How To Get Booked For Your First Music Festival

How To Get Booked For Your First Music Festival

We caught up with our music industry friends to gather the most important tips for booking your first music festival gig.

We caught up with our music industry friends to gather the most important tips for booking your first music festival gig.

Landing a music festival gig is one of the best ways to get your music out in the world and grow your fanbase. But for emerging artists, booking your first set at a festival, even as an opening act, can seem completely out of reach - a goal often set aside for “later” in your career.

But with the growing list of music festivals popping up around the world, scoring a gig can be easier than you think. We caught up with some of our music industry friends and gathered the most important tips to help independent artists wrap their head around how to book their first music festival gig.

Be active on social media

Don’t underestimate the power of social (and we mean more than just throwing your track online and setting up a Facebook page). Focus on developing your brand by creating interesting and engaging content for your fans, engaging with them, and making your music easily accessible for potential new fans.

“For me, a great artist is someone who is able to promote themselves and is willing to make an effort when it comes to building their brand,” says Theodora Nordqvist, Artist Project Manager, Amuse. “It’s not an easy job and you can’t really rely on someone else making your success. I look at various things when I sign an artist. Of course the music speaks for itself, but it’s also important to know if the artist is willing to do the actual job in building a local audience.”

Create a press kit

Whether you’re emailing promoters to book festival shows, or wanting to get onto the books of a new entertainment agent, the advice is clear - if you want to get more gigs, you need a good EPK (electronic press kit).

“Having as much information about yourself readily available in the most easily digestible format possible is crucial for that initial outreach, says Dan Roy Carter, CEO, Above Board Entertainment Group. “A good electronic press kit, including music, imagery, touring history, key data and social statistics, is going to serve you well, bonus points for good quality footage of your live performances.”

Be sure to include links to your audio, high-res photography, website and social media links, a short biography, press quotes, videos, testimonials and your contact details.  

“Festival bookers are going to want to see that you’re culturally relevant, have your own fanbase bubbling and a brand that is relevant to their beat or territory,” adds Dan. “It’s important to really do your research and keep pitches/outreach as focused and on point as possible. A talent buyer/bookers inbox is a hectic place, so your ability to cut through the noise via concise and well-curated information is going to serve you well in breaking into the festival market.”

Network

No matter what stage you are at in your career, the music industry is a pretty supportive industry - with most artists just wanting to see each other succeed (while creating a healthy dose of competition along the way!).

Network as much as you can within your local scene - attend club nights, hit up artists, managers, and bookers on social media, and don’t be shy about sending your tracks to festival promoters. The more familiar they are with you and your music, the more likely they are to think of you when booking an act. It sounds obvious, but many artists spend all their time hidden away in the studio writing music, and not enough time out meeting their peers.

Get a booking agent

Signing with your first booking agency can be an exciting milestone for all independent artists, but it’s important to not jump into the process and sign with the first agency you speak to. Spend time having different conversations, ask them about their plans for you, and try to get feedback from other artists that have worked with them. Take your time, do your research, and find someone that believes in what you’re doing and feels just as passionate about your music as you do.

While there’s no silver bullet to scoring a festival gig, artists who work hard will, in time, achieve their goal. Develop a strong online presence, engage with your community, play a lot of shows, and get your music out into the world.

Ready to get started? Sign up to Amuse to release your music for free.

Landing a music festival gig is one of the best ways to get your music out in the world and grow your fanbase. But for emerging artists, booking your first set at a festival, even as an opening act, can seem completely out of reach - a goal often set aside for “later” in your career.

But with the growing list of music festivals popping up around the world, scoring a gig can be easier than you think. We caught up with some of our music industry friends and gathered the most important tips to help independent artists wrap their head around how to book their first music festival gig.

Be active on social media

Don’t underestimate the power of social (and we mean more than just throwing your track online and setting up a Facebook page). Focus on developing your brand by creating interesting and engaging content for your fans, engaging with them, and making your music easily accessible for potential new fans.

“For me, a great artist is someone who is able to promote themselves and is willing to make an effort when it comes to building their brand,” says Theodora Nordqvist, Artist Project Manager, Amuse. “It’s not an easy job and you can’t really rely on someone else making your success. I look at various things when I sign an artist. Of course the music speaks for itself, but it’s also important to know if the artist is willing to do the actual job in building a local audience.”

 Create a press kit

Whether you’re emailing promoters to book festival shows, or wanting to get onto the books of a new entertainment agent, the advice is clear - if you want to get more gigs, you need a good EPK (electronic press kit).

“Having as much information about yourself readily available in the most easily digestible format possible is crucial for that initial outreach, says Dan Roy Carter, CEO, Above Board Entertainment Group. “A good electronic press kit, including music, imagery, touring history, key data and social statistics, is going to serve you well, bonus points for good quality footage of your live performances.”

Be sure to include links to your audio, high-res photography, website and social media links, a short biography, press quotes, videos, testimonials and your contact details.  

“Festival bookers are going to want to see that you’re culturally relevant, have your own fanbase bubbling and a brand that is relevant to their beat or territory,” adds Dan. “It’s important to really do your research and keep pitches/outreach as focused and on point as possible. A talent buyer/bookers inbox is a hectic place, so your ability to cut through the noise via concise and well-curated information is going to serve you well in breaking into the festival market.”

Network

No matter what stage you are at in your career, the music industry is a pretty supportive industry - with most artists just wanting to see each other succeed (while creating a healthy dose of competition along the way!).

Network as much as you can within your local scene - attend club nights, hit up artists, managers, and bookers on social media, and don’t be shy about sending your tracks to festival promoters. The more familiar they are with you and your music, the more likely they are to think of you when booking an act. It sounds obvious, but many artists spend all their time hidden away in the studio writing music, and not enough time out meeting their peers.

Get a booking agent

Signing with your first booking agency can be an exciting milestone for all independent artists, but it’s important to not jump into the process and sign with the first agency you speak to. Spend time having different conversations, ask them about their plans for you, and try to get feedback from other artists that have worked with them. Take your time, do your research, and find someone that believes in what you’re doing and feels just as passionate about your music as you do.

While there’s no silver bullet to scoring a festival gig, artists who work hard will, in time, achieve their goal. Develop a strong online presence, engage with your community, play a lot of shows, and get your music out into the world.

Ready to get started? Sign up to Amuse to release your music for free.

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