A booking agent basically pulls all the strings behind the scenes for a music artist, which means managing their diary, handling the communications for deals and all the admin.
There are some serious perks to the job, especially when you love music as much as I do! While the music industry is certainly hard work, long hours and very unpredictable – I couldn’t think of any other job I’d rather be doing.
In the industry, most artists don’t really want to negotiate directly with the promoter (a venue like a club, a festival or a private event) about fees, and promoters themselves don’t really like to discuss money matters with an artist. So, that is where I come in. It is my job to sell and book my portfolio of artists into gigs and event.
It is certainly a lot of work; once an artist is playing two or three gigs per weekend, it almost becomes a full time job for their agent. Beyond generating the bookings (sometimes around the world) my role entails a lot of promotional work – online, newsletter mailings, social media work and direct personal contact via email, telephone or face-to-face meetings.
What does a booking entail?
- Once a booking gets confirmed, I send need to manage the logistical side of the agreement and the contract and invoice which needs to be paid will be sent out.
- After that I send out the artist’s press kit so the club and promoter can start the marketing for the event.
- At the same time I will start checking for flights, transit and accommodation with the promoter and travel agencies. That needs to be well planned since most of the time an artist is playing more than one gig in a week – a logistical nightmare!
- Finally when everything is done I send the artist’s info sheet to the promoter, containing all the specific information for that night to guarantee everything goes smoothly.
Alongside the daily booking I am having meetings on a continual basis to advise, plan and discuss the artist’s career in terms of new releases, remixes and live mixes, as well as upcoming bookings and administrative matters.
To sum it all up, an artist needs to be focused on what they do best: producing and playing music! My job is to take care of everything else.
What makes me good at my job?
I take full responsibility for the artist’s business matters. To be successful in this industry means that you need to act in a professional manner, negotiate gigs with a positive attitude, and be quick at responding to booking requests.
Since you are constantly promoting the artist and building up strong relationships with clubs, promoters and press, PR skills are essential in the business.
What advice would you give to someone starting out in the industry?
Read, read, read – and ask questions! To be a good agent, industry knowledge is essential. You need to know all the clubs and festivals around the globe in terms of location, crowd and music taste to then match that with the artist’s profile. Furthermore a good booker should be in constant contact with other agents for matters like blacklisted clubs or promoters, new festivals, new clubs and generals trends around the electronic music industry.