Advancing a show means to get all the information you need, in advance of the show, to prepare effectively for that show. You’ll need to advance the show, in advance of the show. Get it?
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Some venues have standard documents that include all of the information you need and will happily give it to you over the phone or proactively email it to you without you even requesting it. Some wonder why you’re even asking. These are usually the tiny venues and lazy bookers. Nonetheless, there’s information that you simply need to know before you go and play a venue, and usually a standard protocol to getting this information from the venue bookers or buyers.
What will I need?
We have a document in our full artist management toolkit, which is linked below. But if you want to just test out the free kit we have for now, that is also linked below. Either way, I’m going to explain to you what you need to advance, and then you can create your own document. Once you’re done writing it all down, you’ll want to do 1 of 3 things. You can either just email them the document and ask them to fill it out, you can call them with the document in front of you, ask them the questions, and fill it in yourself as they are speaking, or you just write all the questions in an email and send it off.
What do I need to ask?
Ok so you can advance the show and make your advance sheet however you’d like, but the main information you need to find out is….
- if they offer accommodations or if they help find discounts for local accommodations
- when load-in and sound-check is and any instructions associated with that
- when your set time is
- how long your set or multiple sets are
- parking instructions or if parking passes required
- how many people you can have on guest list
- who the “day-of” contact person is
- tech questions like if there is a “front of house tech” provided for the show
- instrument related info if you so need, such as if a backline is provided
- if they offer complimentary food and drink or give you extra cash instead (which is called a buyout, which would have been negotiated in the show deal)
You also want to ask if there’s a merch table provided – and make sure you check your contract agreement, which for newer acts is usually always 100% to the artist, and artist sells, which means the former is 100% responsible for their own merch table and keeps 100% of sales.
You might also want to ask if they can pay you cash at the end of the night for the rest of your negotiated fee or guarantee deal. Once you get all of this information, adjust your plans and your budget accordingly!
When should I start advancing?
As for WHEN, you should usually try to advance a show about 2 weeks out. For super small shows, you can get away with advancing a couple days or even the day before. But for larger shows or larger stage sets, especially for tours or out of town shows, you want to prepare at least a few weeks ahead.
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