I’m gonna give you a personal “How To” on booking shows in Rhode Island & Massachusetts. First off, restaurants, bars, and nightclubs, do not want you unless you’re bringing them traffic. They make their money off food and alcohol, and without the sales of that, then its not worth it to them.
Secondly, a sound that appeals to their demographic of clientele is what they look for. As an example, they typically do not want metal bands to perform at a sit down family restaurant. Likewise, other establishments might not want a rapper performing at a metal club.
Finding places that work towards your own tastes, as well as comply with the environment of the establishment that you are performing at is key in playing live shows.
Most importantly; money, money, money. If you are a band that is just starting out in Massachusetts or Rhode Island, understand your not going to have a fan base right off the bat. With that said, you have two choices.
If you find a place that will allow you to play, such as The Met, or Lupos. You will not get paid to perform, you get paid based on how many people you bring into the establishment. This is just the way it is. So now it is a tactic that is all about who you know.
Say you have a friend that’s in a band, and his band has a great following. MilkBread is a great example of this type of band.
You should consider working out a deal with them, maybe that you will let them headline you will open for them and have them bring their people in to view your performance open for them. This way, both parties will get paid, and you will be able to slowly but surely gain more followers as well.
Even then, its up to the clubs discretion if you get paid. If you are a band who is just starting out and you wand to make some big money, ITS NOT GONNA HAPPEN. Any business that starts takes a hit with start up costs. A band believe it or not is essentially a business.
You might look for some sort of a booking agent who already has a good rapport with these clubs or restaurants, or bars. They can help you get into the scene more, gain exposure, but ultimatly, the sound that you produce as an artist is what converts listener to fans.
Which brings us to a differentiation. What is a listener and what is a fan. Anyone can listen, only fans continue to listen. Conversion is the goal to any business. In music, bands should be focused on conversion of listeners into fans. This is later converted from fans into income through select mediums.
Booking agents, band managers, and the like will spend their money and their time to gather resources in your best interests. With these services you may get what you are looking for but you may be looking at some hidden costs here, depending on the agent or manager. Typically fees would be 25% to 35% finders fee.
You may still experience the phenomenon where your band still doesn’t have a following, or that people who you told about the show weren’t necessarily going to go. This might be because they are not locked in, or committed to going. They may have forgot about the show, or something might have come up, etc.
Here at Symphony Booking we have a different business model that we believe works out for everyone. What we do is book live shows in Massachusetts and Rhode Island featuring local bands and artists that fit the particular environment of each venue. We meet with all bands and dole out discounted tickets to their particular event, at a discounted rate to secure a spot in each show. Yes, the band or artist is required to spend some money up front. Bands and artists are given a face value to sell the tickets at to their fan bases through whatever marketing means they use.
Artists sell tickets for the face value cost of the ticket and are able to make their money back plus over 100% profit of the initial cost of their tickets. This model encourages bands and artists to sell tickets, and also a type of security deposit for their presence in the upcoming show.
By selling tickets to the show through channels such as directly through the artist, they are also securing their fan base representation in showing up through ticket sales.
With Symphony Booking, we take care of the hassle of finding venues and showcasing talents for the bands. We aide bands and artists with promotion for each hosted event, and provide them with free service during the event such as promotions, live videos, interviews, and high quality photographs. We make our money, the venues all make money, bands make money, and show goers leave each show satisfied.