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How do I get a venue to pay more for my act?

artist management advice

One of my biggest struggles is booking the band I manage for a decent pay.

Linda from Maryland

You can’t expect to make any money the first time you play a market. The best thing you can do is play a venue, get as many people out as possible, and then when you go back to them next time you can tell them how many people came out last time, and you’ve gained __ amount of fans since, and negotiate a higher rate. 

If you haven’t played that market before, but can prove that you have a certain number of fans on social media and visiting your website every month from that particular market, or can prove that you have a song on the radio in that area, these are also good negotiating points.

In this interview, Larry Wanagas said, “You start by giving the agent as many tools as possible to convince the promoters to spend money on your act. Then go back a second time, and the agent says, ‘Hey, my band came in last time, capacity was 200 people, they sold a 150 tickets at 10 bucks, we’re going to put the ticket price up to 15 and we’re going to sell 200 and we need a raise’. The way to make money the second time? Sell out the first time. Get the clubs name in the paper along with your bands name, and they’ll bring you back in. You made as much profile for them as you did for yourself. Like it is with anything else in this world, be successful the first time and you’ll be successful the second time.”

Read more tips from Larry Wanagas, manager of The Trews, on touring and performing!

Comment below if you have other tips about getting your music out around the world!

Ask Jamie is my new blog series that features actual questions submitted by someone like you! Each question and answer will be posted on the blog. It’s an amazing way to deliver even more value to you and the entire SBM audience! Simply submit your question here. To ensure your question is featured, please avoid being deeply personal.

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    1. Hi Pach!

      Great question. Most A&R reps will tell you that “if you’re creating a buzz, we will find you”. I know how confusing and frustrating that can sound, but, the best position to be in is when you’ve already created such a buzz and now you have people knocking down your doors. On the other hand, the best way is to connect with people who know the A&R’s and see if they’ll connect you, or contact the label and ask if they are taking submissions. I talk more in depth on this topic in my book – so if you haven’t checked that out yet – you most certainly should!

      All the best!