Hi. My name is Chad Sharp. I am a singer-songwriter. I am getting ready to release a new CD and I am going to be on tour. I am going to be in __ on __. I was wondering who I would talk to about setting up a time to play there when I am in town.”

Boom. That’s really it….. The people I called would usually refer me to who I needed to talk to, or they would tell me they are not booking anyone. This script does 2 things: 1. Tells them you are serious, you are touring. 2. Tells them you are already GOING to be in their city, so this isn’t a special trip.
Many places are going to ask how much you charge….they may also ask you to send a CD and press kit, etc.
For my tour I played mostly for Tips and CD Sales, but a couple places actually paid me to play.
If you have never toured before, and you do not have a following in the city you are visiting, be careful to not ask for too much money and book yourself out of a gig. My tour was designed as more of a promotional tour.

Using this script I ended up booking shows from South Dakota to Wisconsin. I hit places like, Minneapolis, Sioux Falls, Milwaukee….and places in bewteen. It didn’t take me a super long amount of time to get the shows set up.

Tomorrow I will tell you how I promoted my tour….

– Chad Sharp Please check out my demo production studio.

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2 Responses to “How to Book Your Own Tour: Part 3”

  1. I Really love your approach to touring. I am truly clueless on that process. My thinking was not as direct as yours and i have never toured. I am currently working on a few music projects and will release some time summer 2011. Here are some of my questions that i hop you can answer and i thank you in advance for even spending the time to read this reply. Is there a process of getting in touch with d.j’s at club that are pro gay , all gay, and gay friendly that i can follow. My thinking is to use gay guide darmon, and yelp. I think that would 1 give me a heads up on where the gay clubs are, and yelp would tell me what kind of club good or bad as reviewed by patrons to contact. The darmon guide also list gay newspapers and mags in area so that i may get someone to review. I live in san diego and there is a free mag called the reader where they pay freelance writers to review concerts, cd releases and the like. Being an aspiring gay artist in the field of hip hop my concern is person safety during transit and while in a city. My hetro counterparts have been attact and killed for reasons as little as what color shirt and we all know about how gay peeps get bashed let alone the fact that you have to publicly map out your movements in the press.. Another place i am sure that is over looked are gay bookstores, and the ma and pa record stores that still operate. that might be a way to get in contact with potential new fans. That whole give away thing is really kicking my ass hard. I want peeps to hear my music but damn the hard work to make it happen and the expense to release a free product i just don’t know. Where can i find payola free collage radio that might be friendly to my cause. I KNOW DOO DIRTY, HOT MESS, BETTER DAYS but what about collages because a few gay hip hop artist told me that would be a great place to start. The legistics of equipment is hard for me to gather also. if you play a gay dance club you just use there p.a. and your own wireless mic. but there are venues where you have to have your own pa i am guessing. I am not looking to reinvent the wheel so i am looking to the hetro artist to see where they are making their money. To me it seems the music is the vehicle but the side items, t-shirt, posters, and other swag and maybe even a fragence line may generate the income that the music won’t. i guess zazzel or wordpress for just in time manufacture might cut down on over head for swag. Now a lot of that stuff is why some one might need a label but it seems the majors for the most part are clueless on promoting artist in the new web based wild wild west. I heard of an artist that release a song a week on twitter music for 52 weeks until the following was big enough to justify a tour. Me i do not have that much material in my mind or my heart. there is something called sell a band where you actually get fans to fund you to tour, to record , to get equipment for maybe something in return that you the artist determine. like 25% of the profit after expense, the first 100 numbered cd or maybe rare versions of your release that only the early core fans that get you started. i know i am all over the map with all this wild shit. but i am look at these issues as i work toward my releases. Now i know a significant part of the world speaks english but spanish, french , and german version via babel fish or lec translation programs,of an artist releases opens up whole new markets. The other thing to know is that there are vastly under served populations in the gay community ie… bears, leather types, drag queens to just name a very few. oh and there are over 100 gay pride celibrations with concerts in the united states alone (a whole lot of venues) i asked a gay hip hop artist was he a hip hop artist that just happens to be gay or was he gay artist that does hip hop. that for me is very important because that would speak to the content of the music that you write and the peeps and issues you address. if you have read this far it is truly supprising cause i guess i am really long winded. but if any of this means anything let a brotha know if it is just too much b.s. let me know to and i will shut the f*#k up peace.

  2. First of all, you bring up alot of good ideas. The biggest thing you need to think about is that you cannot do all of it all at once. Building your career is like building a brick wall. You have to do it brick by brick….fan by fan. You mentioned that you live in CA. Your first goal should be to get known in your own city. You should work on saturating that market before you start trying to take over the world. There are plenty of people in your city that could be great fans that could help you build your career and start making money. It will take a ton of work and ven some money, but if you want to do it, you just have to. There is no easy way. You mentioned you are gay….so am I. You should check out Gay Music Revolution…..google it. It is a great networking site for gay recording artists. You should also start off visiting your local clubs and introducing yourself to the DJ’s. Also just get to know the people who work at the clubs….and even the people that go there. You never know who they know…..and maybe they will love your music.
    You need to becom an expert marketer. I suggest reading and studying, taking notes, etc, these books:
    Music Marketing by Mike King
    The Long Tail by Chris Anderson
    Making Music Make Money by Eric Beall
    The Future of Music by David Kusek and Gerd Leonhard

    Music success takes many years of hardwork and investment. Sounds like you think alot about it. Just start by focusing on getting 1 new fan at a time, and focus on your own backyard. Network, network, network.
    – Chad


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